KUALA LUMPUR:– The Parish Youth Ministry of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SHC) coordinated the Sunset Mass, March 19, in celebrating Palm Sunday.SHC parish priest, Fr Edwin Peter told the packed assembly in the Church, after the blessing and procession of palms from the courtyard, that today the church also celebrates the World Youth Day on Palm Sunday. This was inaugurated during the time of St John Paul II.
A reflection was held during the homily time, where the youths of the parish led the assembly on reflecting for Palm Sunday, with the screening of a short video on Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
Next, several youths came forward, one dress as the famous footballer, Ronaldo; the other as Deepak Padukone an Indian actress, another as orphan, LGBT, one in wheelchair bound, one as HIV positive, another acted as a prisoner, as a migrant and the last as a poor & sick – all sporting with a tag each – “If I were such and such, will hug me?”. The youths invited the assembly to come forward to hug them. Some came up to hug them.
Accordingly to the youths, the purpose of this activity is to show our love towards them- those not in the limelight. “These are the people that you can find in your community, not just the famous stars but those living in the peripherals of society. Mercy is not about just offering money and gifts to welfare homes, but giving our love to those who failed or below our status or position- those marginalized; like Christ accepted the people of who they are, despite of our limitations and weaknesses”. We can embrace them by showing them respect, and acknowledge and compliment them, said the youths. “May God who loves open our hearts to those in need”.
After the reflection, Fr Edwin told the assembly that Pope Francis has encouraged us to enter the Holy Door of Mercy. The parish priest added that Lent is not only about prayer, fasting and almsgiving, these are intended to show God’s mercy to others also. God desires mercy not sacrifice he said and invited the assembly to enter through the door of mercy of their hearts. This was followed with another short video clip showing Jesus reaching out to the people who needed mercy and forgiveness. We are urged to do likewise- to be merciful like the Father.
The Multi-lingual Mass saw the youths actively involved. Fr Edwin also inserted an intention to the Prayer of the Faithful- asking the assembly to pray for the youths of this parish and that the Parish Youth Ministry will be active. And as the youths had done the reflection, may they too go out and show mercy to those living on the peripherals of society.
The parish youths have lined up several activities, beside leading in the Reflection on Palm Sunday – a Blood Donation Drive as part of the Lenten observance to be merciful, and Car Wash & Easter candles project to raise funds to sponsor one youth to participate in the 29th World Youth Day at Krakow, Poland.
Fr Edwin thanked the youths for coordinating the said Mass, that was lively and beautifully celebrated.