Then, little by little, the Lord kept leading me onward
to the mission, and even to share the dreams, the sufferings and the worries of
the Amazon. Today we are witnesses to the breath of the Spirit through the
great interest in and the genuine care for this region of our mother earth, where
communities of native peoples have joined the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network
and the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon, of which I am the President.
I can say that, as at the wedding at Cana, the best
wine comes at this advanced stage of my life (Jn 2:10); the words of the Virgin
Mary, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5), rejuvenate my spirit.
I summarise my personal experience as a serene process
of conversion to Christ, working from an episcopal reality toward an ecclesial
reality, where each vocation, charism and ministry finds its place not to
compete for influence, but to serve better in our mission.
The feeling that fills me is hope in this synodal
process that we are experiencing with Pope Francis and in the process that is
still to come. The indigenous peoples have helped me to believe that a synodal
Church is possible.
Today, thanks to God’s gift, those anonymous
indigenous people, whose painted faces I first encountered in my youth, now
have names and stories as my brothers and sisters from the Amazonian native
peoples: Laura Vicuña Manso (Brazil), Patricia Gualinga (Ecuador), Anitalia
Pijachi (Colombia), Jessica Patiachi, Delio Siticonazi and Belinda Jima (Peru)
like old Simeon, I can say: “Now, Lord, as you have promised, you can let your
servant go in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation” (Lk 2, 29-30).