GOD DESIRES THAT MANKIND LIVE
With this extract, Fr. Claret refers to his principal task as an apostolic missionary. The topic of “the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls” configures the saint’s missionary task. He reveals it here. To save, God first of all creates; he creates the natural order in order to divinize it. The saving act is set in motion with the creative act; especially the emergence of mankind, bearer of the “breathe of God”, is the beginning of the movement towards the “Omega Point” of the recapitulation of all things in Christ. With mankind at the center, the world is humanized and semi-divinized. God, incarnate in Jesus Christ, tries to free us from egoistic or self-sufficient attitudes and open us to the incomprehensible project of God over mankind and the cosmos.
The Gospel transmits to us those words of Jesus: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. We already know Jesus’ attitude towards the gentiles and the sinners – to initiate the missionary proclamation. Jesus’ exhortation is, definitively, to do all we possibly can to save our brother from condemnation.
Claret inculcates to the symbolic missionary Theophilus the task which he has received to work for the good of his brothers, thus he reflects on their indescribable worth: if Christ did for them what we know – the work of redemption; then it behoves us to consider them in like manner and dedicate ourselves to them with the same devotion. He narrates how, to preach the word of salvation, he would not hesitate to go to cities and pass through places where his freedom or even his life was in danger (Cf. Aut. 456-459). The brother is worth more!
What are the motivating interests of our apostolic services? Do we joyfully take up the challenges, sufferings, failures that come with witnessing the Gospel?