Pope’s Mission Sunday Message(Continued)

The Church walks the same path and suffers the same destiny as Christ, since she acts not on the basis of any human logic or relying on her own strength, but instead she follows the way of the Cross, becoming, in filial obedience to the Father, a witness and a travelling companion for all humanity. I remind old Churches and those more recently founded that they have been placed by the Lord to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and called to spread Christ, the Light of the nations, to the far corners of the earth. Missio ad gentes must be a priority in pastoral programmes. To the Pontifical Mission Society go my gratitude and my encouragement for their indispensable service of promoting missionary animation and formation and material help for young Churches. Through the Pontifical Institutions communion among the Churches is admirably achieved with exchange of gifts, reciprocal concern and common missionary programming.

In the conclusion the Pope reaffirms the role of the missionary church, and says that the Missionary impulse has always been a sign of the vitality of our Churches. Nevertheless it is necessary to reaffirm that evangelisation is primarily the work of the Spirit and that before being action it is witness and irradiation of the light of Christ on the part of the local Church, which sends her own missionary men and women beyond her frontiers. Thus he reaffirms “evangelisation is the work of the Spirit” and therefore he calls on Catholics to “ to pray that the Holy Spirit will intensify the Church’s passion for the mission to spread the Kingdom of God and to support missionaries and Christian communities involved in mission, in front line, often in situations of hostility and persecution.”

The pope says that the missionary zeal has always been a sign of church vitality. He asks all Catholics to pray for an increase in missionary passion and to support missionaries who work on the front lines of evangelization, often under hostile conditions. At the same time he says, “I ask everyone to offer as a credible sign of communion among the Churches, financial assistance, especially in these times of crisis affecting all humanity, to help the young Churches be in the condition to illuminate the nations with the Gospel of charity.” Placing the Church before Mary, Pope Benedict says “May we be guided in our missionary activity by the Blessed Virgin Mary, star of New Evangelisation, who brought Christ into the world to be the light of the nations and to carry salvation “to the ends of the earth”. He then imparted his Apostolic Blessing.

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