Concluding CP71 – The Ascension focuses our gaze
The work of the 71st Congregation of Procurators came to a close at midday on Sunday 21 May. A majority of the Procurators voted “non cogenda”, i.e., not to convoke a General Congregation.
the afternoon, the members gathered in the Basilica of Loyola, with the
faithful of the region, to celebrate a Eucharist of thanksgiving. The music and
singing echoed the atmosphere of consolation at the end of this important
meeting for the orientation of the Society of Jesus. The following are excerpts
from the homily delivered by Fr. Arturo Sosa, Superior General, on this
It is a fortunate coincidence to celebrate this closing Eucharist of the 71st Congregation of Procurators of the Society of Jesus, here in the Basilica of Loyola, on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord.
As with the apostles, Jesus, the Crucified-Risen One, has been at table with us, teaching us, during these days which, in the end, have been too few. We have shared his word, his body and his blood. We listened again to his call to follow him and to convert to his poor and humble way of life, as companions in the least Society of Jesus, in order to be better collaborators in his mission of reconciliation.
Ascension of the Crucified-Risen One is the source of the consolation that we
too have experienced. The sadness of the suffering of the crucified and the
sense of separation becomes the joy of faith that leads us to place our Hope in
the one who sent Jesus to redeem the world and now sends his Spirit to his
followers. For it is the Father who knows the way and the time to achieve the
full reconciliation of all things in Christ. It is up to his followers, like
Jesus, to go about doing his will in every place and at every moment of
Having given them the mission, “he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. As they were gazing up toward heaven, they saw him depart” (Acts 1:9-10). Let us imagine for a moment the feelings and motions that welled up in the hearts and minds of the disciples who found themselves with the responsibility of continuing a mission far beyond their strength, resources and abilities... without the presence of Jesus, or rather, without the presence to which they had become accustomed before and after Easter.
Perhaps we feel something similar as we move away from the consoling experience we have shared these days. We stare up at the sky, watching the conditions in which we have experienced consolation recede, and we are assailed by doubts about the responsibility that has been given to us. We feel that we are a small Society, under-staffed, under-resourced, fragile, sinful...
Luke continues his account by saying that when they were thus perplexed by so much uncertainty, “suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Galileans, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’”
This is a powerful call to trust in the one who has called us to this way of life. He is not gone forever. The admonition to look out into the world again with confidence, to set out, trusting in the one who calls, surely reminded his disciples of the closing words of Matthew’s gospel: “and know that I am with you always, to the end of the age”.
with renewed trust and placing all our Hope in Him, let us go out into the
world fearlessly announcing the Joyful News of the certain possibility of
reconciliation with the coming of the kingdom of justice, love and peace.
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