EUREKA 20: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens!


A. What is it?
‘Redemptoris Missio’ is an encyclical by Pope John Paul II published on 7 December 1990.

‘Redemptoris Missio’ is a Latin phrase for ‘The Mission of the Redeemer’
This encyclical is subtitled ‘On the permanent validity of the Church’s missionary mandate.’
The release coincided with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Vatican II’s Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity, ‘Ad gentes.’

B. What does it speak of?
‘Redemptoris Missio’ is devoted to the subject of “the urgency of missionary activity”

The Pope wished “to invite the Church to renew her missionary commitment”
The encyclical is an important elaboration on the theme of New Evangelization cited often by Pope John Paul II.

The encyclical differentiated three spheres of evangelization:

Missio ad gentes: Directed to people who do not yet believe in Christ
Reevangelization: Aimed at rekindling Christian faith
Pastoral care: The deeper insertion of the gospel in the hearts and minds of faithful Christians

Besides the Introduction and the Conclusion, ‘Redemptoris Missio’ outlines 8 topics:
I. Jesus Christ, the Only Savior

II. The Kingdom of God

III. The Holy Spirit, the Principal Agent of Mission

“The Holy Spirit is indeed the principal agent of the whole of the Church’s mission”
“Today the Church must face other challenges and push forward to new frontiers”

IV. The Vast Horizons of the Mission Ad Gentes

“Internal and external difficulties must not make us pessimistic or inactive. What counts, here as in every area of Christian life, is…from the certainty that it is not we who are the principal agents of the Church’s mission, but Jesus Christ and his Spirit.”
The Church addresses people with full respect for their freedom. Her mission does not restrict freedom but rather promotes it. The Church proposes; she imposes nothing. She respects individuals and cultures, and she honors the sanctuary of conscience. To those who for various reasons oppose missionary activity, the Church repeats: Open the doors to Christ!”

V. The Paths of Mission

“Conversion is a gift of God, a work of the Blessed Trinity.”

VI. Leaders and Workers in the Missionary Apostolate

“The Church is missionary by her very nature, for Christ’s mandate is not something contingent or external, but reaches the very heart of the Church.”

VII. Cooperation in Missionary Activity

The Pope appeals: “I ask young people themselves to listen to Christ’s words… they will know the genuine joy of proclaiming the ‘Good News’ to brothers and sisters whom they will lead on the way of salvation.”

VIII. Missionary Spirituality

“An essential characteristic of missionary spirituality is intimate communion with Christ.”
“The Church’s missionary spirituality is a journey toward holiness.”

C. Pointers for Reflections

  1. “Redemptoris Missio” invites to understand that the Kingdom of God is primarily the Person of Jesus Christ

“The Kingdom of God is not a concept, a doctrine, or a program subject to free interpretation, but it is before all else a person with the face and name of Jesus of Nazareth, the image of the invisible God.”

  1. The Encyclical calls us to cooperate with the missionary tasks entrusted to us

“The witness of a Christian life is the first and irreplaceable form of mission”

D. What virtues/points can we pick up from “Redemptoris Missio” for this Season of Lent?

  1. Making Jesus as the centre of our lives
  2. Using every opportunity to become a witness of the Kingdom of God

E. Tips to practice these virtues

  1. Prioritize Jesus above all things and people
  2. Try to speak about Christ and His Love – if possible, everyday – to at least one new person

May this Lent and the familiarity with “Redemptoris Missio” help us to grow in our acclamation: “Eureka – I have found the Lord”

CLICK TO READ the Full Text of “Redemptoris Missio” at:

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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