Instrumentum mensis Octobris pro lectura Magisterii Summi Pontifici Benedicti XVI pro evangelizatione in terris missionum

Saturday, 11 November 2006

In the month of October the Church celebrated the 80th World Mission Sunday. «Mission Sunday - Pope Benedict XVI said during the Angelus on Sunday 22 October - was instituted by Pope Pius XI who gave new impulse to mission ad gentes, and in the Holy Year 1925 promoted an important exhibition, what is now the Ethnological-Missionary Collection of the Vatican Museums. This year, - the Pope continued - in the customary Message for the occasion, I have proposed the theme, "Charity, soul of the mission". In effect, if the mission is not inspired by love, it is reduced to a philanthropic and social activity. For Christians, however, the words of St Paul are valid: "The love of Christ impels us" (2 Cor. 5: 14). The charity that moved the Father to send his Son into the world, and moved the Son to offer himself for us even to death on the Cross, that same charity has been poured out by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers. Every baptized person, as a vine united to the branch, can therefore cooperate in the mission of Jesus, which can be summarized thus: to bring to every person the good news that "God is love" and, precisely for this reason, wants to save the world.». Therefore the Pope said: «mission arises from the heart: when one stops to pray before a Crucifix with his glance fixed on that pierced side, he cannot but experience within himself the joy of knowing that he is loved and the desire to love and to make himself an instrument of mercy and reconciliation. ». On Thursday 19 October the Pope went to take part in Italy’s 4th National Church Meeting in Verona where he have an address and presided the celebration of Mass at the Bentegodi Sports Centre. In his address at the Verona Fiere, the Holy Father said mission is a « the work of evangelisation is never a simple adaptation to culture, but it is always also a purification, a courageous break that leads to maturation and healing, an openness that brings to birth that "new creation" (II Cor 5: 17: Gal 6: 15) which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. ».