NONBELIEVERS HAVE ROLE IN GOD´S PLAN, POPE SAYS

Urges Collaboration to Build the Kingdom of God

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 6, 2000 (ZENIT.org).-

Every person is called to "collaborate" with the coming of the Kingdom of God, John Paul II said, in an urgent appeal for cooperation between believers and nonbelievers.

In today´s general audience address, the Pope said: "All the righteous on earth, even those who do not know Christ and his Church and who, under the influence of grace, seek God with a sincere heart, are ... called to build the Kingdom of God, cooperating with the Lord who is the first and decisive architect."

Thus, before a crowd of 30,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter´s Square, the Pontiff continued his catechetical talks on the relations of the faithful with non-Catholics. Today he focused on the collaboration with nonbelievers in contemporary society.

Above all, the Pope explained the meaning of the expression "Kingdom of God," which reveals man´s mission in the world in light of the Gospel.

"The Kingdom is the effective but mysterious action that God carries out in the universe and in the tangle of human events," he said. "He conquers the resistance of evil with patience, not with overbearing force or clamor. ... Fears, anxieties, worries dissolve, because the Kingdom of God is in our midst in the person of Christ."

"However," Peter´s successor added, "man is not an inert witness of God´s entry into history. Jesus invites us to seek actively the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and to make this quest our principal concern."

"Therefore, the human person is called to cooperate with his hands, his mind, and his heart in the coming of the Kingdom of God in the world. This is especially true of those who are called to the apostolate and who are, as Paul says, ´co-workers for the kingdom of God,´ but it is also true of every human person."

And how can one collaborate with the coming of the Kingdom of God? The Pope suggested the beatitudes as the answer. The collaborators of the Kingdom are those who live "as ´poor in spirit,´" he said, "detached from material goods, in order to raise the last of the earth from the dust of their humiliation."

Collaborators of the Kingdom are those "who lovingly endure the sufferings of life; ... the pure of heart ... who choose the way of righteousness, namely, of union with the will of God," the Pope said.

Therefore, he concluded, the collaborators of the Kingdom are the ones who entrust themselves in God´s hands, "as inexperienced children who find security only in their Father. Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child ... shall not enter it."
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