São Paulo, Brazil (Thursday, 01/29/2015, Gaudium Press) In his most recent article, titled “What should I do?”, the Archbishop of São Paulo, Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, Inspired in the passage of Acts 22 , 8, reflects about the amazing meeting of St. Paul with the risen Christ, at the gates of Damascus, which was a crucial moment in the life of the apostle.
Cardinal Odilo writes: “On several occasions, in St Paul writings, he refers back to that moment, highlighting the deep scars that this event left in his life. He ‘converted’, changing his belief and his behavior, giving a new direction to his life.”
The Cardinal explained that the conversion of the apostle did not happen because he had read many books or have done many studies, but because “he met with someone whose presence radiated a strong light, which left him blind; the voice he heard spoke deep into his consciousness as to shake all the certainties he had until then.”
“From then on, Paul submitted his whole life to that ‘voice’, which inundated his life with infinite light and convictions. The Christian Faith, as Pope Benedict XVI taught us so well, comes from the encounter with the person of Jesus Christ “he continued.
According to the cardinal, the Faith in Christ brings us the essential vision which the Church needs to evangelize, since “the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel is, ultimately, to bringing people to the faith and for them to follow Christ.”
The Archbishop also pointed out that religious practice can eventually become a “directed action for self-satisfaction, rather than the worship of God.”
“Our evangelization should have as its main focus the announcement of the person and work of Jesus Christ, as the apostles did and as we read in the Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles. The preacher must do his part as well, knowing that the result does not depend on him alone. The Word of God is announced by the power of the Holy Spirit, which performs the works of God in the hearts and minds of people, “he said.
Cardinal Odilo concludes emphasizing that “the preaching and the evangelizing process needs to touch the conscience of the people and help them to have an encounter with God” because “through preaching and the pedagogy of prayer and other exercises, we help the people to open themselves to God and to ‘talk’ with him. “(LMI)