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Pope: The identity of the Church is in the Gospel

Pope: The identity of the Church is in the Gospel

In this year’s World Mission Day message, the Pope invites us to think of key phrases that summarize the three foundations of the disciples’ lives and work: “You will be witnesses of me”, “To the end of the earth” and “You will. Receive the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Krzysztof Ołdakowski SJ – Vatican

Francis points out that all disciples are called to be witnesses of Jesus by the Holy Spirit: they will be established by grace. Every Christian is called to be a missionary and a witness to Christ. And since the Church is a community of disciples of Christ, there is no mission other than to witness for Christ and evangelize the world. The identity of the church is about the gospel. The Christian witness to Christ is communal. Therefore, the essential importance of the existence of a community, even if it is small, in carrying out its mission.

The Holy Father emphasizes that disciples are called to live their personal lives at the key of the mission: not only to fulfill the mission they were sent into the world by Jesus, but above all to live the mission entrusted to them; Not only to witness, but above all to be witnesses of Christ.

The Pope points out that it is Christ, and the resurrected Christ, whom we must witness and share whose lives. Christ’s missionaries are not sent to surrender themselves to show their competence, persuasion, or leadership ability. Like the first apostles, they received the highest honor of communicating with Christ in word and deed, proclaiming with joy and sincerity all the gospel of Christ’s salvation. In the Gospel, the example of the Christian life and the proclamation of Christ go hand in hand. One serves the other. These are the two lungs that every community must breathe in order to be a missionary.

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The Holy Father points out that the gospel work of the Church is universal, that is, it is directed to all people. Today, many Christians are forced to flee their homeland to other lands. Without covering themselves in suffering, the Pope thanks all the brothers and sisters who are witnesses of Christ and the love of God in the countries that welcome them. Jesus’ preaching “to the end of the earth” should constantly ask his disciples a question and always motivate them to go beyond the traditional places of witnessing to Him. The Church of Christ was a witness to Christ and to all peoples, to every nation, to all cultures, “reaching” new geographical, social and existential boundaries, places and human “border” situations. And all social states.

Francis noted that the resurrected Christ proclaimed to his disciples the mission of being his witnesses and promised the grace of such a great responsibility: “When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will receive His power, and you will be witnesses of me” (Acts 1: 8). Without the inspiration and help of the Holy Spirit no Christian can give a complete and true witness to the Lord Christ. That is why every disciple is called to recognize the fundamental importance of the mission of Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit, to live with Him in daily life and to receive strength and inspiration from Him continually.

In his message, the Pope also mentioned important mission year celebrations in 2022. It is about the formation in 1622 of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, commanded by the will to support the missionary call in the new regions. Two hundred years before the completion of the second year, a young French woman, Paulina Jaricott, founded the Society for the Promotion of Confidence. He will be blessed in this Jubilee year. In this context, the Holy Father also referred to the French Bishop Carol de Forbin-Johnson, who established the Children’s Missionary Mission under the motto, “Children evangelize children, children pray for children, children help children everywhere.” The world “; and Jonah Picard, who gave life to the mission of St. John the Baptist to support seminarians and priests in mission areas. All three missionary missions were proclaimed” Pope “exactly one hundred years ago.

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