Very dear Team members:
We hear in various places and in diverse media the invitation to change into a church which “goes forth”. Moreover, Teams of Our Lady want to share this ecclesiastical invitation and also be “Teams which go forth”. It is important that we think about what this means.
There are various ways of “going forth”.
We can think of it as a going forth “inwardly” into our own selves. The world of instantaneous communication, and the contemporary communications media and technologies, often make us lose sight or forget to gaze into our own interior beings. And then, a “going forth” can be one of entering into ourselves, diving deep to seek out the essence. Going forth inwardly, although it seems contradictory, represents the possibility of recognising ourselves as who we truly are, and from there, thinking about the exterior world.
Equally, it can mean a going forth “outwardly”. It involves the capacity to recognise everything that happens beyond our frontiers. It means learning to lose our self-reference in order to recognise what is good and holy that can be found outside ourselves. It is the power to enter into a true dialogue with the contemporary world and its sensibilities, criteria, values and views. In this way, by actively listening, we allow ourselves to be challenged and touched by what occurs around us and not just within our closed realm.
“Going forth” means having a missionary disposition that is a characteristic of being a disciple of the Lord Jesus. It means that the pain and suffering, the needs and anxieties of our known and unknown brothers and sisters, develop a feeling within us that awakens compassionate mercy, solidarity and the possibility of offering concrete answers. This response emerges from our faith in Jesus and our membership of the Church and the Movement.
The practices of remaining attentive and “going forth” involve letting go of those convictions and prejudices that prevent us from gaining new insights. We are challenged to stopping thinking about ourselves as the only ones in possession of the absolute truth, because this prevents the external world from teaching us about new paths to follow and new ideas to explore. It means knowing that by being locked into tradition, habit and an attitude that “we have always done it this way”, can possibly lead to an oxidation of life. Closing the doors and windows leads to stagnation and corrosion. Opening them up might let in a little bit of dust, but this is easily cleaned away. However, the mould caused by stagnation is much more difficult to eliminate.
“Going forth” means learning to look at others in a different way. It involves having another point of view.
I would like to propose to Team members that, for a few minutes, we look today at the world from another perspective, and by doing this some new insights will emerge…
At the end of this year of 2019, I offer my affectionate greetings to each and every Team member! I would like to invite everyone to allow fresh air to enter their lives, so that they may breathe with renewed confidence and good health.
May the Lord Jesus, the Liberating Christ, be the one who guides our journey.
A fraternal embrace,
P. Ricardo Londono Dominguez,