As they gathered for their 44th general assembly this week, the bishop of Brazil issued a statement to the youth of the country encouraging them to a deeper encounter with Christ in order to make authentic transformation of society possible.
The bishops reminded young people that “the encounter with Jesus Christ, faithful friend and companion on the journey, makes us experiment the beauty and joy of the faith. He calls each one of us and desires a generous response. The young person who allows himself to be conquered by the Lord discovers true happiness in his life and thus bears witness to his faith and hope by helping other young people to have the same experience. Passionate love for the Lord and his Kingdom causes enthusiasm and leads you to consecrate your lives for the cause of the Gospel,” they said.
The bishops emphasized the important role young people have in the life of the Church and they reiterated that young people “are called to be disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ, protagonists in the defense of life from conception to natural death, and in the building of a peaceful society that is the fruit of justice and love. The testimony, message and affection of Pope Benedict XVI for you, and that of his predecessor John Paul II, as well as the celebration of the World Youth Days, has stirred us to an even greater concern for young people,” the bishops continued.
They expressed their satisfaction at the participation of young people in the life of the Church and in different ecclesial movements and organizations and said they hoped young people would collaborate with the bishops in reaching out to those who are away from the Church.
“Experience has shown that the best apostles to young people are young people themselves, and consequently we encourage you to join together in a great evangelization movement in our country through the missionary work of young people,” the bishops stated.
They likewise encouraged young people to “transform the world and not be afraid of responding to your baptismal vocation, to marriage, to the priesthood, to the religious or secular consecrated life, and especially to the missionary challenge, thus become leaven, salt and light in the family, in the Church and in society.”