Thought for Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ Sunday C

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First Reading
Genesis 14:18-20
Melchizedek, king of Salem, blessed Abram.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 110:1-4
You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Gospel Reading
Luke 9:11b-17
They all ate and were satisfied.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today, the second Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate a second solemnity, which marks our return to Ordinary Time. Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. At one time, this day was called Corpus Christi, Latin for “the Body of Christ.” In the most recent revision of the liturgy, the name for this day is expanded to be a more complete reflection of our Eucharistic theology.

The feeding of the 5,000 is the only one of Jesus’ miracles to appear in all four Gospels. Luke places it between Herod’s question, “Who is this about whom I hear such things?” and Peter’s response to Jesus’ question about who he thought Jesus was: “You are the Messiah of God.” In Luke the feeding is not the result of Jesus’ compassion for the crowd but is instigated by the disciples. They wanted Jesus to send the crowd away to town. Instead Jesus tells the disciples to give them some food on their own.

The passage is meant to remind us of two feedings in the Old Testament: the feeding of the Israelites in the desert and Elisha’s feeding of 100 people with 20 loaves in 2 Kings 4:42-44. It is also connected to the institution of the Eucharist. As in the Last Supper accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke and in Paul’s account in 1 Corinthians 11:23-24, Jesus takes bread, looks up to heaven, blesses the bread, breaks it, and then gives it to the disciples. In using this exact language, Luke is reminding his readers that in this miracle Jesus is doing more than feeding hungry people as God did for the Israelites and the prophet Elisha did as well. The bread he gives is his body, which he will continue to give as often as the community breaks bread in remembrance of him in the Eucharist. – loyolapress.com

feeding

KK Archdiocese welcomes new priest as a Jubilee Year of Mercy gift

joshua ordination

KOTA KINABALU – “In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, many of us have experienced the love of our Merciful Father in various ways. Today, as we gather to witness the priestly ordination of Deacon Joshua Liew, that the mercy of God is concretely manifested to us.”

Aptly expressed by Archbishop John Wong in his speech after he has ordained Deacon Joshua to the priestly ministry, he continued “Yet with all our failures and sinfulness, God still raises up a new priest in the person of Joshua Liew to administer the sacraments of His love to our communities. Let us join Fr Joshua in thanksgiving and praising God for His merciful love!”

Family members, friends, parishioners from near and far packed the Sacred Heart Cathedral here to witness the ordination ceremony on 3 May 2016. With Archbishop John Wong at the altar were Archbishop Emeritus John Lee and scores of clergy from the three dioceses, and formator Fr Erik Jerome who represented St Peter’s College Kuching. Notably present were Deacon Joshua’s four batchmates in the persons of Fr John Pereira from Melaka-Johor Diocese, Fathers Harry Dorisoh and Hilanus Simon from Keningau Diocese, and Fr Stanley William from Sandakan Diocese. Batchmate Fr Robert Jissem from Kuching Archdiocese was unable to be present for the occasion.

The prelate noted that though the addition of a new priest would mean that the workload of the existing presbyterium could now be shared, he seized the opportune moment to reveal the exceedingly high ratio of priest/laity population (1:5400) within the archdiocese. Turning to the parents, he asked directly “Have you ever thought of encouraging your children to go to the seminary or convent? Have you ever made priesthood or sisterhood a possible choice when you discuss about careers with your children?”

Without letting up hope, especially in the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the prelate urged the faith community to “continue to pray for the merciful love of the Father for more vocations.”

Archbishop Wong then welcomed Fr Joshua to the presbyterium, though he has lost a deacon but gained a priest, and reminded him as he begins his new life as a priest to “always submit to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit to help you become a priest after the heart of God”.

In his response, the neo-ordained declared his love for his bishop “I look forward to continue this journey with your guidance and love!”

He explained his choice of motto “Feed my sheep” and conceded that many people who crossed his life have come across as “shepherds” leading and guiding him to the Lord.

