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Peace with Justice for the whole Creation - The Faith we affirm - The hope to which we witness

35. The hope to which we witness rests on the conviction that God's will is that all human beings may be saved (1 Tim. 2:4) and that he offers to them the supreme gift of everlasting life. 'If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied' (1 Cor. 15.19). We expect 'a new heaven and a new earth' (Rev. 21.1). In other words, we hope for the transformation of our creation: 'Behold, I make all things new' (Rev. 21.5). The new creation is the definite accomplishment of God's reign: through an act of resurrection, God's purpose with humanity will come to its ultimate fulfilment: 'Then comes the end, when Christ delivers the Kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power' (1 Cor. 15.24).

36. The hope for God's ultimate reign does not divert us from our present responsibilities. On the contrary, Christian hope is the most dynamic stimulus to work courageously and ardently to render humankind more peaceful, more just, more filled with brotherly and sisterly love, more responsible for the stewardship of this creation for the benefit of all men and women and of the future of the creation living in universal solidarity. God calls us to make love effective in the concrete service of our human brothers and sisters (Lk. 10.37), even if they are our enemies (Mt. 5.43-48). The beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount refer both to the future and the present (Mt. 5-1-12). Jesus indicates the indispensable way for the definitive participation in the Kingdom: 'For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven' (Mt. 5.20). At the same time, Jesus' acts and teaching show the nature of genuine love for God and our neighbour here and now. Christian hope is a call to action, because it is a pressing call to the service of God and of our human brothers and sisters (Mt. 7.21). The greater our Christian hope, the more passionate and efficient our action to improve the present conditions of humankind.


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