CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 8 September 2018

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Welcoming Taizé in Hong Kong

Taizé is a small village in the southern part of France. In August 1940, when the Second World War just broke out, 25-year-old Brother Roger Schütz arrived hoping to set up a community to promote communion among people and to push for reconciliation within the human family. Today, the Taizé Community is composed of about 100 brothers from nearly 30 countries. Among them, there are Protestants and Catholics.
 
The spirit of the Taizé Community is simplicity without splendid churches. In the community, the brothers live out God’s love with work and prayers as the main axle and make a living with their own hands.
 
From the start, the Taizé Community has engaged in the ministry of welcoming, showing hospitality to refugees and orphans fleeing war, and people (especially young people) from all over the world and of different religions.
 
Welcoming is a characteristic of Taizé. This is the manifestation of tolerance, reconciliation, unity and love. Taizé brothers are not inward looking. They send their confréres to many places including Bangladesh, Senegal, Kenya, Brazil and South Korea, to live with the local poor people and the disadvantaged, as a sign of the presence of the Lord.
 
From August 8 to 12, the Taizé Community will hold a meeting in Hong Kong, bringing together participants from all over the world together to experience the power of God’s love. 
 
How can we find the joy of love in daily lives? The current prior of Taizé, Brother Alois, made four proposals: “dig deeper into the wellsprings of joy”, “hear the cry of the most vulnerable”, “share trials and joys” and “among Christians, rejoice in the gifts of others.”
 
Brother Alois said, “A joy which is not an inflated feeling, nor an individualistic happiness which would cut us off from others, but the serene assurance that life has meaning. The joy of the gospel comes from the confident trust that we are loved by God… it makes us more sensitive to the distress of others” (Brother Alois, Four Proposals for the Year 2018: Inexhaustible Joy).
 
In today’s Hong Kong, a commercialised society with rapid political and economic development, have we, as Christians, ever asked where God is? In this environment, what is importance of living out the teachings of Christ? Am I leading a happy life? 
 
The spirit of the gospel affirmed by the Taizé Community is: God is love. Jesus also lived in poverty and made a living by working diligently. When he fulfilled his mission, he was denied by those in power. However, he drew the spring of love from our Father and achieved the work of salvation. He gave his life so that all might live with dignity and in freedom.
 
As his disciples, we draw the spring of love from prayer and live out love in our daily lives. Within this recurring cycle, we fulfill God’s call. 
 
It is Taizé’s simple, pure and much-repeated prayer chants that help us to return to the Lord’s embrace, to sanctify ourselves and others in our daily lives. SE