Pope in Mongolia: Church must constantly proclaim Jesus

Speaking with Catholic ministers in Ulaanbaatar’s Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis recalls that Jesus is the Good News whom the Church must proclaim to all peoples, saying that God frequently speaks to us in a "low whisper that takes its time."

Sep 04, 2023

By Christopher Wells
In his first encounter with members of the local Church in Mongolia, Pope Francis invited pastoral ministers to “taste and see that the Lord is good”, reminding them that the joy and goodness of the Lord remain with us, helping us to see things in a new way.

He invited the Bishops, priests, missionaries, religious women and men, and lay pastoral workers gathered in Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral to spend their lives for the Gospel, which he described as “a beautiful way to define the missionary vocation of Christians,” especially in Mongolia.

Spending our life for the Gospel
After recalling the history of the Church in Mongolia, the Holy Father looked to the present, asking, “Why should anyone spend his or her life for the Gospel?”

The answer, he said, is because “God has made Himself visible, able to be touched and encountered in Jesus."

Jesus, he insisted, “is the Good News, meant for all peoples, the message that the Church must constantly proclaim, embody in her life, and ‘whisper’ to the heart of every individual and all cultures.”

He noted the many charitable initiatives undertaken by the Church in Mongolia, which serve as a “calling card” for Christians and have earned them the respect and esteem of their countrymen. He also encouraged them to “continue on this path, which has proved so fruitful and beneficial for the beloved Mongolian people.”

Seeing Jesus in those we serve
Pope Francis pointed to the source of the Church's ministry, reminding pastoral workers in Mongolia to return always to Jesus. Remaining close to the Lord, he said, leads us “to see Him in the faces of those we serve.”

This service, he continued, is what is needed in Mongolia, where people have a sense of the sacred and are looking for genuine witness. He noted that Christians are not sent to spread political theories, but to bear witness “to the newness of [Jesus’] relationship with His Father, who is now ‘Our Father’.”

Communion in the Church
Reflecting on the nature of the Church, Pope Francis explained that the Church is poor in a worldly sense, sustained only by faith and the power of the Risen Lord, and called to deliver “a message of mercy and truth which is meant to promote the good of all.”

He insisted on the harmony that must exist in the Church, under the headship of Christ, emphasizing the role of priests in guiding the people and building up fraternity in the Mystical Body. At the same time, he reminded Mongolians that they are close to his heart, “the heart of Peter,” and that the Universal Church, in turn, is close to Mongolia, “in a great outpouring of ecclesial communion.”

In this regard, Pope Francis insisted on the role of the Bishop, saying that “it is important for all ecclesial elements to remain firmly united around the bishop, who represents Christ alive in the midst of His People, and to build up the synodal fellowship that we preach and that greatly assists the inculturation of the faith.”

Bearing witness to Jesus in Mongolia
The Holy Father encouraged Church ministers, and all Christians in Mongolia, to recognize “as the gift that you are” and the beauty of giving oneself to Christ, who calls them to bear witness in Mongolia to His love. They will do this, the Pope said, by cultivating communion and simplicity of life, by being close to the people and caring for them, and by bringing Jesus to the people by example of their lives.

Finally, Pope Francis encouraged the Catholic community in Mongolia to entrust themselves to Mary, “asking for a renewed zeal and an ardent love that tirelessly and joyfully bears witness to the Gospel.”

“Go forward!” he continued. “God loves you; He has chosen you and believes in you.” And the Pope said, “I am close to you, and I thank you most heartily” for their witness and for their lives poured out for the Gospel.

And in a final exhortation, he encouraged them to “persevere, be constant in prayer and creative in charity, steadfast in communion, joyful and meek in everything and with everyone.”--Vatican News

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