The the responsibilities of communicating the joy of

The contemporary theologian, Balthasar, in his text on fundamental theology quotes “Human experience as the starting point for the divine experience” and calls for interpreting the existential human experience in its context in the light of Christian faith to arrive at the divine experience. The existential human experience of the present generation gives raise to interpretation of immanentism and thus arrives at the divine experience in all the material things based on one’s reasoning but not the divine experience as such and so not able to pass on the divine experience to others. In fact, the present globalised context, despite its vast advancement in networks and means of human communication, has created in every Christian the desire for personal freedom and comfort and the withdrawal from taking up responsibilities due to discouragement on seeing the evils of the world and, pain and negativity involved in evangelisation. The interpretation of immanentism leaves every Christian at the point of discouragement and the loss of inner sight and hope. At this juncture, the Pope Francis invites the Christian community to look at the impacts of globalisation as challenges to be overcome in the light of Christian faith and thus arrive at the conversion of heart in order to have the communion with God and take up the responsibilities of communicating the joy of that communion to others.
Pope Francis begins this section by expressing his gratitude and his content about the self-sacrifice and the exemplary service of the so many faithful Christians for helping him sustain in his effort to overcome selfishness and to give fully of himself at the service of others. At the same time, he highlights the certain particular temptations faced by the Pastoral Workers at the influence of present globalized culture and invites the Pastoral Workers to turn to the crucified and risen Jesus with whom the daily concerns are shared, in whose experience the discernment is done, to overcome those temptations.
Obsession to Personal Comfort affects Inner Decisions
Pastoral workers, including the consecrated persons, search for the works which will offer them personal freedom and relaxation, considering their works as a mere appendage to their life but not as a part of their very identity. They apply the same consideration towards their spiritual life as well and engage in religious exercises which give them certain comfort but no passion for evangelisation.
The scepticism and cynicism of the media culture and intellectual circles with regard to the Church’s message develop in pastoral workers a sort of inferiority complex and compel them to conceal their Christian identity and convictions. And they end up being unhappy with who they are and what they do. Finally, their mission becomes a kind of obsession of being like everyone else and possessing like everyone else. As a result, their actual mission of evangelisation becomes forced and their engagement has little energy and limited time.
The fall into relativism affects the pastoral workers in their deepest and inner most decisions which shape their way of life. On the one hand, it tempts them to behave as if God does not exist, as if the poor do not exist and as if there is no need for evangelisation. On the other hand, it tempts the pastoral workers who have solid doctrinal and spiritual conviction fall into the attachment to financial security, the desire for power or human glory rather than to the evangelisation. As a result, they lose the missionary enthusiasm.
No to selfishness and spiritual sloth
Many lay people and even the priests have become obsessed with safeguarding their free time and so consider the responsibility of undertaking pastoral work as poison rather than joyful response to God’s love which summons us to the task of evangelisation. As a result, they lose the missionary dynamism which is supposed to bring salt and light to the world and end up in the state of paralysis and acedia.
The sense of burdensome or dissatisfaction in undertaking the task of evangelisation is not because of an excess of activity but because of the badly undertaken approach turning the happy tiredness into unbearable fatigue. Unrealistic projects contrary to reasonable doings, lack of patience to await the fruit of the projects, depersonalisation of the road map than the process of taking up the projects, and obsession with immediate results make the evangelization hard for the pastoral workers to tolerate anything disagreeing and criticizing like the Cross in the project.
The biggest threat of all is that the daily life in the Church seems to be normal while there is degeneration of faith into small-mindedness due to deterministic approach of psychology. As a result, the Christians become disappointed with the reality, the Church and with themselves. They too experience the constant temptation to cling to a melancholy and a lack of hope in life rather than living in the joy of evangelisation. Their heart becomes the most precious portion of the devil.
No to a sterile pessimism
The evils of the world and even those of the Church diminish the commitment of the pastoral workers and force them to be idealistic in response to the pessimism within. And so, there is always a temptation to separate the wheat from the weeds before its time. The Pope reminds every Christian to regain energy from our faith “where sin increased, the grace has abounded all the more.” (Rom 5:20). He also emphasizes the words of St John XXIII, “The divine Providence is leading us to a new order of human relations and to the greater good of God, amidst human setbacks.” And he invites every Christian to have recourse to the divine providence which leads even the human setbacks to the greater good of the Church.
One of the more serious temptations is defeatism which confirms our painful fragilities and disappointments in our go-ahead. The Pope invites every Christian to take energy from St Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9) and realise the victory behind the Cross.
As a result of the attempt to build some societies without God or with the violent opposition to Christianity forces or with the decimation of faith in family and workplaces, the Christian community faces spiritual desertification and becomes sterile. Pope Francis invites the Christians to become the living sources of water from which others can drink by fixing their eyes on the Cross, because only in the desert, one can rediscover the value of what is essential for living.


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