“Curved Over” the Word

Today, Fr. Vincenzo Marras, the new provincial superior of the SSPs of Italy, celebrated Mass for us. Commenting on the Gospel of the day (Mark’s account of the Transfiguration), Fr. Vincenzo emphasized the importance of listening: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him” (Mk. 9:7) in the light of our theme: Imbued with the Word, we trace out paths of hope. A particularly significant thought from his homily was the following:

We are able to take the Word to others if we are “curved over” it. But let us remember that it was the Word who first “curved over us” through the Incarnation of the Son of God. To be imbued with the Word means to curve over it, to “humble ourselves before it” so as to be able to speak words that save, that disclose new horizons, that unleash unexpected energies. It means speaking words that free others rather than imprison them; words that are prophetic because they allow people to glimpse the Word that is the bedrock of our words. This is the sole purpose of our mission.

Continuing the work we began yesterday, in the general assembly we sought to come to a convergence of thought concerning the key problem we face today as apostles of the Word. Afterward, first in our small work groups and then once again on the assembly level, we discussed possible orientations with regard to content, methodology and modes of in-volvement, so as to offer this input to the Commission set up to prepare our upcoming conti-nental meetings on the apostolate and administration.

This phase of our itinerary (which took two full days to complete) proved to be a sound introduction to the work of redesigning our apostolate in response to the second priori-ty of the Chapter. Like every process, it will be carried out in stages: the preparation and hold-ing of our continental meetings; the transmission of their content to our communities and ap-ostolic sectors, an evaluation of what was accomplished, and a report of this to the 10th Gen-eral Chapter.

We want to thank as of now the General Government and the Commission set up to prepare these meetings for listening so attentively to our desires and for their commitment to helping us improve our Pauline mission and update it by reinforcing consolidated initiatives and by encouraging us to courageously open ourselves to the “digital world.”