Attesting this to the graciousness and benevolence of God towards him, he has taken up his motto and vowed to live it up for the rest of his life, “Pray for me that I may live up to this motto “Feed my sheep.” I will also pray for you,” he said.

Fr Joshua, born and bred in Kota Kinabalu, hails from the cathedral parish. The last ordination witnessed by the cathedral parish was that of Fr Mitchelly Kiun on 26 Feb  2014.

The neo-ordained, who has been assigned to the cathedral since finishing his formation in St Peter’s College in 2015 up till his diaconate, will continue to serve there as assistant to the parish priest.

 What others who have been inspired by Fr Joshua say:

Mother of Fr Joshua, Shirley Kondilis: It’s a huge grace and blessing for our family! I pray he would be a good and holy priest, and serve God’s people well!

Younger sister, Jessica: I am happy, excited, and proud of my brother! It used to feel so long, but looking back, I felt it has gone really fast! I knew he would go through it all. I have no doubt!

Younger brother, Jeremiah:I didn’t expect this day to be this big! Happy for him that he has achieved his milestone!

Younger brother, Joel:Good job, Josh! You are ready for it! And God is always with you!

Yvonne: “With another young priest in SHC, we have extra support and ears to listen to the cries of the young people!”

Eldrich: “The Church is full; it’s a sign that the Church is an ‘in thing,’  it’s not an outdated thing. Personally for me, Joshua has shown me that it doesn’t matter how young you are; when you are captured by the love of God, there’s always something fruitful in front of you and really with his courage and his ‘yes,’  I hope that the Church will continue to bear fruit.”

 

Pope Francis’ 13 Warnings against Satan

satan-devil-e1374726317425These are Pope Francis’ thirteen (13) most popular warnings against the devil:
1. When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.  First homily, 14/3/2013
2. The Prince of this world, Satan, doesn’t want our holiness, he doesn’t want us to follow Christ. Maybe some of you might say: ‘But Father, how old fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!’ But look out because the devil is present! The devil is here… even in the 21st century! And we mustn’t be naïve, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.   Homily on 10/4/2014
3. [The Devil] attacks the family so much. That demon does not love it and seeks to destroy it. […] May the Lord bless the family. May He make it strong in this crisis, in which the devil wishes to destroy it.  Homily, 1/6/2014
4. It is enough to open a newspaper and we see that around us there is the presence of evil, the devil is at work. But I would like to say in a loud voice ‘God is stronger.’ Do you believe this, that God is stronger? General audience, 12/6/2013
5. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to take these things seriously. He came to fight for our salvation. He won against the devil! Please, let us not do business with the devil! He seeks to return home, to take possession of us… Do not relativise; be vigilant! And always with Jesus!   Homily, 8/11/2013
6. The presence of the devil is on the first page of the Bible, and the Bible ends as well with the presence of the devil, with the victory of God over the devil. Homily, 8/11/2013
7. Either you are with me, says the Lord, or you are against me… [Jesus came] to give us the freedom… [from] the enslavement the devil has over us… On this point, there are no nuances. There is a battle and a battle where salvation is at play, eternal salvation. We must always be on guard, on guard against deceit, against the seduction of evil. Homily, 10/11/2013
8. The devil plants evil where there is good, trying to divide people, families and nations. But God… looks into the ‘field’ of each person with patience and mercy: he sees the dirt and the evil much better than we do, but he also sees the seeds of good and patiently awaits their germination.Homily, 20/7/2014
9. The devil cannot stand seeing the sanctity of a church or the sanctity of a person, without trying to do something.  Homily, 7/5/2014
10. Note well how Jesus responds [to temptation]: He doesn’t dialogue with Satan, as Eve did in the terrestrial Paradise. Jesus knows well that one can’t dialogue with Satan, because he is so cunning. For this reason, instead of dialoguing, as Eve did, Jesus chooses to take refuge in the Word of God and to respond with the power of this Word. Let us remind ourselves of this in the moment of temptation…: not arguing with Satan, but defending ourselves with the Word of God. And this will save us.      Angelus address, 9/3/2014
11. We too need to guard the faith, guard it from darkness. Many times, however, it is a darkness under the guise of light. This is because the devil, as saint Paul, says, disguises himself at times as an angel of light.   Homily, 6/1/2014
12. Behind every rumour there is jealousy and envy. And gossip divides the community, destroys the community. Rumours are the weapons of the devil. Homily, 23/1/2014
13. Let us always remember… that the Adversary wants to keep us separated from God and therefore instills disappointment in our hearts when we do not see our apostolic commitment immediately rewarded. Every day the devil sows the seeds of pessimism and bitterness in our hearts. … Let us open ourselves to the breath of the Holy Spirit, who never ceases to sow seeds of hope and confidence. Speech, 18/6/2013  (catholicsay.com)

