9. God so loved the world that He sent his only Son that we might have life and have it abundantly. In the fullness of time the Lord Jesus came among us anointed by the Spirit to inaugurate a kingdom of justice, love and peace. His rule would be no mere earthly regime: it would initiate a new creation in every land. His power would be within and without, rescuing us from the injustice we suffer and also from the injustice we inflict.
10. This was the good news that many misunderstood and many rejected. The Lord Jesus was crucified. But the Father raised Him to glory, and Christ breathed His Spirit into His people, the church. Dying and rising with Him in baptism, His followers are sent to continue His mission, to hasten along the kingdom.
11. The same Spirit moved Father Moreau to found the community of Holy Cross in which we have responded to the call to serve Christ. We live and work as priests and brothers together. Our mutual respect and shared undertaking should be a hopeful sign of the kingdom, and they are when others can behold how we love one another.
12. As disciples of Jesus we stand side by side with all people. Like them we are burdened by the same struggles and beset by the same weaknesses; like them we are made new by the same Lord’s love; like them we hope for a world where justice and love prevail. Thus, wherever through its superiors the congregation sends us we go as educators in the faith to those whose lot we share, supporting men and women of grace and goodwill everywhere in their efforts to form communities of the coming kingdom.
13. Christ was anointed to bring good news to the poor, release for prisoners, sight for the blind, restoration for every broken victim. Our efforts, which are His, reach out to the afflicted and in a preferential way to the poor and the oppressed. We come not just as servants but as their neighbors, to be with them and of them. It is not that we take sides against sinful enemies; before the Lord all of us are sinners and none is an enemy. We stand with the poor and the afflicted because only from there can we appeal as Jesus did for the conversion and the deliverance of all.
14. The mission is not simple, for the impoverishments we would relieve are not simple. There are networks of privilege, prejudice and power so commonplace that often neither oppressors nor victims are aware of them. We must be aware and also understanding by reason of fellowship with the impoverished and by reason of patient learning. For the kingdom to come in this world, disciples must have the competence to see and the courage to act.
15. Our concern for the dignity of every human being as God’s cherished child directs our care to victims of every injury: prejudice, famine, warfare, ignorance, infidelity, abuse, natural calamity….
16. For many of us in Holy Cross, mission expresses itself in the education of youth in schools, colleges and universities. For others, our mission as educators takes place in parishes and other ministries. Wherever we work we assist others not only to recognize and develop their own gifts but also to discover the deepest longing in their lives. And, as in every work of our mission, we find that we ourselves stand to learn much from those whom we are called to teach.
Our mission sends us across borders of every sort. Often we must make ourselves at home among more than one people or culture, reminding us again that the farther we go in giving the more we stand to receive. Our broader experience allows both the appreciation and the critique of every culture and the disclosure that no culture of this world can be our abiding home.
18. All of us are involved in the mission: those who go out to work and those whose labors sustain the community itself, those in the fullness of their strength and those held back by sickness or by age, those who abide in the companionship of a local house and those sent to live and work by themselves, those in their active assignments and those who are still in training. All of us as a single brotherhood are joined in one communal response to the Lord’s mission.
19. Periodically we review how well our ministries fulfill our mission. We must evaluate the quality, forms and priorities of our commitments as to how effectively they serve the needs of the church and the world.
20. Our mission is the Lord’s and so is the strength for it. We turn to Him in prayer that He will clasp us more firmly to Himself and use our hands and wits to do the work that only He can do. Then our work itself becomes a prayer: a service that speaks to the Lord who works through us.
Questions for Reflection on the Constitutions
“His followers are sent to continue His mission, to hasten along the kingdom.” It takes humility to do the work of Jesus, to lend our every thought, action, and prayer to Him. How is God calling me to labor for so noble a cause?
“Wherever through its superiors the congregation sends us we go as educators in the faith.” Do I see myself serving the Church as an educator in the faith? What gifts would I bring to this mission whether at a university, parish, or in an overseas mission?
“Our mission sends us across borders of every sort… no culture of this world can be our abiding home.” Have I experienced the freedom of allowing God to draw me into something I would have never chosen by myself? Can I see myself living this out more fully in the mission of Holy Cross?
“Our Mission is the Lord’s and so is the strength for it.” Am I willing to see the work that I do serving the glory of God? How is this different from a career?