Today, the Vatican released Pope Francis’s message for World Mission Sunday 2024. In the text, the Pope reflects on the Gospel parable of the Wedding Banquet, where the king tells his servants “Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find”.
“Go and invite!” Mission as a tireless outreach to invite others to the Lord’s banquet
Pope Francis tells us Mission is a tireless outreach to invite others to the Lord’s banquet:
His Holiness reminds us that mission implies a continuous outreach to all people, not only by going out, but also by inviting each one in a personal way to meet the Lord.
We must go to the ends of the earth, with perseverance and without forgetting that we must incarnate a tireless commitment to the mission of evangelization.
“Everyone” The universal mission of Christ’s disciples in the fully synodal and missionary Church
The universal mission of Christ’s disciples in the fully synodal and missionary Church:
In a divided world, the Gospel remains a unifying force, calling people to meet and rejoice in harmony in the midst of diversity. Mission includes a special concern for the marginalized, echoing the parable’s invitation to “all, good and bad.”
It is crucial to remember that we are in a period calling for a renewal of strength and to be a fully synodal and missionary Church, affirming that synodality and mission are interconnected.
“To the wedding feast.” The eschatological and Eucharistic dimension of the mission of Christ and the Church
In the parable, the banquet represents a symbol of the definitive salvation in the Kingdom of God:
The invitation to the banquet is linked to the Eucharistic table, where believers share the Body and Blood of Christ, anticipating the final banquet.
The symbolism of the Eucharist, an essential sacrament, paired with the urgency of the evangelization for all peoples in this parable is a strong reminder of the importance of our mission.
Towards the end of his message, the Pope recommends to all dioceses worldwide the service of the Pontifical Mission Societies as the primary means “by which Catholics are instilled with a truly universal and missionary outlook from childhood, and [as] a means of effectively collecting funds for all missions, each according to its needs.”
As in all his messages, the Holy Father concludes by invoking the intercession of Mary, who played a fundamental role at the wedding feast in Cana. Mary serves as a guiding force in the Church’s evangelizing mission, and her maternal intercession is sought out by Christ’s disciples in the present.
Join us in renewing our mission daily, in anticipation of World Mission Day.
Read the full message here