Hope Needs to Be Contagious, Says Pontiff
Calls Proclaiming the Gospel a Duty
VATICAN CITY, (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI
says that the Church's mission is to spread hope "contagiously"
through all peoples.
The Pope affirmed this in a message for the 83rd World Mission
Day, which will be celebrated this year on Sunday, Oct. 18. The
June 29 message was made public Saturday.
"In truth, the whole of humanity has the radical vocation to
return to its source, to return to God, since in him alone can
it find fulfillment through the restoration of all things in
Christ," the Holy Father wrote. "Dispersion, multiplicity,
conflict and enmity will be healed and reconciled through the
blood of the cross and led back to unity."
The Church is called to spread hope, and Christ "calls,
justifies, sanctifies and sends his disciples to proclaim the
Kingdom of God, so that all nations may become the People of
God," he added.
The Pontiff affirmed that only in this mission the "true journey
of humanity is understood and attested."
"The universal mission should become a fundamental constant in
the life of the Church," Benedict XVI contended. "Proclamation
of the Gospel must be for us, as it was for the Apostle Paul, a
primary and unavoidable duty."
Benedict XVI particularly mentioned those who have given their
lives in fulfilling this duty.
"Even today, not a few are put to death for the sake of his
'Name,'" he acknowledged.
"The Church walks the same path and suffers the same destiny as
Christ," the Bishop of Rome stated, "since she acts not on the
basis of any human logic or relying on her own strength, but
instead she follows the way of the cross, becoming, in filial
obedience to the Father, a witness and a traveling companion for
The Holy Father thus reminds Churches, recently founded and
ancient, that they are called to be "the salt of the earth and
the light of the world."
The Lord has called his Church, he said, "to spread Christ, the
Light of the nations, to the far corners of the earth. They must
make the 'missio ad gentes' a pastoral priority."