January 1995: What has happened?
A few facts
The press release of Jacques Gaillot ( January 13 1995)
I am happy to see in this assembly a so diverse variety
of men and women. By your aspects, your so different talented
gifts, you enlighten my life.
Let us rejoice at the diversity of our assembly. We need
each other to live in a creative way. Here we gather
together to open the book of Life.
The body of Christ is the people of God, here, in Evreux and everywhere in the world. It is made of all the believers, of all the communities coming from afar to be here and now the people of God gathered for the Eucharist, to give thanks. The body of Christ, the people of God is a whole that must not be broken, neither by people, neither here, nor there. Jesus tells us, "Be one that the world may believe that you have sent me". (John 17 v.21.)
The body of Christ does not yet fully exist as long as there are walls between people, and furthermore, between Christians, as long as all those "who have been quenched by the One Spirit" will not be truly acknowledged in a brotherly love by their brethren. The body of Christ, the people of God, which you are presently, is a place of compassion and sharing. When someone suffers, all the members share that suffering, if someone is honored, all share his/her joy.
All who are present give the people of God a future. You
are the body of Christ. Each one has his/her share in it as members
of his body. Each of us, wherever we are, whoever we are, is
responsible. And this responsibility of the people of God has
a name: mission. The Gospel according to Luke reminds us that
this is the mission of Christ himself and it comes from God.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me for he has anointed
Today this passage of the Scripture sees its fulfillment, as you sit listening. It is fulfilled when we proclaim it in the present tense and in the plural form. The Lord sends us - you and I - on different paths that are and will be ours. Today the Lord sends us everywhere to meet women and men to proclaim the same good tidings of happiness.
That I have lived here, with you, in the diocese of Evreux, that I have lived elsewhere under all kind of circumstances and opportunities, clearly shows me that these words of Christ are the only way to the mission. Any Christian, any community, any Church who does not follow first and foremost the paths of people's distress, has no chance of being heard as a carrier of the Good News. That any woman or man, any community, any Church who does not become first and foremost a friend for everybody, will not be able to find the path of their heart, the secret place where the Good News can be welcomed.
As far as I am concerned, in communion with the Church,
I will pursue my way, bringing the Good News to the poor. The
Gospel is a message of freedom and love. To proclaim God, today,
is to fight for the people's freedom whoever they are. The freedom
to become a true human being means also to be able to live in
sympathy with others, especially to be the voice of the voiceless.
The body of Christ is not achieved; it is being built. Let us
give it a future, each one in our own way, with respect for the
others, with a liberty of conscience and of speech, with an opening
to the world that in its turn looks for paths to its future.
Each one of us is a small cell: necessary for its life. When
it feels hurt, bashed, excluded, it is the whole body that suffers.
Let us accompany it with brotherly love, without fear, on these
ways, which are often new, and disturbing for us; but so fascinating
and carriers of hope. Mission goes on. It has not yet met its
end. Let us give it a future, each one according to his/her call,
according to events, each one according to his/her gifts.
Jesus is the poor, the excluded in whom we find ourselves. Paradoxically, it is in him that the future finds an opening, in whom Hope is rooted. The Church must be the Church of those who are excluded and not a Church that excludes. Christ has known this path in his flesh:
The path of dereliction, of unfair condemnation, of exclusion.
That flood of trust and solidarity that started today must
not fall back.
When people start expressing their thoughts, there is no more fear, no more dread but new energies are deployed everywhere.