November 2017

That Christians in Asia, bearing witness to the Gospel in word and deed, may promote dialogue, peace and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions.

When we in the West think of the Church in Asia, our thoughts often turn to the Pacific coast of that great continent: Japan, China, Vietnam and all their neighbors. It is good to recall also that Jesus was born in Asia, southwest Asia, and it was there that he labored, ministered and accomplished our salvation.

Saint Pope John Paul the Great conducted a special assembly of the synod of bishops specifically to address the evangelization of Asia, “The Church in Asia sings the praises of the “God of salvation” (Ps 68:20) for choosing to initiate his saving plan on Asian soil, through men and women of that continent.”

The faith is booming in various parts of Asia, particularly in South Asia, India! In Southeast Asia, the Church struggles still in Vietnam to minister in a complex political context. In Southwest Asia, the US State Department recently accused terrorists of genocide against Christians and others. Thanks be to God for our freedom to practice our holy religion.

Saint Pope John Paul exhorted us to pray for the Church in Asia, “...just as in the first millennium the Cross was planted on the soil of Europe, and in the second on that of the Americas and Africa, we can pray that in the Third Christian Millennium a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent.” May the good Lord make it so!

Reflections

How can I support the Church’s mission in specific nations on the Asian continent with my time, treasure or talent? How can we in the United States and Canada foster dialogue and peace with other religions that originated in Asia such as Islam; philosophies such as Confucianism; or ways of life such as Buddhism?

Scripture

Rev 1:4-6

John, to the seven churches in Asia: grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever [and ever]. Amen