Pope Francis points out that the proclamation of the Gospel is in a new missionary stage. To face it, he suggests recovering the missionary style of the first Christians, which he says were marked by joy.
This is part of the message the pope delivered to the participants in a congress on Evangelii Gaudium, a key document of Francis' pontificate. The congress was organized on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its publication.
Pope Francis has suggested on several occasions that Christians today take inspiration from their predecessors of the early Church. He highlights their joy, their fraternity and their attention to those in need.
"Here appears the portrait of the Church, which sees those in difficulty, does not close its eyes, knows how to look humanity in the face to create meaningful relationships, bridges of friendship and solidarity instead of barriers," Pope Francis said. "The face of 'a Church without borders that feels like a mother to all' appears, who knows how to take people by the hand and accompany them in order to lift them up, not to condemn them. Jesus always, always extends his hand. He always seeks to uplift."
The recovery of a missionary spirit in the Catholic Church has marked the style of Francis' decade-long pontificate, especially within his reform of the Curia. And recently, the pope has insisted on the importance of dedicating time to prayer and service to those in need in order to recover the spirit of the first Christians.