By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis has encouraged Basic Ecclesial Communities meeting in Brazil to continue to listen to the cry of the poor and to be instruments of evangelization and promotion of the human person.
The 14th Meeting of BECs is taking place in the city of Londrina in the State of Parana until 27 January on the theme “BECs and the challenges of the urban world.”
Main topics at meeting
Discussions focus on three main topics: housing, work and young people, which include issues such as drug addiction, violence, safety, mobility and unemployment. The event sees some 3,000 participants including bishops, religious, consultants and volunteers from across Brazil and the Latin American continent.
In his letter signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of the Pope, Francis said he wished to convey to all participants his words of encouragement and blessing that aim to “help the BECs to bring new zeal for evangelization” and the capacity for dialogue to the challenges faced within an increasingly urbanized world.
Heed the cry of the poor
He commented on the motto of the Meeting - "I have witnessed the cry of my people and have come down to rescue them” - saying that God is never indifferent to the suffering of His people, and that is why He sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to deliver us from the slavery of sin and death.
The Pope encouraged them to manifest this redemptive action in their personal lives where, he said, the light of the Gospel must shine filling their existence with love and solidarity.
Invoking an abundance of God’s gifts on the gathering he encouraged participants to listen to the cry of the poor and of those who are hungry for God and he said Basic Ecclesial Communities have an important role as instruments of evangelization and as promoters of the human person in society – always in communion with the parish realities and with the directives of the local Church.
He said BECs are capable of countering the terrible effects of the “culture of waste” which, he said, leads so many brothers and sisters to live lives of exclusion.