EG 224-225: On Short-Term Gains

Vasnetsov_Maria_MagdalenePope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, wonders:

224. Sometimes I wonder if there are people in today’s world who are really concerned about generating processes of people-building, as opposed to obtaining immediate results which yield easy, quick short-term political gains, but do not enhance human fullness.

I think there are such people. Sadly, the oligarchs of the world have largely chased such people away. Building people takes place locally, sometimes under the heel of the boot of the powerful.

Let’s have a leader in last century’s Liturgical Movement weigh in:

History will perhaps judge the latter with the criterion set forth by Romano Guardini: “The only measure for properly evaluating an age is to ask to what extent it fosters the development and attainment of a full and authentically meaningful human existence, in accordance with the peculiar character and the capacities of that age”.[Das Ende der Neuzeit, Würzburg, 1965, 30-31]

How does our age stack up? Not at all well, I would say. Has it ever been much better than this? There are some who might debate that point, and align with a very pessimistic view of Western Civilization.

Are we Christians prepared to take the long view in furthering the mission (Matthew 28:19-20) of the Gospel?

225. This criterion also applies to evangelization, which calls for attention to the bigger picture, openness to suitable processes and concern for the long run. The Lord himself, during his earthly life, often warned his disciples that there were things they could not yet understand and that they would have to await the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 16:12-13). The parable of the weeds among the wheat (cf. Mt 13:24-30) graphically illustrates an important aspect of evangelization: the enemy can intrude upon the kingdom and sow harm, but ultimately  he is defeated by the goodness of the wheat.

And among us, we still have people who insist on usurping the role of the Last Judge and placing themselves on the seat of (not-so-much) mercy. Are we so sure those ready with judgment are not themselves weeds among the wheat? Thoughts?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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