The archbishop of Kota Kinabalu reminds Catholics that "Jesus is the eternal spring” who “brings us eternal hope." Hence, the people of God are called to bring this new hope to those who live in despair. The quest for spiritual wealth cannot be underestimated.
Kota Kinabalu (AsiaNews/HeraldMalaysia) – Archbishop John Wong, head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, has issued a message for the Lunar New Year, also know as the Spring festival.
In it, Mgr Wong calls on fellow Catholics to bring new hope to seniors and marginalised people as well hope to build themselves, their families, and the nation. At the same time, he reminds them that “Jesus is our eternal spring. He brings us eternal hope.”
As such, the people of God are called to bring this new hope to those who live in despair, especially those who are marginalised, abandoned and forgotten; to those who resort to drugs, wasting their life and youth; to senior citizens who long for love and care.
Looking back at the events of the past year, the prelate looked at how Malaysians voted in a new government on 9 May 2018, "bringing the most extraordinary political change in Malaysia after six decades of the old regime".
Citing the Chinese saying 'A peaceful nation provides peace to its people', he notes that this "speaks of the significance of a nation that is led by leaders who are fair, just and honest.”
Mgr Wong goes on to stress the importance of having state and national legislators who ensure political stability and enhance people’s lives with peace and happiness.
Reminding Christians of their duty to pray for the nation and its leaders, Archbishop Wong notes that “Prayer is the most effective force to guide our leaders as they tend to the needs of our people.”
Still, “Besides pursuing the advancement and prosperity of our nation, we must not forget to pursue the kingdom of God.” Indeed, “Building the kingdom of God is to happen even here and now, through the offering of charity, care, humility, tolerance, fairness, justice, and integrity to society.”
With respect to pastoral issues, he writes that “As we begin the New Year, I pray that we do not only pursue material wealth, which would not satisfy our spiritual thirst. We must above all remember to pray and to listen to the teachings of the Lord.”
For him, the quest for spiritual wealth cannot be understated given the rise in suicides among young people, who find life empty, meaningless, directionless and purposeless.
Lastly, Archbishop Wong calls on the faithful to enter the season of Spring with hope so that they can renew themselves in the faith.