Roman Catholic Diocese of Chingleput

Bishop's Speaks

Dear Fathers / Brothers / Sisters

Every time the risen Lord appeared to his disciples and friends he greeted them with the gift of Peace. (Jn. 20:19, 21, 26) The post-resurrection appearances of Jesus clearly indicate that the risen Lord wanted to bequeath his lasting peace to his friends. He knew very well that his little flock was perplexed, confused, disheartened and disillusioned after his death on the cross. They were overcome with fear and uncertainty.

In this context of fear and uncertainty Jesus appears to them giving them new hope, new strength and new life. The whole world today is in the grip of fear caused by a common enemy - Covid - 19. The doctors and scientists are uncertain as to how to combat this pandemic. The world is in a state of unprecedented turmoil and confusion. It is in these challenging situations that we need to recognize the saving and liberating presence of the risen Lord in our midst. Let us take comfort from the reassuring words of the risen Lord “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mt. 24:20) The increasing number of corona deaths and  the millions of people affected by the virus with each passing day are cautioning us that we have no option but to turn to God.

Covid - 19 has forced all of us to remain indoors for almost six weeks. But this period of forced isolation offers us ample opportunities to spend more time in prayer and union with God. Let us use this God given opportunity to pray for our people. Not only for people of our diocese but for people all over the globe. I want to exhort our priests to celebrate daily mass for the intentions of our people and be in spiritual communion with them. Let us also celebrate the liturgy of the hours meaningfully and be united with the Universal Church and the entire world. Let us spend time reading and meditating on the word of God because we will not always have such a luxury of time.

This is the time we are called upon to show our solidarity with the suffering humanity. Let us tap all the available resources to help our people. We may not be able to provide them with all they need, but our concern and our loving presence means a lot to the poor people. What matters is not how much we give but with how much love we give. In these difficult times our availability in our parishes will be a big source of strength to our people. Let us show them that we are with them and for them.

I wish to end this little note by reminding you that the month of May is specially dedicated to our blessed Mother. In the present challenging situations we can certainly turn to Mary, the mother of good health. Her powerful and maternal intercession will surely help us to come out of our vale of tears.

Peace of the Risen Lord be with you all!

+ Most Rev. Dr. A. Neethinathan

    Bishop of Chingleput

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