AOHD members called to mission

Fourteen members of the Archdiocesan Office for Human Development (AOHD) were commissioned August 6, at the Church of St Anthony.

Aug 18, 2023

The fourteen commissioned AOHD members with Archbishop Julian Leow and the the clergy at the Church of St Anthony, August 6, 2023.

By Cheryl Kristine Danasamy

Fourteen members of the Archdiocesan Office for Human Development (AOHD) were commissioned August 6, at the Church of St Anthony. The Mass was presided over by Archbishop Julian Leow, with Fr Dr Clarence Devadass, Fr Paulino Miranda and Fr Andrew Manickam, OFM Cap, concelebrating.

In his sermon, the archbishop posed a question to the congregation: “What is the significance of the Feast of the Transfiguration?” He explained that Jesus had foresight that His disciples would face challenges, including persecutions and moments of doubt regarding His divinity. Jesus also recognised that some may have believed out of fear rather than true understanding. Therefore, Jesus chose to reveal His magnificent glory to His closest friends on the mountaintop.

This was to prepare them when they faced life’s trials of persecution, doubt and fear, they would have a vivid memory of the way Jesus revealed Himself. That image would serve as an anchor during times of persecution. Today, we have the Scriptures, the Creed, various documents, and doctrines, tailored to help on our faith journey, but in the early days they were still trying to understand and discover who Jesus truly was.

During every Mass, right before our eyes, the bread and wine transform into the body and blood of Jesus. Despite the numerous times our Mother appeared throughout history, we still find ourselves asking for more signs. What do we do when we encounter Christ? Do we choose to remain on the mountain (stay within the church/chapel)?

Our mission lies out there in the world. We must come down from the mountain. Although we come to church to get nourished by the Word of God and the Eucharist, and to draw strength from the community, our presence should not remain in the church. We need to return to the marketplace, our workplaces, the community, and actively serve the people.”

Before the final blessing, Archbishop Julian lit 14 candles and gave one to each AOHD member. It was a symbolic gesture that we carry the light of Christ with us and we go into the world bringing Christ’s love and the Gospel of peace to everyone we meet.

The 14 members commissioned that day included full-time and part-time staff as well as volunteers heading the various ministries under AOHD.

During the simple brunch after Mass at Dewan Dominic, AOHD director Dr Gary Liew advised the team, “While you fill the cups of others, look around you this morning and know that you are not alone, that you are loved. It can be very challenging when we keep giving and not receive in return. So, this message is a reminder to all of us to not only give love but to also receive love from family and friends.”

Archbishop Julian advised the team to not only address current challenges but to also anticipate upcoming ones. This would enable them to be prepared and innovative. The theme for the PMPC IV in 2016 emphasised that the Church should be creative, bridge-building, and inclusive. As a Church, we cannot be navel-gazing or stuck within its four walls. While the Church needs lectors and communion ministers, our impact should extend beyond its boundaries and be witnesses in the world. While no single person can accomplish everything, the collective efforts of many can yield significant achievements.

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