“The Gen Movement was born to make the world rehope in Someone who never deceives”. In a live message launched on worldwide level, Chiara Lubich recalled the duty of the “Gen” – ‘new generation’ of the Focolare Movement – born 40 years ago, amidst the youth protests of late 1960’s.
With Chiara’s handover, year 2007 is not a simple recurrence of the 40th anniversary but marks a new stage in the Gen life: “You are on a journey. ‘Always on the way.’ But the Way is Jesus. “May this 40th anniversary bring the Gen Movement to a greater commitment in living with Jesus as your travelling companion,” “By reliving him, you will set in motion from your corner of the world that necessary and decisive turn-around that humanity needs to experience.”
This worldwide event linked youth that live the spirituality of unity. Among the 44 countries linked via satellite into one network there was: Holy Land, Philippines, Brazil, South Africa, Korea, United States, Egypt, Uganda and Tanzania; 23 simultaneous congresses were being held aside from the over 2,000 youth, from all over Europe and representatives of other continents, were gathered in Rome.
The Gen from all over the world answered with enthusiasm and generosity to the challenge in becoming “athletes of God, heroes of the Gospel, witnesses of truth, evidence that God is fullness, peace, beauty, richness, abundance, love, mercy, trust.”
Some flashes – From Cairo: “It’s the first time that I participate to such a historical event as this!”; from Venezuela: “my heart expands on seeing the whole world linked up, not only via satellite, but above all spiritually”; from Hong Kong: “Though it is difficult, I want to say my Yes to Jesus: a ‘yes’ which is forever, immediate and with joy”; from Italy: “He fills every void. But he demands all my heart and all my soul: what a great Ideal!” A very joyful moment was the greeting of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to a group of Gen that participated at the public audience on Wednesday 10th January 2007, after the conclusion of their congress.
The Gen Movement is born in 1967, proposing to the youth of the whole world a peaceful revolution, that changes hearts, and from there, making a difference in society, renewing its structures, bringing everywhere the life of Gospel: “This is the revolution we want to bring about: we do not like neither the west nor the east, neither capitalism nor communism; we like Christianity; we like the capital of God,” this was one of the founding mottoes of the Gen Movement.
Not only Christians – As the Focolare Movement spread, among the Gen there were Christians of other denominations and faithful of other Religions. They belong to areas of the world in conflict, such as in the Holy Land, Iraq, Colombia, and they are ready to witness a life based on the culture of peace. There are around 18,000 Gen scattered all over the world. They are the animators of the Giovani per un Mondo Unito (Youth for a United World Movement)and together with them and with many more youth, they commit themselves in building “fragments of fraternity”, thus giving life to actions that can influence the public opinion, and they strive to give an answer to social inequalities present in their countries.