Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Missionary ideals

Renewing missionary fervour and commitment effectively means that young people have to hear, amid the many discordant voices of modern society, the strong but gentle call of Christ. They have to be encouraged to accept his wonderful invitation: to follow him in generosity and love, in sacrifice and joy— actually, to leave all things and go forth to spread the Gospel of salvation.

Renewing missionary ideals means, moreover, making sure that the nature of evangelization is crystal clear. In the words of Paul VI: “There is no true evangelization, if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the Kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, are not proclaimed” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, No 22). Indeed, evangelization means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity; it means transforming humanity from within and making it new. Evangelization, and therefore all missionary activity, entails a clear proclamation that the gift of God’s grace and mercy is found in his beloved Son, that salvation is in Jesus Christ.

The missionary sets forth to spread a message of hope and brotherly love, and he knows from the beginning, in his heart, that he cannot proclaim the new commandment of Christ without also promoting, with, justice and in peace, the true, authentic advancement of man.

(Message of His Holiness John Paul II to the National Missionary Congress of Ireland, April 22, 1979.)