Tuesday, September 16, 2008

On Jojo - Sharing a Hands-on Passion

I can count on less than one hand the number of Jesuit priests I know personally - until I met Jojo.

In our conversations, he usually speaks the least. When he does talk, his volume never rises above a (very) low level. If you've ever seen Jojo upset or angry, take a photo. There are few rarer moments.

Jojo gives me the impression that every word of his mouth has been scanned and re-scanned for politeness and reasonable intelligence.

This doesn't mean he can't get the crowd roaring with laughter. At last year's conference with Brian McLaren, Jojo was clearly the toast of the final forum on World. I mean, how many people do you know would urge Christians to learn from the pig?

Jojo is an anthropologist. His ministry is immersion - into the lives of those he's reaching out, into their culture, their very rituals. To the Jew, one becomes a Jew. To the Gentile, one turns Gentile. To the pagan, a pagan - so that all avenues are covered in the work of salvation (1 Cor 9:20-23).

For our written submissions, he's usually the fastest. For our meals, the most casually intense. A good writer who loves practicality and good food, a nurturesome double-helix.

Jojo also inter-weaves his passion for the nation's marginalised into his theology. One's thinking is most authentic when it's done from one's hands and heart. And our active service is given life by our reflections.

The strands flow in and out of each other. Come see how Jojo combines them all on October 10.

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