Card. Tagle: God is the great opener of doors

Photo: Fr Anataloni IMC
 Card Luis Tagle addressed the Consolata Missionaries gathered in Rome for the Chapter

A Theological and Missionary Reflection 
on Paul and Barnabas Istituto Missioni Consolata 
23 May 2017

+ Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle

At the outset, I would like to thank all of you, especially Fr. Stefano Camerlengo for inviting me to give a reflection as you prepare for your generai chapter. A word of thanks also to Bishop Jose Luis Ponce de Leon for facilitating my communication with Fr. Stefano.

It is obvious that a continuing study (with research and theological reflection) on the evangelizing mission of the Church is much needed today, given the changing global landscape that cannot, does not and will not leave the Church and its mission unaffected. When we hear of the 65 million refugees scattered all over the world, the 20 million people going hungry because of drought in some parts of Africa, the ongoing wars, the spread of hatred towards strangers and the misuse of religion, just to name a few, we cannot pretend that the Church and mission could remain "business as usual.” The call of the "new evangelization" for new fervor, new methods and new expressions becomes urgent but leaves us with complex and confusing realities to face.

We also have received and continue to receive a missionary impulse from Pope Francis in his now famous dictum, "una Chiesa in uscita verso le periferie esistenziali." He provides his unique personal mark to the missionary calling of the Church for our times with powerful gestures and surprising decisions. But it is important not to leave his expressions or terminologies as slogans or formulae constantly repeated but not reflected upon theologically and within the concrete and varied experiences of mission.

Taking all of this into consideration, let us reflect on Paul and Barnabas and their missionary wisdom. I will not attempt to give a full meditation on their rich missionary enterprise as narrated in the Acts of the Apostles and in Paul's letters. 1 can only choose a few items to serve as points or invitation for prayer and meditation. But to start with a more comprehensive view, let me share briefly what Fr. James Kroeger, MM (Paul's Mission Principles, Bible Today 2009) calls Paul's 10 Mission Principles: 1) a deep awareness of vocation: mission originates in the call of God; 2) radical commitment to Christ: mission envisions a totally Christ-centered life; 3) voluntary acceptance of suffering: vulnerability and acceptance of the cross authenticate mission; 4) insightful mission methods: mission demands creative, inculturated, ever-renewed approaches to evangelization; 5) urgent Gospel proclamation: mission has lost none of its urgency in the contemporary world; 6) deep love of the Church: mission and love of the people who constitute the Church go hand in hand; 7) dose collaboration with coworkers: all apostolic ministry is enhanced through collaborative efforts; 8) commitment to social transformation: the gospel message of human dignity and equality, if embraced, leads to social transformation; 9) effective, exemplary lifestyle: the witness of a Christian life is the first and often most effective proclamation of the Gospel; 10) total reliance on God's providence: mission always remains "God's project” and evangelizers seek to be God's faith-filled, humble instruments. With Fr. Kroeger's summary as an overview, let me now focus on some specific aspects of the missionary wisdom of Paul and Barnabas that could help become una Chiesa in uscita for our times.

Click HERE to download the full address


About Me

My photo

Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

Social Media


Follow by Email


Created with flickr badge.



Theme Support

Need our help to upload or customize this blogger template? Contact me with details about the theme customization you need.