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Pope Francis: hostility, joy surround missionary proclamation

July 04, 2016

Commenting on the day’s Gospel reading (Lk. 10:1-12, 17-20), Pope Francis reflected on Christian missionary proclamation during his July 3 Angelus address.

“God became one of us; in Jesus, God reigns in our midst, his merciful love overcomes sin and human misery,” Pope Francis told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “The Kingdom of God is built day by day and already offers on this earth its fruits of conversion, purification, love and consolation among men.”

Hostility and joy, the Pope continued, surround missionary proclamation:

Hostility is always at the beginning of the persecution of Christians; because Jesus knows that the mission is opposed by the work of the Evil One. For this, the worker of the Gospel will strive to be free from human influences of every kind, carrying neither money bag, sack, sandals, as recommended by Jesus, to rely solely on the power of the Cross of Christ. This means giving up all personal reason to boast, of careerism or hunger for power, and means being humble instruments of salvation worked by Jesus’ own sacrifice …

There is so much need for Christians who testify with joy the Gospel in everyday life. The disciples, sent by Jesus, “returned with joy” … And this expression makes me think about how much the Church rejoices, rejoices when her children receive the Good News by the dedication of so many men and women who daily proclaim the Gospel: priests – those good pastors that we all know – nuns, consecrated persons, missionary men and women – and I wonder – how many of you hear the invitation – how many of you young people who now are present in the square today, hear and heed the Lord’s call to follow him? Be not afraid!

Following the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis prayed for victims of attacks in Bangladesh and Iraq and also prayed that “the Lord convert the heart of the violent, blinded by hate.” The Pontiff also recall the example of forgiveness offered by St. Maria Goretti, whose feast day is July 6.

 
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