Myanmar Cardinal urged the Catholics 'to be Peace warriors to dispel the darkness and suffering,' in his homily at the closing Mass of National Marian Festival on February 12.
“Let us all become peace warriors; unceasingly praying the Rosary, to dispel the darkness and suffering,” the cardinal said.
President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar (CBCM), Cardinal Charles Bo, presided over the closing Mass of the National Marian pilgrimage at Nyaunglaybin, Myanmar.
Cardinal Bo stated that they gathered at National Marian Shrine to pray for peace, Justice, and reconciliation for all the people of Myanmar. Our Lady is the queen of heaven and earth, she is rightly called the Queen of Peace.
“After three years of multidimensional exile, we are returning to the feet of our Lady in this national Shrine,” he said. “Today, as a nation, we return to our Lady, the patron of peace and reconciliation.”
Reflecting on Psalm 122, the Cardinal said that when the Jews were in peril, persecuted for their faith, displaced, starved, they were waiting to enter Jerusalem, which symbolizes the city of peace. And they were happy by saying, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
He continued that all of Myanmar, like the Psalmist, waited three years to gather at this national shrine, and sing the joyous song of the Jews: “Now our feet are inside your gates, O Jerusalem.”
He stated, the Mother of Sorrows who held her tortured and slain son at the Cross, was, today, welcoming her children who were away from her. She sympathized with their sorrow, welcomed them to her national shrine, and offered health and wholeness via her intercession to her Son, Jesus our healer.
Cardinal prayed that holistic healing - physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, economic, social, and national healing - occur today.
Quoting Psalm 122:6, Myanmar Cardinal explained how God commanded them to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem on viewing the painful history of the “City of Peace” Jerusalem. Mother Mary gives the mandate to all Myanmar people to “pray for peace in this land, Myanmar for the safety of its people, food for those starving, medicine for the sick.”
He said that they came as wounded people to receive healing through prayer.
The cardinal insisted, “If peace comes, we can return to normal life, and return home.”
Again, Cardinal Bo turned to reflect on the six empty jars at Cana’s wedding feast; the jars were emptied by six evils of violence, despair, starvation, displacement, death, and poverty which visited the Israel people and also visited the Myanmar people.
The cardinal urged them to fill the six jars with six blessings of God: Peace, reconciliation, food, home return, human security, and community resilience in their families and their personal lives, and their country.
Mother Mary knows our suffering as she suffered in Bethlehem with no documents, room, or rich relatives. She stayed in a stable to give birth to Jesus, but there was the angels’ choir.
“It is dark around us but hold on to faith, the angels are singing the chorus of Peace. Everything looks bleak but faith like the star in the sky will guide us in the coming days,” Cardinal Bo insisted.
The Cardinal comforted the displaced persons by saying that Mother Mary was also a refugee in Egypt and knew what it meant to be away from home and live in anxiety.
“She has never forgotten us; she has never abandoned us. Throughout history, she appeared in Fatima, in Lourdes, in Guadalupe and even in Chanthargone in Mandalay Archdiocese when she appeared in the dream to identify her statute. We will never be abandoned by our dear Mother,” Cardinal Bo emphasized.
Recalling the blessedness of Myanmar as a nation with so many resources above and below the ground and rich diversity colorful people, Cardinal Bo stated, “... but only one thing is missing in our history, Peace, Peace based on Justice. We need Peace. We need the living waters of Justice. Peace and Justice are the two eyes that will bring light to this nation.”
The cardinal encouraged them not to despair because Peace is possible and begins with each and every one of us.
“We must remember that Peace is not just the absence of violence, but it is a state of mind, a way
of life, and a fruit of the Spirit. Peace is the Gift of the Holy Spirit,” he reminded.
CBCM President wished a new beginning for each one of them, their families, their church, and their nation.
“As a church, we stand witness to our people’s suffering, their way of the Cross; we will also bear witness to our people’s rise again in Peace and prosperity. That is the faith, and that is the hope we carry with us as we leave the shrine,” Cardinal Bo affirmed. - By Hubert Saw
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