KOTA KINABALU: The SM Shan Tao Likas community celebrated its monthly Student Mass at the chapel of St Simon Catholic Church Likas, here, with a Kaamatan-themed celebration on May 5.
The congregation, comprising students, teachers, parents and church ministers, led by parish rector Fr Cosmas Lee, reflected on the Gospel reading for that day (John 6: 52-59).
In his homily delivered in Bahasa Malaysia, Fr Cosmas linked the consumption of physical food to the Eucharistic celebration.
“Tuhan menggunakan makanan dan minuman supaya hidup kita itu makin menjadi sepertiNya. Sakramen itu kita sebut ‘Ekaristi’ (Through the bread and wine, God wishes that we could become more like Him. This Sacrament is called the ‘Eucharist’),” he said, citing Jesus’ words – ‘Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink’.
He added that it’s important for the faithful to come to the Eucharistic celebration filled with the spirit of thanksgiving.
“Kerana kita bukan sahaja dengarkan firman Tuhan tetapi kita juga akan makan Yesus dan menjadi Yesus (Because we are not only listening to God’s words but also to consume Jesus in the Eucharist and become more like Him).”
On the Kaamatan celebration, he candidly asked the students if any of them knew how to plant paddy, to which only one said “yes”.
Among the highlights of the celebration was the presentation of gifts in which the offertory bearers were led by Sumazau dancers who donned traditional outfit to the altar. The choir sung the traditional Kadazan offertory hymn titled “Toimoo Tuhan”.
The gifts included rice (symbol of bountiful harvest during the Kaamatan season), vegetables (represent good health for everyone), colourful flowers (diverse culture living in harmony), donation from the congregation and bread and wine (Body and Blood of Jesus Christ).
The reader, cantor,choir and commentator were all students of the school. Following the Mass, the congregation held a fellowship at the parish hall.