In his Easter message to his flock, the Archbishop of Singapore urged them to proclaim the gospel “with joy and with passion.” “In our celebration of Easter, we are reminded once again that through the Paschal mystery, (Christ's) death and resurrection has given us a certain hope of new life,” wrote Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye. “Despair is overcome by hope; hatred is overcome by love; injustice by forgiveness; and death by eternal life.” Archbishop Goh's message focused on three key points: new life in Christ; personal encounter with the Risen Lord; and going forth with joy. His first reflection was based on the words of St. Paul that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation”; he invited all the faithful to rid themselves of anger, rage, malice, and slander, and to “live as a new creation in Christ, and put on the new self.” The archbishop based his first key theological reflection analyzing the exhortations of St. Paul’s words becoming “new creations” and invited all to get rid of anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language, and live as a new creation in Christ.” Archbishop Goh then discussed the importance of personally encountering Christ, saying that faith and prayer “must be Christocentric.” “I encourage every Catholic not to be contented with merely an intellectual grasp of the faith, but to seek a personal encounter with Christ through a deeper prayer life and meditation on the Word of God.” To facilitate this personal encounter, he urged each of his faithful to make a retreat annually: “A personal encounter with the Lord gives us the conviction to join the Church in mission of the New Evangelization as personal witnesses to the gospel.” In the final part of the message, the Singaporean archbishop implored every Catholic to proclaim the gospel with “joy and with passion.” “It must be presented as something so beautiful that every human person is attracted to it.” Archbishop Goh stressed that “no evangelization is possible unless we have been evangelized and set on fire by the love of the Lord, and the truth he has come to reveal to us.” “Let us then be filled with the presence of the living Christ through the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist so that we may go forth and boldly proclaim the good news with great joy and zeal.” While welcoming the newly baptized, he reminded them that “your saying ‘Yes’ to Jesus this Easter is indicative of God having touched your lives.” “I welcome you to the family of God with great love and joy…be true witnesses of Christ’s love in the world, giving hope and life to all of humanity.” He advised that “to do this, you must find strength and support from the community of faith. We cannot be evangelizing missionaries unless we remain as disciples of Christ in a loving Christian community.” “The mission of Christ cannot be accomplished unless we are in communion with fellow Catholics.” He thus urged the importance of Christian communities, because “left alone, your faith will not stand in times of temptation, trial and suffering.” “God continually beckons us to new life in him, through Christ our Lord … May the blessed Virgin guide us towards him, individually and collectively as Church.” “Go forth to spread the gospel of joy! Christ is risen, he has risen indeed!”
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