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All baptised Christians must be missionaries, Pope Francis says

(Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Every baptised Catholic is called to be a missionary and to spread the Gospel of Christ, Pope Francis has said.

In his Sunday Angelus address, the Pope said that “a baptized person who does not feel the need to proclaim the Gospel, to announce Jesus, is not a good Christian.”

“The missionary disciple has first of all a centre of reference, which is the person of Jesus,” Pope Francis added. This is because announcing the Gospel is “not an initiative of individual believers, groups or even large groups, but it is the Church’s mission inseparably united with her Lord.”

“No Christian proclaims the Gospel ‘on his own,’ but only sent by the Church who received the mandate from Christ himself,” the Pope said.

The Pope was reflecting on the day’s Novus Ordo Gospel reading, in which Jesus sends out his disciples “two by two” to spread his teaching. Pope Francis said Christ’s message to his disciples applied all baptised Christians, not just priests and bishops.

People may reject the Gospel, but this would only be in line with what Christ himself experienced. “Only if we are united with him, dead and risen, can we find the courage of evangelization,” Pope Francis said.