The Church in Asia has the mission to help families discover Christ: said Cardinal George Alencherry, major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, in Kerala, president of the Syro-Malabar Bishops' Council, during the plenary assembly of the Federation of the Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), which was held in Colombo from November 28 to December 4.
"We all need to find Christ in ourselves, to help others to discover him
in the lives of our families and of our peoples: this is
evangelization", stressed the Cardinal before the assembly made up of
more than 140 Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops from about 40 Asian
countries, as well as some representatives as theologians and lay people
involved in the Church in Asia.
The assembly, which is held every four years, is centered on the theme
"The Asian Catholic family: The local Church of the poor in the mission
of mercy. The Churches in Asia are wondering how to make Catholic
families a tool to announce the Gospel of mercy.
In the wake of the Jubilee Year which has just concluded, "we are
exploring what could be the mission of mercy of the Catholic family in
Asia. It seems to me that our path is the same as that of the Apostles:
to help every man encounter Christ in his life and help our families to
discover the presence of Christ within and outside the family unit".
"This is the common mission of the Church, it is the mission of Bishops,
priests, consecrated, families", he added.
The Cardinal explained: "Families in Asia, who live in a multi-religious
context are influenced by family models of other religious beliefs.
Religions in Asia are a way of searching God. For us Christians, Christ
is at the center of our testimony of faith. It is this uniqueness of
Christ, the gift of Christ to the world that saves and marks our life.
God is mercy and Jesus Christ manifests the face of God’s mercy for us".
In the past, added the Cardinal, Pastors appeared to have forgotten him,
pointing out only the observance of the law, forgetting God's mercy.
"Christians are called to grasp the presence and action of Christ in man
and in all creation, as St. Francis of Assisi did", he recalled.
"Having seen, heard and touched Christ, we must not give up the
blessings that come from following Christ. Our families meet Jesus in
their lives and receive his blessing. Let all this turn into good for
the Church and for the Asian societies", he concluded.