“Get up and go into the city, where you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:6
This is a foundational text for the work of the Cristo Rey movement. It is part of the story of what happened to St. Paul. Paul is the one who had his whole world in perfect order; he was a professional in what he did. He offered to personally go and collect all those first Christians who were in Damascus. With that he fell from his horse, totally changed his way of thinking, and became vulnerable enough to let the Lord work through him. That is the glory of St. Paul, and that is the glory of the work of the Cristo Rey Network. Just like Paul, this text means first of all that we don’t know what to do; we have to go into the city to find out. It means that we do not have the answers to know what we are doing; we “will be told” what we must do. It is basically an instruction that calls for humility, daring and trust. How many times do we have to have all the answers before we can proceed? How fearful it is to act without knowing what exactly we are going to do. It resembles the attitude that made the Virgin as great as she is: “may it be done to me according to your will.” The only thing she wanted was to place herself at the Lord’s disposition. The Cristo Rey movement doesn’t know how to “transform urban American one student at a time.” We have to go into the city to find out and discover there what we must do. We are basically learners. The Cristo Rey movement is virgin territory; the supposition is that we do not know how to do it. We have to learn. The very people we are about serving are the ones who are going to teach us. They are “the city;” we will learn from them.