Building Ecclesial Communion is the Key to the Mission
VATICAN CITY, 26 MAR 2010 (VIS) – The Pope’s Message for the eighty-fourth World Mission Day, which occurs on Sunday 24 October, has been published.
Extracts from the Message are given here:
“The month of October, with the celebration of World Mission Day, offers diocesan and parish communities, institutes of consecrated life, ecclesial movements, and the entire People of God an opportunity to renew their commitment to announcing the Gospel and to giving their pastoral activities a greater missionary scope”.
“A mature faith capable of entrusting itself entirely to God with filial devotion, nourished by prayer, meditation on the Word of God and the study of the truths of faith, is a necessary premise for the promotion of a new humanism founded on the Gospel of Jesus”.
“In a multi-ethnic society which is experiencing new and worrying forms of solitude and indifference, Christians must learn to offer signs of hope, to become a universal brotherhood, cultivating the great ideals that transform history and, without false illusions or misplaced fears, undertake to make the planet a home for everyone”.
“The awareness of the call to spread the Gospel stimulates each individual member of the faithful, and all diocesan and parish communities, to integral renewal, and to open themselves to an ever greater degree to missionary co-operation between Churches, in order to promote the announcement of the Gospel in the heart of each individual, of whatever people, culture, race or nationality, and in all places”.
“Ecclesial communion is born of the encounter with the Son of God, Jesus Christ. … The Church becomes ‘communion’ on the basis of the Eucharist in which Christ, present in the bread and wine, through His sacrifice of love builds the Church as His body, uniting us both with the Triune God and among ourselves”.
“On this World Mission Day in which the eye of the heart ranges over the immense area of the mission, let us all feel involved in the Church’s commitment to announce the Gospel. This missionary impulse has always been a sign of vitality in our Churches, and the co-operation among them is a unique testimony of unity, fraternity and solidarity, which gives credibility to those who announce the Love that saves.
“Thus I renew my invitation to everyone to pray and, despite the economic difficulties, to commit themselves to offering fraternal and concrete help in support of the young Churches. This gesture of love and sharing, which will be distributed thanks to the valuable efforts of the Pontifical Missionary Works (to whom I express my gratitude), will go to support the formation of priests, seminarians and catechists in the most distant mission lands, and to encourage the young ecclesial communities.
“In concluding this annual Message I want, with particular affection, to express my recognition to the male and female missionaries who bear witness in the most far-flung and difficult places, often with their lives, to the coming of the Kingdom of the Lord”.
MESS/WORLD MISSION DAY/… VIS 100326 (520)