Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Courage To Change our Seats

Pope Francis in his first Apostolic Exhortation: Joy of the Gospel presents the Pope's vision for a Church which shares the gospel with enthusiasm and vitality.  "Pastoral ministry in a missionary key seeks to abandon the complacent attitude that says: “We have always done it this way”. I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities (#33).

Saint Augustine of Hippo is quoted as saying: "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." We need to be bold, adventurous and creative if we are to be open to the movements of grace that come to us daily.

A university professor writing for a diocesan bulletin gives us some ideas that he has gathered from his own teaching experience. Students have shown him two different realities in the classroom that are seen in life on a larger scale.

1) Once the student has selected a seat in the classroom rarely do you see a change. The ones who sit on the sides or in the back are always the same.

2)  The chance that the one who sits beside the student will develop into a friendship is very high.

Once you are interacting with a person a few times the contact feels comfortable and the relationship becomes friendly.

Our situation in life, the place where we sit, will determine pretty much the view we have of life. The professor says sadly, this is the reality in most cases. More than we would like to think, we are limited by our passivity to see beyond what is around us. It's  easy to stay with the familiar. We are not adventurous, have the courage or diligence to want to change.

Happiness comes as a gift, according to the professor, to those who are not fixated in one place but are adventurous. He finishes the article by hoping he will be an example to the students on how to be adventurous, courageous and diligent.

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