Charles Maung Cardinal Bo, Archbishop of Yangon and President of the FABC, presided over the concluding Eucharist of Asian Synodal assembly, on February 26.
He joined in concelebration by by Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovitvanit Archbishop of Bangkok, George Cardinal Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly (Syro-Malabar), and Bishop Mathias Ri Iong-hoon (Lee Yong-Hoon) of Suwon, South Korea.
In his homily, Cardinal Bo compared the synodal journey to Jesus’ journey in the wilderness - challenging but necessary because it enables the Church to better witness to the Gospel, through a process of listening, encountering, and discerning.
Cardinal Bo stated that a change of attitude is required in our approach towards the challenges we face. He offered the word L.E.N.T as an acronym for this attitudinal change:
L = Letting Go: If this journeying together is to be meaningful, we need to learn how to let go of all that prevents us from being that synodal church as shedding is a pre-requisite for growth.
E = Encounter: Journeying on the path of discipleship has a specific goal – to encounter Christ and be reminded of Pope Francis' call to a ‘culture of encounter’. An invitation to work in a simple way 'as Jesus did', not just seeing, but looking; not just hearing, but listening; not just passing people by, but stopping with them; not just saying "what a shame, poor people!" but allowing one's self to be moved with compassion.
N = Neighborliness: The parable of the Good Samaritan was preceded by the question: ‘Who is my neighbor?’ (cf. Lk 10:29). In the end, it was the one who showed mercy. In Asia, we are a minority and we live amidst social, political, and religious tensions. Despite such tensions, we called to help our brothers and sisters in need.
T = Transformation: Cardinal Bo recalled the words of the psalmist: “Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.” In this synodal journey, he said that we are called to hear what the Holy Spirit is telling to us. Therefore, if we are walking together to bring about a renewal in the life of the Church, we need the transforming power of the Holy Spirit as by ourselves we cannot achieve anything. We are always in need of God's transforming grace as we walk together in this synodal journey ‘to serve Him alone’.
Asian Continental Assembly concluded with a resolve to engage in intensive preparation for the October Synod in Rome.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.