Fr. Maravilla began by stating that Christianity is a way of life that encompasses all our lives and activities. He also showed how Jesus himself fostered initial proclamation, with Nicodemus in need of a greater openness, the Samaritan woman at the well from a human need. The apostles followed Jesus’ example and fr. Maravilla mentioned St Paul who spoke of universal values in the areopagus of Athens. He also referred to recent papal documents which underlined the importance of initial proclamation.
Initial proclamation consists in stirring up in the hearts and minds of those around us the curiosity, the desire to know more about the person of Jesus. This interest, in turn, through the Holy Spirit, will lead to an encounter with the Lord who will himself lead them to faith.
Initial proclamation is addressed not only to non-Christians, but also to Christians, Catholics, who have abandoned the faith or are living it out of habit. Initial proclamation is lived out at various levels, for example in the family, where the children receive the initial proclamation. He stressed that it also takes place in everyday encounters through our activities done with love for Jesus Christ, no matter what kind of activities they are. It wants to bring about a spiritual experience of an encounter with God. Fr Maravilla used the image of the spark that lights a flame.
A time for questions from the capitulars followed.
The audio is available from the Missionaries of Africa website.