At the Masses last weekend (25 & 26 January), we celebrated Sunday of the Word of God in our Parish. As a part of our homilies, Monsignor James Gnanapiragasam and I preached about the official logo of the Sunday of the Word of God, which was unveiled at the Vatican on 17 January 2020. In all our weekend Masses, including the Myanmar Mass, we explained the significance of the logo and the chosen theme: Encountering Jesus on the Road to Emmaus by two disciples (Cleopas and Mary, his wife).
Some people were not aware that the third Sunday in Ordinary Time is also known as Sunday of the Word of God. In our Parish, we celebrated this newly established Sunday of the Word of God in a simple enthronement of the Book of Gospel by placing it at the front of the main sacred altar. Even though it was a small gesture of enthronement, we made known the importance of reading the Word of God and encouraging everyone to have a deeper appreciation and love for the Word of God as well as a desire to live a life of faith. When we implement and “make room for the very Word of God” in our daily lives, we will gradually experience the “closeness of God in our lives” and how He leads us into “deep waters,” (cf. Homily of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, 26 January 2020).
Every now and then, we should make an effort to read the daily Mass readings which has been set by the Catholic Church. I believe that every home has a 2020 Catholic calendar. In that calendar you will find the references for the day’s readings and also, saint(s) of the day. Nowadays, the Word of God is available in many forms and languages, even as an “app” on your gadgets. The Holy Father encourages us “each day, let us read a verse or two of the Bible,” and “let us keep it open on our table, carry it in our pocket, read it on our cell phones, allow it to inspire us daily.”
In January, the clergy (Bishops, Priests and Deacons) of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur had our Clergy Annual Pastoral Assembly (CAPA) from 13-16 January (Monday-Thursday) at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Institute (API), Kuala Lumpur. The theme for this year was “Self- Care and the Need for Priestly On-going Formation.” It was a reminder to all Clergy to look into our health and the need for on-going formation. The same goes to all parishioners – where you too need to look after yourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually and the need for on-going formation for your own personal growth and renewal. There are many formations and spiritual retreats being offered in our Parish, district and at Archdiocese levels.
All of us have responsibilities in life and are often busy with so many things. We struggle to find time for ourselves and to be with the Lord. It can be very challenging, but when we practice self-care, we are able to grow in a healthier way and become more confident and productive in life. We can also make better decisions, build stronger relationships and be effective communicators of the Good News. We must make sure we take good care of our bodies, minds and souls. We must learn to eat right, stress less, exercise regularly and take periodical holidays with our families.
We have been promoting the ALPHA program in our Parish for the past one month. From 1 February 2020, the program will run for 10 consecutive Saturdays, including a weekend away. There are a total of 65 participants signed up for the program, with 15 ALPHA facilitators and they will be busy for the next two months! There will be a few more formations coming up in the near future, and I encourage all Parishioners to get involved and be equipped with the knowledge of God, so that you may be a source of effective ministry serving God and His people.
Rev. Fr. George P.
Rev. Fr. George P.