Between the 10th and 15th of November last, the 5th National Missionary Congress took place in Manaus, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, an event that brought together 1,200 religious people from all over the country.
As human beings, as citizens of a nation and of the world, as Christians we are committed to work for peace – for inner and social peace! And yet, we look at our world and see wars, violence, division, injustice, and oppression.
Starting this month, O Clarim will publish four monthly columns by Fr Fausto Gomez OP on ‘peace’ from the teachings of the Holy Scripture, Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas, and more specifically, from the social doctrine of the Church. In the first column today, Fr Gomez will delve into the meaning of peace.
We do like closure, don’t we? We have all left a movie or finished a book with a sense of frustration because it did not end adequately. Perhaps, it just stopped without really ending, or left some scenes hanging. Scripture agrees with our frustration. It tells us that as surely as God called human history into being, God will bring it to conclusion. Time ends at the feet of Christ the king of our hearts.
Hell exists, but it is not a place created by God to punish bad people at the end of life. It is a condition of unhappiness and despair resulting from sin. The question, therefore, is not who will be counted as sheep and goats at the end of the world, but on what occasions today do we behave as sheep or as goats? We are sheep when we love our sisters and brothers; we are goats when we neglect them.
St Ignatius was martyred in Rome during Trajan’s reign (98-117), devoured by beasts. It was while he was being escorted by ten guards on his way to Rome that he wrote seven Letters. The most important of these was the one he wrote to the Christian community in Rome. He told them not to do anything to prevent his martyrdom.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith told Fides news agency that the chapter on the victims of the Easter 2019 terrorist attacks remains open, ensuring that the Catholic Church – which does not accept the version of events presented by the government – will not give up searching for the truth about this tragedy and will always demand justice for the victims.
Will you be saved? Will I be saved? Truly, the question must not worry us, for we are in good hands: in God the Father’s merciful hands!
In December 2019, the Lao government reversed the situation by passing a law that guarantees the rights of Christians to practice their faith without being disturbed, after decades of persecution. However, this law has been little publicized and is practically not applied in the interior of the country where Christians continue to face discrimination from some provincial officials.
It is important to note that while the Catholic Church opposes same-sex marriage, it also teaches that individuals with same-sex attractions should be treated with respect, dignity, and compassion.
Let us re-reflect on this passage: The master entrusts his possessions to the most trusted servants. He knows their abilities, attitudes, competences, and according to these, he establishes how much to assign to each. This gentleman is clearly Christ who, before leaving the world, handed over all his goods to his disciples.