The Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia
The Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia
The Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia - Ministries
Canterbury and Vatican

Two auspicious events happened at one same week preparing for the Holy Week augers well for the Church of God. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Pope Francis 1 was installed on 21 March 2013 at Canterbury Cathedral and inaugurated on 19 March 2013 at St Peter’s Basilica respectively. Archbishop Justin Welby chose the Day of Commemoration of Thomas Cranmer, the former Archbishop of Canterbury and a Reformation Martyr in 1556 and the Feast of St Benedict; and Pope Francis 1 chose the Feast of St Joseph of Nazareth, the earthly father of Jesus.

left: Archbishop Justin Welby; right:    Archbishop Justin Welby knocking at the West Door of Canterbury Cathedral (Photo:  Courtesy of BBC news)

Archbishop Justin Welby in his inaugural sermon began with a call to launch into the deep – “Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid” and ended with a firm assertion and commission – “We are called to step out of the comfort of our own traditions and places, and go into the waves, reaching for the hand of Christ. Let us provoke each other to heed the call of Christ, to be clear in our declaration of Christ, committed in prayer to Christ, and we will see a world transformed.

Pope Francis 1 in his inaugural sermon called for a return to the basic Christian faith and practice of putting the right focus and truth in front of us – “When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we confess Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord: we are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord.

 

Pope Francis blessing a child
(Photo courtesy from The Telegraph)

How true it is in this hi-techno, monetary-driven, terror-inflicted, and power-crazy world we live in! We have entered into the ‘last days’ as described in the Gospels and the Epistles of the Bible – wars and rumours of wars, nations against nation, family breakdowns, disasters, calamities, abuse of power, addictions, terror, sexual promiscuity, etc. Some believe that it is better to live as a single person lest the children will face greater tribulations; some just gave in and flow with the current of the world; others are struggling with finding the right footing to stand and a secure permanent platform to rest. The church at this hour can and must play a crucial and important role. Both Archbishop Justin and Pope Francis hit the nail on its head. It is the Cross and Faith that matters in this day and age. The Cross means putting God and His Will and Plan in the first place of our heart. Fights, corruption, power-struggle, evil intent and divorces arose because of personal agenda and self-will over and above God’s Will and His Cross. Faith means taking and holding right practices and truth and trusting God in action. Addictions, cruelty, slavery, eco-destruction, pollutions, etc. took centre stage in our society because of the lack of right actions and the execution according to the firm belief in God’s truth and righteousness. It is our sincerely believe that both the Archbishop and the Pope will lead the way to this ‘ 21st century renewal and transformation of churches and societies’. Let us continue to uphold them in our daily prayers.

Bishop Moon Hing

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