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The missionary call of married couples

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World Mission Sunday reminds us that being a missionary is every Christian’s call.

The catechesis of Pope John Paul II, the pertinent teachings of Benedict XVI, the synods on the new evangelization and then on the family, the exhortations Evangelii gaudium and Amoris laetitia of Pope Francis all reveal the Church’s role of consciousness raising, insistently calling on couples to be at the forefront of the proclamation and explicit witness of the Gospel.

“It creates bonds even deeper than blood” 

The missionary vocation of spouses is the direct fruit of the sacrament of marriage: the Synod Fathers did not fail to point out that “it comes from the sacramental bond that consecrates them” and that it is a “ministry.”

All the more so, the pope assures, that “in many situations couples and Christian families are often in the best position to announce Jesus Christ to other families, to support them, strengthen them and encourage them” to “witness and to transmit what they have received.” Hence his eagerness to encourage spouses to commit themselves to evangelization, bearing witness and accompaniment towards Christ.

This “magnificent call,” as Pope Francis said, is a grace for the spouses who experience that evangelizing together “creates bonds even deeper than blood” (St. John Paul II). The mission strengthens the couple, it unites them, converts them, simplifies them, it unfolds conjugal love. By evangelizing together, spouses savor more, as if by echo, what they proclaim: the power of the word of Christ, the strength of the Holy Spirit, and quite simply a love of God multiplied tenfold in their lives.

So, on this World Mission Sunday, let us reflect on how to respond to this missionary call. Let us be attentive to our children, our friends, our neighbors or colleagues, the poorest, to seize the moment to bear witness and naturally lead the way to Christ’s love, a love that transforms, heals and blesses our lives. In our Church commitments, let us encourage them to participate in the mission: the happiness and consolation of so many who have not tasted God’s love and mercy is at stake! And let us not forget that proclaiming the Gospel together is a fantastic  way to “boost” of conjugal communion!

Alex and Maud Lauriot-Prévost

 

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