In his message for the 64th Republic Day (26 January), the Archbishop of Ranchi reflects on the role of the Church for the future of India. The country can defeat violence, corruption, poverty, hunger and discrimination if it accepts the peace of God as the universal experience of love and justice. The Indian people must live “consistent lives ” in the faith.
India can become a model for the world only if its people and Christians live a life consistent with the faith. This is the reflection of Card. Telesphore Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi (Jharkand) and former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), on the occasion of the 64th Republic Day (on 26 January). The cardinal – the first cardinal of tribal origin – notes that these celebrations fall in the context of the Year of Faith, the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, when the pope emphasized the importance of the new evangelization. To respond to India’s problems – violence, corruption, hunger and malnutrition – Card. Toppo invites Christians to conversion and Indians to follow the teachings of Gandhi.
The Church in India has to play an important role in shaping the future of our beloved country. This is our responsibility. We have to rediscover the Beauty of the Truth, and in this context, our national emblem has the words, ‘Satyameva Jayate Truth Alone Triumphs.
It is significant that our celebrations of our 64th Republic Day is in the context of this Year of Faith, New Evangelisation, 50th Anniversary of Second Vatican Council -and also the Holy Father’s World Day of Peace Message, Blessed are the Peace Makes – as instruments gifted to the Church to fulfil our obligation to the Church in the world.
The Church is a sign of sacrament of salvation..India can become a model for the world, when we live coherent lives of faith, which means a deep coherence between knowing our Catholic teaching with our minds, truly believing it in our hearts, practicing it with our lives and passing it along to our family and friends. This is our faith, and each of us have a responsibility to fulfil.It is through coherent lives of faith in which we share the responsibility in our efforts to transform the world in and around us.
Corruption and violence may take the form of a crime against humanity itself and they are corroding our nation’s character – the New Delhi rape case is a challenge to our conscience. . It is vital and urgent, for a transformation from a culture of Corruption and violence to a culture of justice and peace.
The Pope Benedict XVI Message for World Day of Peace, – “Blessed are the Peacemakers,” reminds us that God’s peace is the universal experience of justice and love.
Pope Benedict’s message addresses the personal and structural evils of greed, inequality and violence. The Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi understood that violence was linked to poverty and injustice.
The Church has to be the light of the world, and as Christians, even as a minority of (2.3%) as per census 2011, we have to live our vocation through witness of our lives. Regrettably too often, we live our faith with spiritual inertnia, tepidness, routine. This Year of Faith is a time of Grace to rediscover the original purity of faith which we received in Baptism.
The beauty of Christ, has to be visible in the lives of Christians, the testimony of life will attract people to Christ, the way of beauty is about the culture in the broadest sense of the word. It is therefore, about how we live our lives in every aspect. Each of us are called to bear witness to the world of the beauty of Christ
There can be no peace without justice and development; Pope Paul VI had already stated that development is another name for peace. Peace is the prerequisite for development, human rights, and Justice especially in the face of growing marginalisation of weaker sections like tribals, women and dalits. It is only in peace and through peace can respect for human dignity and its inalienable rights be guaranteed.
Hunger and malnourishment are serious problem, a result of poverty in general. Our country has seen over a quarter of a million farmers’ suicides between 1995 and 2010. Over a third of India’s population lives below the poverty line and about half the country’s 350 million children are chronically malnourished. Gandhi concept of development is Sarvodaya through Antyodaya, implying the welfare of all through the weakest of the society
The Holy Father writes, “Peace is an order enlivened and integrated by love- in such a way that we feel the needs of others as our own, share our goods with others Love for God and Love for Neighbour are inextricably intertwined. Only love is capable of radically transforming the relationships, urging us to have sensibility, or sensitivity for other.
As we Indians celebrate our 64th Republic Day, may we citizens of this great Republic India, take to heart Pope Benedict message, “Blessed are the Peace makers, be committed to the truth that “Evil is in fact overcome by good.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”
God Bless India !