VATICAN - Cardinal Tagle celebrates “Lunar New Year” with Chinese Catholic students in Rome: “Jesus is the sun, we are the moon”

Monday, 12 February 2024 mission   evangelization   cardinal tagle   dicastery for evangelization  

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - The Church does not shine with its own light. She can only give the light of Christ to the world by reflecting it on her opache body, like the moon reflects the light of the sun. This is the emblematic image, taken from the Fathers of the Church, with which Cardinal Tagle, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, once again proposed what is the source and proper nature of the missionary work entrusted by Christ to his Church.
The appropriate occasion to recall what the Fathers of the Church called the “Mysterium Lunae” was the Lunar New Year, which is celebrated in the countries and among the peoples where time is calculated according to the lunar calendar.
On Saturday, February 10, the day of the “Lunar New Year”, Cardinal Tagle celebrated the Eucharistic liturgy during the festive day organized at the Pontifical College of Saint Paul by the Community of Chinese Catholic Students in Rome.
The Mass celebrated by the Cardinal was the highlight of the day, which concluded with a convivial lunch. The celebration was attended by dozens of Chinese priests, religious sisters, seminarians and deacons studying at Roman universities, as well as - among others - Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, Secretary of the Dicastery for Evangelization, and Father Samuele Sangalli, Under-Secretary of the same Missionary Dicastery.

The moon - the Cardinal recalled in the last part of his homily, referring to the "Lunar New Year" - has "a special place" in the reflections of the early Fathers of the Church. And this has something to do "with the mission of the Church, with our mission".
Some Fathers - the Cardinal recalled - described the mission of the Church as a "lunar ministry", speaking of the "Mysterium Lunae". "The sun, the light" explained the Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization "is Jesus Christ, and the Church, like the moon, must rely on the light that comes from Jesus".
"Separated from the sun - continued Cardinal Tagle - the moon has no light of its own. And yet the moon does not keep the light it receives from the sun for itself, but refracts it towards the earth, 'sharing' it with the earth. "My hope," said the Cardinal at the end of his homily, "is that every year on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, we Christians can renew our "lunar ministry": turn to Jesus, receive the light of Jesus and share the light of Christ, not our light, with the world. Jesus is “lumen Gentium”, the light of the peoples. We are the moon". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 12/2/2024)