Pope urges missionaries: 'be brave in face of daily trials'

 The Holy Father urged missionaries around the world to be courageous in the face of daily difficulties. Speaking on Friday, to 180 participants in a course of formation for English-speaking bishops in mission lands, organized by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Pope said: "missionary activity throughout the earth ... is still an urgent apostolic undertaking in our day, and you are called to be its courageous and tireless supporters in the midst of daily difficulties and trials." He noted that in his Encyclical Letter "Redemptoris Missio", he wrote that the Church must be committed "to a new evangelization and to the mission 'ad gentes'. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church, can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples." "Among your duties," added the Pope, "is that of transmitting the gift of faith and encouraging your communities to be evangelizers. There is room for everyone in the Lord's vineyard. No one is so poor that he has nothing to give. No one is so rich that he has nothing to receive. "May your soul every day hear the echo of the Redeemer's exhortation: 'Duc in altum'. This is an invitation to cast 'spiritual nets' into the sea of the world. In turn, those who trust in the Divine Master experience the wonder of the miraculous catch of fish." The Holy Father urged the bishops to "be holy. On different occasions I have noted that holiness is the urgent pastoral need of our times." "No activity, no matter how important, should distract you from this spiritual priority that sets the tone for the apostolic mandate received with episcopal ordination. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, makes you His associates in serving the Christian people as fathers, teachers and pastors." Pope John Paul concluded by inviting the prelates to imitate the memories of saints, martyrs, confessors of the faith of their communities. "Follow in their footsteps! Be pastors who, by their example more than by their words, honour the Gospel and inspire in those around them the desire to know it better and to put it into practice." Source: VIS

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