ASIA NEWS REPORT: by Card. Oswald Gracias
At least 19 million Indians are expected to join the pope in simultaneous Eucharistic adoration. Parishes, convents, and other religious organisations have mobilised. Women's dignity, equality between the sexes, and overcoming social inequalities are among the pope's intentions, as well as components of the missionary heritage of the Church in India.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - For the archbishop of Mumbai, who is also the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), communion with Pope Francis, communion with the universal Church, but also communion with as well as deep concern for India's problems, for a mission that is more effective against poverty, for women's dignity and against violence are some of the values that underline the proposal for the Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration, set for this Sunday, 2 June. Benedict XVI had planned the event as part of the Year of Faith. Pope Francis added some special prayer intentions, hot issues in India like slave labour and violence against women. In countries like Japan, Vietnam, India, and Iraq and continents like Africa, Americas, and Oceania, Churches will join the worship.
At least 19 million Catholics in India will join the Holy Father in Eucharistic Adoration at 8.30 pm IST for an hour of prayer in parishes, convents and other religious institutions around India, synchronising the time of the Adoration with that of Pope Francis who will preside the hour of Eucharistic adoration in St Peter's Basilica, in communion with the Holy Father and all Christians around the world.. This will give us an opportunity to join Peter's successor in praying and worshiping the living Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
In many places across India, thousands of people, including many youth, will join a candlelight procession, coming from different directions, to worship jointly and bear witness to Christ's immense love and the riches during this, the Year of Faith," Card Oswald Gracias said.
As part of his plan for the Year of Faith, and in recognition of the strong link between faith and the Eucharist, Pope Benedict XVI included an hour-long Eucharistic Adoration in St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, in communion with all the bishops and their respective diocesan communities around the world.
Pope Francis is spiritually very close to the peoples of Asia and India, and that these intentions reflect the concerns and challenges of our brothers and sisters.
Being in communion with the Vicar of Christ and worshiping the Eucharistic Lord in this Year of Faith are historic and grace-filled gifts for the Universal Church.
The intentions of the Holy Father address the situation of so many of India's children and women who are suffering from every type of violence.
Whilst the Catholic Church has been in the vanguard of promoting gender equality through tirelessly and selflessly serving the poorest and dispossessed with the help of thousands of religious missionaries in the remotest interiors, through our medical, social, welfare and educational ministries, the road ahead is still long and difficult. The patriarchal mindset has to change, gender discrimination must cease, equal dignity for girls and women has to be the social norm.
Our women suffer unspeakable domestic violence. Most regrettably, female foeticide and female infanticide continue. With Pope Francis and the Universal Church, these intercessions are very close to the sufferings of the people of India.
May their silent scream for help be heard by a vigilant Church so that, gazing upon the crucified Christ, she may not forget the many brothers and sisters who are left at the mercy of violence. The rape of Sister Meena Barwa (who still has not had justice) touches a deep cord for us.
The adoration will also take place at the Dibyajyoti Pastoral Centre in the Kandhamal district, where sexual violence was unleashed upon many women during anti-Christian pogroms. In a country where sexual violation and torture on girls continue to grow, police have shown callous disregard for their plight, often putting them down to failed love affairs.
Despite the rapid growth in our economy, economic precariousness is another major issue as the gap between rich and poor widens further. We must indeed address the widening inequality, which could also have serious social consequences. Since we are one human family, one universal holy hour will make our shared humanity very tangible. When one member of the family suffers, all suffer.
Holding a Eucharistic Adoration simultaneously in various part of the world is significant, especially in our time when globalisation makes us increasingly dependent upon each other.
Christianity can and must ensure that this unity is not built without God, without true Love. Otherwise, this would give way to confusion and individualism, to the oppression of some against others.
The sacrament of the charity of Christ must permeate all one's daily life; the Gospel has always aimed at the unity of the human family, a unity not imposed from above, or by ideological or economic interests, but from a sense of responsibility towards each other, because we identify ourselves as members of the same body, the body of Christ.
Christ is our food for the journey; he enables us to become, for everyone, witnesses of hope and love along the path of true justice.
God Bless Holy Mother Church
God Bless Our Pope
God Bless AsiaGod Bless India