Aparecida, Brazil, May 16, 2007 / 09:47 am America/Denver (CNA).
Archbishop Geraldo Lyrio Rocha, the president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, opened the 5th General Conference of the Latin American Bishops’ Council today with a call to witness. In his homily for the Mass that opened the first work session he said, “Yesterday, as today, the Spirit of God awakens in the disciples of Jesus the courage to proclaim authentic values and be committed to responding to anti-values.”
“The strong experience of faith, marked by the encounter with the living Jesus, leads the disciple to be transformed into a missionary of the Good News,” the archbishop explained.
The conversion of the jailer of Phillipi, recounted in Tuesday’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, “represents in a compact form, the steps of the catechumenate that should characterize the Christian initiation process. To the question of the new convert: What must I do? comes the explanation of the Gospel, baptism and Eucharistic communion which introduce him into the ecclesial communion formed by the disciples of Jesus,” Archbishop Rocha said.
Speaking about the response of those who are disciples of the Lord, the Brazilian archbishop underscored that Christians must promote “gospel values in the concrete situations of life and stir up the missionary fervor that propels the proclamation of Jesus Christ, his person and his message.”