e-Pilgrimage – Thanksgiving Mass on 31/1/21
We began the e-Pilgrimage via live streaming on 23rd January 2021 from the Church of St. Joseph, Sentul, KL. We took a nine-day journey with the Evening Prayer (Vespers), Novena and Litany to St. Joseph in front of the Blessed Sacrament and followed Benediction. Today, we end with a Thanksgiving Mass in honour of St. Joseph.
In the old days, 23rd January was known as a liturgical celebration of Holy spouses of Mary and Joseph or the betrothal of Mary and Joseph since 1400. Officially, in 1989, permission was granted to celebrate 23rd, with liturgical rank as a Feast Day. I only realised the Oblates of St Joseph celebrate the Feast of Holy Spouse, after we have started the e-Pilgrimage. This is no doubt, how appropriate that we started on our e-pilgrimage, together. It is really good information to all of us.
Before I came to this Parish, I only pray to St. Joseph twice in a year – the first is on the Solemnity to St. Joseph, the husband of Mary (19th March) and the second is on the feast of St. Joseph, the Worker (1st May). I only know very little of St. Joseph. Since I was posted to this parish, I started to study his works and character, and eventually started admiring him to the point that I invoke his intercessions, quite very often. I have placed St. Joseph, in a special place in my heart and devoted to him. When the Holy Father, Pope Francis has declared the Year of Plenary for the Year of St Joseph this year, I was quite excited to find out.
I am sure, after a-9-day of e-Pilgrimage and novena to the amazing generous St. Joseph in this month of January, I hope you too, will place him in a special place in your heart and your home. I believe you too gradually will have a devotion for him. I also believe that the time has arrived for you and I, to consecrate ourselves to him. Consecrating to him means to “acknowledge him as our spiritual father” and “acquire his virtues” in our lives.
The Holy Father, on this Year of Plenary Indulgence through St Joseph, has highlighted 7 virtues in his Apostolic Letter with the theme entitled – “With A Father’s Heart (Patris Corde).
- A beloved father
- A tender and loving father
- An obedient father
- An accepting father
- A courageous father
- A working father
- A father in the shadows.
These virtues do not only apply to ALL fathers but for everyone to reflect, in our own lives. In the first place we need to get to know St. Joseph and hopefully to “fall in love” with him and his works, and finally to practice the work of indulgences that speaks out to our hearts. On this year of Plenary Indulgence, we can obtain the indulgence, by being free from “all attachment to sin”. We also need to engage in the works of mercy so that we will be free from temporal punishment due for sin, (Code of Canon Law, no. 992).
In this, it is an opportunity to all of us to bring our faith to greater heights, as we walk in the footsteps of St. Joseph in our lives, as our spiritual father, once we consecrate ourselves to him. Let us grow in his virtues and constantly invoke his intercession as we bring Jesus to one another.
Today, our Church celebrates the Catechetical Sunday. For parents and teachers, it is an opportunity to reflect on our dedication and on our responsibilities to share the faith knowledge and teaching of the Church with our children. It has come to almost a year of teaching online. I must say that it is very much different method of teaching compare to our physical class attendance and I believe that most of us have learned to adjust and adapt with this digital technology as today’s way of teaching and educating.
Today’s responsorial psalms echoes, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Teachers and parents, let’s not harden our hearts but listen to His voice and to be more responsible sowers and planters of seed of faith in the hearts of our catechism children.
In the meanwhile, for most of you who had experienced the e-pilgrimage to this Pilgrim Centre – Church of St. Joseph, do come and see this church in person and partake in a Thanksgiving Mass to this remarkable Saint, once lock downs are lifted.
St. Joseph, Patron of the Catholic Church, pray for us!
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy