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Vocations “come and follow me”

Young people searching for God at the Terra Santa College in Amman

About seventy youth gathered at the Terra Santa College in Amman on February 10. They were searching for God, for the water that truly quenches one’s thirst. Br. Ayman Batesh, one of the seminarians at the Custody of the Holy Land, attended the meeting to provide spiritual support, along with three other seminarians. A small group from Saint Savior’s and Ain Karem led the event, along with assistant pastor of St. Catherine’s in Bethlehem, Fr. Emad Rofael. The guardian of the fraternity of Amman and youth minister, Fr. Feras Hejazin, led the meeting for the youth who had also participated in the last five Franciscan Jordanian Marches.

At 9:30 a.m., they gathered for the first few moments of conviviality at breakfast, and they sang several joyful songs. Then, they delved into the theme of the day, which focused on listening to God and their thirst for the words of truth. “We young people have a problem listening to God’s voice. We often are not listening to what He and the voices that guide us say,” said Fr. Ayman. “Sometimes we are lost in the journey of life, we shut ourselves in and this does not allow us to be faithful. This does not allow our lives to bear the fruits of peace and love.” To enter fully into the topic of the day, Fr. Feras asked the youth four questions:

  1. What prevents us from hearing God's voice?
  2. What are we really thirsty for?
  3. What can we do to listen better?
  4. How can we lead this group of young people who are searching for God?

The enthusiasm of the many young people present was a first response to these questions: despite the hardships of everyday life, each one of them has the desire to not get caught up in the material world and the will to seek out the One who gives life. Nour Haddad, a young man from Amman, said: “This meeting was important because it taught us how to co-exist within the reality that we live in with dignity and love, following the spirituality of St. Francis.”
“Without youth meetings, I would feel as if something were missing from my life,” said a young man named Reem. I come here to talk, share and discuss issues that cannot be discussed elsewhere, and to listen to other experiences.”

Building a personal relationship with God and with other youth: This is another positive aspect for young people. “The youth meeting is also important because it kindles the fire within us in a pleasant atmosphere,” continued Nour Haddad. “Here we hear God’s words, which always bring us back to his path, even if sometimes we turn our back on his word.“ At the end of the day, the group of young people, by suggestion of Fr. Feras, decided that they will meet once a month for spiritual support. “I wish we could always live out the experiences that we have had today: give us the strength to continue on God’s path and to carry our crosses with joy and love,” concluded the young man. “Fr. Hijazin wants to host a meeting every month for the youth, with a mass and a time for confession, which we really need, especially during this particular period of crisis in which we are living. We need to return to our roots, discover ourselves, so that the grace of God can be present in our lives.”

Beatrice Guarrera

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