To mark the Sikh festival of Guru Nanak Gurpurab – the birth anniversary of the first Guru – the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has released its traditional greeting message to the Sikh community encouraging both Christians and Sikhs to nurture and promote a culture of tenderness.
Its Secretary, Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, writes of the need to use tenderness to counter a society where “self-centredness and indifference towards one another seems to be taking root almost everywhere.”
“Being needy ourselves of tenderness from God and others and being members of one human family, we need today in our world what the Holy Father calls a ‘revolution of tenderness’ spearheaded through genuine gestures of care and concrete actions of compassion towards our brothers and sisters, specially the poor, the weak, the sick, the elderly, the disabled and the migrants, no matter which religious traditions they belong to.”
This formation in tenderness, says Bishop Guixot, starts in the home – in families – where parents and elders can show love, care and concern for others – particularly those in our society most in need.
Christians and Sikhs can work together to achieve this:
“Both of our religions believe in the Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of all human beings. Living by these religious convictions and encouraging others to live by the same, may we Christians and Sikhs, joining hands with believers of other religious traditions and all people of good will, do all we can, in humility and human solidarity to promote a ‘culture of tenderness’ for the wellbeing of every human being and for the welfare of the entire created world!”
The festival of Guru Nanak Gurpurab is celebrated on 23 November.