The Catholic Church marked its Mission Sunday on Oct. 20 in most dioceses of the world.
The Catholic Church marked its Mission Sunday on Oct. 20 in most dioceses of the world. In a message for the occasion released on Aug. 6, Pope Francis said that in a world that often seems dark and full of suffering and violence, Christians can offer hope by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “It is necessary to proclaim courageously and in every situation the Gospel of Christ, a message of hope, reconciliation (and) communion, a proclamation of God’s closeness, his mercy, salvation and a proclamation that the power of God’s love is able to overcome the darkness of evil and guide us on the path of goodness,” the pope wrote. Mission Sunday is observed on the second last Sunday of October each year. In the message for his first Mission Sunday since being elected head of the Catholic Church on March 13, the Argentine Pope Francis emphasized the obligation of all Christians to share the faith with others and do so with respect. He also pointed to the stifling damage done to the church by the failure to evangelize and the sacrifices made by many Christians around the world currently facing oppression or even persecution because of their faith. ““Everyone should be able to experience the joy of being loved by God, the joy of salvation! It is a gift that one cannot keep to oneself, but it is to be shared. If we want to keep it only to ourselves, we will become isolated, sterile and sick Christians. The proclamation of the Gospel is part of being disciples of Christ and it is a constant commitment that animates the whole life of the Church.’ A true Christian, the Pope explained, does not try to impose the Christian faith on anyone, but proclaims the good news through word and deed with respect, the pope wrote. “The church’s missionary spirit is not about proselytizing, but the testimony of a life that illuminates the path, which brings hope and love.”