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Pope Francis’ Message for the 59th World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Dear Brothers and Sisters, at the time when the cold winds of war and oppression are blowing and when we frequently encounter signs of polarization, we as a Church have undertaken a synodal process: we sense the urgent need to journey together, cultivating the spirit of listening, participation and sharing. ...
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Pope Francis’ Message for 56th World Communications Day

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 56th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY Listening with the ear of the heart Dear brothers and sisters, Last year we reflected on the need to “Come and See” in order to discover reality and be able to recount it beginning with experiencing events and meeting people. Continuing in this vein, I would now like to draw attention to another word , “listen”, which is decisive in the grammar of communication and  a condition for genuine dialogue. In fact, we are losing the ability to listen to those in front of us, both in the normal course of everyday relationships and when debating the most important issues of civil life. At the same time, listening is undergoing an important new development in the field of communication and information through the various podcasts and audio messages available that serve to confirm that listening is still essential in human communication. A respected doctor, accustomed to treating the wounds of the soul, was once asked what the greatest need of human beings is. He replied: “The boundless desire to be heard”. A desire that often remains hidden, but that challenges anyone who is called upon to be an educator or formator, or who otherwise performs a communicative role: parents and teachers, pastors and pastoral workers, communication professionals and others who carry out social or political service. Listening with the ear of the heart From the pages of Scripture we learn that listening means not only the perception of sound, but is essentially linked to the dialogical relationship between God and humanity. “Shema’ Israel - Hear, O Israel” (Dt 6:4), the opening words of the first commandment of the Torah, is continually reiterated in the Bible, to the point that Saint Paul would affirm that “faith comes through listening” (cf. Rom 10:17). The initiative, in fact, is God’s, who speaks to us, and to whom we respond by listening to him. In the end, even this listening comes from his grace, as is the case with the newborn child who responds to the gaze and the voice of his or her mother and father. Among the five senses, the one favoured by God seems to be hearing, perhaps because it is less invasive, more discreet than sight, and therefore leaves the human being more free. Listening corresponds to the humble style of God. It is the action that allows God to reveal himself as the One who, by speaking, creates man and woman in his image, and by listening recognizes them as his partners in dialogue. God loves humanity: that is why he addresses his word to them, and why he “inclines his ear” to listen to them. On the contrary, human beings tend to flee the relationship, to turn their back and “close their ears” so they do not have to listen. The refusal to listen often ends up turning into aggression towards the other, as happened to those listening to the deacon Stephen who, covering their ears, all turned on him at once (cf. Acts 7:57). On the one hand, then, God always reveals himself by communicating freely; and on the other hand, man and woman are asked to tune in, to be willing to listen. The Lord explicitly calls the human person to a covenant of love, so that they can fully become what they are: the image and likeness of God in his capacity to listen, to welcome, to give space to others. Fundamentally, listening is a dimension of love. This is why Jesus calls his disciples to evaluate the quality of their listening. “Take heed then how you hear” (Lk 8:18): this is what he exhorts them to do after recounting the parable of the sower, making it understood that it is not enough simply to listen, but that it is necessary to listen well. Only those who receive the word with an “honest and good” heart and keep it faithfully bear the fruit of life and salvation (cf. Lk 8:15). It is only by paying