On Wednesday, 21st March 2018, the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur celebrated the Chrism Mass at the Church of St. Ignatius, Petaling Jaya at 7.00pm. The presence of a large number of individual and families from the various parishes to celebrate together the Chrism Mass was an expression and gesture of solidarity with Bishops, priests, deacons and religious. There were also those who couldn’t make it in person, but instead viewed the live stream telecast on their electronic devices.
Archbishop Julian Leow celebrated the Mass with his deacons and priests, inviting them to reaffirm their commitment to the Church once again. It is one of the most significant moments for priests to come together recommitting and rededicating ourselves to our priestly ministry. Just as the laity renew their baptismal promises and their Christian commitment on Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, priests and deacons renew their priestly commitment during the Chrism Mass, in order to obey our Archbishop and serve God’s people faithfully.
The Archbishop blessed the Oils (Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens and Oil of Sacred Chrism) which will be used in the administration of sacraments throughout the year. These mixture of olive oil and balsam fragrance are symbols of richness and fullness of God’s grace and spiritual strength. These Oils are given the grace of the Sacraments to nurture our relationships with God.
In many Arch/Dioceses of the world, the Chrism Mass often takes place on Holy Thursday morning and after the celebration, the priests and deacons return to their respective parishes for Holy Thursday celebration in the evening. At some other Arch/Dioceses however, the Chrism Mass takes place days or weeks in advance, as travelling is inconvenient. For us, we have the Chrism Mass within a week before Holy Thursday, at the discretion of the Archbishop.
As preparation for this renewal and recommitment, priest from the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese gathered for our monthly Recollection on 20 & 21 March 2018, where we were given input, reflections and prayers. It is a reminder for us to be of service to the Church and its people, and to be faithful stewards of God. During the Chrism Mass in the presence of the Archbishop and the people of God, priests and deacons renewed our dedication to Christ when we responded, “I AM.”
We united ourselves with one voice, promising to carry out Christ’s work in more effective ways, as we witness the Lord’s presence throughout our ministries. This response and renewal of commitment to our priestly ministry, is the same as when we were ordained. We believe that as the Lord began His good work in us, He will bring it to fulfillment, though us.
My dear parishioners, we are in the Holy Week, a very sacred time of the year and an important week for all Christians. Once again we are going to commemorate and remember the last week of Jesus’ life on this Earth, leading us to the great Easter celebration – the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. During this week, fix our minds and hearts on the final week of Jesus’ life – his betrayal, his trials, his suffering, his crucifixion and his death on the cross. This Holy Week, lets put aside our busy schedules and make time to read and pray the last two chapters from any of the four Gospels, in order to enact the suffering, passion and death of Jesus.
Blessings, healing, joy and peace await you and for your family this Easter. Let’s open ourselves to God, and turn our hearts and words into actions, so that it makes a difference in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLY WEEK!
Fr. George Packiasamy
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