I dream of a ‘missionary option’, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelisation of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation
The parish is not an outdated institution; precisely because it possesses great flexibility, it can assume quite different contours depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the community
An evangelising community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives; it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if necessary.... Evangelisers thus take on the ‘smell of the sheep’, and the sheep are willing to hear their voice.
I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church which is concerned with being at the centre and then ends up being caught up in a web of sessions and procedures.
More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us ‘Give them something to eat’. (Mk 6:37)
And so, the biggest threat of all gradually takes shape: the gray pragmatism of the daily life of the Church, in which all appears to proceed normally, while in reality faith is wearing down and degenerating into small mindedness. A tomb psychology thus develops and slowly transforms Christians into mummies in a museum.