attention to whom we listen, to what we listen, and to how we listen that we can grow in the art of communicating, the heart of which is not a theory or a technique, but the “openness of heart that makes closeness possible” (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 171). We all have ears, but many times even those with perfect hearing are unable to hear another person. In fact, there is an interior deafness worse than the physical one. Indeed, listening concerns the whole person, not just the sense of hearing. The true seat of listening is the heart. Though he was very young, King Solomon proved himself wise because he asked the Lord to grant him a “listening heart” (cf. 1 Kings 3:9). Saint Augustine used to encourage listening with the heart ( corde audire), to receive words not outwardly through the ears, but spiritually in our hearts: “Do not have your heart in your ears, but your ears in your heart”. [1] Saint Francis of Assisi exhorted his brothers to “incline the ear of the heart”. [2] Therefore, when seeking true communication, the first type of listening to be rediscovered is listening to oneself, to one’s truest needs, those inscribed in each person’s inmost being. And we can only start by listening to what makes us unique in creation: the desire to be in relationship with others and with the Other. We are not made to live like atoms, but together. Listening as a condition of good communication There is a kind of hearing that is not really listening, but its opposite: eavesdropping. In fact, eavesdropping and spying, exploiting others for our own interests, is an ever-present temptation that nowadays seems to have become more acute in the age of social networks. Rather, what specifically makes communication good and fully human is listening to the person in front of us, face to face, listening to the other person whom we approach with fair, confident, and honest openness. The lack of listening, which we experience so often in daily life, is unfortunately also evident in public life, where, instead of listening to each other, we often “talk past one another”. This is a symptom of the fact that, rather than seeking the true and the good, consensus is sought; rather than listening, one pays attention to the audience. Good communication, instead, does not try to impress the public with a soundbite, with the aim of ridiculing the other person, but pays attention to the reasons of the other person and tries to grasp the complexity of reality. It is sad when, even in the Church, ideological alignments are formed and listening disappears, leaving sterile opposition in its wake. In reality, in many dialogues we do not communicate at all. We are simply waiting for the other person to finish speaking in order to impose our point of view. In these situations, as philosopher Abraham Kaplan notes, [3] dialogue is a duologue: a monologue in two voices. In true communication, however, the “I” and the “you” are both “moving out”, reaching out to each other. Listening is therefore the first indispensable ingredient of dialogue and good communication. Communication does not take place if listening has not taken place, and there is no good journalism without the ability to listen. In order to provide solid, balanced, and complete information, it is necessary to listen for a long time. To recount an event or describe an experience in news reporting, it is essential to know how to listen, to be ready to change one’s mind, to modify one’s initial assumptions. It is only by putting aside monologues that the harmony of voices that is the guarantee of true communication can be achieved. Listening to several sources, “not stopping at the first tavern” — as the experts in the field teach us — ensures the reliability and seriousness of the information we transmit. Listening to several voices, listening to each other, even in the Church, among brothers and sisters, allows us to exercise the art of discernment, which always appears as the ability to orient ourselves in a symphony of voices. But why face the exertion of listening? A great diplomat of the Holy See, Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, used to speak of the “martyrdom of patience” needed to listen and be heard in negotiations with the most difficult parties, in order to obtain the greatest possible good in conditions of limited freedom. But even in less difficult situations, listening