We have returned from our ad limina visit to Rome with much to reflect upon.
We met with many Roman discasteries, celebrated Mass at the tombs of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and had a wonderful meeting with Pope Francis. A message I heard many times from the various Congregation we visited was “tell people the Good News of the Gospel, tell people about Jesus Christ, what he has done for us and continues to do for us.”
This message has clearly been picked up from Pope Francis and we have been reminded that our task, the task for everyone who is baptised, is to evangelise and share the joy and hope of the Gospel. At the Masses at St Peters and at St Paul’s Outside the Walls I was struck both times by the Preface of the Mass which speaks of “Peter, our leader in faith, and Paul its fearless preacher.” Like Peter we are all called in different ways to be leaders. We are also all called to be fearless preachers, to preach with our lives. This takes courage.
The other message we received many times was to be people of courage; being courageous for the sake of the Gospel was a constant theme. As we face the challenges of the world around us and try to take the Gospel to a world where many people struggle and find little to give them hope, I think of the words of Venerable Suzanne Aubert, “Let us never lose courage for the journey.”
Earlier this year Pope Francis reflected on the reality that all people are “made bearers of a promise” and are asked to have the “courage to take a risk” with Jesus and for Jesus.
Pope Francis reminded us in our visit with him that our task is to lead a Church which does things differently, a Church which not closed in on itself, which is constantly reaching out to others with the good news of the Gospel. That is the message for all of us, for everyone who shares the gift of Baptism. Are we all ready to be “bearers of a promise” and to have the “courage to take a risk”, with Jesus and for Jesus?
Please continue us to pray for Pope Francis as he leads the Church today.
With every blessing