Rome (Agenzia Fides) - Jesus' call to proclaim his Gospel should not be understood as a call to a missionary mobilization that is additional to the daily duties of life. The impulse to communicate the salvation of Christ to the world can only unfold freely if one experiences the "new wonder" that the "disciples experience in the encounter with the risen Christ, who sends them on mission". Pope Francis recalled this on Tuesday afternoon, in the homily of the Eucharistic liturgy he presided over in the Vatican Basilica with the members of the College of Cardinals.
In various passages of his homily, and in particular in his words to the new Cardinals created during the Ordinary Public Consistory held on Saturday 27 August, the Bishop of Rome insistently recalled the features of grateful wonder that characterize every genuine apostolic actions that have characterized the world since the beginning of Christian history, as a paradigm of every "missionary new beginning" the spirit with which "the eleven disciples" listened to the words of the risen Christ, who called them to go into the world and "make disciples of all, and to baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and to teach them all that I commanded you." The Pope also recalled the promise of Jesus, who spoke of "hope and consolation" to his disciples: "I am with you always, until the end of the age". These words of the Risen One - according to the Pope - "still have the power, even after two thousand years, to make our hearts vibrate".
And "the unfathomable divine decision to evangelize the world starting from this poor group of disciples who, as the evangelist notes, were still in doubt, never ceases to amaze us. The same wonder - continued the Successor of Peter, comparing the adventure of the first disciples to the present of the Church - "takes hold of us when we are gathered here today, to whom the Lord has repeated the same words, the same mission". "Amazement at the work of the risen Christ", the Pope said in his direct address to members of the College of Cardinals, whom he warned against complacency, " is a way to salvation! May God keep it ever alive in our hearts, for it sets us free from the temptation of thinking that we can “manage things”, that we are “most eminent”. Or from the false security of thinking that today is somehow different, no longer like the origins; today the Church is big, solid, and we occupy eminent positions in its hierarchy – indeed they address us as “Your Eminence”… There is some truth in this, but there is also much deception, whereby the Father of Lies always seeks to make Christ’s followers first worldly, then innocuous".
Even the call to be part of the College of Cardinals - continued the Pontiff - "can lead you to the temptation of worldliness, which step by step takes away your strength, takes away your hope; it prevents you from seeing the gaze of Jesus who calls us by name and sends us out. Those are the seeds of spiritual worldlinesscan lead you to the temptation of worldliness, which step by step takes away your strength, takes away your hope; it prevents you from seeing the gaze of Jesus who calls us by name and sends us out. Those are the seeds of spiritual worldliness". A temptation from which, according to the Pope, one can only be freed if "this initial baptismal amazement is renewed in the hearts".
Only this possible new beginning of grace - according to the Pope - and not trust in human and ecclesiastical prudence and competence can "make the community of believers attractive, first for themselves and then for all: the double mystery of being saved in Christ and to go into the world with Christ". A mystery," the Bishop of Rome recalled, "that is already indicated in the letters of Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, in which apostolic action and missionary concerns are always filled with the grace of grateful admiration that precedes everything... And that is perhaps the measure, the thermometer of our spiritual life". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 31/8/2022)