My encounter with a messenger of mercy

I have to admit, that at times in life, I do go through challenging periods. Giving 100 per cent to what I do and expecting others to do the same does not seem to go down well with some people in my life.

Jun 17, 2016

Dear Editor,
I have to admit, that at times in life, I do go through challenging periods. Giving 100 per cent to what I do and expecting others to do the same does not seem to go down well with some people in my life. These moments are indeed trying for me. Anger is one of my weaknesses when confronted with difficult and inefficient people

However, I felt comforted and hopeful when I recently met up with a messenger of mercy, Fr Dias Antony, aged 40 from Kerala, India. He was at Risen Christ Church, Penang May 17-19.

As most of us may already know, messengers of mercy are appointed by our Holy Father, Pope Francis on the recommendation of the respective priest’s Bishop.

According to Catholic News Service (www. catholicnews.com), our Holy Father Pope Francis marked the beginning of the Church’s Lenten journey by specially appointing a few hundred missionaries and gave them the mandate to preach God’s mercy and special authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See. These messengers of mercy are to be “signs and instruments of God’s pardon.”

Through the three days that Fr Dias was with us, I was touched, most of all, by the homilies that he delivered. The crux of his homilies was always centred on the Eucharist. He encouraged us to bring our troubles to the table of the Lord whenever we celebrate Mass.

What touched me most was when he advised me that I should fervently pray for the Lord’s help with these words, “Lord, help me to overcome.” This he shared with me during the Sacrament of Reconciliation and will forever be etched in my mind.

I managed to have a short interview with him on the last day.Fr Dias comes across as a humble and modest person, crediting his appointment to be a messenger of mercy not through any merit of his, but through God’s grace that he is recommended by his Bishop. He further emphasized that through the mercy of God, our Holy Father has appointed the messengers of mercy to be available to everyone in the Church throughout the Holy Year of Mercy.

Fr Dias has a busy schedule of celebrating the Eucharist, listening to confessions, blessing the faithful and giving talks as a messenger of mercy the whole time that he is with any particular parish compared to being a parish priest at home.

However, what surprised him was that even though he was practically on his feet the whole day, he did not feel tired at all! Fr Dias is happy that he had been invited by our Bishop Sebastian Francis.

God bless you abundantly, Fr Dias. You have done your job well. I feel so privileged at being given the chance of meeting you.

Stephanie Cheong
Via email

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