Pope: Preaching the Gospel an "Inestimable Service"

Encourages Missionaries in Their "Immense" Task

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Since humanity is suffering from a lack of reflection and deep thought, evangelization has become an even more immense mission, says Benedict XVI.



The Pope made this assertion today when he received participants in the ordinary assembly of the Supreme Committee of the Pontifical Missionary Societies. The five-day assembly concluded today.

Referring to a phrase from his latest encyclical, the Holy Father said: "Evangelization is an immense mission, especially in this our time, in which humanity suffers from a certain lack of reflection and deep thought and in which a humanism is spreading that excludes God.

"Because of this, it is still more urgent and necessary to illumine the new problems that arise with the light of the Gospel which does not change."

Christ is the main propelling force for true human development, the Pontiff affirmed, and he quoted his words from the beginning of his pontificate: "The purpose of our lives is to reveal God to men. And only where God is seen does life truly begin."

In this context, the Bishop of Rome affirmed that the "preaching of the Gospel is an inestimable service that the Church can offer the whole of humanity that journeys in history."

He noted how the Gospel proclamation is a "message that penetrates history" and thus offers its guidance through the changes that humanity endures.
 
"The preaching of the Gospel is the call to the freedom of the children of God," the Pontiff continued.

Persecution

However, Benedict XVI also acknowledged that "whoever participates in Christ's mission must inevitably face tribulations, rejection and sufferings, because he is confronted with the resistance and powers of this world."

He added, "As the Apostle Paul demonstrated the authenticity of his apostolate with the persecutions, the wounds and the torments suffered, so persecution is also proof of the authenticity of our apostolic mission."

Nevertheless, it is the Holy Spirit that gives the Church authority to proclaim the Gospel, the Holy Father said. And in that regard, he affirmed that "evangelization needs Christians with arms raised to God in a gesture of prayer, Christians moved by the awareness that the conversion of the world to Christ is not done by us, but is given."

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-29339?l=english