(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis used his remarks to pilgrims and tourists ahead of the traditional Sunday Angelus prayer to reflect on our being creatures in time, but destined for eternity with God – the uncreated author of all that is, the source of our being, and the font of truth and joy: all in the key of mission.
Drawing on the Second Reading of this XXX Sunday in Ordinary Time and World Mission Day, which was taken from the 2nd Letter of St. Paul to Timothy, Pope Francis said, “Today is a time of mission and it is time of courage: courage to strengthen tottering steps, to rediscover the delight of spending ourselves for the Gospel, to regain confidence in the strength that mission brings with itself.”
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Courage, however, cannot guarantee victory.
“It is time for courage, although courage does not mean having assurance of success: courage is required to fight, not necessarily to win; to proclaim, not necessarily to convert.”
The Holy Father went on to say, “Today what is required of us is courage to be alternative in the world, without ever becoming argumentative or aggressive. What is required of us is the courage to be open to all, without ever diminishing the absoluteness and uniqueness of Christ, the one Savior of all.”
“Courage,” continued Pope Francis, “is required of us to stand up to unbelief, without becoming arrogant.”
Then, in a departure from his prepared remarks, the Holy Father said, “There is also required of us in this day the courage of the publican in today’s Gospel,” taken from the Gospel according to St. Luke, with the parable of the proud Pharisee and the humble tax collector who averts his eyes from heaven and begs the Lord forgiveness – the parable that concludes with the admonition according to which whosever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.