A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY : THE GOLDEN JUBILEE
A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY : THE GOLDEN JUBILEE The fiftieth year since the birth of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) has just begun. It is indeed a glorious moment to be celebrating the golden jubilee of a movement as wonderful and earth shaking as the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. This movement of renewal is not just about the renewal of the Church, but also the renewal of the world at large.
In the Old Testament (Lev 25:9-11), the year of jubilee was a call to freedom. “You shall consecrate the 50th year and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to its inhabitants.” Aren’t we blessed to be alive and in the CCR at this wonderful historic time? It certainly calls for celebration together with reflection.
What is the celebration all about? For me personally, after 35 long years of dedication to the CCR; I daresay it takes courage to stop and look hard at the situation we find ourselves in.
I LOOKING BACK :- From 1967 to 2016 is a really long time; but it has surely been a time of refreshing for the Church. There has been a springtime of grace and new life that has evidenced itself in the Catholic Church. We who live in these times are blessed to be reading and beholding the wonders foretold and unfolded in the Bible without any restrictions. Thanks to the CCR, we have become familiar with God speaking to us through words of prophecy, the word of knowledge or the word of wisdom, through dreams and visions and of course, through the signs of our times
It is inevitable that we look back with honesty and sincerity at what the CCR has done over the past 50 years – in its prophetic role as a movement of renewal. The CCR needs young, vibrant, committed lay leadership which somehow seems to be dwindling rapidly and alarmingly.
II LOOKING INWARD :- God has poured out His Spirit afresh upon the Church through the CCR. May we, who take pride and joy in the fact that we have been a part of this movement for many decades, take stock of where we are. Perhaps we should ask ourselves some soul searching questions:-
The Church born of the Holy Spirit has a responsibility to allow the free reign of the Spirit. It is our duty as Catholics baptised in the Holy Spirit to reveal the beauty and power of a Spirit-led life to our fellow Catholics.
- If the CCR has renewed me, then have I understood that to be fully Catholic is to be fully Charismatic?
The grace of the Sacraments renews our lives so uniquely and intensely. Yet, we often fall into the snare of ritualism and blind traditionalism which hinders true renewal and re-formation of our lives.
- If the CCR has really impacted my life, then how much have I really understood that to be fully Catholic is to be eternally transformed from within?
It only takes a spark to get the fire going.... Has the spark been doused by our complacency? Have we erred in the name of prudence? Is it not our privilege and great commission to share the Gospel??
- If the CCR has indeed been for us an occasion for revival, then why is this movement not spreading like wild fire?
III LOOKING FORWARD :- While it is wonderful to look back, it is challenging to look within; and it is perhaps even more pertinent to look beyond. It seems more and more urgent to admit that very little lay leadership has emerged in the past 10 to 15 years. It seems time to introspect why there is such a dearth of leaders between the age of 35 and 50. What happens to the young men and women who have been formed for leadership through their involvement with the youth? Have they returned to the world and its ways or have they been sidelined leaving the CCR dwarfed and suppressed in its true expression?
We are looking forward to having more dynamic, selfless, Spirit-filled and Spirit guided men and women. The CCR being a lay movement needs to be refreshed and renewed with youthful laymen and laywomen who are deeply sensitive to every prompting of the Spirit. This would enable the ‘Renewal’ to be truly a means of renewing, refreshing and revitalising of our Church.
May we be open to yet another fresh breath of the Spirit. May there be yet another New Pentecost as the wind of God’s Spirit blows away the chaff from amidst us:- all our complacency, our luke-warmness, our self seeking manipulative ways; and worst of all, our insensitivity to the still small voice of the Spirit spurring us on to new heights.
As we approach the Golden Jubilee in February 2017, let us unite to pray for a new awakening amongst us – particularly as the new National Service Team leads the CCR into the next 50 years of the renewal. May we be truly guided by the Holy Spirit, centred in Christ Jesus as our only Lord and Master, and totally yielded to the merciful ways of our loving Abba Father.