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The Profession of Faith

225

still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all

men.”

338

Mission—a requirement of the Church’s catholicity

849

The missionary mandate.

“Having been divinely sent to the

nations that she might be ‘the universal sacrament of salvation,’

the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and

because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives

to preach the Gospel to all men”:

339

“Go therefore and make

disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father

and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all

that I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until

the close of the age.”

340

850

The origin and purpose of mission.

The Lord’s missionary

mandate is ultimately grounded in the eternal love of the Most

Holy Trinity: “The Church on earth is by her nature missionary

since, according to the plan of the Father, she has as her origin the

mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

341

The ultimate purpose

of mission is none other than tomakemen share in the communion

between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love.

342

851

Missionary motivation.

It is fromGod’s love for all men that

the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor

of her missionary dynamism, “for the love of Christ urges us

on.”

343

Indeed, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to

the knowledge of the truth”;

344

that is, God wills the salvation of

everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found

in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth

are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this

truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to

bring them the truth. Because she believes in God’s universal plan

of salvation, the Church must be missionary.

852

Missionary paths.

The Holy Spirit is the protagonist, “the

principal agent of the whole of the Church’s mission.”

345

It is he

who leads the Church on her missionary paths. “This mission

338

AG

7; cf.

Heb

11:6;

1 Cor

9:16.

339

AG

1; cf.

Mk

16:15.

340

Mt

28:19-20.

341

AG

2.

342 Cf. John Paul II,

RMiss

23.

343

2 Cor

5:14; cf.

AA

6;

RMiss

11.

344

1 Tim

2:4.

345 John Paul II,

RMiss

21.

738, 767

257

730

221, 429

74, 217

2104

890

2044

2473