1. LOVE AND RECONCILIATION
Part of the mission of his papacy was to reconcile with groups that had broken apart from the Church. He stepped up talks with a group that has been in disagreement with the Catholic Church after liturgical changes took place in Vatican II. He opened up the doors for Anglican Churches to be brought back into the Catholic Church, and may have already chosen to do so.
Pope Benedict XVI took very seriously Jesus’ desire that we “all may be one,” (John 17:21) and worked to build bridges with other faiths in order to spread the Gospel.
2. SHARING THE TRUTH
Pope Benedict XVI was also about sharing the Truth of the Gospel with everyone. He proclaimed this year a “Year of Faith,” challenging everyone to learn more about their Catholic beliefs so we could better share them with others.
Pope Benedict XVI passionate about evangelization, and dove into the world to share the Gospel message by creating a Twitter account, offering people for the first time a direct line of communication to the pope.
3. ADVOCATING FOR YOUTH
Pope Benedict XVI believes in the young people of the Church. Through many World Youth Days, writings, and audiences he time and time again stressed how the youth of the Catholic Church need to be witnesses to Christ, and share Him with all those around them.
He doesn’t want you to just be a “normal teen,” he wants you to be on fire for Christ, and to share his love with all those around you – even in a world where it can be challenging. If you own a YouCat (and if you don’t own one, you definitely should), you will notice that Pope Benedict XVI wrote the introduction and challenges you to learn it and become more rooted in your faith.
He wants you to become missionaries in your world and spread the love of Christ to everyone you meet.
That is our challenge; it isn’t just a challenge that Pope Benedict XVI made up on his own, but a challenge that he echoes from Christ. To be a disciple and a Catholic is to share the hope we have in Christ with others, to let them know God’s love through us, and to be passionate defenders of the Truth of our faith.
Pope Benedict XVI has given us an incredible example of that, and his life should challenge us to become bold disciples in a world that desperately needs them.
Pope Benedict XVI was bold in his defense of the truth, he went to where the people were (Twitter), and he did it all with love.
What about us? Where do we need to go to spread the Gospel? Who in our lives needs to know Christ? How can we love like Christ loved?
In the coming days a lot of talk will be given to the new pope, but remember the one we have now and the challenge he has given us to become missionary in our world – and today, make the decision to accept that challenge.