Thursday, July 24, 2014
The most important decision
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
July 27, 2014
The gospel includes two brief parables of Jesus with the same message. In both stories, the protagonist discovers a tremendously valuable treasure or a pearl of incalculable value. And both react the same way -- they joyfully and resolutely sell what they have and seize the treasure or the pearl. According to Jesus, that's how those who discover the Kingdom of God react.
Apparently, Jesus fears that people are following him for various interests without discovering what is most attractive and important -- the Father's exciting project which is to lead humankind towards a more just, fraternal and joyful world, thus putting it on the road to its ultimate salvation in God.
What can we say today after twenty centuries of Christianity? Why are so many good Christians locked in their religious practices with the feeling of not having discovered any "treasure" in them? What is at the root of this lack of enthusiasm and joy in many spheres of our Church, which is incapable of attracting to the core of the Gospel so many men and women who are moving away from it, albeit without renouncing God or Jesus?
After the Council, Paul VI made this sweeping statement: "Only the Kingdom of God is absolute. Everything else is relative." Years later, John Paul II reaffirmed it, saying, "The Church is not an end unto herself, since she is ordered toward the kingdom of God of which she is the seed, sign and instrument." Pope Francis has been repeating that "Jesus' plan is to establish the Kingdom of God."
If this is the faith of the Church, why are there Christians who haven't even heard about this project that Jesus called "the Kingdom of God"? Why don't they know that the passion that animated Jesus' whole life, his reason for being, and the goal of all his actions, was proclaiming and promoting the Father's humanizing project -- seeking the Kingdom of God and his righteousness?
The Church can't be renewed at its root if it doesn't discover the "treasure" of the kingdom of God. Calling Christians to collaborate with God in His great project to make a more human world isn't the same as being distracted with practices and customs that make us forget the very heart of the Gospel.
Pope Francis is telling us that "the Kingdom of God is calling to us." This cry comes from the very heart of the Gospel. We are to hear it. Surely, the most important decision we have to make today in the Church and in our Christian communities is to recover the project of the Kingdom of God with joy and enthusiasm.