TRUST IN THE GOSPEL
The Church is twenty centuries old now. Behind her are 2,000 years of faithfulness and also not a few infidelities. The future looks bleak. They talk of signs of decadence in her bosom: tired, grown old, lacking boldness, resigned. The desire for something new and different is growing, but also the powerlessness to bring about a true renovation.
Matthew the Evangelist culminates his writing, putting on Jesus’ lips a promise destined to nourish forever his followers’ faith: «I will be with you all days even to the end of the world». Jesus will keep living in the midst of the world. His movement won’t be extinguished. There will always be believers who put into action his life and his message. Mark tells us that, after Jesus’ ascension, the apostles «proclaimed the Gospel everywhere and the Lord was working with them».
This faith leads us to trust today in the Church: with setbacks and resistances maybe, with mistakes and weaknesses, she will always keep seeking to be faithful to the Gospel. This faith also leads us to trust in the world and in human beings: through paths not always clear or easy, God’s reign will keep growing.
Today there is more hunger and violence in the world, but there’s also more conscience to make it more human. There are many who don’t believe in any religion, but they believe in a life that is more just and dignified for all, which is definitely God’s great desire.
This trust can give a different tone to our way of looking at the world and the future of the Church. It can help us live patiently and peacefully, without falling into fatalism and without losing hope in the Gospel.
We need to heal our lives, eliminating that which empties us of hope. When we let ourselves be dominated by disenchantment, pessimism or resignation, we become incapable of transforming life and renewing the Church. The North American philosopher Herbert Marcuse said that «hope is only deserved by those who walk». I would say that Christian hope is only known by those who walk in the footsteps of Jesus. They’re the ones who can «proclaim the Gospel to all creation».
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf