This question was put the the congregation of over 750 people who came to celebrate the Divine Mercy celebrations at the Church of Divine Mercy (CDM) by the presider, Fr. Francis Anthony. As the last of the four presiders invited by the parish over the past week for the Divine Mercy celebrations, he was celebrating the 3 pm mass on the 23rd April under the theme #hop4e (Hold Onto Prayer 4 Everyone). Fr. FA, as he is more popularly known, is no stranger to CDM as he pioneered the building of this church.
He asked those present what is it to pray and the importance of prayer. Jesus had taught us to pray with the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6: 9-13. What does this prayer mean to us? Can we make this our 24-hour prayer? Each of us has different needs and as a brotherhood we should be willing to help one another and to share each other’s concerns. This can be done through our actions and through prayer. In this way we are reflecting God in our lives in sharing the love of God and to bring about peace. When we pray we should not set conditions. This is to show that we are not controlling (blackmailing) God through prayer. Through the devotion of prayer we can become a disciple of hope to others. Often we do not understand the ways in which God works in our lives. At such times of doubt we should turn to Mary, our Mother for help. She didn’t understand many things about Jesus but she remained faithful to Him and to God’s plan for her.
Just before the end of Mass, the congregation received an unexpected treat when they were entertained to a skit put on by the Youth of the parish. It was entitled “Hearts” and presented a lively illustration of the love of God healing broken or injured hearts brought upon by daily challenges in their lives. Fr Martin Arlando, parish priest of CDM also made unexpected appearance as the healer of hearts much to the pleasure of the parishioners. The skit has since been viewed many times on Facebook.
At the end of mass, the congregation followed the statue of Divine Mercy and the Consecrated Host for a procession out of the church around the neighborhood of the church vicinity. This was the first time that the Consecrated Host was included in the procession and it was held high in turns by Fr FA and Fr Martin. It was a most touching experience to observe non christian passersby stop and raise their hands in prayer-like devotion when the procession went by them. The Divine Mercy chaplet was recited throughout the procession. The procession ended back at church with Benediction.
After Benediction there was veneration of the relics of St Faustina and Pope St John Paul II followed by fellowship for everyone. The hour long procession was carried out smoothly with minimal disruption to public flow of traffic guided by the Single Working Adults ministry. The Youth Ministry showed off their charming hospitality as they guided people into church with their Umbrella Squad before mass after they were ferried from their cars by the Living Springs Ministry of old timers. Many people on procession did not fail to notice that the weather was overcast throughout the procession giving everyone cool relief and a visible sign of the Lord’s pleasure of the proceedings.
Dr Ivan Filmer
10th May, 2017.