As sisters and brothers, let us communicate…2nd stage

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Pastoral Letter:

AS SISTERS AND BROTHERS, LET US COMMUNICATE…

 2nd stage: (January- February 2007)

A few Gospel reminders about communication

 

In the first stage of our exercise (November-December) we realized that communication bothers us! Let’s go a little further, drawing our inspiration from our faithful guide: the Gospel.

 A. The bar is high… In his teaching and his actions Jesus raised the bar very high when it comes to communication. Imagine! He would like to see our human relationships being like the one he has with his Father.“May they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you”. (Jn 17:21) That is asking a lot! But it also encourages us. I say to myself: every time that we try to communicate well with each other,‘as sisters and brothers”, God himself slips into our world through us. It’s often said that God is absent from our world today. Maybe we have an easy way of making him present again, that is, through good and true communication among ourselves…

B. Jesus showed us the example: Jesus never ceased to show this spirit of love that existed between himself and his Father. He showed it in his contacts with others. For example: People wanted to kill the adulterous woman but he intervenes by saying: “If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”(Jn 8:7). He sees people quarrelling with each other and he says:“If you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first and then come back and present your offering.” (Mt.5:23-24)To the people who asked him to bring down fire from the heavens on a village in Samaria that refused to accept him, Jesus “rebuked them”(Lk 9:54). To the people who continually level criticism at others, he says: “Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own?”(Lk 6:41) Finally, he gives every person time to journey, as we see with the disciples of Emmaus. Having joined them on the road, he walks a long way with them. Saint Luke even goes to the trouble of saying that Emmaus is“seven miles from Jerusalem” (Lk 24:13) Jesus takes all this time to be with the disciples of Emmaus in their deep disappointment and great anxiety. Even if it was late, approaching their house, he did not impose on them:‘he made as if to go on”.(Lk 24:28).

C. The Church has to make ‘conversation’: In his Encyclical on the ‘Mystery of the Church’ (1964), Pope Paul VI reminds the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council (Fides Ed., p.63) that the Church must make ‘ conversation’ with the world. This word ‘conversation’ evokes a spirit of welcome, of respect, of listening and of dialogue in trust. Alas, we are made in such a way that we want to see instant results! But what if we attain those results to the detriment of human relationships! That would be like building a house on sand. All I want to do here is to open the conversation. It is up to you to continue it with the help of the questions that follow.

†Paul Marchand, S.M.M.

Bishop of Timmins

 

Pastoral Letter:

 As sisters and brothers, let us communicate…

2nd  part: A few Gospel reminders

 

 QUESTIONS

 

1. What words or expressions would you use to describe the way in which Jesus communicated with the people around him?

 

2. What words or expressions would you use to describe the way in which we communicate, in general, within our Church?

 

3. What words or expressions would you use to describe the way in which we communicate within our parish?

 

4. What tools does our parish currently use in order to communicate? Are you satisfied with them?

 

5. What tools does your family, your school, your workplace, your municipality use in order to communicate? Are you satisfied with them?

 

6. Jesus sent us out to communicate. If Jesus suddenly appeared in our midst, what points would He suggest that we emphasize more?