2000 and beyond – 2

“The range of challenges selected by the Holy Father [JP II] for the third and final year of preparation for the Jubilee Year 2000, dedicated to God the Father (TMA, 49-54) is surprisingly wide: from the need to personal conversion and a deepened appreciation of the natural moral law and the Sacrament of Penance, to the everyday demands of the theological virtue of Charity with God and neighbor; from a renewed insistance on the Church’s preferential option for the poor and marginalized, to the reduction or perhaps elimination of international debts which shackle the peaceful growth of many nations; from the promotion of dialogue and of the rights of women, to the support of the family and marriage, from the fostering of a “civilization of love” in the context of the predominance of ‘Western’ secularist values, to the dialogue with the great world religions, particularly Judaism and Islam.”

“All these challenges are taken as expressions of Christian life as a great pilgrimage to the House of the Father whose unconditional love for every human creature we discover anew each day.’ (TMA 49). In fact, this unifying  perspective of the Fatherhood of God, of His unconditional love for humanity is the perspective of Christ Himself, the perspective of a Son whose entire existence and pilgrimage is contained and defined totally within the coordinates of filiation and paternity. ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’…’Then Simon Peter spoke up: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:13-16; O’Callaghan, P. 1996. In praise of His glory: the Fatherhood of God, Christ’s own perspective. In Preparing for the Year 2000).