Monday, January 14, 2013
Initiating the reaction
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
January 13, 2013
John the Baptist doesn't let people confuse him with the Messiah. He knows his limits and acknowledges them. There is someone who is stronger and more essential than him. The only one the people have to accept. The reason is clear. John the Baptist offers them a baptism with water. Only Jesus, the Messiah, will baptize them "with the Holy Spirit and fire."
In the opinion of many observers, the greatest problem of the Church today is "spiritual mediocrity." The Church doesn't have the spiritual vigor it needs to face the challenges of current times. It's more and more evident. We need to be baptized by Jesus with his fire and Spirit.
In recent years, mistrust in the force of the Spirit and fear of anything that could lead us to a renewal have been growing. Continuity is stressed a lot to preserve the past, but we aren't concerned with listening to the calls of the Spirit to prepare the future. Little by little we're turning blind to reading the "signs of the times."
Priority is given to certainties and beliefs to strengthen the faith and achieve greater ecclesial cohesion in the face of modern society, but often a living adhesion to Jesus isn't cultivated. Have we forgotten that he's stronger than all of us? Religious doctrine, which is almost always set out in pre-modern terms, doesn't touch our hearts or change our lives.
The renovating breath of the Council having been abandoned, joy has been dying out among significant sectors of the Christian people to make way for resignation. Quietly but palpably, disaffection and separation have been growing between the institutional church and many believers.
It's essential to create a friendlier and more cordial climate as soon as possible. Not just any one will be able to awaken the lost illusion within the common people. We need to go back to the roots of our faith. Get in touch with the Gospel. Nourish ourselves with Jesus' word that is "spirit and life."
In a few years, our Christian communities will be very small. In many parishes there will no longer be permanent priests. How important it is to nurture a nucleus of Christians around the Gospel, starting now! They will keep Jesus' spirit alive among us. Everything will be more humble, but it will also be more Gospel-centered.
We are being asked to initiate the reaction now. The best heritage we can leave to future generations is a new love for Jesus and a faith that is more focused on him and his plan. Everything else is secondary. If they live from the Spirit of Jesus, they will find new paths.