Without Christ, Church's mission is just 'social activism' pope says
FREE Catholic Classes
If one's work as a Catholic is not united to Christ Jesus, it is no longer the "mission" to which the Church is called, Pope Francis told a group of religious brothers Monday.
Vatican City, (CNA) - "Let us not forget that the condition of every mission in the Church is that we are united to the Risen Christ as branches to the vine. Otherwise what we do is social activism," the pope said Oct. 29.
"This is why I repeat to you the exhortation to remain in [Christ]," he continued. "First of all, we need to let ourselves be renewed in faith and hope by Jesus alive in the Word and in the Eucharist, but also in sacramental forgiveness. We need to be with him in silent adoration, in lectio divina, in the Rosary of the Virgin Mary."
Pope Francis addressed around 45 members of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, commonly called "Scalabrinians" after their founder Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, during their 15th general chapter meeting in Rome.
In spontaneous remarks before the start of his prepared speech, the pope spoke about the Old Testament passage that says to receive the stranger, "for you were strangers in the land of Egypt."
He condemned what he characterized as a "wave of closure" toward foreigners, and attacks carried out on foreign people, recalling that he himself is the son of a migrant who came to Argentina.
He also criticized the word "wellbeing," which he said leads people to close their doors against immigrants, "that they do not disturb you," so that "only those people who serve my wellbeing can enter" the country.
During his prepared remarks, Francis spoke to the religious order about theirmission, which he said, "today as yesterday" takes place in difficult contexts "sometimes characterized by attitudes of suspicion and prejudice, or even rejection towards the foreign person."
These contexts should motivate people to have courage and perseverance in bringing the love of Christ to those who are far from their families and homeland, and "are in danger of feeling far from God," he said.
As illustrated in the New Testament episode of Jesus' walk with his disciples along the road to Emmaus, evangelization takes place by walking with people, he said, listening to people, to their histories, their disappointed hopes, their expectations, their trials of faith.
"First of all listen, and do it in an attitude of compassion, of sincere closeness," he said.
There is a risk, he continued, that the stories of immigrants, both the beautiful and ugly, will be erased. He added that this is a serious loss which can be combated by listening and by walking with people and with communities.
He explained that this listening must be followed by sharing the Eucharist and the Word of God: "Tell them about [Christ's] mystery of love: incarnation, passion, death and resurrection."
"The Risen Christ sends you today, in the Church, to walk together with many brothers and sisters who travel their way from Jerusalem to Emmaus as migrants. An ancient and always new mission; tiring, and sometimes painful, but also able to make you cry with joy."
Do this with the charism of your founder, Bl. Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, he urged: pay attention to the "dignity of the human person, especially where it is most wounded and threatened."
Francis concluded the audience by encouraging the religious brothers to continue to share their journey and to face present challenges together with lay people.
"I warmly bless you and all the Scalabrinian Missionaries. And also, you, please do not forget to pray for me," he said.
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2018
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry. That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.
The death penalty is always a rejection of the Gospel and of human dignity, and therefore must be rejected by all countries, Pope Francis ... continue reading
Though it sits just steps from St. Peterâ s Basilica, it goes unseen by the thousands of people that pass by every day. In a city of ... continue reading
Ahead of his 82nd birthday, Pope Francis held a party and ate birthday cake with children under the care of a free health clinic inside the ... continue reading
God's loving care for his children " listening to their cares, answering their prayers and petitions " is a cause for rejoicing, Pope ... continue reading
What is it like to stand "shoulder-to-shoulder" with Pope Francis during the celebration of the Mass? Vatican City, (CNA/EWTN News) - Fr. ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Pope Francis: Death penalty a legalistic value, not a Christian one
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 18, 2018
- Calling All Men: Imitate St. Joseph, the Man's Man
- St. Rufus: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 18, 2018
- Prayer Requests Live for Monday, December 17th, 2018 HD Video
- Daily Reading for Thursday, December 20th, 2018 HD Video
- Taking the Kingdom by Force: Learning from John the Baptizer
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, December 17th, 2018 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, December 14th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education