Pope Urges Evangelization to Combat Slavery

Promotes Enthusiastic Proclamation of God’s Kingdom

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 16, 2011 (Zenit.org).- There are new forms of slavery in our world today, Benedict XVI is pointing out, and evangelization is needed in order to combat them.

The Pope said this on Saturday in an audience with participants in the ordinary assembly of the High Council of the Pontifical Missionary Societies.

“New problems and new forms of slavery, in fact, emerge in our time,” the Pontiff said, “both in the so-called first world, wealthy and rich but uncertain about its future, both in emerging countries, where, even as a result of globalization often characterized by profit, they end up increasing the poor masses, the immigrants and the oppressed, in which dims the light of hope.”

“The Church must constantly renew its commitment to bring Christ,” he asserted, “to prolong his messianic mission for the coming of the Kingdom of God, kingdom of justice, peace, freedom, love.”

“To transform the world according to God’s plan with the renewing power of the Gospel, so that God may be all in all is the task of all the people of God,” the Holy Father said.

He continued, “Therefore it is necessary to continue to work with renewed enthusiasm the mission of evangelization, the joyful proclamation of the Kingdom of God,” to “lead people to true freedom of God’s children against all forms of slavery.”

“But for there to be a strong commitment to evangelization, it is necessary that both individual Christians as the communities really believe that the Word of God is the saving truth of which every man in every time needs,” Benedict XVI stated.

He continued: “If this conviction of faith is not deeply rooted in our lives, we will not be able to feel the passion and beauty to announce it.

“In fact, every Christian should do his work for the urgency of building the kingdom of God.”

United with Christ

The Pope observed: “Everything in the Church is all in the service of evangelization: Every sector of its activity and every person, in the various tasks they are called to carry out.

“Everyone must be involved in the missio ad gentes: bishops, priests, religious and laity.”

He noted that “a fundamental condition for preaching is to completely allow yourself to be grabbed by Christ, the Word of God incarnated, because only those who listen attentively to the Word made flesh, who is closely united with him, may become preachers.”

“The messenger of the Gospel must remain under the rule of the Word and must feed himself from the sacraments: this is the lifeblood that his existence depends on and his missionary ministry depends on,” the Pontiff affirmed.

He added, “Only deeply rooted in Christ and his Word one is able not to fall in temptation to reduce evangelization to a purely human, social project , hiding or concealing the transcendent dimension of salvation offered by God in Christ.”

The Holy Father said, “The ministry of evangelization is exciting and demanding: It requires love for the proclamation and witness, a love so complete that it can also be marked by martyrdom.”

“The Church cannot fail in its mission to bring the light of Christ,” he added, “to proclaim the glad tidings of the Gospel, even if it means persecution.”

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-32591?l=english

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