Evangelization Should Imbue All Activity, Says Pope

Stresses Urgency in Message for 2011 World Mission Sunday

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 25, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is affirming that evangelization should be a part of our everyday lives, imbuing all of our activities, due to the missionary nature of our faith.

The Pope made this reflection in his message for this year’s World Mission Sunday, which will be celebrated Oct. 23. The message was published today, and focuses on the theme: “As the Father Has Sent Me, So I Send You” (John 20:21).

“The Gospel is not an exclusive good of the one who has received it,” he said, “but is a gift to be shared, good news to communicate.”

The Pontiff added that “this gift-commitment is entrusted not only to a few, but to all the baptized.”

“All activities are also implied in it,” he affirmed.

“Attention and cooperation in the evangelizing work of the Church in the world cannot be limited to some particular moments and occasions, nor can they be considered as one of the many pastoral activities,” the Holy Father said.

He continued, “The missionary dimension of the Church is essential and, therefore, must always be kept present.”

Benedict XVI added: “Hence it is important that every baptized person as well as the ecclesial communities be interested in the mission not only in a sporadic and irregular way, but in a constant way, as the way of Christian life. 

“The mission day itself is not an isolated moment in the course of the year, but a precious occasion to pause to reflect on how we respond to the missionary vocation, an essential response for the life of the Church.”

Service to humanity

He noted that “it is the most precious service that the Church can give to humanity and to each person who seeks the profound reasons to live his existence fully.”

The Pope affirmed that the “proclamation of the Gospel also vivifies the Church, its fervor, its apostolic spirit.”

He added that this proclamation renews the Church’s pastoral methods “so that they are increasingly appropriate to new situations — including those that require a new evangelization — and are animated by the missionary drive.”

“All those who have encountered the Risen Lord have felt the need to proclaim him to others, as did the two disciples of Emmaus,” the Pontiff said.

“This task has not lost its urgency,” he asserted. “We cannot remain tranquil in face of the thought that, after two thousand years, there are still peoples who do not know Christ and have not yet heard his message of salvation.”

“Through co-responsible participation in the mission of the Church, the Christian becomes a builder of communion, of peace, of the solidarity that Christ has given us, and collaborates in the realization of the salvific plan of God for the whole of humanity,” the Holy Father noted.

He stated that the challenges encountered in this effort “calls Christians to walk together with others, and the mission is an integral part of this path with all people.”

Benedict XVI affirmed that in this “we bear, though in vessels of clay, our Christian vocation, the inestimable treasure of the Gospel, the living testimony of Jesus dead and resurrected, encountered and believed in the Church.”

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-31565?l=english

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