Pope Francis reflects on Church’s missionary nature
September 17, 2014
Pope Francis devoted his September 17 audience to the Church’s catholicity and missionary nature.
“Perhaps among the many young people present today in [St. Peter’s] Square there is someone who would like to become a missionary,” Pope Francis said. “May he go forth!”
“The word catholic signifies that she is universal,” he added, according to Vatican Radio’s synopsis of his remarks. “This means that the Church is found everywhere and teaches the whole truth regarding the heavens and the earth.”
The Church then is of her nature missionary, given to evangelization and encounter; that is, she is apostolic. Founded on the Apostles and in continuity with them, the Church is called to proclaim the Gospel to everyone, and to show the tenderness and power of God. This too flows from Pentecost. It is the Holy Spirit who prevents us from being self-absorbed, of thinking that the blessings of God are for us alone. Rather, the Spirit compels us to encounter our brothers and sisters, even those most distant from us in every way, to share with them the love, peace, and joy of the Risen Lord.
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