SHC daily Massgoers organise two-in-one celebration for young assistant priests

 fr abel's first anniversary

KOTA KINABALU  – The Sacred Heart Cathedral daily morning Massgoers prepared a simple yet scrumptious breakfast on 7 May 2016 for the double celebration of the first sacerdotal anniversary of Fr Abel Madisang, and to welcome the newly ordained Fr Joshua Liew to the parish family at the parish canteen.

Fr Abel was ordained exactly a year, plus a day, to the day that Fr Joshua was ordained. He was ordained on 4 May 2015 while Fr Joshua was ordained on 3 May 2016.

Parish priest, Abp John Wong, who was also present for the breakfast, congratulated Fr Abel and commented that he has survived his first year happily and joyfully.

With cheek in tongue, the parish priest remarked to his new assistant priest as he welcomed Fr Joshua to the parish family, that he too should be able to survive!

Abp Wong then called on the parishioners to always pray for their priests, as well as for their bishop, as he acknowledged with gratitude their presence and fellowship in having the breakfast. – CS

Guided by Faith

opinion2In “The Joy of Love” (“Amoris Laetitia”), Pope Francis urges Catholics to consult their consciences for guidance when making moral decisions. He might be glad to hear that a recent study found many Catholics already are doing just that.

According to the Pew Research Center, 73 percent of Catholics “look to their own conscience ‘a great deal’ for guidance on difficult moral questions.” The statistics demonstrate that the exhortation is not simply a suggestion for a way forward but a powerful recognition of the current reality for many people of faith.

The church urges Catholics to make every effort to build a well-formed conscience, which often is done with the aid of church teaching and through dialogue with others.

The Pew study, however, found that most Catholics have less experience with this approach. Despite Pope Francis’ popularity and widespread media coverage, only 11 percent of Catholics look “a great deal [to the pope] for guidance on difficult moral questions.” Just 21 percent said they consulted church teachings “a great deal,” and 15 percent said they looked to the Bible. Many Catholics also reported avoiding discussions of faith with people with whom they might disagree (31 percent, the highest of any Christian denomination).

Of course, Catholics need not choose solely from among these sources as a way of informing their consciences. Yet drawing on church teaching, tradition and conversations with fellow believers—even those we disagree with—can challenge us to think more deeply about our faith and the ways it influences our moral decisions. Catholics already understand the importance of conscience; let us now set about helping one another to form it well. – America

KK prelate calls on faithful to nurture a merciful attitude

kaamatan

TELIPOK – Archbishop John Wong called on all parishioners in the archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu to nurture the character and attitude of being merciful in everything they do in life as a way to realise this year’s Kaamatan theme “Culture of Mercy, Foundation of Faith.”

In conjunction with the Jubilee Year of Mercy which began 8 Dec  2015, Archbishop Wong reminded the parishioners that indeed God wants to pour out His mercy on them and through them, on others. He called them to make this attitude of being merciful, a culture of life.

