For you, who am I?

A confession of faith

Why am I beginning with a sort of 'confession of faith'? Firstly, because it seems to me that each of us is called regularly to respond anew to Jesus' question,
"For you, who am I?"
We each have to tell ourselves again how Jesus seduced us and put us on our path in the Fraternity. Each of us has to re-do the journey of the disciple who looks at how Jesus behaves in order to discover the mystery that he wants to reveal to us. For me, re-doing this journey always leads me back to the same centre: at the heart of the message of Jesus, there is the proclamation of the Kingdom and that Kingdom is a Kingdom of fraternity.

A fundamental option: fraternity

It seems to me that, at the heart of what we call Nazareth, there is a fundamental option, which is the option of fraternity. Is it too bold to affirm that this requirement to go by way of Nazareth and fraternity is a requirement linked to Christianity as such? I am not alone in saying so: in recent years, I have been struck to hear conferences or read articles from various corners of the planet which affirm it. There is a whole area of research being done in this direction. In any case, as a Fraternity, we have received the mission to make present, in a realistic and concrete way, this fundamental trait of the face of Jesus and the Kingdom that he came to found. This dimension of fraternity is something we have had 'from our birth'

Brother Charles

We know the extent to which Brother Charles was seduced by Jesus of Nazareth and with what radicality he wanted to follow him:
"I have lost my heart to this Jesus of Nazareth, crucified 1900 years ago, and I am spending my life trying to imitate Him as much as my weakness allows."
And we know with what radicality that led him along the path of poverty - poverty in order to be with Jesus:
"I do not want to go through my life travelling first class when the one I love went through it travelling in the lowest class";
And poverty in order to be with the poor:
"One is so aware of the price of a piece of bread when one finds out for oneself how much effort it takes to produce it!"
We know very well that the translation of that was his desire for everyone to recognise him as their brother, and we also know the long path he had to travel in order to grow in fraternity.

Tenderness and friendship

I believe that each one of us could say the same thing. At the heart of the call that made us join the Fraternity, there is almost always this twofold seduction: a seduction by Jesus, through his face as a Nazarene, which places into our hearts a desire to "share all the pains, all the difficulties, all the harshness of the life of simple people". This produces a true tenderness in us and friendship for the 'abandoned ones' of our world.

Our mission

This dimension of fraternity is something we have had 'from our birth', but it seems to me that today we need to become more aware of it. We call each of our houses a 'fraternity', and our community as a whole; we speak of one another as 'brothers'. But I believe we have become a bit too used to these terms, and that we need to recover their original freshness. These words brother and fraternity are more than names: they define our mission, the task that we have received from the Lord. If Jesus is profoundly 'brother' then we also must try to be so, increasingly... With much friendship, Marc