Sunday, October 20, 2019

Angelus for World Mission Sunday

Having concluded the Holy Mass on the occasion of World Mission Sunday, at noon local time (6:00am EDT), the Holy Father, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study inside the Vatican Apostolic Palace to recite the Angelus with the faithful and with pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter's Square.

Greetings of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
prior to the recitation of the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

The second Reading of today's liturgy proposes the exhortation that the apostle Paul addresses to his faithful collaborator Timothy: Proclaim the Word, both in opportune moments and those that are not opportune, admonish, reproach, exhort with all magnanimity and teaching (2 Tim 4:2). The tone is heartfelt: Timothy must feel responsible for the proclamation of the Word.

World Mission Sunday, which is celebrated today, is a favourable opportunity for every baptized person to become more aware of the need to cooperate in proclaiming the Word, announcing the Kingdom of God through a renewed commitment. One hundred years ago, in order to give new impetus to the missionary responsibility of the whole Church, Pope Benedict XV promulgated the Apostolic Letter Maximum illud. He felt the need to evangelically upgrade the mission in the world, so that it could be purified from any colonial incrustation and freed from the conditioning of the expansionist policies of the European nations.

In today's context, Benedict XV's message is still relevant and encourages us to overcome the temptation of any self-referential closure and any form of pastoral pessimism, in order to open ourselves to the joyful novelty of the Gospel. In our time, which is marked by a globalization that should be supportive and respectful of the particularity of peoples, but instead still suffers from homologation and the old power conflicts that fuel wars and ruin the planet, believers are called to carry everywhere, with new impetus, the good news that, in Jesus, mercy overcomes sin, hope overcomes fear and fraternity overcomes hostility. Christ is our peace and in Him every division is overcome, in Him alone is the salvation of every man and every people.

To fully live the mission, there is one indispensable condition: prayer, fervent and incessant prayer, according to the teaching of Jesus proclaimed also in today's Gospel, in which he tells a parable on the need to pray always, without ever getting tired (Lk 18:1). Prayer is the first and most important support the people of God can offer for missionaries, full of affection and gratitude for their difficult task of proclaiming and giving the light and grace of the Gospel to those who have not yet received it. It is also a good opportunity today to ask ourselves: do I pray for missionaries? Do I pray for those who go far in order to bring the Word of God with my witness? Think about it.

May Mary, Mother of all people, accompany and protect the missionaries of the gospel every day.

Following the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father continued:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Yesterday, in Crema, the martyrs Father Alfredo Cremonesi, a missionary priest from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions was Beatified.  Killed in Burma in 1953, he was a tireless apostle of peace and a zealous witness of the gospel, until the shedding of his blood. His example urges us to be courageous workers and courageous missionaries in every environment; his intercession supports those who struggle today to sow the gospel in the world. Let us all applaud Blessed Alfredo together!

And now I offer a cordial welcome to all of you, pilgrims from Italy and from various countries. In particular, I greet and bless with affection the Peruvian community of Rome, gathered here with the venerated Image of SeƱor de los Milagros - may the Lord always protect the faith and the traditions of the people! -; the Sisters Nurses of Our Lady of Sorrows who celebrated their General Chapter; those who are participating in the Let's stay human march, which in recent months has traveled to various cities and territories of Italy to promote a constructive discussion on the themes of inclusion and acceptance. Thank you for this great initiative!

I address a special thought to the boys of Catholic Action, who have come with their teachers from all the Italian dioceses, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Catholic Action. Dear boys and girls, you are protagonists in evangelization, especially among your peers. The Church has confidence in you; go ahead with joy and generosity!

I wish you all a good Sunday.  Please, don't forget to pray for me.  Enjoy your lunch and good bye.
Testo originale nella lingua italiana

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