World Mission Day, Sunday Oct. 20th 2013:

For Pope Francis’ Message for World Mission Sunday, click here.

'Go out to all the world!'

‘GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS!’  -  ‘GO, DO NOT BE AFRAID, AND SERVE!’     For Pope Francis’ Address to 3 million young people gathered on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day in July 2013, click here.

To the millions of young people gathered to be with him, Pope Francis offered three simple ideas: “Go,   Do not be afraid,   and Serve”.

Go– he said – during these days here in Rio you have enjoyed a wonderful experience,

'May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love' (Paul, in Ephesians 3).

meeting Jesus with others and sensing the joy of faith. But this experience – he said – must not remain locked up in your life or community, it must be shared and passed on so that everyone may know, love and confess Jesus. And he pointed out that Jesus’ message of love is not just for some, it is for everyone, and he urged the young people not to be afraid of bringing Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem most indifferent.

Go – he said – during these days here in Rio you have enjoyed a wonderful experience, meeting Jesus with others and sensing the joy of faith. But this experience – he said – must not remain locked up in your life or community, it must be shared and passed on so that everyone may know, love and confess Jesus. And he pointed out that Jesus’ message of love is not just for some, it is for everyone, and he urged the young people not to be afraid of bringing Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem most indifferent.

Pope Francis galvanized the young people by telling them that Christ’s proclamation is entrusted to them so that it may resound with fresh power. The Church needs you – he said – your enthusiasm, your creativity and the joy that is so characteristic of you. Do not be afraid – he repeated – Jesus never leaves you alone! And finally: Serve. Just as St. Paul made himself a slave to all – the Pope explained – “evangelizing means bearing personal witness to the love of God, it is overcoming our selfishness, it is serving by bending down to wash the feet of our brethren as Jesus did.”

If you follow these three ideas – Pope Francis concluded – you will experience the joy of faith. So: “go home and do not be afraid to be generous with Christ. He is counting on you! The Church is counting on you! The Pope is counting on you!”

‘…Dear young friends, as you return to your homes, do not be afraid to be generous with Christ, to bear witness to his Gospel.

‘…Bringing the Gospel is bringing God’s power to pluck up and break down evil and violence, to destroy and overthrow the barriers of selfishness, intolerance and hatred, so as to build a new world. Jesus Christ is counting on you! The Church is counting on you! The Pope is counting on you! May Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, always accompany you with her tenderness: “Go and make disciples of all nations”. Amen.

And at the end of an address to a large group of young people from Argentina, he prayed as follows, as he blessed a picture of Mary, and as he blessed a Cross that would travel around the country:

Lord you left your Mother in our midst that she might accompany us.

May she take care of us and protect us on our journey, in our hearts, in our faith.

May she make us disciples like herself, missionaries like herself.

May she teach us to go out onto the streets.

May she teach us to step outside ourselves.

We bless this image, Lord, which will travel round the country.

May she, by her meekness, by her peace, show us the way.

Lord, you are a scandal. You are a scandal: the scandal of the Cross. A Cross which is humility, meekness; a Cross that speaks to us of God’s closeness. We bless this image of the Cross that will travel round the country.

Fr. Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R.

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