Pope Encourages Lay Faithful to Be a “Leaven of Christian Life” for Big Cities
Big cities are “fertile grounds” of evangelization that allows the Church to become a “leaven of Christian life” for citizens.
This was the reflection given by Pope Francis during today’s address to the participants of the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The Pontifical Council reflected on the theme: “Encountering God in the heart of the city: scenes of the evangelization for the third millennium.”
Listen to Junno Arocho’s report:
The Holy Father began his address by saying that the assembly’s theme follows the path of his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, and concentrates on the challenges of evangelizing urban cultures. However, he also noted that often times, big cities present both opportunities and risks for the Church.
“They can be magnificent spaces of freedom and human fulfillment, but also terrible spaces of dehumanization and unhappiness,” the Pope said.
The Pope said that the Church is called to reach out to those individuals who are usually forgotten and abandoned by others. The lay faithful in particular, he noted, are called to “break the wall of anonymity and indifference” and to show that God is never absent from man’s heart.
“By becoming joyful announcers of the Gospel to their fellow citizens, the lay faithful discovers that there are many hearts that the Holy Spirit has already prepared to receive their witness, their closeness and their attention,” he said.
Saying that big cities are a “fertile ground of apostolate”, the Pope stressed that the laity are called to live a “humble leadership” and become a “leaven of Christian life for the whole city.”
Concluding his address, Pope Francis encouraged the members of the Pontifical Council for the Laity to continue their work in announcing the liberating message of the love of God in its strength, beauty and simplicity.