With Mary’s Birth, sorrow & darkness begin to disperse

KAMPUNG PANDAN:- The annual nine day Novena and Mass in celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Good Health culminated with a candle- light procession on the evening of September 10, 2016. Earlier in the morning there was also a Mass with Anointing of the Sick.

The main celebrant for the evening Mass that saw some 2,000 strong crowd gathered at the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Health was Fr Don Bosco from India. Con-celebrants were Chapel’s Administrator Fr Edwin Peter and Fr Lawrence Andrew SJ from Petaling Jaya. The sub-theme was “Sharing God’s Mercy To The Needy”.

After the Rosary and Novena to Our Lady of Good Health, the Mass begins at 6pm, which is celebrated in English/Tamil. Fr Don preached in Tamil, whereas Fr Lawrence preached in English.

The Jesuit priest told the assembly that there is a great impact for all of us, a great faith, touching on the Gospel of John- where Jesus asked the apostles to feed the people, because they have no food, to send them back; but Jesus said feed them yourselves. The first task of the Church is to proclaim the message of mercy of God. To live that mercy. Jesus was merciful and show His mercy when he saw the crowd, asked the disciples to do something. They said it is not possible; human calculation misses out on mercy. Divine calculation embraces mercy, embraces everyone of us. When Jesus ask them to do, to feed them, He is also instructing them,that this is also a Christian experience- that we care for others. When we begin to care for others, we show that mercy. If not, we are just saying or he deserve that much and that’s it.We calculate by our human standard. That’s what Philip said 200 denaries, but he said bring in the trust in God, bring in the Christian experience, see how God loves you and uses you to show His mercy to others.

Fr Lawrence said indeed a Christian experience is showing mercy for others. That is what Mary, our Mother did. When she was told that she will be the mother of the Son of God, the mother of mercy, her first instance of hearing the news was to show mercy, to show concern, to show present to her own cousin who was already six month pregnant. That’s mercy- to become presence to others, to be of help. Mercy is not something complicated, too difficult for us to do. Jesus learning from His own mother,how to be presence to others, was present to these people who gathered to listen to Him. And from a little five loaves and two fish He feed the thousands.

When Mary was told she is to be come the mother of Jesus, she said I’m just a little girl, how could this happen to me?. ButFr Lawrence said the answer she received, do not fear,for with God everything is possible, nothing is impossible with God. And so did from a small little thing of five loaves Jesus multiply, and that is what we are celebrating today. what Jesus learn from His mother He carried out to the whole people. Being small is beautiful, and we can do great thing, and we are able to do it, if we feel we can do it, then we become the mirror of God’s mercy. We become the mirror of God’s mercy, as Mary became the mirror of God’s mercy,as Mary became the very presence of God, the ark of God’s covenant, making it possible for God to be with us. Therefore we can become the mirror of God’s mercy, in this way we will be able to share more than what we are able to do. When we put our faith and trust in God, it is God Himself who is doing the work that made the five loaves multiply, not the apostles;God Himself made it possible for them.

The Parish Priest from the Church of St Francis Xavier went on to say mercy means a loving God to work through us, a loving God to have a space in you, as Mary did. She brought Jesus to the world .And she has become today the Mother of Health, of Hope; so that we can begin to trust in God, we can hope for the joy of caring for others and hope for others bringing abundance of God’s mercy. We become the mirror of God’s mercy, as Mary became the mirror of God’s mercy. As Pope Francis said Jesus is the face of God’s mercy. We can equally become the face of God’s mercy. How can I become the face of God’s mercy?. Fr Lawrence added is to start in your own home first.Show the love and mercy of God in your family, then your children can follow and then all can reach out to others with God’s mercy and compassion.

After Mass ended, the procession begins, with the beautifully decorated float of Our Lady of Good Health went into procession, leading the way. Fr Edwin who is also the Parish Priest of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Jalan Peel, said the procession is a prayerful activity, witnessing our faith. Hence all the faithful are requested to participate prayerfully. The Rosary was prayed in five languages during the procession that took some 50 minutes. After the procession around the roads of the chapel’s vicinity, it returned back to the chapel. Benediction was then conducted, before all adjourned for dinner fellowship held in the Chapel’s grounds.