By her very nature the Church is a missionary community. She is continually impelled by this missionary thrust which she has received from the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:8). In fact, the Holy Spirit is the principal agent of the Church's entire mission.
As a consequence, the Christian vocation is also directed towards the apostolate, towards evangelization, towards mission. All baptized persons are called by Christ to become his apostles in their own personal situation and in the world: "As the Father has sent me, so I send you" (Jn 20:21). Through his Church Christ entrusts you with the fundamental mission of sharing with others the gift of salvation, and he invites you to participate in building his kingdom. He chooses you, in spite of the personal limitations everyone has, because he loves you and believes in you. This unconditional love of Christ should be the very soul of your apostolic work, in accord with the words of St Paul: "The love of Christ impels us" (2 Cor 5:14).
Being disciples of Christ is not a private matter. On the contrary, the gift of faith must be shared with others. For this reason the same Apostle writes: "If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it!" (1 Cor 9:16). Moreover, do not forget that faith is strengthened and grows precisely when it is given to others.
The mission lands in which you have been called to work are not necessarily located in distant countries, but can be found throughout the world, even in the everyday situations where you are. In the countries of more ancient Christian tradition today there is an urgent need to call attention again to the message of Jesus by means of a new evangelization, since there are widespread groups of people who do not know Christ, or do not know him well enough; many, caught by the mechanisms of secularism and religious indifference, are far from him.
Proclaiming Christ means above all giving witness to him with one's life. It is the simplest form of preaching the Gospel and, at the same time, the most effective way available to you. It consists in showing the visible presence of Christ in one's own life by a daily commitment and by making every concrete decision in conformity with the Gospel. Today the world especially needs believable witnesses.
Therefore, testify to your faith through your involvement in the world. A disciple of Christ is never a passive and indifferent observer of what is taking place. On the contrary, he feels responsible for transforming social, political, economic and cultural reality.
You must have the courage to speak about Christ in your families and in places where you study, work or recreate, inspired with the same fervor the Apostles had when they said: "We cannot help speaking of what we have heard and seen" (Acts 4:20). Do not be afraid of presenting Christ to someone who does not yet know him. Christ is the true answer, the most complete answer to all the questions which concern the human person and his destiny. Without Christ the human person remains an unsolvable riddle.
Therefore, have the courage to present Christ! Certainly, you must do this in a way which respects each person's freedom of conscience, but you must do it. Helping a brother or sister to discover Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life is a true act of love for one's neighbor. So, do not be discouraged, because you are never alone. The Lord will not fail to accompany you, as he promised: "Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world" (Mt 28:20).