Chapter Communication - 17 May 2022
A day of recollection in complete silence, led by Dave Sullivan, is scheduled for today. Two conferences are on the program.
STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN :
With texts from Mark’s gospel, 4(3,9,23); 4(14-20); 10(30-37); and Luke 16(19-31); 7 (36-50), Father Sullivan emphasized the need to stop, look and listen as a missionary and spiritual attitude to perceive the Lord’s message about our world and our mission. It is not easy for us to put this attitude into practice, which is crucial for the 2022 Chapter.
There are interferences that prevent us from hearing and understanding, such as inner noises, our own ideas, community and interpersonal conflicts, power conflicts. Sometimes we see other people’s opinions as contrary to our own, instead of seeing them as complementary. The parables used in the conference clearly show that we can see people, without necessarily perceiving their needs and situations, nor taking action because of a multitude of reasons.
The chapter is crucial for the future of our missionary society and for our missionary commitments. May the Lord guide its members in their listening, vision, perception and evaluation of the world and mission in order to make wise and courageous decisions for his glory, for the good of the people of God entrusted to us and for our faithfulness to the mission.
ON THE ROAD TOGETHER FOLLOWING JESUS AND OUR DREAMS
Martin Luther King pronounced a famous speech: “I had a dream…” when all men will stand in brotherhood… With those words, he inspired millions of people. The Missionaries of Africa also have a dream coming from Jesus and Cardinal Lavigerie, a dream of proclaiming the Good News to the African World, of fraternity, solidarity, brotherhood, respect, collaboration and of a just world, a more peaceful world.
At the beginning of the Chapter, it is essential that we remember our dream, our vocation, our charism and reconnect with it as apostles of Christ. We are invited to do it all together individually and community wise. In 2 Tim. 1(6-7), Paul asks Timothy to renew the gift of God in him. That word of Paul’s is for us today. We should not fall into the trap of forgetting our initial zeal Apoc. 2(4-5).
The good Samaritan, Luke 10(30-37); the healing of the blind, Mark 10(46-52).
Fr. Sullivan used some images to make us see and walk. Lavigerie was like the Samaritan seeing the needs (of the wounded man) and we like innkeepers called for the ongoing care of the mission (long term collaboration). He also used the healing of the blind man to remind us that Jesus healed the blind man sit at the side of the road, giving him vision and the possibility to walk on the road, following Jesus.
May we walk together in an “esprit de corps”, in unity and solidarity, pursuing the same dream, doing our utmost to keep a global vision of the Society. We are called to witness to God’s dream by our lives, prophetic witnesses to the African World of today. Let us ask the Lord to grant us the courage and the wisdom needed to respond to today’s challenges.
We are gathered in his name and he is with us as promised to accompany us on our missionary path Mt. 18(20).