As we pray for Pope Benedict’s Mission Intention today, let us reflect on part of a speech he gave last May to an assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies.
Dear friends, with your precious work of animation and missionary cooperation you remind the People of God of “the need in our day too for decisive commitment to the missio ad gentes” [mission to the nations] (Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini # 95), to proclaim the “the great hope”, “the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end, each one of us and humanity in its entirety” (Encyclical Spe Salvi # 31). Indeed, new problems and new forms of slavery are emerging in our time, both in the so-called first world, well-off and rich but uncertain about its future, and in the developing countries, which, partly because of a globalization often characterized by profit ends by increasing the masses of the poor, emigrants and the oppressed, in which the light of hope fades.
The Church must constantly renew her commitment to bring Christ, to prolong his messianic mission to bring about the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of justice, peace, freedom and love. It is the duty of the entire People of God to transform the world according to God’s plan with the renewing force of the Gospel, so “that God may be everything to every one” (1 Cor 15:28). Thus it is necessary to continue with renewed enthusiasm the work of evangelization, the joyful proclamation of the Kingdom of God, who came in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, to lead all men and women to the true freedom of children of God against every form of slavery. It is necessary to cast the nets of the Gospel into the sea of history to bring human beings towards the land of God.