DAR ES SALAAM
, 30 May, 2020 / 4:21 AM
As Catholics across the globe prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday, May 31, the leadership of the Catholic Laity Council of Tanzania has invited members to reflect on the value of “love” in their respective lives.
In a message signed by the Chairman of the Council, Gasper Makiluli, the leaders underscore the intimate relationship between love and peace.
“My dear Christian brothers and sisters, if love is present in our lives, our families and our communities, peace will last. This is because there is nothing beyond love in human life,” the leaders have said in their message, adding, “Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Love always bears good fruit.”
Inviting the members to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ, the leaders note that his public ministry, which he started after his baptism, is a manifestation of love that redeems.
“Look how beautiful love is in the life of Jesus who offers himself for our redemption. When Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit immediately after his baptism, his love overflowed until he began the work of delivering his people with great suffering,” the leaders of the Council of the Laity in Tanzania say.
They continue in reference to Jesus, “Love led him to fast for forty days and nights, and the Holy Spirit, the first love, led him in a battle against Satan and overcame him well. Love gave him the strength to persevere and submit to being lifted up on the cross.”
Inviting the members to base their reflection of love on the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, the Catholic lay leaders recognize love centrality of love in human life saying, “Even if you do what an angel does, if you do not have love, you work in vain.”
“Even if you give up yourself and your possessions and hurt yourself, without love it does you do no good,” the leaders say and continue, “All things will pass away and cease but love will never pass away; it will travel with you to the end. Faith and hope will flourish greatly if your love has stopped.”
Pentecost, the leaders say, “is a reminder of God’s love for His people” and invite the members of the Council to receive the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday and “give Him a chance in your life to fill you with true love.”
They also invite the members to consider the relationship between love and forgiveness saying, “Love and forgiveness are like two rivers from heaven; with love you will forgive; the two depend on each other.”
“Ask God to give us the strength and desire to live in love and compassion as children. Again, he should enable us to observe the wishes of his kingdom,” the Catholic Lay leaders implore and add, “When the Kingdom of God arrives, peace will prevail, for there will be no more greed for power, materialism, selfishness and denial of their rights.”
Celebrated on Sunday, 50 days after Easter Sunday, Pentecost recalls the coming down of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem. The seven spiritual gifts associated with the Holy Spirit include wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa