No One Exempt From Missionary Vocation, Says Pope

Says Every Church Activity Should Have Mission Perspective

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 25, 2012 ( Benedict XVI says that every component of the Church should feel bound by Christ’s mandate to preach the Gospel, so that He is proclaimed everywhere.

The Pope said this in a text for World Mission Day, which the Vatican released today. World Mission Day will be celebrated this year Oct. 21.

«All the components of the great mosaic of the Church must feel strongly drawn in by the Lord’s mandate to preach the Gospel, so that Christ is proclaimed everywhere,» the Holy Father affirmed.

«The mission ad gentes should be, also today, the constant horizon and paradigm of every ecclesial activity, because the very identity of the Church is constituted by faith in the Mystery of God,» he added.

Benedict XVI called for a «taking up again [of] the same apostolic impetus of the first Christian communities, which, small and vulnerable, with their proclamation and witness, were able to spread the Gospel in the whole then-known world.»

Giving from need

The Holy Father lauded Churches in mission territories, or young Churches, who are themselves actively engaged in missionary work, «even if they themselves are still in need of missionaries.»

«So many priests, men and women religious, from every part of the world, numerous laymen and, in fact, whole families leave their countries, their local communities and go to other churches to witness and proclaim the Name of Christ, in whom humanity finds salvation,» he noted.

The Pontiff stressed the need for missionary work so that all people have the opportunity to know Christ.

«The meeting with Christ as a living person who satiates the thirst of the heart cannot but lead to the desire to share with others the joy of this presence and to make it known so that all can experience it,» he said. «It is necessary to renew the enthusiasm to communicate the faith so as to promote a New Evangelization of the communities and countries of ancient Christian tradition, which are losing their connection with God, in order to rediscover the joy of believing.

«The concern to evangelize must never be left on the margin of ecclesial activity and of the personal life of the Christian, but it must be strongly characterized by the awareness of being recipients and, at the same time, missionaries of the Gospel.»

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