Jesus' New Lifestyle

As the Apostle Paul demonstrated the authenticity of his apostolate with the persecutions, the wounds and the torments suffered (cf. 2 Corinthians 6-7), so persecution is also proof of the authenticity of our apostolic mission. But it is important to recall that the Gospel "takes shape in human consciences and hearts and expands in history only in the power of the Holy Spirit" (John Paul II, encyclical "Dominum et Vivificantem," 64) and the Church and missionaries have been made ideal by him to fulfill the mission entrusted to them (cf. Ibid., 25). It is the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Corinthians 14) who unites and preserves the Church, giving her the strength to expand, filling Christ's disciples with an overflowing wealth of charisms. It is from the Holy Spirit that the Church receives the authority for the proclamation and the apostolic ministry.

Because of this, I wish to strongly reaffirm what I already said in regard to development (cf. "Caritas in Veritate," 79), that is, that evangelization needs Christians with arms raised to God in a gesture of prayer, Christians moved by the awareness that the conversion of the world to Christ is not done by us, but is given. The missionary endeavor requires an ever more profound union with him who is the One Sent by God the Father for the salvation of all; it requires sharing that "new lifestyle" that was inaugurated by the Lord Jesus and that the Apostles made their own (cf. Address to the Participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Clergy, March 16, 2009).

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