HAVING consulted the College of Consultors, His Grace Most Reverend…
KOTA KINABALU (CS) – The embattled faithful sent up a plea to the Lord to implore Him to end the pandemic in the Votive Mass which was live streamed from the Sacred Heart Cathedral here Apr 20:
“Almighty and eternal God, our refuge in every danger, to whom we turn in our distress; in faith we pray look with compassion on the afflicted, grant eternal rest to the dead, comfort to mourners, healing to the sick, peace to the dying, strength to healthcare workers, wisdom to our leaders and the courage to reach out to all in love, so that together we may give glory to your holy name.”
More than 3,000 followed the first-ever Votive Mass “in time of pandemic” in modern days, which was presided by parish priest Fr Paul Lo. The Mass, which was proposed by the Congregation for Divine Worship, was to pray for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the intentions of all those who have contracted the disease, for those dying, for all the first responders and medical frontliners, and for the safety of the nation and of the whole world.
Fr Lo began the Mass by imploring the people of God not to be afraid although “we are in difficult times living under the shadow of death and fear”.
We are to be fearless, maintained the rector, because we have just celebrated Easter, Jesus Christ’s victorious rising from the dead; therefore we are confident that He will help us as we pray for His intervention in our Votive Mass intention.
Offering a powerful reminder that “death is not God’s doing; and that God gives life”, which point was driven home by the Gospel of St Mark in the story of a 12-year old girl who died but was raised to life, and a woman who suffered bleeding for 12 years and was healed, Fr Lo invited the people to “put our faith on this living God who gives life”.
He underscored that the parents of the sick girl and the bleeding woman believed in Jesus, looked for Jesus, and touched Jesus, Who brought an end to their sicknesses. With this same faith, “let us touch Jesus today, implore Him to end the pandemic, and He will grant our prayer”, urged the preacher.
He added, we have tried all human efforts – MCO, medical interventions and other restrictions; but now is the moment for us to turn to Him for His divine intervention in ending the pandemic.
Fr Lo also cautioned the viewers that they would encounter those who would laugh, especially when things do not seem to get any better, and doubts would enter.
He urged the people to listen to what Jesus has to say to those who scoffed and would not believe – Jesus told them to get out. Instead those who believed in Him were privileged to witness Him “giving life” (to the sick).
He also informed that though it was possible for priests to offer the Votive Mass on their own, the Archdiocese has decided to live stream the Mass so that the entire people could participate as a united Church in imploring Jesus to restore life in this time of pandemic. The Mass was concluded with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with benediction. – AC