Bitesize

The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps — we must step up the stairs.

Vance Havner

 

                                                         

 

 

Pope Francis

 

The Pope Tweets        @Pontifex

 

Try reading the Gospel for at least five minutes every day. You will see how it changes your life.

By virtue of their Baptism, every Catholic is called to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ – a mission which cannot be separated from the Catholic Church, Pope Francis said Sunday.

“It is truly [our] Baptism that makes us missionaries,” the pope said in off-the-cuff comments July 15. “A baptized person who does not feel the need to proclaim the Gospel, to announce Jesus, is not a good Christian.”

The first necessary element of all authentic missionary discipleship is the “changeless centre, which is Jesus,” he said. This is because proclaiming the Gospel cannot be separated from Christ or from the Church.

Announcing the Gospel “is not an initiative of individual believers, groups or even large groups, but it is the Church’s mission inseparably united with her Lord,” Pope Francis said. “No Christian proclaims the Gospel ‘on his own,’ but only sent by the Church who received the mandate from Christ himself.”

Speaking during his weekly Angelus address, the pope reflected on the Christian’s mission as seen when Jesus sends out his disciples “two by two” to preach repentance.

Jesus’ message to his disciples in this episode of the Gospel concerns not just priests, but every baptized person, who is “called to witness, in the various environments of life, the Gospel of Christ,” he said.

Like the disciples were warned, the message may not be welcomed, but this aligns with what Jesus himself experienced, the pope said, noting that he was “was rejected and crucified.”

“Only if we are united with him, dead and risen, can we find the courage of evangelization,” Francis said.

Noting that the centre of the mission must always be Christ, he pointed to examples of saints from Rome who are examples of being “humble workers of the Kingdom,” such as St. Philip Neri, St. Benedict Joseph Labre, St. Frances of Rome, and Bl. Ludovica Albertoni.  

They did not work to advance themselves or their own ideas or interests, but acted always as messengers sent by Jesus, he said.

Pointing to the Blessed Virgin Mary as “the first disciple and missionary of the Word of God,” the pope concluded by asking her help to bring “the message of the Gospel to the world in a humble and radiant exultation, beyond any rejection, misunderstanding or tribulation.”

(Catholic news agency)

 

Pope Francis' Prayer Intention for July

Priests and their Pastoral Ministry

 

There are many ways in which lay people can help our parishes. We can do courses in bereavement counselling or become Eucharistic ministers. We can join the SVP and visit the sick and the lonely or simply help bring people to church. The days of the priest doing everything in the parish is a thing of the past. The numbers of priests has been falling for a long time, and as our older priests retire, our younger priests are finding themselves with more and more work to do. In some cases the work load will leave priests feeling fatigued and alone. As the number of priests dwindle, lay ministry becomes more and more important. Our prayers are also important that priests support each other.

 

Today Pope Francis asks us to join in his monthly prayer

 

intention that "...priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests."

 

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