Advent Pastoral Letter 2007

“Love Life, the gift of God”

At 35000 feet of altitude on the flight back from Rome to Hong Kong it came to my mind how we are so used to the wonderful fact that such a gigantic iron bird could bring an army of passengers from one corner of the world to the other. We can be proud of our progress in science and technology.

Outside temperature is -55 celsius. This brings me to remember that it is the sun, which, by providing heat and light, makes our life possible on earth. The Creator has disposed that we are at the right distance from the sun; otherwise our earth would be either too hot or too cold. Every day new lives are born on this planet, not too hot not too cold. We should feel grateful and humble.

When we look at the origin of human life we have even more reason to adore the wisdom of the Creator. He has created man and woman, so that when they offer themselves to each other in the most total and exclusive act of love, they become also cooperators of God in bringing new lives on earth. Human life is the fruit of love and grows in the warmth of a family: this is the plan of God.

God never imposes himself, he allows himself to be vulnerable, his plans can be spoiled by human selfishness: the sacred bond of matrimony is then considered as limitation of freedom and new lives as burden, if they arrive “unexpected and unwanted”, then they are disposed of.

It is no mystery for those who dare to face the reality, that in this our city the high rate of divorce, the easy success to abortive operation and the low natality cause much worries for our future.

The Diocesan Synod paid much attention to this sad reality and proposed to intensify our pastoral care even by establishing a new Diocesan Commission, “Pastoral Commission for Marriage and the Family”. 2

On the advice of said Commission we celebrated a “Year of the Family”, now we have decided to carry on the operation and have a second “Year of the Family”.

While we continue to deepen the awareness of the serious conditions, and look for ways to help our Catholic families, we want to emphasize on our duty towards the society at large.

The Gospel of life is for everybody. We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. We must spread the message of love from rooftop. It is true that everybody should know our Catholic position as regarding the sacredness of matrimony and the importance of family, but there are so many other voices if we do not shout out our convictions, the message of the Gospel may be silenced.

It is Advent, the season of hope. Let us confidently tell the people how sweet is a pure and chaste love between a young man and a young woman, how life-sustaining is a strongly united family and how happy is a society which welcomes new lives and educates them in the ways of the divine commandments.

Let us remember the last will of our late Cardinal Wu: “Love life, the gift of God!”

Your bishop

+ Joseph Card. ZEN, SDB

Leave a Reply