Saturday, 29 November 2008

Open territory 4

"The way of Jesus is always the path of mission; and he is now inviting his followers to proclaim the Gospel anew to the peoples of Oceania, so that culture and Gospel proclamation will meet in a mutually enriching way and the Good News will be heard, believed and lived more deeply." (Eccelsia in Oceania, 10) Anyone who is looking to understand the New Evangelisation need look no further than this Letter which wonderfully presents the Mission of the Church today - and that this Mission is proclaimed with great clarity to the whole Church in Oceania! "The communio of the Church is a gift of the Blessed Trinity, whose deep inner life is most marvellously shared with humanity."
The mission to bring faith and culture together in such a way that humanity is drawn into God's Life - this is the Church! The first communion on the planet is the Church - the one which has the essential life-giving properties which human beings need. "Where individualism threatens to erode the fabric of human society, the Church offers herself as a healing sacrament, a fountain of communio responding to the deepest hungers of the heart." In the New Evangelisation we are called not only to rediscover the Church, but through the Church to rediscover humanity - the truth about human beings and about human life in all its dimensions.
What is the Church? It is Communion and Mission. It is the community of salvation, a communion of faith which bonds people into one being - God our Creator. And it is Mission, for "what Jesus offers to his followers must be shared with all the peoples of Oceania, whatever their situation." (13) "The great challenge and opportunity is to offer them the gifts of Jesus Christ in the Church, for these gifts alone will satisfy their yearning. But Christ must be presented in a way well adapted to the younger generation and the rapidly changing culture in which they live.
At times the Catholic Church is seen as presenting a message which is irrelevant, unattractive or unconvincing; but we can never allow such claims to undermine our confidence, for we have found the pearl of great price. Yet there is no room for complacency. The Church is challenged to interpret the Good News for the peoples of Oceania according to their present needs and circumstances. We must present Christ to our world in a way that brings hope to the many who suffer misery, injustice or poverty. The mystery of Christ is a mystery of new life for all who are in need or in pain, for disrupted families or people who face unemployment, who are marginalized, injured in soul or body, sick or addicted to drugs, and for all who have lost their way. This mystery of grace, the mysterium pietatis, is the very heart of the Church and her mission." (14)
This really is a wonderful proclamation to the Church to enter into the New Evangelisation. This is a call which needs to be listened to so that it begins to reverberate in the heart of the hearer, something to be taken up and never put down, a call which should form the kernal of life every day - making the Mystery of Jesus Christ the very basis of everything that is human!

No comments: