Vatican envoy to PNG, SI celebrates mass with bishops

Faith

The Catholic Church’s apostolic nuncio to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands has celebrated mass with bishops at a conference held in Port Moresby.
The Catholic Bishops Conference in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands held their 60th annual general meeting on Monday.
Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, apostolic nuncio to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, during his homily, said bishops should promote and defend the authentic Catholic faith and stand up for the truth. While addressing the Bishops, he reflected on the reading on Acts 6:8-15, the story of Stephen.
“Stephen, who is a model of a believer, accomplished the work of God. He preached without fear because he knew that his message was from the Holy Spirit,” Vayalunkal said.
“Stephen’s steadfast faith in Jesus and his fearlessness in proclaiming Jesus disturbed many.
“The people, leaders and the scribes brought false accusations against him which resulted in his death.”
Vayalunkal said bishops have been the chief defenders of the faith for 2,000 years like Stephen.
“We the contemporary shepherd must continue the venerable tradition,” Vayalunkal said.
He also reflected on the Gospel taken from John 6:22-29 encouraging the bishops to hold Jesus as their role model.
“Our responsibility must be to lead our people to eternal life and for that, we have to walk by their side as what Jesus did.
Vayalunkal concluded his homily posing three self-questions to bishops; “Do we bear the wounds of resurrected Christ? Do we speak Christ’s language? And do we smell like the Shepherded-Christ?”
He said the answers to the questions would help the bishops face the challenges encountered in their daily mission as successors of the Apostles.
“It will also help them to do what can be done to present a holy face of the church,” he said.

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