Message by Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna
Archbishop’s Curia, FLoriana
20th January 2018
Thank you very much, Mgr Hector Scerri for those inspiring words of welcome. I would like also to extend cordially a heartfelt welcome to all of you today.
A few thoughts on what the Holy Spirit brings as a gift to the Church. First of all the Holy Spirit brings true freedom. Taking the cue from the theme chosen by our friends in the Carribean we realise that the Lord exercises and shows and manifests his power when he forgives and liberates humanity. And that the prayer of the Church says that is the true manifestation of the Lord’s power when, through forgiveness, he rewrites our history. He visits our past and heals it, he strengthens our present and promises a better future.
But the Holy Spirit also gives the Church the beautiful clothing of the martyrs. In the Book of the Apocalypse, or Revelation, the martyrs have drenched and have washed their clothes in the blood of the Lamb and with their splendid line,n they make the tissue of the Church of the community of the people of God, beautiful, resplendent and glorious.
And as we see the relics of the humiliation of the Church, we remember the humiliation of the cross of Jesus which is also the cross of glory, the door to the resurrection. As we contemplate the relics of the destruction and persecution of Nineveh, that land of reconciliation, that land of the prophet Jonah, that great city that was called to salvation through the mercy of God, we also remember that the witnesses to the Gospel, the martyrs are also those who will truly reconcile the world.
And so we pray through the intercession of the martyrs. Today, we celebrate two martyrs of the Roman Catholic Church: Pope Saint Fabian and St Sebastian, we pray through the intercession of the martyrs that we may be reconciled because unity has to pass through reconciliation. The forgiveness that we share will be a cleansing of our memory, a strengthening of our resolve and a hope of a better future together.
✠ Charles J. Scicluna
Archbishop of Malta