.- Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati in India has described the opportunity to write this year's Good Friday Way of the Cross as “an expression of the Holy Father's closeness to the persecuted Christians in India who are victims of attacks simply because of their faith in Christ." The archbishop is taking his reflections from two months of visiting his suffering flock.
“I have spent about two months in personal reflection in carrying out this beautiful task, as I carried out intense evangelization and formation activities in the diocesan territory and beyond,” the archbishop explained in an interview with Fides news agency.
Archbishop Menamparampil related that, “Many times I was in isolated towns, without public facilities or electrical current. Sometimes I wrote down my notes on sheets of paper, during the night. I tried to immerse myself in the person of Jesus and, while I was on my pastoral trips, I was able to perceive first-hand the agony of mankind today, seeing so many people suffer from illnesses, hunger, and misery.”
During these difficult times, he continued, “I have tried to let myself be led by hope. In spite of the tragic situations around us, as Christians we are called to share in the hope of the weak and those who suffer. This is our mission.” “I have also tried to perceive the problem of evil, which is part of the spiritual battle of every Christian, myself included. I tried to respond to the question: Why do innocent people suffer? And I have lifted my gaze to the Cross, to Christ Innocent, who suffered for us,” he said.
Archbishop Menamparampil also explained that he used some elements of Indian culture in his meditations, such as the concept of “ahisma,” which goes much deeper than “non-violence” and that fully expresses the way in which Christ accepted and suffered His Passion with serenity and strength of spirit. One of the most important values in India is harmony, he added, which expresses the “coexistence amidst differences,” recalling the presence of the Christian minorities in India and in many other countries in the world.