KAMPUNG PANDAN:- The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary falls on September 8, today. The annual feast of Our Lady of Good Health which is celebrated on a grandiose scale at the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Health, here in Kampung Pandan, saw some 800 faithful from far and near converging for the evening Mass. The annual Chapel's feast usually celebrated on the same week as Mary's nativity feast.
The feast of Our Lady of Good Health will culminate on September 9 with a candle-lite procession, in honour of Mother Mary.
September 8, 2017 also marks the 35th anniversary of the existing Chapel building that was officially blessed and opened by the then Auxiliary Bishop of Kuala Lumpur, Most Rev Antony Selvanayagam on September 8, 1982. The chapel has a colourful history of more than 50 years existence. The current chapel building was built by the late parish Administrator & his assistant; namely Fr Simon Tang and Fr Jean-Marie Couchouron, OMI, respectively.
"Be Enduring", was the Day 8 of the Novena and Mass theme, which focuses on the Sick.
Earlier in the morning, there was another Mass held,specially for those needing anointing of the Sick. The chapel was packed with many coming, despite being a working day. Eight priests were on hand to administrator the anointing. Fr Lawrence Andrew SJ, one of the past Chapel Administrators presided at the 10.30am Mass. Con-celebrants were Archbishop Emeritus Murphy Pakiam, current Chapel Administrator Fr Edwin Peter, Fr Albet Arockiasamy, Archdiocesan Chancellor Fr Joseph Pereira and Capuchin Fr Iruthaya Raj from India. Also present were Bishop Emeritus Antony Selvanayagam and Fr S. Stanislaus.
Fr Lawrence preached in English in his homily touching on those who are sick; assuring them that God is always with them in their suffering and pain. Whereas Fr Iruthaya who preached in Tamil spoke about Mother Mary. He said why is there a serpent at the bottom of Mary's feet as depicted, especially in the some icons. He explained the reasons why statue has Mary standing on a serpent (snake) based on what is written in Genesis 3:15. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.”
The context of this verse in Genesis 3 is the fall of man, the original sin in the Garden of Eden.
The Devil in the form of a serpent tempted Eve and both Adam and Eve disobeyed God, ate the forbidden fruit and sin contaminated the human race. Genesis 3:15 is considered the first Messianic promise. Immediately upon the fall of Man, God announced His plan to redeem man. The seed of the woman would be the Messiah, Jesus Christ (not of human, but of God).
Mary gave birth to Jesus and when Jesus died on the cross this prophecy was fulfilled. Satan would bruise the heel of Jesus (the seed of the woman) when He died on the cross. But it was only a bruise to the heel because Jesus rose again and is alive forevermore.
But at the cross, Satan was dealt a death blow. That ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan (Revelation 20:2).
This statue is portraying the crushing and defeat of Satan when Jesus died on the cross as the first prophecy in Genesis 3:15 foretold. The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many also came forward for the anointing of the Sick. It was faith that brought so many as they enduring hope in their sickness or illness. Lunch was served to all, after the Mass.
As for the evening Mass, Capuchin priest Fr Sebastian Aputharaj continues with his preaching. Con-celebrants were Fr Edwin Peter who is also the parish priest of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Fr Iruthaya Raj.
Fr Sebastian said let us pray for the sick people and that they they able to accept their sickness.
In his homily delivered in English and Tamil, Fr Sebastian asked the assembly from the Bible which Book speaks about the birth of Mary? His reply was we have none, but the second century (about AD 145) the Protoevangelium of James, which is an apocryphal Gospel presents a narrative concerning the birth and upbringing of Mary herself.
Fr Sebastian also said we come to Church we pray. Many have so many trails and tribulations, yet be enduring. Today's topic. We think we are the only one.
The Capuchin priest gave a narration about how eagles builds its nests on the perennial of mountains. When they build, it is two story building when it builds nests; using stones, woods and inside softer, using feathers, cotton,and lays their eggs. The little eaglets, born and doesn't want to come out of its neat as the place is comfortable with free accommodation and food. Fr Sebastian added that the mother eagle removes part of the nest and only then the eaglets comes out to learn to fly. Yet, the mother eagle didn't inflict pain but guide the little ones to come out of comfort zone.
Giving this as example, how we humans also sometimes in our lives, God takes out the layer of comfort zone, not to say He wants pain on us, but this in order for us able to grow out of our comfort zone. God will not let you be tempted or tested beyond what you are capable.
If you experience so much troubles, don't lose hope. God will provide us with strong direction and counsel. Do not lose hope and not to lose faith.
Fr Sebastian also quoted Jeremiah 29:11.( For I know the plans I have for you. Declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future).
The Capuchin priest from India said trusting the greatest Creator's plan; if you know, you will not complain. Be enduring. He reassured those who are sick or has illness; that God is with you in your pain, struggles and suffering.
He invited all to pray. "Close our eyes and pray for our intentions". As Fr Sebastian sang a Tamil prayer and pray for all those who are sick, that they all be heal and recover in Jesus' mighty Name. "Heal me and He will give you strength for Jesus got authority over your problems and your pain for He is Our Lord and Healer. Our Lord, He cares for you".
The Prayer of the Faithful slotted intentions for those who are sick, asking the Lord for mercy and help; and also for them to accept their deterioration of physical strength.
After Mass, Fr Edwin in his announcement said the procession will take place tomorrow (September 9), after the evening Mass and hope it will be better organize this year. Candles will be lite outside the chapel grounds where the chapel's youths assisting. He asked all to maintain the Christian dignity. Fr Edwin also said food will be served at the adjacent Tamil school field and not food are not allowed in the Church.
He also said all those sponsoring food, flowers, etc are encouraged to donate 50% of your sponsorship cost towards the benefit of the poor and sick.He quoted the funds will be utilized for the Pusat Rawatan Dialisis Good Health (owned by SVP Sacred Heart Conference), Fr Christopher Medical Project (for those needy and migrants who can't afford to pay their medical bills), and Fr Anthony Thomas Higher Education Project (to assist the poor in education costs).
Fr Edwin also expressed his appreciation to Zone F for animating the Mass. Zone F consisted of 5 different BECs of the parish.
As September 8 is also Fr Mari Arokiam's Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee, a son of the parish; Fr Edwin invited all present to pray one Hail Mary in Tamil for Fr Mari.
Dinner fellowship held in the Chapel's grounds was feted to all, after the celebration.
Click HERE For Feast 2017 Album
Click HERE For Feast 2017 Album Part 1