Pope Calls on Faithful to Bring Gospel to the Ends of the Earth

Underlines the Apostolic and Universal Nature of the Church

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Underlining the universal and apostolic nature of the Church, Pope Francis has urged the faithful not to be closed in on themselves but to go forth and bring the message of the Gospel to everyone. 

Speaking on Wednesday during his General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, he explained that the word catholic means that she is universal, something that she shows by speaking all languages.

”The Church was born Catholic, “symphonic” from her origins, and cannot but be Catholic, pointing to evangelization and the encounter with all,” he said. Speaking off-the-cuff, he repeated his appeal that everyone carry with them a “pocket” Gospel and read a passage everyday. “This is good for us,” he said.

The Pope also highlighted the missionary nature of the Church which is called to show the tenderness and power of God. “This also stems from the Pentecost event,” the Pope said. “It is for the Holy Spirit, in fact, to surmount every resistance, to overcome the temptation to be closed-in on oneself.”

He then warned against Christians who believe themselves to be exclusively God’s elect. “They die in the end,” Francis said. “They die before, in their soul, then their body dies, because they have no life, they don’t have the capacity to generate life to other people … They are not apostolic.”

The Pope then paid tribute to the “heroic lives” of the Church’s many missionaries. Again speaking off the cuff, he recalled a Brazilian cardinal who used to a visit cemeteries of cities he’d visit to honour the missionaries who were buried there. “These brothers and sisters could all be canonized now,” the cardinal told him.

“Let us give thanks to the Lord because our Church has many missionaries, has had many missionaries, and needs yet more! We thank you Lord for this,” the Pope said.  “Perhaps among many young people, boys and girls who are here, someone has the desire to become a missionary,” he added. “Go ahead! It’s a beautiful thing to bring the Gospel of Jesus. Be brave and courageous!”


On ZENIT’s webpage:

Full text of Pope Francis’ weekly general audience catechesis, Sept. 17

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