23.âThe Churchâs closeness to Jesus is part of
a common journey; âcommunion and mission
are profoundly interconnectedâ.
In fidelity to
the example of the Master, it is vitally important
for the Church today to go forth and preach the
Gospel to all: to all places, on all occasions, with-
out hesitation, reluctance or fear. The joy of the
Gospel is for all people: no one can be excluded.
That is what the angel proclaimed to the shep-
herds in Bethlehem: âBe not afraid; for behold,
I bring you good news of a great joy which will
come to all the people (
2:10). The Book of
Revelation speaks of âan eternal Gospel to pro-
claim to those who dwell on earth, to every na-
tion and tongue and tribe and people (
Taking the first step, being involved and supportive,
bearing fruit and rejoicing
24.âThe Church which âgoes forthâ is a com-
munity of missionary disciples who take the first
step, who are involved and supportive, who bear
fruit and rejoice. An evangelizing community
knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he
has loved us first (cf.
4:19), and therefore we
can move forward, boldly take the initiative, go
out to others, seek those who have fallen away,
stand at the crossroads and welcome the out-
cast. Such a community has an endless desire to
II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation
(30 December 1988), 32: AAS 81 (1989) 451.