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     Home > Church >  2013-09-04 16:58:39
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MISSION INTENTION - SEPTEMBER



That Christian communities may have a growing willingness to send missionaries, priests, andlay people, along with concrete resources, to the poorest Churches.


The universal Church, which knows neither borders nor frontiers, is aware of her responsibility to
proclaim the Gospel to entire peoples (cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 53). It is the duty of the Church, called to be a seed of hope, to continue Christ's service in the world. The measure of her mission and service is not material or even spiritual needs limited to the sphere of temporal existence, but instead, it is transcendent salvation, fulfilled in the Kingdom of God (cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 27).
This Kingdom, although ultimately eschatological and not of this world (cfr Jn 18:36), is also in this world and within its history a force for justice and peace, for true freedom and respect for the dignity of every human person. The Church wishes to transform the world through the proclamation of the Gospel of love, "that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working … and in this way … cause the light of God to enter into the world" (Deus Caritas Est, 39). With this message I renew my invitation to all the members and institutions of the Church to participate in this mission and this service.
The mission of the Church, therefore, is to call all peoples to the salvation accomplished by God through his incarnate Son. It is therefore necessary to renew our commitment to proclaiming the Gospel which is a leaven of freedom and progress, brotherhood, unity and peace (cf. Ad Gentes, 8). I would "confirm once more that the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church" (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14), a duty and a mission which the widespread and profound changes in present day society render ever more urgent. At stake is the eternal salvation of persons, the goal and the fulfilment of human history and the universe. Animated and inspired by the Apostle of the nations, we must realize that God has many people in all the cities visited by the apostles of today (cfr Acts 18:10).
In fact "the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him" (Acts 2:39). The whole Church must be committed to the missio ad gentes, until the salvific sovereignty of Christ is fully accomplished: "At present, it is true, we are not able to see that all things are in subjection to him" (Heb 2:8). I remind Churches of ancient foundation and those that are more recent that the Lord has sent them to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and he has called them to spread Christ, the Light of the nations, to the far corners of the earth. They must make the Missio ad gentes a pastoral priority. I am grateful to the Pontifical Mission Societies and I encourage them in their indispensable service of promoting missionary animation and formation, as well as channelling material help to young Churches. Through these Pontifical Institutions, communion among the Churches is admirably achieved via the exchange of gifts, reciprocal concern and shared missionary endeavours.
Missionary zeal has always been a sign of the vitality of our Churches (cf. Redemptoris Missio, 2). Nevertheless it must be reaffirmed that evangelization is primarily the work of the Spirit; before being action, it is witness and irradiation of the light of Christ (cf. Redemptoris Missio, 26) on the part of the local Church, which sends men and women beyond her frontiers as missionaries. I therefore ask all Catholics to pray to the Holy Spirit for an increase in the Church's passion for her mission to spread the Kingdom of God and to support missionaries and Christian communities involved in mission, in the front line, often in situations of hostility and persecution. At the same time I ask everyone, as a credible sign of communion among the Churches, to offer financial assistance, especially in these times of crisis affecting all humanity, to enable the young local Churches to illuminate the nations with the Gospel of charity.




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