The parish feast of the 57 year-old Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SHC), Jalan Peel began on 21st June 2017, with the hoisting of the Sacred Heart flag, by both Fr. Edwin Peter and Fr. Vincent Thomas at the church grounds. Some 480 faithful from far and near came on Day 1 of the five-day long celebration of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Chaplet and Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was held 30 minutes prior to the multi-lingual Mass at 7.30pm. Fr. Vincent presided Mass, with parish priest Fr. Edwin as concelebrant. In his homily preached in English and Tamil, Fr. Vincent particularized on what it is to ‘Be Disciples of Hope: Be Creative, Be Inclusive and Be Bridge Builders.’ The diocesan priest said, all of us are disciples by virtue of our baptism. We are called to be disciples of hope; bringing mercy, faith, peace and love to others. As the first day of Novena began, Fr. Vincent, who is Assistant Parish Priest of the Church of Holy Family, Kajang highlighted these five words to reflect upon – disciples, hope, creative, inclusive and bridge builders.
In his homily, Fr. Vincent added:
“As DISCIPLES, we want to go into mission but many do not know how. The disciples of Jesus were mainly fishermen who only knew how to catch fish and mend nets. Yet, Jesus called them for a mission. Discipleship means people who are set apart for a mission. Jesus sent his disciples in pairs (two by two); sent by someone and received by the community.” The latest addition to the KL Archdiocese clergy also said, “By virtue of baptism, we are all disciples of Christ. We are prophets and messengers. Jesus told the disciples to go out for mission, not to bring anything like food or bag; but to totally and completely trust in God, who provides.”
Fr. Vincent went on saying how we question the existence and presence of God in times of trouble, turning to other places for solution and solace. “When trials and challenges come, how many times have we left Jesus or turned away? We must put our complete trust and faith in Jesus. As disciples of HOPE, we must try to bring consolation to peoples’ lives. The hope that you and I are looking for, is Jesus. Jesus is our real hope. He brings peace and hope to peoples’ lives. Mary brought hope to Elizabeth. When both met together, they exchanged hope. What about us for our families? Most are born Catholics. But what kind of life are we living? Do we share Christ and bring hope to others?”
On being CREATIVE, Fr. Vincent stated that adding colours and curtains to decorate Church is not the point; as we are merely satisfying ourselves. In Scripture, Jesus was creative when Martha and Mary lost their brother (Lazarus). He consoled them and brought joy to them. Creativity is not only projected on the outside, by what we wear. Creativity can be intangible. The Church today calls for us to move from our comfort zones, and be creative through imagination, inventiveness, individuality and inspiration.
On the term INCLUSIVE, we are reminded on being a united Church, having migrants and other nationalities. We were asked to think about those who have left the Church, and our family members, some who don’t go for Mass – how can we be inclusive?
Finally, as for the call to be BRIDGE BUILDERS, we need to form a strong foundation. Before we bring hope to others, we must be rooted in the Word of God. Fr. Vincent reiterated that we must be grounded in our faith and in prayer, not only on Sundays. In conclusion, all present were reminded to be effective evangelists for Christ and transform the society.
While the Liturgy of the Word was taking place in English and Tamil in church, our Mandarin-speaking parishioners congregated at the parish hall for the liturgy in Mandarin. Rocky Loo, a Minister of Evangelization from the Penang Diocese, shared on the same theme and focus. The following days till Saturday (24th June) will also see the Mandarin speaking community gather at the church hall.
After Mass, Fr. Edwin declared that Fr. Vincent will be at SHC preaching till Friday (23rd June). Fr. Martin Arlando from Penang will then be here on Saturday (24th June) and Sunday (25th June). Mandarin Mass on Sunday will be celebrated by Fr. Andrew Wong CDD.
Two petition boxes are being placed at the foot of the Sacred Heart of Jesus shrines (inside and outside Church), for those wanting to write in their petitions. These petitions will then be burnt on Sunday, 25th June after the feast celebration ends.
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