Being a Christian requires more than intellectual or moral agreement with Christian teachings. Christ asks for our love and loyalty. Following him requires conversion, which leads to membership in the Church, the Body of Christ. To be a Christian means being a citizen of a city that has a rich inheritance and glorious future.
Even now, the Christian way bears witness to the fullness of life promised in Christ. Caring for the sick and the poor, friendship for the prisoner and the outcast, comforting the sorrowful and educating those who need instruction: These are works of mercy that embody the love of God in Christ. This active witness is crowned by ongoing prayer for the needs of fellow Christians, as well as for the world.
The Christian way seeks to be faithful to that which has been given by God, which turns it outward rather than inward. It serves God’s love for the world. Evangelization seeks to bring people to Christ. But this is not so that Christianity might grow more powerful and “win.” Instead, the Christian mission proclaims the good news that God, in his mercy, offers deliverance to humanity from the power of sin and death, opening up a new future in which the fullness of life reigns.