Happy Lunar New Year: The Gathering of Families

Dear Readers,

Here is wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy and God-centered Lunar New Year! It’s been a long time since I got to experience such a long weekend break to re-energize and to gather with my relatives whom I do not get to see very often due to their busy work schedules.

The Lunar New Year is the best opportunity for the reunion of families and for our own family to start anew for the new year. A family goes through many ups and downs that may sometimes threaten the unity of the members. However, during the homily at the church of St Francis Xavier, Fr Gerard reiterates the belief that ” A family that prays together, stays together.” This is the reason why around the world, many family members travel back to their hometown to eat a once in a year reunion dinner with their loved ones and to catch up with them.

I have seen my family grow to look after each other, to be a listening ear, instead of putting each other down due to our faults or mistakes. It is simply a beautiful conversion that brings out the meaning of Lent that we can embark on a journey of re-discovery with Jesus and to come back home to Jesus , the church and our family members who are eagerly waiting for us. I pray for families that are broken and not whole that the Holy Spirit can heal their wounds and for them  to be able to laugh, love and give again.

Since we are in the festive spirit and probably attending lots of family dinners in the coming days, I thought I would share with our dear readers on “The Catholic Blessing of Tossing Yu Sheng.” This was written by Fr Alex and all credits go to him in taking time to write this for SIM- CS as we celebrated Chinese New Year as a community the previous week. Here is how it goes:

“In the name of Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” 

Raw Fish: That we be reminded that Christ has called all of us, his disciples, to be fishers of men, sharing his good news with everyone.

Pepper & Cinnamon: May these spices remind us of the frankincense and myrrh that the wise magi brought to give to baby Jesus- that we must always give the best of ourselves to God, and not what is leftover. 

Lime Juice: This juice that we squeeze from the fruit of the lime tree reminds us that Christ has commissioned us to go out and bear much fruit, fruit that will last. 

Oil: To remind us that we have been baptized and confirmed with the sacred Oil of Chrism, so that we will always remember to carry out our roles as priests, prophets and kinds- our sacred duties which we share with Christ, the Anointed One. 

Plum Sauce: Let us always savour the sweetness and goodness of our Lord, as the Psalmist said: “O taste and see, how good the Lord is.” 

And finally the Crackers: These crackers that will be broken, remind us that as an Eucharistic people, we must be like Christ- bread broken for others. 

“Bless all of us, O Lord, our family and friends near and far, our daily work and studies, our ministries and service, the poor and hungry, our health and well-being, our choices and decisions, in this new year, that all maybe according to your holy will, and not what we desire for ourselves because of our human greed and money-mindedness. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, your son, through the power of our Holy Spirit, and with the intercession of Mary our Blessed Mother. Amen. “

God Bless! and as we go about celebrating in this festive season may we find Jesus and give the love of Jesus to others that they are cared and loved by the people around them. May God bless us in this coming new year! and fill our hearts with the fire of the Holy Spirit.

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong



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