"A lay Catholic perspective"

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God is Preparing the World
for the New Springtime

by Father Egbert Stang, omi


THE HOLY FATHER is helping all of us to move into the Great Jubilee Year 2000 and the Third Millennium of Christianity by giving us a new vision of faith, hope and love.

We are not to be pessimistic in spite of the many negative things we see in our world today. Rather we need to have faith in God our Father and Lord, in His goodness and mercy. As the year 2000 and the Third Millennium of Christianity approaches, God is preparing a Great Springtime of Christianity, and we can already see its first signs, if we see with the eyes of faith. All over the world, people are drawing closer to Gospel ideals and values.

Today, all peoples agree on these values: no more violence and war; respect for the human person and human rights; the desire for freedom, justice and solidarity with all; overcoming all forms of racism and nationalism and affirming the dignity and the role of woman in our world today.

Together with this faith in God our Father, we need hope in Jesus Christ. This means that we commit ourselves to spreading the Good News of Salvation that Jesus brings. God wants every person saved, for he created each person in his image and likeness, and he sent Jesus to die for every person. This will lead us to pray with Jesus Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Mt 6:10).

The number of those awaiting Christ is immense. Some estimate three billion of the five billion people in our world today, have not heard of Jesus Christ as the only Savior of the world. Hence, we need to unite all human and Christian resources to spread the Gospel.

As we prepare to celebrate the Jubilee Year 2000, we are even more committed to this new missionary advent. We must increase our apostolic zeal to pass on to others the light and the joy of our faith.

We cannot be content when billions of our brothers and sisters, who like us have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, live in ignorance of the love of God. For each of us believers, this is the most urgent missionary task, because it concerns the destiny of humanity and corresponds to God's mysterious and merciful plan.

In this last part of the twentieth century and the second millennium God is giving dramatic signs toward a New Springtime: the collapse of communism, naziism, apartheid, totalitarianism, as well as the imminent collapse of capitalism. The recent deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Theresa have captured the attention of the whole world in showing us how to reach out to the needy in a very simple way.

I know that I myself have to see God's plan and accept the guidance of the Holy Father. Only then will I radiate this faith, hope and love to others. I hope and pray that all of us will grow in our faith in God our Father, hope in Jesus Christ as the only Savior of the world, and love in their Holy Spirit in bringing the Good News of Salvation to all.