The mission is a one-way ticket, said Pope Francis at Mass, November 30, 2018, at the Casa Santa Marta, for the feast of the Apostle Saint Andrew. He insisted on the “coherence” of life: “do what we say”.
In his homily reported by Vatican News, he urged listeners to get rid of “everything that prevents us from continuing in the announcement of Jesus, of this attitude, of sin, of this vice” to be “more coherent” in his testimony.
The announcement is not “a simple news”, but “the only great good news”, he said: “This is not an advertising work, to advertise a very good person, who did good, who healed many people, and He taught beautiful things. No, it’s not advertising. Neither is it proselytizing.”
“What is the announcement of Christ? asked the Pope. It is not proselytizing, or advertising or marketing: it goes beyond … it is above all to be sent. And this mission is carried out “with the condition of putting into play his life, his time, his interests, his flesh”. “This trip only has a one-way ticket, there is no return. Returning is apostasy.”
The Pope spoke of the “scandal” of Christians who call themselves Christians but live “as pagans, as unbelievers.” And he has invited “coherence, between words and life”. The apostle, “he is the one who carries the Word of God, he is a witness”, who plays his life “to the end” and who is “also a martyr”.
God himself, the Pope observed, “to make himself known”, sent his Son “risking his life”, on a trip “with a single ticket, one way”. “The devil tried to convince him to take another path, and He did not want to, He did the will of the Father until the end. And our announcement must follow the same path: the testimony because He has been a witness of the Father becoming flesh. And we must incarnate ourselves, that is, become witnesses: do, do what we say. ”
“The martyrs are those who [show] that the announcement was true,” Pope Francis said again. The men and women who gave their lives, the apostles gave their lives for their blood; but also many men and women hidden in our society and in our families, who daily witness, in silence, to Jesus Christ, but through their lives, with the coherence of doing what they say. ”
To assume “the mission” of proclaiming Christ, he concluded, is to live as Jesus “taught us to live”, “in harmony with what we preach”, so that the announcement “will be fruitful”. To live on the contrary “without coherence”, “to say one thing and do the opposite”, does “a great deal of harm to the people of God”.
During the celebration, Pope Francis also invited to be “near the Church of Constantinople, the Church of Andrew”, and has prayed “for the unity of the churches.”