José_Paredes_eng_may_2007 (1).rtf | Christian Mission | Revelation

José Cristo Rey García Paredes, CMF * Mission: The Key to Understand Consecrated Life Today _______________________ We find ourselves a little lost when our General and Provincial Chapters make the evaluation and balance of the previous years and try to plan the future. Likewise, we find ourselves a little lost when we religious come together for congresses, meetings, and courses of on-

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   José Cristo Rey García Paredes, CMF *  Mission: The Key to Understand Consecrated LifeToday   _______________________  We fnd ourselves a little lost when our General and Provincial Chaptersmake the evaluation and balance o the previous years and try to plan theuture. Likewise, we fnd ourselves a little lost when we religious cometogether or congresses, meetings, and courses o ongoing ormation. !ttimes it gives the impression that we allow ourselves to be carried away bythe tide o the moment. ther times, we give the impression o being moreworried about our internal problems than by the e#ternal ones, which usuallyare the ones challenging our mission.$t is interesting to observe how in our Chapters we are so worried about ourproblems o internal unctioning% authority, assignments, communitarianpro&ects, individualism, lack o prayer lie, poverty or chastity. !nd it is right'(hey are real problems which we cannot undervalue. )owever, theseproblems become worse and more serious, when the missionary spirit is weak and we have lost the missionary sense in our lives.What takes place in our practical lie, also happens in the theological feld. ! theology which does not start rom the mission *and is at the service o themission+ is a theology without direction, without a goal, without passion,without eelings, which does not respond to the great uestions o our worldtoday.Without a strong missionary awareness, the Church and the ConsecratedLie within the Church, have no meaning, no raison d’être . Is the “Mission” a key category? -ission is the key to understand the Church and everything happeningwithin her, including Consecrated Lie. Without the mission, as the basic andarchitectonic principle, everything could collapse. When the mission is thecentral and structuring principle, everything unctions well and develops.When the mission does not ulfll this central and key unction, other realitiesappear and try to take its place, such as, the spirituality, community lie, newtrends and personal activities understood as work/.0. Spirituality  % $t could appear that spirituality is the central ocus o Christian lie and consecrated lie. $t could appear that prayer, contemplation,lie in Christ are the a#is and core o Christian e#istence. !nd, certainly, it is.1ut when spirituality tries to conceal the lack o missionary passion, it is goodor nothing2 it is not true spirituality, but a ake way o escaping reality. $t isnot anymore a Christian e#perience, rather a pseudoChristian, disincarnatedand pietistic e#perience. 1  3. Community life and the interpersonal relationships among the memberso the community or group% in many institutes this is the central concern. $nthe e#perience o many religious this is a serious uestion they are worriedabout% where they are assigned, with whom they need to share their lie, whatkind o relationship should they maintain with the superiors, etc. (he mostimportant preoccupations which take up most o the time o many members o our religious institutes are internal uestions, not the great challenges o ourworld today to our charismatic reality as ollowers o 4esus Christ. (hose whodevelop their lives rom these premises or uestions, remain childish,irresponsible, only worried about selpreservation.5. The new trends:  When the mission is not the basic principle o ourreligious lives, then, we tend to get carried away by themes or topics o themoment, the snobbism o the moment. We get absorbed in problems o modernity, 6ew !ge spirituality, globali7ation, sustainable development, and-ar#ism. 1ut none o these are seriously conronted rom the perspective o mission, but rather as an intellectual curiosity, without practical results ormissionary implications. (hese re8ections usually e#ert a superfcial in8uence,because aterwards, we go in search o the ne#t new trend, leaving behind theprevious ones. (he problems o society are contemplated rom outside,not rom within, in order to transorm them, as the  Evangelii Nuntiandi o Pope Paul 9$demanded *n. 0:+.:.  Personal and private activities, and individualism % (he lack o anauthentic missionary spirit brings people to ocus on their private interests. ! way to camou8age our apostolic and missionary spirit, parado#ically, is toconcentrate on work, my work/. (here are workaholics2 however, it is not areal passion or the mission. $t is what was previously called the heresy o action/. What they are searching or is not service to others, but selreali7ation. !ll these have nothing to do with the reali7ation o the ;ingdom.Without the missionary perspective the service o authority, ormation andeven theology have very narrow hori7ons.<. overnment and authority in religious communities: a governmentdedicated more to the immediate than to what truly generates the uture,slowly kills the prophetic sensitivity. $t does not take care o the urgent needso the Church and society. (he government becomes closed in internalproblems and without hori7ons. nly secondarily it deals with real uestionso the missionary pro&ect2 mostly it worries about maintaining a system whichdoes not have the mission at the centre o its concern. $t does not acilitate thediscernment o the community, being always alert and sensitive to the signs o the timesor where and how the =pirit is leading humanity towards the uture o God.>.  !ormation:  ?reuently the mission is not the principle articulating thewhole process o ormation. $t is usually thought that, beore any personalimplication in the mission, each candidate in the period o initial ormationhas to solve his own personal problems, or con8icts. (o a certain e#tent that istrue2 but to try to solve personal con8icts outside o the mission and the vocation to mission is to deprive ourselves o the best resource to solve them.