Saturday, April 11, 2020

Easter 2020

Easter – New hope for a better future

With his resurrection on the 3rd day after an agonising death on the cross, Jesus conquered death. He brought us great joy and hope. Yes, Easter is all about hope for end of our long ordeal and a better future for all.

All of us in some form may be suffering from so much pain in our lives. Numerous problems come in many ways that at times we tend to give up and begin to suffer in silence and despair. At times even the staunchest believer tends to doubt the existence of God. However Christ’s resurrection gives us hope that if we continue to persevere with faith, patience and right attitude, our problems too can be overcome one day.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has threatened everyone of us. It destroyed our way of life and put fear of infection and death. The very foundation on which our lives were based is being threatened by this virus. After 3 weeks of panic and fear we may be seeing some hope of overcoming the virus. It was not with our might and power but by our unity and helping one another, regardless of race, creed and status. These are the only weapons that can subdue the virus.
This is not the end but the beginning of a long journey ahead as a nation. The Covid-19 has exposed the many weaknesses in our system and our country. The people are now so divided as ever with the many differences among the races being highlighted daily in the way we think, speak and act. There seems to be very little hope that we are going to develop and progress as a nation with the present atmosphere. 

When our younger generation fail to interact and understand each other’s differences among us what chance is there for future unity? When our children are brought up to think and accept that some are superior to others, what chance is there for interethnic goodwill and respect? When we want everything for ourselves at the expense of others, how can there be mutual understanding and tolerance? When we refuse to accept one another as equal how can be natural justice? When we refuse to understand the plight of others how are we going to care for them? When the people are constantly reminded of their difference what hope is there for unity, peace and progress. The interethnic unity is slowly but surely dying.

We are indeed going through some critical and defining moments as revealed strangely by a virus. It has once again emphasized the importance of ethnic unity and goodwill. Unity of the people of various origin must be strengthened if we want to progress as a nation. We need a strong, unbiased and multi-ethnic political leadership with great wisdom to take the nation forwards. If the Covid-19 crisis does not teach us the need for genuine unity, mutual respect and goodwill, I wonder what ever will.

This Easter let us pray for hope and patience among the people. Let us pray that God enlighten the minds of the people and our leaders to think right, talk right and most importantly do right for the wellbeing of all Malaysians.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Good Friday 2020

Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus, signifies humility, sacrifice and forgiveness for our enemies. These were the three main virtues demonstrated by Jesus besides the physical pain and agony of being tortured and killed in a most cruel way.
However, we tend to highlight the physical suffering of Jesus more than the lessons he tried to teach us going through those sufferings. We tend to over emphasise on the evils of the those who unjustly tried and sentenced Jesus, the Jews who handed him to the Roman rulers who tried him and sentenced him. We readily condemn the Roman soldiers who carried out the sentence with no mercy or compassion whatsoever. We tend to sympathize with Jesus forgetting that sympathy is not what he wanted from us. God knows what and why he allowed Jesus to go through this ordeal which we call “Passion of Christ”.
Instead on sympathysing with Jesus let us uphold the lessons from his passion and see we can employ these in our lives,especially at a time of a major pandemic crisis,the Covid-19.This virus has managed to do something no man could ,close done all places of worship regardless of religion.Yes,our churches are closed even during this Holy Week,the most important in the church calendar.We Forced to follow the services online from our homes. We cannot lock up Jesus in the churches but carry him whenever we go and whatever we do to guide us.
The sacrifice of Christ, dying on the cross, is no ordinary sacrifice. It is self-sacrifice or agape, which is the ultimate sacrifice no man can do for another. During this MCO and Covid-19 crisis, we have a lot of opportunities to sacrifice a little for the benefit of someone, infected with the virus, under quarantine and those lonely confined to their homes. Are we willing to sacrifice a little for someone?
The other important lessons on Good Friday is on forgiveness,especially to those do bad to us and our family.Despite all the agony Jesus went through,he did not react with and anger or hate towards those who unjustly crucified him. He but accepted all the insults and torture with great humility. He freely and unconditionally forgave them and prayed for them saying, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do”.Let us pray for that magnanimity of heart not to hold any grudge against those to ill treat us and act with vengeance against those who deprive us of our rights.
As we follow the Good Friday services online, let’s pray those infected with Covid-19 and undergoing treatment in all lone under quarantine.Let us pray God to grant the strength to endure the agony of dying all alone in the ICUs all over. Let’s pray for the families of those inflicted with the virus, may they gain the strength and courage to bear with the pain, agony and fear of loneliness and isolation.
Jesus reminds us of his cross on Good Friday; that injustice and pain are inevitable in life but as his followers we must accept them humbly without anger and hate. There is no place for revenge but only forgiveness for our enemies.
As for the Covid-19,with faith patience and doing the right things with the right attitude, we will surely overcome the ordeal soon
Have a meaningful and blessed Good Friday

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Holy Thursday 2020

Holy Thursday in Covid-19 crisis
This year Holy Thursday is unique and special in that we celebrate this day the within the confines of our own homes, in compliance with the Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The church is broadcasting live via video streaming the mass so that we can we all follow the mass in our own homes. This goes to show that nothing can stop us from worshiping as God dwells in our hearts not in buildings.
The more important thing is the fact we are commemorating the Last Supper of Jesus with his apostles in the midst of a pandemic where thousands around the world are living in fear, and in loneliness confined to our homes due to the lockdown imposed by the government. Jesus too was lonely praying and fearful of his imminent arrest, torture and death we accompany him in his ordeal.
The main theme of Holy Thursday is humility, highlighted by Jesus himself washing the feet of his disciples. After the washing Jesus tells his disciples, “If I as your Master and Lord can wash your feet, you too should wash the feet of one another”. These may be simple words but has profound meaning.
Today with Covid-19, many in our midst who are helpless in the assault by the virus. There are many who have lost their jobs, staying overcrowded in their homes, lonely, without money to buy food for them and their children. There are the elderly and sick who are without access to regular medical treatment. There are parents whose children are working round the clock fighting the virus at the frontline, without adequate self-protection. Then there those infected and being treated in the hospitals. Like Jesus in the garden before his death, they are all lonely and living in fear of possible death.
Let us have the humility to appreciate the difficulties of those suffering in fear, loneliness and lack of daily essentials and go out of our way to offer some form of assistance o those less fortunate than us. We should see Jesus is those living in fear and loneliness and provide our company, prayers and support in whatever way we can in their ordeal. This is what Holy Thursday means to us in this time of crisis in the world and our country.

Have a blessed Holy Thursday

Pam Sunday 2020

The humbling Covid-19
Tomorrow we will be celebrating Palm Sunday, commemorating the triumphant majestic entry into Jerusalem, days before his persecution and death on the cross.This action of Jesus is very relevant and significant to us today, especially with Covid-19 posing a threat to our lives and that of our loved ones.
Image may contain: one or more peopleJesus showed great courage to do the right despite knowing well that he will be put to an unfair trial and sentenced to die in a most brutal manner. The greater surprise of this is that he accepted the unfair verdict without any hate or anger towards those who plotted and betrayed him.The very people who shouted “Hossana, Hossana”, days later yelled “Crucify him, Crucify him”. Despite fully aware of all the injustice towards him. Jesus still did not show anger or hate whatsoever.
It is this principle of Jesus, we must adopt in our own lives today. We too are continuously being treated unjustly, denied our legitimate rights and at times punished even for doing right. We are extremely angry and tempted to react with anger. But our Lord has showed us that is wrong.
In this respects we commend the 24 seminarians and a priest who were arrested, hand-cuffed and charged for playing football in the premises of the College General ,Penang. They were accused for breaching the Movement Control Order (MCO) during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It must have been a great humiliation for these seminarians for being treated like that for not coming any crime. However they humbly accepted their arrest and even pleaded guilty and was ordered to do community service as the punishment, which may be God’s plan in preparation for their pastoral life in the future.
During this MCO, the churches organize online masses, Holy week services and even virtual blessing of palms at home. These may be good but Palm Sunday is much more than praying and blessing of palms to make us feel better. There are more important things to do in keeping with what Jesus himself demonstrated on Palm Sunday – the courage to do the right and accept the consequences without anger or hate.
In this MCO period our loved ones may be involved actively in the frontline battle against the Covid-19, we may be cooped up in our homes bored, stressed, fearful and depressed over their safety and our own. This is the time we need the courage to do the right by reaching out to those around us who are worst off the us. Many don’t have food, no proper shelter and no job and money. There are many who are depressed over the uncertain future with the looming pandemic. Now is the time to reach out to them in whatever way we can. It may not be monetary aid they need but just our moral support of reassurance. A phone call or WhatsApp message is all they may need to lift their morale.
Have a blessed and meaningful Pam Sunday

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Prodigal Son

Second Sunday of Lent

Gospel  reading today - Prodigal son

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 15,1-3.11-32.

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So to them he addressed this parable.

Then he said, "A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.

Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."' So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.

He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.' But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began.

Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him.

He said to his father in reply, 'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.'

He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'"


Nice story  to reflect

1.Forgive everybody who repents,even those who betray you.
2.Never be jealous when others are treated better than you.
3.Stay right and do right,God will always be on your side,when you least expect and when in dire need.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Alice Mary 6th Death anniversary 2019

Alice Mary 6th Anniversary

It has been 6 years since she left us. The pain may have faded but her memories still remain vividly in our hearts and minds. Whenever we are gathered as a family, we never fail to talk about her. This gives us great courage and inspiration to continue doing right in whatever we do.
Joseph P. Kenedy said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Mdm Alice would have gone through some extremely difficult times as a homemaker keeping the family together. But being a woman of steel, it was the toughness in her that made her go on to achieve the impossible.
Whenever we visit her grave to place flowers and light candles, it is not just a ritual to honour her but an expression of her place deep in our hearts. It is also gives as an opportunity to reflect on the wonderful time we had with her here on earth.
Mother Alice may be gone but she has left us a great legacy, a legacy of hard work, discipline and compassion that is extremely difficult to follow as these values hardly exist in the world today. She has footprints in our hearts that will be hard to erase. We know she is somewhere watching us, and we hope she continues to guide us and our family in our own struggles to uplift ourselves.
How we wish she was with a little longer for us to say good-bye. Well God had better plans for her to be with Him. We pray that the Lord grant her eternal rest in His home.

May her soul rest in peace.

The BW Gang