In a message to a group of bishops and collaborators of the Focolare movement, who are meeting in Rome, Pope John Paul II stressed that only holiness can guarantee the fulfillment of the Christian mission to evangelize.
“In fact, only a Christian community shining with holiness can efficaciously fulfill the mission entrusted to it by Christ, that is, to spread the Gospel to the far ends of the earth,” the Pope stressed.
During today’s general audience, in the Paul VI Hall in the presence of 9,000 faithful, the Holy Father greeted the bishops and presented them his message for their annual meeting. The foundress of the Focolare Movement, Chiara Lubich, was also present at today’s audience.
Noting that their encounter is centered on the theme of holiness, the Pope told the bishops that “Vatican Council II reminded us that holiness is the vocation of every baptized person”. “The universal character of the Church’s vocation to holiness,” he went on, “is a truth that represents one of the pillars of the conciliar constitution ‘Lumen Gentium’.”
According to the Holy Father, “two general aspects should be underlined here. Above all, the fact that the Church is intimately holy and is called to live and to manifest that holiness in every one of its members.” “In the second place, the expression ‘holiness of people’, makes us think of ordinariness, that is, of the need for the baptized to know how to live the Gospel coherently in every day life: in the family, in one’s work, in every relation and occupation. It is precisely in the ordinary that one must live the extraordinary,” he concluded.