Prepared by DaliusLL
Photos by SOCCOM
Photos by SOCCOM
Sandakan: Around 1000 parishioners of St. Mary’s Cathedral celebrated Palm Sunday in English Sunset Mass on 8TH April 2017. The faithful assembled at the Parish Hall compound at 5.45pm with their palm branches and leaves in their hands to celebrate the beginning of the Lord’s Paschal mystery of His passion and resurrection. During the blessing of the palm leaves, His Reverend Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom called upon all the faithful to participate in the mystery of salvation with Jesus in faith and devotion, in the Lord’s entering into the city of Jerusalem. He said that by following the footsteps of Jesus, and with His grace, all may have a share in His resurrection and His life. Then a short procession followed, from the Hall entrance to the Cathedral with the faithful singing the hymn “Hosanna….Hosanna….in the highest”, which heralds Christ’s triumphant entry into the Church.
In his homily, Bishop Julius explained that the story of the cross has changed everything: it speaks about weaknesses, and it speaks about defeat, failure and death according to the standard of man. The Son of Man died on the cross where there is no one to save him from this tragedy and shame, but what man perceived as weakness and shame is the very means for God to show His power. The weakness of the Son of God gives power to every Christian; the shame of the Son of God has taken away the shame of sins in our life. The death of the Son of Man, has made God to give life to everyone who believes in Him. Now in Jesus, everyone who feels weak can be strengthened by His grace. Everyone who was dead to sin is given a new life, and everyone who does not count in the eyes of others becomes a child of God. Everyone who believes in Him is worthy in the eyes of God no matter what one’s life circumstances has gone through.
The prelate further spoke about the cross by saying, “the story of the cross is about love; the love of God to each one of us, and it speaks about God who is with us in our joys and also in our sufferings. It speaks about God who gives us courage to face all sorts of trials; it speaks about God who gently admonishes us not to be afraid of anything or anyone and this is the wonderful truth about Christianity.” He concluded by calling on the faithful to put on their hope in Jesus who died on the cross and yet through that very cross has given life to all.