Saturday, 15 October 2011

A New Pentecost?

The questions asked of the Franciscans by a recent Minister General, Hermann Schaluck, get to the heart of living with hope in turbulent times.  Indeed, they could also be asked of the Church in Ireland and many other parts of the world at this time.

“The present situation of crisis can be seen as a threat of death or as a test of faith in the Lord of history and in His unfailing presence. In a time of great transition and rapid change, the need is all the more urgent to read the sign of the times.  Are we seeing the signs of collapse or the signs of a New Pentecost?  Or both? Is a New Pentecost still possible today in the Church, in our communities or in ourselves?" 

"Of one thing I am certain: if we are able to read these signs, to contemplate them from a perspective of faith, we shall discover many tracks of life – footprints of God and of the living Spirit. And we shall finally realise that the signs of crisis can be transformed into invitations to a new beginning and harbingers of new life. By placing the person of Jesus Christ at the centre of everything, by seeking above all to live the Good News of the Kingdom of God and its justice, we wish to reiterate our conviction that the following of Jesus Christ will open our eyes to a new vision, to new values, new priorities and new criteria. Our achievements will never exhaust the splendour and potential of the Kingdom of God.”

 I am reminded of the Jewish Hasidim definition of hope: “Living joyfully when there are no easy answers.”