Sunday, April 23, 2006
Gaudium et Spes 45Section 45 concludes Part I of Gaudium et Spes. While helping the world and receiving many benefits from it, the Church has a single intention: that God's kingdom may come, and that the salvation of the whole human race may come to pass. For every benefit which the People of God during its earthly pilgrimage can offer to the human family stems from the fact that the Church is "the universal sacrament of salvation",(cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter II n. 15: AAS 57 (1965), p. 20.) simultaneously manifesting and a rising the mystery of God's love. The Church confesses its agenda: the coming Kingdom of God. GS also confesses a Christo-centric core: For God's Word, by whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh so that as perfect (human being) He might save all (human beings) and sum up all things in Himself. The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the longings of history and of civilization, the center of the human race, the joy of every heart and the answer to all its yearnings.(cf. Paul VI, address given on Feb. 3, 1965.) He it is Whom the Father raised from the dead, lifted on high and stationed at His right hand, making Him judge of the living and the dead. Enlivened and united in His Spirit, we journey toward the consummation of human history, one which fully accords with the counsel of God's love: "To reestablish all things in Christ, both those in the heavens and those on the earth" (Eph. 11:10). The Lord Himself speaks: "Behold I come quickly And my reward is with me, to render to each one according to his works. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end (Acts;. 22;12-13). The focus on Christ seems pretty clear, especially in concluding the lengthy first part of this document. Any comments?