Making an appeal for support to the mission to every people that does not know Jesus Christ, we can be a "bridge" between generations, helping to discover one’s task, vocation and missionary consecration in the world. AsiaNews is part of this service to the mission, for young people and others.
Rome (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis’s Message on the 92nd World Mission Day – which this year is celebrated on October 21st – is aimed directly at young people, like a letter. It is also aimed at the Synod that begun on 3 October, which has young people as its main theme and players.
The Pope wants young people to understand that "life is a mission" in which "To live out joyfully our responsibility for the world". The heart of the mission is also the proclamation of Jesus Christ. He "fills life with joy", allows us to challenge evil, makes us discover the "divine logic of self-sacrifice". Young people should not be afraid of either Christ or Church.
The mission is communicated "to the ends of the earth", person to person, through the "contagion" of love and the creation of bridges between generations, between young and old, by not becoming indifferent to the world around us, which we seem to know through all the digital contacts of which we are full, “yet lacking the sincere gift of our lives, we could well have countless contacts but never share in a true communion of life."
Francis also invites us to experience periods of missionary service, even if only temporarily. “These ecclesial experiences,” he writes, “educate and train young people not only for professional success, but also for developing and fostering their God-given gifts in order better to serve others. These praiseworthy forms of temporary missionary service are a fruitful beginning and, through vocational discernment, they can help you to decide to make a complete gift of yourselves as missionaries.”
In fact, if I look at my own vocation, my decision to become and grow as PIME missionary priest stems from the encounter with priests who, giving their lives for Jesus Christ, had accepted to approach and mingle with the peoples to whom they were sent, studying their language, customs, supporting their miseries. Some of them, like some Chinese missionaries, spoke about their love for that country and that people, despite imprisonment, torture, expulsion.
The stories of the more senior missionaries, old in age but young at heart and in enthusiasm, built precisely those bridges between generations the Pope mentions in his Message.
Even AsiaNews, the service in which we are involved, wants to be a "bridge" between the missionaries and their Churches in Asia and you, our friends and readers. The service that AsiaNews provides is also a tool to perceive the richness of truth and love that has been entrusted to us, showing the way in which the Christian faith is affecting and changing the lives of the peoples of Asia, making them greater players, despite many signs of persecution.
Dear friends, the service that AsiaNews provides is useful for embracing the world, for feeling close to it, for feeling responsible, something that young people are rediscovering. Some time ago, a woman on a radio show told me that her 16-year-old nephew reads our magazine with care and passion, as soon as it comes by post, the more so, our online news, which is offered to millions of readers everywhere in the world.
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Thank you from all of us and the many friends who work, suffer and bear witness to the faith in Asia.