|Archbishop emeritus Vincent M. Concessao of Delhi gives a session at Our Lady of Mercy School July 24, 2013|
The archbishop emeritus Vincent Concessao of Delhi told participants during the ongoing World Youth Day that and an encounter with Jesus will change their lives.
He was taking the pilgrims’ first catechesis session of the event.
“When the Lord comes into your life something new happens, we believe we see people from a different perspective,” said the archbishop.
“You will see people as Jesus saw and he will give us confidence, trust and courage to do things,” he told pilgrims gathered at the school of Our Lady of Mercy in Rio de Janeiro’s Botafogo neighborhood.
Pilgrims are divided up into language groups on the mornings of July 24-26 for catechesis, one of the major teaching elements of World Youth Day.
Over 250 bishops from around the world are leading the catechesis sessions, which take place at different churches and schools across Rio de Janeiro.
The sessions are a chance for pilgrims to pray and listen to talks by the bishops related to the World Youth Day theme, “Go and make disciples among all the nations” (Mt 28:19).
Each catechesis session is including a question-and-answer period with the youth, Mass and confessions.
The archbishop told the pilgrims some personal stories and spoke about saints who they could look to as role models.
“I wanted to become a priest after I had finished high school, but a week before I joined the seminary, my father had a third attack of paralysis,” he said.
“I was 16 at the time and despite my father’s suffering, I still wanted to join the seminary, and some people were surprised,” Archbishop Concessao recalled.
He also remembered a time when he met a poor man who attended his parish.
“He told me, ‘sometimes I eat once a day, sometimes twice, but what I have I can share it with you,’” he said.
“I felt that God was talking to me through him; for me it was like Jesus himself standing before me and talking to me,” he remarked.
The archbishop said that many times the Lord enters into our life through things that happen to us or people we meet.
“On the other side of the road there was a man who saw a beggar that was mentally challenged,” he said as he began another story.
“After two years the man opened an institution of about 250 people,” he added.
Archbishop Concessao told the youth that it is “very important” that their perspective be “a faith perspective.”
“How do you look at people?” he challenged them. “He is your brother and sister because God made all people in his image and likeness and for him there are no outsiders or strangers.”
“There are many others who are misguided, but you are here,” he said. “It is the presence of the Lord in our faith that is important.”
He then told the stories of saints who encountered the Lord and had their life completely changed, such as Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.
“Every person is the temple of God and when we become aware of this we will do everything to be disciples of Jesus,” the archbishop insisted. “This is my prayer for you.”
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