By C. E. Joan
Once again the Chinese New Year comes round to gladden us, and we may, this year, sincerely greet our Chinese Readers: "A HAPPY, HOLY and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR," for we are, doubtless, on the verge of brighter days! The Chinese of Malaya as well as members of other communities have been passing through unparalleled days of anxiety and depression. Unemployment has stalked through the land, and the Chinese as the largest community have probably suffered most; but it is heartening to think the clouds arc lifting and that better days are here. The year that is fast dying has been full of worries and anxiety but the year that is just beginning is pregnant with possibilities of a brighter future for all, and in particular for the Chinese. For there is not the darkest night that has no dawn, no storm that is not succeeded by a calm, no upheaval that does not ring peace in its train. The troubles and disappointments of yesteryear, so patiently borne, must be relegated to the past never to return. It is to the, future that we must look, placing all our hopes and confidence in Divine Providence.
The Chinese New Year Festival, like any other, is a time of rejoicing more especially for children. On this happy occasion, however, Catholics will not forget their less fortunate brethren to whom the Chinese New Year may mean nothing. But it is in the power of the rich- to make this New Year a happy one for the suffering poor of Christ by their generous alms and assistance in kind.
The measure of our love for God is shown by the love we have for our neighbour. For, as St. John tells us, how can we say that we love God Whom we see not, when we love not our neighbour whom we see? Love is proved by deed, and there is at present plenty to be done for the needy. The unemployed desire aid and employment; the poor hold out their hands for alms; the orphans are in need of fatherly care and support; the sick are to be nursed; the youths of our generation require special guidance; and the afflicted crave for sympathy and relief.
In return, God will reward us a hundredfold here below, and life everlasting hereafter. God will not be outdone in generosity. He considers whatever done to the poor in His name as having done to Himself; "Amen, I say to you, as long as you did it to one of those my least brethren, you did it to me." What a great honour for us if we had the opportunity to ad-minister to the wants of our Blessed Lord during His mortal life on For at the last day He will say To the just : "I was hungry, and you game me to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked, and you covered me; sick,' and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to see me." Let us therefore, make the Chinese New Year as happy as possible* for the poor. Our superfluities are the necessities of the poor. Surely we can afford to sacrifice what is superfluous in our expenses to relieve the indigent and needy. This will not take away what we have; but on the contrary, the more we give of our abundance, the more we will receive from God. If a cup of cold water given in the name of God will not pass unrewarded, what must be the reward of those who devote their life and money to t h e service of the poor! Blessed are these people, for theirs is the Kingdom of God!
Once again, we wish all our Chinese Readers: "A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR."
- Malaya Catholic Leader, Saturday, February 2nd, 1935 (pdf pp 48)