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Cardinal Tagle celebrates the New Year with the Chinese in Rome

Cardinal Tagle celebrates the New Year with the Chinese in Rome

Charlotta Smedes – Vatican City

The Church does not shine with its own light. It can only give the world the light of Christ—reflect it as the moon reflects the light of the sun. Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, Dean of the Department of Evangelization, gave this image from the Fathers of the Church, to explain once again the source and true nature of the missionary work that Christ entrusted to his Church.

Mysterium Lunae and the mission of the Church

The Filipino cardinal referred to what the Church Fathers called the mystery of the moon, Saturday, February 10, during the Mass celebrated on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, which was organized by the Chinese Catholic Student Community in Rome at the Church of St. John. Paul's Pontifical College.

Dozens of Chinese priests, nuns, seminarians and deacons who study at Romanian universities participated in the celebration, along with Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu and Father Samuel Sangalli, respectively, secretary and undersecretary of the Department for Evangelization.

After being separated from Jesus, the moon no longer had its own light

The Cardinal pointed out that the moon has a “special place” in the meditations of the early Church Fathers. It is something that must be done “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.”

Cardinal Tagle continued: After his separation from Jesus, the moon has no light of its own. The moon does not keep the light it receives from the sun for itself, but rather refracts it toward the Earth and shares it with the Earth.

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The Cardinal concluded by saying: “My hope is that every year, on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, we Christians can renew our ‘lunar service’: turning to Jesus, receiving the light of Jesus, and sharing the light of Christ. Not our light with the world. Jesus is the light of the nations.” “We are the moon.”