World Mission Sunday
October 22, 2017
In his message for World Mission Sunday, October 22, Pope Francis invites us to understand that Mission is an essential aspect of and at the heart of Christian faith. The Holy Father reminds us that we are sent to our brothers and sisters in order to bear witness of our faith in Christ and to proclaim His Gospel. By our baptism, we are all called to be missionary disciples.
Pope Francis exhorts us repeatedly to go out of the temple’s sacred walls and to make sure that our Church becomes a mission-centered Church. We are challenged “to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the peripheries in need of the light of the Gospel.” Evangelii Gaudium, 20
As Pope Francis’ World Mission Sunday asserts, “The world vitally needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through the Church, Christ continues his mission as the Good Samaritan, caring for the bleeding wounds of humanity and as the Good Shepherd, constantly seeking out those who wander along winding paths that lead nowhere.”
His message continues, “The Church’s mission, directed to all men and women of good will, is based on the transformative power of the Gospel. The Gospel is Good News filled with contagious joy, for it contains and offers new life: the life of the Risen Christ who, by bestowing his life-giving Spirit, becomes for us the Way, the Truth and the Life (cf. Jn 14:6). He is the Way who invites us to follow him with confidence and courage. In following Jesus as our Way, we experience Truth and receive his Life, which is fullness of communion with God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. That life sets us free from every kind of selfishness, and is a source of creativity in love.”
Young people are the hope of mission. The person of Jesus Christ and the Good News he proclaimed continue to attract many young people. They seek ways to put themselves with courage and enthusiasm at the service of humanity. “How beautiful it is to see that young people are ‘street preachers’, joyfully bringing Jesus to every street, every town square and every corner of the earth!” (ibid., 106).
To read the full text of Pope Francis’ message: https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/missions/documents/papa-francesco_20170604_giornata-missionaria2017.html