Reported by DaliusLL
Sandakan: Almost one year ago, Rev. Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom solemnised the opening of the designated Holy Door of Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy 2016 for St. Mary‘s Cathedral of Sandakan Diocese. On Saturday, 19th November marked its official closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy 2016. A crowd of approximately 2,000 faithful participated in the procession by walking through the Holy Door of Mercy at 5.00pm. Thereafter, the closing culminated with a Mass at 6.00pm which coincided with the Solemnity of Christ the King.
The Mass was concelebrated by the Reverends and Deacon: Fr Sunny Chung, Fr Stanley Matakim and Deacon Christopher Ireneus. They officially concluded the Holy Year with the closing of the Holy Door in the cathedral. Before the Mass began, the prelate joyfully announced the historical event of the appointment of our Malaysian bishop, His grace Anthony Soter Fernandez, Emeritus Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, for being incardinated to the bishop of the Diocese of Rome which carries the title of a Cardinal.
In his homily, the prelate recalled that one year ago, the Holy Father proclaimed the Year of Mercy amidst so much cruelty happening around the world: discrimination, hatred, even to the extent of killing people in the name of God. Despite all of these, the Holy Father reminded us through the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy that there is still hope in this world through God; our God of hope, love and mercy. The church wants to proclaim that we still have our God: the God of compassion and mercy to hold on and God who cares for all of His creations. He affirmed that it is right for each one of us to proclaim Christ as our king, the king of the universe as the solemnity of the mass implied.
At the same note, he reminded the faithful that the cross is not just a symbol, an ornament or a decoration in one’s life. We tend to forget that Jesus has willingly sacrificed his life and died on the cross to save us. The cross meant to tell us that by mere human strength and power, we cannot save ourselves, but through Jesus we can reach God and are saved. Jesus has said “to become His follower, one must take up his or her cross in their daily lives”. As we witness so many people carrying heavy crosses in the world, they in fact, need our attention to lighten their burden and suffering. The prelate called upon everyone to pray so that we will be able to carry the burden of the cross in our daily lives; to have the strength to help and lighten one another’s cross and continue to have the grace as well as the courage to share God’s mercy to others.
After the Mass, the faithful was invited to a potluck fellowship in the parish hall.