WE STRUGGLE FOR THE SAME CAUSE
Frequently we Christians don’t succeed in overcoming a mentality of privileged religion that keeps us from valuing all the good that gets promoted in spheres far from faith. Almost unconsciously we tend to think that we are the only bearers of truth, and that God’s Spirit only acts on our behalf.
A false interpretation of Jesus’ message has led us at times to identify God’s reign with the Church. According to this conception, God’s reign only becomes real inside of the Church, and grows and gets extended in the measure that the Church grows and gets extended.
And yet it’s not so. God’s reign gets extended way beyond the ecclesial institution. It doesn’t grow only among Christians, but among all those men and women of good faith who make fraternity grow in the world. According to Jesus, each person who «casts out demons in his name» is evangelizing. Each person, group or party that’s capable of «casting out demons» from our society and of collaborating in the construction of a better world is, in some way, opening up a path to God’s reign.
Easily for us, as for the disciples, it seems that they aren’t of us, because they don’t enter into our Churches or come to our services. However according to Jesus, «anyone who isn’t against us is for us».
All who in some way struggle for the human cause are with us. «Secretly maybe, but really, there’s no combat for justice –no matter how mistaken its political basis may be– that isn’t silently in relationship with God’s reign, though Christians don’t want to know it. Where people fight for the humbled, the beaten down, the weak, the abandoned, there is the real combat alongside God for God’s reign, whether they know it or not: God knows it» (Georges Crespy).
We Christians need to value joyfully the human gains, great or small, and every triumph of justice that’s reached in the political, economic or social field, no matter how modest they can seem to us. The politicians who fight for a more just society, the reporters who risk their lives to defend truth and freedom, the workers who achieve a greater solidarity, the educators who give themselves to educate for responsibility – though they don’t always appear to be of us, «are for us», since they are working for a more human world.
Far from believing ourselves to be the only bearers of salvation, we Christians need to welcome joyfully that current of salvation that opens up a path in human history, not only in the Church, but also next to her and way beyond her institutions. God is acting in the world.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf