A new way of reading a well-known text...

Reading a reflection on the church and the new media by Irish Archbishop Eamon Martin I came across this text:

"Many people say that it was a four minute speech which led to the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires as Pope. 

In his pre-conclave speech to the other Cardinals, he used the popular image from the Book of Revelation of Jesus standing at the door and knocking. 

But in an unusual and inspired way he turned the image around: “Obviously, the text refers to his knocking from the outside in order to enter but I think about the times in which Jesus knocks from within so that we will let him come out. The self-referential Church keeps Jesus Christ within herself and does not let him out….” A Church which does not come out of herself to evangelise, he said, becomes self-referential and then gets sick."

We have become familiar over the past year with this consistent theme in the teaching of Pope Francis. In Evangelii Gaudium he writes: ‘I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security…. If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life’.

By the way, I tried to "google" "Jesus knocking from within" hoping to find an image for this blog but... could not find it. Hope you do!

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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