Today, October 20th 2013, is World Mission Sunday.
‘I want a mess!’
Click here for a BBC account of his meeting with young people at the World Youth Day in Rio, in July. He’s shaking us up!
He told a crowd of 30,000 young Argentine Catholics attending World Youth Day in Rio to “make a mess” in their dioceses, to “stir things up”, to shake up the comfort, self-satisfaction and clericalism of a Church closed in upon itself. “Don’t forget to disturb complacency, but please don’t water down the faith!” Francis said.
Pope Francis is urging our Church and all her members to go out and reach individuals in their needs. To the young people in Rio, he said: ”Go! Do not be afraid! Serve! Go and make disciples of all nations”.
“What is it that I expect as a consequence of World Youth Day? I want a mess. We knew that in Rio there would be great disorder, but I want trouble in the dioceses! … I want to see the Church get closer to the people. I want to get rid of clericalism, the mundane, this closing ourselves off within ourselves, in our parishes, schools or structures. Because these need to get out!”
Kissing babies, shaking hands from the back of a Fiat and extending gestures of friendship with the poor or disabled are all meant to convey an openness to people on their own terms. Francis left aside traditional security protocols (which allowed a crowd to mob the traffic-trapped mini popemobile), he wandered into Rio’s slums, he accepted drinks from strangers on the street.
To the bishops gathered in Rio, he said:
“We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities, when so many people are waiting for the Gospel. It is not enough simply to open the door in welcome, but we must go out through that door to seek and meet the people! Let us courageously
look to pastoral needs, beginning on the outskirts, with those who are farthest away. … Go and look for them in the nooks and crannies of the streets.” On yer bikes, Bishops! he was telling them. On our bikes, us too!, he tells us.
And in his special message for this World Mission Sunday, he says this: ‘The Church – I repeat once again – is not a relief organization, an enterprise or an NGO, but a community of people, animated by the Holy Spirit, who have lived and are living the wonder of the encounter with Jesus Christ and want to share this experience of deep joy, the message of salvation that the Lord gave us. It is the Holy Spirit who guides the Church in this path.’
First, let Jesus in! Then you will be transformed, and your life will light up with his radiance. A few friends, radiant with Christ, can do far more than you could ever dream of. Start now.
‘I want a mess!’ Getting stuck in day after day to the ordinary wonderful messiness of daily living,- that’s what the Master wants of each of us and of each community, young and not so young. He wants us all to be young at heart and spread the Joy of the Gospel.
‘We cannot keep such great joy to ourselves!’ The motto at the earlier World Youth Day in Cologne.
“Look towards God and be radiant!’
To find more quotes from Pope Francis to the young people of the world: click here and enjoy!
To hear about his words to 3 million young people gathered for Mass on Copacabana beach in July (Go, Do not be Afraid, Serve), click here,- and listen to the mp3 player during it.
For his message to the world for World Mission Sunday, click here.