NYAUNGLEBIN (Myanmar) JBF – Archbishop Charles Maung Bo celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes at the National Marian Shrine at Nyaunglebin, Myanmar, 12 February, called on the political leaders of Myanmar to work with the religious leaders for the welfare of the people.
“I am very pleased to see the mutual understanding, cooperation and loving relationship between believers of different religions,” he told over 50,000 people of various beliefs gathered for the Marian celebration.
He encouraged the present leaders of Myanmar to “meet and consult with the religious leaders for the development of the country and its people”.
“In building the country,” 63 year old archbishop said, “religion plays a major role. If the political leaders work together with the religious leaders, there can be more peace, and prosperity. What we cannot solve by arms and in fact we cannot solve all problems by arms, we can solve by religion, and faith.”
Drawing on the deep religious desire in all faiths to encourage a good relationship with God, the Salesian archbishop reminded those of no religion (whom he calls “free thinkers”), to rethink! He placed this within the overwhelming religious culture of Myanmar, particularly dominated by the Buddhist faith, but noting that “both Buddhists and Christians go to the pagoda, church, monastery. saying prayers in the early morning, or in their homes, decorating places that represent God with fresh flowers, candles, water”.
The archbishop then went on to speak of people’s relationships amongst themselves on a day-to-day and homely basis.
“The second most important area of our relationship is the relationship with one another; they may be our parents, wives, husbands, children, friends, people in society.” He encouraged the pilgrims to get rid of all envy and to have a good relationship with others in order to obtain peace and happiness, the most desirable thing in life.
This was the 109th National Marian Feast in Nyaunglebin, and was preceded by a Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes from 4 to 13 February 2011. Archbishop concelebrating the Eucharist with over 80 priests greeted the different groups in 12 languages.