Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
8 Mar 2010
Priests are ministers of the new covenant between God and humanity, through Christ and through Grace. Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, reiterated this in his first Lenten sermon this morning in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel of the Apostolic Palace, in the presence of the Pope and the Curia. In every human religion or religious philosophy - Father Cantalamessa noted - man begins by saying what he must do to save himself: the duties, the works, whether external ascetics or philosophical paths. Christianity does not begin by telling men what to do, but of what God has done for him.
Jesus did not begin to preach, saying: Repent and believe the Gospel for the Kingdom to come to you; rather, He began saying, "The kingdom of God is among you: Repent and believe the Gospel". Not first the conversion, then salvation, but salvation first and then conversion.