WORD AMONG US
IN THE CONCRETE MOMENT
Notes from the Intervention of Fr. Pino at the Assembly of Responsibles of Communion and Liberation, after a discussion with Fr. Giussani
Milan, December 1, 1998
Here is what was said during a conversation with Fr. Giussani about a fundamental consequence of the fact of the Incarnation.
The work we have been asked to do in this moment of history is to deepen our awareness of what generates the "I", taking as a starting point a judgement on the experience we are living.
A unity of consciousness-a unity in the relationship with oneself, with reality and with the world, reaching into politics and society-is possible in the context of the great question of faithfulness to the origin.
This discovery is continuous, it is a consciousness of the instant; not the instant detached reactively from the origin and the aim. It is a consciousness of the instant, that is aware of the whole of the history that it carries: as memory.
In this work of deepening the original constitutive factors of the "I" we stress the genetic relationship of the "I" with the People.
The meaning of the word "People" that we want to deepen in our work this year is still very strange to us. In order to understand the original characteristics of the People that we belong to the reference that God himself has established is enlightening: to consider the experience of the Jewish People since this is pedagogical and prophetically analogous to that of the new People that has its origin in the event of Christ. In particular we need to understand what the genetic relationship that the "I" has with the People means in the history of the Jewish People.
We can identify some characteristics of the Hebrew People.
What characterises the content of the self-awareness of the "I" is the memory of what God has done for his People, which reaches each one personally and that is expressed historically and existentially according to the following characteristics:
The Messiah is sent not simply "to" the People, but "in" the People and "for" the People, to bring about, through that People the promise of happiness for the whole world, to bring all men to the happiness they desire, through the experience, the wisdom, the obedience of that People.
The People conceives of itself as the custodian and the protagonist of this messianic consciousness: the expectation of an Other who is to come, the expectation of the Messiah coincides with the awareness that this will be the answer for all, and that it will pass through the history of the one chosen People. It is through this awareness that God guides the world, that God moves reality. God enters into history, at first as the one who arouses the promise, but then later reveals that he himself is the promise; and this indicates in the present its definitive meaning: the present is the beginning of the eternal.
In the hope of this expectation, in the hope of Him who is to be sent, we can find synthetically implied all the constitutive factors of the Hebrew People: the certitude that is not based on its own strength, but on the memory of the origin, of the fact that happened, in other words of being the one People, the only one chosen to live the covenant with God, a covenant to which God would always be faithful.
Historically this is true: the only people in history up to the time of Christ that had such a pure conception of God was Israel; the more God intervened in history, in the flesh of their existence (through great achievements and disasters, fidelity and sin), the more their awareness of the Mystery developed: the awareness in history of this gratuitousness and faithfulness on God's part (hence the awareness of God as Omnipotent, Inscrutable, the final Judge of all humanity) and above all, the awareness that God has his judgement on the world and on history pass through that particular, that People with whom he had identified himself. Hence the Hebrews' awareness of their historical task of being the consciousness of the world, the place through which salvation passes, through which God judges everything, through which something new enters history for all men as an answer to their desire for salvation and happiness.
When we look at our own history we become aware of these factors, because they constitute our present, too, and determine our future.
These categories that constitute the raison d'Ítre and the content of the awareness of the Hebrew People, inherited and deeply transformed by Christ who brings it to completion, become the content of our self-awareness.