A good Christian shares the Gospel, pope says

IMAGE: CNS photo/Fabio Frustaci, EPA

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — All Christians are called to be
missionaries, concerned more with sharing the Gospel than with earning money or
even with being successful at winning converts, Pope Francis said.

“A baptized person who does not feel the need to
proclaim the Gospel, to announce Christ, is not a good Christian,” the
pope said July 15
before reciting the Angelus prayer with an estimated 15,000 people gathered in
St. Peter’s Square.

Pope Francis was commenting on the day’s Gospel reading,
which told about how Jesus sent the disciples out two-by-two to preach and to
heal in his name.

“It was a kind of apprenticeship for what they would be
called to do with the power of the Holy Spirit after the resurrection of the
Lord,” the pope explained.

Speaking only in the name of Jesus, he said, “the
apostles had nothing of their own to proclaim and none of their own abilities
to demonstrate, but they spoke and acted as emissaries, as messengers of

“This Gospel episode concerns us, too, and not only
priests, but all the baptized, who are called to witness to the Gospel of
Christ in all the situations of life,” the pope said.

Christians fulfill their mission, he said, when their
proclamation is motivated only by love for and obedience to Christ and when the
only message they
share is Christ’s.

In the reading from St. Mark’s Gospel, Jesus tells his
disciples “to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick — no food,
no sack, no money in their belts.”

The poverty and simplicity of lifestyle Jesus asks for, the
pope said, were meant to make the disciples of yesterday and today “free
and light.”

Jesus, he said, calls his disciples to set out as
“messengers of the kingdom of God, not powerful managers, not unmovable
functionaries (and) not stars on tour.”

Although all the baptized are sent out on mission by Christ,
they go with no guarantee of success, the pope said. “This, too, is poverty:
the experience of failure.”

Pope Francis prayed that Mary, “the first disciple and
missionary of the word of God, would help us bear the message of the Gospel in
the world with a humble and radiant exultation that goes beyond every refusal,
misunderstanding or tribulation.”

– – –

Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

Original Article