Escuintla (Agenzia Fides) - "The gift of freedom is in danger when, in the already accelerated political competition, the name of God mixes with group interests, to obtain power to serve oneself and not to serve the citizens: all this ends in the same framework of corruption and impunity". It is an invitation "to prayer and reflection on the life of the Church and society" in this month of September, month of the Fatherland and the Bible, launched by Mgr Victor Hugo Palma Paul, Bishop of Escuintla, who writes: "To be always grateful for the Homeland is a sign of humility and gratitude for the gift of being called to build constantly, with mercy, with justice and according to faith and civic values, the land of Escuintla".
The bishop emphasizes in particular that the Word of God, celebrated in a special way this month in all the parishes, directs us towards authentic freedom, "that which is given by the Son of God, and which, precisely because it is a gift, can be lost, turning into righteousness" (cf. Galatians 5: 1-6). Guatemalan independence, the gift of freedom, not only refers to political emancipation, but is a call for "integral freedom". "In other words, alongside the celebrations, we are called to reflect on 'current slavery', as Pope Francis says: materialism, violence inside and outside the family, organized crime and drug trafficking, also a source of violence on the south coast."
The Bishop of Escuintla then dwells on the "gift of freedom", which is preserved and increases above all in the practice of faith. "This gift begins in the family, the school of freedom, love and respect", underlines Bishop Victor Hugo Palma Paul, where we learn to overcome selfishness, infidelity and love of money, source of all evil. "Those who take advantage of others and denigrate human life are fundamentally born of broken families and who seek materialism on a daily basis."
In conclusion of his message, the bishop invites us to ask ourselves, starting from the Word of God: "Am I and are we free from the material gods of the world?". He then invokes the intercession of Our Lady of Sorrows, celebrated on September 15, Independence Day, "a model of closeness and hope" to build a different Guatemala, based on fraternity and forgiveness, in the worship of the true God, with respect and closeness to our poorest brothers and sisters. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 16/9/2022)