News letter – May 2021 ………………
Dear colleagues in Christ,
First of all, I bring you best wishers for good health, in the name of the Holy Eucharist of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Corpus Christi).
Every year during the first Thursday of the Trinity week, we celebrate and commemorate the Body and the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ our Master. Many modern day Anglicans may find it difficult to understand the purpose of celebrating this solemnity, because they believe Jesus is not dead but alive among us. Theologically this sounds true, and it is the ‘reformed Eucharistic theology’, which we believed and practiced for centuries in our church. But on the other hand, we should not forget that, the Roman Catholic theology of the Eucharist is more ancient than reformed theology, where its influence came right through the history, in the area of mystical theology.
The “Corpus Christi” celebration is not just a Roman Catholic Celebration, It belongs to the universal
church, of which we are part of. From generation to generation, the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic
church, believed that Jesus Christ, its founder and master is the true manifestation of God, and on the
Sabbath day before His death, he commanded his followers to remember His passion, death and
resurrection by taking, breaking and sharing, his own Flesh and Blood (St. Luke 22: 14 – 23). Our Lord
while living with his disciples, was able to explain the importance of sharing his corpus (the body) so that
we may be strengthened by the everlasting food, for us to perform the given tasks. Jesus began His
ministry, with breaking of bread at Mathew the Levite’s house, and ended with the breaking of the
bread on the way to Emmaus (St. Luke 24: 30v). He was very famous for dining with all types of people,
especially with those who truly wanted to listen to him. Our saviour used the place of dining, as a place
of teaching and conversation, so that many will listen and will be changed.
Message for the Environment Day
Bishops of the Church of Ceylon
(05th June, 2021 | 06.00 )
This year’s theme for World Environment Day is Reimagine, Recreate and Restore and given the crisis that the world faces with respect to climate change, 2021 also marks the launch of the United Nations Decade on ecosystem restoration (2021-2030). The Church of Ceylon calls upon all Sri Lankans to join with the peoples of the world to focus the attention of governments, leaders of all faith communities, business communities and civil society, on the urgent need to heal and restore the earth’s ecosystems.
Sacrificing the care of the environment in the pursuit of human development is depleting and stretching the earth’s natural resources to the maximum. As a result, dramatic changes in climate, pollution, poverty, deprivation and sickness are on the rise; nature cannot endure the abuse and over-exploitation. As Christians, we believe that God gave us shared dominion of the earth with the task of not only using it for sustenance but also to nurture it and manage it responsibly for the benefit of all, including future generations. It is important to note that the creation story in the Bible teaches us that even God rested after six days of work; the principles of the sabbath and the jubilee remind us that the earth and the soil need rest, restoration and rejuvenation. Many religious traditions and the wisdom of first peoples contain similar insights.
We salute youth leaders in various parts of the world who are leading the campaign through education, advocacy and even litigation in courts, to ensure that the world recognizes its responsibility of stewardship and management of the planet.
Major environmental problems in the world, deforestation, the lack of clean water and air, the loss of biodiversity, droughts and floods, increased sicknesses are the result of human beings abusing nature. In most of these situations, it is the poor and the vulnerable that suffer the most. This is unjust and unacceptable to us as Christians as Jesus Christ always was particularly concerned about the poor, the marginalized and the excluded.
In our own country, we have witnessed in recent years a failure in these responsibilities of stewardship. The pollution of the soil, waterways, and the sea, unsustainable soil and mineral mining and denudation of the natural tropical forest cover are a few examples. Policies for development must take cognizance of their impact on the environment. We need to review our economic and development policies and models, our modes of living and consumption and personal lifestyles so as to ensure that we shift to ‘greener’ methods of economic activity and living. Let us live in harmony with Mother Nature rather than destroying her; let us think not only about ourselves but also those yet to be born. We can start by cutting down on consumption and ‘wants’ and reducing, reusing and recycling waste and conserving water and energy. We can start with ourselves, our homes, churches, and work places.
The Rt Revd Keerthisiri Fernando, Bishop of Kurunagala & The Presiding Bishop of the Church of Ceylon
The Rt Revd Dushantha Rodrigo, Bishop of Colombo