Fr. Martin Arlando from the Church of Divine Mercy in Sg. Ara, Penang was the presider and preacher on June 24th & 25th at the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Some 1,400 faithful from far and near came on June 24th for the Chaplet & Novena to the Sacred Heart. A procession in honor of Jesus Christ took place along Jalan Peel, followed by Benediction inside the Church. With the theme ‘Be Persevering; Collaborate’, parish priest Fr. Edwin Peter was the concelebrant.
In his homily preached in both English and Tamil, Fr. Martin said that we are called to be Disciples of Hope and witnesses of Christ. Many in the past were willing to die for their faith. Fr. Martin said, “Fear Him who can kill both the body and soul. Be persevering, living the faith and be faithful, not merely by lip service. Our main concern is to be witnesses of Jesus Christ. As proclaimed in today's Gospel, don't be concerned of those who can destroy your body, they cannot touch your soul. Have courage, don't fret about people who run you down; they do so to deflect their attention. Jesus wins the battle. He is aware about us. We are worth more than many sparrows. Jesus loves us.” Fr. Martin went on to add that some of us are afraid of mockery. “Stand up right. The Lord will win battles for us. Even if you do not get that promotion, what's important is winning crown (heaven).” he added.
The celebrant also shared the true story of Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, citing his best-selling book ‘Man's Search for Meaning’. “We cannot avoid suffering in life. But if we do suffer, we suffer for a decision. We got to persevere in pain or persecution. Suffer for a great good cause. We need not be discouraged or despair, or broken. Turn to God; as in Romans Second Reading. Trust in Him. Have a sense of the burning Sacred Heart of Jesus, that is love. Have a deep act of faith.” On Collaboration, Fr. Martin invites us to ask God for the grace to persevere, grow in faith and collaborate with each other in the parish. Despite of all adversaries in our life, keep the faith and not lose hope in God.
On Sunday, June 25th, Fr. Martin celebrated both the Tamil and English Masses in the morning, where his homily touched on the theme ‘Be Empowered, Coordinate’. After the other vernacular Mass ended, the flag was lowered, marking the conclusion of this year’s parish feast day celebrations. The Sunday School children staged a musical at Dewan Louis Guittat right after.
Parish priest Fr. Edwin Peter expressed his appreciation to the preachers and all parishioners who had contributed their time, talents and efforts, in making this year’s parish feast a meaningful and spiritually enriching one.
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