Change the world through Magis!
Young people attending Magis Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe, have been challenged to transform the world through their involvement in the event. Speaking at the official opening Mass, Fr Joe Arimoso SJ, the rector of St George’s College in Harare, told delegates: “When you go home, let people not ask how much you enjoyed Magis, but how much you changed the world through Magis.”
Fr Arimoso urged the young Catholic gathered in the Zimbabwean capital to be disciples of Christ and to develop a close relationship with him. “You must know him as He knows you. If you know Christ, you will do as he did. Jesus looked at those who doubted or opposed him with kindness and love, because love conquers all and creates relationships … And when you follow him, it’s not about counting your sins or blessings, but it’s all about having a new and different worldview. Your every decision will then be directed at glorifying the Lord.”
Magis Africa, which is running in Zimbabwe until 24 August, has brought together young Catholics from 10 African and European countries with the motto ‘Inspire, Engage, Ignite’. “This motto is an invitation and a challenge to young people to find ways of linking faith and spirituality to real issues of life and society as contemplatives in action,” the Coordinator of Magis Africa, Brother Ngonidzashe Edward SJ told delegates. “Hence … we hope that young people at Magis Africa 2014 will be ‘inspired’ by the Gospel, ‘engaged’ in making a difference and ‘ignited’ to go and set the world on fire through actions of Faith, Love and Justice.”
The various Ignatian immersion experiences that the young adults are engaged in this week are meant to bring them face to face with the daily realities of life in typical African societies. They include working at Mutemwa Leprosy centre, at the Mother of Peace children’s home run by the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Harare and at St Rupert’s Mayer Mission in Makonde, Chinhoyi diocese, which was founded by the Jesuits 50 years ago.
At Rockwood spiritual centre, the Magis social justice team is attempting to understand the justice questions that confront people on a daily basis. According to the Archdiocesan Coordinator of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, Mr Joel Nkusane: “The youths are interacting and discussing the social teachings of the Church in an effort to understand how it applies to their situations and communities. It is crucial that they know the Church has a strong message as agents of social change.”
The young Catholics themselves expressed desires to work closely with the Church in fighting social injustices, especially those borne out of corruption in Africa, which is endowed with many highly sought natural resources. Delegates from Nigeria, South Sudan and Zimbabwe itself all said they want to do more in fighting corruption, political violence and poverty.
Magis 2016 will be taking place in Krakow, Poland, as part of World Youth Day. The theme will be: Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Find out more here.