“It is Rachel weeping for her children” (Statement)

CollageDear brothers and sisters in Christ,
A voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly:
it is Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted because they are no more”
(Jer 31:15).
Jeremiah’s words quoted also by Matthew (2: 17 – 18) sadly resound once again among us.
We mourn the death of so many young girls at the accident on Friday 28 August 2015.
Let this be a time of prayer. I ask you all from today until next Sunday (06 September) to pray daily for those who died asking the Lord to welcome them home. Let us also pray for their families and friends that “the God of all consolation” (2 Cor 1:3) gives them peace and strength.
May it be a time of deep reflection in our lives. “‘Who, then, is the wise and trustworthy servant whom the master placed over his household to give them their food at the proper time?” (Mt 24:45) Each one of us had been entrusted by God with the safety and dignity of these young people. Aside from those directly responsible for Friday’s accident, we need to ask ourselves if there was anything more we could have done to prevent it. Why do we wait until something like this happens before we take every single life seriously?
Let it be a time of solidarity. I call on you all to be close to the families of these children and to support them in every possible way.
The Catholic Church in Swaziland is grateful for the prayer and solidarity messages from Cardinal Napier OFM and Archbishop Brislin in the name of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC).
Fraternally Yours in Christ,

+ José Luis Ponce de León IMC
Bishop of Manzini