In today’s gospel, Jesus asked his disciples a thought provoking question “Who do you say the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13). Fr Paul Goh in his homily at the Church of the Holy Spirit got the congregation to share with one another who they think Jesus was to them. It serves as a reminder that Jesus is the Son of the living God and the Redeemer of the world. He came to save us, fallen humanity.
Jesus builds the church through Peter, one of Jesus’s disciples even though he knows that Peter is not perfect as he denied Jesus three times, and the church is not perfect as well. However, Pope Francis and his bishops are hard at work evaneglising God’s Word and uniting the Catholic Church throughout the whole world. Fr Paul shared that God’s Word is universal as the readings are similar despite it being celebrated in a different language or setting. The church has stood against mistakes and criticism but has never faltered due to the Catholic faith present in the people who serve the church.
God continues to work within us Catholics to spread the message of God’s love and mercy through our senses when we interact with people. Today was also the Rite of Acceptance and Welcoming for the RCIA Ministry. It was heartening to see many people coming forward to acknowledge Jesus’s presence and the hunger to know more about Jesus. This undying faith of God’s presence must be tangible in our lives so that the Holy Spirit can guide us back from the right path if we stray. Fr Paul reminds us to use our five senses to spread the message of God to others and not for purposes otherwise such as bad mouthing others. This is true in the hospitality ministry where parishioners are unhappy with the hospitality ministers who have to ensure that they park their cars properly. I hope that people are more patient and understanding towards these ministers who ensure the parishioners’ safety and smooth traffic incoming and outgoing from the church premises.
It is without a doubt that we need Jesus in our lives at every moment to guide us and we have to speak to others about Jesus so that people come to know the God who saves. I am thankful that Jesus has sustained me since the beginning of last week till now as I have started my university studies which is not a easy road to be on. I know that despite the heavy cross, Jesus will make it lighter through prayer and that he always has a plan for me. Even though I have been very busy and unable to get much rest, the week has been running smoothly and I am thankful for that.
I also attended the Japanese Summer Festival at the Japanese School Changi Campus, it was great to see many Singaporeans participating in the event and to experience a different culture locally. The beauty of cultures is that each one is unique and special which is similar to the way God made us – special in our own way. It was my first time attending a cultural festival and to see both Singaporeans and Japanese dancing was interesting.
As Catholics, we must never lose our faith in Jesus as despite the busy week, there was still time to unwind for a short while and when we invite Jesus into our lives, we begin to see the changes that he makes without us knowing. The church is also susceptible to sin and temptation but it always manages to emerge stronger under the leadership of our Pope, Francis. By strengthening our own faith and making Jesus the center of our lives, we are able to face the insecurities and uncertainties in our own faith journey. We must continue to pray for the church and those who serve the church. We are one family – from our pope. bishops, priests and all religious who have sacrificed their lives to the service of God to the youngest baby just born. Jesus is my teacher, counselor and friend on whom t I can always rely.
God Bless and trust in the Lord always!
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong