TATAL, KENINGAU – Amid the 500-strong crowd of people who were at the Chapel of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament here on 3 Jan 2016 were the diocesan clergy, and parishioners who came from near and far to witness the opening of the Holy Door of Mercy by Bishop Cornelius Piong.
Bishop Piong explained that the Church embarked on a journey of spiritual life characterised by repentance. Repentance allows us to experience the joy of receiving the mercy of God, which renews and enriches our witnessing. Having experienced the mercy of God, we too must be “merciful as the Father is merciful” to others.
The prelate went on to underline that the Holy Door becomes a symbolic journey and desire of repentance for the person of faith, and that passing through the Holy Door with sincere remorse and repentance opens our hearts to receive God’s mercy. He pleaded for the saints’ intercession for the whole faith community to experience a true conversion.
The prelate began the rites by reciting the blessing of the Holy Door, and reminded that the Jubilee Year of Mercy has been launched by the opening of the Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica on 8 Dec 2015. The decision to open the Holy Door for the Keningau Diocese at St Patrick’s Church Membakut on 22 Jan 2016 was for pastoral reasons.
Because of the infinite mercy of God, the prelate has added another Holy Door of Mercy to be entered upon by those on pilgrimages here. The Chapel of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament has been chosen to accommodate the number of pilgrims who would come from the local diocese and other dioceses to make their pilgrimages here and would remain open throughout the Year of Mercy.
Bishop Piong went on to caution the people that passing through the Holy Door is not magical and does not mean that they are automatically forgiven and saved.
“To pass through the Holy Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father and His encounter with each person. The Blessed Sacrament is God’s mercy and through it, Jesus reveals His love to us, His everlasting Presence with us, and through it we will encounter Him. A faith that is alive, without doubt and with complete trust enables such an encounter. Enter then through the Holy Door with remorse, with a heart filled with repentance, and present yourself to Jesus, which pleases Him and what He wants of us,” implored the prelate. – Aldrin Benedict