Iesu… Manatua O Ia?

 

IESU... manatua o Ia?

I’m being sarcastic, of course—but only a little. Because how often do we hear our bishops, priests, and fellow laymen speaking about Jesus? How often do we actually hear his name? How often are we reminded of the purpose of His coming, and thus, the mission of the entire Church, and hence our required patino response?

I’m sorry, but at least here in the Western World—not very often.  

According to the angel of the Lord, Christ’s mission, and thus ours, was embedded in His name:

O le a ia fanaua se tama tama ma o le a e faaigoa ia te ia o Iesu, aua o le a ia laveaʻi ona tagata mai a latou agasala. (Mataio 1:21)

Jesus didn’t come to start an organization that would commemorate Him through ornate liturgies, grand cathedrals, and tidy rituals; through perfunctory festivals, niceties, and nods of the status quo. No, Jesus “assembled” the “church” (the Greek word “ἐκκλησία” or ekalesia means “assembly”) in order that it would become the instrument of salvation through the preaching of the Gospel ma le faʻatautaia o le faamanatuga. Baptism is the real-world application of the water that gushed forth from the side of Christ; the Eucharist and Confession are the real-world application of the Blood of Christ that cleanses us from sin. Christianity, and hence Catholicism, is all about saving people from sin that destroys peace and unity and separates us from God. That we want to erect glorious cathedrals, weave golden vestments, and lay marble floors is a sign of our love of God and a reflection of the Mystery, yes; but they are not essential nor necessary to our mission. 

The Mass was given to us to perpetuate the saving power and presence of His Sacrifice on the Cross for the salvation of the world—not to make us feel good about ourselves for taking an hour out every week and dropping a few bucks in the collection plate. We come to Mass, or should, in order to hear Christ say “yes” to us again (through the re-presentation of that love on the Cross) so that we, in turn, can say “yes” to Him. Yes to what? To the free gift of eternal life through faʻatuatua in Him. And thus, “yes” to spreading the “Good News” of that gift to the world. 

Yes, the Church is unrecognizable today, in part, because of the sins and scandals that are grabbing the headlines. But perhaps most of all because she no longer preaches Jesus Christ!

E leai se moni faaevagelia pe a fai o le igoa, le aʻoaʻoga, le ola, folafolaga, le malo ma le mea lilo a Iesu le Nasareta, le Alo o le Atua, e le folafolaina. —POPE PAULO VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, n. 22; faʻatau ie 

Even Pope Francis, whose pontificate has become embroiled in numerous controversies, stated clearly:

… O le folafolaga muamua lava e ao ona aliaʻe mai pea lava pea: “E alofa Iesu Keriso ia te oe; na ia foaʻiina atu lona ola e faʻaola ai oe; ma o lea ua nofo i ou tafatafa i aso uma e faʻamalamalama, faʻamalosia ma faasaʻoloto oe. ” —POPE Farani, Evangelii Gaudium, Le. 164

But we have lost the narrative. We have broken the love story! Do we even know why the Church exists??

[O le Ekalesia] o loʻo i ai ina ia mafai ai ona folafola le talalelei… —POPE PAULO VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, Le. 14

Many Catholics don’t even know what the word “evangelization” means. And bishops, who do, are often afraid to permit those who are called to evangelization to use their gifts. Thus, the Word of God remains hidden, stifled, if not buried beneath a bushel basket. The light of Christ is no longer clearly seen… and this is having devastating effects upon the entire world. 

I o tatou aso, pe a oʻo i nofoaga lautele o le lalolagi o le faʻatuatua ua i se tulaga mataʻutia o le mou atu e pei o se afi e le o toe i ai le suauʻu, o le sili atu le faʻamuamua o le faia o le Atua i lenei lalolagi ma faʻaali atu i aliʻi ma fafine le ala i le Atua. E le naʻo se atua, ae o le Atua na fetalai i luga o Sinai; i lena Atua o ona fofoga tatou te iloa i le alofa e fetaomi atu "i le iuga" (Faaa. Jn 13: 1) - ia Iesu Keriso, faasatauroina ma toetu. O le faʻafitauli moni lava i lenei taimi o le tatou talafaʻasolopito o le Atua o loʻo mouʻese mai le lagi tafailagi a tagata, ma, ma le susulu o le malamalama e sau mai le Atua, tagata soifua ua le toe maua ona tulaga, ma faʻateleina mautinoa faʻaleagaina aʻafiaga. —POPE FAAMATALAGA XVI, Tusi o Lana Paia Pope Benedict XVI ia Epikopo uma o le Lalolagi, Mati 12, 2009; faʻatau ie

