ready to leave behind our nets, our established plans, our boats, parents, homeland, structures, our successes and thestability that gives us security. We are ready to do anything becauseJesus is offering to share his cause with us and we want to identifywith him. We have been captivated by his life and the freeing, vigor-ous authority with which he has invited us to abandon security and tofollow him in mission.We give witness to Jesus, his life and his cause, because he hasformed us in his image from within, transforming us into evangelizerswho share an intimate experience of communion and friendship withHim. Because Christ is at the center of our life, our discipleship is theroot of our missionary identity; it constantly creates and renews our communion with others and sustains our commitment to the transfor-mation of the world in missionary service.The
change of epoch
and the cultural and religious pluralism we ex- perience, demand that we question our imitation of Christ. Disciple-ship and its evangelical demands make us countercultural. The realityof the growing poverty of the majority of the world, a consequence of ever-expanding socio-economic and political injustice, challenges usas disciples.All of this leads us to reaffirm our convictions and options as believersso that our lives may illuminate the reason for our hope. We are led todrink from the life-giving water of the Gospel and to share it withthose who thirst for justice, peace and truth, with those who do not believe in violence. These challenges call us to overcome individual-ism and isolation and to reclaim and strengthen our sense of ecclesial belonging and our loyal collaboration with our pastors, united in thedesire to form Christian communities characterized by prayer, har-mony and a missionary spirit.
A community led by the Spirit, A Church forEveryone and Servant of Humanity
The Holy Spirit is leading us toward a new epoch in human life, a newway of being Church. We have experienced andwe remember the living history of missionarieswho have gone before us, many of whom are here present in this Congress. They have given uslife. We have received new life from the memoryof our American martyrs who gave their lives for love of Jesus and their brothers and sisters. Inthem, the evangelical mission of the Church becomes transparent and fruitful for humanity.They are witnesses and martyrs whose enthusiasmfor the mission is contagious.Our missionary spirituality is a life in the Spirit which gives witness.(Jn. 15:26-27) With their very blood, our American saints and martyrs proclaimed the truth of the God who frees us. They point us towardthe source of life, the life that comes from Jesus incarnate in our land,a most profound Gospel spirituality.The Spirit leads us into mission, into incarnation in cultures and peo- ples, to sow seeds, the seeds of a Gospel that will be reborn in newfaces and a variety of fruits. That same Spirit calls us into dialog andecumenical and interreligious collaboration. The Spirit leads us to become bread broken and shared for the sake of uniting everyone atthe table of friendship and fraternity; to experience our communionwith all of humanity in order to render praise and glory to God. We
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US Catholic Mission Association
take on the project of the Reign of God from a stance of gratitude andlittleness, united with the poor and the victims of this world as wework for justice and liberation, love and the common good, for alter-natives which spring from hearts that have been recreated in the com-munity of the Church.The Spirit breaks in on us, touches us and pushes us toward God, his-tory, interiority and action. The love which springs forth from theFather and the Son becomes translated in our history as solidaritywhich goes beyond all borders. The Spirit who anointed Jesus to bring the Good News to the poor is the architect of unity and relation-ship, the Spirit announces freedom to the prisoners, gives sight to the blind, frees the oppressed and announces a year of favor.
Mission in the heart of the world
The Community that is in Mission for Humanity
is called to live in theMystery of God, in heart of the divine desire for the salvation of all,full of love and humanization. The mission of God today is that of uniting all of humanity in one common house of creation. Thus, weare called to ask ourselves where humanity is headed today.
Everything that is human is ours
, humanity’s current situation and problems are ours as well. Our hope is that we can present the Good News of Jesus and the Gospel as a light and a model for humanity,demonstrating that love of God and neighbor are one and the same.Because of that, we contemplate the whole of society and recognizeall of its aspirations, projects, its humanism and thirst for God. Weare pained to see the suffering brought about by the crises of economicand social strategies, ecological emergencies, cultural and democraticcrises, not to mention the poverty, exclusion, violence and persecutionthat mark our times.
What can we do or propose?
A Divine World
. The missionary community is sent by the Holy Spiritto connect peoples and cultures, a unity in diversity (Jn. 21:11), start-ing in the periphery and moving to the center for the liberation of all.We resonate with the divine dream of a world with-out peripheries or centers, a divinized world.
We are apprentices
. As we confront the grave prob-lems of our day, we are all apprentices. We have norecipes. All we have to offer is trust in the Lord, anopen heart and the willingness to give evidence for our hope, based on our faith in the Gospel. Hope isthe central message of Biblical faith (SpS 2). Hopefinds its concrete expression when the poor and thevictims begin to speak out, to make themselves pre-sent. We take on all that is human, recognizing the painful reality of the margination and exclusion of many of our brothers and sisters.
The Mission is recreated in solidarity, in sharing and in gratitude
. Inhis pastoral practice, Jesus taught us that the exploited and excludedhave a real part in the mission of the Church; they are participants inthe plan of God and lead us to broaden our horizons; they are signs pointing toward justice who incarnate hope in our history.
We cooperate with humanity’s movement toward unity
under the guid-ance of the Spirit who is sign of plurality and universality; we work ingratitude and in hope together with the poor. The Spirit has given usan ongoing task which will only come to completion in the final days.Meanwhile, we walk by faith as the Gospel opens us to the horizon of
cont’d from p. 1