A home for all? Renewing the OIKOS of GOD.
In the context of the TIME FOR CREATION which is being celebrated from the 1st of September to the 4th of October, our community of Missionaries of Africa, together with the community of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa (MSOLA), the Marist Sisters and the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate, have undertaken a common initiative this year.
To live the theme “A HOME FOR ALL? RENEWING THE OIKOS OF GOD”, every Saturday afternoon we devote a time of meeting and prayer around a tent, which is moved from one garden to another and which makes us aware of the symbolism of the tent, based on different texts from the Old Testament.
On Saturday 18 September, the celebration took place in the M.Afr. garden. Father Stanley Lubungo, our Superior General, and Sister Maria Carmen Ocón Moreno, Assistant General of the MSOLA, welcomed the participants around the tent which reminds us that we are pilgrims, a people on the move on the earth, our common home.
After the reading of Leviticus 23:33-34 by Sister Gisela Schreyer, the participants were given a palm leaf to immerse themselves in the spirit of the Jewish festival of Sukkot. This festival reminds us of our dependence on God’s gift of creation – earth, sky, seas, birds, animals and insects – and God’s invitation to humanity to share the earth, our common home, and God’s universe.
Several members of the community formed a choir accompanied by our musicians. They enriched the celebration with songs in different languages from different continents.
The prayers of intention, prepared by the MSOLA community, also gave voice to our voices and concerns about the dramatic ecological state of the five continents. Father Martin Grenier concluded the prayer with a blessing presented by confreres in Moore, Dagara and Arabic.
The meeting ended with a shared glass of water and biscuits. Nearly 100 religious men and women from a dozen congregations participated in the prayer.
This prayerful, joyful and inclusive, inter-congregational and inter-cultural experience under the trees of the garden and the warmth of our brother Sun, was well appreciated by all participants. Next Saturday we will continue our journey in favour of the OIKOS, our common home, in the garden of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.