Lord, I never wanted to be separated from You.

The New Evangelization Means Nothing More than Opening Hearts and Ears to the Word of God


A Homily delivered by Bishop Markus B├╝chel of St.Gallen
at the General Assembly of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences
30 September 2012

Dear faithful, here in this Church and in your homes,
The readings of the Holy Scriptures for this Sunday provide an important thrust in support of our commitment to find Christ:

Moses guided the People of God from slavery in Egypt towards freedom, but the journey through the desert was hard and trying, and the future was uncertain. The people complained, and asked to go back. Moses, alone, felt tired and asked for the help of the Lord. In the book of Numbers we read (11:25): And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesized, and did not cease. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. The Spirit hovers where it chooses, and those who are apparently alien to the logic of the Gospel can become an instrument of Grace. In the new union Christ distributed the gifts of the Spirit to all those who were ready to receive them. The Second Vatican Council uses the image of the Pilgrim Church to represent the journey in time of the People of God. As shepherds of the flock, we hope we will recognize and support vocations, as well as the intellectual gifts of the men of the Church, so they may be put to the fruitful service of the latter. Moreover, the New Evangelization means nothing more than opening hearts and ears to the word of God, and rediscovers the community with Christ, so rich in spirit.
In the Epistle of James (5:1-6), the community is faced with yet another form of imprisonment – that of being prisoners of earthly existence, of wellbeing, of possession. - Men who are familiar with the positive side of life and the world are exhorted not to lose track of the deepest riches in life. Nowadays many people suffer a want of important inner values. Those who let the love of Christ transform their own lives know that the Son of Man in the time of judgment will ask us how we behaved towards our poor and needy sisters and brothers. We, as Church in the world and in society have been ascribed a clear commitment. This is why we are grateful for the diaconical actions of Christian faithful, and for the fact that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, is always present on the global stage to address the major themes of peace, freedom and justice.
We shall conclude with a third reflection on the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 9:38-43):
Jesus is fighting against evil, against the enemy, but when he is with mankind, he knows no extremism. The wise words: “for whoever is not against us is for us” help us assume an openness to the encounter towards other persons, taking them where they are – meeting them in the spirit of communion and guiding them along the path that will lead to HIM, to Christ, who said of himself: “I am the path, the truth, life.”
Let us pray today for this redeeming love, the love for Christ and for our neighbors, a love that prevails over all forms of desperation and resignation, bestowing courage and faith.

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