16 Nov Be instruments of Hope | Conclusion of the 2018 Meeting with the Visitators General
The 2018 Meeting between the Minister General and General Definitory and the Visitators General was held from the 12th to the 16th of November at the OFM General Curia.
Yesterday we heard a Gospel passage that discouraged speculation on what will happen at the ‘end times.’ I believe today’s Gospel goes even further. Earlier in the Gospel we see the signs of the presence of the Kingdom of God — for example, the parable of the Merciful Father; Lazarus and the rich man; and the healing of the ten lepers. These all help to understand better the meaning of the words: “The Kingdom of God is [already] in your midst” (Luke 17:21). This affirmation reflects an extremely positive anthropological vision of humanity. For too long, Christianity has focused on God’s judgment, on sin and the breaking of covenant faith with God by the community of Israel, and later by the followers of Jesus. It is incontestable that humanity has broken faith with God, with other human beings, and with itself in idolatrous pursuit of a self-interest that does little to promote God’s Kingdom of justice, forgiveness and peace foreshadowed in Mary’s Magnificat. Nevertheless, God’s overwhelming and uncontrollable love for humanity goes beyond sin and seeks restoration of each and every human being, and of all of the created universe.
I sincerely hope that, as your stay here comes to an end, the words of today’s reading from the letter of St. John will resonate with you: “I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth.” May you have found friars who desire to live according to the Kingdom in their entities, in spite of the vicissitudes and adversities they may encounter.
As you go out from here, be instruments of hope and effective signs of the presence of the Kingdom of God in our midst. Let us continue this celebration by praying that each one of us might walk by faith, placing all of our trust in God, and allowing the values of God’s Kingdom to take root in our hearts. “The Kingdom of God is justice and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit! Come Lord, and open in us the gates of your Kingdom!”