An explosive mixture: 150 Gen from the whole of Portugal (including the islands of Madeira and the faraway Azores) have been revved up for around one year, preparing for the imminent Genfest at Budapest that will unite them with 12000 youths from all over the world. If we add to them the unique setting of the Arco-Iris citadel and the special presence of Maria Voce and Giancarlo Faletti, we have the explosive mixture of joy and the “wish for revolution” experienced on the 18th August 2012.
The youths of the Focolari start, and offer to the President and co-president of the Movement the various initiatives undertaken to collect the necessary funds so as not to miss the worldwide appointment at Budapest: a coffee concert at Porto (at the north of the country) where they shared with 300 friends their dream of a more united world; an “ice cream festival” at Faro (in the south), an open day with 700 participants; and then stalls, car washes, gardening, baby sitter services….everything goes towards their purpose, even if they tell us that in reality: “Everything was an opportunity to establish relationships that are more authentic with our friends and with many youths who now know and want to share with us “the ideal of a united world.”
A musical interlude: the band “Contrast” gives a premier exclusive rendition of the song they will play at Budapest, together with the 21 other winning songs of the competition held specifically for the Gen bands all over the world. Immediately afterwards their questions follow rapidly revealing their dreams and ranging from the economic and social crisis to unemployment, lack of commitment, and individualism…They wish to understand the profound meaning of what is happening in the world in which they live and what part they can play in it.
“God is love, always!” Maria Voce answers, “When Chiara Lubich made this discovery, together with her young friends, the war was raging, but they were so convinced of it, that they went beyond the difficulties… And today, our firm belief can become hope for others. This is your contribution: witness with your life, bringing to the fore the values of solidarity and unity.” And Giancarlo Faletti added: “Let us put fantasy in motion. Faith in God who is love will help us find new solutions.”
“At this moment we communicate the ideal of unity to many youths-say the Gen of Porto- but when are few…can you give us any advice?” Maria Voce has no doubt: “Never stop at the idea that we will not make it, because it is God who takes things forward. Without fear, communicate the ideal of unity abundantly!”
“Atheism and agnosticism are very present amongst young people,” say the Gen of Faro, even though they wish to build their lives on true values. “How can we succeed in dialogue and meeting with them?” they ask. “Our ideal is universal,” Maria Voce points out, “Dialogue with facts, with our coherence and with a suitable language. We must know how to give the reasons of our faith; but this is done by first living the Gospel, and then finding the right words.”
“What is the most important thing that we as Gen Movement should be doing today?” “We should all be committed to this marvellous cause, towards a united world,” replies Maria Voce. The new forms of media are a help to communication, but you should be careful not to budge from the love that is personal, that requires all our energy.” Giancarlo Faletti adds, referring to the origins of the Gen Movement: “When Chiara founded the second generation, the Gen, she spoke of ‘an evangelical revolution’!’ Let us help each other to always be this living revolution”.
From our correspondent Gustavo Clariá