"Christís saving event
reveals to humanity the incomparable value
of every human person."
of Life is at the heart of Jesus' message. Lovingly
received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached
with dauntless fidelity as "good news" to the people of
every age and culture.
At the dawn
of salvation, it is the Birth of a Child which is proclaimed
as joyful news: "I bring you good news of a great joy which
will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in
the city of David a Saviour, who is. Christ the Lord" (Lk
2:10-11). The source of this "great joy" is the Birth of the
Saviour; but Christmas also reveals the full meaning of
every human birth, and the joy which accompanies the Birth
of the Messiah is thus seen to be the foundation and
fulfilment of joy at every child born into the world (cf.
presents the heart of his redemptive mission, Jesus says: "I
came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (Jn
10:10). In truth, he is referring to that "new" and
"eternal" life which consists in communion with the Father,
to which every person is freely called in the Son by the
power of the Sanctifying Spirit. It is precisely in this
"life" that all the aspects and stages of human life achieve
their full significance.
The incomparable worth of the human person
called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the
dimensions of his earthly existence, because it consists in
sharing the very life of God. The loftiness of this
supernatural vocation reveals the greatness and the
inestimable value of human life even in its temporal phase.
Life in time, in fact, is the fundamental condition, the
initial stage and an integral part of the entire unified
process of human existence. It is a process which,
unexpectedly and undeservedly, is enlightened by the promise
and renewed by the gift of divine life, which will reach its
full realization in eternity (cf. 1 Jn 3:1-2). At
the same time, it is precisely this supernatural calling
which highlights the relative character of each individual's
earthly life. After all, life on earth is not an "ultimate"
but a "penultimate" reality; even so, it remains a sacred
reality entrusted to us, to be preserved with a sense of
responsibility and brought to perfection in love and in the
gift of ourselves to God and to our brothers and sisters.
knows that this Gospel of life, which she has received from
her Lord,1 has a profound and persuasive echo in the heart
of every person-believer and non-believer alike-because it
marvellously fulfils all the heart's expectations while
infinitely surpassing them. Even in the midst of
difficulties and uncertainties, every person sincerely open
to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the
hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law
written in the heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15) the sacred
value of human life from its very beginning until its end,
and can affirm the right of every human being to have this
primary good respected to the highest degree. Upon the
recognition of this right, every human community and the
political community itself are founded.
In a special
way, believers in Christ must defend and promote this right,
aware as they are of the wonderful truth recalled by the
Second Vatican Council: "By his incarnation the Son of God
has united himself in some fashion with every human being"
This saving event reveals to humanity not only the boundless
love of God who "so loved the world that he gave his only
Son" (Jn 3:16), but also the incomparable value of
every human person.
faithfully contemplating the mystery of the Redemption,
acknowledges this value with ever new wonder. She feels
called to proclaim to the people of all times this "Gospel",
the source of invincible hope and true joy for every period
of history. The Gospel of God's love for man, the Gospel of
the dignity of the person and the Gospel of life are a
single and indivisible Gospel.
reason, man-living man-represents the primary and
fundamental way for the Church.