Missionaries are the heroes of evangelization, pope says
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By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Young women and men who are tired of today’s self-centered, materialistic society should consider becoming missionaries — the heroes of evangelization, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.
“Life is worth living” to the full, “but in order to live it well, ‘consume’ it in service, in proclamation and keep going forward. This is the joy of proclaiming the Gospel,” the pope said May 10 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
So many men and women have left their families, homeland and culture to bring the Gospel to other continents, he said. So many of them never returned home, dying in mission lands from disease or martyrdom — “offering their life for the Gospel. These missionaries are our joy, the joy of our church.”
Many missionaries are “anonymous,” having served and died in foreign lands, he said. “They ‘consumed’ life,” far from home and their loved ones, but lived knowing they could say, “what I have done was worth it.”
Open to the work of the Holy Spirit, they felt an irresistible urge — they were “compelled” — to “consume their lives” for God in the farthest corners of the earth, the pope said.
“I want to tell today’s young men and women, who do not feel at ease” or happy with “this culture of consumerism and narcissism, ‘Look at the horizon. Look over there. Look at these missionaries of ours,'” he said.
Pope Francis asked those dissatisfied with worldly pursuits to pray to the Holy Spirit “to compel them to go far, to ‘consume’ their life” by being fully dedicated to serving others and the Gospel.
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