To See All Things New in Christ
20 May 2021 is to hallmark the commencement of the ‘Ignatian 500’ celebrations globally. Fr. General invites all the Provinces to begin the Ignatian year 2021-2022 on that day, having the central theme of ‘Seeing all things new in Christ’. According to him, the fruit that we desire in this Ignatian year is to take on the way of seeing of the Lord Jesus and adopt his poor and humble style of living. As individual Jesuits and as communities, we are invited to express our togetherness and our love for our Master on that day. If ‘that day’ had not been deigned and designed by God, history of humankind would have not come to know of an exemplary man and the Church would not have been gifted with a paragon of loyalty.
That one person himself (continues to make) made history and the legend goes on and on. By being part of the least Society of Jesus that he established, we become part of the great historic and legendary wisdom that he ignited. What was different in him that many others did not possess was his creative fidelity to God that was vividly expressed through tangible love for the poor. We know, how a cannon-ball transformed the chivalrous ‘Iñigo López de Oñaz y Loyola’ into St. Ignatius of Loyola. By hitting Ignatius, it actually hit the history. His personal conversion did not confine within himself, it led him to convert everyone who was around him, leading to communitarian conversion.
Keeping the imbibing of the Ignatian values at the centre, Fr. General also calls for a celebration of conversion at Individual, Communitarian and Institutional levels. As an apostolic body, facing new challenges today, this conversion ought to impel us to see all things new in Christ at all these three levels. We realize that this conversion needs to affect heavily our personal life, our community living and our apostolic activities. In this context, the invitation of Fr. General, to see all things new in Christ, gives us a new perspective to face the challenges by living out with courage and commitment. The inner struggle and conversion of St. Ignatius led him to a very close familiarity with God with the intense love which enabled him to find God in all things and to face the challenges together with his companions as an apostolic body with a new vigour.
The second wave of Corona heavily pinches us. We have lost many of our Jesuit companions in our South Asian Conference. The pandemic has drastically changed our daily life and suspended many of our programmes and plans. It has started affecting the poor and the marginalized and it looks, as if it is going to be beyond our imagination. Through the mounting tensions, anxiety and fear of the Pandemic, God calls us to have the compassionate heart to be with the victims of Corona and to find the best possible ways of comforting them. Let us faithfully place ourselves in the hands of Jesus, and move forward into an uncertain but hopeful future, confident that He is with us and that His spirit is guiding us to see all things new in Him.
The State Assembly election results have given us some relief. They confirm that darkness is not permanent. There will be always ways of experiencing light. Let us continue to be part of people who bring light to dispel the darkness of all kinds