With the closure of Christian Unity week which ended yesterday we witness another phase in the life of the Church. We must recall the all embracing mission expressed in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church in the Second Vatican Council, chapter II, paragraph 16: “Nor is God himself far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God….those also can attain salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ or his Church…Nor does divine Providence deny the help necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God, but who strive, aided by his grace, to live a good life. Whatever goodness or truth is found amongst them, is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the gospel, and as given by him who enlightens all people that they may finally have life.” (In St.John’s Gospel the ‘kingdom’ is ‘life’). The values of the kingdom are truth, justice, kindness, love, devotion for others, forgiveness and so on. Anyone who does these is not far from the kingdom. These days in dialoguing with other religions, and with all people, believers or not, we are seeking for and sharing kingdom values. Anyone helping a person in need, is subscribing to a kingdom value. It is not just a question of believers doing it – it is a question of anyone doing good and being encouraged to do so. The Church exists to serve the kingdom, to help bring about the values that it represents. But it is all God’s world and God’s work.
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