Chinese New Year hollidays in Shanghai

Cardinal Tagle celebrates Lunar New Year with Chinese in Rome

Cardinal Tagle celebrates the Lunar New Year with the Chinese community in Rome

By L’Osservatore Romano and Fides agency

The Church does not shine with its own light. It can only give the world the light of Christ, reflecting it on its opaque body, as the moon does with the sunlight. Cardinal Louis Antonio G. Tagle, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for the Evangelization offered this powerful image, drawn from the Fathers of the Church,  to explain again what is the source and the true nature of the missionary work entrusted by Christ to His Church.

The Mysterium Lunae and the mission of the Church

The Filipino Cardinal referred to what the Fathers of the Church called the Mysterium Lunae, on Saturday, February 10, during the Mass he presided on the occasion of the celebration the Chinese Lunar New Year, organized by the community of Chinese Catholic students in Rome  at the Pontifical College of Saint Paul.

Dozens of Chinese priests, nuns, seminarians, and deacons studying in Roman universities participated in the celebration, according to Fides agency, together with, among others, Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu and Father Samuele Sangalli, respectively Secretary and Under-Secretary of the Dicastery for Evangelization.

Separated from Jesus the moon has no light of its own

The Cardinal recalled that the moon, has "a special place" in the reflections of the early Fathers of the Church. And it is something that has to do "with the mission of the Church, with our mission. The sun, the light is Jesus Christ, and the Church, like the moon, must depend on the light that comes from Jesus".

Separated from Jesus, Cardinal Tagle continued, the moon has no light of its own. And in any case, the moon does not keep the light it receives from the sun for itself, but refracts it towards the earth, "shares" it with the earth.

"My hope," the cardinal concluded , "is that every year, on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, we Christians can renew our 'lunar ministry': turning to Jesus, receiving the light of Jesus, and sharing the light of Christ, not our own light, with the world. Jesus is the light of the nations. We are the moon".

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12 February 2024, 17:00