About 3000 people from the three arch/dioceses attended the 17th Kota Kinabalu Archdiocesan Kaamatan festival, 2 May 2016, at Holy Family Telipok.  The Kaamatan is held once in two years.

“Kaamatan is a thanksgiving celebration in which we realise that without God, our harvest from the works of our hands will not be multiplied,” said Archbishop Wong.

The Kaamatan began with a Eucharistic celebration.  In his homily, Abp Wong said, “In this Eucharistic Celebration, let’s offer praise and thanks to God the Father and ask for His blessings to be poured upon us this year and years to come.”

Taking from the first reading, the Book of Deuteronomy, he pointed out that the Jews who were freed from slavery, protected and blessed with provisions by God should be thankful, humble and live in obedience to Him.

He continued, “As Christians, we too, ought to give thanks for every experience in life. Although sometimes we fall sick or bear many problems, we believe that God is always with us.”

The prelate called on the parishioners to nurture the ‘give thanks’ attitude and make it a culture of life. He added that as Eucharistic people, “our lives are indeed marked with thanksgiving.”

Present at the Kaamatan festival was the guest of honour, Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Salvador Marino.

He was in Kota Kinabalu for a two-day visit. Present also were clergy from  the arch/dioceses, Korean priests who serve within the archdiocese, religious sisters from various congregations, representatives from other Christian denominations, representatives from Full Gospel Businessman Malaysia, representative from Faith Comes By Hearing International USA, members of the Kadazan Dusun Audio Bible Recording Project, Minister of Science, Innovation and Technology Malaysia Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau, and Inanam Assemblyman Dr Roland Chia.

After the Mass, all adjourned for lunch at the parish hall; various traditional foods were also served at the traditional huts.

Holy Family parish, Telipok with collaboration from St Catherine Inanam and Good Shepherd Manggatal were given the mandate to host this year’s Kaamatan under the care of Fr Bruno Yasun.

Parish priest Fr David Sham, together with Telipok organising chairman Petrus Maximus Kota led the nuncio and the archbishop to ‘walkabout’ the traditional huts to meet the parishioners and also to taste the Kadazan Dusun ethnic delicacies.

Prior to the walkabout, Abp Marino and Abp Wong were invited on stage to be garlanded, and to officiate the cake-cutting ceremony. While on stage, Abp Wong, as head of the KK Archdiocese, announced St Peter Claver Ranau to be the next host for the 18th Kaamatan Festival in 2018 under the care of Fr Nicholas Stephen.

One of the highlights of the festival was the launching of the Kadazan Dusun Audio Bible. The Kadazan Dusun Audio Bible Recording Project commenced in April 2014 with the collaboration of Faith Comes By Hearing Ministry in USA. – Linda Edward

 

Kuala Penyu hosts 23rd diocesan anniversary

kaamatan keningau

KUALA PENYU – On 2 May 2016, in Kuala Penyu, Keningau Diocese celebrated three of their yearly events: the 23rd Anniversary of Keningau Diocese, 23rd Anniversary of the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Cornelius Piong and Diocesan Kaamatan celebration. St Peter Bundu parish, under the care of Fr Boniface Kimsin, hosted this year’s 3-in-1 celebration.

Present at the celebration with Bishop Piong were Bishop Julius Gitom of Sandakan Diocese, clergy and religious of Keningau Diocese, and parishioners from far and near parishes. Invited guests who came were Datuk John Ghani, Datuk Seri Panglima Wences Angang, Tuan Limus Jury, Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Ukin and several others.

At the Eucharistic Celebration, Bishop Piong called on the congregation to give thanks to God for His guidance for the last 23 years since the diocese was established. “As people of God, we must always be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit so as to achieve our goals and dreams,” said the prelate.

Recalling his early days after being elected as bishop in 1993, he said he didn’t know what the direction the diocese should head towards. For that, he remembered the Bible verse which says “the Holy Spirit will teach and lead those who are open to Him.”  He attested that the dependency and willingness to learn from the Holy Spirit has brought him, step by step, to journey in the faith with the people of the diocese.

