Pope Francis: The World Needs Catholics Who Go Out and Proclaim Jesus
For the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel passage, which speaks of Joseph and Mary bringing the child Jesus to be consecrated in the temple.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis spoke Sunday about the need for Catholics to be active in going out to announce the faith of Jesus Christ to the world.
“The world needs Christians who let themselves be moved, who never tire of walking the streets of life, to bring everyone the consoling word of Jesus,” he said Feb. 2 in his Angelus address.
“Every baptized person has received the vocation to proclaim,” he added “– to proclaim something, to proclaim Jesus – the vocation to the evangelizing mission: to proclaim Jesus!”
For the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel passage, which speaks of Joseph and Mary bringing the child Jesus to be consecrated in the temple, where they encountered the holy Simeon and Anna.
These men and women “represent models of welcome and giving of their life to God,” he said. “These four were not the same, they were all different, but they all sought God and allowed themselves to be guided by the Lord.”
The Gospel describes them as having attitudes of movement and amazement, he said.
According to the pope, “in this way the four protagonists of the Gospel passage show us that Christian life requires dynamism and requires willingness to walk, letting oneself be guided by the Holy Spirit.”
“Paralysis does not suit Christian witness and the mission of the Church.”
He advised parishes and other communities in the Church “to encourage the commitment of young people, families and the elderly, so that everyone can have a Christian experience, living the life and mission of the Church as protagonists.”
In his address, Pope Francis also spoke about amazement. He said, “the ability to be amazed at the things around us promotes religious experience and makes encounter with the Lord fruitful.”
The inability to be amazed, on the other hand, can make people indifferent, he added.
“May the Virgin Mary help us to contemplate the gift of God for us every day in Jesus, and to let ourselves be involved by him in the movement of the gift, with joyful amazement, so that our whole life may become a praise to God in the service of our brothers,” he prayed.
After the Angelus, the pope noted the Church in Italy’s celebration of the Day for Life, with the theme, “open the doors to life.”
Pope Francis said he joins the Italian bishops in hoping the day will be an opportunity to remember “to guard and protect human life from the beginning until its natural end.”
He also added that it is “necessary to combat any form of violation of dignity, even when technology or the economy is at stake, opening the doors to new forms of responsible fraternity.”
Speaking about the celebration of the World Day of Consecrated Life, also celebrated Feb. 2, the pope led those in St. Peter’s Square in praying a Hail Mary for consecrated men and women, who, he said, “do a lot of work and many times in secret.”
This day “recalls the great treasure in the Church of those who follow the Lord closely by professing the evangelical counsels,” he stated.