Focus on Sweden: This Scandinavian country with a strict Lutheran tradition has been marked by widespread secularism, like in the entire peninsula, which is expressed not only through a scanty participation at religious celebrations, but also by a lifestyle that seems to have put aside any reference to the transcendent.
The experience of the “Court of the Gentiles” to open a dialogue among believers and non-believers, which was launched by the Pontifical Council for Culture, has contributed in these years to a greater mutual understanding among Lutherans and Catholics, and it can be strengthened and enriched by putting the gospel into practice, and sharing the fruits it produces.
In this context and keep this end in mind, we would like to situate two initiatives promoted by the Focolare Movement to mark Chiara Lubich’s 5th anniversary.
““May none of those you meet be deluded, but may each one find in you light for their own lives, warmth for their own hearts, support for their own steps; (…) Remain faithful to your charism and witness to Christ in this world that is so confused, and at times weary and without enthusiasm”. These were the words of entrustment and exhortation directed by the Apostolic Nuncio in Sweden, Mons. Nowacki, to the Focolare Movement’s members.
During his homily at the mass on the 14th March on the occasion of Chiara Lubich’s fifth death anniversary, he remembered her as “an extraordinary woman who (…) inflamed the world with the fire of Christ’s love and who discovered in Jesus’ cross a fundamental reason to live in intimate union with Him (…), each day as an expression of love for God and neighbour”.
Is the gospel still relevant today?”. Testimonies and life experiences were shared at this meeting, together with updates on activities of concrete solidarity, and a spiritual deepening with artistic contributions.
Some of the feedback received best express the tone of the evening: “I had thought of going back to work on Monday and asserting my point of view, but after hearing the experience in the hall I understood that I must be the first to love”; and another: “I realised that it’s possible to live the gospel even today. I want to try it out too”.
The next Focolare Movement appointment in Sweden will be the Mariapoli at Kumla (Örebro) from the 27th – 30th June.