Preparing for “O Jubileo 2025”, more than 300 representatives of the Brazilian dioceses gathered in Brasilia for a national meeting with Archbishop Fisichella
Preparations for the 2025 Jubilee in Brazil are now in full swing, after a two-day national preparatory meeting organized on 29 and 30 January by the Brazilian Episcopal Conference in the Casa Dom Luciano, in Brasilia. There were more than 300 participants present at the event, including bishops, representatives of the dioceses, movements, and organizations from the regions across the whole country, a reflection of a Brazilian Church in great ferment, ready to experience the Jubilee as an occasion of Grace for all. The event was organized by the Equipe de Animação do Jubileu, a team entrusted by the Conference of Brazilian Bishops with the task of supporting the organization of the Jubilee year in the local Churches.
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, Pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, also spoke at the meeting and expressed great happiness at the enthusiasm shown. He took the chance to present the Pope's wishes for this Holy Year. “The Jubilee presents itself as a pastoral opportunity not to be underestimated. It is within this horizon that the theme of hope must be inserted as a vital element of evangelization. We talk too little about hope,” said the Archbishop.
He went on: “Without falling into semantics, we should distinguish between ‘hopes’ and ‘hope’. Perhaps, the reference to people’s daily hopes is easier to understand and more immediate because it arises spontaneously, while the idea of ‘hope’ risks bordering on utopia and is therefore maybe more difficult to grasp. Living our lives based solely on hopes, however, is risky. These hopes can easily be illusory and progressively lead to disappointment. By locking ourselves into the circle of what is immediate, it is inevitable that these daily short term ‘hopes’ will prevent us from looking to the future with an expectation of fulfillment, which is a typical characteristic of true hope. So, we have to extend our gaze towards a horizon of different meaning. One that is not limited to the ‘here and now’ but is, rather, open to us placing ourselves in a state of vigilant expectation."
Archbishop Fisichella then reiterated how "the scientific mentality has significantly diminished the need for hope … Technology produces tools that train us to remain tied to the present; it has no problem at all in providing immediate answers that take away the idea of waiting and make our every desire ineffective. Despite this, our contemporaries need hope. Maybe today's men and women need us to reawaken the idea of hope in them because they often witness things that upset the certainties they have acquired over decades. Keeping hope alive is not only a mission that Christians received from the Lord when he sent them to announce his Gospel in every part of the world. Today it has become, above all, a responsibility, because in the decadence that is experienced in people’s personal and social lives it is urgent – and indeed necessary - for the voices of those who bring a word and a sign capable of looking at the present with a different understanding to be heard.”
Insisting on hope, however, as the Archbishop underlined, brings with it a major risk: forgetting that it belongs to a trio of virtues, and that it is always united with faith and charity. “It is good to underline the need for the unity of Christian life which is expressed in the constant circularity between the three virtues. This inseparable unity does not only indicate the lifestyle that the believer is called to follow within himself, starting from the new life he or she has received, but first and foremost it is an indication of a person’s response to the offer of grace and salvation that, in Christ, the Father has made to humanity. It is not, therefore, a question of considering three different and separate attitudes as if they were independent and divided from each other. Rather, it is good to consider the profound unity that supports these three dimensions of life in Christ. Faith, hope, and charity express the existence of the Church which asks every believer to become a credible witness to this lifestyle.”
In the reflection for 30 January, topics such as "The celebration of the Jubilee", the "Proposals for Marking the Jubilee of hope" and "Prospects for the Jubilee in Brazil" will be discussed. The meeting will end with a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Archbishop Fisichella, at the Basilica Santuário São Francisco de Assis, in Brasilia.