In the past five days, I've been receiving numerous messages on my Facebook wall, through Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp messages, and in person, all being warm wishes and kind birthday greetings from friends whom I have known, some whom I have just got to know, and even many whom I don't really know. These greetings are a stark reminder that I have just hit a major milestone in my life: I have just completed a full four decades of my life. No matter how hard I try to tell myself it's just another birthday, no big deal, I can't shake the reality off that it's a 40th birthday, and that's what makes it significant.
A Holy Thursday Reflection
Holy Thursday. On this night, we see our priests performing perhaps one of the most humble priestly actions we get to observe in an entire liturgical year, that is, the liturgical action of washing the feet of twelve men seated before him. It is not just the man who performs this action, for he does it in the person of Christ. It is not just a pretend drama, for it is mean to be a real reenactment of the very same action that our Lord performed in the Upper Room on the night of the Holy Passover. Christ washes our feet again.
On 7 November 2014, an opinion article was published in the Malay Mail Online. The article entitled "Why I Left the Faith" was submitted by Miss Boo Su-Lyn. Read it here.
Below is my reply to the said article.
It's true, this year is going to be a challenging year for many of us, unless one is so filthy rich that multiple price increases have no felt impact on the state of his infinite wealth. But for the rest of us, life is going to be harder than ever.
As Malaysians, our disposable income and purchasing power had just dropped tremendously when the clock struck 12 last night. Beginning today, we will feel the effect when receiving our electricity bills, buying stationery for our children, buying foodstuff at the market, sending our children to school on the bus, paying the exorbitant toll fee when travelling on the highway, and a good many more activities we usually take for granted.
My dearest son,
At the tender age of three, you’re pretty young, and I’m quite amazed at how you’ve already come to understand many things about the world. But there is still so much to learn. In the years to come, there are some precious lessons about life you will need to acquire. And I’m noting them down now also as a reminder to myself to not forget to teach you these critical truths along the way.
I am aware that I am posting this reflection up somewhat a day late by the measurement of our liturgical lectionary. But this reflection is something that has been brewing in my mind all day as I went about performing my obligations for the day.
The words of our Lord Jesus in the Gospel reading earlier today sustained my attention: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Mt 11.28-30).
Pope Francis is the second Supreme Pontiff to whom I have pledged my obedience since my entry into full communion with the Holy Catholic Church. I do not like him. He unsettles me.
I do not like the fact that he refuses to live in his Apostolic Palace, that he dresses down and that he braves through a torrential rain on his pope mobile just to meet the crowd in St Peter's Square during his papal audience. I do not like it at all. Because when he does such things, it shakes the equilibrium of my expectations towards people who are in authority and who are supposed to be personifications of greatness.
I do not like it when he does things that I would not have personally wanted to do had I been the pope. He is... unbecoming of a pope.