Called to reflect on: Whom am I neighbour to?

Inspired by Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, the theme for this month’s Empowerment series was specifically chosen based on Chapter 2 of Fratelli Tutti: A Stranger on the Road.

Mar 05, 2021

By Amanda Racqualina Sintar
Embracing the current digital environment, PDYN held the February Empowerment Series “Whom am I neighbour to?” via an online Zoom meeting hosted by Joshua Robert and with guest speaker Anna Teresa Peter Amandus, the former Youth Apostolate Coordinator in the Diocese of Sandakan. A number of young people from Penang Diocese, as well as from other dioceses, tuned in on February 20.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, the theme for this month’s Empowerment series was specifically chosen based on Chapter 2 of Fratelli Tutti: A Stranger on the Road.

In the context of ‘The Parable of the Good Samaritan’ (Lk 10:25-37), we learned that our neighbour is the one who shows mercy. Thus, we must go and do likewise. Anna Teresa talked about the reality of ‘neighbours’ in today’s fragmented world, and how we are called to be the Good Samaritan in today’s society by identifying the vulnerability of others and creating a culture that cares for one another.

“Love shines compassion and dignity” – was  the talk of the day in how we are called to fraternal love, although it is easier said than done. Anna also pointed out from Pope Francis’ letter, the many challenges that we will face. Despite the obstacles, the hope we need actually comes from within ourselves – to decide and choose to “go and do likewise” (Lk 10:37) in a mission of being a Good Samaritan. As this saying would imply, “I am a mission on this earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world.” (Evangelii Gaudium)

Later, in a sharing session where everyone was divided into the breakout rooms, the participants took part in expressing their points of view on being the ‘neighbour’. It was a very beautiful part of the session where participants empowered by one another, shared their views freely. This was indeed an eye-opener as it gave realisation of how the world is beyond what we see in our daily life, and that there are many wounded people on the roadside who are in need of love and care.

Penang Diocesan Youth Network (PDYN) wrapped up the Empowerment Series Vol. 2 with a closing prayer and group photo. The next Empowerment Series Vol. 3 will be held on Saturday, March 27, 2021, with the theme Forgiving, Not Forgetting.

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