Pages 86-89 from Chapter Three, Generating Traces in the History of the World, New Traces of the Christian Experience, by Fr. Luigi Giussani.
A New People in History
for the Human Glory of Christ
1 A NEW PROTAGONIST IN HISTORY
The companionship of those whom Christ has assimilated to Himself in the church, His Body, lives and reveals itself as a new people, the People of God. First, let us see what the characteristics of a people are, and then how this particular people, the People of God, are revealed in the history of mankind.
The existence of a people requires a bond between persons created by an event that is perceived as decisive for its historical meaning, for their destiny, and for that of the world. An event gives rise to a people by pointing out a stable bond of belonging between persons who were unrelated up to that moment, just as the event of a child completes the beginning of a family. Let us take an example. Imagine two families living in houses built on piles in the middle of a river that periodically swells. The unity between these two families, then five, then ten as generations pass, is a continuous fight for survival, and ultimately for affirming life. The bond that grew between them makes them seek a greater and greater consistency of their life as it was started. The reality that is born is judged to be positive, a good, and this also implies a defence, with all the ingenuity and the operative energy needed, against whoever attacks it. A yeast among them keeps them united, supports their life -- it is the dawn of a people.