KAMPUNG PANDAN:- The annual nine-day long feast of Our Lady of Good Health culminated on September 9, 2017 at the evening Mass, where some 1,700 faithful from far and near converged at the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Health (OLGH) for the solemn celebration, beginning at 5.30pm with the recitation of the Rosary and Novena prayers to Our Lady.
The 6pm multi-lingual Mass with the theme "Mary, make me a Disciple of Hope" thereafter proceeded. The Mass was presided by Fr Sebastian Aputharaj. Joining him as con-celebrants were Archbishop Emeritus Murphy Pakiam, Chapel Administrator Fr Edwin Peter, Fr Mari Arokiam, Capuchin Fr Iruthaya Raj from India and Uganda priest Fr Joseph.
Fr Sebastian in his remark quoted Pope Benedict XVI in his Encyclical, said we are all travellers on the earth. Our mother Mary is the star of hope, she will guide us. She will support us.
The homily was preached in both English and Tamil by Fr Sebastian, based on the theme. The Indian Capuchin priest said mother Mary is the start of hope and if you follow her, will become disciples of hope.
He also shared about Pope John Paul II in 1981 who got assassinated, taken to hospital as the pope praying the Rosary, underwent surgery he didn't remove mother Mary's medal and said mother Mary saved his life.
"If you seek her help, Mary will support you. If you ask her for strength, surely she will support you.If you trust her, she will certainly support you."
Fr Sebastian reiterated that Mary at the beginning and at the close from Cana to Calvary, she supported Jesus all through her life.
Saying in the beginning God created human being, they disobeyed and committed sin. God decided to redeem them, Mary as the new Eden, new garden of flesh, where the Man (Jesus) who came out this new garden, took away our sins.
We need to follow Mary and love God, we can become disciples of hope. Be humble and follow the examples of Mary, who is the disciple of Jesus. She lived as mother and disciple of Jesus, learned from Jesus and practiced what she learned.
Fr Sebastian also said mother Mary loved God so much. That's why she said "Yes" in her fiat.
The Capuchin priest said let us try to express our love in actions.We learn from our parents,affirmation words from parents. If they spent time and give you gifts all the time, we think they love you, as love language. He also said all the problems in the family will be solved with love. We need to be humble.
Then touching about the Annunciation, when the Angel brought the message to be the mother of Son of God, the Virgin Mary said "I'm the Lord's servant, may it be done to me as you have said". Mary had to pay three risks, namely risk of shame (people will look down on her); risk of rejection (will not accept); and risk of exclusion (keep her away).
Yet through Mary's obedience, she brought salvation to the world. Her three stages of obedience; namely, Mary obeyed unhesitatingly, Mary obeyed blindly, and Mary obeyed cheerfully. Not out of compulsion, she made a choice. Fr Sebastian told the assembly to accept the will of God cheerfully, and accept what God gives each one, to become disciples of hope.
At the Prayer of the Faithful, Fr Edwin inserted saying let us pray for Fr Mari Arokiam's as he celebrated his Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee on September 8. He invited the assembly to pray for Fr Mari's mission and work,and for his health. Fr Edwin informed that this morning we had celebration here; as well as in Assumption Church, Petaling Jaya (where Fr Mari is presently residing).
As September 9 is also the Agong's Birthday; Fr Edwin invited the faithful to pray for our king.
After Mass ended at 7.35pm,it was drizzling. Fr Edwin invited all to have adoration with reflection as the Blessed Sacrament is exposed on the altar for adoration. Both Fr Mari and Fr Sebastian gave the reflection. Many also prayed for the rain to stop. Benediction took place. The rain stopped completely at 8.05pm sharp. Then Fr Edwin announced that the procession will take place albeit, with a shorter route.
The float with the icon of Our Lady of Good Health then proceeded smoothly followed with three clergy and the assembly, going around several lanes around the vicinity of the chapel, whilst the Rosary is being recited. The procession lasted some 45 minutes. Upon reaching back into the chapel, Fr Sebastian gave the blessing.
Dinner fellowship was feted to all, held in the grounds of the adjacent Tamil School field.
Fr Edwin expressed his appreciation to all those involved in making this year feast celebration meaningful and spiritually filled. He thanked the preachers and all priests who were present for the duration of the nine-day Novena and Mass.
This is also the first time that live broadcast (live streaming of the feast Mass) was held here today. This live broadcast is meant to help the many people who are homebound due to illness, infirmity, or old age and are unable to be present here for the feast day celebration.This is a means for them to be united spiritually with the Church that is at prayer.
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