Guatemala City (Fides Service) - Hundreds of members of Missionary Youth in Guatemala were encouraged to proclaim Jesus Christ to their peers during the special Mass for Mission Sunday on 19 October, at the Eucharistic Shine of Guatemala City. The slogan of the event was “Christ my friend, you can rely on me”.
Emeritus Bishop Gerardo Flores of Verapaz, a member of the Central Committee for the 2nd American Mission Congress CAM2, presided the Mass and during the homily he urged the young people to proclaim Jesus in the family, at school, in their neighbourhood and also to be ready to respond to the Church’s call to be missionaries. With regard to mission ad gentes, to which all baptised Christians are called, Bishop Flores urged the young people to look into their hearts to see if God was calling them to missionary service which goes beyond the local situation, that is to carry Jesus Christ to distant countries.
Referring to the recent canonisation of Daniele Comboni and beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta the Bishop encouraged the young people to follow the example of these great missionaries, as models, examples of life totally dedicated to the service of the Gospel and brothers and sisters. “Mother Teresa of Calcutta was little in stature but great in charity because she knew how to love” Bishop Flores said. Father Antonio Bernasconi National Director of Pontifical Mission Societies in Guatemala and CAM 2 co-ordinator, in his intervention also encouraged the young people to follow the example of Saint Daniele Comboni Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In order to discover “joy which comes with serving”.
At the start of this central American Mission Year, and also to respond to the Pope’s call to young people the world over to be “the light of the world and heralds of the Gospel”, the members of Missionary Youth made a giant Paschal Candle representing the light of Christ on earth. This candle, a sign of the faith and hope which comes from Christ, has become a symbol of CAM2. Presently young people are carrying the candle through the dioceses of Guatemala and on Mission Sunday 19 October it was placed near the altar at the Eucharistic Shrine of Guatemala City for the mission sending ceremony. (R.Z.) (Fides Service 23/10/2003 – lines 27; words 380)