Homily of Major Archbishop Mar George Cardinal Alencherry at the Plenary of the CBCI on 7 February 2018::Syro Malabar News Updates Homily of Major Archbishop Mar George Cardinal Alencherry at the Plenary of the CBCI on 7 February 2018

Prot. No. 0202/2018

Homily of Major Archbishop Mar George Cardinal Alencherry at the Plenary of the CBCI on 7 February 2018

We have come to the sixth day of our Plenary. It was on the sixth day that God created man. During this Assembly, we are trying to recreate ourselves, to bring about a transformation in ourselves and the Church. As it was said yesterday by Archbishop Bernard Mores it is today that we commemorate St. Gonsalo Garcia, the first canonised saint of our country.

What is a sine qua non for the reform of the church is a transformation of the existing way of being the church. This transformation should happen in all the levels of the Church starting from the Bishops to the newly baptized. We discussed in detail the question of promoting laity, empowering the youth and the women. I think for the transformation that we need, we have to go one more step forward. It would be appropriate that all sections of the Church, people of God of all vocations, use an expression of the corporate world, stake holders in the Church.

The Church of the future should be a participatory Church, in the right sense of the expression. St. John XXIII convoked Vatican Council II for an aggiornomento of all members of the Church. Blessed Pope Paul VI struggled hard to put the teachings of the Church in to the practice within the Church. Servant of God John Paul I also, although only for 33 days worked in the same line of thinking. We know that the Pontificate of St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Pope Francis are also implementing the teachings of Vatican II, one complementing the other.

In spite of the work of the Church during the last 55 years the vision of a participatory Church has not fully become a fact. Instead, there was an increasing clericalisation of the laity, on the basis of a false assumption that the Church belongs to the hierarchy and consecrated persons. The laity wants to participate in their service. There is also a laicisation of the clergy, I don’t mean the canonical laicisation. But the clergy, I would say, even some bishops get into the roles of the laity in the social, political, managerial and other professional fields. It is high time that the Bishops, priests, the consecrated persons studied Gaudium et Spes deeply and give more and more roles to laity in the social witness of the Church.

The transformation needed for this life of the Church can be seen in the exhortation of the Lord in today’s gospel. Jesus is speaking to a people who had not yet received the Holy Spirit, who were indulging in many evils of the day. In the fourth gospel of St. John it is written: “Out of the one who believes in Jesus shall flow the streams of living water” John adds: “Jesus was referring to the Spirit which those who believe in him were to receive: the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified (Jn 7: 38-39). St. Luke in the Acts of Apostles would say that Jesus told the disciples:”Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the fulfilment of the Father’s promise. ...for John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit within a few days”( 1: 5). “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth”(1:8).

In the reading of the Epistle also, we had St. Paul speaking about the fullness of Christ that we should imbibe in ourselves. This fullness is also the fullness of the Spirit because St. Paul again says ‘the Lord is the Spirit’.

We are people empowered by the power of the Spirit many a time- at least sacramentally once, twice or thrice. The problem is that we might have quenched this Spirit, despite the warning given by St. Paul to Thessalonians “don’t quench the Spirit” (1 Thes 5:9). Only if we are empowered by the Holy Spirit we can empower others by the power of the same Spirit. Empowering does not simply mean encouraging or giving offices or worldly power. It is giving a role to all to use their charisms and gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Church and society. Let us empower ourselves and others in this way for a mission of mercy and witness.

CBCI Plenary, Bangalore

Source: smcim


Back to Top

Never miss an update from Syro-Malabar Church