Church Communion and Evangelisation
How to bring about communion?
In his 2001 letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte (At the Beginning of the Third Millennium), the Pope speaks of a “spirituality of communion”. How can this be lived out?
The secret for living the “spirituality of communion” is Jesus Crucified and Forsaken whom the Pope describes in this document as the “suffering face”.
As the term itself indicates, through the spirituality of communion, communion is brought about, unity of people with God and among themselves.
Now the model to bring this about is Jesus who on the Cross experienced, in our place, separation from the Father, as we hear in his cry: “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46). But he also knew how to overcome such an abyss by re-uniting himself to the Father: “Into your hands, Father, I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46).
That’s why in a letter to bishop friends of the Focolare Movement, the Pope states that Jesus Forsaken is the “royal way” for reaching unity, communion.
On the basis of your personal experience, where today do we find Jesus Crucified and Forsaken, defined by the Pope as “mystery of the mystery”?
In taking on our human nature, Jesus Crucified and Forsaken took on all our ills. He is present in the world wherever there are sufferings, division, tensions, terror, sin and natural disasters.
Jesus Forsaken is present in the betrayals also of us Catholics; he is in the living disunity between the Churches; in the fragmentation of different religions, in atheism, in secularism, in materialism. He lives in the lack of development that envelops so much of the world. But above all in the international terrorism that appeared violently on September 11th last. The “forces of Evil” are present there in a particular way as the Pope said.
Christians need to know how to discover Him so that, with the help of God, and with all our strength, we can remedy at least some of these ills.
We can think of Mary and her immense suffering that came from sharing so intimately in the death of her Son, but we can think also of her hope in the resurrection that in her is more alive that ever. Mary is the icon of the Christian mystery where the Cross and resurrection are one. And, while trying to share her suffering, think of the Risen Jesus, being grateful, infinitely gratefully for all that this means for us and for the world, according to our faith. Because if he is risen, all of us too will rise.
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