To meet Pope Francis’ call to revive in the faithful the missionary “boldness”, “courage”, and “zeal of those who first proclaimed the Gospel”, the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU) has promoted the publication of Missio Ad Gentes in the Acts of the Apostles, a collection of essays, authored by a group of eminent New Testament scholars from all over the world, examining the extraordinary events and deeds narrated in Luke’s writing. The reading of this volume allows a thorough understanding of how mission represents not only the very nature of the Church (Ad Gentes, 2), but also its origin, purpose, and life, contributing to the reflection urged by Pope Francis on “how to render the work of the missio ad gentes more effective”, in the framework of the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 (www.october2019.va).
There are presently significant Christian missionary communities in places that are hostile to the faith, where the Christian witness experiences also the tragedy of martyrdom on a daily basis. They can refer to the living example of the Apostles to properly understand the missio ad gentes of the Church sent into the world for its salvation and transformation. Missio Ad Gentes in the Acts of the Apostles is addressed to these young Churches, as well as to the Churches of older tradition. May the Apostolic approach to the faith find space among them again.