To continue with what Pope Francis told the Catechists, the third element flows from the second for, as Paul told us: "the love of Christ impels us" - the Pope says that this can be translated as "the love of Christ possesses us. And so it is: love attracts us and sends us; it draws us in and gives us to others. This tension marks the beating of the heart of the Christian...The third element is along these lines, starting anew with Christ means not being afraid to go with him to the outskirts."
The Pope uses the story of Jonah to show how the Lord calls him to go and preach to Nineveh and Jonah does not want to do this and tries to run away. The Pope says that this short parable teaches us not to be afraid to pass beyond our comfort zone and to follow God, because God is always pushing, pressing forward...God is not afraid!...God is creative; he is not closed, and so he is never inflexible. God is not rigid1 He welcomes us, he meets us, he understands us."
We need to be able to change, to adapt to situations in which we need to proclaim the Gospel. But again, the Pope assures us that we go with Jesus who has said to us, 'Go, for I am with you!' He walks with us, he goes ahead of us, and he gets there first....God is always ahead of us! ..."Jesus is waiting for us in the hearts of our brothers and sister, in their wounded bodies, in their hardships, in their lack of faith."
"Let us remain with Christ-abiding in Christ - and let us always try to be one with him. Let us follow him; let us imitate him in his movement of love, in his going forth to meet humanity. Let us go forth and open doors. Let us have the audacity to mark out new paths for proclaiming the Gospel."
Have a happy Labor Day!