M’sia Day Mass 2016

KOTA KINABALU: The St Simon Catholic Church Likas community celebrated Malaysia Day Mass in the nation’s official language, in conjunction with the 53rd anniversary of the formation of Malaysia, on Sept 18.

Parish priest Fr Cosmas Lee presented his homily in fluent Bahasa Malaysia to instill a sense of patriotism among the parishioners. It wasn’t always so, he said, as he recalled his struggles to get a grasp of the language in the earlier years.

Waktu saya pulang dari Eropah pada tahun 1976, saya tidak biasa (kira) sampai enam. Tapi waktu sudah keluar negeri, sepanjang enam tahun di Eropah, hati saya mencari akar peribadi saya – siapakah aku ini?

(When I returned from Europe in 1976, I did not know how to count even up to six [in Bahasa Malaysia]. But in my six years in Europe, I was searching myself – who am I?)

Selepas selesainya pelajaran saya di Eropah, saya rasa satu kompleks kemaluan kerana tidak tahu Bahasa Malaysia, sebab saya seorang warga negara ini,” he said in his homily.

(After my studies in Europe, I felt an inferiority complex because I did not know Bahasa Malaysia despite being a citizen of the country.)

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Combo photos show Fr Cosmas Lee (right) conducting a mini survey among the children (left) during the sending off to the Children Liturgy at the Morning Mass. – photos by Douglas Yu

Tidak lama yang lalu, saya berkesempatan berjamuan makan dengan teman-teman saya – teman-teman yang berpendidikan tinggi (dan) yang tahu isu-isu sosial, agama, ekonomi dan politik di Malaysia.

(Not long ago, I had an opportunity to dine with a small group of friends – they are well-educated and are aware of the social, religious, economic and political issues in Malaysia.)

He said after the discussion, their first conclusion was that there is no other country that they felt more proud of than Malaysia in terms of its natural beauty, people and food.

Dulu, dan mungkin sekarang juga, tiada negara/negeri lain yang begitu seronok, indah dan yang menyenangkan hati kita selain daripada Malaysia, Sabah.

(Last time, and probably even now, no other country/State is more enjoyable, beautiful and heartwarming than Malaysia, Sabah.)

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Godfrey Moey (fifth left), who led the Boys’ Brigade during the flag-raising ceremony, in a group photo with others.

Tidak lama yang lalu, kita sebagai warga Malaysia sungguh berbangga kerana negara inilah yang menjadi contoh bagi semua bangsa dan negara – dengan keharmonian dan kesatuan kita.

(Not long ago, we as Malaysian citizens had been so proud to be an example to other races and countries – for our harmony and unity.)

Lihatlah kawan-kawan kita yang (terdiri) daripada semua bangsa, agama, taraf sosial dan ekonomi. Di manakah kita dapat makan makanan seperti yang terdapat di Malaysia? Di manakah terdapat rakyat yang begitu ramah?” he said.

(Just take a look at our friends who come from different races, religions, social and economic status. Where else can you find a food variety like in Malaysia? Where can you find friendly citizens?)

The second conclusion that Fr Cosmas and his friends made was the growing cynicism among most Malaysians in the present political climate.

Malaysia adalah tanah air kita dan siapa yang tidak mengakuinya tidak patriotik dalam hati sejatinya. Sebagai warga tanah air ini, kita mempunyai hak-hak dari segi agama, politik dan sosial – sekaligus juga tanggungjawab sebagai anak-anak tanah air ini,” he said.

(Malaysia is our homeland and whoever denies this fact is not patriotic at heart. As citizens of this homeland, we have religious, political and social rights – and also a responsibility towards our homeland.)

He stopped short of talking about the political and economic issues in Malaysia, but in light of the event, he said as citizens of the country, the people should take responsibility towards the country.

Di manakah hati kita? Apakah kita mahu berusaha untuk mencinta tanah air, di mana kita rasa bangga? Apakah usaha ini sia-sia?

(Where is our heart? Is our effort to love our homeland, where we feel proud of, in vain?)

Maka kita harus dengar kata-kata Yesus, ‘Berikanlah kepada Kaisar apa yang menjadi hak Kaisar, berikanlah kepada Allah apa yang menjadi hak milik Allah’.

(Let’s turn to the words of Jesus, ‘Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, to God what belongs to God’. [Matt 22:21])

Untuk melakukan kehendak Tuhan, saya ada satu cara saja: Hidup dan bekerja di dalam situasi ini di tanah airku, Malaysia. Tiada jalan yang lain.

(To do God’s will, there is only one way for me: To live and work in these circumstances in my homeland, Malaysia. There is no other way.)

Fr Cosmas urged the people to pray for the country amid the political turmoil, and for leaders who will genuinely care for the country.

Bagus kita pergi kepada Tuhan sebab saya pun tidak tahu bagaimana mahu selesaikan masalah Malaysia – bagaimana untuk terus memegang kepada harapan.

(Let’s turn to God because I do not know how to solve the problems in Malaysia – how to continue holding on to hope.)

Kita memohon kepada Tuhan yang Maha Kuasa. Dia satu-satunya yang dapat membantu kita. Dengan rendah hati, kita meluhurkan permohonan kita kepada Tuhan.

(We offer our prayers in humility to the only One who can help us, our Lord, God Almighty.)

At the end of the Morning Mass, the parishioners, led by Fr Cosmas, congregated around the flag poles in the Church compound for the flag-raising ceremony as the people sang “NegaraKu” and “Sabah Tanah Airku”.

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