For Bonaventure, as for Scotus, Christ’s redemptive work relates to the overcoming of sin, but it does so in a way that brings God’s creative action in the world to completion. This notion of redemption-completion, underscoring the primacy of Christ, allows for a broader view of salvation, one focused not on sin but on the primacy of love. In this respect, redemption is creative; it is that healing of the brokenness within humanity and Creation that enables the cosmic process to be completed, in which completion itself is a dynamic process of continuous Creation that is oriented toward the new Creation. Redemption, therefore, is not being “saved from” but rather being made “whole for” the healing and wholeness of God’s Creation, and this wholeness is ultimately the transformation of created reality through the unitive power of God’s creative love.
There is probably no culture in which people are so unabashedly encouraged to seek power as ours. From the moment we set out on our climb to the top we make ourselves believe that striving for power and wanting to be of service are, for all practical purposes, the same thing. This fallacy is so deeply ingrained in our whole way of living that we do not hesitate to strive for influential positions in the conviction that we do so for the good of the Reign of God …. But the mystery of our ministry is that we are called to serve not with our power but with our powerlessness. lt is through powerlessness that we can enter into solidarity with our fellow human beings, form a community with the weak, and thus reveal the healing, guiding, and sustaining mercy of God.
Our Holy Father, St. Francis, reminded us, through his desire to recreate the scene of the Incarnation at Greccio, that we are ONE in our Lord. The question for each of us to consider throughout this season of anticipation is, what can we, as sisters and brothers to one another, do to rekindle the spark of the Spirit’s fire and enthusiasm within each of us and within our Fraternities so that we may open our hearts to hearing, healthing and healing one another so that together, as family, we can journey into the new year with open minds and open hearts to the direction of Him who has called us? May the Spirit of the living God grant us the grace to be available as Mary was so that we may respond to His call to rekindle the fire within us not only individually but fraternally, thereby doing what is ours to do in this time and in this place.
The Miracles of the Church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.
~Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop
We are disciples of Jesus Christ whose power and influence reach to most corners of the world. We are called to bring healing, help and hope to the places where it is needed most, especially to the most vulnerable of our fellow members of the Body of Christ. We, too, have the Spirit of the Lord upon us, and we have been anointed to embody the mission of Christ in our lives and in our world.
This is our destiny; this is what we are called to do. The greatest tragedy of all would be for us to settle for anything less.
~Francis Gunn, OFM from “Thoughts on Impact of Haiti’s Catastrophe“