Gaudium et Spes 24

Gaudium et Spes 24 reminds us of the primacy of God’s universal fatherhood:

God, Who has fatherly concern for everyone, has willed that all (people) should constitute one family and treat one another in a spirit of (family). For having been created in the image of God, Who “from one man has created the whole human race and made them live all over the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26), all (people) are called to one and the same goal, namely God Himself.

A Christian believer is obligated to extend her or his family values to the entire world. The presumption, a difficult one, is that lacking any reason to expel a person from the”family,” a degree of honor, respect, and love, is to be assumed as a basic Christian expression. Love is a particularly needful value, and a particularly important choice to make, given the growing interdependence of the world’s peoples. It’s nowhere near less true in the cyber-age:

For this reason, love for God and neighbor is the first and greatest commandment. Sacred Scripture, however, teaches us that the love of God cannot be separated from love of neighbor: “If there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the Law” (Rom. 13:9-10; cf. 1 John 4:20). To (people) growing daily more dependent on one another, and to a world becoming more unified every day, this truth proves to be of paramount importance.

John 17 is a useful reflection. Jesus does not limit his prayer for unity to believers alone. He reiterates his desire–and the Father’s will–that all (not some!) will be one.

Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, “that all may be one. . . as we are one” (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God’s sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that (humankind), who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find (itself) except through a sincere gift of (itself).(cf. Luke 17:33)

More than expressing a shallow or tepid unity, the human calling is to aspire to be like the divine relationship of the Trinity.

How are we doing?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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