by Fr Francis Anthony
2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
Theme: Be Responsible Citizens
As citizens of Malaysia, we are in a very important period of our history. The role we have to play, referring to the elections. Whom do we want to place in those 222 chairs in the Parliament to be our representative, not for them to do what they want, to represent us and to govern the country.
The Responsorial Psalm, we have been asking God and we said that, at least 5 times:-
The Lord comes to rule the people with fairness
Yes, let us pray earnestly that those 222 guys will look to our good for the welfare of the whole of the nation, irrespective of where they are – Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak, Sabah. Irrespective who they are-, Melayu, Chinese, Indians, Natives, Orang Asli speaking of the local people of Sabah and Sarawak.
Our desire – is it coming true in the Parliament? Or are they taken upon themselves the rule that they are the boss? That shouldn’t be the case. They are just the stewards. They are people who represent us and if they do not play that role, unfortunately we are not able to take them out of that 222 seats. But now is the time we have to think seriously.
Very beautiful articles, two – one is by Brother Rogers who was in prison during the famous, or rather infamous, Operation Lalang in the year 1987. Then in the year 1988, we had the slogan, the National Day celebration – Our Nation, Our Responsibility. Ironically again in that Anwar had been demoted or taken away as Deputy and all the problems that came about and the thing that sparked off well was the ‘Reformasi‘. Those seniors here will remember all those things.
And Cardinal Soter Fernandez, God bless his soul, it’s more than one year he left us. What he wrote in the year 1988 is applicable to us today. The full article is in the Herald. Let us be people who are responsible. Slogans are very good like Our Nation, Our Responsibility. But the responsibility comes by us and through us. Let us not surrender our responsibilities to the 222 guys.
Yes they are there for us and we have to be serious whom we want to be in those important chairs. And to rule the country on our behalf. Not for them to do what they want. And let us pray, asking God as we have in the Responsorial Psalm:-
The Lord comes to rule the people with fairness
And we have very appropriate First Reading from Malachi, Old Testament book. This book was written somewhere 500 years before Christ and in this particular context of this book neither the priests who were the rulers nor the people were one with God. Each one doing what he wants or she wants. And the text here says that the day will come when they would be burnt like stubble. And God will come and He will help wipe away the fear that they are living in, those what we will call the Anavim or the faithful people, and how the Son of Righteousness will shine on them.
So my dear friends, let us be serious on what we going to do. And we have to make a decision who are going to be in that famous 222 chairs:-
- Are they men of integrity?
- Do they uphold justice and fairness to all, not to a selected group?
- Are they capable to reach out to migrants, to the poor?
- Are they able to realise the hardships we are facing due to the prices in the market, no need to go far?
- Are they aware of that and come to our aid?
It’s our country that we cannot demonstrate. If we are looking into the foreign news, people in Spain, people in France, people in United Kingdom, people in America, are demonstrating because the price of things are high. And nothing is being done to alleviate but here in our country, we cannot demonstrate. It is wrong. That is not our culture. All these slogans that come for them to handle. Are these the people who are ruling us? Or are these the people who are dominating and crushing us?
The text is very important here. It is very nice to say we are One Country, we are One People. Is that Oneness a reality? And you’ll see how the electoral are being divided.
My dear friends, let us pray for the wellbeing of our children. Let us get leaders who are there who will see to the education, the school system. We’ll get leaders who are there, going to see to the wellbeing of the poor, equality of rights, who will see to the salaries of the people. That’s our bread and butter.
So my dear friends, in our Prayer of the Faithful, we will be praying for all those things. This is not just a few slogans but we want that in our lives. So dear friends, very important days coming in front of us. Let us pray.
In this parish, since the day the Parliament was dissolved and the EC announced the election date, we have been praying Monday to Friday, five days the week from 8.30pm to 9.30pm, one hour with the Blessed Sacrament exposed and Fr Fabian here reflecting with us our role in this coming election. Let us make an effort to pray.
We have to be responsible people but we have to be also prayerful people. We pray for our country. We pray for justice. We pray for equality. We pray that our children who finish their secondary are given equal opportunities to further their education, not the quota system but merit. There should be our, that 222 guys there whoever they are going to be, will look to our wellbeing.
This is the Sunday before our election. Do not think I am trying to play politics. Don’t worry. My Parish Priest at the back is not killing me. But to be conscious. There is a liturgy. He can vouch when we are already talking about the dissolving of the Government in our table conversation, both of us. I have said I am not bothered about this election. I don’t bother who are the fellas. We take the trouble to go and vote and then they juggle in Sheraton or somewhere and everything is topsy turvy, goes back to square one.
Where is respect for us? They are just juggling among themselves. But thinking further, I said there is a stupid decision. I must play my role to plant the 222 guys there. And I may not succeed to get but that is irrelevant. My one vote counts and that is my role to the nation. God said Love God and Love Neighbour. Jesus said.
And here my casting of vote is because I love that Malaysia, I love the citizens and I want all of us to come together to play our role as citizen and now we pray. We have these six days. Pray that all of us will be responsible people.
Click below to listen to the homily and watch the video:-