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Dámaso Zuazua, ocd, General Secretary for Missions

Meeting of the missionary animators or zealators Amorebieta-Larrea Centre of Spirituality
(Navare Province, Spain)

- February 26 - March 1, 2007 -

The theology of human development in the Missions

M. Zachary Igirukwayo, ocd,

Larrea: Casa de Epiritualidad


The theology of human development in the Missions - M. Zachary Igirukwayo, ocd,


The title describes the method and traces the fundamental lines.  The adjectivehumantogether with the noundevelopmentindicates that we are not dealing with development understood solely from an economical perspective, but rather we are dealing with the entire human  personBefore the genitive, “human development”, there is the nountheology”. The present reflection will not be from a horizontal persective, as it would be for the human sciences, such as economy or sociology, but rather it’s starting point will be the way God looks upon his works and his Word, fulfilled once and for all in Christ, who lives always in those who come together in the Church, through which He continues His Mission given to Him by the Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit (AG 2-6).


The first part of this talk will present four basic questions for the Missions: 1) God made us  to know, love and announce “one but not onlyGod (Trinity of Persons), fulfilled in the revelation to humanity at a specific time in the history of revelation, salvation and covenantOur Christian knowledge of this world’s realitiescreation, the dignity of the human person, their mission in the world, etc. – derives from our response to that first theological question.    2) The Person of Christ is the only universal figure, criterion of knowledge of the union between the divinity and humanity, by means of his specific messianic aspect, spendour of his full revelation through the paschal mystery whose work of salvation goes forth to every age and for all time,  and which tends towards escatalogical fulfness (AG 9).  3) The Christian vision of the human person and of the unity of humanity: created and called to be God’s adopted children, “Word made flesh”; universal fraternity based on the ontological communion of all human beings, who participate in the same life of God, in ChristFrom these two aspects there derives the defence of moral values: human rights, justice, peace, solidarity, “responsibilitybefore God and humanity. 4) The vision of the Kingdom of God which we must announce in its double aspect, real and eschatalogical, which was the goal of Christ’s mission and the members of the evangelizing Church (EN 6-16), leads us to announce the universal salvation of the human race (PP 6, 14) founded on the principle that the earthly and heavenly cities penetrate each other (GS 40; PP 12-13), which guides the presence of the Church and its activity in the light of  the Kingdom (Mt 5-7), from the precept of the two commandments of love of God and of neighbour (Mt 22:34-40); cf. RM 15),  which lead to the imperatives of justice (cf. RM 37) and the moral implications of the final judgement (Mt 25: 31-46).


The second part will be an allusion to the four principles which guide the theology of human development on the Missions and the way to do this as indicated by Vatican II. 1) Jesus Christ is the stable principle and permanent centre of Mission which God Himself confides to us (RH 11).  2) ”With the Incarnation of the Son of God he is united in a certain way to everyone” (GS 22).  3) “Man in the full truth of his existence, of his personal being and also of his community and social being….is the primary route that the Church must travel in fulfilling her mission” (RH 14). 4) “Between evangelization and the promotion of the human persondevelopment, liberationthere is a profound link” (EN 31). The way to develop is: to read the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the Gospel (GS 4).

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Updated 24 mar 2007  by OCD General House
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