While I was reflecting on what to write this weekend, I realised that there is a need for all of us to conquer evil. On Thursday, 13 February 2020, the Benedictus antiphon of the morning prayer (Lauds) echoed – “Let us serve the Lord in holiness, and he will deliver us from the hands of our enemies,” (cf. Luke 1:74).
Jesus came into the world to bring God’s salvation, so that His people would serve freely – without fear and in holiness. Even when we are under the threat of evil, the Lord will deliver us from the hands of our enemies so that we are able to serve Him in holiness. Every one of us faces evil, and we can only conquer it when we persevere in prayer life, are persistent in our faith and disciplined in our behaviour. When we wish to do good, God will give us His grace to overcome evil with His goodness. Doing good doesn’t come naturally in our lives. It is a permanent struggle between good and evil as St. Paul described, “the good thing I want to do, I never do; the evil thing which I do not want – that is what I do,” (Romans 7:19). When we have positive struggles, God will make us progress in His goodness.
The Lenten season begins in approximately 10 days. It is time to love God, to do good and to pray to God, as we prepare ourselves for His grace. While we wait for the Lenten message from the Holy Father for the year 2020, I would like to share with you what the Archdiocesan Office for Human Development (AOHD) of Kuala Lumpur has prepared for us this Lent. On Wednesday, 12 February 2020, we invited all BEC Leaders to come for a Lenten Campaign briefing by Gabriel Moses, Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) Chairman. Although only a few turned up for the briefing, it was still a productive session, culminating in the dissemination of Lenten Campaign materials such as guide books, Lenten welfare service envelopes, stickers for kids to save money, etc.
For the past three years (2018-2020) the AOHD set the theme “Caring for Our Common Home” and this year’s sub-theme is – “Stewards Protecting Creation.” We are reminded to continue our efforts in caring for and preserving our common home through various actions, in order to care for, protect and preserve our planet Earth for future generations. We should strive to care for and protect the Earth – Our Home – from all kinds of destruction and the throw away culture / mentality. We live in a world where everything is seen as “disposable, replaceable or temporary.” We need to be more responsible and more passionate – guarding creation, human beings, land, seas, plants and animals, and nurturing these through our stewardship.
We, as stewards of God’s creation, should be willing to protect and not waste or abuse nature and its resources. This Lent we shall “press on” by making every effort in preserving and caring for our common home as our vocation is solely given by God. It is also a challenge for us to respond to the call of the Holy Father Pope Francis in his Encyclical on “Laudato Si” (meaning “be praised”) that focuses mainly on the environment. Every individual person living on this Earth has a duty “in shaping the future of our Planet,” and “to make the serious commitment to respect and care for creation,” and “to combat the waste and throw away culture.”
In our Parish, we have an ongoing recycling project from which we earn between RM400-RM500 monthly and the proceeds thereof are channelled to the Ministry of the Poor. This Lent, let us all work together as a community to make the effort in reducing, reusing and recycling our waste. If you have any recyclable wastes, these should then be cleaned and separated and placed into our recycle bins. Our recycling efforts will go a long way in helping with our outreach to the poor.
by Rev. Fr. George P.