Two Touching Images from Evangelii Gaudium
By Teresa Cao Le Huyen
I would like to thank the Organising Committee of ALL Forum for preparing and sharing this helpful program to Vietnamese Youth, especially to me. In my opinion, this program is indispensable. I immediately registered when I received the course’s invitation, one of the reasons is that the course objectives are my current interest. I believe that everybody thinks the same way.
Regarding the presentation on the previous day, about the Evangelii Gaudium Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis – The Joy of the Gospel, there are two pictures that really touched me . The picture of the Church and the other about the economy of exclusion.
The first image of Pope Francis saying that “I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center; which that ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures (n.49). 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, poor Church for the poor”
When I read the words, I realized that a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because of protecting the poor, because of protecting love, is full of the Holy Spirit and brings to the earth great vitality. This is Jesus Christ on the cross. When I think of this picture, I ask myself: What does Church mean to me? Who is Church? Let us go forth, but who? Leaders in Church, or just for Priests and laity? Some ideas were raised in my mind that from the time when I was baptized, I became a part of the Church, I belong to the Church and the Church is me. When Pope Francis mentioned the Church, it does not mean the entire board of leaders but everyone. It is me and everyone around me. I was called to care about others much more than I do myself, in order to contribute to the development of the social community. The Church would be more vivid and the World would be lit up if each of us could give more, go forth to offer.
The second image is about the economy of exclusion. “Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”. (no.53)”
This point has raised the very true problem of today’s world, happening in daily life. Humans are so self-centered, self-interested and self-serving so those excluded become the outcast. And I realized that the form of exclusion is getting more and more sophisticated in many respects. Those excluded are not only the poors who sit on the street, begging or selling lottery tickets but also even healthy, rich people in schools, in town, or at home are being discarded in some ways. Someone is being excluded in others’ thoughts, their opinions are ignored in the working environment, someone’s life seems not to exist in the community. I asked myself many times, in my community and my life environment, who is being excluded? Who am I ignoring? What kind of rejection? Could it be exploitation, boycott, outcast, results- oriented than people-oriented? Ignoring by the cold eyes, by the rude words? The picture of excluded people is so pathetic, and it is more pathetic for the one who are excluding others. Human hearts are getting colder and colder, emotionless and even more emotionless.
Through this session, I had a much deeper understanding of my identity – a Christian and by living my life as the ultimate expression of who I really am – let go forth, then, let go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ, knowing God, show love and respect to others.
I appreciated it a lot. May God bless and reward everybody in ALL Forum.