This will be the 3rd weekend that we have entered the desert of COVID 19
during Lent and our celebration of Holy Week will also be affected with the
extension of the MCO. It may seem that we are moving from darkness into
the tomb but the gospel asks us to cling to our faith in Jesus, who gives us
reason to be hopeful to experience the Resurrection.
Sunday Reflection on 5th Sunday of Lent
Self-Isolation; pandemic; social-distancing; COVID 19… just a few words that has become part of our everyday conversations. It is, amidst these challenging times we find ourselves stepping into the 4th Sunday of Lent. The Gospel reflection for this weekend from the Gospel of John; the raising of Lazarus invites us to reflect on what it means to live the resurrection and the life with Jesus.
We all face times of sorrow and grief in our lives and are aware of the difficulties and challenges that can manifest in such times! We are at the climax of our journey of faith and vision, which we have
been exploring with the Samaritan woman and the blind man. Today Jesus takes us with Him into Resurrection.
The Gospel invites us to have faith in the resurrection, not only that of Jesus but also our own. Martha is for us a model of faith that we must try to emulate in our daily Christian life. Martha believed that Jesus is the resurrection and the life and if anyone believes he will live even though he dies. She was convinced that her brother Lazarus would rise at the resurrection on the last day. She made a wonderful profession of faith: “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into the world”.
Stepping into the narration of the Gospel we find ourselves these days in the life journey of Martha and Mary. As the days pass with the effect of MCO, there is a sense of helplessness and hopelessness with regards to jobs, financial matters, health issues, security… and the list continues.
When Martha objected to the opening of the tomb and said, “Lord already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days” (John 11:39), she was expressing the common view that the situation is now a hopeless one The situation has become “impossible” to act upon.
The miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus is a challenge for us never to give up hope in the instances of death in the on-going daily challenges facing us, be it as individuals, as a church community or even as a nation. But first and foremost we need to cooperate with God, to experience the resurrection in our lives and in the world.
How can we cooperate with God to experience the resurrection? How do we make the resurrection part of our journey in the given circumstances?
First, “Jesus said, “Roll away the stone.’ … So they rolled away the stone”
In faith and obedience, they acted upon the command and request of the Lord without much questioning. They did not understand why they should roll the heavy stone only to expose a foul smelling corpse. It was faith through practical agreement, through obedience.
Second, “Lazarus, come out!” and the dead man came out…
Jesus’ invitation and call to Lazarus, the command is followed by immediate obedience. Lazarus floundered his way out of the darkness with his hands and feet tied up in bandages.
Third, instructed the people, “Unbind him, and let him go”.
Lazarus could stumble out of the tomb but there was no way he could unbind himself. He needed the community do that for him. The community was needed to unbind him and set him free. In such dire times we need to allow the community to free us from the death bands that cripples us.
Many of us as individuals and communities have fallen into spiritual death during these past days.
Many of us are already in the tomb of hopelessness and decay, in the bondage of loneliness and captivity of the MCO. Nothing short of a miracle can bring us back to life in the person of Jesus.
Are we ready to cooperate with the Lord for the miracle of the resurrection?
Are we ready to roll away the stone that stands between us and the light of Christ?
Are we ready to take the step to come out from our place of death?
Are we ready to unbind (forgive) one another and set them free?
It is a favourable time, a time that opens us to various opportunities we can cooperate with the Lord in search of the miracle of the resurrection to bring life as a church and as a nation.
The parish is truly appreciative to the parishioners who STAY HOME and are using creative ways to stay connected with each other and the live stream masses through social media platform. We want to assure you that we are holding you up in prayer at every Eucharist we celebrate. Your intentions and the needs of our community and the needs of the world are always remembered. Please continue to uphold in prayer the COVID19 patients and front-liners, who sacrifice their lives each day to keep things going.
ZONES / BEC Leaders
We humbly ask our leaders to regularly stay in touch with each other and to be able to assist whichever way we can. This time of social distancing is beneficial for a time for self-reflection but could also be a time of anxiety especially our mental health. Do take time to look out for each other and grow as a community. Be beacons of light and hope for others.
