Niigata Bishop tells catechumens, 'May your baptism spur you to a personal encounter with Christ'
Niigata (AsiaNews) - Baptism "is certainly a personal matter, but it is also an important moment in the life of the community. All the Catholics of Niigata are walking with you, dear catechumens, and are accompanying you on your spiritual journey, supporting you with special prayers. But let me remind everyone that our faith does not depend on the decisions of one or another to believe what is written in a book. It is backed by individual conviction in Christ the Saviour," wrote Mgr Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, bishop of Niigata, in a letter sent to those who are preparing to be baptised at the next Easter Vigil.
The diocese, the bishop writes, "is very big and it would be impossible for all of you candidates to gather in the cathedral for this moment. But I still want to reach each one of you to share some thoughts."
"Probably, we were motivated by others to enter the Church and we received the basics of the faith from others, such as parish priests. However, let me urge you to go beyond these basics and try to meet Jesus. Our Christian life requires us to make choices, and start off. "
Such decisions "are not taken in isolation. We are a community, and the church is the place that shows us the way to God: brothers and sisters who walk with and help each other, whom we need, in whom we see the same choice and the same encounter with Jesus."
"Without our personal encounter with Christ, we could not deepen our faith. Yet, at the same time, without a community life in His name, we would not be able to maintain our faith."