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253. we ask the lord that, wherever he may be, he may bless all those who struggle in his service and enable them to respond to his maternal solicitude. we look to the lord as our partner, to the most holy virgin as our model and to the church of christ as our teacher and guide.
121. the church begins her evangelizing mission where the gospel is proclaimed. let us recall the following words of the apostle paul: not that i have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but i press on to take hold of that for which christ jesus took hold of me (phil 1:10-11). this is the meaning of the “i have no silver or gold” mentioned above; it is the proclamation of the gospel which makes us zealous. however, this zeal would be sterile if it did not receive the gift of the holy spirit who always accompanies the proclamation of the divine word and makes it fruitful.
43. it is a great gift to have an honored place in heaven, but it is also important that we do not neglect our duties on earth. all our brothers and sisters, even those who do not belong to the church, want to hear the good news of salvation in their hearts, and should not be left out of this good news. the dignity of the human person, even when he or she is not a christian, is a message which is a comfort for all people. this dignity is encountered when we are truly open to the world, no longer protecting our past against others and presenting it as a closed universe. on the contrary, it grows as our life is enriched by the other peoples culture. the church must always discern whether it is possible to more closely and more effectively become a member of the world in which each person encounters the image of god.
318. it is the same when we listen to the reading at mass: the task of the church is “to instruct and convert sinners” (gaudium et spes 41) which is both to “correct and convert” (pace 4, 2005). the task of preaching is to make people good, and only to the extent that i succeed in helping them to become good can i call myself a christian preacher. “someone who preaches christ alone is a bad preacher, because he is not impelled by the holiness, truth and charity of christ himself alone”.
296. is it possible that the church could be serious in putting forward an ecumenical idea without being willing to undergo the necessary and more-or-less painful reforms which christianity implies? in the past people have put forward such an idea (e.g. by demanding that the west give up its “western way of life”, which is a problem qua “western”, while leaving its “western” dogma and institutions unquestioned) without seriously working out the repercussions of such a proposal. today we know too well that such an ecumenical project has been tried, either in appearance or in fact, and has not been confined to superficial political calculations. the result was the loss of faith among christians themselves and the alienation of large parts of the christian world. today we see that, although the same people continue to struggle for the same ideals, it is impossible to enter into dialogue with those who insist on a christian solution to the world’s problems, as that solution remains for them a contingent truth. surely we should avoid repeating the same mistake!