Friday, August 6, 2010

The Best Thing About Being a Bishop ... Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez, OFM

In an interview with Michael Sean Winters at NCR, Archbishop Gonzalez of San Juan, Puerto Rico, shares what is the best thing for him about being a bishop:  the "new evangelization".  It can't be easy to be a bishop, especially this year, so this bishop's affirmation is a real sign that all is well. 

I am noticing a new enthusiasm in the Church for what are often small communities of people sharing an intense Christian life.  In my parish, our pastor recently went out of his way to meet with and invite our little CL group to start having School of Community at the parish again and to welcome the parishioners to join us.  Instead of being just accommodated, there seems to be a new push to seek out the life of the Church and bring it forward where it can be seen.  The archbishop's emphasis below on the word "organism" as life, as opposed to a program, underlines this phenomenon.  This excitement is something that pushes me to want to live the charism more fully, because someone else sees something new that I don't want to take for granted.
The best thing about being a bishop in 2010 is to see the call for a “new evangelization” begin to come to fruition....

One of the areas where we see this new evangelization at work is in the new ecclesial movements such as Communion & Liberation, the Neo-Catechumenal Way, and Focolare. These groups are finding new ways to invite believers to deepen their relationship with the Lord, new ways to express their experience of faith, new ways to proclaim the Gospel to our modern culture which often seems awash in a sea of relativism and despair.

In announcing the new pontifical Council for the New Evangelization in June, Pope Benedict XVI used an interesting word. He said, “I have decided to create a new organism, in the form of a pontifical council, with the principal task of promoting a renewed evangelization in the countries where the first proclamation of faith has already resounded and where there are churches of ancient foundation present, but which are living through a progressive secularization of society and a kind of ‘eclipse of the sense of God,’” The word “organism” indicates to me that the bishops of our day, with their clergy and lay faithful, must see this new evangelization not in programmatic or bureaucratic terms, but as a way of life, rooted in the event of Jesus Christ, growing in new and creative ways. It is exciting to be a bishop at a time when our apostolic calling to spread the Good News once again is the focus of new and exciting ways, spreading the Gospel to a culture that is as hungry for God as was the Mediterranean culture to which Sts. Peter and Paul preached.

Q & A: Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez, OFM

No comments: