Discipleship 2023: the baptism diviners
Intervention of the Superior General at the evening of thanksgiving for the 36th anniversary of the founding of the DCJMs
What gratitude today for the gift of the Disciples, thirty-six years after our approval, united to all our friends who participate in our journey! What does this gift mean and how can we be faithful to it? And how is this new gift situated in the changing times in which we live?
In our house in Villaescusa de Haro there is an old well, now dry. We had to wall it up when a junior fell into it and was wondrously saved from sinking. The area was examined by a dowser, with his vibrating rods, and he found water, only very deep. At that moment it was decided not to excavate, but the thing served to make sure that there are subway currents that irrigate our origins.
Are we Disciples not called to be dowsers of the deep springs of life, of that original source that propels us to the goal of a great and beautiful life? To search for these deep currents of life, we have decided to dedicate this year to baptism. For a characteristic of our times is the lack of a relationship with origins. The past is repudiated, but also repudiated is every sense that precedes man and marks a goal for him. The springs are repudiated.
We can see this if we look at the goals that the UN has set in its Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. Much of what is expected is simply to conserve and equalize. Perhaps that is because there are two major absences in these goals.
On the one hand, God is absent, who seems to play no part in our common goals for the future. Benedict XVI said in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate that all development presupposes a vocation to which man responds. Only in this way can he advance beyond his own strength. When the vocation to which God summons us is eliminated, the future merely repeats itself. To “develop” comes to mean simply “to unroll,” to undo a roll.
On the other hand, the 2030 Agenda is also silent on the family. It speaks of women’s rights, but without referring to the primordial community where women and men flourish. If the absence of God casts doubt on the possibility of development, the absence of the family makes it difficult for development to be sustainable. How can we sustain the growth of a plant that cuts its roots?
It is precisely baptism that contains these two neglected themes in the 2030 Agenda. For in baptism there is a birth and a new name, which comes from the family. And at the same time baptism is a birth from God and to God. That is why when we celebrate the anniversary of baptism it is not like when we celebrate a birthday. Because baptism is not behind us, but in front of us, being the project that God has for us.
It can be summarized in this wish: to add a few years on to the 2030 Agenda to make it Agenda 2033. These three extra years represent the public life of Christ, from his baptism in the Jordan to the baptism with which he was baptized on the cross and in the resurrection. For Christ recovered the springs to bring man to his season. Thus we arrive at 2033, the second millennium of Easter, when his heart was opened and the spring that vivifies us all gushed forth.
And from here the Disciples wish to help you, the whole great disciple family, to be dowsers. Husbands and wives dowsers of the spring that gushes forth in your love, for God has united you in marriage. Parents and teachers dowsers of the spring that gushes forth in your children and in your students, for to them the inner Master speaks. All of you, all of you, are the sappers of the springs that vivify the common good of society….
And just as baptism is a fountain that is born every day, we ask that it be so with this anniversary of the Disciples. We do not celebrate what we were. We celebrate the project to which the Lord has destined us and which he renews every day, from his spring. Thank you and long live the disciples!