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Brothers and sisters in Christ,

It is a joyous day that we gather today as an archdiocese to celebrate three very important occasions:
1. The Solemnity of Christ the King,
2. The 35th dedication anniversary of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, and
3. United with the Universal Church, we celebrate the closing of the Year of Mercy.

This is therefore a remarkable day in the celebration of the church.

Today may mark the end of the Jubilee of Mercy, but the Good News is, the Father’s heart of mercy remains forever.

Why did Pope Francis declare this year as the Year of Mercy?  It was because he noticed in this  modern time, people have grown cold and indifferent.  People are in pursuit solely for material fulfillment and the advancement of technology.  Sadly, people have grown indifferent towards the people around them who are in need.  Just as St Teresa of Calcutta said, “The world’s greatest poverty is not the lack of food, but the lack of love.”  It was for this reason that our pope declared this year as the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in order to awaken our hearts to live our lives in mercy.

In the Year of Mercy prayer, it has a list of sinners (Zacchaeus & Matthew, Magdalene & the adulteress, Peter, …) who have received forgiveness from Jesus.  They realised who they were, made the decision to respond and repent, and received the merciful forgiveness of God.  Therefore, my brothers and sisters, in order that we may experience God’s inexhaustible mercy, it is important that we repent, give up our lives of sins.  May the mercy of God remain in our hearts forever.

During this year of mercy, many of us may have been to different places to enter the holy door and pray.  The main  purpose of entering the Door of Mercy was to ask for God’s mercy, to strengthen our love for God, for ourselves and for others.  As we entered the Door, we implored that God would set our hearts on fire, and grant us the courage to respond to his holy will and imitate him.

However, if we have entered the Door only in search of healing or to gain indulgence, it would defeat the main purpose.  Yes, we may come to ask God for these gifts of healing or miracles.  But we were invited/urged to enter into an intimate encounter with God.  When we enter the Door, let us allow Jesus to open the doors of our hearts and our homes, to allow Jesus Christ the King to enter into the centre of our hearts and homes.  Let us invite him to be the master of our lives.

With this, on the solemnity of Christ the King, the closing of the of the Year of Mercy and the celebration of the dedication of our Sacred Heart Cathedral, let us pray for each other, imploring Jesus our King for the grace to radiate his mercy and love to those we encounter daily.  Let us also ask God to bless our archdiocese, that we may be strengthened in our faith and be united.

Lastly, wishing everyone a happy feast day!

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