Parishioners Rejoice In Celebrating The Nativity Of Mary

KAMPUNG PANDAN: The feast of Our Lady of Good Health co-incides with the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8, 2016.The 10 day long feast celebrations saw two Masses being celebrated on Sept 8, at the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Health.

At the morning Mass, Fr Mari Arokiam presided the 10.30am Mass, with Chapel Administrator,Fr Edwin Peter; Fr Joseph Pereira who is the Chancellor for KL Archdiocese and Archbishop Emeritus Murphy Pakiam. Some 400 Catholics were present, despite being a working day for most.

Fr Mari who is currently based in the Church of the Assumption in Petaling Jaya also marked his 24th Sacerdotal anniversary on Sept 8. Fr Mari who is a local boy of this chapel was ordained a priest here 24 years ago. The diocesan priest also preached the homily, focusing about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In the evening, more than 850 faithful turned up for the 7.30pm Mass. Prior to the Mass, Rosary and Novena was prayed. Fr Don Bosco from Tamil Nadu continues his preaching for this year Chapel’s feast. Fr Edwin con-celebrated the Mass in English and Tamil.

The Gospel(Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23) was proclaimed by Fr Don. Followed with his preaching the sermon.

Fr Don said the Church today celebrates the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast provides us with an occasion for praise and thanksgiving in honour of the personal sanctity and vocation of Mary, as the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Though the Scripture didn’t mentioned much about the birth of Mary or her parentage, yet the first chapter of Gospel of Matthew gave Joseph’s lineage. The names of Mary’s parents- Joachim and Anne appeared in the apocryphal “Gospel of James”, a book from the 2nd Century AD. According to this account, Joachim and Anne prayed and fasted that God would grant them a child. God listen to their prayers and granted Mary, born in Nazareth, in the same house, which the Annunciation later took place.

Fr Don went on to say that Mary was offered in God’s holy temple and remained there, showing to all a great example of zeal and holiness, withdrawn from frivolous society. When Mary reached full age, as the law required that she should leave the temple, she was entrusted by the priests to Joseph, her bridegroom, as the guardian of her virginity, a steadfast observer of law from his youth.

“Our mothers are our entire world; in the womb before we are born, and continues when we are born, our mothers nourishes and protects us. Care for us, teaching us as we grow and will not stop being our mother. So it is with the Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary. She will always be Jesus’ Mother, and as our heavenly Mother too. Mary as our Mother, she continues to nourish, protect, comfort and teach us as we grow physically and spiritually”.

In celebrating the nativity of Mary, Christians anticipate the incarnation and the birth of her Divine Son, and gave honour to the Mother of Our Lord and Saviour.

Fr Don said the Church liturgical calendar observes the births (or birthdays) of only three persons, namely St John the Baptist (who was sanctified in the womb of Elizabeth,even before his birth); Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus ( was preserved sinless in anticipation with the privilege of being the Mother of God from the moment of her conception); and Jesus,the Son of God.

The feast of the Nativity of Mary has two aspects: first the Heaven’s view that enables us to enter into God’s plan for the salvation of the world;the beginning of the dawn of that newness which her Son would bring for all creation. With Mary’s birth, sorrow and darkness begin to be dispersed. Fr Don said all of us comes here with our hopes and aspirations, with our problems, concerns and anxieties, which trouble our hearts. As we begin our pilgrimage we must allow Mary to change our hearts, asking Mary for the gift of that freedom which she would show in her willingness to accept the word of Angel Gabriel.

Then, Fr Don quoted what Pope Francis said in his letter announcing the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, inviting our focus on our Blessed Mother Mary, as the Mother of Mercy.”May the sweetness of her countenance watch over us in this Holy Year, so that all of us may rediscover the joy of God’s tenderness”.

The priest from India who is the preacher for the nine day Novena, went on to say no one has penetrated the profound mystery of the incarnation like Mary. Her entire life was patterned after the presence of mercy made flesh. The Mother of the Crucified and Risen One has entered the sanctuary of divine mercy because she participated intimately in the mystery of His love.It was Mary, in obedience to God’s will, who became the Mother of His Only-begotten Son, so that He could indeed redeem and save us.

Fr Don said, so, if Jesus is Mercy Incarnate, then Mary is the Mother of God, the Mother of Mercy incarnate. How fitting it is that we call upon her as our Mother of Mercy! The sub-theme for today was “Mary, Our Mother Of Mercy”.

Fr Don also shared about the Wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1-12), where the wine ran out.Mary was quick to show mercy towards the worried couple, by asking Jesus to help. “Do whatever He tells you”, Mary told the servants. Jesus had turned water into wine. This is the first wonder miracle Jesus has worked, and that through the intercession of His Mother. Let us ask Mary to help us to do whatever Jesus tells us. Let us seek her motherly intercession that we may grow in God’s favour as we continue our pilgrimage through this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

All of us have individual needs of mind, body and soul, Fr Don mentioned. Because Mary is our mother, she desire to help us in every need, especially to lead us to Jesus. So that His mercy may enfold and embrace us, forgiving our sins, healing us of the wounds, which sin inflicts; and strengthening us to be faithful disciples.Mary attest that the mercy of God knows no bounds, and extend to everyone, without exception.

Fr Edwin in his speech, after Mass told the assembly that the parish youths are giving away prayer booklets, limited copies, compliments of the parish. He also said Fr Clarence Devadass from API has given a stack of holy pictures of icon of Mary, Mother of Mercy; and Year of Mercy wrist bands, free for the faithful.

The Chapel’s Administrator who is also the parish priest of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Jalan Peel, KL also thanked all those who had contributed food for the dinner fellowship and the two cakes, in celebrating the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Mass was animated by the parish Media Team.

Many took the opportunity to visit the beautifully decorated grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Good Health, lighting up candles and say their prayers and asking Mary to intercedes for them.

Two cakes were brought forward to the centre aisle, right below the sanctuary, where Fr Edwin Peter invited four senior parishioners to join him and Fr Don Bosco in cutting the cakes. They joined hands in unity with the clergy as both Fr John and Fr Edwin cut the cakes in commemorating the Birth of Mary.

The assembly earlier sang the birthday song dedicated to Mary.

The cakes were then later cut into small pieces and distributed to the strong crowd of 850 who turned up, not only to celebrate the Day 7 of the Chapel’s feastday but to celebrate and rejoice on the feast of Mary’s Birth.

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