7. A Single but Complex RealityPresentation Transcript
A SINGLE BUT COMPLEX REALITY THE WHAT OF MISSION
SIX COMPONENTS OF MISSION
Witness and proclamation
Liturgy, prayer, and contemplation
Justice, peace and the integrity of creation
Interreligious and secular dialogue
WITNESS AND PROCLMATION
Most witnessing is done by ordinary baptized Christians in their daily life at home, in their neighborhood, at work, and in social situations.
Witness happens on the communal level as a Christian community, a parish, and a diocese.
Witness moves beyond the local to the level of the universal and institutional church.
There is a common witness to Jesus by Christian churches and denominations.
To accompany witness, John Paul II spoke of proclamation , the explicit proclamation of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is the permanent priority of mission.
Proclamation needs to be an invitation that respects the free choice of the listeners. The Church proposes, she imposes nothing.
It is the word of God (not that of the Christian or missionary) that has the power and grace to call people to conversion and a new life.
LITURGY, PRAYER, AND CONTEMPLATION
As important and central to Christian life as liturgy is, it can’t be an end in itself.
We are the body of Christ when we go out of Church.
Mission is not just from “inside” to “outside” , but also the reverse. Bringing the concerns of the neighborhood and world into the liturgy prevents the community from focusing too much on itself, and opens members to being attentive, nourished and challenged by God’s movement in the wider world.
In 1927, Pope Pius XI proclaimed Therese of Lisieux and Francis Xavier the patrons of mission. Christian living and mission consist of both activity and prayer.
Prayer and contemplation can draw us into seeing and encountering the world and others more and more from God’s viewpoint. They help us align our lives with God’s mission of love, salvation, and justice.
PURSUIT OF JUSTICE, PEACE, AND THE INTEGRITY OF CREATION
The mission of God calls the church to pursue work for a just and peaceful world and to care for God’s gift of creation.
Leo XIII in his encyclical The Condition of Labor (1891) maintained that the church is called not only to care for those in need, but to address the unjust social and economic structures and systems.
The US bishops’ statement Economic Justice for All (1986) also illustrates this component of mission.
Peace is not just the absence of violence. It requires ongoing positive and active choices.
Concern for justice and peace within the human family extends to proper care for the rest of God’s creation.
INTERRELIGIOUS AND SECULAR DIALOGUE
Dialogue is based on the belief that God’s grace and love is present in all people.
Christians can learn something about God from others. On the one hand we approach others with respect; at the same time, we remain true to our own Christian faith.
There are four types of dialogue: dialogue of life; dialogue of action; dialogue of religious experience; dialogue of theological exchange
Dialogue requires humility and openness as well as authenticity and integrity.
In encountering other peoples, the church must implant itself in the same way that Christ by his incarnation committed himself to the particular social and cultural circumstances.
The word inculturation was introduced to capture the dynamic interaction between the gospel and church tradition, on the one hand, and the changing social and cultural context, on the other.
There is no single Christian culture.
The seeds of God’s word are to be acknowledged, nurtured, and expressed in our own words.
Reconciliation occurs on four different levels: personal level, cultural level, political level, within the church.
It is God alone who can bring about reconciliation in people’s hearts.
Christians are to be bridge-builders and mediators in the process.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
What idea in this chapter struck you as the most interesting?
Which of the six aspects of mission applies best to your situation?