Dear Parishioners of CHS,
We hope that you are coping well during this challenging and anxious time with the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Church together with the authorities have taken drastic measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. Let us adhere to these actions with faith in God.
Reflection – 4th Sunday of Lent
The Gospel narration of the blind man gives us an insight of hope that we will be able to see the light when we walk in God’s grace. Three words highlight today’s Gospel: 1) Blindness / Darkness 2) Encounter 3) Sight
Blindness / Darkness
We often pass through the alley of darkness / blindness in our daily life. Our senses become numb and make us unable to be aware of the promptings and warnings set before us. The little things in life goes unnoticed because darkness around us prevents us from seeing what is before us. The darkness of the situation of the COVID 19 pandemic; this similar blindness experience sometimes gives us the opportunity to realise that we need to seek the Light, even if we are spiritually blinded in our daily lives like the blind man in the Gospel.
The whole episode of Jesus spitting on the ground, making a paste and smearing the clay on to the eyes of the blind man allows us to experience the journey of purification. It enables us to realize and look at our human frailty this Lent with new insights. Our senses are healed of our numbness and we regained a new perspective. This may be a time of spring where anger, hatred and prejudices is removed from our hearts and a rebirth of love, compassion and charity blooms.
The new sight regained by the blind man gave him the courage and boldness to be a testimony of God’s healing and magnificent grace. This encounter with Jesus gave him the opportunity to be the mouth piece to proclaim that Jesus is the Light of the World.
Dear friends, the whole experience of isolation, restriction and restlessness during this COVID-19 MCO has been a moment where we make an inward journey to find ourselves trusting in God and removing the blindness/darkness that prevents us from seeing the good and the needs of others. Let us use this time to focus on the greatness of God in the little things around us which we may have taken for granted. Lord, remove the blindness and give us the grace and passion to be disciples of Jesus and to be the Light to the world.
Summary of Notices during MCO (18 – 31 March 2020)
1. All churches, chapels, grottos, prayer room and parish office will be closed with immediate effect until 31 March 2020. In the event of an emergency, please call our parish hotline : 01124186547.
2. Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick will only be administered to parishioners who are in danger of imminent death.
3. For funeral services, necessary precautions as advised by the Ministry of Health must be strictly adhered to and prior police permit is required.
4. The weekend and solemnity live-streaming Masses in the Diocese of Penang throughout this duration will be streamed as scheduled. Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/LiveOnlinePenang We will also send out WhatsApp messages via your BEC and ministry chatgroups with the relevant links from time to time to remind you of our LIVE mass broadcasts. Note: There are many other available Livestream masses on the YouTube.
5. You can still offer mass intentions as daily masses are still being celebrated privately by our Parish Priests. Please contact our parish hotline for this purpose.
6. The HERALD newspaper is available online at www.heraldmalaysia.com
7. What can you do to help?
a. Stay at home. Don’t go out unnecessarily.
b. Never neglect your daily prayers and reading of Holy Scripture. Pray for God to take charge of this situation.
c. Pray for the safety of patients and health care personnel.
d. Maintain good personal hygiene. Self-quarantine if you feel unwell.
e. Call the hospital helplines (04-2629902) if you need to be tested for COVID-19
f. Stay in touch with your family and BECs and your parish priests.
i. Call 3 -5 people daily to find out how they are coping with the MCO
ii. If there are people in need within your area, please contact your BEC leaders
With the intercession of Mary our Mother and her spouse Blessed St. Joseph, let us continue to remain steadfast in faith and hope, surrendering all our fears and uncertainties to our Lord and remain united in prayer and spiritual communion in lifting up all affected by COVID-19 and their families; protection and courage for all healthcare workers; wisdom and guidance for researchers to develop effective solution and treatment in combating this pandemic and also with the government authorities in enforcing appropriate steps to halt its spread.
Praying for you always,
Fr. Joachim Robert & Fr Michael Raymond OFM.Cap
Priests of Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Penang
Parish hotline : 01124186547.