In a world, where people live in a virtual reality; where “Likes” replace Love, it is a consoling fact that we still cling to our interpersonal relationships and personal bonds.
We believe that loving others is a fruit that needs to be multiplied in multitudes and to be enriched in our everyday life. Here in Jesus Youth we experience that relationships are indeed more important. Talents, meetings, dynamisms, programmes, finance and other worldly concepts are secondary to people and relations. I remember, one JY friend who recently recalled the love and personal care he received when his son was hospitalized for nearly 3 weeks; in all the struggles and trauma their family went through; seeing those friends who stood by them in their struggle was a fulfilling and rich spiritual experience.
As the apostle of love, St. John proclaims, one of the evidences of genuine conversion is that a man begins to love one another. I remember another friend in Jesus Youth who was planning to go for vacation for the first time after coming to Dubai. With much joy he bought some goodies for his family back in India. On the way back to his accommodation prior to his journey, he saw a person who was struggling because he didn’t get salary for long time and didn’t have proper food for some days. First thing what our JY friend did was to offer all the money he had in his wallet to that person in need. Not being satisfied with all the money he gave, he offered all the stuffs he bought for his family to him and even prayed in the pavement along with the man who was suffering.
In the Jesus Youth movement, we don’t believe that Love for God is to be assessed in terms of being busy in the movement or in terms of “feel-good “or “delightful” experiences in meetings or programmes. We believe that we cannot testify to having "wonderful moments of prayer" and to the "amazing success of a program" if we are not in fellowship with one another. I recall one incident where one of our JY preacher; stopped in between after delivering few words as it was his first session; he couldn’t utter a word because of tension and ran away from the hall crying. His friends who were there in that room went after him and sat with him for hours consoling him; he always used to say ‘Had not my friends come to console me on that day; I would not be standing in front of you now.’
We realize that we all are branches of the same tree having the same roots (John 15:5) and that we will bear fruit when Jesus’ love in us flourishes day by day. We should strive to be the big part of that tree rather than think that we are just a small branch. And hence being a big part of that tree, shouldn’t we feel the pain of our brethren and friends just as if it was us who were suffering?” One of our core team members had a serious personal problem. The ‘cross’ he was carrying was shared by all the other core team members and everybody felt the same pain he carried. Now the issue was taken over by everyone as their own problem and they all started to pray. What a big relief we experience when we have friends who can understand the way we are.
Pope Francis reminds us “Dear young people, Christ is counting on you to be his friends and witnesses of his infinite love Our Union with God with our friends.
One renowned preacher of our days always used to say that he wants to be with JY whenever possible. He says that even though he is busy, he tries to find time to be with JY to nourish himself with the innocence and Love he receives.
Love cannot droop or wither away as the seasons change. We believe that the friendships we build in this movement lasts forever. God has given us these friends not just for two years or till we bear a particular office, it lasts forever. In our ups and downs, in our sorrows and happiness we have to act like Christ, it’s our vocation; to keep a lasting relationship with our friends ...truly it is a a call to ‘Love beyond Seasons’.