It appeared that Our Lady had been listening closely, that night of the 31st October, the last day of the month of the rosary. It threatened to rain as parishioners gathered in front of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes at the Church of Divine Mercy (CDM) to recite the rosary. However, the weather held on with a few scattered drops of rain as the congregation proceeded with the Sorrowful Mysteries recited successively in three languages, namely, English, Tamil and Mandarin. Only when the final hymn was sung, the rain began to pour down and the congregation adjourned into the church for mass.
Fr. Martin Arlando, the parish priest con celebrated the mass with Fr. James, a visiting priest from the Annai Velangkanni Church of Medan, Indonesia. At homily of the mass, Fr. Martin, remarked on the gospel reading (Luke 14:1-6) on the Healing of the Man with Dropsy on the Sabbath that Jesus had healed people on the Sabbath on seven occasions. He had observed that the lawyers and the Pharisees were waiting to see if He would violate the traditional Sabbath law and perform a healing. Fr asked that in this modern day would any Catholic Christian daringly come forward and confront any person that violates the holy day of rest like the Sabbath. The holiness of the Sabbath as a solemn day of rest and holy to the Lord has been even cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2168). The Lord created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. But as Jesus had said that the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath (Mk 2:27-28). So as the sabbath exists for humanity, we must discern when human need is critical, then it becomes acceptable to violate the traditional Sabbath laws. This is done with the freedom to do the work of the Holy Spirit that moves and guides us. To give up our time and rest to help those in need.
Fr Martin added that traditionally, on Sunday, we rest from work, think about God by attending church services to show our love for Him. At home, we can spend time with our family members, read the scriptures, help others by writing to those who are doing good missionary work and visit the sick. On this last day of the month of the rosary, Fr Martin asked the congregation to reflect back on their devotion to Mary, whether they had attended BEC rosary sessions diligently and how Mary had affected their lives. He asked those present to remember those moments when we were touched by God, all the graces we had received and how these graces may be used to the greater glory of God, to be imitators of Christ.
At the end of mass, Fr Martin thanked the BECs and their leaders for organizing the recitation of the rosary in homes through out the month of October.
1st November, 2014