Friday, August 26, 2011

Image of Jesus at Chapel


Kampung Pandan- The mystique 'images' of Jesus Christ that appeared on the tabernacle cloth on Aug 22 night and then onto the lectern or ambo cloth on Aug 23 is not magical nor a miracle per se; but more specifically a SIGN to the faithful who have seen for the need for conversion of heart and to be faithful.

When news first broke out on the night of Aug 22 at the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Health (OLGH), situated in south of Kuala Lumpur capital city, droves of Catholics as well as Hindu neighbours flocked into the chapel to view the 'image'. Many were amazed and some were simply taken in. Yet these 'images' were nothing new to the Catholic Church as these' images' also appeared in other parts of the world. The ultimate message that these 'images or signs', if any given; is a call for a change or conversion of heart- from a heart of stone to a heart of love, to be faithful to God's Word.

Many who viewed the 'images' had taken countless photo shots at every given angle and many even posted in their Facebook as well as e-mailed and sending out smses to their friends and others. The many Catholics that turned up on Aug 23 since 6am till 10.30pm (usually time the chapel open and closes daily), were mostly Catholics from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor- just to have a personal view and out of curiousity.

Some said they saw images of Jesus Christ crying, some said His outstretched hands were calling them back to Him, some said the Divine Mercy wants us to be converted. Thought there are many different interpretations , each by how one view the 'images' and think; Fr Chris who is the Administrator of the OLGH Chapel told the Catholics there that Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar in every Catholic Churches and Chapels, the tabernacle 24 hours 7 days a week.

Thought he allowed the chapel to be opened, to allow the faithful to come and to pray, he nonetheless cautioned them not to 'mis-interpret' as God is always present in all the tabernacles in the Catholic Churches and Chapels for us to adore and pray faithfully to him. Hence calling all to pray and adore in silent adoration, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in their respective parishes for God's love and guidance.

Some Catholics said that Jesus is present in the tabernacle every day, yet many are not aware or seem oblivious; yet when His image appeared suddenly in the chapel; many took the trouble just to come to have a firsthand look as they seem to needed signs in their lives to believe. Even the doubting St Thomas needed a sign to proof that Jesus is risen from the dead.

A Catholic man said we must have faith even if we do not see, but yet believe; believing from the heart. Yes, Jesus Christ is truly present in the tabernacle. It is time for conversion of hearts, a time for repentance and a time to come back to God with faith in Him.

It is still early to gauge if the 'image' on the altar or lectern is going to move elsewhere or will disappear all together. But the end result is that our faith must increase and our focus must be to God through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. This is also a time for all Catholics to take the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament more seriously and more time to be given to the Lord of Hosts as even our Archbishop has also been promoting the need for such spirituality activity; more recently in his speech at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Pastoral Asembly.

"The need for Catholics to spent some of their time in silent adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament".

Thank you all and God be out help and guide.

Rev. Fr. Christopher Wilvaraj Soosaipillai
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
152 Jalan Peel,
55100 Kuala Lumpur



Are we becoming believers of miracles alone?

People today are easily attracted by so called miracles. They rush to places where such miracles are reported to have taken place. We Catholics are no different, just waiting for God to work miracles to put things right. We are willing to spend money, time and energy to witness these miracles which are most of the time just rumours.

It is time for us to pause and ponder on what we are doing with our lives? Are we living according to what Jesus told us ? Where is Jesus really? Is He in the beautiful and monumental churches built by man? Is He in the many so-called miracles that appear from time to time all over the world?

Today we are told Jesus appeared in Kg.Pandan in Petaling Jaya in the form of an image on a fabric in a chapel. People rush to see Him there as though He was an exhibition piece but could not meet Him as He was gone.

The priests who witnessed the miracle is asking us not to be taken away by the image of Jesus appearing in the chapel but asking us to spend more time with him in the Eucharist. Why are we being directed away from the main issue at hand – the purported appearance of Jesus in the image to his presence in the Eucharist?

Let’s ask ourselves where Jesus is really? In the Tabernacle? How can we humans possibly lock Him up there? In the piece of cloth bearing His image? Why should God want to do that and confuse the people further?

Let’s not read too much into this image of Jesus. Let's not get excited, Christ is everywhere. He is first inside us, in our hearts telling us what to do and not to do. Secondly He is inside in the people around us, everyone we meet, especially those less fortunate than us. Let’s go and seek Him in those in our midst. God works no miracles, we are His miracle workers.

We cannot lock Him up inside the Tabernacle as He is a living God. He is alive in disguise in each and every person.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Nun of the slum celebrates golden jubilee

Fifty years of dedicated service to the downtrodden

On Saturday 30 July 2011,Sr.Colette Selvam IJ celebrated her 50 years of service to the Lord as a nun.Sr. Colette is best remembered for her more than 20 years of relentless efforts to uplift the poor in the slums of Mak Mandin in Butterworth.

When I first went to work in Butterworth in 1993 I met the then parish priest Fr.MurphyPakiam who is now the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur and told him I was interested in joining some ministry to serve the poor. Without hesitation he recommended Sr.Colett who was actively working with the hardcore poor in the Mak Mandin squatters in Butterworth.In fact to many in Butterworth she was known as the nun of the slums of Mak Mandin.

Sister used to stayin very modest environment among the poor and was doing her best to uplift their lives especially the children by educating them. Her home was the education centre for the children in the squatters many of whom come from broken families and hardly have food let alone attending regular school. A number of volunteers from the parish were involved in helping her to teach the children who gather at her house every day.

Sr.Colette had been a great inspirational force for me, motivating me to a little good for others whenever and wherever I can. She made me realize that helping the poor is not just giving out money, food, gifts or celebrating birthdays and Christmas with them. It is more of getting involved with them at a more personal level as to be able to reassure them, allay their anxieties and most important giving them hope. It short it is to be there when they need you most. This is most difficult but Sister Colette was one person who was there for them 24hours without fail.

She admits that was not easy and she failed more often than succeed but says, “I took up this task knowing that I may not succeed, success was not my aim, doing my best is”. These words opened my mind to accept such failures with a positive mind.

Another thing that I remember of her is what she said about trying to change the poor to become better, “I tried very hard to change people but failed, in the process all I could achieve was to change myself”.

Yes 50 years ago Sr. Colette accepted her vocation with full conviction, knowing that she may not succeed but she gave her best. After all these years of selfless service she remains humble to admit that she failed to change others but instead changed herself.

We salute her for her 50 long years of dedicated service to God as a nun.She was not an ordinary nun but one who had a special place for the poor in her heart. We salute her for her 50 years of dedicated service to the poor and downtrodden in whom she saw Jesus.

Let’s pray that God grant her many more years of good health and vitality so that she can continue bringing His love into the lives many more in need and be a symbol of a what a true Christian should be.