Message from Archbishop Auza
As Christians everywhere prepare prayerfully to enter into the events of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, we do so conscious that Jesus’ triumph is the most powerful message of hope in all of history.
In Jesus’ resurrection after having been publicly framed and executed, we see that evil doesn’t have the last word. Suffering doesn’t have the last word. Death doesn’t even have the last word. Christians believe that if God on Easter Sunday brought the greatest good out of the evil that occurred on Good Friday, then he can indeed bring good out of every evil. And that provides hope even in the midst of times in which there remains great evil, enormous suffering across the globe and the death of so many innocents.
It’s tempting as we confront the various nightmares of human suffering occurring in the world — human trafficking, the killing of the innocent, the negligence of so many to the cries of the poor, the corruption of many in leadership positions — for us naively to hope that this evil will just all disappear like waking up from a bad dream. But that wasn’t the way Jesus approached the evil of his day. As we will mark during these days, he became a victim of that evil. But that wasn’t the end of the story. He rose on the third day with his mortal wounds immortally transfigured, overcoming hatred with love, darkness with light, death with life, bad news with what Christians believe is the greatest news of all time. This is a great mystery, which we ponder more profoundly in these days. And it’s an extraordinary cause of joy to be experienced and shared.
Pope Francis, in his Urbi et Orbi (“To the City and the World”) Address last Easter to the throngs in St. Peter’s Square, spoke of the transformative impact of Easter and the hope that that should give us all for the triumph of good over evil and peace over division.
“The Risen Shepherd,” he said, “goes in search of all those lost in the labyrinths of loneliness and marginalization. He comes to meet them through our brothers and sisters who treat them with respect and kindness, and help them to hear his voice, an unforgettable voice, a voice calling them back to friendship with God. He takes upon himself all those victimized by old and new forms of slavery, inhuman labor, illegal trafficking, exploitation and discrimination, and grave forms of addiction. He takes upon himself children and adolescents deprived of their carefree innocence and exploited, and those deeply hurt by acts of violence that take place within the walls of their own home. The Risen Shepherd walks beside all those forced to leave their homelands as a result of armed conflicts, terrorist attacks, famine and oppressive regimes. Everywhere he helps these forced migrants to encounter brothers and sisters, with whom they can share bread and hope on their journey. In the complex and often dramatic situations of today’s world, may the Risen Lord guide the steps of all those who work for justice and peace. … May Jesus, who vanquished the darkness of sin and death, grant peace to our days.”
Please know of my prayers and the prayers of our team at the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the UN for you and your loved ones during these days. Please join us in praying for all of those who will be celebrating these days in the midst of war, suffering and hardship across the world. And please don’t forget to pray for Pope Francis and for us, as we continue to strive to bring the reasons for our hope to all the nations.
+Archbishop Bernardito Auza
On March 28, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave a statement during the Security Council Open Debate on “Collective Action to Improve UN Peacekeeping Operations.”
In his intervention, Archbishop Auza expressed the appreciation of the Holy See for the significant contribution of UN peacekeeping operations to prevent and resolve armed conflicts across the world but said that it is timely to look for ways to make these operations more robust, coherent and comprehensive. Protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure remains essential. Peacekeeping should make possible the safe and dignified return of forced migrants and refugees in cooperation with other UN agencies and humanitarian and human rights stakeholders. The best times to launch and close peacekeeping missions, he added, must be studied in consultation with governments and populations directly affected, never forgetting that they need to be tailored to specific conflicts. Host countries should be involved in the training of peacekeepers to help them know and serve the culture and religious sensibilities of the peoples being protected, he said. The Holy See noted the serious efforts being made to prevent sexual abuse against women and children by peacekeeping personnel. He finished by paying special tribute to those peacekeepers who have died in the course of deployment and said that peacekeepers must be adequately trained and equipped to protect themselves from aggressors.
His intervention can be found here.
Upholding Human Dignity for Migrants and Refugees, From Principles to Practice: Faith Based Organizations and the Global Compacts
1:15-2:30 | May 3, 2018 | UNHQ Conference Room 4
RSVP by April 30 at holyseemission.org/rsvp3May2018
The Santa Marta Group: Police and Religious Leaders
United to Eradicate Human Trafficking
1:15-2:30 | May 22, 2018 | UNHQ Conference Room 7
Register by May 17 at holyseemission.org/rsvp22May2018