“…I NEED YOU AND YOU NEED ME TOO…” (Msgr. Zubieta)
“If ever you fail, I think our work will end. I only believe in you, who will be capable of taking everything forward, in case I fail. I think the work we have in our charge is of transcendental importance. I think it is the only good that I have done in my life. What you do, wherever you are, are more than the work of a community of religious fathers, more than all the sermons, simply because you educate the women, the basis of the family and of society. This is one of the aspects of my love towards you because I can see the continuation of the work in you, which is a real whim in me. Do you want me to tell you another aspect of my affection? I have seen you suffer in my sufferings, enjoy in my holy joys….. What more can I tell you? I love you because I know, in loving you, I don’t offend God. Because, far from taking me to evil, you guide me to do well, and this good is eternal. To end, I need you and you need me too.” (Msgr. R.Zubieta)
These very words of our dear Msgr. Zubieta fill us with the burning zeal to carry on the mission applying to today’s context. Msgr. Zubieta immersed himself whole heartedly among the poor with a passionate love and compassion for them, who were neglected by the then government, having no identity of their own. Msgr Zubieta began his ministry at the grass root level. Having lived among them, he studied and experienced at the same time, the existing situation of the poor people of Amazon. His basic concern had been, to defend these people from the clutches of the strangers, traders, and colonizers who would take away their natural resources, to abolish slave trade, to do the needful for health, education, means of communication, road and transport for which he shed his sweat and blood counting no cost even of his life. And this was his means of giving Jesus to them. He became all things to all people to win their hearts to Jesus. He said, “I never felt happier than when I am surrounded by these unfortunate beings”.
Msgr Zubieta had full trust in his Sisters that the mission he started, would continue according to the given situation and to educate the women, the basis of the family and of society, the guardians of homes, and transmitters of values to the next generation. They are custodians of health habits, emerging traditions and vibrant culture.
We need to change our mind-set. We have specific contribution to make in liberating the structures from the constraints of patriarchal domination and monopoly having been aware of our patriarchal blocks in a given situation. We need to have confidence in our own abilities as did Blessed Mother Ascension and Msgr Zubieta and we should courageously accept responsibilities both in the church and in society , social and spiritual. We should realize that it is we who must determine our own worth and not wait for religious men to undergo an attitudinal change. We should challenge and change our cultural myths and beliefs. It is our sacred duty to create an awareness of the original plan of God in men and women alike. We should de-mystify certain stereotyped cultural myths of our times that men are rational and women are emotional.
We the people of now, have technology and information at our disposal. We should take advantage of this and use them in a constructive way.
There are caring and daring men and women who have transformed society and the Church with their individual and combined abilities. Therefore what is needed today is not a competitive mind-set or a prejudicial outlook to prove who is right and who is wrong but an honest interest in the establishment of a new society cooperating and collaborating with each other – men and women and working out ways and means to realize a new heaven and a new earth “Into that heaven of freedom my Father…” (R. Tagore) let women and men awake
The Lord is inviting us to continue His life giving work through us. Let us commit ourselves again to become channels of His love for His people. Let us venerate and respond to the presence of Jesus in the suffering of others. Let us renew our desire to share in His work of healing the brokenness; so did our dear Msgr Ramon Zubieta.
Sr. Pauline Saldhana OP
St. Mary’s Nursing Community, India.