Notable quotations from Pope Benedict XVI and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
World Mission Sunday, which we will be celebrating on Sunday, October 22, is an opportunity to reflect this year on the theme: "Charity: soul of the mission".
Unless the mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity.
God's love for every person constitutes the heart of the experience and proclamation of the Gospel and those who welcome it in turn become its witnesses.
God's love, which gives life to the world, is the love that was given to us in Jesus, theWord of salvation, perfect icon of the Heavenly Father's mercy.
It is not difficult ... to understand that authentic missionary concern, the priority commitment of the Ecclesial Community, is linked to faithfulness to divine love, and this is true for every individual Christian, for every local community, for the particular Churches and for the entire People of God.
... Being missionaries means loving God with all one's heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for Him. How many priests, men and women Religious and lay people, have borne the supreme witness of love with martyrdom even in our times!
Being missionaries means stooping down to the needs of all, ... especially those of the poorest and most destitute people, because those who love with Christ's Heart do not seek their own interests but the glory of the Father and the good of their neighbor alone.
...May the World Missionary Day be a useful opportunity to understand ever better that the witness of love, the soul of the mission, concerns everyone. Indeed, serving the Gospel should not be considered a solitary adventure but a commitment to be shared by every community.
(Source: Message for World Mission Sunday, issued April 29, 2006)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com