As we continue our reflection on the “Pact of the Catacombs” we look at the signs of the times, today I believe it is when we seek to see life, injustice, day to day struggles through the eyes of those who suffer, it is then that we can not only confront the social evils of our times, but invite the Power of Christ’s poverty to transform the world to reflect the presence of the kingdom of God.
The Pact “It meant to see the world through the eyes of those who have been kept poor or made poor and a willingness to act in solidarity with them against poverty.”
Life is full of ups and downs. Struggles come our way. Often times the challenges of daily life seem to overwhelm us. Although hearts are heavy, we need to let people know that storms will come our way. Trials can come our way, from terror attacks, to the inhumane treatment, to loss of jobs and loved ones. Unjust systems that cultivate a cycle of poverty, addiction and self-destruction, the hearts and lives of the poor and those without access to resources can be transformed through an active and conscientious decision to live and walk with the poor.
In Fr. Stephen Bevans,SVD ’ reflection he looks at how we might utilize the “Pact” as a means to see the church as Missionary in its outreach and evangelization in the world. He reflects “on the implications of this amazing document for the church’s understanding and practice of the mission that it shares with the Triune God, a sharing which makes the church “missionary by its very nature” or a “community of missionary disciples.”
Pope Francis’ document Evangelii Gaudium is a strong tool for seeing how to truly “place the poor in the center of the church – what is often called the “option for the poor” – is a theological one. It is in Christians’ openness and relationship with the poor that they discover God’s revelation. Francis quotes Benedict XVI saying that such attention to the poor “is implicit in our Christian faith in a God who became poor for us so as to enrich us with his poverty.”51 This is why, says Francis, he wants “a Church which is poor for the poor”
“They have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei, but in their difficulties they know the suffering of Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them. The new evangelization is an invitation to acknowledge the saving power at work in their lives and to put them at the center of the Church’s pilgrim way. We are called to find Christ in them, to lend our voices to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us through them.52”
Let us live out our mission through the eyes of the poor see in their lives and struggle a possibility of Christ’s power showing through them to change and transform unjust systems, confront the evil In Our society and make a way through the storms and struggles each day. We break through with the poor to lives transformed, healed and renewed. A Church that is of the Poor and for the Poor can be a powerful instrument for change and justice today.
The Pact of the Catacombs
Xabier Pikaza & José Antunes da Silva
https://books.apple.com/us/boo k/the-pact-of-the-catacombs/id 1087354696