The 16th September, 2012 was the day when the Church of Divine Mercy at Sungai Ara, Penang celebrated Malaysia Day and Catechetical Sunday. Msgr. Bernard Paul celebrated the Mass and in his homily echoed the words of St. James in the 2nd Reading that “Faith without deeds and works is useless.”
He emphasized that as Catholics we must choose to profess that Jesus is God and embrace the suffering and pain that goes with it by living out our faith through deeds and works. This was the example set by Prophet Isaiah when God called him. We must also remember that God will cut off the vines that bear no fruits.
We must show our lives in a messiahship if we are the people of the Way by making it our destiny, what we are called to do. We should not be like Peter when he embraced the way of Man to avoid suffering but instead embrace the way of God. It is only when, through our deeds and works, people ask you “Are you a Christian?” that you have succeeded in following the way of God. There will no need for branding or advertising. This is the best credit we can give to Jesus. How you see and how you live must be one. We have to make that choice of the way of the cross, to live for justice and to walk that extra mile.
During the offertory, a basket containing an appreciation card prepared for each catechism teacher by the students was presented. At the final blessing, an LCD presentation was shown displaying statements of why each teacher chose to teach catechism together with comments by their students about what they thought of catechism lessons given to them. Some statements by teachers included, “I teach catechism to serve in the Church in a way that serves children. I teach catechism to challenge the understanding of my faith.” The comments of the students included, “Catechism is fun, awesome and interesting. It is a place to learn about God. A place to release stress and share thoughts. We are all gathered as one big family. Finishes too fast. This class is like Party Rock… I’m loving this class… Catechism class makes me happy to be a Christian.”
The teachers then came forward to recite the ‘Catechist Prayer’ and Msgr. Bernard then gave them a special blessing.
After mass, the teachers together with Msgr Bernard and the Ladies’ Group that helped out in Catechism were treated to breakfast in the Church’s hall.