Vellore Diocese Vellore Diocese -Pastoral Message
Pastoral Message - April 2019
Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus!
The Lord is risen. Let us greet each other with thisproclamation. This is the fulfillment of our faith and assurance given to all believers of our redemption. Let us gaze at the risen Lord with faith, hope and love. We are entering in to the holiest month of the year. We have been meditating on the way of the cross realizing the closeness of God and his mercy and love. The Ash Wednesday led us into the month of Prayer, fasting and charitable works. Now we identify ourselves with the women at the tomb:
“The Lord has risen”.
On the 5th Sunday of lent (07.04.2019), the entire Diocese will gather at the Lourdes Shrine at Chetpet for our traditional way of the cross. Our Lady through her maternal love leads all of us (her children) to tread the same path that was laid by her Son. This path will lead us to experience our real life situation – our sins, our 2 unfaithfulness, our pride, our love for money, love for the world etc. But at the end of this path every eye will see him, even those who pierced him and make us realize that the wounds of the Risen Lord is always visible. The Lord always comes to us, if we chose to draw near, as neighbors, to the flesh of all those who suffer especially children.
This is also a season of surprises. The woman explains to Peter and John about the surprise at the tomb. They ran and found exactly as the woman told. The Samaritan woman ran to say to her people, “this is something entirely new. I have met a man who had told me everything that I have done.” There is also Thomas who is not quick to respond to the surprise.
This raises a question. Do I have a heart open to God’s surprises? Am I able to go quickly or do I always hang back and excuse myself until tomorrow?
It leads to question ourselves, what about me. The experience of Palm Sunday, Chrism Mass, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil must prompt a quick answer. We must encounter this surprise and strengthen our faith and the life of Evangelization.
Once again we reach our Blessed Mother, who was from the beginning with Annunciation leading to the Calvary and Resurrection to learn to walk along with Christ to experience the resurrection. I would like to conclude with the message of Pope Francis. The Pope reminded to the people what the woman heard at the tomb – that death, solitude and fear are not the last word. The word that overpowers those words is a word that only God can speak, it is the word of the resurrection.
May the risen Lord bless all of us priests, religious, our peoples believers and non – believers as well. Let us entrust our country and the forth coming election to his guidance. May our Mother accompany us.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
+ Most Rev. Dr. P. Soundararaju, SDB
Bishop of Vellore