change and be changed

change and be changed

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one of the greatest gifts that i have on mission here in baguio city is that i am able to work, grow, learn, and enjoy life alongside an MSC – sure, she is 70, and 70 years of wisdom and then some is definitely bustling inside of her. the best part, is that i get to pick her brain and she shares with me stories upon stories, and key learnings that i know i will keep with me for life. such a gift!

in the past recent months, we have been making it a point to have a day of recollection for ourselves, as the leaders of our pastoral ministry. it’s important to re-group with each other, and put aside time to intentionally talk about how we feel our individual mission and collective mission is going.

following the methodology, SEE, DISCERN, ACT, CELEBRATE, this is how we reflect, and we usually go over some writings to help focus our discussion and to inform our mission experience from the past month.

for this month, we went over an article called, Prophetic Dialogue: Mission Paradigm in a Pluralistic Society by Samuel N. Agcaracar, SVD. this article came from a book on Religious Life in Asia, so it’s perfect!

sister t and i were blown away specifically by the last four points of the article, but there were other gems in this article too:

* “Prophets are known for their boldness to fight for transformation.”
* “In prophetic dialogue, it is not so much that we see ourselves as prophets of the Kingdom; rather it is our dialogue with people who are different from us that points to the Kingdom. We give witness to others, the others give witness to us…”
* Buzzwords in today’s pluralistic world: openness, flexibility, mobility, adaptability, innovation…

“Pernia notes, missio dei ‘is a fundamental insight that requires a fundamental change in our view of mission – that is, a change from seeing mission as ‘our mission’ or the ‘Church’s mission’ to seeing mission as primarily God’s mission.”

Antonio Pernia, the SVD Superior General called for “four fundamental conversions: from activism to contemplation; from rugged individualism to collaboration; from conquest to dialogue; and from evangelizer to being evangelized.”

…and so, it is these conversions that sister t and i spent some time discussing…we found that they were right on point to our mission experiences, especially, our mission experience here together in the philippines…

from activism to contemplation
He writes, “Contemplation helps us realize that ‘our participation in mission is fundamentally an encounter with mystery – the mystery of the Triune God who calls all of humanity to share in his life and glory.”

“Paul VI says: ‘Modern humanity listens more willingly to witness than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.'”

from rugged individualism to collaboration
“As missionaries, we must avoid the extreme of demanding that our faith be preeminent and, alternatively, we must not reduce others to a common denominator, as if our distinctiveness matters most….With the lens of missio Dei, we must realize that our call to mission is really a call to share in God’s mission, which implies a call to collaborate with God, first of all, and with all others who are similarly called by God.”

“Dorr identifies an antidote trait of a missionary, that is, one who sees the world today where he himself can no longer be a ‘lonely ranger’ but must be a team and community person. Collaboration, then, is not just a strategy but an essential characteristic of mission.”

“In maintaining such a perspective we are free to celebrate different religious traditions and ideologies without fear. It allows us to open the door to explore each other’s faith and work with them toward the good of humanity.”

from conquest to dialogue
“…the proper approach to mission is not to dogmatically promote our conviction on certain ideological trust and absolutes to assert their relevance. Instead, the relevance of our faith is seen in the way we allow it to shape our lives such that we become ourselves testimonies to such truth.”

” Missio Dei acknowledges that God has been in dialogue with all peoples from the beginning. Other religious and cultural traditions, therefore, contain ‘seeds of the Word’ or ‘rays of Light.’ Hence, the missionary today is called to evangelize from a position of lowliness and humility. He or she will not seek power – economic, cultural, technological, or even media power. The only power he or she will need is the power of the Word and of the Spirit; and that power is the power of love, which is manifested in self-giving.”

from only evangelizing to also being evangelized
“Prophetic dialogue underlines the fact that mission is a two-way exchange of gifts between missionaries and the people with whom they work. Consequently, ‘the missionaries must be ready to give and receive, to evangelize and be evangelized, to speak and to listen. They must learn to walk with the people and respect the pace of the people’s walking. They must be prepared to change and be changed, to form and be formed, to invite to conversion, and be converted.”

and lastly…”The way we live as Christians – which is to live in mission – is constantly to live in dialogue with and discerning our context, and correlating that context with the broader and older Christian tradition.”

live in mission! AAAAAMEN! 🙂

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