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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2731

Prayers of Intercession for Sri Lanka…

By Rev. Fr. Anton Dinesh - Vice Chaplain- Infernetto Community

“The Lord is with you” is the joyous Christian Easter affirmation that resounds in this season and it is not just a solemn proclamation in the Holy bible, but a real promise of God, said Very Rev. Msgr. Neville Joe Perera, the national coordinator to the Sri Lankan migrants in Italy as the chief celebrant at the Feast of Our Lady of Divine Revelation (la Festa della Madonna della revelasione).

The Feast was held in a minor tone at the very grotto of Marian apparition at Laurentina, Rome. Over a decade Sri Lankan Catholic migrant have been regulating this sacred shrine for regular religious observances and it is customary that on the 25th of April (which is the National Day of Italy) they come to Laurentina to pay homage to Divine Mother.

Considering the tragic Easter bombings that took place in Sri Lanka, the feast more focused on the souls departed due to the tragedy and the families affected.

The Feast was attended by a large community of Sri Lankan migrants settled in Rome as well as many Italians who are in perfect solidarity with Sri Lankan community in Rome.

Especially His Lordship Paolo Lojudice the auxiliary bishop of the Southern region of Rome and the bishop in charge of migrants in Lazio region attended the function and expressed his words of condolences to the grieving Sri Lankans and assured his full support in rebuilding the Christian community in Sri Lanka both spiritually a materially.

Representing the Community of Sant’Egidio that concerns the international meetings of peoples and religions, Rev. Deacon Alberto Quattrucci further assured their full cooperation in repairing the damages caused.

Having expressed his shocking sorrow to the mourning Catholic community in Sri Lanka, he assured that he stands in perfect Christian union with the Church of Sri Lanka in rebuilding the faith of the people.

On a further note, a Rev. Buddhist prelate representing the Maha Sangharathna and the Buddhist community in Rome expressed his deepest sorrow for the Churches that hit the terror so badly and the families that has suffered the trauma.

The highlight of the feast was lighting of candles for the faithful departed and alms- giving that held afterwards.
Dr. Daya Palpola, the Sri Lankan ambassador to Italy also joined this occasion.

Very Rev. Msgr. Neville Joe informed the faithful that the rector and the priestly community at the sacred shrine of St. Anthony at Padua have expressed their willingness to reconstruct the Shrine of St. Anthony at Kochchikade by their generous contributions.

He insisted not to make private money collections for such renovation projects but can pool them together for a common fund once His Eminence Malcolm cardinal Ranjith requests. Such a fund would not only focus the rebuilding of the Churches damaged, but mainly focus on the families affects, he added.

Looking at this event from faith point of view it was a wonderful opportunity for Catholics living in Italy to make a powerful prayer of intercession for the affected Church in Sri Lanka.

The biblical reflection of the day focused on the event of Annunciation (Lk. 1: 26- 38).

The words of Angel Gabriel to Mary ‘The lord be with you’ is not only a statement, but a sure promise.

The massacre that killed hundreds of our faithful on Easter Sunday is significant for the simple reason it happened on the day the Lord was risen from the dead.

Amidst smashed corpses and blood spread everywhere, the Lord shows the world that He is risen. He is not dead anymore. It means this is a brutal attack on Christ Himself.

We, Catholics and Christians need to take heart, God is not dead, He is alive, He is in control of things. Mother Mary who appeared to an extremist Christian at the very grotto where this feast was celebrated, said to him, “I am the Woman of Revelation” and held a Holy Bible in her hands. Holy Bible contains God’s plan for us and His noble purpose for our lives that no terrorist can destroy.

The same divine Mother invites the suffering Church in Sri Lanka to meditate upon the promises unfolded in the Holy Bibles. Our God is God who wipes away every tear from our eyes (Rev. 21: 4) and He insists just as He did to Mary, ‘do not be afraid’ (Lk. 1: 30).

What we Catholics and Christians in Sri Lanka experienced on Easter Sunday this year is no different from the first Christian experience following the death of the Lord.

Having seen our Churches full of people turning to mass graves in seconds we see how the innocent dreams and wishes of the disciples of Jesus were shattered in seconds and how they felt defeated at His death.

Just as we were brought low in the midst of the non- believing world that asks us, “Where is your God?” the confrontation at which we were speechless and humiliated, the first disciples who fled and hid themselves in fear were humiliated equally.

Just as ‘fear’ in its highest terror keep our Church doors closed, the first Christians seized with terror.

The risen Lord destroy all emotions of defeat, humiliation, shame and fear of terror when he appears among His friends and tells them ‘Peace be with you’.

It is the same assurance we carry forward at this darkest hour of death, that the Lord is in control and He is risen. We believe this strongly, we believe this on behalf of dozens of our people who have lost their life, their hope and their earthly company.

We believe for the suffering Church in Sri Lanka and across the globe. We do believe for the universe at large. In this darkest hour of death, let us hold firm to the mantle of the Blessed Mother and stand at the cross of Jesus, firm in faith that whoever dies with Him is brought to life eternal with Him.

- Asian Tribune -

Prayers of Intercession for Sri Lanka…
Prayers of Intercession for Sri Lanka…
Prayers of Intercession for Sri Lanka…
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