Christ is the Center by Pope John Paul II


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           The Holy Year, which we are celebrating underlines in a special way the fact that Christ is the center and the meaning of all that happens.  He is the center even when, humanly speaking, events seem to elude the rule of his providence. Christ himself has promised:  “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28: 20). Knowing this, we are encouraged to act always with great confidence, because it is Christ who is at work in us, and because we recognize that in him God is bringing to completion his eternal plan of salvation (cf. Eph 3: 11).
          The “fact” of the redemption opens before us in our daily tasks a horizon full of prospects; even in the contradictions that we often experience at the present time, we know we are constantly advancing towards a sure goal. True progress strives for Christ. True progress strives for that full union with him, holiness, which is also human perfection. St Paul makes this clear in his Letter to the Ephesians, in which he writes that the Lord has established everything “for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain ... to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4: 12-13). This is the way believers read and interpret history:  it is the history of Christ and we live with him and, immersed in him, advance towards him.

         Blessed Josemaría Escrivá observed: “In the religious order, man continues to be man and God continues to be God. In this field the high point of progress has already been reached:  it is Christ, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end” (Christ Is Passing By, 104).
Be confident in this knowledge:  the Christian’s effort is never in vain. The Christian never works alone. Do not forget it! Every believer is an instrument of God and with him Christ acts through the power of the Holy Spirit. Let God act in you and through you. And for this to happen, you are well aware of the means you should use:  the sacraments, prayer, the practice of the virtues and the sanctification of work, as well as spiritual direction.
          You need Christ, but Christ also needs you to make him known to your peers, with whom you share experiences and hopes. The Church entrusts you with the mission of bringing them the light of Christ’s truth and his universal message of salvation. Always be ready to think of others, forgetting yourselves in order to bring your brothers and sisters closer to God. In this way you will help build a better and more united world, because the conversion and commitment of one are a seed of salvation for all.
           I entrust you and your daily efforts to Mary, Queen of Apostles. Pray to her often and imitate her virtues. She will help you to know Jesus more intimately and to follow him with increasing fidelity and joy.

Condensed from L’Osservatore Romano, 3 May 2000, at


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