By Matters India Reporter
Panaji, July 11, 2019: Catholics should seek solutions to social issues such as poverty by taking the risk of being good, Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa says in his latest annual pastoral letter.
Releasing the latest annual pastoral letter, the archbishop says Catholics should follow the Good Samaritan of the biblical parable to uphold human dignity, spread compassion, heal the wounded and become generous.
The archbishop began publishing pastoral letters on Christian social responsibility few years ago.
In the earlier two letters, he had stressed the need for the love of Christ to take roots in Christian hearts so that they can do good to others.
While the 2017-2018 letter spoke of “The Love of Christ urges us on” in the scond year he challenged every Christian with the theme of “He has anointed me to bring the Good News to the Poor”(Lk 4:18).
Releasing the 2019-2020 pastor letter on the theme “Go and do Likewise” at Cristo Rei Hall, Borda, Margao, Goa’s commercial capital, the archbishop said: “Then, bringing to our mind the different types of poverty that exists among us, we reminded ourselves that we are anointed by God to seek solutions to eradicate these wants.”
“In our two earlier letters, we stressed the need for the love of Christ to take roots in our hearts so that we can do good to others. Now , bringing to our mind the different types of poverty that exists among us, we remind ourselves that we are anointed by God to seek solutions to eradicate these wants,” the archbishop said releasing the third letter on the theme “Go and do Likewise” at Cristo Rei Hall, Borda, Margao, Goa’s commercial capital.
He said the latest letter explains to the faithful how to carry on even further the “mission of living for others.”
According to him, “The parable of the Good Samaritan is an inspiration for us to preach the Kingdom of God as Jesus did in His Pastoral Ministry.”
He explained how Jesus challenged his followers with examples from daily life.
“When they were tempted to seek lofty positions in society, he gave the example of a child (Mt 18;2-3). He gave the example of the Samaritan leper (Lk 17: 17-18) to remind them the importance of gratitude. He pointed to the Syro-Phoenician woman to those who were feeble in faith. To the scribe who had come to challenge him on the question of ‘who is a neighbor,’ he told the challenging parable of a Good Samaritan (Lk 10. 25-37).”
The archbishop wants his people to heed Jesus call to “Go and do likewise” as done by the Good Samaritan.
It is at the same time, he wants them to accept the Identity of the other. “Take responsibility for our neighbor, to trust in God more than on our own strength, and to take the risk of doing Good.”
Father Aleixo Menezes, rector of Goa’s Paschol Seminary, says the archbishop’s exhortation is relevant in the Goa context of discriminations based on caste, creed, and political affiliation.
The priest, writing in the archdiocesan monthly magazine of Renewal, says the archbishop has also stressed the need for attending to migrants who face many difficulties in Goa.
“Migration is a reality and a problem from times immemorial. In recent times, Pope Francis has become a strong protagonist for the cause of the migrants,” Father Menezes says.
He points that the Church in Goa is experiencing an exodus of Catholics from Goa and an influx of people from others states to Goa.
“In such circumstances, neither the migrating Goans nor the incoming Indians would like to be treated as second class citizens. Christian charity demands that we need to be like the Good Samaritan towards them in order to alleviate their hardships and challenges,” Father Menzes says.