We are afraid of the world of tomorrow.
We have lost faith in ourselves.
We no longer believe in boundless progress
as the key to happiness.
We no longer believe that the salvation
of the human race
will come through scientific progress.
We no longer believe that the goal of humanity
nor that death spells the end of life.
And we know too that if, tomorrow,
through inadvertence of malice,
some nuclear power station, such as Chernobyl,
should blow up,
it would be an explosion of apocalyptic proportions
after which no one would survive
to bury the dead or write up the report.
When I turn to look at the Church
which has receive from your Son
the promises of eternal life,
I am aware of the weight of our weaknesses,
poor, unchristian Christians that we are!
And all around me I can hear,
rising up on all sides,
the pressing voices of our church leaders
calling us urgently to
a new and second wave of evangelization.
In order that we may become true Christians,
deeply aware of the demands of our baptism,
help us to recover
the fire of the first Christians
and the intensity of that first evangelization
Begun –on a Pentecost morning
in the Upper Room in Jerusalem
where your disciples,
united in prayer with Mary,
were awaiting the fulfillment of your promise.
Give us the grace Father, to be renewed
“in the Holy Spirit and in fire”.
Teach us how to speak to the world
with tongues of fire,
and so transform this age
of timid or silent Christians
who, like the disciples of old,
anxiously discuss the problems of the present time
along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus,
little realizing that the Master
has been raised from death and is living among us.
open our hearts to welcome your Holy Spirit;
teach us to wait eagerly for that coming,
like Mary at the moment of Incarnation
and again at Pentecost,
That ‘birth of the Church’.
Teach future generations
that Jesus Christ, your Son,
is and remains, for all ages still to come,
the Saviour of the world.
Help us to proclaim, loud and clear,
that he is ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life’.
‘The Way’: that is
the path that leads to final goal.
‘The Truth’: that is
the luminous Cloud that guides the traveler by night.
‘The Life’: that is
a depth of peace and serenity,
of unalterable joy,
which nothing created can ever destroy.
may your disciples hasten to carry out
the Master’s command to live and remain
in communion with the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit.
Together, then may they draw near the Lord
to shine forth with his light,
their faces no longer marred by shadow.
And may the world come to recognize Jesus Christ
alive in the disciples
now and at all times to come.
Source: L.J. Card. Suenens, The Christian at the Dawn of a New Era, FIAT, Ertvelde 1999.