We too are the Church

Meeting people sometimes makes your heart jump for joy. So was it at Salzburg in the Spring of 1995. Two people came to see me. They loved their Church and that was the cause of their suffering. They had no special responsibilities, no status which would give poise to their intervention. But it happened that an event has led them to act and take an initiative : to ask Christians to sign a request.

I admired the humble beginning. When God wants to make big things, he spurs men and women in the midst of simple daily life, when the time is right. It is his way of doing. And He has not changed.

The two people who spoke to me, were expecting an answer. I felt I had to give them a word of encouragement : " you take initiatives. I am happy. Keep up ! "

That request has known an unsuspected success in Austria and in Germany. It now takes on an international dimension.

Many Christians feel the need to live the Gospel anew in the concrete of their daily lives. They are fond of freedom, anxious of tolerance, democracy and pluralism. They want to be Christians in another way. They want to live the Christian message in our modern world. They want to give meaning to their lives and their choices through their faith in Christ. Without delay and waiting for orders from above. Their do not want to be reduced to being mere performers.

It is a long way to go. It will not happen without difficulties and criticisms. But if it is the Spirit of God which prompts the grassroot Christians to amend the Church, who will stop it ? In the people of God, maturity has come off. It is the fruit of the Vatican II Council. It is a beginning bearing hope.

Jacques Gaillot

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