Setting Out from Christ - John Paul II

Setting Out from Christ

John Paul II Traces


Here are some parts of John Paul II’s message to the participants in the Congress of Lay Catholics in the former Soviet Union held in Kiev, October 8th–12th

Old Europe, from West to East, is looking for a new identity…. Europe must remember that Christianity has been the lifeblood from which it has drawn the noblest inspirations of its spirit for two thousand years….
The theme of your Congress–“Being Witnesses to Christ Today”–expresses well the meaning of this mission, which none of the Baptized can delegate to others or avoid….
This will be possible to the extent that each of you is able to strengthen the awareness of your own Baptism. The sacrament of Baptism makes us children of God called to holiness, members of the Church–the Mystical Body of Christ–with a shared responsibility for building up the Christian community, participants in the Church’s mission of announcing to men and women the Good News of salvation….
Your vocation and mission will bear fruit provided that, in your actions, you are able always to make a return to Christ, to set out from Christ, to keep your gaze fixed firmly on Christ’s face…. Let His light shine in your personal lives, in your families, in your workplaces, in the world of education, culture, and politics….
A precious contribution in this regard can be made by associations, church movements, and new communities, the experience of which has given birth to fruitful pedagogical paths and a renewed apostolic enthusiasm.
The lay faithful, with a proper formation and always in respect of freedom, in brotherly love, in dialogue, and in cooperation, can open new paths to Christian unity, which is a “walking together toward Christ.” The love of Christ heals wounds, overcomes prejudices, prepares the paths of unity. Pray unceasingly so that what seems impossible by the standards of human logic will be made possible by God, who offers His powerful assistance. Bring to fulfilment the commandment of His Son: “Ut unum sint” [“that they may all be one”](Jn 17:21).

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