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October 11, 1996     The Message
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October 11, 1996

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WILL YOU BE MY 00/VITNESS?" In World Mission Sunday message, Pope John Paul challenges Catholics to see link between faith and mission bserving that "faith spurs us to be missionaries," Pope John Paul II challenged Catholics worldwide to let World Mission Sun- daybe the occasion to let themselves "be personally sum- moned by the Lord to the apostolic chal- lenges of our time." "Faith and mis- sion go hand in hand," the Holy Fa- ther noted in his mes- sage for World Mis- sion Sunday, October 20, "the stronger and deeper the faith, the more we will feel the need to communicate, share and witness to it." On World Mis- sion Sunday, the Pope continued, "Christ asks each baptized person: 'Will I you be my witness?'" I IA "ho , in fact,is the Christian ? A person whom Christ "has made His own" and who therefore longs to make Him known and loved everywhere, "to the ends of the earth." Pope John Paul I] "growth of dioceses, parishes and* Christian families." he Holy Father stressed in his 1 message the important role of the Propagation of the Faith for the The Propagation of the Faith is vital to sensitizing Catholics to the mission ad gentes, the Pope said. Through this "sensitization," he con- tinued, "every believer can have a renewed awareness of his duty to open his heart to all those in the missions who live in conditions of critical material and spiritual need." Such awareness, the Holy Fa- ther concluded, "will certainly lead to the commitment to take responsi- bility for the needs of our poorest brothers and sisters." ope John Paul encouraged .K prayer for missionary voca- tions. He also noted that Christian witness "is marked by the unavoid- able and distinctive presence of the Cross." "There can be no authentic witness without it," he added, speaking specifically near the end of his message about the "heroic witness given by new 'martyrs' who shed their blood in order to remain "faithful to the Lord." In the past decade, close to 200 missionaries have shed their blood in heroic wit- ness to th Gospel of Jesus Christ. JEsuS SAID" 00OLI WILL BE MY WITNESSES...EVEN TO THE ENDS OF rnE EaR00" ipS healing was miraculous, sign of greater ower, greater love. A man who had never stood walked. A man with leprosy was cleansed. A little girl, thought dead, arose, her hand in His. Comfort through our handsmirrors Christ as we, too, love, H gattlered them for stories, aybe held the smallest on his knee as He opened up the world and helped them peek at the wonders of His Father. We cot Him as we tell the age-old stories to little ones given to us, and as we pray with them "Our Father." (Above) Local Sister, Leprosy Rehabilitation Center, Indonesia (Above Right) Missionary Bishop Raymond Kalisz, S.V.D., Papua New Guinea tRi&ht) Missionary Father Luigi Bono, Eucharistic celebration, Ethiopia A table, the Twelve gathered round Him. Bread broken was no longer bread. Wine passed, no longer wine. Oh, this is the mystery at the heart of our lives! Weknow Him in the break- ing of bread. We reflect Him as our broken lives are mended with His forgiveness. How wz[/. we he Hzs wrrnesses To00)ay?