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The Profession of Faith

223

lation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews “belong the sonship, the

glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the

promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, accord-

ing to the flesh, is the Christ”;

328

“for the gifts and the call of God

are irrevocable.”

329

840

And when one considers the future, God’s People of the Old

Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expec-

tation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the

return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized

as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose

features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is

accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ

Jesus.

841

The Church’s relationship with the Muslims.

“The plan of

salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the

first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold

the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one,

merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

330

842

The Church’s bond with non-Christian religions

is in the first

place the common origin and end of the human race:

All nations form but one community. This is so because all

stem from the one stock which God created to people the

entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny,

namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving

designs extend to all against the day when the elect are

gathered together in the holy city. . . .

331

843

The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that

search, among shadows and images, for the Godwho is unknown yet

near since he gives life and breath and all things andwants all men to

be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in

these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by himwho

enlightens all men that they may at length have life.”

332

844

In their religious behavior, however, men also display the

limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:

Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain

in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for

a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else,

328

Rom

9:4-5.

329

Rom

11:29.

330

LG

16; cf.

NA

3.

331

NA

1.

332

LG

16; cf.

NA

2;

EN

53.

674

597

360

28

856

29