First of all, the mission calls for a reconciliation with God. In the lives of so many, whether Christian or non-Christian, God has either been pushed aside or completely forgotten. Others have even been more aggressively challenging any kind of belief in any God. Many see this pervading secularism as a threat, an obstacle, an evil. But perhaps, we should take it as a challenge, a sign of the times. One good aspect of secularism is that faith now is no longer simply a cultural given, but it becomes a free choice once again. In some ways, we are returning to the situation of the early Church, and we are called to practice in word an action what Pope Francis has called “first proclamation”.
Second, the mission calls for a reconciliation with others. We live in a very frightening world in which divisions, polarization, violence, anger, fear of those who are different seem to be growing. In so many places of the world, populist leaders come to power promoting hatred and fear, saying that certain kinds of people are not treated as human beings, whether they be migrants, refugees, the poor, the homeless, the growing numbers of unemployed or underemployed, the many beggars we meet. Part of our mission today then means paying special attention to those who are being excluded, marginalized, and dehumanized, so that we can be near them, walk with them, serve them, defend them.