The first subdivision of chapter eight, Kingdom Of God, Social Justice, and Christian Charity, we’ll cover in this and the four posts that follow. If a person might be confused or concerned about the interlocking issues of justice and charity, these sections are a good primer–what a social justice apologist might present to you. Let’s read:
382. “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:15).
First, justice and charity are intimately linked with the Reign of God. The evangelist Mark is brusque and to-the-point. Jesus gives an additional view in Luke 4:18-19, citing Isaiah the prophet. Remember it?
This is an important passage, describing that the interior conversion sparks the insight of a human unity, rather than a notion of a special status or privilege:
The voice of the Lord continues calling us as missionary disciples and challenges us to guide our whole life from within the transforming reality of the Kingdom of God which becomes present in Jesus. We very joyfully welcome this good news. God-love is Father of all men and women of all peoples and races. Jesus Christ is the Kingdom of God which seeks to deploy all its transforming power in our church and in our societies. God has chosen us in Him to be his children with the same origin and destiny, with the same dignity, with the same rights and duties, lived out in the supreme commandment of love.
It is the awareness of God’s agency that confirms in the missionary disciple the reality that God has chosen us all in Christ and the desire to draw others near. God also confirms and sustains our efforts, thanks in large part to the liturgy:
The Spirit has sown this seed of the Kingdom in our baptism and makes it grow through the grace of ongoing conversion thanks to the Word and the sacraments.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.