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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Bishop Julius Urges Priests To Go Out To The Streets During Chrism Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral, Sandakan

Article by DS / rrs and photos
by Alex Tai dan Rogena Sining

Sandakan: Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom presided over the tri-lingual Chrism mass, con celebrated by the eight diocesan priests on Thursday 10th March 2016 which was well attended at St Mary's Cathedral. Three seminarians on pastoral exposures were present to assist in the liturgy. At this special Mass, all priests renewed their priestly promises during the Eucharistic celebration.

The prelate in his homily explained that Chrism Mass is a special time for the clergy to record thanksgiving to the Lord for the gift of priesthood. As the anointed ones, they may in turn anoint God's people especially the poor, the oppressed and those who are the weakest in society.

He said, 'I would like to urge our priests in this Holy Year of Grace to renew our Christian promises. We must remind ourselves to be the anointed light and therefore strive to be the light of Christ. It means we must have that very strong relationship with the Lord and endeavor to imitate him at all times.'
He reminded the priests to strive to be that holy light and remain committed  to live a holy life. The path of a Christian life is a journey to holiness. It doesn’t mean there are no weaknesses. Despite of the weaknesses and the limitations, priests must try to overcome them to seek a life that is in accordance with the life of Jesus. 

Priests, as ministers of the word must discharge faithfully the Sacred Office of Teaching, committed always to the salvation of souls. Priests are to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, not just for themselves but for the whole of God's people. They are committed to be faithful in their prayers.
He said, 'People can recognize us to be a good priests by the way we anoint his people. It means that they are touched by the word of God and that they really have Jesus in their heart through the reception of the sacrament. We must be able to live the gospel value ourselves and that's how we anoint people. That's how we bring the light of Christ to them especially in moments of extreme darkness. When everything seems to be hopeless and there seems no way out, we preach that hope and that's how we anoint people.'
In this Year Of Mercy, the Pope has said on several occasions that ‘the priests must go out into the street, dirty his feet by the dirt of the road and therefore we need to go out in imitation of Christ in order to experience ourselves our own anointing. As we go out we bring that redemptive power of the oil of gladness to where there is suffering, blindness, people imprisoned by their own weaknesses. We bring that redemptive oil of gladness to free them from evil that they may experience God's  Mercy through our ministry of service.' 
The prelate called on the people to support them, to be close to them with affection, and help them in their service through their prayers so that they may always be shepherds according to God's heart. 'Please encourage them, whenever they err but never condemn them.' 
In conclusion, the prelate cited Pope Francis' homily in his first Chrism Mass, 'Dear priests, may God the Father renew in us the Spirit of holiness with whom we have been anointed. May he renew his Spirit in our hearts, that this anointing may spread to everyone, even to those “outskirts” where our faithful people most look for it and most appreciate it. May our people sense that we are the Lord’s disciples; may they feel that their names are written upon our priestly vestments and that we seek no other identity; and may they receive through our words and deeds the oil of gladness which Jesus, the Anointed One, came to bring us. Amen.' 

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