“The Church has failed to implement Gaudium et Spes.” This was my first locution and if I’m a betting man it will be my last. Why would I say this? Because it was given in the context of who I am, a man of the gospel. I’m the one trump wonder. Give me a chance to preach to a mob of unbelievers the revelation of Jesus Christ and I can feel the fire of love burn within for souls.
In Vatican 2, the Church was described as the people of God at length. What the locution didn’t do was draw any attention to government, individual groups, structures, religious orders, or the sacramental priesthood. Sometimes revelation is more profound by what isn’t said.
It was given in Latin as official, that is the pronouncement to me was to be taken as an official dilemma. No romantic language or imagery was present, the Church as a generic term, not all of Christendom, but particularly the Catholic Church.
The Bishops captured the heart of the Holy Spirit, but it has failed to translate into the hearts of the faithful.
The text opens with a cry of compassion for humanity, calling forth solidarity with the human race that would dare fellowship with its sufferings. The text does a series of reflections on the human condition, and the great answer to our need at the end of each chapter. JC!
The later chapters continue reflections upon social justice in light of the Church.
When God speaks a word to a child about a certain situation, it is tailor made; The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been burning in my soul waiting for 8 years to be unleashed. God knows this better than anybody about me. So in my subjective opinion this document is the fire of God that we must be consumed by. It is the final word of Vatican 2 for the Saints to arise–a call to arms!
A call for the church militant to arise in the mighty Spirit of the Lord and go forth and preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love! If you’re reading this you have more gospel in you than you have even proven in your life. No study or reflection is required, just a voice prepared to call forth the Kingdom of God.
Testify of the foolishness of Christ; be willing to be laughed at. It is through the foolishness of preaching that the Gospel is brought forth in power. The scripture is within you, the word of your testimony is within you, but you must speak, take courage for God will go with you.
We need a new Dominic to go into the highways and byways of the world, an army of John the Baptists to declare with force and fire the mysteries of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Here I am Lord, send me. I have been cloistered against my will for eight years. Soft sell Catholicism is good, but with Francis and Dominic even better. Where are God’s Padua’s and Xavier’s!
We need not waste our days questioning the answers, we have them! The Church has given them to us, even without error. What we need is the Church to shine with all her light–the light of faith once received.
We need an army of implementers of the revelation given, men and women of heroic faith to go forth and preach the eternal kingdom of our God and of His Christ.
Friends, brothers and sisters, this locution wasn’t even about the document itself, it was about our failure to implement its faith given. The call is to us, not the document–a call for change, a call for love, a call for mourning over souls headed for hell, yes hell.
The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe. I will be reflecting over the document in coming posts, but more importantly I will be reflecting over us, the Church, and what we can do to implement the Bishop’s appeal to the world.
Lord, send me! Send me to the streets. Send me to the world. Send me to the city. Let me preach your Holy Word to a lost and dying world.