On the afternoon of Saturday the 21st, Father General met with the young people at the Ignatian Youth Encounter (EJI), where more than 300 young people of university age from the various centers of the Ignatian Youth Network (RJI) from Argentina and Uruguay met. Fr Sosa gave a brief talk, answered questions from the youth and presided at the Eucharist.

He first spoke to us about the two synods that are being prepared: that of the youth and that of the Amazon. He said that the Church is preparing to recognize where we are, how the world is. This is more than an analysis. He gave the example of the phenomenon of migrations and explained that it is one thing to know that it exists and another to recognize that each person is a story. Regarding the Amazon, he pointed out how the diversity of human culture expresses humanity's immense capacity to create, because we are the image and likeness of God, and through this we also know God. For example, in a recent meeting in the Bolivian Chiquitanía among 100 attendees, more than 30 different languages could be counted. But this wealth - cultural, ethnic, linguistic - of indigenous peoples is threatened.

The young people asked how to be faithful to God in a society that can be so adverse, how to announce it and how to grow in Ignatian spirituality. Father General replied that we should trust that God is present and active in the world, that he is keeping his word, that we are not alone. May we recognize the good, the people who live, and live in faith, and may we take that side. He encouraged us to be really young, not to be afraid to create new paths and to dream. And that we take the time necessary for prayer (and not just any time, the best time); to know ourselves especially from our gratitude to God for the gifts we have received; to encounter others, even better if it is in service.

During the homily of the Mass he took the episode of the young man who did not dare to follow Jesus because he was very rich and pointed out the contrast between following God by the rites and following him in freedom. The law does not replace such personal monitoring. Only he who is free can follow the Lord. Detachment and indifference, on which St. Ignatius insists in the Spiritual Exercises, are a gift that God wants to give us and the first condition for discernment.

Leonardo Boff, theologian and president of the CDDH of Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro.

Petrópolis July 21, 2018.