This sharing took place at the Home of Compassion soup kitchen in Wellington on 25 June among 50 Peace and Justice people of the Wellington Archdiocese.
Judette Gallares rc shared a little of her experience of the underground church in China. She related some of the difficulties experienced there such as the danger of drawing attention to their liturgies and religious services, for example, by singing. She explained the difficulty of keeping teachings accurate without input and education over generations.
Judette moved on to describe the basis of the gospel using the analogy of a structure on four poles which must be integrated, balanced and have harmony.
The first pole was Who is Jesus for me? or Who has been God in my day. God’s dwelling place is in our hearts through faith grounded in love.
The second pole was the gospel which is the liberating Word of Jesus in which we see the whole picture of Jesus fully human and as God.
The third was the pole of needs. When need meets needs we create community. Jesus himself presented as needy. He needed the woman at the well in order to minister to her needs as he does to us. He needed human situations. When the early Christian community gathered it was the sharing of faith that built up their faith community.
The fourth pole, Judette said, dealt with mission. We are all called to give witness to the community of faith and to the wider community. We proclaim the Gospel by starting with the human person in his/her own culture and environment realizing that God’s word is always influenced by the culture in which we live. The Spirit gives all the gifts necessary to all people.
It was heartening to see at this gathering a large number of people who are leaders in their church community, also that priests were well represented as were religious among the laity. The hospitality offered at the Soup Kitchen by the Sisters of Compassion was greatly appreciated and seen to be very appropriate for this very enlightening sharing with Judette.