On September 30, Regnum Christi members of Barcelona met with their Archbishop, Cardinal Juan José Omella for Mass, coffee, and a review of what Regnum Christi is doing in the Archdiocese. During the Mass he gave a homily and over coffee spoke with the members about the vision he has for Regnum Christi in the archdiocese. Between the two, he gave a few themes that are helpful for all Regnum Christi members.
He wants Regnum Christi members to “be prayerful Christians, men and women of God.” Prayer, he said, is not an isolated moment but “in prayer we find all strength. It’s the soul.” The Cardinal noted the need for prayer today, as “We have passed from a monolithic society to a plural society where it appears like God isn’t needed.” He encouraged us to read the signs of the times and look towards the future within that attitude of prayer. A prayerful Christian will follow their vocation to be a witness.
As Omella pointed out to be a Christian is “to be a witness of God’s love, to be a lamp that illuminates and salt of the earth that flavors and guards what is good.”
The Cardinal also says families are fundamental keys to evangelization. He emphasized that evangelization “is a work above all of families,” and they are “fundamental for the Gospel.” He used another movement, the Neocateceumenal Way, as an example where they say “Here we are with our children, send us wherever.”
Cardinal Omella shared some of his own experiences with Christ. He described an early experience he had. He was on month-long spiritual exercises in the Holy Land after a 3-month Biblical course. “I have to say that marked my life. When I read the passage from Elijah on the Mountain where the Lord passes in the hollow of the rock. He says to Elijah: ‘I won’t let you see my face but you will see my glory…’ I believe the Lord let me see this glory, saying “I am here, I walk with you, be not afraid.’”
Afterwards, he said, “I went back to the parish a different person. I believe… that there was a before and an after. I advise you to do it [longer spiritual exercises]. It gives you a long time alone with the Lord. Afterwards, you will say ‘I haven’t seen but I have believed…. There is a feeling that I have touched God.’ That gives you strength for when you are discouraged from time to time.”
He also spoke about how Regnum Christi members can create communion. He noted that we should understand criticism as even bad criticism “might have something right,” while good criticism lets us integrate, respect and recognize “what truth and what positive qualities the other has.”
The Cardinal proposed that we learn from the Jesus, the great evangelizer. Omella proposed to Regnum Christi members: “May you be evangelizers in the midst of the world, with hope and united to Jesus and his word, because then it will be God’s hour not ours.” He noted how the Word of God drives us to evangelize: “May you be willingly impelled by the Word of God and so want to evangelize the world with the Lord’s words.”
Finally, the Cardinal spoke of the parables of the kingdom in the Gospels as the backbone of the apostle. He asked, “What is the spirituality, the backbone that sustains the life of the great apostle who is Jesus, the Son of God, and who teaches us what needs to be our backbone?” He answers his own question with “The parables of the kingdom.” These are the parables of the sower, the grain of mustard seed, the weeds and the wheat, the net that collects fish, the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price.
He finds that these parables teach us three lessons. First, realism is needed to evangelize. These parables show us “not everyone listens, not everyone converts. But I don’t lose my peace.” Hope, Omella said, is needed to evangelize. He talked about the tiny seed deep in the earth that we can’t see noting, “It grows little by little in people’s hearts and gives fruit in the proper season. Almost always this is without remembering the sower, the apostle.” Thus, he reminds us, “You sow something that remains.” Then he gave the example of bamboo, which grows silently underground for six years and then sprouts to 60 feet in one year. Finally, these parables remind us how we need to be united Jesus and his Word. “It is God’s work, brothers and sister, not ours. If an evangelizer isn’t united to Christ and to his Word, to the Living Word in the Church, he or she is of no use. But if you are united to Christ yet don’t know how to speak or make mistakes, don’t worry… you are united to Him and it is Jesus who touches man’s heart.”