KOTA KINABALU – Archbishop John Wong, who heads the Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, has called on members of his flock to build themselves, their families, and our nation on new hopes.
In his message to mark the Lunar New Year, often referred as the Spring festival, he reminded Catholics that, “Jesus is our eternal Spring. He brings us eternal hope.”
As such, he says they are called to bring this new hope to those who live in despair, especially those who are marginalized, abandoned and forgotten; those resorting to drugs, wasting their life and youthfulness; and the elderly ones who long for love and concern.
Looking back on the past year’s events, Archbishop Wong recalled how the nation voted in a new government on May 9, 2018, “bringing the most extraordinary political change in Malaysia after six decades of the old regime.”
Referring to a Chinese saying, “A peaceful nation provides peace for her people”, he maintains that, “It speaks of the significance of a nation that is led by leaders who are fair, just and honest.”
He also stresses the importance to have state and national legislators who would ensure political stability, are able to enhance the people’s life with peace and happiness.
Reminding the people of their Christian duty to pray for the nation and her leaders, the Archbishop Wong says, “Prayer is the most effective force to guide our leaders as they tend to the needs of our people.”
He adds, “Besides pursuing the advancement and prosperity of our nation, we must not forget to pursue the kingdom of God.”
Elaborating further, he says, “Building the kingdom of God is to happen even here and now, through the offering of charity, care, humility, tolerance, fairness, justice, and integrity to society.”
He also expressed his pastoral concern by saying, “As we begin the New Year, I pray that we do not only pursue material wealth, which would not satisfy our spiritual thirst. We must above all remember to pray and to listen to the teachings of the Lord.”
The pursuit of spiritual wealth, he stressed, cannot be understated having witnessed the rise of suicides among the young people, who have found life empty, meaningless, directionless and purposeless.
Archbishop Wong calls on his faithful to enter into the season of Spring with hope so that they would be renewed. – SOCCOM ADKK