Pope John Paul II on Mission

To conclude the meditation of Catholic Action — we should consider comments by Pope John Paul II on mission. The more limited notion of Catholic Action now becomes a call to evangelization, and re-evangelization of the Catholic population itself.

The entire mission of the Church, then, is concentrated and manifested in evangelization. Through the winding passages of history the Church has made her way under the grace and the command of Jesus Christ: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mk 16:15). “…and lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). “To evangelize,” writes Paul VI, “is the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her most profound identity.” . .

the “good news” is directed to stirring a person to a conversion of heart and life and a clinging to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; to disposing a person to receive Baptism and the Eucharist and to strengthen a person in the prospect and realization of new life according to the Spirit.

Certainly the command of Jesus: “Go and preach the Gospel” always maintains its vital value and its ever-pressing obligation. Nevertheless, the present situation, not only of the world but also of many parts of the Church, absolutely demands that the word of Christ receive a more ready and generous obedience. Every disciple is personally called by name; no disciple can withhold making a response: “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (I Cor 9:16).

The Hour has Come for a Re-evangelization Whole countries and nations where religion and the Christian life were formerly flourishing and capable of fostering a viable and working community of faith are now put to a hard test, and in some cases are even undergoing a radical transformation as a result of a constant spreading of an indifference to religion, of secularism and atheism. This particularly concerns countries and nations of the so-called First World in which economic well-being and consumerism, even if coexistent with a tragic situation of poverty and misery, inspires and sustains a life lived “as if God did not exist.” This indifference to religion and the practice of religion devoid of true meaning in the face of life’s very serious problems are not less worrying and upsetting when compared with declared atheism.

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