KAMPUNG PANDAN:- This year, the nine day Novena and Mass for the feast celebrations of Our Lady of Good Health with the anchored theme "Mary, Intercessor of Good Health", started on a meaningful and solemn footing on August 31, 2018 at the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Health. More than 900 faithful from far and near converged at the evening celebrations and witnessed the flag raising or hoisting by both Fr Simon Lau and Fr Christopher W. Soosaipillai.
According to Chapel's Administrator and parish priest of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Fr Edwin Peter, the nine days celebrations will see different focus, that will be highlighted in the homily for the daily preaching. For Day 1, we shall focus on "Prudence". Fr Edwin said each day we take different focus ,all taken from the characteristics of Mother Mary.
Fr Edwin also mentioned that everyday during the nine day chapel's feast celebrations, there will be Confessions available, even during Mass, for pilgrims. Archbishop Emeritus Murphy Pakaim was seen in the Confessional on Day 1.
The Mass was presided by Fr xavier Andrew, Fr Mari Arokiam, Fr Simon Lau, Fr Christopher W. Soosaipillai, and Fr Edwin Peter.
In his homily preached in both English and Tamil, Fr Xavier who focused on Prudence, and gave the meaning of this word as Practical Wisdom. "What is different between wisdom and practical wisdom? Wisdom, God in all,magnanimity is wisdom. Practical wisdom is share in our daily life".
Fr Xavier from the Church of the Visitation in Seremban shared a story of a lady and husband. She said she is losing her mind and husband said every morning you have been giving part of your mind and now it is 'empty' it all. We are like that, said the diocesan priest. Conflict with ourselves.' Be honest with yourself'.
There must be some little change between husband and wife, and with others. Practical wisdom, when I change, others change.
"Let this be your parish retreat or be your individual retreat. Let you change after these nine days".
He posed a question to the assembly.After celebrating 25 years of feast (coming here yearly), we need to ask ourselves, Have we changed in our lives? Fr Xavier said we have a human tendency to forget and we need to have someone to remind us over and over again. He said we suppose to go back edified,renewed after each time we go for feast day celebrationsd.
Touching on the day Gospel Reading (Matthew 25:1-13) about the Parable of the Ten Virgins. How foolish the 5 bridesmaid for not bringing along enough oil. How foolish we have been, only you know. How prudence are we in making our choice and decisions in life?, asked Fr Xavier to the assembly.
"The problem is we are not able to practice prudence, because our mind is subtracted not paying attention. We need to focus. Surely the Lord will 'pickle' in my life, to be mindful, to overcome many confusion in our lives".
Fr Xavier mentioned that we need to read the Bible and become the Bible to others. In Kg Pandan there are many different people of different faiths living together, we need to watch ourselves. Very often not realizing that we are searching that prudence elsewhere, when it is inside us.
As for him, Fr Xavier said he has let prudence and the Lord convicted him; who able to be convinced. I have changed in 25 years. What about us after 25 years? We too must change. Wisdom must be able to change our behaviour'. Yet, some people, same problem they shared 20 years ago and now the same. The need to stop sinning.Fr Xavier reiterated that outside only momentary joy. Only inside you permanent joy.
The recently ordained priest said if you let wisdom, there are three things we can never recover in our life. He said
(1) Words, after it has been spoken.(People gossiping. Words after been spoken, hurting and brings others down. We need to learn to speak with kind words).
(2) An opportunity, once it is missed.(Have prudence to enjoy this breath that God given us. Once gone, we are death);
(3) Time, once it is gone.(Many have short time left. Don't waste it. Make value your time for God, as He is there waiting for you).
Fr Xavier also quoted several versus about prudence from the scriptures.He said you are precious people in God's eyes.
Earlier before Mass, Rosary and Novena to Our Lady of Good Health was held.
Before the Recessional, Fr Xavier invited the assembly to relax and close their eyes as they have just received the Lord in the Eucharist."We receive Him so many times. Just relax, breath in and out.Be comfortable to enjoy this moment of grace the Lord has given you".
"Thank the Lord Jesus for giving me grace. In the past, I have been unconscious. Life is short and be like Mother Mary with her 'Yes' respond to God. We are so distracted with the externals. We needed you Lord to come inside us and acknowledge Your presence in my life. Thank You Lord, for touching me and ask for Your forgiveness and praise You, like Mary did. I want to magnify You Lord, and transform my life to praise You".
Fr Edwin in his short speech after Mass welcome all those who came here for the first time. He also thanked all the clergy present.
Fr Simon Lau said the anointing of the sick is a sacrament, for the sick. Some asked Mary for prayers, intercessions. Anointing for the sick is not magical. This sacrament comes together with sacrament of reconciliation. Normally those who want to receive anointing of the sick must first go for confession. Most of our sickness caused by our sins. There is no short cut. If you want to be heal, we need to forgive and ask God for forgiveness. If we sin, the oil we received will not be enough. We don't degrade the sacrament.
The assistant parish priest of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus also said some sickness, when our life changed, we get healed. Word of God can heal, it is very powerful. Don't forget. Sacrament of Anointing is for those sick, not for anyone to receive simply. "Do not be a devotee, but be a disciple of Christ and know the truth, the faith and be true followers of Jesus Christ".
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