TO KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE CURED
There is no answer without the question being well put. There is no effective medicine without a correct diagnosis of the illness. Claret is aware that you cannot evangelize with skill without ‘knowledge of the maladies of this social body’, or put in the words of today, without an ‘analysis of the reality’.
Perhaps one of the great defects of evangelization today is to pretend to offer the Good News without having fully explored the questions and needs that men and women have today. The first question that Jesus puts to those who want to follow him is very simple ‘What are you looking for?’ (Jn 1:38). Then to the disciples of Emmaus who were walking disorientated and distraught he asked, ‘What is it you were talking about on the way?’ (Lk 24:17) Jesus can be the Way for those ask themselves where they want to go. Jesus can be the Truth for those who, in the midst of the lies that surround us, search for light and guidance. Jesus can be Life for those who become aware of the culture of death that surrounds them.
The good evangelizer, following the method of Claret, before putting the Gospel forward too quickly, should ask: What is happening to us? Why, in the West, do many of the baptized disassociate themselves from church life? Why is spirituality in fashion both in countries with a long Christian tradition as well as in the distant lands of China and India. Why is the number of suicides so high in developed countries? What does consumerism mean? Where does the present world crisis come from? How has the gulf between the rich and the poor come about? How do we build a more just world? Only after living with these questions and sharing them with people who are looking to make sense of their lives can we humbly offer the light that comes from Jesus, the ‘contemporary of every human being’.