KUALA LUMPUR — The outgoing Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Marino, used the scriptural readings of the Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time to urge a counsel of faith, fortitude, joy and hope at his final Eucharistic celebration at the St John’s Cathedral in Kuala Lumpur, 9 November.
The nuncio left for Rome on 17 November to take up his new posting at the Vatican on 1 January.
Archbishop Marino presided at the Mass. Concelebrating were Archbishop Julian Leow, Cardinal Soter Fernandez, Archbishop Emeritus Murphy Pakiam, Msgr Marco Sprizzi, as well as the rector of the Cathedral, Msgr Leonard Lexson.
The Mass gave him the opportunity to bid farewell to the Catholic community in Malaysia.
Earlier, Archbishop Marino thanked Archbishop Julian Leow for inviting him.
Archbishop Marino used the gospel reading concerning the doubts of the Sadducees about the resurrection to tell the congregation that the resurrection will bring a dimension to souls in heaven that will transcend all limitations imposed by our earthly existence.
He said the Sadducees failed to realise that life after resurrection would be very different from what we know of life here on earth.
“In other words, life after the resurrection will surpass earthly life, transcend it and, in the end, bring our existence to the ultimate fulfilment,” he said, adding that in the resurrected state, all will live in the dimension of God, in an absolute and final way.
He said resurrection was not only the fact of rising after death, but a new way of life which we already experience now, that is the victory over sin, alienation from God and so forth.
“Our vision of life, unlike the Sadducees in today’s Gospel, looks beyond this very moment, this instance, even those marked by difficulties and anxieties,” he said.
He mentioned that our vision points to tomorrow to things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father.
The 66 year-old Nuncio also stated, “I cannot hide my sadness in saying goodbye to you, the people of God, not only for the many personal relationships with which I have been blessed over these years, but especially for the witness that you gave in living and manifesting your deep faith in Christ, your commitment to the Church and your love for the Holy Father whom I had the privilege of representing to you.”
He called on Catholics to continue to live their faith with confidence and pride, with dedication and zeal, under the guidance of their bishops and priests.
At the conclusion of the Mass, Archbishop Leow thanked Archbishop Marino for his ministry in strengthening the union between the local Church in Malaysia and Pope Francis.
He then presented a gift to the Nuncio as a remembrance of his time in Kuala Lumpur.