Chronicle I: Actors of Communion

Munich porte

To date, the small team of Jesus 2033 has visited 35 countries. Before each trip we ask for prayer support from our friends via the "e-prayer" a short monthly prayer report. You can subscribe here: https://www.jc2033.world/en/involvement/prayer.html

It is always a great encouragement to feel supported and to know that more and more people are participating in this initiative, which, in fact, is far too big for us!

But little by little, one step after another, we discover that a path is traced. Risen, the "Good Shepherd" continues to gather his Church.

Chronicle I of Munich: Actors of Communion

As soon as I arrived, I met Georgios Vlantis, Secretary General of the Bavarian Churches Working Community (ACK Bayern). He is a young Greek theologian of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople and translated into Greek Karl Barth's famous commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.

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with Georgios Vlantis

The centrality of the resurrection

At first he tells me how impressed he is by all the visits we have made, especially to the Patriarch Bartholomew at Easter this year. He underlines his great desire to collaborate with all the churches. "He is courageous, but also realistic, because he knows that we can not ignore the other expressions of Christianity," he says.

How to introduce this initiative of Jesus 2033, with a "decade of resurrection" on the local level? According to him, concrete proposals must be made to show that all the churches are involved.

The invitation to a pilgrimage towards 2033, as well as the invitation to walk every year on the road to Emmaus immediately arouses its support. He will then look for a booklet published by the Community of Churches of Bavaria on the unit understood as a pilgrimage and give it to me. "I have dreamed for a long time of walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus and would like to join you one of those years".

He finds the idea of a decade of resurrection very beautiful. “However, in Germany we just lived the decade of the Reformation ... and in the end, in 2017, we felt a little tired.” In addition, between 2020 and 2025, there will be half a decade on the Anabaptist movement that began in 1525 in Zurich. In 2025, the churches will also mark the 700 years of the Council of Nicaea and in 2030 there will be the 500 years of the Augsburg Confession, a very important text in Germany.

Une image contenant signe, texte, extérieur, ciel    Description générée automatiquement The pilgrimage booklet published by the Bavarian Churches

However, he sees an important difference with the jubilee of 2033: it concerns the heart of the Christian faith. "In my understanding of Christianity," he says, "the centrality of the resurrection is indispensable, as Paul says (see 1 Cor 15: 12-18). Hopefully this anniversary will be an important opportunity for us to talk more about it. I often think that we are talking about everything else and forget the most important.”

At the end of this beautiful meeting he assures me of his prayer for our initiative and will speak soon to the Council of Churches in Germany, which he also recommends us to visit.

The good shepherd gatherer

Then I go to the Focolare community of Munich where I will stay for three days. Just arrived, we go to Mass where the gospel of the day is that of the "Good Shepherd". These words strike me: "The sheep will hear my voice and they will become one flock with one shepherd" (John 10,16).

 berna bon berger

The next morning, I wrote this prayer:

I am the good shepherd ... who gathers his sheep (John 10,14)

You resurrected on the third day,

you keep talking to us

as you spoke to your disciples.

Help us to listen to your voice!

If you are alive today,

you continue to give to us

and you know the way to our hearts.

Help us to welcome you!

If you are the good shepherd

you continue to lead us

and you bring us together in unity.

Help us to trust you!

Yes, that the initiative of Jesus 2033 promotes this unity in the "Good Shepherd" and that many hear his voice!

What next step after the Jubilee of the Reformation?

In the evening I am invited to the Women's Focolare of Munich, where about twenty members of this movement, very engaged in the ecumenism welcome me for a meal and time of sharing.

Andrea Fleming recalls that one of the fruits of the anniversary of the 500 years of the Reformation, in 2017, was a path of reconciliation. It was not just a protestant jubilee. The challenge today is to understand what will be the next step. Could it be this pilgrimage around 2033?

Having contacted her to prepare my visits, she was impressed that I can get in touch with so many people in a simple and open way. Waiting to see what doors the Holy Spirit opens. It is for her a sign of authenticity.

I myself often say it: "It is the Holy Spirit who opens the doors", and experience it! 

What fascinates Marlies Rueschoff is the global vision of JC2033: it is not reduced to Germany or another country, but is lived with all Christians.

The vision is easy to understand: celebrate the 2000 years of the resurrection and come to terms with the path that leads to it.

However, after the Jubilee of the Reformation, she noticed a certain fatigue and, sometimes, a certain disappointment. We must get back on the road. Will we have the strength?

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Martin Hoegger 

 

NEXT - Chronicle II: Meeting the Christian diversity of Munich 

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