With these two paragraphs, we draw this modest exploration of the Reign of God and the missionary emphasis of those who consider themselves as disciples of Jesus. First, a reminder that in the Lord’s example, he went everywhere, to anyone, and all were issued the invitation to come and follow:
147. Jesus went out to meet people in very different situations—men and women, poor and rich, Jews and foreigners, the just and sinners—and invited all to follow Him. Today he is still issuing the invitation to find in Him the Father’s love. Accordingly, the missionary disciple must be a man or a woman who makes the Father’s merciful love visible, especially to the poor and sinners.
Why specially these people? It is part of the nature of the Father, as the Son describes him, to experience joy at the return of one who was lost. There is no *wink wink* toward the favorites, the older siblings.
This citation from Pope Benedict helps us understand the “journey toward holiness.”
148. In sharing this mission the disciples journey toward holiness. Living it in mission leads them into the heart of the world. Hence, holiness is not a flight toward self-absorption or toward religious individualism, nor does it mean abandoning the urgent reality of the enormous economic, social, and political problems of Latin America and the world, let alone a flight from reality toward an exclusively spiritual world.(Pope Benedict XVI, Introductory Address 3)
For us mortals, none are holy on their own merits. It is always a process, a conversion that continues throughout our lives. It is not about a retreat from the world around us. Jesus’ example in gravitating toward sinners, the needy, the poor, illustrate the Divine attitude to people. Yes, there are moments of contemplation, of worship, and of marshalling one’s energies. But eve n the Transfiguration was followed by a moment of coming down from the mountain and confronting real needs of real people who were being invited to their own journey toward holiness.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.