Tuesday, March 10, 2015
"Following Christ" from "A Fire that Kindles Other Fires" - Decree 2 of the Society of Jesus' General Congregation 35:
To follow Christ bearing his Cross means opening ourselves with him to every thirst that afflicts humanity today. Christ is nourishment itself, the answer to every hunger and thirst. He is the bread of life, who, in feeding the hungry, draws them together and unites them. He is the water of life, the living water of which he spoke to the Samaritan woman in a dialogue that surprised his disciples because it took him, like free-flowing water, beyond the river-banks of what was culturally and religiously familiar and into an exchange with someone with whom custom forbade him to speak at all.
Jesus, in his outreach, embraced difference and new horizons. His ministry transcended boundaries. He invited his disciples to be aware of God's action in places and people they were inclined to avoid: Zacchaeus, a Syro-Phoenician woman, Roman centurions, a repentant thief. As water bringing life to all who thirst, he showed himself interested in every parched area of the world; and in every parched area of the world he can thus be welcomed, for all who are thirsty can understand what living water means. This image of living water can give life to all Jesuits as servants of Christ in his mission because, having tasted this water themselves, they will be eager to offer it to anyone who thirsts and to reach out to people beyond frontiers - where water may not yet have welled up - to bring a new culture of dialogue to a rich, diverse, and multi-faceted world.