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The Church is in a permanent state of mission: Pope

Vatican City, 16 Nov 2013: ‘The goal of all pastoral activity is always oriented to missionary impulse to reach out to all, without exception, and taking into great consideration the circumstances of each, said Pope Francis in a video message sent on Saturday to the pilgrims attending the meeting at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico. The four-day meeting from 16 to 19 November, has the theme "Our Lady of Guadalupe, star of the new evangelization in America" and is sponsored by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, the Knights of Columbus, and the Higher Institute for the Study of Guadalupe.

Aparecida proposes to put the Church in a permanent state of mission, said the Pope, carry out acts of missionary nature. But in the wider context of a generalized mission, all the regular business of particular churches have a missionary character. This is the paradigm of all pastoral activity.

"Let us go to nearby villages to preach, because for this I have come," said the Lord. And it is 'vital for the Church not to close, not feel satisfied and secure with what she has achieved. If this happens, the Church gets sick. You get sick of imaginary abundance. You have to get out of your communities and have the audacity to get to the suburbs, to feel the nearness of God who does not abandon anyone.

2. The goal of all pastoral activity is always oriented to missionary impulse to reach out to all, without exception, and taking into great consideration the circumstances of each. You have to share the joy of having met with Christ. The evangelizing task requires a lot of patience and care. It also knows how to present the Christian message in a calm and gradual manner, with the scent of the Gospel, as did the Lord.

3. Those who lead the ministry in a particular Church is the Bishop and he does like the shepherd who knows his sheep by name, guides with closeness and tenderness, with patience, showing actually the maternity of the Church and God's mercy. The attitude of a true shepherd is not mere official attention to the discipline, rules, organizational mechanisms. This always leads to a pastoral distance from the people, unable to promote and obtain the encounter with Christ and his meeting with the brothers.

4. These attitudes of the bishop, must also be participatory, especially by priests. The temptation of clericalism, which does so much harm to the Church in Latin America, is an obstacle to the development of maturity and responsibility of much of the Christian laity. The self- clericalism implies an attitude which impoverishes the projection towards the meeting of the Lord. Therefore it's important, urgent that ministers are able to form close encounter to inflame the hearts of the people. You should take up this work as something fundamental to the life of the Church.
Today's culture requires serious training , well-organized. I ask the men and women religious to be faithful to the charism received, the charism for the good of the Church.
Pope Francis exhorted them to go ahead with this creative fidelity to the charism they received to serve the Church.
Source: VR Sedoc


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