ed and we experience intensely what it is to be a
people, to be part of a people.
271. It is true that in our dealings with the
world, we are told to give reasons for our hope,
but not as an enemy who critiques and condemns.
We are told quite clearly: “do so with gentleness
and reverence” (
1 Pet
3:15) and “if possible, so
far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with
all” (
12:18). We are also told to overcome
“evil with good” (
12:21) and to “work for
the good of all” (
6:10). Far from trying to
appear better than others, we should “in humili-
ty count others better” than ourselves (
The Lord’s apostles themselves enjoyed “favour
with all the people” (
2:47; 4:21, 33; 5:13).
Clearly Jesus does not want us to be grandees
who look down upon others, but men and wom-
en of the people. This is not an idea of the
Pope, or one pastoral option among others; they
are injunctions contained in the word of God
which are so clear, direct and convincing
they need no interpretations which might dimin-
ish their power to challenge us. Let us live them
sine glossa
, without commentaries. By so doing we
will know the missionary joy of sharing life with
God’s faithful people as we strive to light a fire in
the heart of the world.
272. Loving others is a spiritual force drawing
us to union with God; indeed, one who does
not love others “walks in the darkness” (
1 Jn
2:11), “remains in death” (
1 Jn
3:14) and “does
1...,192,193,194,195,196,197,198,199,200,201 203,204,205,206,207,208,209,210,211,212,...224
Powered by FlippingBook