$n the measure in which the vocationalmissionary spirit does not work, the 2  ormation process goes cra7y, becomes narcissistic, too sensitive to theindividual hori7on.@. Theology:  (he theological re8ection, deprived o the missionaryperspective, usually suAers rom the same deect. (he mission is relegated tothe last chapter. $t is usually said that being/ comes beore acting/ ordoing/. (his theology presupposes that mission is &ust acting and doing. ?orthat reason, the sub&ects considered essential in religious lie, as consecration, vows, community, are the frst ones to be dealt with. (his is usually calledidentity/. Later on comes the pro&ection o the identity into the apostolicactivity. 6either, in this case, is mission the articulating principle o theologyo the religious or consecrated lie.  What is Mission? (he word% mission , that we use so oten, comes rom the Latin term mitto/and rom the participle missum/. $ts meaning is% to send/ or to be sent/.Proper to the mission is to be sent/. bviously, this being sent/ responds toa commission, to a task assigned to a person to carry out. Like, when agovernment sends soldiers to carry out certain tasks or peace or war, it issaid that they are going to accomplish a military mission/2 when theauthorities o a university assign a task to someone, we speak o a scientifc orcultural mission. When a religious institution is the one sending, we speak about a religious mission/. “Missio ei”, ! o#e a$$% (he most surprising o all this, is that the mission and its more diaphanous,more sublime and transparent concept are ound in the divine being itsel.-ore than <B years ago our Protestant brothers coined the e#pression -issioei/ as a theological category o great importance. With this category theywanted to talk about the mission o God himsel. (hey wanted to say that ourGod is -ission.=ince the (rinitarian -ystery o God has being revealed to us, we know thatthe category o mission is absolutely essential to understand God. 4esus, as=on o God, is aware o being =ent/ by !bba. God the ?ather is the nesending his =on into the World. (he ?ather also sends the =pirit, which makesitsel present in the world on diAerent occasions and in a variety o orms.1oth, in the ld and the 6ew (estaments, the )oly =pirit is sent% it inspiresthe Prophets and impels them to carry out the pro&ect o God2 the =pirit actsin the Creation o the world, in the virginal Generation o 4esus. 4esus and the?ather sent the =pirit ater the Desurrection so that it will indwell in the worldand in the hearts o the aithul. $t is clear that the mission is part o the divinebeing. !bba is the ne sending and the =on and the =pirit are the nes sent.?or this reason the theological re8ection speaks o the Edivine -issions/ asone o the undamental aspects o the )oly (rinity. -ission emerges rom the very )eart o God the ?ather. -ission is e#pressed in his =on, who is 3  incarnated in the 9irgin -ary through the )oly =pirit2 )e is the ne =ent * oapostolos +. (o be sent is an e#istential condition o the =on and the =pirit. “Missio creationis”  !ll the actions o God ad e#tra/ are, then, missionary actions. (he Creationis the frst missionary act o God. (he Creator !bba acts through his Logos,the Word and through his )oly Duah, the =pirit. (he Creation is reali7ed inChrist 4esus and through the orce o the =pirit.(o the human person, created in GodFs image and likeness, God bestows amissionary being. $ the human person is adeuately contemplated, wediscover that its e#istence is pure grace. $t is not a necessary being, but acontingent one. $t has been sent into e#istence rom someone and orsomething. (o discover the meaning o lie, o human e#istence, is a basiccondition in order to have an authentic e#istence. ?or that reason, we have toadmire the task o the philosophers, always searching or meaning, or thecause o all the causes. ur revelation, the Genesis, maniests how the humanbeing has been created to carry out a mission. (he words o the author o thefrst chapter o the Genesis say that the human being was created in theimage and likeness o God/. )e also aAirms that human beings, male andemale, have to live together and become one being. ?inally, it is aAirmed thatthey were introduced into the Garden to care or it. ?rom that moment, thehuman being started to carry out an impressive mission% to be the steward o the arth, to care or it, to organi7e it. God created them cocreators and, orthat reason, the creative capacity o the human being is impressive andine#haustible. )ere we have the frst and most undamental mission o the human being.(his mission is e#pressed at three levels% the amily or generation, therelationship with the material world and its resources or production, economyand work, and the relation and organi7ation o the human beings in society orpolitics.)umanity fnds itsel in a permanent state o mission, starting rom themissio creationis/. $t is necessary to emphasi7e the dignity o this mission.We could call it the secular mission/. (hough it does not appear, this missionproceeds rom the Creator and human beings, more or less aware o it, arecarrying it out in his 6ame. Creative persons, those generating new lie,become similar to God the Creator, similar to God the ?ather and -other,similar to God the artist and the artisan. (he amily and the couple, work andeconomy, politics and social organi7ation, art and cratsmanship, the religiousand the cultural worldH everything belongs to the task that human beingshave received rom the Creator.(he mission received rom God was sub&ected to the destructive power o sin. ?rom that moment, the human being renounced his divine partnershipand wanted to become autonomous, to give to himsel his own task andmission. )e reused to be the servant o his Creator in order to become theowner o the world which he had received as a git. $t is precisely here thatthe human being reuses to be sent and seeks only to carry out his own will. 4
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