"Have you got anything to eat?" (Jn. 21, 5): Fernanda Vacas, who arrived in Venezuela in 1993 and is celebrating 30 years of living there, describes her experience of Jesus in Venezuela, and why this has made her want to stay.
Wow, impressive. Jesus is in history, in reality, TODAY, in everyday life. He is walking the streets and living.
He is not the Jesus who calls me to account before communion. He is not the one who always watches over me, even my "thoughts and omissions". Nor is He the one who dies for my sins or bears my guilt. No, that is not my Jesus.
He is a natural and vital Jesus. He is by my side, with different names and accents from many places: HE IS. And He is part of this story, of this reality, of this life. He counts on me. He counts on you. He asks questions, makes suggestions, asks for help, laughs and cries.
I first met Him between "the mariguncio and Harry Belafonte" in my mother's kitchen. That is to say, between music and pouting, between humor and love for the everyday. I also found it in the community of Mata de Alcántara: a small village in Extremadura, two sisters of the Sacred Heart, with so much love to give. And between Moratalaz and Aluche, with Feli and a community of sisters in "greater love".
At what point did I forget Him? When did I entrap His naturalness within the walls of institutions? How did I convince myself that learning to love with Him was to comply with religion? Why did I distance myself, become structured, become someone that conforms?
... and that is when Jesus asks me, "Have you got anything to eat?"
Fernanda Vacas RSCJ