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Pope: mission work 'involves everyone, everything, always'

Catholic World News - January 25, 2011

The work of evangelization “involves everyone, everything, always,” Pope Benedict XVI says in his message for the 85th World Mission Sunday.

The Pope underlines that the Church “is missionary by her very nature,” and the work of spreading the Gospel is a “joint responsibility of all.”

World Mission Sunday will be observed this year on October 23. But the papal message was released by the Vatican on January 25.

Stressing the urgent importance of evangelism, the Pope writes: “We cannot rest easy at the thought that, after two thousand, there are people who still do not know Christ, who have not yet heard His message of salvation.” Moreover, he continues, it is disturbing that many people, “having received the Gospel announcement, have forgotten or abandoned it and no longer identify themselves in the Church; and many environments, even in traditionally Christian societies, are reluctant to open themselves to the word of faith.”

All Christians should feel the pressing need for mission work, the Pope said. He observed that the work of evangelization should include careful attention to the human needs of one’s neighbors, and thus mission work cannot “overlook questions associated with human development, justice, and liberation from all forms of oppression.”

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