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Friday, April 03, 2009

Pope's message: You are missionaries of Christ in all things!

The Holy Father spoke today of the importance of evangelization through the witness of one's life and by sharing the Gospel message as he spoke to a second group of Argentinean bishops at the Vatican.

Benedict XVI told the bishops that in order to evangelize, they must bear witness "in a simple and direct way, to God revealed by Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit," and also share the Gospel message that Christ is the Savior of the world.

"This clear and explicit announcement of Christ as man's Savior is part of the exhilarating search for truth, beauty and goodness which characterizes human beings."
For this reason "announcement and witness of the Gospel are the primary service Christians can give to individuals and the entire human race," the Pontiff explained.

"All evangelizing activity springs from a threefold love: for the Word of God, for the Church and for the world. ... Through Sacred Scripture Christ makes Himself known to us in His person, His life and His doctrine."
Hence, said Benedict, bishops must "facilitate the access of all faithful to Sacred Scripture so that, placing the Word of God at the center of their lives, they may welcome Christ as Redeemer and His light may illuminate all areas of human existence."

Since the Scriptures cannot be understood separate from or outside the Church, he continued, it is essential to encourage a "spirit of communion and faithfulness to the Magisterium, especially among those whose mission it is to transmit the Gospel message in its entirety."

Sharing the Gospel involves the whole Church, "including the lay faithful who receive that mission through Baptism and Confirmation," said the Holy Father as he wrapped up his address.
He encouraged the bishops "to ensure that lay people become increasingly aware of their vocation as living members of the Church and true disciples and missionaries of Christ in all things."

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