The past few days have been one of the most sensational seasons in the life of the Catholic Church in West Malaysia. This began since the public sighting of an alleged image of our Blessed Virgin Mary on the window pane of Sime Darby Medical Centre in Subang Jaya.
You can read more about this inconclusive phenomenon here.
The purpose of this post is to provide a little catechesis for all the Catholics who are in touch with this phenomenon either by visiting the site of this alleged apparition or by following news of it through the media. This catechesis also contains the exact answers I gave to the journalist of the Star newspaper who interviewed me on this phenomenon.
Well, I didn't exactly sit on the Chair of the Pope when I preached, for "preaching from the Chair" is a liturgical privilege accorded only to the successors of the Apostles. But I was in fact really close to the Chair during the celebration of a Mass with over 60 other pilgrims at the Basilica of St John Lateran on 25 April 2012. I think it was insane that we were given such a significant spot to have our Eucharistic celebration. Nothing can buy such priceless opportunities that come by once in a lifetime.
What was going through my mind? My homily on the day quite summarised what occupied my mental faculties at that celebration. I told the pilgrims that this was IT as far as our journey into the heart of the Church was concerned; one cannot get physically any closer to Mother Church than to be seated right before the Chair of the Bishop of Rome in a Eucharistic celebration. But yet, what does this mean for us all? Because millions of other pilgrims have also stood where we were standing, and perhaps most of them did so with utter ignorance about the significance of the moment