CHURCH AND MISSION ARE TWO INSEPARABLE AND CLOSELY LINKED REALITIES, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO THINK OF ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER. THE CHURCH HAS RECEIVED FROM HER LORD HER SAME MISSION THAT MUST CONTINUE, MISSION OF LIBERATION, HOPE AND JOY (LK 4, 18-21). THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY IS AT THE SERVICE OF THE MISSION, THE MISSION HAS A CHURCH AT ITS SERVICE TO CARRY IT FORWARD. THE CHURCH DOES NOT EXIST FOR ITSELF, BUT FOR THE GOSPEL, FOR THE WORLD, FOR THE KINGDOM.
The Trinity, being the origin of the mission of the Church, is also its horizon and goal: a life of full, joyful communion towards which -humanity and the universe- we go. The mission is to make the world a family. This was one of the strong desires that warmed the heart and spiritual experience of our founder, Guido María CONFORTI. We have also alluded to that parallelism between the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan and Pentecost: the baptism of the first – and of all – Christian community. Without Spirit there is no community, there is no mission, there is no way out. There is a comfortable, deceitful, fearful, evasive ghetto. The Church is only Church if it is missionary. Jesus begins his mission guided by the Spirit. The Church too. It is born missionary, “pushed and forced” by the Spirit to appear before all peoples, fragile but with a precious treasure in his hands: the gospel of Jesus, the reconciliation, the mercy, the compassion, the peace that he offers us with his death and with his resurrection. Sent by Jesus, she knows that she is inhabited by the Spirit and led by him to all places, areas, situations where it is necessary to proclaim the salvation of God, without forgetting that the criteria of her action are received from the Gospel that announces and constantly challenges her. , inviting her to let herself be converted and evangelized.
The resurrection of Jesus and the sending of the Spirit put the Church “outside of itself”. The first Church considered itself and lived as a missionary movement, an unstoppable movement. Inside it had begun to beat strongly a new hope, the Good News of salvation for all, the life of Jesus; a new life not only for the hereafter, but for our world, for the hereafter. Jesus transforms human relationships, those who follow him can live new relationships among them. To believe is to allow oneself to be transformed in the deepest by Jesus. His message is to be preached, but before lived. In this way, their community becomes a “sacrament of universal reconciliation.”
First comes life, then the experience is transformed into conviction, into a commandment: “As the Father sent me, I also send you …”, “Go into all the world …” First is life. The greatest commandment of Jesus-that of brotherly love-is a missionary commandment: “Look how they love each other”. An overflowing love always becomes attractive. The risen Jesus sends his people with the mandate to proclaim the Kingdom, to make possible that society more just, solidary, fraternal, more in accordance with the dream of God; and with the mandate to make disciples, that is, enthusiastic followers, convinced, serene, willing to share – in their fragility – their criteria and their way of life.
CALL TO LEAVE
A muted mouth may be the expression of a resigned, dull, frightened heart. Is this the heart of some of our Christian communities? Every mature local church feels in its bosom, if it is truly adult, the call to leave, to create new churches that in turn will be inserted in that unstoppable missionary movement. This birth of new Christian communities is not simply the visible growth of an organization, it is, rather, a process by which the Church is present in the midst of all peoples as a sacrament of salvation, to make the presence more visible and explicit. of Christ, since He is already by his incarnation and resurrection. The Church wants to be a privileged place of the saving action of Christ and of his Spirit. to make the presence of Christ more visible and explicit, since He is already in his incarnation and resurrection. The Church wants to be a privileged place of the saving action of Christ and of his Spirit. to make the presence of Christ more visible and explicit, since He is already in his incarnation and resurrection. The Church wants to be a privileged place of the saving action of Christ and of his Spirit.
The Church that is born of the Spirit – as we see in the NT – is a Church with an intense inner life of community. It is also a servant, ministerial church: attentive to the real needs of inside and outside. A dialoguing, polyglot Church: called to respect the particularity and cultural plurality of the peoples in which it is inserted. When the Church does not know how to listen or does not make enough effort to do so, it also becomes mute, since what she says no longer tunes in or responds to the demands, needs, sensitivities of her time, which does not mean that we have to accept, without evangelical discernment, all that different cultures live. Discerning is always necessary to perceive, in our world, the signs of the Kingdom of God – the seeds of the Word – or of the anti-kingdom. Is under all, a charismatic Church: overflowing -in its smallness- with gifts of the Spirit. The first Christians were not numerous, but their presence gave a different air to society, questioned, raised questions and admiration and endeavored to transform their society and culture. A Church open to all the good that we find in every human reality, people, culture, time. A pilgrim Church, walker, People of God in progress living fraternity and service, placing people above all, and the “little ones” in the center, as Jesus wanted. A Church open to all the good that we find in every human reality, people, culture, time. A pilgrim Church, walker, People of God in progress living fraternity and service, placing people above all, and the “little ones” in the center, as Jesus wanted. A Church open to all the good that we find in every human reality, people, culture, time. A pilgrim Church, walker, People of God in progress living fraternity and service, placing people above all, and the “little ones” in the center, as Jesus wanted.
How many times do we lack the courage to open ourselves to new paths, sometimes we do not even intuit or glimpse them? We lack openness to the Spirit that makes all things new, we do not trust Him, that is why we are so prudent and take few risks.
The horizon of the mission is not the Church but the Kingdom. The Church is at the service of the Kingdom, so the mission means “to proclaim the Kingdom where it is not yet recognized, to denounce what is opposed to it, to show it already present in the signs and to collaborate at his coming”. The Kingdom decentrates us, pushes us to live open of mind and spirit to perceive the beating of the Spirit in our world.
“Evangelizing, the Church begins by evangelizing herself. A community of believers, a community of hope lived and communicated, a community of fraternal love, needs to listen without ceasing to what it must believe, the reasons to wait, the new commandment of love. People of God immersed in the world and often tempted by idols, need to know how to proclaim “the greatness of God” that has converted them to the Lord, and be summoned and reunited by Him. In a word, this means that The Church always needs to be evangelized, if it wants to preserve its freshness, its impulse and its strength to proclaim the Gospel. ” Paul VI The Evangelization of the Contemporary World No. 15
“To evangelize means for the Church to bring the Good News to all the environments of humanity and, with its influence, to transform from within, to renew humanity itself … For the Church, it is not only a matter of preaching the Gospel in geographical areas every time larger or more numerous populations, but to reach and transform with the force of the Gospel the criteria of judgment, the determining values, the points of interest, the lines of thought, the inspiring sources and the models of life of humanity, that are in contrast with the Word of God and with the plan of salvation “(Paul VI, EN 18-19)