Tawau : The. 4th Sunday of Easter is also Good Shepherd / Vocation Sunday, an occasion to pray for and foster the seed of vocations. On this meaningful Sunday, the Indonesian Pastoral Community (IPC) of Holy Trinity Parish celebrated their annual Family Day.
In the spirit of being together, especially in giving thanks to the Lord for the gift of Family, some 1300 parishioners mainly from the Indonesian community attended the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Fr. David A.Garaman and con celebrated by Msgr. Nicholas Ong on 21st April 2013. The heavy downpour that morning did not dampen their spirit to be with Christ.
The choir members of IPC with their beautiful voice projection, sang all liturgical responses in Latin. The rhythm and melody created the right setting for the celebration which captured the hearts of many parishioners.
In his homily Fr. David invited all to reflect on the content of the responsorial, 'Know that He, the Lord is God, He made us, We belong to Him, We are His People, the sheep of His flock' Psalm 99:1-3. These became the main content of the homily delivered by Fr. David. He emphasized that when God created us, He has one purpose, that is to know Him and be his witnesses.
God has a plan for each one of us through his call. 'We must then be alert and always aware what God wants us to be. In order for us to know our call, it requires faithfulness, responsibility, perseverance, hope and trust. Once you are determined, discern on it and go forth with it for the rest, God will show the way' ~ these were the inspiring words shared by Fr. David to the entire congregation.
In the Gospel reading, he asked that we pray, that as we live in communion within the community, we have to reflect on Christ's leadership. We need good leaders, like the Good Shepherd who knows and loves his flock above all, willing to sacrifice for his people. This is only possible through the guidance of the Spirit that will lead us to be his witnesses, spreading the good news to all nations. Remember you are called to be responsible to the call you have responded in accordance with your own situations and ways. He then concluded his homily with the hope that many will respond to the call to the priesthood or religious life for the good of our Church.
Addressing the IPC congregation, he stressed on the deeper meaning of family itself. 'Each of the family members is important. It is the obligation of all parents to pass on and to implant in the mind of their children about our faith so that they will grow up rooted firmly in Christ. There are many challenges that affect the life journey of our family. Most of it give negative impact on the relationship between the children and the parents. He then continued to say that if these are allowed to go unchecked, our faith will slowly sink and fade. Our young generation may never have the opportunity to know and to serve the Lord, the giver of our life.
|L-R : Gabriel Nunang IPC Chairman, Msgr Ong, the rector and Mario PPC Chairman|
Mass ended at 10.40 am followed by a luncheon fellowship with some entertainment at the Parish Hall till 1.00 in the afternoon. Msgr. Ong, in his welcoming speech during the fellowship said that the family is the basic unit of the church, the smallest cells and if these cells are destroyed, the family will crumple and fall. To keep it alive we need to nourish it with spiritual food which can only be obtained through our faith of living together, pray and share.