Pope: Mission is not an achievement, but a gift
"In the unbridled race to posses, career, honors or power, the weak and the little ones are often ignored and rejected, or considered as useless, indeed they are considered as waste material". "The pandemic has destroyed many projects, it has asked everyone to deal with the unexpected. Welcoming the unexpected, rather than ignoring or rejecting it, means remaining docile to the Spirit ".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Missionary impulse does not lie in the logic of conquest but in that of giving". The tasks and responsibilities of Catholic laity were at the center of two meetings held this morning by Pope Francis, who received the Chemin Neuf Community and then the National Council of Italian Catholic Action.
Speaking to the members of the community born in France, in Lyon in 1972, on the initiative of Laurent Fabre, a Jesuit seminarian, and now widespread in various countries, Francis praised the value of the " a journey you make by rejecting poverty and working for a more just and fraternal world. In fact, in the unbridled pursuit of possessions, careers, honours or power, the weak and the least are often ignored and rejected, or considered useless, indeed they are considered as waste material. This is why I hope that your commitment and your enthusiasm in the service of others, shaped by the power of the Gospel of Christ, will restore a taste for life and hope in the future to many people, especially many young people."
"The lay vocation is directed above all to charity within the family and to social and political charity. It is a concrete and faith-based commitment to the building of a new society. It involves living in the midst of society and the world in order to bring the Gospel everywhere, to work for the growth of peace, harmony, justice, human rights and mercy, and thus for the extension of God’s kingdom in this world” (Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit, 168). It is precisely with this dynamic that you journey, with an ecumenical openness and a heart willing to welcome different cultures and traditions, in order to transform the face of our society.".
“Dear friends - he said later - I encourage you not to be afraid to walk the paths of fraternity and to build bridges between people, between peoples, in a world where so many walls are still being built out of fear of others. Through your initiatives, your projects and your activities, you make visible a Church that is poor with and for the poor, an outbound Church that is close to people in situations of suffering, vulnerability, marginalisation and exclusion.”.
The outgoing Church and availability towards others were also at the center of the words addressed to Catholic Action. "The pandemic - he pointed out - has destroyed many projects, has asked everyone to deal with the unexpected. Welcoming the unexpected, rather than ignoring or rejecting it, means remaining docile to the Spirit and, above all, faithful to the life of the men and women of our time. The evangelist emphasizes that Jesus 'confirmed the Word with signs'. What does it mean? That what we do has a precise origin: listening to and welcoming the Gospel. But it also means that there must be a strong link between what you hear and what you experience. So I invite you to ensure that the search for a synthesis between Word and life, which makes faith an incarnate experience, continues to characterize the formative paths of Catholic Action ".
"What characteristics must action, the work of Catholic Action have? I would say first of all gratuitousness. The missionary impulse does not lie in the logic of conquest but in that of the gift. Gratuitousness, the mature fruit of the gift of self, asks you to dedicate yourselves to your local communities, assuming the responsibility of proclamation; it asks you to listen to your territories, feeling their needs, weaving fraternal relationships. The history of your Association is made up of many 'everyday saints', and it is a history that must continue: holiness is a legacy to be preserved and a vocation to be welcomed ".