03/24/2024, 13.46
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Myanmar, Card. Bo: 'Embrace the dawn of peace'

by card. Charles Bo *

In a letter circulated on Palm Sunday by the Archbishop of Yangon an appeal 'to end the long nights of conflict and fear'. A prayer that God will "soften the hearts of those rooted in violence and enable them to embrace the path of reconciliation".



Yangon (AsiaNews) - Palm Sunday in many Churches of Asia opens a journey towards Easter marked by a deep thirst for peace. From Myanmar - a country that has been bloodied for more than three years by the war that followed the coup d'état in which the Burmese army swept away hopes of democracy on 1 February 2021, and still in these last days marked by serious massacres - we publish this message entitled "Embracing the dawn of peace: an appeal to end the long nights of conflict and fear", issued today by the Archbishop of Yangon, Card. Charles Bo, President of the country's Episcopal Conference.

Dear Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

As we embark on this sacred journey through the season of Lent, a time for introspection and reconciliation, let us unite in response to the resounding call for peace that emanates from the depths of Pope Francis's heart and echoes throughout our wounded world. Together, let us kneel in solidarity, imploring the Almighty to dispel the darkness of conflict and usher in a new dawn of hope and harmony.

In our fervent prayers, let us not overlook the anguished cries of the innocent, the tears of the oppressed, and the shattered dreams of those caught in the crossfire of strife especially our young people. Let us stand hand in hand with Pope Francis as he urges nations to forsake the false allure of violence and embrace the transformative power of peace.

Amidst the solemnity of Lent, let us reflect on the timeless teachings of Jesus Christ, who exemplified true strength through humble acts of service. As he knelt before his disciples, washing their feet with profound love and humility, he demonstrated that real power lies not in dominance, but in selfless devotion to others.

Today, as we witness the devastating toll of conflict even in the birthplace of Jesus, Ukraine, and our own soil, let us raise our voices in fervent prayer for peace. Let us implore the Almighty to bestow upon us the divine gift of peace infused with justice, guiding us towards a brighter future. Let us cherish the abundant human resources bestowed upon our land and nurture them to flourish, rather than allowing them to wither amidst the turmoil of war. Investing in the next generation is investing in a durable peace. 

May the world heed Pope Francis's clarion call, embracing dialogue and reconciliation as the foundations of our collective journey towards peace. Let us cultivate the flame of hope within our hearts, steadfast in our resolve to eradicate the divisive forces of hatred and strife.

Pope Francis has often invited young people not to let "hope be stolen". Faced with the conflicts and problems that the world experiences today, we must revive our hope by trusting in the Risen Christ, who conquered death and gave us true life. This hope generates light to life, overcomes discouragement, generates solidarity and counteracts all the seeds of violence that a culture of indifference and confrontation, sow in our societies and prepare the ground for wars.

Together, let the world pledge to transform instruments of war into tools of peace, and all fears into unwavering trust. Let our words echo the universal language of fraternity, and may our actions be guided by the pursuit of peace. In this sacred quest for peace, let us invoke divine grace to soften the hearts of those entrenched in violence and empower them to embrace the path of reconciliation. 

Shanthi, Shalom, Peace, Salaam.

*Archbishop of Yangon and President of the Myanmar Bishops' Conference 

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