Panaji (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic community of Goa will experience a special "Biblical Year", dedicated to the deepening and proclamation of the Word of God: this is what Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao said in a solemn Eucharist, celebrated on the occasion of the 49th anniversary of the death of Blessed James Alberione, on November 26. As Agenzia Fides learns, the Biblical Year - organized by the Pauline Family (made up of religious, nuns and laity), in collaboration with the Diocesan Center of Biblical Apostolate - is centered on the theme "That the Lord’s Message May Spread Quickly", and has an essentially missionary purpose. The Archbishop remarked, "the faithful are called to share the message of Christ in our time without fear".
Recalling the parable of the sower in the Bible, the Archbishop noted that "Jesus stepped out of the comfort zone, took risks by sharing the Heavenly Father's message, tirelessly proclaimed the Word through his words and deeds. His words were not always welcome. Yet he did not stop". Every baptized person is called to take an example from the actions of Christ, said Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, proclaiming the Good News with words and deeds. "When Jesus enters a person's life, he transforms him. We see it in the life of St Paul and St Francis Xavier for whose feast we are now preparing" , he added.
Then referring to Blessed Alberione, the Archbishop noted that "Fr. James lived the Word with depth. It is a powerful witness to living the Word of God. The Word gave him the strength to give life to 5 religious institutes, 4 secular institutes and an Association of Pauline Cooperators in the Church" .
Mgr. Ferrao therefore exhorted the faithful to "follow the path of the saints, they left their comfort zones to serve the people of God, sharing with them the Word of God which heals and gives life".
The Archbishop presented some points and criteria planned to live the Biblical Year, addressed to all communities, parishes and movements: to enter the treasure of the Bible, encouraging the faithful to read and be enlightened by the Word of God, especially in this time of the pandemic; create artistic works or multimedia products inspired by themes and episodes from the Bible (especially for young people and teenagers); to hold an art competition to "capture the beauty of the biblical virtues"; help the poor and needy faithful to buy a copy of the Bible; organize "Lectio Divina" meetings to deepen, live and share the Word; reread and propose the life of some saints and witnesses who lived the Word of God to the full and the year announced. (LM-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 30/11/2020)