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March 1989

We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled with God. (2 Cor. 5:20)

With the death of his son on the cross, God gave us the supreme proof of his love and reconciled humanity to himself, which had turned away by sinning. Saint Paul underlines, however, that Christ entrusted to the apostles the task of bringing to the world the good, news of reconciliation.

Herein lies the greatness and importance of the apostolic ministry as a collaboration with the salvific work of God. This also explains St Paul's pressing appeal to the community of Corinth to willingly accept the reconciliation offered by the Father through his apostolic ministry, and to see him as an ambassador of Christ, as he really is.

We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled with God.

Saint Paul is seeking to obtain full acceptance of his ministry from the community of Corinth which was seriously being threatened by certain preachers who were trying to separate the community from the apostle by using deceitful tactics and false arguments.

Because of his great love for the Corinthians, and also because of the calling received from Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saint Paul claims authority as an authentic spokesman of Christ, whom all people, laity and ministers, should follow.

We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled with God.

This phrase contains a principle which is very relevant today. God wants to use people to save mankind. Christ chose the apostles and their fellow workers, entrusting to them his words in order to accomplish our reconciliation with God and with one another.

We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled with God.

The Word of Life this month puts us on guard against a dangerous tendency which is ever present, which is to separate Christ from his ministers: saying 'yes' to Christ and 'no' to the Church.

Saint Paul makes us clearly understand that this way of thinking does not correspond with Jesus' way of seeing things. Unity with Jesus passes through unity with his representatives and delegates, established by him.

For Roman Catholics, in particular, living the Word of Life of this month, means deepening their unity with their bishops and especially the Pope, convinced that this faithfulness to the apostolic ministry will make them always more truly Christian.

Chiara Lubich

 

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