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Spread flame of faith, Pope urges on Mission Sunday

CWN - October 21, 2013

The mission of the Church is “to spread throughout the world the flame of faith, which Jesus ignited in the world,” Pope Francis told his midday audience on October 20.

“The method of the Christian mission is not proselytism, but rather the sharing of a flame that warms the soul,” the Pope said. Calling attention to the observance of World Mission Sunday, he said: “On this day we are close to all missionaries who work tirelessly and quietly, and who give their lives.” The Pope devoted most of his Angelus audience to a reflection on the day’s Gospel, which told the story of the importunate widow. Noting that Jesus was encouraging his followers to be persistent in prayer, the Pontiff asked: “Why does God want this? Does He not already know our needs?”

Answering his own question, the Pope assured his audience that God “always hears and knows everything about us, with love.” But for a fallen people, “the fight against evil is hard and long; it requires patience and endurance.” If we persist in prayer, with God’s help our final victory is assured. However: “If faith is dimmed, prayer is dimmed, and we walk in darkness; we lose our way in our journey through life."

The point of persistent prayer is to continue always fighting that battle, the Pope explained. He said that the widow in the Gospel reminded him of “many women who fight for their families, who pray, who never tire. I would like us to spare a thought today, all of us, for these women, whose attitude gives us a true witness of faith, of courage, a model of prayer.”

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