One of the activities that this year has been launched for us seminarians is to share an evening meal with a family other than our original one. Every Thursday we meet with the host family for dinner and then spend some time together. This time we wanted the family to tell us something about this initiative. During last Thursday in the simplicity and conviviality of the meal I asked them why they got involved in this experience, what they expected at the beginning and what meaning it had for them.
There were five of us around the table (the mother and the four daughters) while the father was on video call, for work commitments, but he too did not want to miss this appointment that they define as important and growth.
It may be surprising that an already large family (father and mother and four daughters) also has the desire and the strength to add a place at the table for this new and mysterious (at first) guest who will then become part of the family in all respects and friend. This is what I imagined, but for them there was no effort, being used to sharing a meal with relatives and friends.
To the first question, about why they got involved, they promptly replied that they felt chosen and that for them it would be an opportunity for the family to grow, and with a joke one of the daughters quoting Emma Watson said “If not now, when?“. What intrigued me is that this decision was taken by all the members, they made the commitment, despite the daughters are also grown-ups (eighth grade, fifth grade and university) to make Thursday evenings an important moment for everyone . At the beginning there were understandable fears – like any novelty one wonders if one is up to it; this, however, did not take away their conviction in adhering to this proposal. And asking them why, what does this moment mean for them, they replied that this experience could have been, and it is an opportunity for them (but also for me) to get to know a young person who is making a particular, different vocational journey. from what it is for a family, but that in the end the point of arrival is common: to seek the same encounter with the Lord. This meeting is possible because we share our history, which are small pieces of real life that enrich everyone. Also and above all for the daughters, being more or less my age, it is a significant opportunity, both because we can talk about even less common topics, such as questions related to the experience of God, and also to share moments of leisure and evening entertainment.
I think that cultivating this type of experience right from the seminary is essential to start living a style, which is an evangelical style. Because faith, our faith, begins, keeps itself alive and grows thanks to the meeting of men and women who, in friendship and esteem, share the same questions, the same intuitions and the same faith that also matures around a table.
article from Come Amici