In the last issue of our magazine, we learned about the Kerygma, the proclamation of the Good News of the Gospel. We read about God’s answer to our predicament in the sending of his son for our salvation. “He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Tim 1:9).
How are we to respond to this most precious gift, to what God has done for us in Christ? This, too, is an essential component of our proclamation of the Good News and our mission to unleash the Gospel. We read in sacred Scripture that we are called to respond by repenting of our sins, believing in Jesus and being baptized, so we can be filled with his Holy Spirit and live a new life in his family, the church.
To believe means to accept the free gift of salvation that God gives us in his son, which far surpasses anything we could deserve or accomplish (cf. Eph 2:3-10). The life of a disciple is always a response to God’s initiative. God takes the first step. Grace always comes first. The life of the church should always reveal clearly that God takes the initiative, that “we love because he first loved us” (1 Jn 4:19).
As you read this magazine, I invite you to reflect upon your response to the Good News. In prayer, I invite you to allow the gift of the cross — the suffering and death of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, and his triumph over death and the power of darkness in the resurrection — to move your heart to a greater conversion, move you to worship God, to thank him and to surrender your life to Christ.
To become effective missionaries sharing God’s love and mercy with those we meet, we must first become joyful disciples. We must first be men and women who have found joy in responding to the Lord’s invitation and demands. We must become men and women who, in gratitude for what he has done, have picked up their crosses and decided to follow him.
Let us look to Mary and the countless saints for inspiration. In them we see joyous, courageous and committed missionary disciples who have responded to the Good News of Christ. May God grant us the same grace to follow their example.
Please know I am praying for all of you and I humbly ask for your prayers as well.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit