Reflection for 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

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First Reading
Jeremiah 20:10-13
Jeremiah expresses confidence that the Lord will protect him.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 69:8-10,14,17,33-35
God responds to the prayers of those in need.

Second Reading
Romans 5:12-15
Sin came into the world through one person; so salvation came through one person for many.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 10:26-33
Jesus assures the Twelve that God cares about them.

Background on the Gospel Reading

We read today’s Gospel in the context of last week’s Gospel in which Jesus sent the twelve disciples to proclaim the kingdom of heaven. In between last week’s reading and today’s reading, Jesus has predicted that the disciples will face difficulties in their mission. Many people will not receive them well, even within the land of Israel. Even family members will turn away from the disciples because of the disciples’ commitment to Jesus and the kingdom. Today’s Gospel offers the disciples consolation against this difficult truth.

This section of Matthew’s Gospel should be read in the context of Matthew’s intended audience, a Jewish-Christian community. The Gospel alludes to the dangers and persecutions that this community has most likely already faced and will continue to face. To reassure this community, Matthew recalls for them the encouraging words of Jesus that we read today.

In this Gospel passage, Jesus might be understood as putting suffering in perspective. The disciples of Jesus are called upon to keep their focus on God. Those who can harm the body do not have ultimate power; God does. Still, persecution and suffering can not be avoided or prevented. But Jesus reassures his disciples that God knows and cares about what happens to his children.

We might not face the same type of persecution, but we do experience difficulties as we endeavor to live a Christian life. Sometimes we let the opinions of others prevent us from doing what we know to be right. We need the reminder that what God thinks about us is more important. We are reassured by the promise that God cares for us and protects us. – loyolapress.com

Pope Francis’ 2017 Intentions

June 2017

National Leaders

That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimises so many innocent people.

Liturgical Feasts

June 01: St Justin Martyr

June 03: Mary Queen of Apostles / St Charles Lwanga & Companions

June 04: Pentecost Sunday

June 05: St Boniface

June 09: St Ephrem

June 11: Trinity Sunday

June 13: St Anthony of Padua

June 18: Corpus Christi

June 21: St Aloysius Gonzaga

June 22: Sts John Fisher, Thomas More and Paulinus of Nola

June 23: Sacred Heart of Jesus (Sanctification of Priests)

June 24: Birth of St John the Baptist

June 27: St Cyril of Alexandria

June 28: St Irenaeus

June 29: Sts Peter and Paul

 

Children concert enlivens parish family carnival

A group of children participate in one of the action song performances, SHPC, 25 Jan 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – The children concert enlivened the Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish Family Carnival held at the parish centre here on 25 June 2017.

It marked the end of the weeklong programme of activities marking the parish feast day starting June 19.

The children concert catered to kindergarten and primary school children and their families.  The first part consisted of three action song and dance (in BM, English, Mandarin) whereby the parishioners were all invited to join the children in singing and dancing.

The second part showcased the talents of the participating children in singing, dancing, playing musical instruments either solo or as a group.  There were almost 200 participants.

The gift for each participant was a red sling bag with the parish feast day logo printed on it, presented to them by Archbishop John Wong.

From 7 am to 2 pm, parishioners patronised the different food stalls operated by the various parish groups, ministries or communities of both the cathedral parish and its subparish of Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang.

Father Joshua Liew officiated the blessing of the stalls followed by the sprinkling of holy water with Father Max Hontor.

Children had fun playing with the two inflatables located at the sides of the hall.

The youth had a needle threading game and a quiz on the seven sacraments, the ten commandments, the church hierarchical offices, and the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit (CCC).

The senior parishioners had their coffee corner located on the right wing of the parish centre with free food from the parish.  After donating his blood at the Blood Donation Campaign, Abp Wong took time to chat with the seniors from the first and second Masses.

Of course, grand prizes such as flat Panasonic tv screen, washing machine, bicycle, etc awaited the winners of the three sets of lucky draws.  The flat tv screen was won by Somphon of CMI.

Youth showcase talents at parish family night concert and dinner

Attendees hold lighted candles as they follow in their mind the song  “Go Light Your World,” SHPC, 24 June 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – Members of the different youth groups/ministries showcased their talents at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish Family Night Concert and Dinner at the parish centre here on 24 June 2017.

The event took place after the Sunset Mass presided by Archbishop John Wong.  Joining him at the altar were retired Archbishop John Lee and Father Joshua Liew.

Around 700 people including the religious sisters and pastoral council chairman Jason Joenoi turned up for the dinner and concert.

The event was marked by a variety of performances including testimonies by a young altar boy in English, a youth in BM and another in Mandarin, on how the parish has touched their lives and why they remain in the parish.

A surprise number was the cake-cutting by 83-year-old Abp  Lee, to mark his 30th episcopal anniversary (June 26).

Among the highlights were the rendition of “Amazing Grace” by assistant pastor Father Joshua Liew and his band, and the medley choral performance by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.

The event ended with the lighting of candles of all those present for the song presentation of Christopher Rice’s “Go Light Your World” (1995) before the closing prayer and blessing by Abp Wong.

Holy Spirit Day Camp draws 117 participants

Children participate in one of the action songs, Children’s Holy Spirit Day Camp, 6-8 June 2017, SHPC.

KOTA KINABALU – This year’s Children’s Holy Spirit Day Camp drew 117 participants from Primary 2 to 6.

Organised by the Royal Ambassadors Children’s Ministry of the Light of Jesus Christ Covenant Community (LJCCC), it was held on 6-8 June 2017 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here with the theme Lights, Camera, Action!

The camp started with a time of lively Praise & Worship and an introduction to the camp theme. It was followed by a fun-filled and exciting Transformer Mission Race. The first day of camp ended with a  camp fire.

Day two of the camp began with a lively & spirit-filled praise & worship led by the RA Youth. Then the children broke into different groups for sharings & workshops on God’s love, Holy Spirit and New Life in Christ. In the evening, there was a special session for the parents while the children had a prayer and healing prayer session

The final day of the camp also commenced with a lively Praise & Worship led by the RA Youth. After that, the children were led into repentance through prayer stations and praying over for empowerment of the Holy Spirit. To give thanks for God’s blessings throughout the camp, a Mass was celebrated by  Archbishop John Wong. The camp concluded with a concert of dance and songs performed by the camp participants. – Bernard Liew

“War Room” draws unexpected large response

A section of the crowd present at the movie night, SHPC, 23 June 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – The movie “War Room” drew an unexpectedly large response when it was screened on 23 June 2017 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here, to the delight of the organisers.

Before the two-hour movie was halfway through, Room F7 was jam-packed with parishioners including some religious sisters.

“War Room” is a 2015 American Christian drama film directed by Alex Kendrick and co-written and produced by Stephen Kendrick.

With great jobs, a beautiful daughter (Alena Pitts) and a dream house, the Jordans seem to have it all. Appearances can be deceiving, however, as husband Tony (TC Stallings) flirts with temptation and wife Elizabeth (Priscilla Shirer) becomes increasingly bitter, crumbling under the strain of a failing marriage. Their lives take an unexpected turn for the better when Elizabeth meets her newest client, Miss Clara (Karen Abercrombie), who encourages the couple to find happiness through prayer.

The event was organised by the parish social communications committee (SOCCOM) as part of the weeklong parish fiesta. The SOCCOM committee organises regular movie screenings as one of its activities.

Sports component of SHC fiesta draws good response

Father Joshua (R) in action, SHPC, 23 June 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – The sports component of the Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish fiesta drew a good response from the parishioners.

The Fellowship Football Match held on 21 June 2017 at the Penampang Stadium A drew six teams: SHC, Church of Mary Immaculate, clergy/seminarians, Dontozidon, Kobusak and Kopungit.  SHC team was the overall champion with six points and three goals.

The Badminton Friendly Match on June 23 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre also drew a good response from the parishioners.

Preliminary rounds were held every Sunday starting in May.

On the final day, Archbishop John Wong and Father Federick Raymond played against George Low and John Ho in the opening match.

Among the players were Father Joshua Liew and several members of the Boys Brigade.

Daryl Siponong won the Single Men Open while Danny Ka/James Paustine won the Double Men Veteran.

Prsy Asun/Jayelien Paingin won the Double Women with Grace Fung/Cecilia Amid as first runners-up and Seimi Gutok/Maria Kinjau as second runners-up.

In the Mix Double, the champs were Jouni and Marcella with Alex and Diana in the second place and Brandon and Jayelien in the third place.

According to Pope Francis, Sports is a human activity of “great value, able to enrich people’s lives. An important characteristic of sports is that it is not just for professional athletes, but for everyone: for pleasure, for recreation, for improving health, as well as for learning how to be part of a team, and how to win and lose graciously” (Sports at the Service of Humanity Conference, Vatican, 2-7 Oct 2016).

The sick are not forgotten in SHC parish fiesta

Joy is a gift of the Holy Spirit, Fellowship after Mass for the Sick, SHC, 23 June 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – The sick were not forgotten in the weeklong observance (June 19-25) of the Sacred Heart Cathedral parish fiesta here.

