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Every Christian must be a missionary, Pope tells Wednesday audience

Catholic World News - January 15, 2014

All baptized Catholics are ““missionary disciples, called to bring the Gospel to the world,” Pope Francis told his weekly public audience on January 15.

Having begun a series of weekly talks on the sacraments, the Holy Father devoted his Wednesday audience to Baptism. Through this sacrament, he said, “grace is passed on from generation to generation.” He reminded the faithful: “Each of us is a link in that chain.” “Each of the baptized, whatever their role in the Church or the educational level of their faith, is an active agent of evangelization,” the Pope said. He urged all the faithful to be active participants in the new evangelization.

Every Christian is a missionary, and every Christian is also a disciple, the Pope continued. He dismissed the notion that Church leaders, bishops and pontiffs, are not disciples. If prelates do not think of themselves as disciples, he said, they cannot effectively pass along the faith.

Pope Francis illustrated the power of Baptism by reminding his audience of the Christian community that persevered in Japan for generations, even after all priests had been killed or expelled. “When, after two and a half centuries, 250 years later, the missionaries returned to Japan, thousands of Christians came out of hiding and the Church could flourish,” he said. “They had survived through the grace of their Baptism!”

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