Golden Jubilee of  NBCLC – Bangalore

It is with great joy that I stand here to give this Message of Felicitation on the auspicious occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the NATIONAL BIBLICAL CATECHETICAL LITURGICAL CENTRE – (NBCLC), Bangalore.  I join with you to thank God for all the Blessings, He has showered up on NBCLC in the last five decades. Fifty Years of successful existence, is a fruit of your hard work and devoted service to the Lord and to the Church. Hearty Congratulations!!

In Leviticus 25: 8-12, 18, the Lord gave to the people of Israel the command to celebrate a Jubilee Year. “Jubilee” literally denoted to trumpets and joyful celebration. In v. 12, the Lord reminds the people that they shall keep the Jubilee year holy, and in v. 18, He gives them directions, how they shall keep it holy: “you shall do my statutes, and keep my ordinances and perform them”. Let this Jubilee year be an occasion for all of you, who are related to NBCLC, to come closer to God through your intensive response to the Call of the Lord.

As I understand, the NBCLC has a beautiful history of 50 years. I am happy to learn that the NBCLC is “an animating organism” under the auspices of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI): “to promote renewal of the life and the mission of the Church in India as inspired by Vatican II”. Moreover, that it “achieves the objective by the Ministry of the Word relating it to the context of India so that the community emerges as fully Indian and authentically Christian at the service of society”.

I am very much impressed by the Mission of NBCLC, “to be at the service of the Church in India particularly in the areas of Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Apostolate. Firstly, I am happy to see that NBCLC strives: “to promote and coordinate renewal of the Church in India through the contextualized ministry of the Word encouraging inculturation in all aspects of life”. In this context, I remind you that, Pope Francis, in Amoris Laetitia, makes it clear that he is continuing the vision of Vatican II, especially of Ad Gentes, regarding inculturation. Pope Francis asserts: “Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs” (no.3).

Secondly, it gives me sincere satisfaction to see that NBCLC undertakes: “the ministry of the Word in mutual understanding and cooperation with the three Ritual Churches in India”. In the context of the three Rites in the Indian Catholic Church, “the diversity of viewpoints should enrich catholicity without harming unity”. NBCLC shall be a “testimony to the Holy Spirit, since it is He who sows this charismatic variety in the Church”.

Thirdly, it is praiseworthy that NBCLC is committed “to promote this Ministry of the Word through a triple dialogue: with the poor, with cultures and with religions”. Here, we shall be reminded of the just-concluded ‘Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy’ through which the Holy Father wanted, that everyone should “experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope”. He has announced the Year of Mercy with the Motto: “Compassionate like the Father”. Again, I call your attention to the words of Pope Francis, in his ‘Apostolic Letter to all Consecrated People’, referring to the non-Catholics and the Non-Christians, saying: “Journeying together always brings enrichment, and can open new paths to relationships between peoples and cultures, which nowadays appear so difficult”.

As I conclude my words, I wish for NBCLC and all of you a providential help of grace in your activities to engage yourselves vibrantly in the mission of NBCLC: “to be at the service of the Church in India particularly in the areas of Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Apostolate”. I gladly avail of this opportunity to confirm my best wishes and I remain in communion of prayers. May God bless you. Thank you.