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Congregation for the Clergy
General Directory for Catechesis

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  • PART TWO THE GOSPEL MESSAGE
    • CHAPTER I Norms and criteria for presenting the Gospel message in catechesis
        • A message proclaiming salvation
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A message proclaiming salvation

101. The message of Jesus about God is Good News for humanity. Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God; (328) a new and definitive intervention by God, with a transforming power equal and even superior to his creation of the world. (329) In this sense, "Christ proclaims salvation as the outstanding element and, as it were, the central point of his Good News. This is the great gift of God which is to be considered as comprising not merely liberation from all those things by which man is oppressed, but especially liberation from sin and from the domination of the evil one, a liberation which incorporates that gladness enjoyed by every man who knows God and is known by him, who sees God and who surrenders himself trustingly to him". (330) Catechesis transmits this message of the Kingdom, so central to the preaching of Jesus. In doing so, the message "is gradually deepened, developed in its implicit consequences", (331) and thus manifests its great repercussions for man and the world.

102. In its drawing out the Gospel kerygma of Jesus, catechesis underlines the following basic aspects:

Jesus, with the Kingdom, proclaims and reveals that God is not a distant inaccessible Being, "a remote power without a name" (332) but a Father, who is present among his creatures and whose power is his love. This testimony about God as Father, offered in a simple and direct manner, is fundamental to catechesis.

Jesus shows, at the same time, that God, with the coming of his Kingdom offers the gift of integral salvation, frees from sin, brings one to communion with the Father, grants divine sonship, and in conquering death, promises eternal life. (333) This complete salvation is at once, immanent and eschatological, because "it has its beginning certainly in this life, but which achieves its consummation in eternity". (334)

Jesus, in announcing the Kingdom, proclaims the justice of God: he proclaims God's judgement and our responsibility. The proclamation of this judgement, with its power to form consciences, is a central element in the Gospel, and Good News for the world: for those who suffer the denial of justice and for those who struggle to re-instate it; for those who have known love and existence in solidarity, because penance and forgiveness are possible, since in the Cross of Christ we all receive redemption from sin. The call to conversion and belief in the Gospel of the Kingdom—a Kingdom of justice, love and peace, and in whose light we shall be judged—is fundamental for catechesis.

Jesus declares that the Kingdom of God is inaugurated in him, in his very person. (335) He reveals, in fact, that he himself, constituted as Lord, assumes the realization of the Kingdom until he consigns it, upon completion, to the Father when he comes again in glory. (336) "Here on earth the Kingdom is mysteriously present; when the Lord comes it will enter into its perfection". (337)

Jesus shows, equally, that the community of his disciples, the Church, "is, on earth, the seed and the beginning of that Kingdom" (338) and, like leaven in the dough, what she desires is that the Kingdom of God grow in the world like a great tree, giving shelter to all peoples and cultures. "The Church is effectively and concretely at the service of the Kingdom". (339)

Finally, Jesus manifests that the history of humanity is not journeying towards nothingness, but, with its aspects of both grace and sin, is in him taken up by God and transformed. In its present pilgrimage towards the Father's house, it already offers a foretaste of the world to come, where, assumed and purified, it will reach perfection. "Accordingly, evangelization will include a prophetic proclamation of another's life, that is of man's sublime and eternal vocation. This vocation is at once connected with and distinct from his present state". (340)




328) Cf. EN 11-14; RM 12-20; cf. CCC 541-556.



329) In the liturgy of the Church it is expressed in the Easter Vigil: "Almighty and eternal God you created all things in wonderful beauty and order. Help us now to perceive how still more wonderful is the new creation by which in the fullness of time you redeemed your people through the sacrifice of our Passover, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns forever and ever" (Missale Romanum, Easter Vigil, prayer after the first reading).



330) EN 9.



331) CT 25.



332) EN 26.



333) This gift of Salvation confers on us, "justification" by means of the grace of faith and of the Church's Sacraments, This grace frees us from sin and introduces us to communion with God" (LC 52).



334) EN 27.



335) Cf. LG 3 and 5.



336) Cf. RM 16.



337) GS 39.



338) LG 5.



339) RM 20.



340) EN 28.






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