03/25/2010, 00.00
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Pope says task of a church "missionary by its nature" is to "reveal" Jesus

In his message for World Mission Day, Benedict XVI writes that to be "signs of hope" in today's society, often marked by loneliness and indifference, Christians must show the world the message of love of Christ, building communion.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In today's world, marked by loneliness and indifference, Christians must learn to offer "signs of hope," "cultivating the great ideals that transform history" and the world. This calls for better awareness and to "show" Jesus and his message of love to the world. This is the underlying meaning of World Mission Sunday - which will be celebrated October 24 – explained by Benedict XVI in his message devoted to it, made public today.

Reflecting on the Day's theme, "The building of ecclesial communion is the key to mission," the Pope recalls the words of the Gospel of John "We want to see Jesus" (Jn 12:21), the claim that some Greeks pilgrims who had gone to Jerusalem for Easter, made of the apostle Philip. "It resonates in our hearts", writes Benedict XVI, and "reminds us of the commitment and the task assigned to the whole of the evangelical church, 'missionary by its nature' (Ad gentes, 2), and invites us to become leaders of the newness of life, made of authentic relationships, in communities founded on the Gospel. In a multiethnic society that increasingly experiments with forms of loneliness and worrying indifference, Christians must learn to offer signs of hope and universal brotherhood, cultivating the great ideals that transform history and, without unnecessary fear or false hopes, undertake to make planet home for all peoples. "  

Like the Greek pilgrims of two thousand years ago, the men of our time, perhaps unconsciously, are asking believers not only to 'talk' of Jesus, but to 'show' Jesus, make the Face of the Redeemer shine in all four corners of the earth before the generations of the new millennium, and especially before young people from every continent, privileged recipients and subjects of the Gospel. They need to feel that Christians bear the word of Christ because He is the Truth, because they have found in Him the way, the truth for their lives. "  

But the missionary mandate continues the Pope, can not be realized without “a deep personal, community and pastoral conversion. Indeed, awareness of the call to preach the Gospel not only encourages every individual believer, but all diocesan and parish communities to a complete renovation and to open more and more to missionary cooperation among churches, to promote the proclamation of the Gospel in the heart of every person, every people, culture, race, nationality, in every corner".   Ecclesial communion is therefore "constantly looking" for those dedicated to the mission "so that the phenomenon of interculturation can be integrated into a model of unity, in which the Gospel is the leaven of liberty and progress, the source of brotherhood, humility and peace (cf. Ad gentes, 8).

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