Thai Catholic community in Bangkok | Photo Asia News
By Agnes Chai
Oct 14 2020
IN the last issue of the newsletter of the year for the Catholic Bishops Conference of Thailand (CBCT) (Oct-Dec 2020), the bishops underscored that the BEC is the primary path of renewal and formation for the Christian life of faith.
Describing BEC as “the way to equip all Christians who are Christ’s missionary disciples to go out and proclaim the Good News through the witness of life and the Word, and the sharing of life’s faith experiences to all Thais, especially those who have not yet heard the Good News preached to them”, the bishops affirmed that “this is the heart of the Thai Catholic Church”.
Ever mindful of being united with the universal church in her journey of evangelization, the bishops informed that the Catholic Church of Thailand is moving toward the 351st year of Siam Mission envisioning a community of Christ’s disciples. This will be made manifest through the BEC so as to bring about all aspects of Ad Gentes, a more concrete result, leading Thai Catholics from being Christ’s Disciples to Missionary Disciples.
Drawing from Pope Francis’ World Mission Day message, through which the Pope continues to inspire the faithful “to be steadfast in our faith and in our mission of love for one another in this year marked by the suffering and challenges created by the COVID-10 pandemic”, the Thai Catholic Church attested “we cannot afford to be indifferent to one another in this moment of the pandemic”.
It calls for a response, as the pope highlighted “the missionary journey of the whole Church continues in the light of the words found in the account of the calling of the prophet Isaiah ‘Here am I, send me”’(6:6) – this is the ever-new response to the Lord’s question: ‘Whom shall I send?’”.
The bishops acknowledged that this invitation from God’s merciful heart challenges both the Church and humanity as a whole in the current world crisis. “Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other.
On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying ‘We are perishing’ (v. 38), so we too cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this” (Meditation in Saint Peter’s Square, 27 March 2020). (cf. Pope’s Message for World Mission Day 2020)
Christmas is fast approaching, and anxiety continues to sit in the heart of the people as COVID-19 continues to threaten human life. When will it end? No one knows! Its uncertainty means an extended suffering in the life of the people, society and the world. These sufferings in varied forms confront daily concerns in life and makes life harder.
Although COVID-19 looms overhead, the bishops are mindful that “we are one in Christ”. They urged the faithful to “continue in humility to bend our knees in prayer for the good of all, especially those who are suffering due to the pandemic, and be concerned to care for life and for creation”. Sawasdee to all “friends of Christ”! – Source: CBCT Newsletter Oct-Dec 2020