The sixteenth article of the Permanent Formation program reflects on the importance of the mission of the Augustinian Recollects in today’s society.
Globalization is creating various changes in all aspects of life. It has even transformed how we live out our faith and do our mission today. Many would agree that the vineyard sown by the first disciples was completely different compared to what the OAR missioners are now trying to evangelize. If one is to take his gaze away from today’s technological advancement, its innovations in trade, the banking system, and social media, he will still notice that the values and principles of each person today are practically the same. This is a clear sign that almost every person in the world is now a part of the “world society”. And the physical and social boundaries that challenged the mission of the Church, such as geographical distance, language, cultural and political barriers, etc. are now gradually disappearing.
Globalization as it facilitates the advancement of technology and influx of vast unfiltered pieces of information to every mind has made human life fast-paced, complicated, confusing, tiring, and inter-dependent. It is very obvious that globalization is leading the world towards some sort of relativism and at the same time subconsciously motivated each individual towards the Truth. Today, every human soul seems to have “lost the sense of history” and is on his own in their quest for what is True. But with the limitless variety of things and demands that globalization is offering, the human person, instead of growing is becoming lost and depressed, as globalization is claimed to be the major cause of the increasing number of mental illness and depression cases in the world. Instead of taking these as a negative reality, missionaries/preachers should see this as an opportunity because it manifests that today’s society is now in search of meaning that they can only find in Christ.
The world is seemingly taking its journey in becoming one; is more than in any time in history, in need of the Gospel. Just as “Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hb 13,8), the Church’s mission remains the same; to proclaim the Gospel to all nations (Mk 16,15). This makes us certain that the command that Christ has given us is always unchanging and ever relevant. And with this, the Church’s task is to become inclusive and make the Gospel more appealing and accessible to all. Those who proclaim the Good News should leave their authoritative, lecture-oriented, dry, and closed-minded way of proclamation and catechism; to a more intimate, timely, existential, and joyful approach. Just as Christ truly enjoys talking with his people; “every preacher should strive to communicate that same enjoyment to his listeners.”
The mission of the Church has anticipated and somehow facilitated the spread of globalization in our society today. Setting aside today’s trade and financial mechanism in which globalization is claimed to be experienced and said to be have started, globalization as a phenomenon was also born or if not, fast-forwarded by the missionary endeavors of the Church.