Loading
Pope asks young to heed Jesus' missonary call
By Matthew A. Rarey
Pope Benedict XVI rides through St. Peter's Square before his Nov. 7, 2012 general audience. Credit: Matthew Rarey-CNA.
Pope Benedict XVI rides through St. Peter's Square before his Nov. 7, 2012 general audience. Credit: Matthew Rarey-CNA.

.- In anticipation of next July’s World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Benedict XVI is challenging young Catholics to be courageous missionaries to their peers.

“Dear young people, I would ask all of you to hear, in the depths of your heart, Jesus’ call to proclaim his Gospel,” the Pope said in a message issued Nov. 16.

Over 4,000 words long, his message meditated on the theme of the next World Youth Day, “Go and make disciples of all nations!” (Mt. 28:19). He urged young Catholics to live the universal Christian vocation to help others to know and love Christ and his Church.

The Pope emphasized that youth can be particularly effective missionaries by using their love for social media to proclaim their Catholic faith and values. This is an important way they can advance the New Evangelization discussed at last month’s synod of bishops in Rome, he noted.

“Learn how to use these media wisely,” he counseled. “Be aware of the hidden dangers they contain, especially the risk of addiction, of confusing the real world with the virtual, and of replacing direct and personal encounters and dialogue with internet contacts.”

Pope Benedict also emphasized that being a missionary is a deeply personal matter, requiring one to grow in faith in order to share it with others one-on-one. The act of sharing also aids one’s own personal journey of faith because proclaiming the Gospel helps a person become more deeply committed to Christ and grow in Christian maturity.

The essence of being a missionary means being attentive to Christ’s words, noted the Holy Father. Young people must look to him as the supreme teacher who calls his disciples to “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.”

This means taking to heart the essence of Christianity, that God so loves mankind that he sent his Son to “free us radically from evil.” And it is this love that compels Christians to share this Good News with others.

Pope Benedict observed that young Catholics have an important field of missionary work among their peers, because many young people “seriously question whether life is something good, and have a hard time finding their way.”

The moment to become missionaries is now, the Pope told young people.

“Whenever you feel inadequate, incapable and weak in proclaiming and witnessing to the faith, do not be afraid,” he said. “Evangelization is not our initiative, and it does not depend on our talents. It is a faithful and obedient response to God’s call and so it is not based on our power but on God’s.”

Love is the impetus behind evangelization, he noted, allowing people to overcome the tendency toward self-absorption and bad habits, in order to courageously give others an encounter with God.

Pope Benedict finished his message by giving young Catholics ways to prepare to be missionaries. He encouraged them to learn the content of their faith, look to the examples of the saints, and sustain themselves with prayer and the sacraments.

In particular, he noted the great benefit afforded by Eucharistic adoration because “time spent in listening and talking with Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament becomes a source of new missionary enthusiasm.”

The 14th World Youth Day will be held from July 23–28 in Rio de Janiero, Brazil’s most populous city.

Tags: New Evangelization, Pope Benedict, World Youth Day, Young Catholics


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Jul
29

Liturgical Calendar

July 29, 2014

Saint Martha

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

Gospel
Date
07/29/14
07/28/14
07/27/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 14: 17-22
Gospel:: Jn 11: 19-27

Saint of the Day

St. Martha »

Saint
Date
07/29/14
07/27/14

Homily of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

Homily
Date
07/29/14
07/28/14
07/27/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: