A Catholic Monthly Magazine

World Mission Day

Extracts frPope-Francisom the Pope's Message (19 May 2013)

Faith is God’s precious gift,

which opens our mind to know and love him. He wants to enter into relationship with us and allow us to participate in his own life in order to make our life more meaningful, better and more beautiful. God loves us! Faith, however, needs to be accepted, which means, it needs our personal response, the courage to entrust ourselves to God, to live his love and be grateful for his infinite mercy. It is a gift, not reserved for a few but offered with generosity. Everyone should be able to experience the joy of being loved by God, the joy of salvation! It is a gift that one cannot keep to oneself, but it is to be shared. If we want to keep it only to ourselves, we will become isolated, sterile and sick Christians. The proclamation of the Gospel is part of being disciples of Christ and it is a constant commitment that animates the whole life of the Church. (Section 1)

The Second Vatican Council

emphasized in a special way how the missionary task, that of broadening the boundaries of faith, belongs to every baptized person and all Christian communities since “the people of God lives in communities, especially in dioceses and parishes, and becomes somehow visible in them, it is up to these to witness Christ before the nations” (Ad Gentes, 37).  ... we are all invited to walk the streets of the world with our brothers and sisters, proclaiming and witnessing our faith in Christ and making ourselves heralds of his Gospel. ... This missionary aspect is not merely a programmatic dimension in Christian life, but it is also a paradigmatic dimension that affects all aspects of Christian life. (Section 2)

It is urgent in our time

to announce and witness the goodness of the Gospel,
and this from within the Church itself. Because from this perspective, it is important never to forget a fundamental principle for every evangelizer: one cannot announce Christ without the Church. Evangelization is not an isolated individual or private act; it is always ecclesial. ... And this gives strength to the mission and makes every missionary and evangelizer feel he is never alone, but part of a single Body animated by the Holy Spirit (Section 3)

Benedict XVI exhorted

that “the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified everywhere, just as it is among you” (2 Thess 3:1). May this Year of Faith increasingly strengthen our relationship with Christ the Lord, since only in him is there the certitude for looking to the future and the guarantee of an authentic and lasting love” (Porta Fidei, 15). ... I cordially bless missionaries and all those who accompany and support this fundamental commitment of the Church to proclaim the Gospel to all corners of the earth, and we, ministers and missionaries of the Gospel, will experience “the delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing” (Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 80).  (Section 5)

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