Julita, SOCCOM Tawau
Holy Trinity Parish Tawau – a hundred and thirteen young confirmands, 73 from the main Parish and another 40 from the outstation chapels received the Sacrament of Confirmation during the Solemnity of Christ the King on 24 November 2013.
The mass was presided over by Rt Rev Datuk Julius Dusin Gitom, the Bishop of the Sandakan Diocese, con celebrated by Msgr. Nicholas Ong and Fr. Johnny Raju. Some 1300 parishioners attended the Eucharistic celebration.
In his opening words, the prelate touched on the closing of the Year of Faith. He said, 'Today marked the closing of the Year of Faith which we have been journeying together for over a year. But as believers of Christ, our faith will not end here today. It will continue, for it is the root and fundamental of our life. Faith is a journey to all of us till the coming of our King or when we meet the Lord face to face he said. As faithful followers of Christ, we will continue to be the witness of faith especially to those who has yet to know Christ, and for us through this celebration may we be strengthened in our faith.'
Bishop Julius, in his homily touched on the human inconsistency of their spiritual life. 'Probably most of us are like Pilate who like to hear and admire Christ. But when confronted with the situation affecting his authority and position, he surrendered and listened to the crowd rather than to abide to his inner voice, his conscience. The same situation happened with the beheading of John the Baptist. Herod feared John but did not kill him knowing that he was a righteous man. He gave in to the demand of Herodias and had John killed. He was against his own conscience.
He then continued to say, "What is your obligation as a follower of Christ ~ are you depending enough of your faith when you encounter such situation which require you to be firm and stand by your faith? He quoted from St. Anathasius words, 'I will depend on my faith though I am alone….' Following Christ means to be firm in our faith in any circumstances. We are to depend on our faith, the truth that God has revealed to you, be the witness of faith and stand by the ONE that we believe in.
Addressing the confirmmands, he said, "This Sacrament of Confirmation is not only a ceremony. It is an indication of your maturity in faith. You have begun your journey on your baptism, now you receive the spirit of affirmation to strengthen you in your faith journey. Be close to God all the way of your life, put Christ in your heart, know him and be near him always and most of all, hold on to the faith that has been given to you freely."
In conclusion, the prelate said, "Christ is the King, enthrone him in your heart, open your heart and listen to him. With this He will help us to be consistent in our faith for He is always there for each individual, family and the community. Christ is the King in our life."
After the Mass all confirmands proceeded to Parish Hall for lunch.