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Get Up and Go Forward

A Christian must proclaim Jesus Christ in such a way that he be accepted: received, not refused.... He knows that the proclamation of Jesus Christ is not easy, but that it does not depend on him. He must do everything possible, but the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the proclamation of the truth, depends on the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us...: "When he shall come, the Spirit of truth, he shall guide you into all the truth." [Saint] Paul does not say to the Athenians; "This is the encyclopedia of truth. Study this and you have the truth, the truth." No! The truth does not enter into an encyclopedia. The truth is an encounter - it is a meeting with Supreme Truth: Jesus, the great truth. No one owns the truth. Then we receive the truth when we meet [it].

The Christian who would bring the Gospel must go down this road: [must] listen to everyone!... [The Church] does not grow by means of proselytizing, [but] by attraction, by witnessing, by preaching.... Christians who are afraid to build bridges and prefer to build walls are Christians who are not sure of their faith, not sure of Jesus Christ.

When the Church loses this apostolic courage, she becomes a stalled Church, a tidy Church, a Church that is nice to look at, but that is without fertility, because she has lost the courage to go to the outskirts, where there are many people who are victims of idolatry, worldliness, of weak thought, [of] so many things. Let us today ask Saint Paul to give us this apostolic courage, this spiritual fervor, so that we might be confident. "But Father," [you might say], "we might make mistakes."... "[Well, what of it," I might respond], "Get on with you: if you make a mistake, you get up and go forward: that is the way. Those who do not walk in order not to err, make the more serious mistake."

- Taken from Pope Francis, Wednesday, May 8, 2013 Mass: "Build Bridges, Not Walls" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican Radio website).

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