This year’s calendar of visits to the Congregation’s Entities has allowed two members of the General Government to spend a good part of Advent and to celebrate Christmas in the Congo (RDC). 125 years ago, the first religious of the Congregation sent by Fr. Dehon arrived in this land. God has blessed this mission with the joy of men and women who have embraced the faith; he also blessed it with the fidelity of those who gave their lives here or passed through these communities doing good. He continues to bless the mission with vocations to the religious and priestly life, with the generosity of benefactors and with fruits of holiness as beautiful as that of Blessed Anuarite Ngapeta, a religious of the Holy Family of Kisangani, a congregation founded by one of our pioneers in Congo.
God wanted the life of this nun to become a true gift (zawadi, in Swahili, her mother tongue) for her people. The local Church presents her as a beautiful model for youth, because she knew how to live her true Love. Blessed Anuarite learned this at Holy Family of Nazareth school. There she began to focus her life on Jesus, as did Mary and Joseph. With them she learned to contemplate the little one from Bethlehem and to express her love for him in many ways: “Yezu tu”, “Only Jesus”, she liked to repeat in her prayer. When the time of the test arrived, with her love and forgiveness she defeated the hatred of those who took her life. She had no more strength than “only Jesus” taken to the extreme.
Like her, Mary and Joseph had already lived a confident “only Jesus” and thus it was possible for the Word to have a home. The shepherds, each sharing their “only Jesus” allowed the night to be filled with hope. The wise men who came from afar, for their part, with their daring “only Jesus” opened the way of the Good News for all peoples. And so, the “only Jesus” of so many other people continues to give tenderness, defeat selfishness and repair breaches in so many places and situations in the world.
This Christmas may your “only Jesus” be renewed and be a credible witness to how much the Child of Bethlehem has gained for us (cf. Cst 57).
In Him, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a new year of much shared peace.
Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú, scj