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Pope says evangelization is not socializing, chatting



08 July, 2013 - Jesus does not want to fulfill his mission alone, but involves his disciples in spreading the Gospel, forming them into a missionary community. Pope Francis made the observation during his weekly midday ‘Angelus’ prayer with a vast crowd in St. Peter’s Square, Rome. Speaking from the studio window of the papal apartment overlooking the square, the Pope was reflecting on Sunday’s Gospel episode of Jesus sending out 72 disciples two by two to announce the Kingdom of God. The Pope noted that Jesus has come to bring to the world the love of God and wants to spread that love with a style of communion and fraternity, by forming a community of disciples, which is a missionary community. He however warned that, “the purpose is not to socialize, to spend time together. The purpose is to proclaim the Kingdom of God, and this is urgent! There is no time to waste in socializing and chatting… He recalled the many missionaries who carry out this work of bringing Christ’s peace, healing and hope to remote areas of the world. Observing that the 12 apostles represent the bishops, their successors, he reflected that the 72 disciples sent by Christ represent not only priests and deacons but also “catechists and lay faithful who engage in parish missions, those who work with the sick, with the various forms of discomfort and alienation, but always as missionaries of the Gospel, with the urgency of the Kingdom that is at hand.”
After the ‘Angelus”, Pope Francis talked briefly about his first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” or “The Light of Faith,” released on Friday. He said he was offering with joy to the whole People of God this encyclical which was started by Pope Benedict XVI for the Year of Faith, and brought to a conclusion by him. He said “we need to go to the essentials of the Christian faith, to deepen it, and to measure current issues by it.” He added that the encyclical “can also be useful to those who are searching for God and for meaning of life.” The Pope concluded his remarks by offering a special greeting to the youth of Rome who are preparing to travel to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day later this month, as well as to other religious groups gathered in Rome for meetings.




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