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Hong Kong prelate invites faithful to seek strength on Easter amid difficult times

Cardinal Stephen Chow Sau-yan has called on the Catholic community in Hong Kong to draw on the “power of hope,” sharing both tangible and spiritual support, during challenging times.

May all of us in this difficult time experience the strength of hope through mutual accompaniment, the sharing of physical and spiritual resources, and the collective belief that peace and unconditional dialogue pave the way to healing and recovery,” the prelate said in his Easter message. 

Recently, tensions in Hong Kong have escalated following the implementation of the New Security Law, which critics argue further limits freedom of expression.

Cardinal Chow said that in a world significantly harmed by arrogant ideologies, the widespread impact of conflicts, a local economy attempting to bounce back, or prevailing socio-political stories that appear hopeless, “we can still support each other with our few resources, so as to stay alive while waiting for rain and salvation to arrive”.

“Let us never underestimate the power of the gesture of sharing even a few resources with goodwill and hope,” he added.

The prelate said that despite the colorful and hopeful decorations of Easter today, the very first Easter was not marked by such brightness. Instead, it was a time of confusion, disappointment, and despair. 

He reflected on the journey of two disciples to Emmaus, who were disillusioned by what they saw as Jesus’ failure and his death, leading them to reconsider their commitment to his cause.

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However, their story took a transformative turn when the resurrected Jesus appeared to them unrecognized, explaining his true messianic purpose and reigniting their passion for their faith. 

This profound encounter shifted their despair into a mix of joy and confusion, compelling them to return to Jerusalem and reconnect with the community of believers, despite facing uncertainties.

Easter, Cardinal Chow emphasized, is more than a seasonal celebration; it signifies the unexpected victory of life over death, hope over despair, and justice over injustice, aligning with God’s grand design.

“What is needed is our faith in the triumph of good over evil in due time, following God’s omniscient plan,” he said. 

Highlighting the disciples’ brave decision to return to Jerusalem amid potential dangers, he underscored the value of hope and trust in a God who overcomes all adversity. 

This story serves as a reminder of the importance of mutual support, even with limited means, drawing on the analogy of fish keeping each other alive in a drying puddle until the rain returns.

Through these narratives, the prelate conveyed the message of collective endurance and the impact of sharing in times of hardship, inspired by the assurance that God is always present, blessing us in unexpected ways. 

He called on everyone to be the “stranger” who offers hope, aiding those burdened by economic difficulties or social injustices, with the faith that even minimal acts of kindness can lead to greater miracles, akin to the feeding of the multitude with just a few loaves and fishes.

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