.- Pope Benedict XVI sent a message to the Third American Missionary Congress (CAM3) being held in Quito this week, reminding Catholics that “the most important service we can give our brothers and sisters is the clear and humble proclamation of Jesus Christ, who came to this world that we might have life and have it in abundance.”
“Amidst the difficulties of a sometimes hostile environment from the lack of immediate and spectacular results, or faced with the insufficiency of human means, I invite you not to be overcome by fear, weighed down by discouragement or dragged along by inertia,” the Pope said.
“The present time is a providential occasion for listening again with simplicity, purity of heart and fidelity to how Christ reminds us that we are not servants but friends,” the Pope continued.
“He instructs us in order that we might remain in his love without molding ourselves to the messages of this world. Let us not be deaf to his Word. Let us learn from Him. Let us imitate his way of life. Let us be sowers of the Word. In this way, with all of our lives, with the joy of knowing we are loved by Jesus, who we can call brother, we will be valid instruments for Him to continue drawing everyone to Himself with the mercy that flows from his Cross,” the Pope added.
He went on to encourage Catholics “to share this treasure with others, as there is no greater treasure than to enjoy the friendship of Christ and walk by his side. Consecrating our greatest energies to this beautiful labor is worth it, knowing that divine grace precedes, sustains and accompanies us in carrying it out,” the Pontiff stated.
“May you find, therefore, in persevering prayer, in the fervent meditation of the Word of God, in the obedience to the Magisterium of the Church, in the dignified celebration of the Sacraments and in the testimony of fraternal charity, the strength necessary to identify with the sentiments of Christ. You will be his disciples with coherence and generosity, proclaiming with your own examples, that Christ is the Son of God, the Redeemer of man and the firm rock upon which we cement our existence,” the Pope continued.
He also encouraged Catholics in America to feel “the consolation of Christ and to offer his love to those in tribulation, to those who are weighed down by suffering and have been wounded by the coldness of indifferentism or the scourge of corruption. These challenges demand we overcome individualism and isolation and that we strengthen the sense of belonging to the Church and the loyal collaboration with her pastors, in order to form Christian communities that are prayerful, unified, fraternal and missionary.”
CAM 3 began on August 12 in Quito with more than 3,000 delegates in attendance. It concludes this Sunday, August 17, with the beginning of the “Continental Mission,” an effort to bring about renewal in the Church in America.