Argentinean popular faith in “state of crisis,” bishop says

.- Bishop Adolfo Urinoa warned last week of the faith of the people faces a “situation of urgency” and that Catholics need “to be disciples today, here and now.”

The bishop exhorted the faithful to be authentic disciples of Christ in order defend the religion of the people, which is facing “a decisive crisis” due to tremendous cultural changes and the media, which “fosters mistrust for the Church and for the values she proposes.”

“As disciples we learn to live as Him (Christ), in order to allow Him to shine forth in the way that we live, in our attitudes and actions, and thus make Him present to others and to facilitate the encounter with the living Jesus, particularly those who are far from Him and do not know Him,” Bishop Urinoa said.

He also expressed the need to exercise discipleship in community, in order to thus “transmit a testimony of fraternity that arises in those who know each other and feel unconditionally loved by God.”  This “sacrament of communion with God and between each other is normally the necessary condition for the formation of a disciple,” he continued.

“Maturity in following Jesus requires living ecclesial communities that strive each day to live unity on the basis of the Word and the Eucharist,” he explained.

Bishop Uriona also encouraged discipleship through the commitment to the poor and those left out, because they are a sort of “present-day sacrament” of the “presence of God who has given himself up for us.” Mary, he added, should be the disciple’s model of loving and attentive listening to God.

Concluding his comments, the bishop called on the faithful to take advantage of Lent to be converted and to strengthen “our relationship with Sacred Scripture,” which “nourishes our existence as disciples of Jesus Christ” and helps us to bring the Gospel “to this tired world that is full of the signs of death.”

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