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Life in Christ

539

IV.

T

he

F

amily and

the

K

ingdom

2232

Family ties are important but not absolute. Just as the child

grows to maturity and human and spiritual autonomy, so his

unique vocation which comes from God asserts itself more clearly

and forcefully. Parents should respect this call and encourage their

children to follow it. They must be convinced that the first vocation

of the Christian is to

follow Jesus:

“He who loves father or mother

more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or

daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

39

2233

Becoming a disciple of Jesus means accepting the invita­

tion to belong to

God’s family,

to live in conformity with His way of

life: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my

brother, and sister, and mother.”

40

Parents should welcome and respect with joy and thanks­

giving the Lord’s call to one of their children to follow him in

virginity for the sake of the Kingdom in the consecrated life or in

priestly ministry.

V.

T

he

A

uthorities

in

C

ivil

S

ociety

2234

God’s fourth commandment also enjoins us to honor all

who for our good have received authority in society from God. It

clarifies the duties of those who exercise authority as well as those

who benefit from it.

Duties of civil authorities

2235

Those who exercise authority should do so as a service.

“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant.”

41

The exercise of authority is measured morally in terms of its divine

origin, its reasonable nature and its specific object. No one can

command or establish what is contrary to the dignity of persons

and the natural law.

2236

The exercise of authority is meant to give outward expres­

sion to a just hierarchy of values in order to facilitate the exercise of

freedom and responsibility by all. Those in authority should

practice distributive justice wisely, taking account of the needs and

39

Mt

10:37; cf. 16:25.

40

Mt

12:49.

41

Mt

20:26.

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1899

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