Many Catholics today are angry at the doctrinal confusion that is spreading; angry about the abuse scandals and coverups; angry that the Pope, they feel, is not doing his job. Okay, all of these things are important, yes. But are we upset that Jesus Christ is not being preached? Are we upset that souls are not hearing the Gospel? Are we upset that others are not encountering Jesus in and through us? In a word, are you upset that Jesus is not being loved… or upset that the security you had in a neatly boxed and tidy Catholicism is now being shaken like a fig from a tree?

O Se Lulu Tele is here and coming. Because we have forgotten the heart of our mission: to make Jesus Christ loved and known, and thus, to draw all of creation into the heart of the Holy Trinity. Our mission is to bring others into a real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour—a relationship that heals, delivers, and transforms us into a new creation. That is what the “new evangelization” means. 

As you well know it is not a matter of merely passing on a doctrine, but rather of a personal and profound meeting with the Saviour.   —POPE IOANE PAULO II, Komesina Aiga, Neo-Catechumenal Auala. 1991.

O nisi taimi e oʻo lava i tagata Katoliko ua leiloa pe leai foi se avanoa e tofo ai ia Keriso lava ia: e leʻo Keriso o se 'faʻataʻitaʻiga' poʻo le 'taua', ae o le Alii soifua, 'o le ala, ma le upu moni, ma le ola'. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, LʻOsservatore Romano (Igilisi Igilisi o le Vatican Nusipepa), Mati 24, 1993, i.3.

O le liuaina o lona uiga o le taliaina, e ala i sau oe lava filifiliga, o le faʻaolaola o le pule silisili ese a Keriso ma avea ma ona soʻo.  —STST. JOHN PAUL II, Tusi Encyclical: Misiona a le Faʻaola (1990) 46

And Pope Benedict adds:

...we can be witnesses only if we know Christ first hand, and not only through others—from our own life, from our personal encounter with Christ. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Vatican City, Ianuari 20, 2010, Zenit

To this end, the “Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” that was promised at Fatima, and which is being accomplished as we speak, is not about the Virgin Mary, taʻitasi. The Triumph is about Mary’s role in making Jesus the center of the world again and in bringing to birth His atoa mystical body (see Rev 12:1-2). In the approved revelations to Elizabeth Kindelmann, Jesus Himself explains how the “Woman” in the Book of Revelation, our Mother, is going to help bring about a renewed world.

Sa loloto le ma talanoaga ma le Aliʻi Iesu. Sa ia fai mai ia te aʻu e ave vave feau i le epikopo. (O Mati 27, 1963, ma na ou faia lena mea.) Na ia talanoa mai ia te aʻu i le umi e uiga i le taimi o le alofa tunoa ma le Agaga o le Alofa e tutusa ma le Pentecost muamua, lolovaia le lalolagi ma lona mana. O le vavega tele lena e faʻatosina mai mafaufau o tagata uma. Pau na o le aoga o le aafiaga o le alofa tunoa ole Faʻapaʻau Moli ole Alofa ole taupou. Ua ufitia le lalolagi i le pogisa ona o le le lava o le faʻatuatua i le agaga o tagata soifua ma o lea o le a maua ai se faʻalavelave sili. A maeʻa lena, o le a talitonu tagata. Lenei jolt, i le mana o le faʻatuatua, o le a fausia ai se lalolagi fou. E ala i le Afi o le Alofa o le Tamaʻitaʻi Faʻamanuiaina, o le a aʻa le faʻatuatua i totonu o agaga, ma o le a faʻafouina foliga o le lalolagi, aua "e leai se mea na tupu talu mai le avea o le Upu ma Tino. ” O le toefaafouina o le lalolagi, e ui lava ina lolovaia i puapuaga, o le a oʻo mai e ala i le mana o le fautua o le Virgin Virgin. -Le Mumua o le Alofa o le Lelei Malosi o Maria: Le Tusi Faaleagaga (Kindle Edition, Loc. 2898-2899); approved in 2009 by Cardinal Péter Erdö Cardinal, Primate and Archbishop. Note: Pope Francis gave his Apostolic Blessing upon the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Movement on June 19th, 2013

