Two girls from Year 5 stood on a raised platform and conducted the commentary for the CEC animated mass on 21st September, 2014. Others did the work of lectors reading in English and Bahasa Malaysia. There were also the wardens directing parishioners to their seats and doing the mass collection with bags attached to poles not much taller than themselves. All of them were overseered by the Mass Coordinator from Form 5. In addition, the choir was also made up all students from CEC. This was the contribution of the children in their part of celebrating Catechetical Sunday at CDM.
In his homily, the parish priest Fr. Martin Arlando, related the story of Jesus visiting a homeless man who was preparing his last cup of coffee. The man offered to share it with Jesus. When asked why, when he had so little, he just said that when God gives you something extra special, we should share. Fr remarked that this is how it is in heaven, God shares it with us.
The day’s homily was on Matthew 20:1-16 regarding the same wages paid out to workers who had been called to work at different times. Fr Martin asked the congregation to recall if there were times when there were days of hard work that ended in success and other days when we did less, knowing we could have done better? We all had a choice and sometimes we failed to choose wisely. So on the last day how will each of us be judged? Will be facing a vengeful God who will punish us? Fr reminded us that God always calls us. Whether we come to the vineyard of faith early or late, our God will always generously give us according to our needs. In the case of the parable of the day, one denarii is the basic wage of a day’s work. God puts aside all rules of common convention and those with the greatest need gets the most.
To emphasize this, Fr Martin related another story about a king who decided to generously fill the baskets brought to him by his subjects. Eventually, as years went by, the subjects took advantage of him and brought bigger and bigger baskets. Yet the king continued to give generously. So it is with our generous God. The same gifts are given to us each time at the Eucharist. How can anyone be more generous than to offer His only son to us? We may not be deserving but we are invited just the same. If at some time we had done a small deed and got back more in return, can we not put aside our feelings and be as generous as our God with his grace and gifts?
Fr reminded us that a sower cannot sow his seeds with a closed hand. Similarly, a closed mind cannot possess wisdom and a closed hand cannot give or receive anything as it has nothing. Even if we arrive late to the Lord’s vineyard we will receive the same reward of entering heaven. This is because our Father’s ways are not our ways. We are asked to share our talents given to us to help others, to serve the church in its many ministries. This is so that others can see the generosity of God. We should not delay as the most suitable time is NOW.
After mass all the children and their families were given food packets. The primary children assembled in St. Faustina Hall where they were reminded to be grateful that they lived in a peaceful country. The Negara Ku was then sung after which they proceeded to classes for a Colouring Contest on the theme Called, Chosen and Sent with the emblem of the Malaysian flag in its background. Fr. Martin was called to give away all the prizes to winners at the end of the contest. It proved to be a memorial day for the CEC children and many were looking forward to next year’s Catechetical Sunday celebrations.
Dr. Ivan Filmer
4th October, 2014