Called to be missionary disciples of mercy, joy and hope

“Someone is witnessing Christ, otherwise this wouldn’t have happened: the several thousand adults who believe in Jesus Christ who were baptised during the recent Easter Vigil in the country.

May 18, 2019

By Bernard Anthony
“Someone is witnessing Christ, otherwise this wouldn’t have happened: the several thousand adults who believe in Jesus Christ who were baptised during the recent Easter Vigil in the country. You are missionary disciples of mercy, joy and hope, baptised and sent,” said Bishop Sebastian Francis at the 3.00pm Mass on the parish feastday of the Church of the Divine Mercy (CDM), on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 28, 2019.

The Bishop of Penang said, as we celebrate the feast of the Divine Mercy, we enter into the very heart of God, coming through Jesus’ mercy and compassion. He highlighted that mercy in Malay is Kerahiman, which also means womb. “Enter into the heart of God, into the womb of God, enter not with emotion or words but with silence.

The womb of giving birth to mercy, the whole of nature is alive. Mercy is much more than devotion.” Bishop Sebastian presided over the Mass with CDM parish priest, Fr Gerard Theraviam, and Fr Gregory Chan from Assumption, concelebrating. Assisting was Deacon Joseph Gomez.

The Church was packed with parishioners and pilgrims from other parishes. Bishop Sebastian, who had celebrated two earlier Masses, said, our natural minds enter in silence, we keep on saying this: “Jesus, I trust in You.” As trust deepens, we will learn surely to surrender to the divine will. On Mercy, Joy and Hope, the bishop said mercy is about the mercy of the Father, the first Person of the Trinity.

All of us are invited to experience the Joy of the Gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Hope is demanded by the Holy Spirit before we become missionaries of hope and mercy. Joy without Mercy is superficial and won’t last. The prelate went on to say that Christ revealed to John that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. Bishop Sebastian said whether we are old or in a wheelchair, whatever our condition — we are called to be missionaries of Hope, Mercy and Joy.

“We are called to be part of God’s Kingdom. Look at the Gospel; mission begins when we meet the Risen Lord.” “We who are baptised, will experience not only the crucified Jesus, but the Risen Lord. The room doors were closed (making reference to the 2nd Sunday of Easter Gospel text), because of fear. Jesus appeared.

The Risen Lord allowed the apostles to see His wounds so that they could understand and relate to His crucifixion. Jesus’ first words were ‘Peace be with you’, which He uttered three times.” Bishop Sebastian said 50 days of the season of Easter allows us to meet the Risen Lord. That’s why we can say “Jesus, I trust in You,” The prelate called on the young people of CDM to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

After Mass, Fr Gerard welcomed all from far and near to the feastday, which was preceded by Novena and Masses. He thanked all the different celebrants and preachers. Then he invited the assembly for tea fellowship, in the parish grounds. Bishop Sebastian, in his parting words said, “Go and be missionaries of Joy, Mercy and Hope.”

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