A tree raised by every fallen woman
«What I tell you, I tell everyone: be very attentive». (Mark 13:37)
The ritual was performed 18 times, as many as the assassinated woman in Portugal since the beginning of year 2017 by their husbands, companions and boyfriends. It begun referring names and ages of the victims, then the date and the context of their death. Then after this and in a symbolic way, a purple band (Advents Liturgical Color) was tied by a women around a small tree planted in a vase. A tree for each assassinated women and then with a screaming voice a prayer was raised in the air them: “A tree raised by every fallen woman”. Symbolically, the trees are oaks. A strong and resistant to fires and to various kinds of tempests autochthonousspecie evoking the resistance and the fight of many women, that for years and years resisted to various forms of violence in their lives.
This public ceremony, right in the center of the city of Porto, was prepared and directed by women. He impressed me with their dignity, determination and organization. They were only a small handful of women, but they were determined to evoke the lives and memories of other women. There, in the middle of the public square, they gave their testimony and exposed their feelings and emotions and their firm intention to put an end to violence against Women, since it was a matter of human rights, dignity and justice.
A few days before the beginning of the Advent liturgical season and in the midst of the campaign [#16diasativismo2017] this event alerted me to the way in which we let, or not, ourselves be challenged by the many and repeated signs God places in our daily lives. The active vigilance of Advent Time requires the ability, or if we want, the sensitivity, to allow ourselves to be challenged by others and by the way God is present in His action. Daily life, with its many life experiences, is the natural context of our experience of faith and the ever renewed opportunity to welcome and recognize God in His various signs and manifestations.
The simple and the humble, often outside the religious scheme and even outside the ambience of the Churches, are the chosen ones to receive the revelation of God. So it was with the shepherds of Bethlehem, who were the poor and the homeless of that time (Luke 2: 8-20). It was to them that the angel went and it was for them that for the first time the good news of the boy God was announced. They sang praises to God for everything they had heard and seen (verse 20).
Celebrating Christmas is also being able to take on and live a spirituality that assumes the sorrows and groans all around us. A Christmas holiday spirituality capable of listening the voice of other, even if they have a different accent and speech than what we usually hear in the backwater of our Churches. Truly, the incarnation of God in the child Jesus makes life the natural place of divine revelation and sanctifies each person. In the humanity of Jesus, all humanity was blessed by God. To disfigure the face of the victims of violence is God himself who is disfigured. In their death is God who is crucified.
Believing in the incarnation and celebrating it every Christmas is, therefore, a renewed commitment not only to the one who is the Life, Jesus Christ, but also to life itself, which in its essence is the space and time of God's theophany together with men and women. Let us celebrate the birth of Jesus without forgetting the deaths and pain caused by human sin. May the sense of hope and of eternity that each Christmas bring us reassure us in the mission to which we are called, for the glory of God and for the good of humanity.
A Holy Christmas to all and a blessed year of 2018!
III Lusophone Network Consultation – Anglican Communion
(Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Mozambique)
November 22nd – 27th, 2017
“Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow.
Live in harmony with one another”
From November 22nd to 27th, thirty sisters and brothers coming from Episcopal Anglican Family from Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and Portugal, together with other Anglican organisations, will meet in Porto, Portugal, for the III Consultation of the Lusophone Network of the Anglican Communion.
The consultation gathers bishops, clergy and laity from these mentioned churches and seeks to strength the fellowship among Lusophony Episcopal Anglicans. It also aims to reinforce the cooperation in mission of these churches. Together as part of the Anglican Communion, they have about 350.000 members alongside different continents in a richness of variety of cultures and traditions. The Portuguese language and the historical relationship among these churches are key elements of cultural unity that deepen the ecclesial communion and the living of the same faith in Jesus Christ.
The consultation will be nurtured by daily morning prayers and joint reflection on areas of Mission with youth and women, social development and diaconal and Christian and theological education. The theme and meaning of Lusophony will be very present during conversations, particularly as a vehicle of culture and linkage. Bishop Anthony Poggo, responsible for Anglican Communion affairs at Lambeth Palace, will bring a message to the network from the Palace. D. Jorge Pina Cabral, Bishop of the Lusitanian Church, host of this event, expressed his joy for the opportunity to celebrate the importance of the service the Lusitanian Church plays in welcoming this meeting and reinforcing the communion among members of the same church family. In addition to the programme there will be an ecumenical gathering where we share a meal with guests from the local Churches members of the Ecumenical Commission of Porto.
For further information please contact:
Diocesan Centre of Lusitanian Church – Phone +351 223754018 or email@example.com
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