When we collaborate with other Christian Churches and see evidence of the Saviour’s presence also in the life of non-Christians, we discover at an even deeper level that mission is God’s work. Instead of placing confidence in our own abilities, we thank the Lord for the marvels he accomplishes even without us and in spite of our poverty.
Letting Ourselves be Re-evangelised
Mission today is perhaps more demanding than ever before. In situations of conflict, it can even lead to death. In various other ways, mission can shake our previously held assumptions:
- when we find ourselves dispossessed, useless, sinners, uncertain, involved in situations for which we have not been prepared;
- when we are asked to work with Spiritans of other circumscriptions, or to collaborate with lay people, without the former prestige attached to priests and Religious.
But it is through dying that we also experience resurrection. We sometimes have to die to our old assumptions, so we may feel renewal of our being, joy at seeing a new Church born, men and women being set free, people uniting and taking in hand their own destiny.
Living as a Stranger: Welcome and Meeting
Many of us proclaim the Gospel outside our own country. The fact that countries close their doors to missionaries reminds us that if we are sent, we also need to be invited.
- We cannot impose ourselves nor can we expect welcome as a right.
- Our presence becomes a question of mutual respect, confidence and dialogue.
More and more, we also meet foreigners in our own countries of origin. We try to make our compatriots more open to welcoming migrants and refugees, knowing that it is the Lord who comes to us through them.
Whether we work abroad or in our own country, the diversity and mobility of peoples puts us everywhere in contact with people who are different from us.
- Going to meet them, we discover the riches given them by God’s Spirit.
- Going beyond the frontiers of race, culture and religion, we are assured of finding the Saviour already present, even among those who profess atheism.
- We recognise that in proclaiming the Gospel to others, we receive more than we give.
Justice and Peace in a World of Conflict
“At the very heart of his Good News, Christ proclaims salvation, this great gift which is a liberation from everything that oppresses people but, above all, from sin and evil, in the joy of knowing God and being known by him, of seeing him and being seen by him.” (Evangelii Nuntiandi)
In a world of conflicts – racial tensions, conditions of oppression, cultural imperialism, religious strife – we wish to be peacemakers. We wish to promote understanding and pardon where there is hatred and violence, and so be witnesses of Christ, who came to gather all around the same table.
At the root of oppression and injustice, we discover sin. We become more fully aware that true liberation requires the proclamation and presence of Jesus Christ, who radically changes hearts, reconciling men and women to God and to one another.