Summary for Pope Benedict’s third Encyclical: Charity in Truth

July 19, 2009

You can find the summary written by Jeff Mirus at this page:
Benedict’s Third Encyclical: A Summary

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A memory with Archbishop Emeritus Gregory Yong

July 1, 2008

When I attended a wedding in Indonesia, I heard the news that Archbishop Emeritus Gregory Yong has returned to the Father’s home. I was quite surprise. I didn’t know him very well or in person. I have met him several times, during my university days when he celebrated mass and when I came and visited him at St. Joseph old folks home when he already retired as the archbishop of Singapore. It is this last visit that impressed me a lot and which I would like to share.

I came to St. Joseph old folks home together with Maya and her choir to visit the parish priest who was treated there as well due to some bone fracture. After the visit, we decided to come to the archbishop emeritus’ room and have a short chat with him.

He looked older the the last time I saw him (during university days) but he was so happy to welcome us. He loved to chat and talked with all of us. He asked questions to everyone of us, where we came from, are we singaporean, or malaysian, or indonesian, etc. He also joked and made us laugh often. What a wonderful time 🙂

Then he showed us an artwork. It was a gift by his fellow bishop (from Bishop of Penang, if I am not mistaken). The artwork was made of stones of different sizes and colours.  Those stones were arranged in such a way that it forms a picture, a palace, with some trees, and rivers.

Then he started to ask us what this picture is all about. Then one of us started to guess, it’s a palace, a kingdom. Then he nodded happily. It is a Kingdom! And we are a kingdom people, he said. He started to talk about christians as a kingdom people.

And he showed us again the little stones that form all the pictures. He told us these are precious stones. And he asked who are these precious stones. We made it again to guess, this must be all of us christian. He looked happy 🙂 We are the precious stones, he said. All of us are precious in God’s eyes and we all build the kingdom of God. The kingdom is built upon the precious stones and Jesus is the corner stone.

He started to share about the twelve stones that become the foundations, and he moved on to share about Heaven and what heaven looks like. At the end, we have to go back, and he told us to come again and have a chat with him next time.

I never had the chance to have a chat with him after that time. But the meeting that day made a big impression in my life. This is the man who shepherd the church in Singpaore. Though he was just in his room, in this old folks home, he didn’t stop preaching the Gospel. He couldn’t stop sharing the faith. He kept on sharing the good news, through his joy, through his friendliness, and even through a piece of artwork. He preached about his faith and his hope in Christ using a simple gift given by his fellow bishop.

I thank the Lord for such a shepherd. I knew him only for a little while, but he has given me the message. We are that precious stones, each and everyone of us is precious, and one day, we will meet again in Heaven, in that Kingdom that we all long for.

Till we meet again your grace and thanks for shepherding us.