In response to the call for a Day Of Prayer For GE14, and in solidarity with all the parishes in the Archdiocese of Kuching, BSC celebrated Mass followed by Holy Hour last Friday evening, 27th April, 2018.
It is our solemn responsibility to pray for our country. Mass started with the following Opening Prayer:
Let us pray.
O God, who arrange all things according to a wonderful design, graciously receive the prayers we pour out to you for our country, Malaysia, that, through the wisdom of its leaders and integrity of its citizens, harmony and justice may be assured and lasting prosperity comes with peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Fr Felix Au, in his homily, stressed that Christianity does not endorse any particular form of government or economic system. It does not endorse capitalism or socialism, but proposes governments that are guided by values such as, human dignity, sacredness of life, freedom of religion and conscience.
Also, honesty and integrity, respect, justice and peace, acceptance, compassion and the common good.
While the Church remains steadfastly apolitical, it has to be involved in calling for its leaders and people to shape a society and nation based on those values which are universal. More importantly so, in a pluralistic society like Malaysia, where we have many races and people of different faiths, living together.
Our Church does not have a Christian agenda to seek dominance over other groups, or to confront other groups. Rather, we are called to seek the common good of all. To serve the interests of all, and respecting the different identities, whereby striving for unity.
Fr Felix, while acknowledging that democracy is a blessing enabling us to elect leaders, also said it comes with great responsibility. He advised the congregation to choose wisely who to vote for.
While MA63 may be strongly factored in by Sarawakians when contemplating who to vote for, we must not let that cloud our better judgement. We must also think more broadly and nationally. This is what it means to be seeking the common good.
He encouraged participation in politics – to discuss and talk about current issues we are facing. To serve as polling and counting agents to ensure free and fair elections. Our involvement in politics should not stop after GE14.
There was a reading from the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution On the Church in the Modern World – (Gaudium et Spes no. 73)
Below are excerpts taken from the reading….
*In our day, profound changes are apparent also in the structure and institutions of peoples. These result from their cultural, economic and social evolution. Such changes have a great influence on the life of the political community, especially regarding the rights and duties of all in the exercise of civil freedom and in the attainment of the common good, and in organizing the relations of citizens among themselves and with respect to public authority.
*The present keener sense of human dignity has given rise in many parts of the world to attempts to bring about a politico-juridical order which will give better protection to the rights of the person in public life. These include the right freely to meet and form associations, the right to express one’s own opinion and to profess one’s religion both publicly and privately. The protection of the rights of a person is indeed a necessary condition so that citizens, individually or collectively, can take an active part in the life and government of the state.
*There is no better way to establish political life on a truly human basis than by fostering an inward sense of justice and kindliness, and of service to the common good, and by strengthening basic convictions as to the true nature of the political community and the aim, right exercise, and sphere of action of public authority.
The Day of Prayer Mass for GE14 was celebrated in both English and Chinese.
Let us be responsible citizens and continue to pray for peace, justice and truth to prevail in the elections. Let us pray for God – fearing leaders who uphold Godly values and promote justice and equality, and who work for the common good of all citizens.
Let us pray for God’s will to be done and that His blessings will be poured upon our nation. Let us cast our votes with a clear conscience for the betterment of our country.