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FULL TEXT: Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio to Thailand during the Holy Mass at the Caritas Asia Regional Conference in Bangkok

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We gather today at this Caritas Asia Regional Conference, united not only by geography but by a profound sense of purpose. The cries of our world, the cries of the Earth groaning under the weight of human impact, and the cries of the Poor, marginalized, and forgotten, echo in our hearts. These are not distant echoes, but urgent pleas that demand a response. Our Lord, in the Gospel of Matthew, reminds us of the role we are called to play:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” (Matthew 5:13)

Caritas is a clear indication of the Church’s love shining brightly across Asia, and the whole world, is that very salt. We are called to be the flavor, the preservative, the agent of transformation in a world teetering on the brink. But salt that has lost its savor is useless. Can we, as Caritas, afford to become complacent or indifferent? No! The Earth, our common home, a fine piece of silk woven by God’s hand, suffers the consequences of neglect. Pollution scars its beauty, climate change disrupts its delicate balance, and entire ecosystems are on the edge of collapse. The Poor, marginalized and forgotten, cry out for justice. As we know they are the ones who suffer the most. All you need do is work in Asia or Africa to see this. Their voices, often unheard, pierce the veil of indifference. Can we, as Caritas, lose our savor in the face of such suffering?

Absolutely not! We are called not only to be the salt but also the light:

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:14-15)

Let our actions be that light. Let our conversations these days not simply be meetings, but lamp stands where Caritas’ good works illuminate the path forward. Let us share best practices, strategize innovative solutions, and empower local communities to become agents of change in their own right.

- Newsletter -

Together, we can be the answer to the cries of our world. We can be the change that brings healing to the Earth and dignity to the Poor.

This conference is a pivotal moment, not merely a gathering. It is a call to action, a loud call that echoes across Asia. Let us go forth from here, refocused, re-energized, and ready to be the salt and light that the world so desperately needs. May our actions be a testament to the transformative power of Christ’s love. May we, as Caritas, continue to be a powerful force for good, a message of hope for the Earth and all its inhabitants.

We know very well that our challenges today are great. lack of funds, lack of personnel, ambivalence, or even hostility to our work. In the light of these challenges remember that our God is greater than any obstacle we may face.

With faith as our guide, compassion as our compass, and the collective strength of Caritas as our engine, we can build a brighter future for all. May God bless your endeavors, and may Caritas continue to be a powerful testament to Christ’s love for all creation.

Archbishop Peter Bryan Wells, Apostolic Nuncio to Thailand

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