always requires the virtue of patience, together with the ability to allow oneself to be surprised by the truth, even if only a fragment of truth, in the person we are listening to. Only amazement enables knowledge. I think of the infinite curiosity of the child who looks at the world around them with wide-open eyes. Listening with this frame of mind — the wonder of the child in the awareness of an adult — is always enriching because there will always be something, however small, that I can learn from the other person and allow to bear fruit in my own life. The ability to listen to society is more valuable than ever in this time wounded by the long pandemic. So much previously accumulated mistrust towards “official information” has also caused an “infodemic”, within which the world of information is increasingly struggling to be credible and transparent. We need to lend an ear and listen profoundly, especially to the social unease heightened by the downturn or cessation of many economic activities. The reality of forced migration is also a complex issue, and no one has a ready-made prescription for solving it. I repeat that, in order to overcome prejudices about migrants and to melt the hardness of our hearts, we should try to listen to their stories. Give each of them a name and a story. Many good journalists already do this. And many others would like to do it, if only they could. Let us encourage them! Let us listen to these stories! Everyone would then be free to support the migration policies they deem most appropriate for their own country. But in any case, we would have before our eyes not numbers, not dangerous invaders, but the faces and stories, gazes, expectations and sufferings of real men and women to listen to. Listening to one another in the Church In the Church, too, there is a great need to listen to and to hear one another. It is the most precious and life-giving gift we can offer each other. “Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by him who is himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the word of God”  [4]. Thus, the Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that the first service we owe to others in communion consists in listening to them. Whoever does not know how to listen to his brother or sister will soon no longer be able to listen to God either. [5] The most important task in pastoral activity is the “apostolate of the ear” – to listen before speaking, as the Apostle James exhorts: “Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak” (1:19). Freely giving some of our own time to listen to people is the first act of charity. A synodal process has just been launched. Let us pray that it will be a great opportunity to listen to one another. Communion, in fact, is not the result of strategies and programmes, but is built in mutual listening between brothers and sisters. As in a choir, unity does not require uniformity, monotony, but the plurality and variety of voices, polyphony. At the same time, each voice in the choir sings while listening to the other voices and in relation to the harmony of the whole. This harmony is conceived by the composer, but its realization depends on the symphony of each and every voice. With the awareness that we participate in a communion that precedes and includes us, we can rediscover a symphonic Church, in which each person is able to sing with his or her own voice, welcoming the voices of others as a gift to manifest the harmony of the whole that the Holy Spirit composes. Rome, Saint John Lateran, 24 January 2022, Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales. Franciscus ___________________________________________ [1] “ Nolite habere cor in auribus, sed aures in corde” ( Sermo 380, 1: Nuova Biblioteca Agostiniana 34, 568). [2] “Lettera a tutto l’Ordine”: Fonti Francescane, 216. [3] Cf. “The life of dialogue”, in J.D. Roslansky, ed., Communication. A discussion at the Nobel Conference, North-Holland Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969, pp. 89-198. [4] D. Bonhoeffer, La vita comune, Queriniana, Brescia 2017, 76. [5] Cf. ibid., 75. MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 56th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY Listening with the ear of the heart Dear brothers and sisters, Last year we reflected on the need to “Come and See” in order to discover reality and be able to recount it beginning with experiencing events and meeting people. Continuing in ...
