The holidays have come to end. Most of you would have already gone back to work and school children have already started their new academic year on Thursday, 2 January 2020. Christmas parties too would have ended early and most likely all your Christmas cookies, finished by now.
I hope you have not taken down your Nativity Scene (crib), Christmas tree and Christmas ornaments, even though many shopping malls and shops have already put up their Chinese New Year decorations. For us, the Christmas season doesn’t end until after the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord (5 January 2020) and the Baptism of the Lord (12 January 2020). Christmas time is important as it gives us a way of reflecting on what Incarnation means in our lives: “The word became Flesh, He lived among us,” (John 1:14).
The awaiting months, decade and year 2020 are at hand! We have celebrated the New Year countdown with lots of anxiety and hope that this year will be much better and brighter than previous years. Before the dawn of the New Year, we would have spent time making lists with all kinds of resolutions, although I am sure most of us will forget about them by the end of January. However, what we really need to ask ourselves is, “What is the one most important thing that I want different in my life this New Year?” Instead of cracking our heads about so many things, we need to focus on just one thing, and seek God’s help to make this progress fully and completely. If we want to progress spiritually in the next 12 months, we need to keep our spirits high with hope and aspiration – let the Psalmist’s prayer become our prayer: “O Lord give success to the work of our hands,” (Ps 90:17).
We are saddened to hear about our Parishioners from the Myanmar Zommi community who lost a mother and two sons on the first day of the year 2020. Lucy Cing Sian Huai (31yo, mother) and her two sons – Mathias Thang Sian Sang (4yo) and Philip Pau Khan Lian (2yo) died on the spot when a car hit them while they were waiting at the shoulder of the road around 8.00 am in Balakong, Kajang. Her husband, David En Khen Sing (39yo) was asleep at home after returning from night duty. It is surely devastating for the husband who now grieves over the deaths of his wife and his two young sons. The family has been staying in Malaysia for almost 10 years and they were faithful in attending the Myanmar Mass on Sundays, in our Parish.
I met the husband and the Zommi community when we gathered at their home for the memorial prayers in Balakong. Once the bodies are released from the hospital mortuary, the bodies will then lie in wake at St’ Joseph’s funeral parlour until arrangements to repatriate the bodies to Myanmar are finalised. The leaders of the Zommi community are currently working on the relevant documentation with the Myanmar Embassy and making all other necessary arrangements for the repatriation. We will have the wake services at the parlour and the funeral Mass will be held sometime next week at the church, before sending them to the airport.
I hope our Parishioners will come together to pay their last respects and give support to the husband as well as the Zommi community. We may not know the deceased persons personally, but this tragedy and loss bring profound grief and sadness to all of us. It is not easy to accept this kind of tragic death, especially just after Christmas. Grief is so overpowering, consuming and uncontrollable.
Accepting their loss will be truly difficult and painful. The deceased will be missed and never forgotten. As a remembrance, we will display a photo of the family, which was taken on Christmas Day 2019 at our Nativity Scene, until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. After that, the photo will be hung in our Parish office. We shall continue to remember them in our prayers. We shall also continue to prayer for the Zommi community and for the deceased family members during this time of grief. May their souls rest in peace.
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy