Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
The annual recurrence of Mission Sunday ... is a call for renewed awareness of the Church's missionary dimension and a reminder of the urgency of missionary activity.
This year the Day is enriched with significance in the light of the Great Jubilee... To recall the 2,000 years since the birth of Jesus means to celebrate also the birth of mission: Christ is the first and the greatest missionary of the Father.
I ... address a special, heartfelt appeal to all the baptized to be heralds of the Gospel with humble courage, responding to the call of the Lord and the needs of the men and women of our day.
The entire mission of the Church ... needs apostles willing to persevere to the end, faithful to the mission received, following the same path traveled by Christ, "the path of poverty, obedience, service and self-sacrifice, even to death" (Ad gentes, 5).
The prospective of the Great Jubilee ... induces us to ever greater missionary commitment... Two thousand years since the beginning of the mission, there are still vast geographical, cultural human and social areas in which Christ and His Gospel have not yet penetrated. How can we fail to hear the call emerging from this situation?
A person who has experienced the joy of encountering Christ cannot keep it for himself; he must share it. We must answer the unvoiced call for the Gospel arising from all over the world.
Vast is the field and much remains to be done: therefore the cooperation of everyone is necessary. No one ... is so poor that they have nothing to give.
We share in missionary activity ... through prayer, ... through sacrifice and offering up our sufferings to God. This is the first sort of cooperation which everyone can offer. It is also important not to neglect economic support...
Celebrating the Jubilee, "the whole Church is even more committed to a new missionary advent. We must increase our apostolic zeal to pass on to others the light and the joy of the faith and to this high ideal the whole people of God must be educated" (Redemptoris missio, 86).
The Spirit of God is our strength! The Spirit, Who manifests His power in the mission of Jesus ..., has been poured into the hearts of all believers (cf. Rom 5:5) to enable us to be witnesses of the Lord's works.
(Source: Message for World Mission Sunday [Oct. 22, 2000], issued June 11, 2000)
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