“Did you see Fr Martin glow during the acclamation of the HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!“ asked Rosy. “I have had this sinus problem for some time. This morning when Fr gave me a blessing the sinus just cleared up, “ declared Anne. “I just broke down. I experienced this great sense of relief since I have had emotional challenges lately, “ remarked Benedict. “I experienced this force on my forehead as Fr annointed me, “ explained Premala. “It was most heartwarming to see Fr come around to each of us to pray and anoint the sick. It was a most compassionate and loving act,“ remarked Cecilia. These were some of the testimonies given by those who came for the Mass for the Day of the Sick at the Church of Divine Mercy, Penang (CDM) on the 26th August.
|Congregation attending the Mass for the Sick|
This year’s theme of the Mass was “My Jesus, My Refuge “ and a total of 92 people came for anointing and blessing. Among them were 10 non-Catholics and the youngest was a child of 6 months and a lady 94 years young. Some came as a family, others with the young giving support to the elderly. An ambulance made two trips to transport two bedridden gentlemen and a total of seven wheelchairs were arranged at the front pew.
In his homily, Fr Martin Arlando, Fr reverted to the Gospel reading of Mark 7:31-37 when Jesus heals the deaf and mute man. Fr explained that Jesus has always said that he would not dessert us. Suffering and illness is a challenge in this world and we need to have faith. In having faith we put our trust in the Lord. Fr Martin then went on to relate the plight of a blind man in his inability to communicate, his feelings of isolation, his being ridiculed and pitied for his handicap and the sense of uselessness being unable to contribute to his community. When Jesus cures him, he is elated as he is given back his life. In return Jesus has asked for nothing, just to pray. Often when we are in need we ask but do not stop to listen. We need to stop talking in order to listen. We need to follow the powerful and important example of the Mother of Jesus. Who listened and accepted God’s will for her. To look with the heart and mind to directed the ear and tongue. God doesn’t force Himself on us and walk away but returns to us in the Eucharist and in anointing. Fr Martin reminded the sick that their prayers are the most powerful and they needed to pray not only for themselves but for those they love and are in need around them.
|Fr Martin Arlando anointing the Sick|
At the end of the Mass, Fr Martin gave each sick person a souvenir bottle of holy water. Everyone was then treated to a fellowship meal sponsored by the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Many asked when was the next anointing and were told that CDM does this twice a year and that they would be invited again when the occasion came by.
Dr Ivan Filmer
1st September, 2017