Archbishop John Wong presided the Mass during Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel July 16

By Catherine Wan

July 17 2020

KOTA KINABALU – The Church continues to put in place measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19, not only for resuming public Masses but also for all activities and celebrations involving church communities.

The Carmelite Community celebrated their patronal feast day, Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel Jul 16, with Mass at the Carmel Monastery Chapel. The main celebrant for the Mass was Archbishop John Wong, assisted by Carmelite chaplain, Fr Mattheus Luta.

About 30 parishioners, mainly the lay Carmelites (OCDS), gathered in strict compliance with the protocol and SOP imposed by the authorities. During Mass social distancing and wearing face masks were observed by the Mass attendees.

As is customary, the homilist would provide spiritual reflection for members of the community. The Archbishop, in his homily, asked “Why is Our Lady named after a mountain?”  

According to the Holy Scriptures, he preached, Mount Carmel was associated with prophet Elijah who defended the faith of the people of Israel in the living God. It was also where he prayed to God for rain, added the prelate.

Carmelite tradition suggests that in the twelfth century a group of hermits settled at the site that was claimed to be the location of Elijah’s cave and founded the Carmelite Order to lead a contemplative life under the patronage of the Mary, the Mother of God.

Archbishop Wong invited the Carmelite community to make a place for Mary in their hearts as he urged them to contemplate on the liturgies from (Gal 4:4) “God sent His Son, born of a woman”, and from (Jn 19:26-27) “This is your mother…”

He underlined that Jesus came into the world through Mother Mary and gave Himself to us. He comes to us in a gentle way.

After Mass, the prelate was invited to a simple cake cutting ceremony and pot-bless breakfast fellowship.