“Faith is God’s precious gift, which opens our mind to know and love him. He wants to enter into relationship with us and allow us to participate in his own life in order to make our life more meaningful, better and more beautiful. God loves us!” These are the words of Pope Francis for his 2013 World Mission Sunday message.
The Holy Father adds, “Everyone should be able to experience the joy of being loved by God, the joy of salvation! It is a gift that one cannot keep to oneself, but it is to be shared. If we want to keep it only to ourselves, we will become isolated, sterile and sick Christians. The proclamation of the Gospel is part of being Disciples of Christ and it is a constant commitment that animates the whole life of the church. Missionary outreach is a clear sign of the maturity of an ecclesial community. . . .The strength of our faith, at a personal and community level can be measured by the ability to communicate it to others, to spread and live it in charity, to witness to it before those we meet and those who share the path of life with us.”
Pope Francis points out, “The concern for all the churches, that the Bishop of Rome shares with his brother bishops, finds an important expression in the activity of the Pontifical Mission Societies, which are meant to animate and deepen the missionary conscience of every baptized Christian, and of every community, by reminding them of the need for a more profound missionary formation of the whole people of God and by encouraging the Christian community to contribute to the spread of the Gospel in the world.”
By Mike Gable; The Catholic Telegraph, October, 2013 Page 23