Bishop’s Message

PASTOR SPEAKS – JUNE 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“One who has hope lives differently” said Pope Benedict XVI. In all these days that followed Easter we continued to celebrate the mystery of Christ and create in people this awareness that when we have Christ in our lives we live differently. Let us pray during these preparatory days for the feast of Pentecost for a freshness that the Spirit can give us day after day, so that we can “walk by the Spirit” Th e world needs men and women who are not closed in on themselves, but filled with the Holy Spirit. Closing oneself off from the Holy Spirit means not only a lack of freedom; it is a sin. Th ere are many ways one can close oneself off to the Holy Spirit: by selfishness for one’s own gain; by rigid legalism – seen in the attitude of the doctors of the law to whom Jesus referred as “hypocrites”; by neglect of what Jesus taught; by living the Christian life not as service to others but in the pursuit of personal interests; and in so many other ways. Th e world needs the courage, hope, faith and perseverance of Christ’s followers. Th e world needs the fruits of the Holy Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22). Th e gift of the Holy Spirit has been bestowed upon the Church and upon each one of us, so that we may live lives of genuine faith and active charity, that we may sow the seeds of reconciliation and peace. Strengthened by the Spirit and his many gift s, may we be able uncompromisingly to battle against sin and corruption, devoting ourselves with patient perseverance to the works of justice and peace. Our situation calls for true witnessing of Christ. Enough to open the news-papers, social media and other channels that bring us the news: a lot of violence is penetrating into our society which is unknown till recently. Some blindly believe in the arrogant slogans and the acts of violence and prove their point violating the fundamental rights of the others. In the midst of this unrest, as this feast of Pentecost is celebrated we are reminded again to be men and women who “walk by the Spirit”. All our colleges and schools reopen in this month welcoming freshers and promising them a bright future. Let us also remember to pray for the students, the teachers and the managements of different Institutions and invoke upon them the blessings of the Lord, the Wisdom Incarnate. I also request the managements of both the Colleges and Schools, to provide admissions to the poor as well as to our Catholic children. Wishing every one the joy of “walking by the Spirit”

 + Thelagathoti J. Raja Rao, S.M.M., 
Bishop of Vijayawada