Kara (Agenzia Fides) - "The mission of the Church is born of mercy, of the compassion towards the spiritual and social reality of men.
Mercy, from its etymological meaning, means letting oneself be touched by the misery of others. The history of Exodus is a fairly perfect picture": this is what Fr. Donald Zagore, theologian of the Society of African Missions, explains in a reflection sent to Agenzia Fides, motivating the presence and action of the Church in the vast and complex reality of the African continent.
"Two fundamental activities characterize the action of God: the first is the attention that He gives to human suffering. He lets himself be touched by the misery of his people, he is deeply upset by the suffering that is emotionally compatible with the painful experience that man experiences. However, God does not simply limit himself to being emotionally sympathizing, but he acts: he goes towards man, to offer him the freedom of his salvation", emphasizes Fr. Zagore.
"Christ in his salvific activity will do the same", continues the priest. "He remains full of compassion for sinners, for the poor, for all those who are physically, spiritually and culturally imprisoned. To show how often his heart is moved by suffering and human misery, he mourns the death of his friend Lazarus. Christ does not simply stop at the compassionate aspect, but acts. He heals the sick, feeds the crowds, raises the dead, forgives sins and announces years of blessing and release for prisoners". This perspective outlines the face of the Church in Africa which, in all its components, is always close to those who suffer, in order to bring the Good News of God's love.
"From this perspective the fundamental essence of the missionary activity of the Church emerges, which consists in being touched by the spiritual, physical conditions of misery and moral suffering of men. The Church in Africa goes to the suburbs, crosses the borders, overcomes climatic and cultural obstacles, to offer the freedom, peace and joy that only the Gospel of Christ proclaimed and lived with zeal can fully offer".
Analyzing the missionary aspect of the Church, Fr. Zagore declares: "A Church that is not merciful cannot be missionary. Because the Church is missionary and merciful by nature. We cannot separate mission from mercy. Mission and mercy are constitutive of the Church's being. The fundamental mission of the Church is to be an instrument of mercy for humanity", concludes the priest. (DZ/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 9/4/2018)