Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ,
May the Lord give you peace and joy in the Holy Spirit! – As we are still celebrating the Year of Saint Paul, I am writing you this pastoral letter based mainly on the teaching of the great Apostle of the Gentiles.
Chosen by God
1. When the Apostle Paul addressed the community in Corinth in his first letter, he stated: “Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:26-30). Looking at our Church in the Vicariate of Arabia, I am very often reminded of the situation Saint Paul met in Corinth. Most of the people coming to our churches have no say in this world. The many thousands of bachelors in the labour camps throughout the Peninsula and the numerous housemaids and other employees very often experience their powerlessness. How many of them are deprived of the possibility to reach our communities because they lack the free time or the money to afford to join the Holy Mass! Not only in Corinth but also in Arabia most of our people do not belong to the world of the powerful and rich. Apart from a relatively small number of well-situated and sometimes even influential people, we belong to those, whom Saint Paul calls “low and despised in the world”.