Friday, January 10, 2014
A new phase
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
January 12, 2014
Before narrating his prophetic activity, the evangelists tell us about an experience that will radically transform Jesus' life. After being baptized by John, Jesus feels like the beloved Son of God, fully inhabited by His Spirit. Encouraged by that Spirit, Jesus begins to proclaim to everyone, with his life and his message, the Good News of a God who is friend and savior of humankind.
No wonder that, when inviting us to experience "a new evangelization phase" in the coming years, the Pope reminds us that the Church needs "evangelizers with Spirit" more than ever. He knows very well that only the Spirit of Jesus can infuse us with the strength to launch the radical conversion the Church needs. Along which ways?
This renewal of the Church can only be born of the newness of the Gospel. The Pope wants people today to hear the same message that Jesus proclaimed on the roads of Galilee, not a different one. We have to "return to the source and regain the original freshness of the Gospel." Only thus "will we be able to break the dull categories in which we would enclose Jesus Christ."
The Pope is thinking of a radical renewal, "that can't leave things as they are; 'mere administration' is no longer enough." So he asks us to "abandon the comfortable pastoral criterion of how it has always been done" and stresses again and again: "I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the objectives, structure, style and evangelizing methods of their own communities."
Francis is looking for a church where we are only concerned about communicating the Good News of Jesus to this world. "More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while outside people are starving and Jesus tirelessly repeats to us, 'Give them something to eat.'"
The Pope wants us to build "a Church with open doors," since the joy of the Gospel is for everybody and no one should be excluded. What joy to be able to hear from his lips a vision of Church that recovers the most genuine Spirit of Jesus breaking attitudes that have been entrenched for centuries! "Often we act as controllers of grace and not as facilitators. But the Church is not a tollhouse, it is the Father's house, where there is a place for everyone with their lives on their backs."