But here is the point: elsewhere in the diaries of Elizabeth, Our Lady explains that the Flame of Love burning in her heart “O Iesu Keriso lava ia.”[1]Le afi o Alofa, p. 38, from Elizabeth Kindelmann’s diary; 1962; Le faʻamaonia Archb Bishop Charles Chaput It’s all about Jesus. We have forgotten that. But Heaven is about to remind us in such a way that nothing like this will have “happened since the Word became Flesh.” 

So, indeed, O Iesu o le Mea Taua na Tupu. It’s not about the world coming to kneel before the Catholic Church and kiss the ring of the Pontiff while we restore lace and Latin. Rather, 

…that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:10-11)

When that day comes—and it is coming—humanity will naturally turn again to everything that Jesus gave them e ala i the Catholic Church: the Gospel, the sacraments, and that charity without which all is dead and cold. Then, and only then, will the Church become a true home for the world: when she herself is clothed in the humility, light, and love of the Son. 

“Latou te faalogo foi i loʻu leo, ma e tasi le lafu ma tasi le leoleo mamoe.” Talosia ia Atua faʻatoa uma ona faʻataunuuina Lana valoaga mo le liliuina o lenei faʻamafanafanaga o le lumanaʻi i le taimi nei ... O le galuega a le Atua le aumaia o lenei itula fiafia ma faailoa atu i tagata uma ... A taunuu, o le a avea o se itula taua, tasi tele ma taunuuga e le gata mo le toefuataiina o le Malo o Keriso, ae mo o le faatoʻilalo o… le lalolagi. Tatou te tatalo faʻamaoni tele, ma faʻapena foi i isi e tatalo mo lenei faʻamoemoe e manaʻomia tele. —POPE PIUS XI, Ubi Arcani dei Consilioi "I le Filemu o Keriso i lona Malo", Tesema 23, 1922

Oi! pe a fai o taulaga uma a le Aliʻi e tausi ma le faʻamaoni i tulafono uma a le Atua, pe a faʻaalia le faʻaaloalo i mea paia, pe a oʻo mai le Sakalameta, ma faʻataunuʻuina sauniga o le olaga faʻaKerisiano, e mautinoa lava e le toe manaʻomia ona tatou galulue atili e vaʻai i mea uma ua toefuatai mai ia Keriso… Ona faʻapea ai lea? Ma, mulimuli ane, o le a manino i tagata uma o le Ekalesia, e pei ona sa faavaeina e Keriso, e tatau ona fiafia i le saolotoga atoa ma le tutoʻatasi mai malo ese uma… "Na te tuʻimomomoina ulu o ona fili," ina ia iloa "o le Atua o le tupu o le lalolagi uma," "ina ia iloa ai e Nuuese o latou tagata." O nei mea uma, Uso mamalu, Matou te talitonu ma faʻamoemoe ma le le maluelueina o le faʻatuatua. —POPE PIUS X, E Supremi, Faʻamatalaga “I Le Toefuataiga o Mea Uma”, n.14, 6-7

 

 

O le Now Word o se faifeʻau tumau lena
faʻaauau i lau lagolago.
Faʻamanuia ia oe, ma faʻafetai. 

 

E malaga ma Mareko i le Lenei le Upu,
kiliki i luga le fuʻa i lalo e lesitala.
O lau imeli o le a le faʻasoaina i se tasi.

 

 

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Faamatalaga Faʻamatalaga
1 Le afi o Alofa, p. 38, from Elizabeth Kindelmann’s diary; 1962; Le faʻamaonia Archb Bishop Charles Chaput
lafoina i AIGA, TAIMI O LE ALOFA.