Celebrating Mass in Porto, where he had arrived from Fatima early this morning, Pope Benedict called the faithful to witness the Resurrection and be missionaries of Christ. He urged Catholics not to let anything prevent them from spreading the Gospel, because if the Church rests on its laurels “it would be sure death in terms of the Church’s presence in the world.”
The Holy Father arrived in Porto this morning by helicopter to celebrate Mass in the Square of the “Avenida dos Aliados di Porto” where he was joined by tens of thousands of faithful.
Recalling the words of Peter, who said to the disciples in the Upper Room after the Ascension that “one of these men must become with us a witness to His resurrection,” Pope Benedict XVI called all people to missionary action, imploring them, “you need to become witnesses with me to the Resurrection of Jesus.
“In effect,” he continued, “if you do not become His witnesses in your daily lives, who will do so in your place? Christians are, in the Church and with the Church, missionaries of Christ sent into the world.”
The Pope said that receiving and offering the Risen Christ to the world is the “indispensable mission of every ecclesial community,” so that “growth and life” might come from “weakness and death.”
As Peter recommended, continued the Holy Father, we must always be prepared defend the hope within us, without imposing anything and never ceasing to propose. This is what “everyone” asks of us, and from experience, “we know well that it is Jesus whom everyone awaits,” the Holy Father shared.
Pope Benedict also reflected on the mindset necessary for evangelization. Together with Christ, without whom “we can do nothing,” we are called to evangelize, he said. “We must overcome the temptation to restrict ourselves to what we already have, or think we have, safely in our possession: it would be sure death in terms of the Church’s presence in the world; the Church, for that matter, can only be missionary, in the outward movement of the Spirit.” . . . (continue reading)