Archbishop Goh launches the Year of Mercy as he opens the Holy Door at Divine Mercy Church
“May the doors of our hearts be wide open to His call and may the doors of all our parishes be open to all who seek the living God,” said Archbishop William Goh as he launched the Jubilee Year of Mercy on Dec 8.
In a solemn ceremony outside the designated Holy Door at the Church of Divine Mercy, Archbishop Goh said, “Jesus is the door. In the words of Pope Francis, there is only one way that opens wide the entrance into a life of communion with God.”
He told the 1,800-strong crowd gathered for the event on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception that “today as we enter through …this Holy Door, let it be a reminder to all who pass through here that Jesus is the way to salvation.”
He added that the Holy Door “serves as a symbol of God’s everlasting mercy and His constant invitation for us to return home to Him.”
Archbishop Goh then blessed the door with holy water and incensed it.
A hush fell over the congregation as he pulled open the door and walked through it to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy Mass.
In his homily, Archbishop Goh told the crowd that “as we begin the Year of Mercy, I want you all to be messengers of God’s mercy. Give hope to people, be merciful…. Be compassionate because we ourselves are sinners. The bishop is a sinner too.”
He explained that going through the Holy Door, an important aspect of the Year of Mercy, means “I want now to walk the way of Jesus.”
“It means … from now on Jesus is my door, Jesus is my shepherd. I want to walk the way of
truth, the way of love, the way of life.”
He stressed that “mercy makes us loving people, gives us hope. And so for this year, make your resolution: ‘I will be the channel of God’s mercy.’”
Several participants CatholicNews spoke to said they were moved by the special Mass and its symbolic significance.
“It was very good, very inspiring, to know that it’s not the ‘door’ that’s important, but that the door represents Jesus,” said Ms Fidelia Eber, a parishioner of the Church of Divine Mercy. “So it’s important to follow Jesus.”
She said she feels that the special year will be “more meaningful if we have love in our hearts for one another”.
Mr Victor Ong, 49, from St Anne’s Church, said the Mass and the opening of the Holy Door showed him how rich the Church is in “ritual, culture and history”.
He said the celebration of the special year was “quite apt because world is in chaos, fighting, terrorism”.
“I thought the Church response of mercy is appropriate,” he said.
He added that if all Catholics in Singapore could demonstrate this quality in their workplaces and families, “I think this can be a significant transformation for Singapore”.
By Christopher Khoo
related article: Designated parishes open their Holy Doors