Today, Pope Francis says, every land is a missionary land and every dimension of the human person needs to be preached the Gospel.
The Pope said this today when he received in audience participants in the General Chapter of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
In his address, which drew heavily from the example of the Oblates’ founder, Saint Eugene de Mazenod, the Holy Father noted the 200th anniversary of the order, coinciding with the Jubilee of Mercy.
“May mercy be always the heart of your mission, of your evangelizing commitment in the world of today,” the Pope told them.
He then noted a description of the founder made by John Paul II on the day of Father Mazenod’s canonization. John Paul called the saint a “‘man of Advent,’ docile to the Holy Spirit in reading the signs of the times and seconding God’s work in the history of the Church.”
“May these characteristics be present in you, his sons,” Francis encouraged the Oblates. “You must also be ‘men of Advent,’ capable of gathering the signs of new times and guiding brothers on the paths that God opens in the Church and in the world.”
This world, together with the Church, the Argentinean Pontiff continued, is “living a time of great transformations.”
“It is important to work for a Church that is for all; a Church that is ready to receive and accompany!” the Pope said, reiterating one of the most common themes of his pontificate.
There is a vast amount of work to do in order to bring this about, he acknowledged, “and you also have your specific contribution to make.”
In this context, Francis noted the Oblates’ history of reaching “distant lands where there were still ‘sheep without a shepherd.’”
“Today,” he said, “every land is ‘mission land,’ every dimension of the human is mission land, which awaits the proclamation of the Gospel.”
“Pope Pius XI defined you ‘the specialists of difficult missions.’ Today the mission field seems to widen every day, always embracing new poor, men and women of the face of Christ who ask for help, consolation, hope in the most desperate situations of life. Therefore, there is need of you, of your missionary daring, of your readiness to take to all the Good News that frees and consoles.”
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