Why restructuring?

Our mission in a globalized world. If we consider the quantity and quality of changes that we experience across the world, we must recognize that the present global reality is unique. This is probably the first time in history that so many changes occur in such a brief period and on such a vast scale. In order to understand the world today, among the many characteristics one stands out: globalization.

The Internet is perhaps the first image that comes to mind to describe global relations, “a type of network”, potentially accessible to everyone. However, we also think of advertising, which imposes the same products practically everywhere. In fact, young people dress and think alike. Television, which – given the domination of a standardized format and thanks to satellites – transmits similar types of programs to every continent. More generally, we are thinking of the tremendous power of communications media, which are capable of modifying or trans-forming a world vision as well as the behavior and ways of thinking of human beings.

A globalized world also means that bankruptcy in one country becomes a financial crisis for the entire planet. As a result, life styles and aspirations tend to become the same everywhere, with a common denominator: the predominance of business, technology and a “free” market with few, if any regulatory controls. Already these characteristics have important consequences for our mission. Let us recall some of them.

A clear problem is the ambiguity of so many changes at work. If it is true that these carry new opportunities, we recognize that globalization also implies terrible risks, particularly to the detriment of the poorest, the marginalized and the excluded.

Contemporary lifestyle leaves less and less space for the care of one’s spirit and con- science (Mt. 16,26; Jn. 6,63). We are increasingly aware that our world has become a global village, but the air that is inhaled is that of the great cities, where relations are often impersonal, where one lives more to consume than converse, where there is no longer any time to encounter God.

Thus, the globalized world universally imposes an urgent need for evangelization in the strict sense. To proclaim the Gospel as an offer of a good, beautiful and full life is seen today as an enormous task because it opposes the general trends of a life of ease, instant gratification, a cult of images and the so-called ”liquid life” as described by Zygmunt Baumann. Phenomena such as anticlericalism or a decline in Mass attendance should not concern us as much as the reason behind them: a world that is closed to the newness of God, a world that does not believe in God’s love.

The fate of the last in society challenges the first. We cannot respond to the evangelization of the most abandoned simply “locally”. We cannot think of the stock market

and at the same time forget about the most isolated villages. We need to concentrate and invest resources for the sake of the poorest, and do this by thinking globally.

While in the past missionaries traveled along two axes (from North to South and West to East), an image that increasingly has come to describe our mission is once again that of a network. Hence, an emblematic challenge for us today is the phenomenon of migration, a sign of a world in which the destinies of all are intertwined, where the task of the Gospel demands new and less static responses.