SIBU: True freedom for all creation can only be achieved if all human beings are truly free as children of God.- Bishop of Sibu Right Reverend Joseph Hii
In his homily on Jan 1, he reminded all Catholics that freedom is not about doing whatever they wanted, rather to do things that is right.“Freedom, first of all, means we are not slaves, we cannot have true freedom if we are enslaved by certain things that we desire; if a man wanted to have sex right away seeing a beaitiful girl, he had being enslaved by his own desire. “Christ has set us free, freedom that has been given means we have a choice to choose ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Unless we are set free, we do not have the freedom to do the things that are right,” he pointed out.
He said it is only by being free from sins/darkeness, can everyone has the freedom to love and to give justice to creation. This year, Sibu Diocese is embarking into its third year of Creation Justice with the theme ‘Freedom’. The first year started with justice, followed by love/charity on the second year. He pointed out that all creation has the rights to live because God gave them life. “Christ has come to set us free and the whole of creation is waiting for us to be free so that they can also be free,” he said.
1st Gospel value: Justice
2nd Gospel Value: Love
3rd gospel value: Freedom
He said as Christians, everyone must join and journey together with the whole world to seek the peace and care for this beautiful creation. Freedom itself allowed Catholics to live a life of holiness as invited by Pope Francis. He explained that everyone is invited to be the image and likeness of God. “Life of holiness is a life that is free to love and to give justice in this world,” he said. He also encouraged everyone to respond to the invitation by Pope Francis (Apostolic Exhortation-Gaudete et Exsultate-Rejoice & be glad) to live a life of holiness in today’s world through eight beatitudes. Blessed are the poor in spirit…the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. -Cf.Matthew 5:3, 19:14
to be the image & likeness of God is holiness.
Holiness- Free to love & to give justice to all God’s creation