For those who are not linked to Zones/ BEC please take this opportunity to be connected.
CHS COVID19 RESPONSE OUTREACH
During these challenging times many pastoral concerns has emerged especially 1)Meals 2)Food Supplies 3)Medical supplies 4)Transport assistance for dialysis patients 5)Care for the Elderly & Homebound 6)Migrants & Construction Workers etc. Therefore, the parish has set up a committee to coordinate these calls for help and to support the Zones / BEC to reach out to those in need.
By adhering to all MCO directives and taking necessary precautions we will do what we can to reach out to ALL people. Therefore, we are working with hypermarkets and other institutions to strive towards contactless delivery to ensure our safety, however it is not possible in all circumstances. For
those who are willing to volunteer must be able to work alone. Please refer to the S.O.P (attached) on the requirements for volunteers and kindly contact Christine: 0124025292.
Those who are unable to volunteer themselves but would like to support this effort by providing monetary assistance can bank in your donations to CHS Public Bank Account No. 3093049812
We pray for God’s protection upon us as we serve as front-liners during this time of crisis.
HOLY WEEK CELEBRATIONS
Based on the Pastoral Letter from the Catholic Bishops of Malaysia on 25 March 2020, we will continue with the Holy Week celebration with NO public masses; All masses to be celebrated without the laity.
• During the celebration of Palm Sunday: NO blessing of palms; Holy Thursday: NO washing of
feet nor the transfer Blessed Sacrament; Good Friday: no veneration of the cross by kissing;
Holy Saturday: Lighting of Fire and Preparation of Candle will be omitted.
• The Baptism and the Confirmation of adults will be pushed to a later date, therefore we encourage the Catechumens to be patient and to keep that desire of seeking God and trust in God’s favourable time for you.
• We will be using social media platform to keep you informed on the latest development of the parish. (Whatsapp, Facebook or https://www.holyspiritcathedral.com)
Lenten Campaign 2020
The COVID 19 pandemic affecting the whole human family has caused us to pause, stop and change the usual rhythm of our daily lives calling us to respond more and more from the heart. It reminds us that we are SENT TO HEAL with JOY in the wounded experience of COVID19.
Visit :- https://www.facebook.com/pdlentencampaign/
As we find ourselves in the storm that we are caught in let us find consolation that Jesus is with us in the boat and be not afraid. Let us pray that He may rebuke the storm. May Mary our Mother stand
with us and intercede for us.
Praying for you always,
Fr. Joachim Robert & Fr Michael Raymond OFM.Cap
Priests of Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Penang
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE FOR CHS COVID 19 OUTREACH REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE
a. Call or whatsapp our Helpline 012-4025292 (Christine)
b. Obtain and provide all necessary details per checklist below:
ii) NRIC #
iii) Contact #
iv) Address #
Type of Help Needed :
1) Groceries-Basic Food Rations
2) Medication-Subscription Medication (to collect from GH, etc)
3) Medical Asisstance-Transport for treatment eg dialysis
4) Care of Elderly -Adult Diapers, etc
Reason for Need :
GUIDELINES FOR VOLUNTEERS
- Need to understand and follow MCO directive and personal safety precautions
- Take all necessary personal safety precautions
- Help needed in the following areas :
a. Collection & distribution food and other items at hypermarkets and delivery to
those who need if necessary.
Note: We hope to be able to have volunteers to care to those staying around their
homes so that we limit the travelling distance and time.
b. Travel to GH to get medical subscriptions for the elderly and homebound
c. Transporting persons to dialysis centres or GH for treatment
Note: If you are a Grab or taxi driver, we will reimburse for your transport services
- Volunteers need to know that they will be working alone and not in teams.
Must always maintain social distancing and safety protocols at all times.
- Please note that this is done on a VOLUNTARY basis. If you do not feel comfortable
to come out during this time, then please remain at home.
- Those who are unable to volunteer themselves but would like to support this effort by
providing monetary assistance can bank in your donations to CHS Public Bank Account No.