In August 2011, I was asked to write a message in conjunction with the Conference of the Catholic Women of East Malaysia held in Sibu, Sarawak. The theme of that conference was “The Challenges of Christian Families in the 21st Century.”
Time flies. This August, once again, the women are again coming together to reflect on another theme, i.e. “Women of God.” And this time, among you are representatives from the Diocese of Tanjong Selor, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia. Welcome!
I am thankful that our Catholic women are eager to expand their network through conference like this in the hope of looking into themselves more completely. In this conference, I hope the participants will seriously reflect on this question, “What is the difference between me as a Catholic woman and those other women in this region who do not share the faith as me?”
Aside from being a wife, mother, sister, homemaker, professional, or even a common person, I think it is your identities as a “woman of God,” a “disciple of Jesus,” and a “handmaid of the Lord,” that set you apart from the rest. If this is true, then these identities have to stand out in the way you live, the way you think, the way you speak, and the way you act. When you live out these identities, you bear witness to your faith and share the joy of the Good News to others.
I pray that you will have time to reflect deeper into this matter in the course of your conference. May you find joy, peace and love in being the “women of God.” God be with you all.
Most Rev John Wong