By Robin Gomes
A Christian is a missionary who, urged forward by the Holy Spirit, lives his or her Baptism as yeast in society, spreading the message of Jesus.
This is the heart of a brief video message that Pope Francis sent to the participants a 3-day National Missionary Congress, organized by Indonesia’s Catholic Church.
"Baptized and Sent"
The August 1 to 4 conference, being held at the Mercure Convention Center, Ancol, in Jakarta, has as its theme, "Baptized and Sent".
Speaking in Italian, the Pope exhorts the Congress participants to reflect well on the theme. “When we are baptized, we receive the Holy Spirit, who is a treasure; we receive the message of Jesus, the Gospel within us,” the Pope says in the video message that was projected during the opening ceremony.
The Pope draws attention to the two words of the theme, “Baptized and Sent”. “When you have a beautiful thing and are enthusiastic about it,” he says, “you feel the impetus to share it and give it to others.” “Baptized and Sent”, he says, are the two things that must be the leitmotif of the Congress.
He asks how a Christian lives his or her Baptism, not only in personal life but also as “yeast, social leaven in society, to carry forward this message of Jesus.”
Walking forward – urged by the Spirit
The Argentine Pope reminds the congress participants that a Christian always walks forward. According to the Bible, he explains, “we are not people who go backwards”; “we are people who go forward, always.”
“When one goes back,” he stresses, “one is not a Christian.”
When a Christian goes forward, he points out, he or she is “sent”. "It is the Holy Spirit that impels me to go forward”.
“So, take courage, go forward, always forward: baptized and sent,” the Pope urges and asks them to pray to our Lady that she may protect them and help them forge ahead.
Pope Francis also asks the Congress participants to pray for him and concludes imparting his blessing on them.