Aparecida 535-536: Reconciliation And Hope

A good word for reconciliation:

535. Among our peoples, educating and fostering all deeds, works and paths of reconciliation and agreement in society, cooperation and integration are required. The communion attained in Christ’s reconciling blood gives us the strength to be bridge-builders, proclaimers of truth, and balm for wounds. Reconciliation is at the heart of Christian life. It is God’s own initiative in the pursuit of friendship with us, which entails the necessary reconciliation with each other. This is a reconciliation that we need in various realms and among all, and between all our countries. This fraternal reconciliation presumes reconciliation with God, sole source of grace and forgiveness, which reaches its expression and embodiment in the sacrament of Penance which God gives us through the Church.

The sacrament of Penance is not only a personal expression of desire for virtue, but a model of how to conduct social interactions with an eye to justice. As God does, the Christian pursues friendship and mutual regard. Past offenses are admitted to oneself and to those harmed. Apologies–sincere ones–are given. Amends are made. It is because of the experience of asking and receiving forgiveness that we can hope:

536. In the heart and life of our peoples there beats a strong sense of hope, despite living conditions that seem to obscure all hope. It is experienced and nourished in the present, thanks to the gifts and signs of new life which is shared; it brings commitment to the construction of a future of greater dignity and justice and yearns for “the new heavens and the new earth” that God has promised us in his eternal dwelling.

For deeper examination, check an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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