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Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue: Ramadan Message 2022

[caption id="attachment_11894" align="alignleft" width="305"] Archbishop Simon Poh[/caption] ARCHBISHOP SIMON POH: This year our Lenten Season (2 March – 15 April) partially coincides with the Ramadan Puasa. Our traditional Lenten practice of intensifying PRAYER, FASTING & ALMSGIVING also finds a similar resonance in Ramadan during this April, with our Muslim brothers and sisters. I would like to highlight the 2022 message from Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue with the theme “Christians and Muslims: Sharing joys and sorrows”. MESSAGE FOR THE MONTH OF RAMADAN AND ‘ID Al-FITR 1443 H. / 2022 A.D. Vatican City Dear Muslim brothers and sisters, As all of us know, the pandemic caused by COVID-19 has taken away the lives of millions of persons around the world, including members of our families. Others fell sick and were healed, yet they experienced much long-lasting pain and suffering from the consequences of the virus. As you celebrate the month of Ramadan that concludes with ‘Id al-Fitr, our thoughts turn in gratitude to Almighty God who has protected all of us in His Providence. We also pray for the dead and the sick with sorrow and hope. The pandemic and its tragic effects on every aspect of our way of life have drawn attention anew to one of those important elements: sharing. For this reason we thought it opportune to address this issue in the Message we are pleased to send to each and all of you. We all share God’s gifts: air, water, life, food, shelter, the fruits of medical and pharmaceutical advances, the results of the progress of science and technology in diverse fields and their application, the ongoing discovery of the universe’s mysteries… The awareness of God’s bounty and generosity fills our hearts with gratitude towards Him and, at the same time, encourages us to share His gifts with our brothers and sisters who are in any kind of need. The poverty and precarious situations in which many people find themselves because of the loss of employment and the economic and social problems related to the pandemic make our duty of sharing ever more urgent. Sharing finds its most profound motivation in the awareness that all we are and all we have are gifts from God and that, in consequence, we have to put our talents at the service of all our brothers and sisters, sharing what we have with them. The best form of sharing springs from genuine empathy and effective compassion towards others. In this regard, we find a meaningful challenge in the New Testament: “If anyone is well-off in worldly possessions and sees his brother in need but closes his heart to him, how can the love of God abide in him? Children, our love must be not just words or mere talk, but something active and genuine” (1 John 3, 17-18). However, sharing is not limited to material goods. Above all, it involves sharing one another’s joys and sorrows, which are part of every human life. Saint Paul invited the Christians of Rome to “rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow” (Romans 12, 15). Pope Francis, for his part, affirmed that a shared pain is halved and a shared joy is doubled (cf. Meeting with the pupils of Scholas Occurrentes, 11 May 2018). From empathy comes the sharing of attitudes and sentiments on the occasion of important events, both joyful and sad, in the lives of our relatives, friends and neighbours, including those from other religions: their joys become ours, their sorrows become ours as well. Among shared joys are the birth of a child, healing from a sickness, success in studies, at work or in business, safe return from a journey, and certainly other occasions. There is also a particular joy for believers: the celebration of major religious feasts. When we visit or congratulate our friends and neighbours of other religions for those occasions, we share their joy for the celebration of their feast without having to adopt the religious dimension of the celebrated occasion as our own. Among shared sorrows are, first of all, the death of a person close to us, the sickness of a member of the family, the loss of a job, the failure of a project or of a business, a crisis in the family that sometimes results in its division. It is obvious that