VATICAN CITY – Christians committed to building a world where all people recognize they are brothers and sisters need to share the good news of salvation in Christ, Pope Benedict XVI said.
“The fundamental law of human perfection and, consequently, the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love” taught by Jesus Christ, the pope said in his message for World Mission Sunday 2010.
The annual observance will be marked Oct. 24 at the Vatican and in most countries.
In his message for the day, the pope focused on how faith in Christ must lead Christians to build strong faith communities, which become signs for the world that it is possible for people of different races and cultures to live and thrive together.
The fact that World Mission Sunday is held in October, the month the church dedicates to the rosary, is a further reminder of God’s love for the world, a love that took flesh because Mary said yes to God’s plan, the pope wrote.
To be missionaries today and respond to people’s need for hope and their desire to live in a new way means “to become champions of the newness of life made up of authentic relationships in communities founded on the Gospel,” he said.
“In a multiethnic society that is experiencing increasingly disturbing forms of loneliness and indifference, Christians must learn to offer signs of hope and to become universal brethren, cultivating the great ideals that transform history and, without false illusions or useless fears, must strive to make the planet a home for all peoples,” the pope’s message said.
The world needs God’s love, which people encounter in Christ, he said.
Every Catholic has an obligation to participate in the church’s missionary outreach in their own families and communities and by supporting foreign missions, the pope said.
“I therefore renew to everyone the invitation to pray and, despite financial difficulties, to offer fraternal and concrete help” to support the churches in missionary lands and the pontifical missionary societies, which fund the training of priests and catechists and the education of children, he wrote.
The text of the pope’s message in English is available online at: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/missions/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20100206_world-mission-day-2010_en.html