By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/17/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Pope Francis has released a message for World Mission Day, asking all Christians to share the Gospel with all who may not have heard Christ's message of peace and love.
Pope Francis has called Catholics to begin sharing the Gospel, immediately.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to share the gospel with others. For the occasion of the 88th World Mission Day, Pope Francis wrote, "Humanity greatly needs to lay hold of the salvation brought by Christ. His disciples are those who allow themselves to be seized ever more by the love of Jesus and marked by the first of passion for the Kingdom of God and the proclamation of the joy of the Gospel." The letter will be widely shared on October 19, which is the official holiday, but he released the text on Friday.
Pope Francis released the text of the letter early on account of how important the message is for all to hear. The Gospel cannot wait. "All the Lord's disciples are called to nurture the joy of evangelization," he wrote.
Donate a Bible and share the Gospel, fast!
The letter is directed at the bishops and priests of the Church but Pope Francis wants the laity to read the letter too. Pope Francis explained that they have "an increasingly important role in the spread of the Gospel."
Indeed, the laity are fulfilling additional duties in the Church, and more are being called to the deaconate. It is important, Pope Francis explained that they are "given suitable training for the sake of an effective apostolic activity."
Some parts of the world, such as the United States, have long experienced a decline in applications for the priesthood. This decline is largely because American values have shifted from the traditional to the material and it is difficult to persuade youngsters who are commonly bombarded by secularism of the value of spirituality.
Yet, secularism brings only fleeting joys, then sends you back to the market to seek others. To afford these joys, one must hustle in the workplace, enriching their employers while drawing a modicum of pay. To close the gap, many turn to debt. Eventually, nothing is left but ceaseless toil and despair.
Spiritual life is different. In a different sense, every day is payday for those who are called to serve God. Certainly, the material rewards hardly compete with the latest gadget or McMansion, but the spiritual rewards far exceed those fleeting joys. It's the spiritual equivalent of choosing healthy food over junk food.
In order that more people may make this better choice however, the Gospel must first be proclaimed. Even practicing Catholics can benefit from revisiting the Gospel. Too many Catholics have slouched into secular mindsets, losing sight of the spiritual truths around them.
Pope Francis referred to this politely as an "absence of contagious apostolic fervor."
The solution, presented by Pope Francis includes leadership by example, new familiarity with the Gospel, training, and material service to the poor and others. By following this lifestyle -which not coincidentally mimics the life of Christ, one gains spiritual rewards and shares them with others.
Who likes the world as it is today?
It is a popular myth that the world cannot be changed. It can be changed, one person at a time. It starts with you changing yourself. It continues with your recognition that the Gospel must be at the center of every family and that you are part of a larger, human family. It concludes with your kindness and compassion towards this larger family, a job of service paid daily with the fruits of salvation and joy.
It feels good to serve, let us try today and begin by reading the Gospel for ourselves and sharing it with others.
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