LISTEN TO JESUS’ VOICE
In some circles of the Church they insist more than ever on the need for a strong «ecclesiastical magisterium» for directing the faithful in the midst of today’s crisis. These calls don’t succeed, however, in detaining their growing «devaluation» among broad sectors of Christians.
In fact, more than a few of the Bishops’ interventions provoke conflicting reactions. Some praise them fervently, others harshly criticize them, and most forget them in a few days. Meanwhile, in the Gospel we’re reminded of some of Jesus’ words that challenge everyone: «The sheep follow the shepherd because they recognize his voice».
What’s first and decisive still today is that, in the Church, we believers hear «the voice» of Jesus Christ in its full originality and purity, not burdened by traditions or the novelty of fads, not the «concerns» of the clergy or the «whims» of theologians, not our own interests, fears or accommodations.
This demands that we not at all confuse Jesus’ voice with just any word that is pronounced in the Church. We surely mustn’t think that in every intervention of the Bishops, in every preaching of the clergy, in every writing of the theologians or in every exposition of catechists is being faithfully heard the voice of Jesus.
There’s always a risk. That we will fill the Church with writings and pastoral letters, with documents and theology books, with catechesis and preachings, substituting with our «noise» the unmistakable voice of Jesus, our only teacher. The Bishop St. Augustine reminded us over and over: «We have only one teacher. And under him we are all co-disciples. We aren’t constituted as teachers by the fact of speaking from the pulpit. The true Teacher speaks from within».
We must ask ourselves if the word that is heard in the Church comes from Galilee and is born of the Spirit of the Risen One. This is what’s decisive, since the magisterium, preaching or theology must be an invitation to all and to each believer that we listen faithfully to Christ’s voice. Only when you «learn» something of Jesus do you become his follower.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf