Vatican City, 25 April 2013 (VIS) – The Pope presided over Mass this morning, the feast of the Evangelist St. Mark, at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Among those present were members of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, accompanied by their secretary general, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic.
Francis, noting that today's Gospel narrates Jesus' Ascension, emphasized that, before he was taken up into heaven, the Lord sent his Apostles to proclaim the Gospel “to the ends of the earth, not just in Jerusalem or in Galilee. … The horizon is wide and, as you can see, this is the nature of the Church's missionary action. The Church goes forward with this proclaiming to all, to all the world. But she does not go forward alone: she goes with Jesus. … The Lord works with all those who preach the Gospel.”
The Bishop of Rome also referenced the First Letter of Peter, which defines the Christian style of preaching; “humility, service, charity, fraternal love. But—'Lord, we have to conquer the world!' That word, 'conquer', doesn't belong. We have to preach to the world. The Christian cannot be like the soldiers who, when they win the battle, make a clean sweep of everything. The Christian announces the Gospel by his witness more than by his words, and this goes two ways...: a great spirit is not frightened by great things, of going forward toward unending horizons, and the humility of being aware of the little things.”