we need the proximity and solidarity of our friends more in times of crisis and sorrow than in times of joy and peace. Our hope, dear Muslim brothers and sisters, is that we continue sharing the joys and sorrows of all our neighbours and friends, because God’s love embraces every person and the entire universe. As a sign of our shared humanity and the fraternity that flows from it, we wish you a peaceful and fruitful Ramadan and a joyful celebration of ‘Id al-Fitr. From the Vatican, 18 February 2022 Miguel Ángel Cardinal Ayuso Guixot, MCCJ President Msgr. Indunil Kodithuwakku Janakaratne Kankanamalage Secretary [caption id="attachment_11894" align="alignleft" width="305"] Archbishop Simon Poh[/caption] ARCHBISHOP SIMON POH: This year our Lenten Season (2 March – 15 April) partially coincides with the Ramadan Puasa. Our traditional Lenten practice of intensifying PRAYER, FASTING & ALMSGIVING also finds a similar resonance in Ramadan during this April, with our Muslim brothers and sisters. I would ...
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Archbishop’s Message for Easter 2022 (3 Languages)

[caption id="attachment_20769" align="alignright" width="150"] *see description below[/caption] Dear brothers and sisters, I take this opportunity to wish you a Blessed Easter. Alleluia! “Christ has risen as he said he would!” (Mt 28:6) He is with us until the end of time! (Matthew 28:20) During Holy Week, I was interviewed by WaiFM Bidayuh, RTM to share about Easter. One of the questions asked was simply, “Why is Easter such an important feast to all Christians?” Though it seemed such a simple and straightforward question, I realised that this is the fundamental question of our Christian Faith. In our Church calendar, we speak of seasons of Advent and Christmas, 40 days of Lent and 50 days of Easter which conclude with Pentecost Sunday. When I thought about it, I realised that there is actually more focus on Christmas than Easter Sunday. Isn’t it true that on Christmas, we have carolling, exchange of presents and for the older generation, writing and posting Christmas Cards? The younger generation would just send gif images and videos using social media. But, during Easter we hardly receive any Easter Cards. It is true that Christmas has been commercialised with Santa Claus, with shopping malls decorated with Christmas trees and lights. Even schools and offices declare Christmas holiday seasons! Churches too, have nativity scenes, set with cute and adorable baby Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem. Come to think of it, we may have taken Easter for granted though we do have Easter bunny chocolates, hot cross buns and some easter egg-hunt activities for our children. Back to the question above, we should actually give greater importance to Easter. The answer is from the Scriptures. St Paul who had proclaimed Christ crucified and died on the Cross, have this wonderful answer. “…If Christ has not been raised from death, then we have nothing to preach and you have nothing to believe… And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is a delusion and you are still lost in your sins… If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world.” (see 1 Cor 15:12-19) Chronologically, on Christmas a baby called Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He grew up in Nazareth and began preaching at age 30. Three years later, after gathering a group of disciples, he was executed and died on the Cross, the punishment due for a criminal! Thus, when he died his disciples lost their direction. Some went into hiding while others left Jerusalem for there was nothing more to hope for. Thus, if Jesus did not rise from the dead, his birth at Christmas, everything that he taught and claimed as the Son of God, including everything we hold true as Christians, would amount to nothing. And if Jesus had died and never rose back to life, we can only say that Jesus was only a good human person who had healed many people and he died tragically, nothing more. Praise the Lord that we have living witnesses who have met the risen Christ. St Paul testified that, “Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter and later to the Twelve, and next he appeared to more than 500 of the brothers at the same time…” (1 Cor 15:3-6) Thus, for us Christians Jesus’ resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday is the assurance and proof