Bishop Piong reminded the faithful that while celebrating their 23rd anniversary, to continue to live out the theme “A Christ-centred family, a Culture of Praising God, Maturing Faith and  Socially Responsible”.

“Without a close relationship with Jesus, there is no way we can sustain in our faith. The world is rapidly moving and beliefs of all kinds are coming up, without us realising it, and this could be bringing our faith far from Christ Himself. So we need the Holy Spirit. He unites, teaches, reminds, gives us courage, defends our faith and gives witness to others,”  said Bishop Piong.

Before adjourning for lunch after the Eucharistic celebration, the Bishop announced the next host for the 24th diocesan anniversary would be Holy Cross Church in Toboh, Tambunan.

Various performances were prepared for the occasion. Bishop and his guests also visited the traditional huts to taste the local delicacies. Aldrin Benedict

Dalius Lobinjang helms Sandakan Diocesan SOCCOM 2016-18

skan soccom

LAHAD DATU – Dalius Lobinjang, chairman of St Mary’s Cathedral Parish Social Communication Ministry, Sandakan was appointed to helm the Sandakan Diocesan Social Communication Commission (SOCCOM) for a two-year term, 2016-18. Thirteen other nominated members representing the four parishes were officially appointed to sit in the commission for the said term.

The two-day inaugural meeting and formation session, which was held at St Dominic’s Church here over the weekend of 23-24 Apr 2016, was presided by Bishop Julius Gitom. In his welcoming speech, the prelate expressed his gratitude to SOCCOM members who had worked very hard. The many articles posted in the blog and later published in the Catholic Sabah and Herald was a clear sign of the members’ labor.

Such enormous work to communicate God’s word through mass media is only possible “if we journey as a team inspired by God. Continue the communication work set by God that we may fulfill His command as in Matthew 28:19-20, to ‘go and make disciples of all nations,’” urged the prelate.

Each parish social communications committee then reported on the development and progress of their ministry for the past two years, involving related activities especially on news coverage of church events.

The first formation session, which was facilitated by outgoing chairperson of the Commission Monica Lo, focused on the Pope’s message for World Communications Day 2016, themed ‘Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter’. Members spent some time reflecting on it and then shared their opinion on the gist of the message.

The incoming Commission chairman Dalius Lobinjang hoped that each parish would endeavour to draw up a programme in conjunction with WCD to be celebrated on May 8. He proposed that the video clip on World Communications Day 2016, which was produced by the Regional Commission of Social Communication, to be shown before the final blessing of the Mass. The sample poster should be printed and displayed at the church entrance adjacent to the Holy Door of Mercy. He also challenged each parish to create a short video clip based on the theme of “Mercy” to be shown during the upcoming 9th Diocesan Anniversary in Sandakan.

Members were blessed during the Sunday Mass, which was presided by Fr Simon Kontou. The incoming members of the Diocesan SOCCOM took their pledge before the presider, witnessed by the congregation. Fr Simon called upon the newly installed SOCCOM members to always remember to write on events based on facts and truth, nothing but the truth.

After the Eucharistic celebration, Rogena and Airene of Sandakan shared on “Beyond the lens.” Four participants from the Diocese of Sandakan attended the five-day workshop, jointly organised by Fondacio and Signis in Kuala Lumpur in October last year. They presented a video clip produced during their field trip, which was inspirational. They hoped that an echo programme could be held at diocesan level to train more young people to be involved in other means of effective communication.

The last session, which was facilitated by Francis Tan, touched on the importance and virtues of the Catholic printed press. He gave an analysis on the three main printed press: Today’s Catholic from Sarawak, Catholic Sabah, and Herald from West Malaysia, regarding the frequency and volume of production per issue. Apart from that, members had the opportunity to know the number of copies of the printed press ordered by each parish. Circulation for each parish is considered low. Members were challenged to ponder on the issue and find ways to rise to the challenge to increase circulation and readership. Members were also asked to discern on finding ways to attract more young people to be involved in writing news. Currently, the diocese has only a handful of committed writers.

