When I joined the seminary in February 1995, one of my favorite lecturers was the late Reverend Father Moses Lui Fook Soon, who passed away on 18 August 2021. He taught Salvation History during my Initiation Year and the class comprised of five students in total. I remember clearly one occasion when Fr Moses Lui walked into class, and without saying much, he gave us a written examination. No one was prepared, and although we objected to this, he was very insistent. A week after the exams, we obtained our results… as expected, all of us failed!
Soon after, each one of us was called in for an oral examination and again we all failed! We accused him of intentionally failing all of us (twice!), but he just smiled instead and said that we deserved to obtain a passing mark in the Salvation History paper. We soon found out from some seniors that he enjoyed giving his students a tough time. It was his way of disciplining us and forming us to be intellectuals. Once in a while I would meet with Fr Moses Lui for “internal forums” – to seek guidance, advise and encouragement in my vocational discernment and faith journey.
The following year Fr Moses Lui returned to serve in his diocese and was appointed Vicar General of the Melaka-Johor Diocese. I hadn’t seen him for eight years, until he surprised me with his presence at my Priestly Ordination in February 2003. From then on, we continued to build our friendship. He visited me at all the Parishes I served – in Kuantan, Terengganu, Seremban and in Sentul. We have celebrated Masses together and he has presented talks and shared the Word of God and Church documents with my Parishioners, which was his cup-of-tea.
I remember the day the two of us had a discussion on the Luminous Mysteries or Mysteries of Light. Saint John Paul II published an Apostolic Letter entitled, Rosarium Virginis Mariae (The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary) on 16 October 2002 which announced the addition of the Luminous Mysteries to the Rosary. Fr Moses Lui explained to me that each decade in the Luminous Mystery speaks about a change – a change to something greater:
|i.||The Baptism of the Lord – the water of baptism changes from our old self to a rebirth of a new self, new life (2 Cor 5:17)|
|ii.||The Wedding at Cana – the first miracle of Jesus changes water into wine, (Jn 2:1-11).|
|iii.||Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom of God – Jesus invites us to change our hearts and repent and believe in the Gospel, (MK 1:14)|
|iv||The Transfiguration of the Lord – the change of Jesus’ appearance reminds us that we too need to be changed and transformed by Christ, (MK 9:2-3)|
|v.||The Eucharist – the bread and wine change into the Body and Blood of Christ, (MT 26:26-28, MK 14:22-24, LK 22:19-20).|
I learned from Fr Moses Lui the insights of the Luminous Mystery – that change is difficult and changes in life can be a real challenge for every one of us. Fr Moses Lui holds a special place in my heart – for his friendship, spiritual direction, motivation, advise, care and concern during my first year at the seminary, and also as a priest. He was instrumental in my priestly journey and I would not have progressed as much as I have now, without his guidance. I have lost a wonderful and dear friend, whom I will miss dearly. The Church too has lost a faithful and selfless shepherd.
Reverend Fr Moses Lui – may the angels lead you into paradise, may the martyrs welcome you and take you to the holy city, the new and eternal Jerusalem!
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy