• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Tuesday, 28 May 2019 10:51

Faithful to the Word. One with the people

 

Henry Headshot 2019 150 Light backgroundIt’s marvellous the power that words can have to focus our attention and efforts, especially when they are distilled down into a motto.

This has certainly been the case for me since learning of the new motto for the Society of the Divine Word: ‘Faithful to the Word, One with the People’.

The motto, which will be the guiding statement for the SVD across the world over the next six years, grew out of the last General Chapter and will help the Society to implement the resolutions and recommendations of that Chapter.

It contains two key ideas, which are of course, interrelated.

The first is ‘Faithful to the Word’. What do we mean by this?

The Superior-General, Fr Paul Budi Kleden SVD and the Leadership Team, have explained that it begins with the statement from St John that “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8).

“Love is self-communicating, moving out from oneself to reach out to others. The Word is the expression of God’s love,” they wrote in a recent article.

They say that in different ways, especially in the Incarnate Word (Jesus), God touches us and enables us to spark hope in those who find themselves in the darkness of despair, to inspire others to promote what is right and life-giving, and to heal those who “are wounded because of the injustice and arrogance of the powers-that-be”.

“This is the essence of our mission. It flows from the inner-self of God as love, inviting us to participate in the movement of reaching out to others.

“Therefore, the loving relationship with God is the fundament of our missionary commitment.”

The second part of the motto – ‘One with the People’ – points to the radical act of solidarity that is the Incarnation. In other words, God became man so that he could become one with humankind and bring us into communion with Him and with one another.

To be in solidarity with all people, means to confront unjust and oppressive societal structures and to seek out the poorest and most marginalised, as Jesus did. We have to be courageous in promoting and transforming human society.

And, to be ‘One with the People’, also means for us, as Divine Word Missionaries, to learn to immerse ourselves in the culture of the people whom we serve, to speak their language and to respect their traditions.

It’s only a few words, but ‘Faithful to the Word, One with the People’, is rich in meaning and gives us much to ponder on and to put into action.

I suspect our founding father, St Arnold Janssen would like this motto very much, as it serves to refocus us once again on his original vision for a missionary society, adapted and distilled for the pressing needs of our world today.