ASIA/INDIA - Towards Jubilee 2025: "Quo vadis, India?"

Monday, 25 September 2023 local churches   evangelization   civil society  


Goa (Agenzia Fides) - The Church in India joins the universal Church, with joy and with the responsibility of the evangelizing mission, in the preparation of the Jubilee of 2025, reflecting and making its own the central theme: "Pilgrims of hope ". "We advance towards the final phase of the Synod and walk together towards another celebration, the Jubilee of 2025, marking the 2025th anniversary of the birth of Jesus," said Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop of Goa-Daman, President of the Conference of Bishops of the Latin Rite of India (CCBI), presenting the preparation process, prepared by the Bishops for the Jubilee celebrations of 2025. "These celebrations will be fully integrated with our synodal path", he said, in the sign of a theological virtue, hope, which animates the lives of Christians in the midst of the uncertainties of war, pandemics, suffering, cataclysms. "In India too we want to rekindle the fire of hope. And the next Jubilee can help restore a climate of hope and trust in our nation", underlined the Cardinal. "The purpose of Jubilee 2025 - he explained - is threefold: to celebrate Jesus, to celebrate the Church and to celebrate our faith." In the time of preparation, 2024 has been defined by the Bishops as the "Year of Prayer". The path to the Jubilee will be marked by reflection and consideration of the four fundamental Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council, which are "a compass for the People of God". In this context, the 35 pamphlets published by the Vatican Dicastery for Evangelization on topics such as the Word of God, the liturgy, the Church in the modern world are useful guides in the preparatory process: already translated into Hindi, they have been presented and will be spread in all dioceses as precious instruments for the animation of Indian Catholic communities. The local Churches of India will inaugurate the time of preparation for the Jubilee on November 26, 2023, on the Solemnity of Christ the King. A national team plans to visit the 132 Latin rite dioceses of India, to raise awareness among the faithful about the spirit of the Jubilee: "On the path of the Jubilee we cross the 'holy door' with faith. To be authentic 'pilgrims of hope' ', we also enter through the 'holy doors' of places such as hospitals, orphanages, homes for the homeless, prisons, refugee camps, where hope is weak," said Cardinal Ferrao. "This jubilee journey will lead us to discern God's plan for the Church in India," he remarked. Thus, the jubilee is not only an "intra-church" celebration, but it addresses the mission of the baptized and leads us to "reflect and address the current socio-political issues of the country with an evangelical perspective, since it is our responsibility as citizens and Christians", said Father Suresh Mathew, Capuchin friar and director of "Indian Currents", a Catholic weekly published from New Delhi. The question, the Franciscan pointed out, is "Quo Vadis India?", that is, "Where are you going, India?" The question invites us to recognize the issues and complexities of the current socio-political panorama of the country, such as: the protection of human dignity and human rights; respect for the founding values of the Constitution, to build a harmonious nation; vigilance against "pseudo-nationalism", which masquerades as religion and undermines India's pluralistic character; solving social injustices and long-standing problems, such as poverty and lack of educational opportunities for all. Then there is the crucial issue of peace and reconciliation, especially given current scenarios like Manipur, especially to safeguard the marginalized and vulnerable people. "Peace must be alive and full of hope in a better tomorrow for all," concluded Father Mathew. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 25/9/2023)