Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
The evangelizing mission of the Church is essentially the announcement of God's love, mercy, and forgiveness revealed to mankind through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. It is the proclamation of the good news that God loves us and wants all people united in His loving mercy, He forgives us and asks us to forgive others even for the greatest offenses.
Only God's love, able to make brothers and sisters of people of all races and cultures, can heal the painful divisions, ideological conflict, economic unbalance and violence which still oppresses humanity.
Contemplating the Cross we learn to live with humility and forgiveness, peace and communion.
From the cross Jesus shows the conditions which enable us to forgive. To the hatred with which His persecutors nailed Him to the cross, He responds with a prayer for them. He not only forgives them, He continues to love them, to want their good and to intercede for them. His death becomes the full realization of Love.
The total forgiveness of Christ ... is the beginning of the new justice of the kingdom of God for everyone.
The main road of mission is sincere dialogue... "Dialogue ... speaks to others with respect and understanding, stating the principles in which we believe and proclaiming with love the most profound truths of the faith which are joy, hope, and meaning of life..." (Redemptoris missio, n. 56).
This dialogue is linked closely with readiness to forgive, because a person who forgives opens the hearts of others and learns to love and understand others entering into harmony with them.
The act of pardoning, after the example of Jesus, challenges and opens hearts, heals the wounds of sin and division and creates real communion.
(Source: Message for World Mission Sunday, October 20, 2002, issued May 19, 2002, the Solemnity of Pentecost)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com