Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis mentioned that today is World Mission Day (WMD), which is celebrated across the world, noting that “Together with the young: this is the path!”, the theme to which he dedicated his message for WMD: “Together with young people, let us bring the Gospel to all”.
The theme is related to that of the Synod, currently underway in the Vatican, in which young people are urged to be players in proclaiming the faith to their peers, as Francis explained.
“We are experiencing this reality, thanks to God, during the days of the Synod dedicated to them. By listening to them and involving them we discover many examples of young people who found the meaning and joy of life in Jesus. They often found him thanks to other young people, already involved in his communion of brothers and sisters that is the Church. Let us pray that the new generations shall not miss the proclamation of the faith and the call to work together in the mission of the Church.”
Speaking without his written text, the Pope added: “My thoughts go to the many Christians, men and women, consecrated laymen, priests and bishops, who have spent their lives far from their homeland, proclaiming the Gospel. . . . To them goes our prayer: Hail Mary. . . “.
Previously, before the Angelus, Francis commented on the Gospel of today’s Mass (29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B, Mark 10:35-45), which cites the episode in which two brothers, James and John, ask to be next to Jesus when he enters “in glory”. Jesus, stressed the Pope, “tries to correct his disciples by converting them from the mindset of the world to that of God”.
“Jesus,” the pontiff noted, “knows that James and John are moved by great enthusiasm for him and for the cause of the Kingdom, but he also knows that their expectations and their zeal are polluted by the spirit of the world”. However, He “realises that the other ten Apostles become angry with James and John, thus showing to have the same worldly mindset. This provides him with the opportunity to teach a lesson that applies to Christians of all times, even to us.”
“The Master’s message is clear: while the great of the Earth build ‘thrones’ for their own power, God chooses an awkward throne, the cross, from which to rule giving life: ‘For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mk 10:45).
“The way to serve is the most effective antidote against the disease of wanting to be first, the medicine for climbers, which infects many human contexts and does not even spare Christians, nor the Church hierarchy. Thus, as disciples of Christ, let us welcome this Gospel as a call to conversion, to bear witness with courage and generosity to a Church that bows at the feet of the last, to serve them with love and simplicity. May the Virgin Mary, who fully and humbly adhered to the will of God, help us to joyfully follow Jesus on the path of service, the high road that leads to Heaven.”
After the Marian prayer, Francis said that yesterday, in Malaga (Spain), the Jesuit priest Tiburcio Arnaiz Muñoz (1865-1926), founder of the Missionaries of rural parishes, was beatified.
“Let us thank the Lord,” said the Pope, “for the testimony of this zealous minister of reconciliation and tireless proclaimer of the Gospel, especially among the humble and the forgotten. May his example impel us to be agents of mercy and courageous missionaries in every environment; may his intercession support our journey. To the blessed Tiburcio, an applause, everyone.”