Pope Francis celebrated the Feast of St. Mark during his daily Morning Mass at the Casa Sanctae Marthae, emphasizing on the need for Christians to proclaim the Gospel as commanded by Christ.
According to Vatican Radio, members of the Secretariate of the Synod of Bishops, who were accompanied by the Secretary General, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, were present at the liturgy. Also present were a group of police from the Vatican Gendarmerie.
Referring to the Gospel of St. Mark that describes the Ascension of Christ, Pope Francis spoke on the command given to the disciples to preach the Gospel “to the end of the world.”
“Go all over the world. The horizon … great horizon… And as you can see, this is the mission of the Church. The Church continues to preach this to everyone, all over the world. But she does not go forth alone: she goes forth with Jesus,” the Pope said.
“So they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord acted with them’. The Lord works with all those who preach the Gospel. This is the magnanimity that Christians should have. A pusillanimous Christian is incomprehensible: this magnanimity is part of the Christian vocation: always more and more, more and more, more and more, always onwards!”
The Holy Father also focused on the First Letter of St. Peter, which he said “defines the style of Christian preaching as one of humility.”
“The style of evangelical preaching should have this attitude: humility, service, charity, brotherly love. ‘But … Lord, we must conquer the world!’. That word, conquer, doesn’t work. We must preach in the world. The Christian must not be like soldiers who when they win the battle make a clean sweep of everything.”
The Christian, the Pope continued, “proclaims the Gospel with his witness, rather than with words. And with a dual disposition, as St. Thomas Aquinas says: a great soul that is not afraid of great things, that moves forward towards infinite horizons, and the humility to take into account the small things.”
Pope Francis said that this dual disposition between great and small things is the path proceeded by Christian missionary activity.
The Holy Father concluded his homily but encouraging those present to “go forth with this magnanimity and humility” which accompanied the disciples during their mission in preaching the Gospel.
“The triumph of the Church is the Resurrection of Jesus,” the Pope said. “But there is first the Cross. Today we ask the Lord to become missionaries in the Church, apostles in the Church but in this spirit: a great magnanimity and also a great humility.”