At the end of the session, Dalius presented to each parish a 1 terabyte external hard disk as an appreciation for their commitment and continuous support. – DOSPO, Rogena RS

KK prelate blesses new premises for primary school

sk st catherine

INANAM – Students, teachers and parents of St Catherine Primary School got to witness history in the making for the school on 12 Mar 2016.

Archbishop John Wong blessed and officiated the newly constructed building of St Catherine Primary School, which was also witnessed by parish priest Fr David Sham, his assistant Fr Paul Lo, members of the Board of Governors of the primary school, Head of Archdiocese Education Commission Sr Rita Chew, Spiritual Director of the Archdiocese Early Childhood Education Committee (AECEC) Fr Jalius Sading, Head of AECEC Jennifer Anjek and other AECEC committee members.

The mission school was founded in 1947, and built in 1948 with its first block of wooden school building which was constructed to accommodate 20 students catering for primary one to primary three. The building was also used by visiting priests for Sunday Masses. In 1959-60 a new building, the second block of the school, was constructed adjoining the first one to cater to an increased student population consisting of four classes (primary four to primary six) which also included a staff room.

However, in recent years the two school blocks encountered flood problems when people living in the vicinity of the school started to fill their land for housing. Before long, the school building, which still remained in its original state, was surrounded by newer buildings at a higher level than its own. This has resulted on several occasions when the school building was partially submerged in water during heavy downpours, which was further aggravated by the existing poor drainage system in the area.

In 2014, the school board decided to dismantle the existing structure and to rebuild a new one at the same site with earth filling in order to bring the new building to the same level as the surrounding area.

The construction of the two-storey new school building began in March 2015 and was completed in August 2015.

The teachers and students occupied the new school building by January 2016. At present, there are 215 students studying in this mission primary school ranging from primary one to primary six. – Paul Chong, St Catherine BOG

CSG-UMS organises charity work in solidarity with nature

csg

KOTA KINABALU – The Catholic Student Group in UMS stood in solidarity with nature as they carried out their first charity work for this year, that is, cleaning up Tanjung Lipat beach area on 8-10 Apr 2016.

The programme was to serve three purposes; first, to give exposure to the 75 participants on current environmental issues; second, to build a sense of responsibility towards taking care of the environment; and third, to make visible Christ’s love towards nature through concrete actions.

Besides the clean-up activities, the participants received valuable inputs on environmental and spiritual aspects of stewardship of nature through video clips – Crying Earth, nature meditation, heart expression, Eucharistic celebration and talks by Dewan Bandaraya KK, delivered by David. All these took place at their CSG Centre in Kota Kinabalu.

Michelle Patrick shared her thoughts, “I feel that our habits are like the plastics buried beneath the sands, we try to pull it out but there are obstacles. Therefore we need other people to help us.” Several religious sisters from the FSIC congregation also joined in the works.

The participants were given some time to reflect on their own image which echoes nature.

Emmanuel Sidney said he is like the ‘water’ because he is always flexible.  Excyvera Kuyun said she is a tree who is looking for water and that the water itself is Jesus.

Reachel Shearer shared, “it is our responsibility to guard and protect our environment from irresponsible actions, and this is for our own good. Let us learn to love God’s creation just as He loves us all.”

A soon-to-be alumnus, Prisca Veralyn Junidih commended the CSG on this new programme, “CSG has done charity works at welfare houses and now they are engaging with nature. I have been following the charity works for four years and this year is unique especially in the inputs given.”

The programme closed with deliberation on the list of actions the CSG plans to take. They agreed to include the rubbish collecting programme ‘1 Rubbish 1 Sin (1 Sampah 1 Dosa)’ as one of their yearly activities. Clara

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