Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, nos. 55-56

Il Papa in Libano

Through Baptism, the lay faithful are fully incorporated into the Body of Christ and associated with the mission of the universal Church. Their participation in the life and internal activities of the Church is the perennial spiritual source enabling them to reach beyond the confines of ecclesial structures. As apostles in the world, they translate the Gospel, the doctrine and social teaching of the Church into concrete actions. Indeed, “Christians as fully-fledged citizens can and must do their part with the spirit of the Beatitudes, becoming builders of peace and apostles of reconciliation to the benefit of all society.”

Dear lay faithful, since temporal affairs are your proper domain, I encourage you to strengthen the bonds of fraternity and cooperation that unite you with all people of good will in pursuing the common good, sound administration of public funds, freedom of religion and respect for the dignity of each person. Even when the Church’s mission encounters obstacles in environments where the explicit proclamation of the Gospel is hindered or not possible, “maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that ... they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation” (1 Pet 2:12). Be concerned to give an account of your faith (cf. 1 Pet 3:15) by the consistency of your daily life and your activity. To make your witness truly bear fruit (cf. Mt 7:16, 20), I urge you to overcome divisions and all subjective interpretations of the Christian life. Take care not to separate that life – with its values and its demands – from the life of your family or from life in society, the workplace, the political and cultural spheres, since all the many areas of the lay person’s life fall under God’s plan. I invite you to be bold for the sake of Christ, in the confidence that neither tribulation, nor anguish, nor persecution can separate you from him (cf. Rom 8:35).

Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, nos. 55-56

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