Yangon (Agenzia Fides) - "On the occasion of Pentecost 2019 let us pray for a truly missionary conversion of the whole Church": this is what Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, President of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences says in a message sent to the Bishops of the continent. The message, sent by the Cardinal to Agenzia Fides, emphasizes that "Pentecost this year has a special emphasis with Pope Francis inviting all of us to live October 2019 as an Extraordinary Missionary Month".
The Cardinal recalled Pope John Paul II's second visit to India in 1999 when he came to New Delhi to promulgate the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Asia", the result of the labors of the Special Assembly for Asia of the Synod of Bishops held in Rome in 1998. The text quotes the prologue of the Gospel of John "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (Jn. 1:5), noting that "these are words of hope for our troubled times".
The reassuring words written by the evangelist John, "to all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God" (Jn. 1:12), the Cardinal continues the cardinal continues the cardinal continues "are words of comfort to the workers of the Gospel who continue to whisper the Good News to the soul of Asian people in spite of persecution, intolerance and religious bigotry".
The Archbishop of Yangon reminds Asian bishops: "We are not selling a product. We have a life to communicate: God, his divine life, his merciful love, his holiness! It is the Holy Spirit who sends us, accompanies us and inspires us. He is the source of our mission. It is he who guides the Church forward", as Pope Francis said, in his address to the national directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies, 1 June 2018.
In conclusion, the message states: "It is my humble prayer, dear Brother Bishops, that the breath of the Holy Spirit takes hold of us and through our witness bring forth the fruits of the Good News".
The FABC includes Bishops’ conferences from 26 countries. It brings together 19 Bishops’ conferences in Asia as full members and eight associate members. The purpose of the federation is to promote solidarity and co-responsibility among its members for the well-being of the Church and society in Asia. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 8/6/2019)