VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians should pray for great courage and great humility as they respond to the call of Jesus to share his Gospel with the world, Pope Francis said.

Preaching the Good News must be done with “humility, service, charity, fraternal love,” the pope said April 25 during his homily at a morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Martae where he lives.


Some might respond, “‘Lord, we must conquer the world.’ That word ‘conquer’ just won’t do,” the pope said. “The Christian shouldn’t be like soldiers who, when they win a battle, take away everything in sight.”

While aggression is not part of the missionary call of Jesus, courage is, the pope told staff members of the secretariat of the Synod of Bishops and Vatican police officers attending the Mass.

“A cowardly Christian doesn’t make sense,” he said. A generous heart and outgoing spirit are part of the Christian vocation, offering “always more” and moving “always forward.”

At the same time, he said, recognizing that one “preaches the Gospel with witness more than with words,” a Christian also must have humility and treasure the little things.

“When we move forward with this generosity and with this humility, when great things don’t frighten us, but we take on board the little things” with “humility, daily charity,” he said, Jesus is present and confirms his word.

“The triumph of the church is the resurrection of Jesus,” he said. “Today, let us ask the Lord to become missionaries in the church, apostles in the church, but with this spirit of great magnanimity and also great humility.”