Pope Francis celebrated a solemn Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for the Extraordinary Missionary Month that takes place in October.
Among participants, there were many coming from places far from Rome who received faith thanks to missionaries.
In his homily, the pope gave advice to all Catholics.
He recalled during Mass that in the daily readings a “mountain” was mentioned. He explained that the disciple of Christ must climb it to be closer to God and see everything as a whole.
From above, the others are seen in whole and it is discovered that beauty is given only by the whole. The mountain reminds us that brothers and sisters should not be selected, but embraced.
On the other hand, the pope recalled that the summit is only reached with much effort. He said it is also necessary to lighten the load to climb with ease.
This is the secret of the mission: to 'go' it is necessary to 'leave' something, to 'proclaim' it is necessary to 'renounce.' It is necessary to abandon a horizontal life, fight against the force of gravity of selfishness, to make an exodus of one's own ego.
The pope recalled a disciple must be humble and be in his place. He must neither replace his teacher nor preach wrong doctrines, nor convince by force.
What instructions does the Lord give us to go to all? One very simple: make disciples. But beware: His disciples, not ours. The Church announces well only if it lives as a disciple.
Extraordinary Missionary Month is commemorating the 100 years of pontifical document that has been the “Magna Carta” of missionaries, the “Maximum illud.”
It was written by Benedict XV. In it, he reminded the missionaries that their work was not colonialism, nor promotion of Western political interests.
During Mass there was an important presence of missionaries and people living in mission areas.
Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, celebrated with Pope Francis. Filoni coordinates mission work with different countries.
The liturgy also had a special imprint, thanks to contributions such as choirs coming from mission areas.