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Pope Francis at Phoenix Park, Dublin Pope Francis at Phoenix Park, Dublin   (AFP)

Pope in Ireland: Share Gospel of family as joy for the world

Pope Francis’ calls on families to “become a source of encouragement for others” in his homily at Phoenix Park, Dublin, at the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families.

By Christopher Wells

Taking his lead from Sunday’s Gospel reading, Pope Francis said Jesus’ words, “with the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, are teeming with life for us who accept them in faith.” It is a promise “of a new Pentecost, a domestic Pentecost, a fresh outpouring of the Spirit, the Paraclete, whom Jesus sends as our Advocate, our Consoler, and indeed, our Encourager.”

The fruits of WMOF

The Pope insisted on the need for encouragement in the modern world, and said that “one of the fruits” of the World Meeting of Families would be for participants to return to their homes “and become a source of encouragement for others. He called on them to bear witness to the sacrificial love of Jesus, “the love that alone can save our world from its bondage to sin, selfishness, greed, and indifference to the less fortunate.” That, he said, “is the love we have come to know in Christ Jesus.”

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But he also acknowledged that “the task of bearing witness to this Good News is not easy. Recalling great Irish missionaries like St Columbanus, Pope Francis said, “Their extraordinary missionary success was not based on tactical methods or strategic plans, but on a humble and liberating docility to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.”

Spread the words to the world's peripheries 

The Pope said that “through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, each Christian is sent forth to be a missionary, ‘a missionary disciple’.” In fact, “the Church as a whole is called to ‘go forth” to bring the words of eternal life to all the peripheries of our world.” And he concluded with a stirring challenge for the whole Church, “parents and grandparents, children and young people, men and women, religious brothers and sisters, contemplatives and missionaries, deacons and priests” to “Share the Gospel of the family as joy for the world!”

26 August 2018, 15:41