Message from Pope Francis for World Mission Sunday 2021: October 24,2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Once we experience the power of God’s love, and recognize his fatherly presence in our personal and community life, we cannot help but proclaim and share what we have seen and heard. Jesus’ relationship with his disciples and his humanity, as revealed to us in the mystery of his Incarnation, Gospel and Paschal Mystery, shows us the extent to which God loves our humanity and makes his own our joys and sufferings, our hopes and our concerns (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22). Everything about Christ reminds us that he knows well our world and its need for redemption, and calls us to become actively engaged in this mission: “Go therefore to the highways and byways, and invite everyone you find” (Mt 22:9). No one is excluded; no one need feel distant or removed from this compassionate love.

The experience of the Apostles

The history of evangelization began with the Lord’s own passionate desire to call and enter into friendly dialogue with everyone, just as they are (cf. Jn 15:12-17). The Apostles are the first to tell us this; they remembered even the day and the hour when they first met him: “It was about four o’clock in the afternoon” (Jn 1:39). Experiencing the Lord’s friendship, watching him cure the sick, dine with sinners, feed the hungry, draw near to the outcast, touch the unclean, identify with the needy, propose the Beatitudes and teach in a new and authoritative way, left an indelible mark on them, awakening amazement, expansive joy and a profound sense of gratitude. The prophet Jeremiah describes this experience as one of a consuming awareness of the Lord’s active presence in our heart, impelling us to mission, regardless of the sacrifices and misunderstandings it may entail (cf. 20:7-9). Love is always on the move, and inspires us to share a wonderful and hope-filled message: “We have found the Messiah” (Jn 1:41) ...

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