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New wine, old wineskins – Past, present and future
Closing of the Extended General Council
"You don't tear a piece of the future to mend the holes of the present, already old, and preserve the comfort of the known space and the traditional ways of doing."
Father General Arturo Sosa was preaching at the closing of the weeklong Extended Council, which began on 3 September and ended on 7 September at the General Curia, in Rome. In his reflections on the Gospel of the day he said: "Jesus warns us against the temptation to close ourselves in the present for fear of being snatched away by the novelty represented by an uncertain future,"
Referring to the ongoing discernment about universal apostolic preferences of the Society, Father General stated:
"During this week, we have experienced another stage in the long journey of discernment about universal apostolic preferences. We thank the Lord for having accompanied us on this journey and supported us in our search for novelty, so often brought by the freshness and enthusiasm of our companions in the shared mission. We have tried to look at the present human story with the eyes of the Crucified-Resurrected."
In addition, Father General urged the Society to heed the invitation to conversion:
"With the help of those who generously accompanied us in the various sessions - we tried to look at the complex reality of today's world and its tendencies, with the gaze of the crucified-resurrected and our limited reality as a religious and apostolic body. From this gaze the invitation to personal, community and institutional conversion emerged forcefully as a condition for the possibility of serving Christ's mission in the world as part of his sinful Church."
Father Sosa also reminded the Jesuits of the importance of prayer while engaged in the mission of being ministers of reconciliation.
"We have also reiterated the need to heal our wounds and collaborate in the healing of the Church to become ministers of reconciliation in the human story seriously wounded by injustice and sin."
Referring to Saint Paul, Father General urged the congregation to always remember that "We are stewards of the mysteries of God. Attention: stewards, not owners or masters. They are the mysteries of God and must remain so. Paul concludes: what is required of stewards is that each one be faithful. This also requires fasting and prayer, to receive the gift of fidelity in the service of faith and the promotion of justice and reconciliation."
Father Sosa concluded his homily with an expression of gratitude to the Lord.
"With a heart full of gratitude for so many gifts received from the Lord in our journey as an apostolic body and for the graces received during this week, we also turn to Mary and Joseph. They were the couple who knew how to visit the future and prepare new skins to receive the newness of God, so that they may lead us by the hand in the direction of the encounter with Jesus and we can become messengers of hope."
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