Notable quotations from Pope Benedict XVI and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
This year the celebration of World Mission Day has a very special meaning. The 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council and of the opening of the Year of Faith and of the Synod of Bishops on the theme of the New Evangelization contribute to reaffirming of the Church's desire to engage with greater courage and zeal in the missio ad gentes so that the Gospel may reach the very ends of the earth.
In announcing the Year of Faith, I ... wrote that "today as in the past, He (Christ) sends us through the highways of the world to proclaim His Gospel to all the peoples of the earth"...
We ... need to recover the same apostolic zeal as that of the early Christian communities, which, though small and defenseless, were able, through their proclamation and witness to spread the Gospel throughout the then known world.
The eagerness to proclaim Christ ... urges us to read history so as to perceive the problems, aspirations and hopes of humanity which Christ must heal, purify and fill with His presence. His message is ever timely, it falls into the very heart of history and can respond to the deepest restlessness of every human being.
... All the members of the Church must be aware that "the immense horizons of the Church's mission and the complexity of today's situation call for new ways of effectively communicating the Word of God" (... Verbum Domini, n. 97).
The encounter with Christ as a living Person, Who satisfies the thirst of the heart, cannot but lead to the desire to share with others the joy of this presence and to make Him known, so that all may experience this joy.
The concern to evangelize must never remain on the margins of ecclesial activity and of the personal life of Christians. Rather, it must strongly characterize it...
(Source: Message for World Mission Day, 1/6/12)
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