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LEAVENED BY CHRIST TO BECOME A VIBRANT COMMUNION OF COMMUNITIES

 – A PARTICIPATORY CHURCH

46. All members of the People of God are called to holiness, according to the Apostle’s saying: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Th 4:3). All the faithful of Christ, of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity (cf. LG 32, 39, 40). “This ideal of perfection must not be misunderstood as if it involved some kind of extraordinary existence, possible only for a few ‘uncommon heroes’ of holiness. The ways of holiness are many, according to the vocation of each individual... The time has come to re-propose wholeheartedly to everyone this high standard of ordinary Christian living: the whole life of the Christian community and of Christian families must lead in this direction” (NMI 31).

47. All members of the People of God share a common dignity because of their rebirth in Christ. They also share in a common task that has been entrusted to them through Baptism and Confirmation (cf. LG 32). Jesus Christ Himself has communicated to the faithful the mission which He received from the Father. All the faithful share in the triple mission of Christ – prophetic, priestly and kingly – and they are called to form a vibrant communion of communities.

48. Among the People of God, therefore, there is no inequality. All share a true equality with regard to the dignity and to the activity common to all the faithful for the building up of the Body of Christ. Grades in the Church do not imply any gradation in dignity but merely a diversity of functions (cf. LG 32, 40). The difference that the Lord made between sacred ministers and the rest of the People of God entails a unifying purpose, since pastors and the other faithful are bound to each other by mutual need and interdependence (cf. LG 32).

49. However, it is to be duly acknowledged that the principal responsibility for the mission of the Church has been entrusted by Christ to the Apostles and their successors. By virtue of episcopal ordination and hierarchical communion with the Holy Father, Bishops receive the mandate and authority to teach, govern and sanctify the People of God. Together with priests and deacons as helpers, the Bishops receive the charge of the community presiding in God’s stead over the flock of which they are the shepherds (cf. LG 20, EA 43, NMI 44). Pastors, members of the hierarchy, are the servants of the People of God while the faithful in their turn are called upon to enthusiastically co-operate with their pastors in a true spirit of respect, obedience and love.

50. Communion is a central and fundamental concept of the Second Vatican Council in its reflection on the Church (cf. LG1; CL 19). The heart of communion is relationships. Each Diocesan/Parish community can be rightly called communion of communities whereby we acknowledge a plurality of communities within the Church/Diocese/Parish, all of which live in relationship of love and service to each other and in openness to the wider society or community around it.

51. Ecclesial communion implies that each local Church should become a ‘participatory Church’, a Church in which all live in their proper vocation and perform their proper role. In order to build up the ‘communion of mission’ and the ‘mission of communion’, every member’s unique charism needs to be acknowledged, developed and effectively utilised. In particular, there is need to foster greater involvement of the lay faithful in the pastoral planning and decision making, through participatory structures (cf. EA 25).

Golden Verse

1Korintkarank 7:38

Mhonnttôch aplê ankvar hoklê lagim logn zata to borem korta; ani logn zaina to odik borem korta.
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