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Monthly message February 2023

Brooklyn Museum Jesus Teaches the People by the Sea Jésus enseigne le peuple près de la mer James Tissot overallThe passion for evangelisation. 

Dear friends,

The passion for evangelisation, that means, apostolic zeal, is a vital dimension for the Church, tells us the Pope in one of his last Wednesday catechesis. It seems important to me, with the grace of the Holy Spirit and following the pontifical magisterium, to deepen this aspect of WUCWO’s purpose, which is to promote the co-responsibility of women in evangelisation.

The Church was born as a "Church that goes forth". Jesus sent us as apostles, as missionaries to spread the Good News to the ends of the Earth. It is about giving credible witness of the joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium 1), of the love of Jesus Christ. It does not mean proselytising, in order to convince others and gather more followers, but to spread faith in a God who is Father, who has saved us with the gift of his Son and with his provident tenderness accompanies us daily in our lives.

Pope Benedict, whose Easter we lived recently and whose luminous magisterium shines as a beacon on our path, taught us that “the Church does not engage in proselytism. Instead, she grows by attraction”. (Homily of the Holy Mass for the Inauguration of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, Shrine of Aparecida, 13 May 2007, Aparecida).

“But when Christian life loses sight of the horizon of evangelisation, the horizon of proclamation, it grows sick: it closes in on itself, it becomes self-referential, it becomes atrophied. Without apostolic zeal, faith withers. Mission, on the other hand, is the oxygen of Christian life: it invigorates and purifies it”. We need to “rekindle the fire that the Holy Spirit wants to keep burning within us” (Pope Francis’s Catechesis, January 11, 2023).

And evangelisation begins by looking around us and focusing on who needs the proclamation. Jesus looked at Matthew - the publican and betrayer of his people - and called him, he looked at Zacchaeus - very skilful to keep what belongs to others - and stayed in his house, he looked at the sinful woman and asked her: “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you. Go now and sin no more” (Jn 8, 10-11). He always did so with a look of predilection, reaching out to the hearts of those who were far away.

How beautiful it is to have before every recipient of our evangelisation that gaze of Jesus' tender love! To do this, Francis proposes us to ask ourselves: “how do we look upon others? How often do we see their faults and not their needs; how often do we label people according to what they do or what they think! Even as Christians we say to ourselves: is he one of us or not? This is not the gaze of Jesus”.

A few months before the meeting with the Pope in Rome (13 May, the registration is open by clicking HERE) and our General Assembly in Assisi (14-20 May, registration closed), I invite you to open even more the doors of our organisations to evangelisation, which must be our great passion, both personal and communal.

And, at the same time, let us open the doors of WUCWO. Let us not remain locked in the organisations that we are, like a dog running around and bites its own tail. We have so much to offer to other organisations! Let us be missionaries who offer the gifts we possess to other organisations. Let us look around us with the gaze of Jesus. Let us be passionate, like Pilar Bellosillo, for Jesus, for the Church, for WUCWO and we will have a great power of attraction.

Dear friends, who of you does not know or has not at some time connected with an organisation in your city, country or elsewhere that might be interested in getting to know WUCWO, in becoming a WUCWO member or simply in collaborating with WUCWO in one of its projects and activities? Now is the time to make an invitation. We are called to be in solidarity and to expand this organisation which is the only International Public Association of the Faithful recognised as such by the Holy See, dedicated to women. Let us also have a passion to share it.

I leave you in the hands of Mary, Mother of Evangelisation, and greet you with affection,

María Lía Zervino, Servidora

WUCWO President General

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