08/22/2018, 14.09
INDIA
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Bishop Barwa: Family difficulties overcome by faith in Christ

by Nirmala Carvalho

Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar: "The prayers of the Kandhamal Christians are a gift to all". Then the invitation: "Do not be afraid, put your trust in Jesus, pray and fast. And all the difficulties will be overcome ".

Cuttack-Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) - "All the difficulties of families can be overcome through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, through prayer and fasting. In the end, peace is gathered ". He told AsiaNews mgr. John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar.

As the World Meeting of Families takes place in Dublin, the bishop reflected on the challenges of Kandhamal couples. He recalled that Card. Oswald Gracias, president of the Indian Bishops' Conference (CBCI), will preside over the Sunday Mass on 26 August in Ireland.

For this reason he will not be present at the Mass of Reconciliation, Thanksgiving and Peace that the diocese will hold on the 25th, on the 10th anniversary of the Orissa pogroms, the most ferocious anti-Christian persecution ever in India. He later underlined: "All the families of Orissa pray for the meeting [in Dublin], send their prayers and ask for blessings for Orissa, India and the whole world".

The Archbishop, the prayers of the Kandhamal Christians "are a gift for everyone". With these prayers, he adds, "we want to strengthen families, strengthen ties and build family relationships".

Archbishop Barwa emphasizes that "the challenges exist in every family, regardless of wealth or poverty, belonging to caste or tribal group. But these challenges can be overcome by entrusting ourselves to Christ ". He later recalled that after the 2008 pogroms, "a Christian from Canada, a member of the 'Couples for Christ' association, has served here for a year and helped rebuild families torn by grief. At that time he became ill and was admitted to the hospital. As soon as he recovered, he returned to take care of the families. He was a great witness [to the faith] ".

The Archbishop maintains that "the Christian community believes in a God who is a God of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace. Even after 10 years, we remember how hatred and anger can hurt our society. We wish to remember what happened so that it does not happen again. We have no hostility towards anyone. Like St. Paul the Apostle, we believe that we are in fact troubled on every side, but not crushed; we are upset, but do not despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; hit but not killed '(2 Cor 4: 8-9) ". "This - continues the archbishop - is the power of the Good News for families, that is, that Jesus Christ overcomes every problem and tribulation". Finally he invites: "Do not be afraid, put your trust in Jesus, pray and fast. And all the difficulties will be overcome".

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