A Clear Vision
Earlier this year Pope Benedict XVI gave a series of weekly addresses on the Doctors of the Church. On March 30 he spoke about Saint Alphonsus, saying he “had a realistically optimistic vision of the resources of good that the Lord gives to every person.”
A lot in that statement is worth unpacking. Here is what I see at stake:
Because God chose to come among us and make a home in us, there is optimism about the human person. Jesus, being fully human and fully divine, tells us about the future we could have and invites us to grow into a disciple. This invitation is liberating for those who have been crushed by sin, sickness, and poverty—among other things—and gives those with power a reason to pause and reflect on their role in bringing the kingdom of God to life.
Born into Christ’s life through baptism, a person lives in the company of Jesus and his mission. If Jesus finds us worthy objects of his love, which we don’t have to earn, we can confidently say we therefore have the capacity to receive and give other kinds of love, especially sacrificial love.
Knowing what our role is in Christ’s life and mission requires a personal investment of time and a willingness to live the difficult questions Jesus asks. Our humanness allows optimistic vision, but it can still be difficult to embrace the belief that God’s plan will see us through to a more just and peaceful life that begins in this life.
The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer began November 9, 1732. There is much to give thanks for through the work of the Redemptorists, work that continues to this day.
Let’s not forget that this legacy lives in us as we bring our lives to bear on the anxious questions humanity faces, bringing us hope for the new future God offers.