Church God

Persons Who have ‘Depth’ Needed for Asia

Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, sdb, Archbishop of  Guwahati, India, addressed the 9th Plenary of FABC in Manila on Thursday August 13. In his pastoral reflection on the Word and Bread “A Presence that Challenges and Strengthens” the Archbishop referred to the last two Synods of Bishops in Rome (2005,2008) on the Eucharist and Sacred Scriptures. The tiny minority of Christians in Asia is sustained through this gift of God. “Indeed, Jesus is present in our lives; he is the source of our  strength.  That is why the ‘little flock’ in Asia need not to have any fear, even if it means being constantly ready to face persecution” the Archbishop said. He contrasted the life giving presence of the Eucharist  with the “louder message” about death with news of war, ethnic conflicts, genocide, suicide, communal clashes, bomb explosions, and domestic violence…” In the Eucharist Jesus calls us to intimacy with Him which leads to unity and to “being open to all people” thus developing  a “sense of  common belonging.”

The intimacy with Jesus  calls us “into a Relationship that which is performative, and communicative as well.” The Archbishop calls such communication the “whispering of the Gospel to the soul of Asia.”  It leads also to “non-threatening ways of evangelization” which means that we “never should go against the selfhood of a community.” All this, calls for “persons who have depth in themselves… Today we look for such persons of convictions, spiritual stamina and unction, persons who have the ‘Word of God’ as lamp to their feet and the light for their path.” By this we do not merely mean “persons of intellectual acumen, but those who are deep in their spiritual perceptions.”

The Archbishop referred also in his own text which he wrote  for the Way of the Cross at the colosseum in Rome during the Holy Week 2009 which Pope Benedict XVI. Accepted as his own.  “Only persons who have depths in themselves will be equal to this immense task.” 130809

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