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First Adventist Meditation: God has many ways of salvation – Vatican News Vatican

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Cardinal Cantara Mesa held the first homily of Advent, reflecting on interfaith dialogue. Pope Francis was also present to listen.

(Vatican News Network) interreligious dialogue is not in opposition to evangelization, but rather determines the means of evangelization. Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pope’s Palace, delivered the first homily of this year’s Advent for the heads of the Holy See’s ministries in the Paul VI Hall on December 2. Pope Francis was also present listen. According to the Cardinal, Jesus sent the disciples “to make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19), which undoubtedly retains its eternal validity but needs to be understood in its historical context.

The cardinal explained that in the context of the time, “all nations” was an expression, showing that Jesus’ message was not only for Israel, but also for the whole world. Jesus’ words “are always valid for all people, but for those who already practice other religions, they need to be treated with respect, patience and love”. St. Francis of Assisi understood this and put it into practice. In the “Regulations of the Council”, he proposed “two ways to contact the Arabs and other heathens”. The first is not to quarrel, but to accept “everyone created by the love of God” and to declare oneself a Christian. Second, once “seeing the favor of the Lord, proclaim the Word and make them believe in the Almighty God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”.

From this, the cardinal talked about the practical significance of “going to make disciples of all nations”. He said, “If belief in Christ is the faith of salvation, what about those who have no chance to believe in Him?” Today we live in a society where “religions are also pluralistic,” theology, both Eastern and Western, Catholic and Protestantism “actually only developed in a world where Christianity existed”. In the past “the existence of other religions was also known, but these religions were regarded as false or not taken seriously from the beginning”. Apart from the different ways of understanding the church, all Christians firmly believe in the traditionally accepted truth that “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus” (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus) is a common belief.

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“This is no longer the case,” the cardinal stressed. For some time now, there has been “a dialogue between religions, in a spirit of mutual respect and acknowledgment of the values ​​inherent in each religion”. In terms of the Catholic Church, the Declaration of the Second Vatican Council’s “The Church’s Attitude towards Non-Christian Religions” became the starting point, and “such a policy is also the consensus of all Christian churches in history.” With this acknowledgment, we express our “belief that people outside the church can be saved.”

Cardinal Cantara Mesa then asked, in this new vision, does not the traditional axiom “no salvation outside the church” survive in the axiom “no salvation outside faith”? In some Christian contexts, he said, Christianity is actually “the dominant doctrine, and that becomes the motivation for missionary commitment.” However, in this way “salvation is limited in the beginning to a few”. This not only “first distorts Christ and removes most people from him”.

We cannot, the cardinal said, believe that “Jesus is God and confine his prominence to narrow areas”. Citing the Bible, the cardinal pointed out that those who do not know Christ, but act according to their conscience (cf. Romans 2:14-15) and do good to their neighbor (cf. Mt. In the “Acts of the Apostles”, Peter also said that “God is not respectful, and all people who fear him and do justice are those who are pleasing to him” (10:34- 35).

Moreover, generally speaking, people of other religions “believe that God exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (cf. Heb. assertion”. This was especially true of the Jewish brethren, who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the same God we Christians believe in, who “has ways of redemption beyond our imagination. He established His ‘channels’ of grace, but did not bind itself in them”. One of the excellent channels of salvation is “suffering”.

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Suffering, in its own way, became a universal sacrament of salvation after Christ “had taken it upon himself and redeemed it”. “Sufferings of all kinds, not only Christians, somehow wonderfully ‘supplement what Christ’s sufferings lacked'” (Colossians 1:24). Therefore, “the Church celebrates the martyrdom of the holy infants, even though they did not know that they were suffering for Christ!” Having said this, the cardinal said, “we believe that all who are saved are saved through the merits of Christ”. It is therefore “necessary” to continue to “preach the Gospel to everyone”.

Cardinal Cantara Mesa concludes that the motivation for evangelism “should change, but not the fact”. In this vision, we must “continue to proclaim Christ, but not for a negative reason, that is: if the Gospel is not preached, the world will be condemned; but for a positive reason, that is, for everyone, Jesus is a matchless grace.”

Link URL: www.vaticannews.cn

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