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Holy Week: Love and pain intertwine, fraternity and friendship create bonds

Holy Week is more than a series of religious activities; It is a period in which people come together in a deep spiritual journey of faith, marked by pain, love, fraternity and friendship. This is what I noticed, felt and experienced, in this second year of participation, in Holy Week in the rural communities of the Parish of São Domingos de Gusmão, Diocese of Itabira and Coronel Fabriciano, in the city of São Domingos do Prata/MG. The invitation was made by the new parish priest, Father Justin Munduala Tchiwala, CICM, and the vicar, Father Marianus Frederikus Gati, belonging to the same Religious Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

This time, I was destined to accompany, encourage and celebrate with the communities of the São Nicolau Sector, which comprises the communities of São Nicolau das Almas, Santa Cruz and São Sebastião in Vieiras. In addition to the liturgical activities typical of Holy Week, visits to families and the sick, the blessing of homes and listening to some people who wanted to share their pain, losses, difficulties with their own health, their experience of God, as well as the challenges and difficulties in living with the community. This reality reminds us of the importance of valuing simple gestures of kindness and solidarity, listening and growth in fraternity and social friendship.

The celebrations were permeated by the feeling of love and fraternity, highlighting the importance of communion and sharing. Participation was quite diverse, with elderly people, adults, children and young people. The Great Easter Vigil, celebrated with all sectors in the Santo Antônio Community, in Vargem Linda, brought renewed hope in the redeeming love of Christ. The fraternity and unity of communities are as the song reminds us: "in the people who are united, I see Resurrection".

I thank God for the opportunity to experience and celebrate Divine Love, in the pain and love that intertwine, in the fraternity and friendship that create bonds in a renewed and meaningful way. Furthermore, it was an opportunity to rediscover my own family roots, as I was born in a rural area.

Heartfelt gratitude to everyone who welcomed me into their homes, with so much generosity and hospitality. I thank Father Justin for this rich opportunity.

The desire to stay with these communities and share more time with them is strong. I feel committed to continuing to offer our collaboration and donation to the pastoral mission whenever possible, together with these very hospitable people, thirsty to grow in the knowledge of the Lord and live intensely in friendship with Him and among themselves.

Fraternally I conclude, with the blessing formula that I heard countless times from many, during Holy Week: "May God help you and may Our Lady cover you with her Holy mantle".

Sr. Rosilene de Lima,sjbp

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