This moment of mixed feelings brings to mind the text of the Gospel according to Mark (4: 26-29):
Jesus also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
As members of the General Congregation 36 we have put the seed in the earth, we have tried to put the best of ourselves in this sowing. The earth will bear its fruit. Thank God it does not depend on us … We have set it down by putting our hope only in Him. We do not know how it will grow, but we know that He will grow it according to His plans without necessarily following ours, according to His desires, without always coinciding with ours…
I am a privileged witness of the affection and determination with which this Congregation has been prepared. A preparation that has involved so many people, in addition to those who have accompanied us with their constant prayer. Having participated in the experience, we can imagine how many hours it took to imagine the process and to write the famous Formula, to summon the provincial congregations, to collect the postulates and responses to the questions, to create the commissions, to walk the talk.
At this moment, I would like us to express special gratitude to those who occupied the places on the balcony of the Aula: the secretaries, translators, liturgical team, communications team, technical team… But also those who we may not have seen, but who took care of maintenance and cleaning of the spaces we have used. We also thank those who renovated the Aula.
The Jesuit communities of Rome that have welcomed us with generous brotherhood deserve our applause. They prepared for us with affection and they have accompanied us all this time. Additionally, in the various communities in Rome, there are many people that we have not seen, but who that have made our stay in during the time of the Congregation.
Like the seed scattered to the ground, we also do not know how the seed of the Congregation grew, grew and became a tree that bears fruit … we only know that it has been the Lord’s work through so many brothers and sisters to whom we give a sincere thanks!