Aleteia

John Paul II urged Christians not to run away from the world

POPE John Paul II
PATRICK HERTZOG | AFP
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It can be tempting to run away and avoid conflict, especially when the world is in crisis.

While a small number of people are called by God to devote themselves to prayer and fasting in the desert, most Christians are required to act within the world.

This can be difficult to handle at times, especially when the world is in a state of crisis and division. Many of us may be tempted to seclude ourselves from everyone else for at least a few more months!

However, St. John Paul II urged Christians not to run away! He spoke about this topic in an address to political leaders during the year 2000.

For Christians today, it is not a question of fleeing the world in which God’s call has placed then, but rather of bearing witness to their own faith and being faithful to their own principles in the difficult and ever new situations which mark the world of politics.

Many approached the year 2000 with fear about the future and wanted to avoid the world, choosing to remain isolated. Yet, St. John Paul II did not think that was the answer.

As Christians living in these formidable and yet wonderful times, we share in the fears, the uncertainties and the questioning of our contemporaries. Yet we are not pessimistic about the future, for we have the certainty that Jesus Christ is the Lord of history, and in the Gospel we find the light which illumines our way, even in moments of difficulty and darkness.

The world may get dark and we may be challenged to stand-up for our faith, but the good news is that “Jesus Christ is the Lord of history.”

This should give us confidence that if we place our trust in God, all will be well. We may have to endure suffering, but a little suffering now will not compare to the glories of Heaven that last forever.

Above all, keep these words of Jesus Christ close to you, reminding yourself of how God did not want us to run away, but to be faithful to him.

I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. (John 17:14-16)

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