In the new year: Listen and accompany

AT THE BEGINNING of the year, we wish all our readers peace in Christ’s love!

Over the past year, Hong Kong has experienced turmoil. The than seven million people of the city asked in their hearts: how is Hong Kong to move forward? What changes will there be? 

Different people have different expectations for the future. Some wish Hong Kong return to the situation prior the last six months of 2019. Some suggest that Hong Kong should resume the proper order laid out in the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Various opinions have also been voiced particularly on the political system, education and economic development.

Mixed views have resulted in any significant outcome while tension in society has not abated.

In his Pastoral Letter for Advent, John Cardinal Tong Hon, the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Hong Kong, proclaimed “Come, Lord Jesus!” as the pastoral theme for the new liturgical year to encourage the local Church to view the development and history of society from a perspective of faith. It also hopes that the faithful, relying on Jesus’s perspective, can attempt to transform their mindset and daily lives resulting from the change in perspective.

Thus, the pastoral also suggests a direction which aspires for change. This can also be seen as a new perspective and a new hope.

 “Come, Lord Jesus!” proposes three major insights that are drawn from three stories about conversion from the gospels of Luke and John.

The appearance of the risen Christ to the disappointed disciples on the road to Emmaus suggests that we should “accompany and listen, rekindle hope;” the parable of the prodigal son and the father’s unconditional acceptance of his return home calls on us to “accept the limitations and step out of the quandary;” while another appearance by Jesus after the Resurrection brings the message that “the wounds remain, but embrace new life.”

These three major insights are expressed with well-structured slogans, including actions, and the positive outcome of reconciliation with the Lord, other people and oneself. The outcome of their practical implementation can be assessed retrospectively and prospectively from the experience of Church life.

While reflecting on “listen and accompany,” some young people thought that their hope to be heard was not satisfied in their earlier meeting with senior diocesan leaders. Who doesn’t desire to be listened to? Did those who did not attend the above-mentioned activity feel that the Church leaders listened to them? However, it is worth noting that when someone suggested that the Church should move forward faster, other voices would comment that the Church was walking too fast and too far ahead. How can we charitably “accompany” and seek common ground while reserving the differences?

As we hope that members of the Church “listen and accompany,” we must uphold the spirit of shared responsibility so that the people of Christ will support each other in their different ministries and roles, and together build the Church and make contributions to society. SE 

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