Last week the confreres from Arusha District of Kenya-Tanzania SVD province gathered at Carolus Borromeo Retreat Centre for a day of recollection. Before the recollection, the confreres held a meeting led by the District Superior Fr. Peddy Castelino, to deliberate about the progress of the district and to reflect on the report by the General Visitator Fr. Xavier Thirukudumban.
The recollection began in the evening with a Bible Sharing session led by Bro. Douglas Simonetti. The following morning we had the input by Fr. Lawrence Muthee. The Topic was from the question that Jesus asked the sons of Zebedee who wanted to be granted to sit one at his right and another at his left in his kingdom: ‘Can you drink the Cup’ Mk 10:35-40 (Mt 20:20-23). Many or a few years ago when all we professed our vows or were ordained, that question seemed very easy to answer YES. A very committed ‘yes’ clear, full of strength and good will.
Today after years of missioning, the answer to the same question is surrounded by many doubts and difficulties. During the session, we all listened once more to Jesus asking us the same question.
For example, there are some things that we used to do very well with a lot of zeal in the beginning of our ministry; but that today we do very sluggishly or we have abandoned them completely.
As the Philosopher Heraclitus once said, “the only permanent thing in the world is change”. As we grow older, some things become clearer and others lose taste. When we were young, we enjoyed very loud music and dance, but when we are older, we want more of silence and quietness. If we not prepared for these changes, we end up losing ourselves on the way. The things we cherished and that were very significant then, becomes boring. Life loses meaning and we become disastrous to the people we serve and those that we live with.
This moment of retreat helped us to evaluate our status and renew our commitment to the mission of the Church as Divine Word Missionaries. It was a blessed opportunity indeed.
Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD