Lusaka (Agenzia Fides) - At the conclusion of his pastoral visit to Zambia, Cardinal Fernando Filoni celebrated Mass with the Missionaries of Charity in Lusaka yesterday. "With the Canonization of Mother Teresa still fresh in our minds and hearts - the Cardinal said in his homily -, we also thank God for the many blessing bestowed upon the Church throughout the World through the tireless efforts of the Missionaries of Charity. As the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, I congratulate you and thank you for your years of dedicated service to the Church’s mission of evangelization".
Commenting on the Gospel of the day, which narrates the encounter between Jesus and the Pharisees, who inquired about the coming of the kingdom of God (Lk 17.20-25), Cardinal Filoni stressed that "the response of the Lord: 'Behold, the Kingdom of God is among you', is intimately connected to the heart of the Church’s mission to proclaim the Good News". Although many Christians prefer more spectacular forms, "Jesus reminds us today that the Kingdom is truly present, even though it is often 'silent, growing within' and among each one of us".
"Our role as missionaries is to make known the Kingdom and family of God, as found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and lived in his Church", said the Cardinal, noting that the Kingdom is present and grows silently in "the holiness of daily life". "The work of evangelization urges us to show others that the Kingdom is present even in ‘suffering, the cross; the daily crosses of life, the cross of work and of family’, for where the cross is, there is Jesus. And where Jesus is, there is the Kingdom in all its power".
"You have been called to identify and love Jesus in those most in need - concluded the Cardinal -, and you help make the Kingdom present when you quietly and patiently serve the poor and suffering... My dear sisters, it is good to be with you today as together we recommit ourselves to the call to evangelize. ‘I thirst’ is fittingly written on the walls of your convent chapels, a certain reminder of the deep desire in the Heart of Jesus to also fill each of you daily with His Love". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 11/11/2016)