that Christ is indeed the promised Son of God who had come into the world; born, lived and walked among us, and died to set us free from our sins! By his resurrection we believe that Jesus Christ our Lord is truly man and truly God. “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Now we believe and confidently declare at every Mass: We proclaim your Death O Lord and profess your Resurrection until you come again. In faith, we implore: Save us Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free! We are grateful to have come to faith in the risen Christ and in the Catholic Church with the testimony and teaching that have been handed through the apostles to us today. Indeed, I am proud to be a Catholic for we belong to the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. On behalf of Archbishops Emeriti Peter and John, Priests, Religious and leaders of our Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, I wish everyone Blessed Easter. May you and your families be raised up and blessed by the Risen Lord. Alleluia! Christ is Risen!   + Archbishop Simon Poh *Photo of bracelet “I am proud to be a Catholic” wrapped around the base of a Crucifix. 總主教復活節文告 [caption id="attachment_20769" align="alignright" width="150"] *见下面的描述[/caption] 亲爱的主内兄弟姐妹们, 我愿藉此机会祝你们复活节蒙恩。阿肋路亚!「衪已经照衪所说的复活了!」(玛 28:6)「祂同我们天天在一起,直到今世的终结!」(玛28:20) 圣周期间,我接受了马来西亚电视广播的比达友语的 WaiFM电台访问分享关于复活节。访员问的其中一个问题很简单:「为什么复活节对所有基督徒是一个那么重要的节日?」虽然问题看似那么简单和直截了当,却是我们基督信仰的基本问题。 我们教会的日历中,我们有将临期和圣诞期; 40天的封斋期和包括圣神降临主日的50天的复活期。仔细想想,在圣诞节和复活主日两者中,我发觉人们实际上更注重圣诞节。不是吗?在圣诞节,我们去报佳音、交换礼物、年老一辈的寄圣诞贺卡,年轻一辈的用社交传媒寄圣诞图像。但是,在复活节,我们鲜少收到复活节贺卡。 确实,圣诞节已被用圣诞老人、购物中心的圣诞树和五彩灯光商业化了。甚至学校和办公室都宣布圣诞假期!教堂也装饰上耶稣诞生的场景,有可爱的小耶稣在白冷城的马槽里。想真的,我们或许没把复活节当一回事。虽然我们也有复活节兔子巧克力、热十字面包和为孩子们主办的寻找复活蛋的活动。 回到上述的问题,我们其实应该更看重复活节。答案来自圣经。宣扬基督受难并死在十字架上的圣保禄,给了这个美好的答案: 「假如基督沒有复活,那么,我们的宣讲便是空的,你们的信仰也是空的….如果基督沒有复活,你們的信仰便是假的,你们还是在罪恶中….如果我們在今生只寄望於基督,我們就是眾人中最可憐的了。」(参阅格前15:12-19) 按时间顺序,在圣诞节,一个名叫耶稣的婴孩在白冷城诞生。祂在纳匝肋长大,年 30时开始传教。三年后,他收了一群门徒后被处以罪犯才该受的死刑,死在十字架上。当祂死了,祂的门徒们失去了方向,他们有的隐藏起来,有的离开耶路撒冷,因为在那里没有希望了。因此,如果耶稣没有从死者中复活,祂在圣诞节的出生,祂所教导的一切,祂宣称为天主子,包括我们身为基督徒认为真的,都变得一文不值。如果耶稣死去而没有复活,我们只能说耶稣是一个好人,祂治愈许多人,而祂死得很惨,如此而已。 赞美主,我们有活生生的见证者,他们曾和复活的基督相遇。圣保禄证实:「基督照经上记载的,为我们的罪死了,並且显现给刻法,以后显现给那十二位;此后,又一同显现给五百多弟兄….」(格前15:3-6) 因此,对我们基督徒,耶稣在复活主日从死中复活是基督确实是天主许诺的天主子,祂到人间出生、生活、在我们中间行走及死亡,为将我们从罪中释放的保证和证明!藉着祂的复活,我们相信我们的主耶稣基督是真人也是真天主。「天主竟这样爱了世界,甚至赐下了自己的独生子,使凡信衪的人不至喪亡,反而获得永生。」(若 3:16) 现在我们相信并充满信心地在每一台弥撒中宣称: 我们传报祢的圣死,我们歌颂祢的复活,我们期待祢光荣地来临。 我们在信德中恳求: 救世的恩主,祢藉着苦难及复活,恢复了我们的自由,求祢拯救我们! 我们感恩,藉着宗徒传到今天的我们的见证和教导,而在天主教会内信了复活的基督。 确实,我为身为天主教徒感到骄傲,因为我们是属于唯一、至圣、至公,从宗徒传下来的教会。 在此我谨代表锺万庭和夏长福两位荣休总主教,全体司铎、修会成员及总教区牧灵议会的领袖们,祝贺大家复活节蒙福。祝愿你们和你们的家人被复活的主举起和祝福。   + 傅云生总主教 (译文) *照片中的苦像基座套着一个『我以身为天主教徒为荣』的手镯。 Perutusan Paskah daripada Uskup Agung Simon Poh [caption id="attachment_20769" align="alignright" width="150"] *lihat penerangan di bawah [/caption] Saudara dan saudari terkasih, Saya mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan Selamat Paskah. Alleluia “Kristus telah bangkit seperti yang dia telah katakan!” (Mt 28:6) Dia bersama kita hingga akhir zaman! (Matthew 28:20) Semasa Minggu Suci ini, saya telah ditemu bual oleh WaiFM Bidayuh, RTM untuk berkongsi tentang Paskah. Salah satu soalan yang ditanya ialah, “Mengapa Paskah merupakan perayaan yang penting bagi semua orang Kristian?” Walaupun ia kelihatan seperti soalan yang ringkas dan mudah, saya menyedari bahawa ini adalah persoalan asas Iman Kristian kita. Dalam kalendar gereja kita, kita berbicara tentang musim Adven dan Krismas, 40 hari Pra-Paskah dan 50 hari Paskah, dan berahkir dengan Hari Minggu Pentakosta. Apabila saya memikirkan tentangnya, saya sedar bahawa ianya hanya berfokus lebih kepada Krismas berbanding Hari Minggu Paskah. Bukan ini benar bahawa ketika Krismas, kita ada caroling, bertukar hadiah, dan bagi generasi yang terdahulu, akan menulis dan menghantar kad Krismas? Bagi generasi muda ianya mungkin imej-imej gif dan video-video dari media sosial. Tetapi, ketika Paskah kita sukar untuk menerima sebarang kad-kad Paskah. Benar, Krismas sudah dikomersialkan dengan Santa Claus, dengan pusat membeli belah dihiaskan dengan pokok-pokok Krismas dan lampu-lampu. Malahan, sekolah-sekolah dan pejabat-pejabat mengumumkan cuti musim Krismas! Gereja juga, memperlihatkan hiasan latar kelahiran, set bayi Yesus yang comel terletak di kandang di Bethelem. Jika difikirkan semula, kita mungkin telah mengambil mudah Paskah walaupun kita mempunyai coklat