CCC 605 At the end of the parable of the lost sheep Jesus recalled that God’s love excludes no one: “So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”1 He affirms that he came “to give his life as a ransom for many”; this last term is not restrictive, but contrasts the whole of humanity with the unique person of the redeemer who hands himself over to save us.2 The Church, following the apostles, teaches that Christ died for all men without exception: “There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer.”3
CCC 616 It is love “to the end”4 that confers on Christ’s sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life.5 Now “the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.”6 No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. The existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.
CCC 655 Finally, Christ’s Resurrection – and the risen Christ himself is the principle and source of our future resurrection: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. .. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”7 The risen Christ lives in the hearts of his faithful while they await that fulfillment. In Christ, Christians “have tasted. .. the powers of the age to come”8 and their lives are swept up by Christ into the heart of divine life, so that they may “live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”9
CCC 851 Missionary motivation. It is from God’s love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, “for the love of Christ urges us on.”10 Indeed, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”;11 that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in God’s universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary.
CCC 1214 This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to “plunge” or “immerse”; the “plunge” into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as “a new creature.”12
CCC 1265 Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte “a new creature,” an adopted son of God, who has become a “partaker of the divine nature,”13 member of Christ and co-heir with him,14 and a temple of the Holy Spirit.15
CCC 1269 Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us.16 From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to “obey and submit” to the Church’s leaders,17 holding them in respect and affection.18 Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.19
CCC 1999 The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification:20
Therefore if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself.21
1 Mt 18:14.
2 Mt 20:28; cf. Rom 5:18-19.
3 Council of Quiercy (853): DS 624; cf. 2 Cor 5:15; I Jn 2:2.
4 Jn 13:1.
5 Cf. Gal 2:20; Eph 5:2, 25.
6 2 Cor 5:14.
7 I Cor 15:20-22.
8 Heb 6:5.
9 2 Cor 5:15; cf. Col 3:1-3.
10 2 Cor 5:14; cf. AA 6; RMiss 11.
11 1 Tim 2:4.
12 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Cf. Rom 6:34; Col 2:12.
13 2 Cor 5:17; 2 Pet 1:4; cf. Gal 4:5-7.
14 Cf. l Cor 6:15; 12:27; Rom 8:17.
15 Cf. l Cor 6:19.
16 Cf. 1 Cor 6:19; 2 Cor 5:15.
17 Heb 13:17.
18 Cf. Eph 5:21; 1 Cor 16:15-16; 1 Thess 5:12-13; Jn 13:12-15.
19 Cf. LG 37; CIC, cann. 208 223; CCEO, can. 675:2.
20 Cf. Jn 4:14; 7:38-39.
21 2 Cor 5:17-18.