Pope Francis spoke to Catechists on Monday about “not being frightened to go beyond your boundaries – God is already there”.
First, starting again from Christ means “being familiar with Him. The first thing, for a disciple, is to stay with the Master, to listen to Him, to learn from Him. … I ask you: how are you in the presence of the Lord? When you go to the Lord, you look at the Tabernacle, what do you do? Do you let the Lord look at you? Let us allow the Lord to watch us. This is a form of prayer. … If in our hearts there is not the warmth of God, of His love, of His tenderness, how can we, poor sinners, warm the hearts of others?”
Secondly, starting again from Christ means “imitating Him in coming out of oneself and going towards others. The more you unite with Jesus and make Him the centre of your life, the more He makes you abandon yourself, decentralise yourself, and open yourself to others. This is the true dynamism of love, this is the movement of God Himself!”
Thirdly, starting again from Christ means “not being afraid to go with Him to the peripheries. When the Lord called on Jonah to go and preach in the great pagan city of Nineveh, he did not feel like doing this.” The story of Jonah “teaches us not to be afraid of going outside our ways of thinking in order to follow God, because God always goes beyond. God is not afraid of the peripheries. If you go to the peripheries, you will find Him there. God is always faithful and creative, and creativity is the pillar of being a catechist. God is creative, He is not closed, and for this reason He is never rigid! He welcomes us, He comes towards us, He understands us. To be faithful, to be creative, it is necessary to know how to change. I prefer a thousand times over a Church afflicted by accidents rather than a sick Church! “Jesus did not say: go out and get by. No, he didn’t say that! Jesus said, go, I am with you! This is our beauty and our strength: if we go, if we go to bring the Gospel with love, with true apostolic spirit, with boldness and candidness, He walks with us, He goes before us.”