As South Sudan starts vaccinating some of its health workers, Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin Mula of Juba Archdiocese has been reflecting about Easter and Covid-19.
Paul Samasumo -Vatican City
“Forgiveness is Easter itself, and Easter is forgiveness,” Archbishop Ameyu told Vatican News correspondent, Mbikoyezu John Gbemboyo, in the country’s capital, Juba. The Archbishop spoke about the forgiveness that Jesus gave to the repentant thief on the cross. “We can only access paradise through the forgiveness of others. This forgiveness must begin with us. We must forgive each other from the bottom of our hearts. Forgiveness is complete when we have forgiven others. Through the cross and the resurrection of Christ, we too can experience paradise here in our lives,” said Archbishop Ameyu.
Covid-19: Lack of food and spiritual nourishment
Regarding Covid-19, the Archbishop said the situation was such that people in South Sudan were facing not just spiritual deprivation, but it was also difficult for ordinary people to make ends meet and provide food for their families.
“Covid-19 has impacted our lives. It has changed our lives. It has upset our traditional ways of parish life. We have had to put aside some important activities because we had to attend first to Covid-19. We are unable to serve our faithful as we have done in the past. The faithful are going without spiritual nourishment. But it is not only about spiritual nourishment. In fact, many of our people are going without food. Nevertheless, I really would like our priests to continue to serve people as best as they can, even if sometimes this means from a distance through radio and other electronic means. When a priest celebrates Mass behind closed doors of the parish, he remains in communion with the people,” said the Juba prelate.
Pope Francis carries the people of South Sudan in his heart
Asked about Pope Francis visiting South Sudan, Archbishop Ameyu expressed confidence that Pope Francis will visit South Sudan when the time is ripe.
“The Holy Father already expressed his intention to come to South Sudan maybe two years ago. In fact, when he came to Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic (2015), he wanted to visit South Sudan and then proceed to the Central African Republic. Unfortunately, at the time, the situation in South Sudan was not conducive (because of the war). The Pope has been very close and mindful of the people of God in South Sudan. The Holy Father is eager to see his people in South Sudan, and we are ready to receive him. I have no doubt that in his heart, Pope Francis is carrying the people of South Sudan, the poor people of South Sudan, who have suffered so much.