Evangelii Nuntiandi 10: Two Key Words

A curious way of speaking of the Reign of God and of salvation; what do you make of it?

10. This kingdom and this salvation, which are the key words of Jesus Christ’s evangelization, are available to every human being as grace and mercy, and yet at the same time each individual must gain them by force – they belong to the violent, says the Lord,[Cf. Mt 11:12; Lk 16:16] through toil and suffering, through a life lived according to the Gospel, through abnegation and the cross, through the spirit of the beatitudes. But above all each individual gains them through a total interior renewal which the Gospel calls metanoia; it is a radical conversion, a profound change of mind and heart.[Cf. Mt 4:17]

Force? I don’t see the initiation of violence as being part of citizenship in God’s Reign. I think a believer’s efforts include expressions in the realm of the physical and the material. I know persecution confronts believers–they don’t even need to go looking for it. I think we personally grapple with aspects of the spiritual life. And sometimes we fall–even literally.

Metanoia, the radical conversion? That seems right to me. What do you see in this passage?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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