Thursday, March 27, 2014

Daily Thought For March 27, 2014

Mission

     We need to come out of ourselves, from a tired and apathetic way of living faith, from the temptation of closing ourselves in our own schemes that ultimately close the horizon of God's creative action. God came out of himself to come among us. He pitched his tent among us through his mercy that saves us and gives us hope. If we wish to follow him and remain with him, we too should not be content with remaining in the pen with the ninety-nine sheep. We ought "to go out," to search with him for the lost sheep, the one who is most distant. Remember well: come out of yourselves, like Jesus, like God came out of himself in Jesus, and Jesus came out of himself for us all. 
     How I wish that the Lord would make us understand and feel that evangelization "is not an optional contribution for the Church. It is the duty incumbent on her by the command of the Lord Jesus, so that people can believe and be saved. This message is indeed necessary. It is unique. It cannot be replaced. It does not permit either indifference, syncretism, or accommodation. It is a question of people's salvation. It is the beauty of the revelation that it represents. It brings with it a wisdom that is not of this world. It is able to stir up by itself faith-faith that rests on the power of God" (Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 5). 
     We do not have the right to be indifferent and to love ourselves. How I love myself! No, we do not have that right. We need to go out and proclaim that 2,000 years ago, there was a man who wanted to re-establish the earthly paradise, and he came for that reason. To restore all things. 
     We need to come out of our shell and tell others that Jesus lives, that Jesus lives for him, for her, and to tell them this with joy ... even though one may at times seem crazy. Saint Paul says that the message of the Gospel is foolishness. Our lifetime is not enough to surrender and announce this: that Jesus has restored life. We have to go to sow hope; we have to go into the streets. We have to go out to search. 
     The first thing that the Virgin Mary did when she received the Good News in her womb was to go out, running to be of service. Let us go out running to be of service, in that we believe in the Good News and we want to give it to others. Let this be our conversion: the Good News of Christ yesterday, today, and always 
     We come because we need this place of trust and rest. We come to tell the Virgin how our life is going, and we receive her glance that encourages us to follow the way. This is not usually publicized, but it is what the children live with much faith, and there are many here who have found their place of encounter and blessing. We come here because we need to continue to trust and nourish what is most ours, what gives meaning to our lives. 
     We don't want to be that fearful Church that is locked in the cenacle. We want to be the Church in solidarity that encourages itself to go down from Jerusalem to Jericho, without making detours; the Church that encourages itself to come closer to the poorest of the poor to heal them and to receive them. 

     The proposal of a pastoral missionary spirit comes from the need of a new relationship with those who are "outside," that is to say, the nonbelievers, the distant, the non-practicing, the new cultures, etc., that constitute the most needed area of mission. Such men and women often share the same celebrations, live in the same neighborhoods, work in the same place, and walk in the same city. 

from Inspiration from Pope Francis―Jorge Mario Bergoglio pp.111-115