The Perspective of Justice
The heart of Christian community is the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the vine; we are the branches. Living within the vine, we “will produce abundantly.” Separated from the vine, we are, “a withered, rejected branch which can do nothing.”
The commandment that binds together this community is twofold: to believe in Jesus and to “love one another as he commanded us.” When following this commandment of faith and love, “we are at peace before him.” Such a community of faith, love and peace is possible, and Luke assures us that “throughout all Judea, Galilee and Samaria the church was at peace.”
Our world is not at peace; there is war and division everywhere. For our Church to speak peace to this world, it will have to be a peaceful community. There must be that faith in, and reliance on Jesus, and there must also be that love for one another. The world must be able to look at us and say that we are at peace. Only then will our message of peace get through to others.
That the Church may really be the sign of that solidarity which the family of nations desires, it should show in its own life greater cooperation between the Churches of rich and poor regions through spiritual communion and division of human and material resources.
Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World, 1971: 59.
**From Saint Louis University