From The Archbishop's Desk


Easter Message 2024 from Archbishop Simon Poh

Archbishop Simon Poh

Dear brothers and sisters,

Alleluia! Christ has died and Christ is risen. Christians have just completed Holy Week from Palm Sunday, Last Supper, Good Friday and Easter Sunday (24 -31 March 2024). I take this opportunity to wish our Catholic and Christian brothers and sisters a very Blessed Easter.

Washing of feet at the Last Supper

Easter is a time to share hope and common purpose in life. At the Last Supper meal, Jesus took a towel, a basin of water and he started to wash his disciples’ feet. He was assuming the task of a humble servant. “If I then your Lord and Master have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you” (John 13:13-14). “I give you a new commandment that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).

For Christians, our faith in Christ our risen Lord and Master has to be expressed concretely in loving God and being at the service of our neighbours by contributing to the common good of society and nation building.

A few days ago, on Good Friday, I was invited by Islamic Information Centre (IIC) at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee, Kuching for IftarBuka Puasa with other Muslim, Bahai, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Taoist and Christian leaders. During conversation at table, we talked about fasting, the various religious celebrations around this time – Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter for Christians, Bahai Naw-Rúz New Year, Ching Ming Tomb Festival, and Taoist temple processions. It was a time of fellowship, friendship and building up of mutual understanding and respect for each other.

At IIC for Buka Puasa on Good Friday with Muslims and friends of other faiths

As the Buka Puasa was on the evening of Good Friday, I shared that Catholics are also into fasting and abstaining from meat that day. I had also fasted in solidarity with Muslims that whole day. As I was keeping abstinence, IIC CEO Dr. Hajah Asmah kindly indicated to me the non-meat dishes on the table. Together, various faiths shared the Buka Puasa fellowship meal as friends.

On behalf of Vatican City Rome, I presented to IIC a Message to Muslims from Vatican Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, entitled: “Message for the Month of Ramadan and Id Al-Fitr 1445 H./ 2024 A.D. Christian and Muslims: Extinguish the Fire of War and Light the Candle of Peace.”  An extract reads:

“We look to the Almighty as God of peace, the source of peace, who in a special way loves all those who devote their lives to the service of peace…  Let us join in extinguishing the fires of hatred, violence and war, and instead light the gentle candle of peace, drawing upon resources for peace that are present in our rich human and religious traditions.”

On behalf of my brother Bishops, I wish every Christian the Blessed Joy of Easter. And to our brothers and sisters of neighbouring religions and friends of goodwill… Peace, Joy and Hope as we work together to make our nation and our world a better place for everyone.

 Archbishop Dr. Simon Poh
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia

Easter Sunday, 31 March 2024