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Catechetical message encourages all to have courage in the face of religious extremism

The Risen Lord Jesus grant you Peace!

The recent events around us do not seem to give us a bright picture of the beauty of creation and humanity.  Locally, the religious extremism trends, the unethical means of conversion, the racial polarization, the issue of the usage of the term ‘ALLAH’ and the various forms of injustices can cause a tsunami of fear, doubts and uncertainties.  Burdened by these negative feelings one can be driven to question:  “Where is God in all these?  Where is the Kingdom of God?”   One can be disappointed, disillusioned and even despaired.

Jesus did not promise a smooth sailing to his disciples; instead, he warned them of hardships, persecutions and even martyrdom.  In the Gospel of John Chapter 16, Jesus assured the Apostles of the assistance of an Advocate, the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of truth leading them to the complete Truth.  He invited them to be courageous and not to cave-in to the fear of the power of darkness as he himself has conquered the forces of darkness.  The Apostles are to be brave and to stand firm in faith as the final victory of goodness over evil is guaranteed.

Today, in our times, the Risen and Glorified Lord assures us of His victory over evil forces.  By his death and resurrection he has saved us from the grip of the evil one.  We are called, chosen and sent forth, and empowered with the “Spirit of power, love and self-control” (2Tim.1:7).  We are “to fan into a flame the gift of God” (2Tim.1:6) and with steadfast faith (1Jn.5:4-5) overcome hatred and enmity with love, forgiveness and genuine friendship.  We are commissioned to give ourselves to promote justice, peace, inter-religious and cultural harmony and understanding.  We are to bring about the one big family of the ONE AND ONLY GOD, creator of all.

The family, the domestic Church, must become the home and school of communion fostering children who are deeply rooted in Christ and in the Gospel values of justice, peace and love.   Amidst all the challenges facing the modern families, Jesus assures you, parents and catechists, of his continual presence and assistance in bringing forth courageous children daring to swim against the present valueless trends, and witnessing to the truth and realizing the Kingdom of God here and now.

Wishing you a blessed and a fruitful Catechetical Sunday.  May the Risen Lord, as he promised:  “I am with you always; yes, to the end of time” (Mt.28:20), grant you his grace of Faith, Hope and Charity.

Prepared by Fr John Anandan, OFMCap.

(Diocese of Sibu)

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