03/14/2011, 00.00
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Lent in Sri Lanka: “Christ is our hope” for reconciliation

by Melani Manel Perera
For the Catholic bishop of Kurunegala, the theme launched this year by Caritas Sri Lanka is “appropriate” and “relevant” for the country, which is undergoing a process of reconciliation after 30 years of war. He calls upon the faithful to undergo a “genuine conversion” of heart and mind, as urged by the Pope.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – In his message for Lent, Mgr Harold Anthony Perera, Catholic bishop of Kurunegala (a diocese in Sri Lanka’s north-western province), re-launched the theme of ‘Christ is our hope’, which had been proposed this year by Caritas Sri Lanka-Sedec, calling it “appropriate” to reconcile the country after the many years of a war that ended only in 2009. In his statement, the bishop urged believers to place their trust in the Holy Spirit, citing Benedict XVI, who called for the “genuine conversion” of heart and mind in order to heal everyone’s wounds and inaugurate a new life of liberty.

“No theme was ever more appropriate than ‘Christ is our hope’,” the prelate said, “since we are undergoing a process of reconciliation after 30 years of violence and suffering.”

“What we need is to aspire to greater sense of human values and to the gift of new life and freedom in Christ,” he added.

“During the time of Lent, we commemorate the passion, death and glorious resurrection of Christ,” he said. He “reconciled man to God. During this period, we are strongly urged to give hope to those who are desperate, homeless, victims of violence and marginalised. It exhorts us to sing the praise of truth and justice.”

At the end of his message, Mgr Perera called on the faithful “to reflect and strongly meditate the word of God. Let us become an instrument of hope in Christ. With our prayers and witnessing our faith, we can open the way towards a vast horizon of hope in the Almighty.”

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