The parish organised a Mass for them on 23 June 2017, Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.

Almost 500 parishioners turned up for the celebration presided by Archbishop John Wong, concelebrated with his four assistants Fathers Rhobby Mojolou, Mitchelly Kiun, Maxmillianno Hontor and Joshua Liew.

In his homily based on the liturgical readings, Abp Wong reiterated the invitation extended to all to rest in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The anointing of the sick by the concelebrants took place immediately after the Mass.  This was followed by refreshments at the parish centre prepared by the Women’s League.

The parish organises the Mass for the Sick twice a year: on February 11 – Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes/World Day of Prayer for the Sick – and on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart (movable feast).

Invitation to rest in the Sacred Heart highlighted in cathedral feast day Mass

Parishioners join the clergy in thanking the Lord for the gift of the love of the Sacred Heart, Solemnity of Sacred Heart, SHC, 23 June 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – The invitation to rest in the Sacred Heart of Jesus was highlighted in the Sacred Heart Cathedral titular feast day Mass on 22 June 2017.

This was brought out strongly by Father Cosmas Lee in his homily at the concelebrated Mass presided by Archbishop John Wong.  Joining them at the altar were Archbishop Emeritus John Lee, Father Charles Chiew of Keningau Diocese, and most of the KK priests.

No matter what kind of heart one may have – anxious, tired, angry, etc – the invitation is extended to all to find rest in the Heart of Jesus.

Lee concluded his homily requesting the prayers of all for the clergy to be holy shepherds after the Heart of Jesus.

Earlier in the day, the clergy prepared themselves for the event with a recollection cum study day.

Pope John Paul II established the Day for the Sanctification of Priests on the feast of the Sacred Heart in 2002 because the feast of the Sacred Heart celebrates God’s merciful love, that becomes tangible for priests in the Eucharistic Mystery, which they celebrate daily, and in the sacramental pardon which they administer and receive.

As to how the cathedral was named after the Sacred Heart, it is said that in Father Henry van der Heyden’s letter of June 1903, when the community was still stationed at the shop-house in Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu), the Mission was already called Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Was it possible that, surrounding by, and experiencing so much human misery and suffering, Fr Heyden thought of God’s compassionate love for his children in Borneo, and remembered that Jesus also suffered and died for them? (cfr 100 Years of Good News, 1903-2003, Sacred Heart Cathedral Kota Kinabalu, 2003, pg 56).

Nobody really knows but it is good that all those who have received so many graces, favours, and services from the cathedral parish to make an effort to come together to celebrate the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on its feast day.

 

 

 

Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia join hands to fight extremists

MANILA – The Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia plan to closely cooperate to halt the flow of militants, weapons, funds and extremist propaganda across their borders as they expressed alarm over recent attacks in their region.  Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and his Indonesian and Malaysian counterparts gathered in Manila with top security officials Thursday to discuss a joint plan of action amid a disastrous siege of southern

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and his Indonesian and Malaysian counterparts gathered in Manila with top security officials on 22 June 2017 to discuss a joint plan of action amid a disastrous siege of southern Marawi city by militants aligned with the Islamic State group that has left about 369 combatants and civilians dead.

As the IS loses territory in Syria and Iraq, Southeast Asian governments worry that battle-hardened Asian fighters, including those from Indonesia and Malaysia, may return to exploit social restiveness, weak law enforcement, a surfeit of illegal arms and raging insurgencies to establish a foothold.  Many worry that the month-long siege in Marawi could draw in the returning jihadis.

“We expect that those who will be displaced there will go to Asia and because of the Marawi uprising, the Philippines is like a magnet,” said Philippine military chief of staff Gen Eduardo Ano, who took part in the closed-door security conference.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi condemned the attack in Marawi and said her government was ready to help.  “Your challenges are Indonesia’s challenges and your challenges are also the challenges of the region,” she said in her opening speech, adding that the threat of terrorism is imminent and that “no action is not an option.”

The three neighbours expressed concern over the recent incidents of terrorism and violent extremism in their countries and their desire to plot joint strategies to combat it.

On May 23, about 500 militants, including about 40 Indonesian, Malaysian and other foreigners, stormed the business district of Marawi, a lakeside centre of the Islamic faith in the largely Roman Catholic country’s south, taking a Roman Catholic priest and other hostages, occupying buildings and installing IS-style black flags.

Of the 276 militants who have been killed, at least three were Malaysians and one came from Indonesia, Ano said, adding that the arrest in Malaysia last week of an unspecified number of militants who were suspected to be bound for Marawi showcases the crossborder cooperation needed to secure the region. – Vatican Radio  

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