Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Another Gem from Redemptoris Missio

Article 83, fourth paragraph:

Activities aimed at promoting interest in the missions must always be geared to these specific goals; namely, informing and forming the People of God to share in the Church's universal mission, promoting vocations ad gentes and encouraging cooperation in the work of evangelization. It is not right to give an incomplete picture of missionary activity, as if it consisted principally in helping the poor, contributing to the liberation of the oppressed, promoting development or defending human rights. The missionary Church is certainly involved on these fronts but her primary task lies elsewhere: the poor are hungry for God, not just for bread and freedom. Missionary activity must first of all bear witness to and proclaim salvation in Christ, and establish local churches which then become means of liberation in every sense. (emphasis added)

Material assistance and human development are certainly aspects of missionary activity, as JPII states. But what is primary is the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: "the poor are hungry for God, not just for bread and freedom"!!

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