Easter bunny, hot cross bun dan beberapa aktiviti memburu telur Paskah untuk anak-anak kita. Berbalik kepada soalan di atas, kita sebenarnya harus memberikan kepentingan yang lebih besar untuk Paskah. Jawapannya adalah daripada Kitab Suci. St Paul yang mana telah mengatakan bahawa Kristus disalibkan dan mati di kayu Salib, mempunyai jawapan yang menakjubkan ini. “…Jika Kristus tidak dibangkitkan daripada kematian, maka kami tidak mempunyai apa-apa untuk diberitakan dan kamu tidak mempunyai apa-apa untuk dipercayai… dan jika Kristus tidak dibangkitkan, maka iman kamu adalah tipu daya dan kamu masih tersesat dalam dosamu. Berharap kepada Kristus adalah baik untuk kehidupan ini sahaja dan tidak lebih, maka kita patut dikasihani lebih daripada orang lain di seluruh dunia.” (lihat 1 Kor 15:12-19) Secara kronologi, ketika Krimas bayi yang dinamakan Yesus telah lahir di Betlehem. Dia membesar di Nazareth and memulakan berkhutbah di umur 30. Tiga tahun kemudian, selepas mengumpulkan sekumpulan murid, dia dihukum bunuh dan mati di kayu Salib, hukuman yang sepatutnya dikenakan kepada seorang penjenayah! Oleh itu, apabila dia meninggal dunia murid-muridnya hilang arah. Ada yang bersembunyi manakala yang lain meninggalkan Yerusalem kerana tiada apa lagi yang boleh diharapkan. Oleh itu, jika Yesus tidak bangkit daripada kematian, kelahirannya pada Krismas, segala yang diajar dan didakwanya sebagai Anak Tuhan, termasuk semua yang kita pegang teguh sebagai orang Kristian, tidak akan bermakna apa-apa. Serta, jika Yesus telah mati dan tidak pernah bangkit semula, kita hanya boleh mengatakan bahawa Yesus hanyalah seorang manusia yang baik yang telah menyembuhkan ramai orang dan dia mati secara tragis, tidak lebih dari itu. Puji Tuhan kerana kita mempunyai saksi hidup yang telah bertemu dengan Kristus yang bangkit. St Paul memberi kesaksian bahawa, “Kristus telah mati untuk dosa-dosa kita, sesuai dengan Kitab Suci, dan bahawa Dia telah menampakkan diri kepada Petrus dan kemudian kepada Dua Belas Rasul, dan seterusnya Dia menampakkan diri kepada lebih daripada 500 saudara pada masa yang sama ….” (1 Kor 15:3-6) Oleh itu, bagi kita orang Kristian, kebangkitan Yesus daripada kewafatannya pada hari Ahad Paskah adalah jaminan dan bukti bahawa Kristus sememangnya Anak Tuhan yang dijanjikan, yang telah datang ke dunia; dilahirkan, hidup dan berjalan di antara kita, dan wafat untuk membebaskan kita daripada dosa-dosa kita! Melalui kebangkitan-Nya kita percaya bahawa Yesus Kristus Tuhan kita adalah benar-benar manusia dan benar-benar Tuhan. “Begitu besar kasih Allah akan dunia ini, sehingga Ia telah mengutuskan Anak-Nya yang tunggal, supaya setiap orang yang percaya kepada-Nya tidak mati, melainkan beroleh hidup yang kekal.” (Yohanes 3:16) Kini kami percaya dan dengan yakin mengisytiharkan pada setiap Misa: Kami mengisytiharkan Kewafatan-Mu Ya Tuhan dan mengaku Kebangkitan-Mu sehingga Engkau datang semula. (We proclaim your Death O Lord and profess your Resurrection until you come again.) Dalam iman, kami memohon: Selamatkan kami Penyelamat dunia, kerana dengan Salib dan Kebangkitan-Mu, Engkau telah membebaskan kami! (Save us Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free!) Kami bersyukur kerana percaya kepada Kristus yang bangkit dan dalam Gereja Katolik dengan kesaksian dan pengajaran yang telah disampaikan melalui para rasul kepada kami sehingga hari ini. Sesungguhnya, saya bangga menjadi seorang Katolik kerana kita dihimpunkan dalam Gereja yang satu, kudus, Katolik dan apostolik. Bagi pihak Uskup Agung Emeriti Peter dan John, para Paderi, religius dan para pemimpin Majlis Pastoral Keuskupan Agung kita, saya mengucapkan Selamat Paskah kepada semua. Semoga anda dan keluarga anda dibangkitkan dan diberkati oleh Tuhan Yang Bangkit. Alleluia! Kristus Bangkit!   + Uskup Agung Simon Poh (Terjemahan) *Foto gelang “Saya bangga menjadi seorang Katolik” yang dililit di sekitar pangkal Salib.[caption id="attachment_20769" align="alignright" width="150"] *see description below[/caption] Dear brothers and sisters, I take this opportunity to wish you a Blessed Easter. Alleluia! “Christ has risen as he said he would!” (Mt 28:6) He is with us until the end of time! (Matthew 28:20) During Holy Week, I was interviewed by WaiFM Bidayuh, ...
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Message of the Holy Father for Lent 2022

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