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Monday, 30 June 2014

I will follow you wherever you go Mt 8:18-22

I will follow you wherever you go Mt 8:18-22
I will follow you wherever you go. My God, what a strong decision! Eighth and ninth chapters of Mathew are full of miracle narratives. We should remember it is in the midst of these narratives we find this challenging verse. How beautiful and useful it is to follow a miracle performer! It reminds me right now my childhood days as an altar boy. Whenever a new priest comes to our parish I was very eager to take him for a visit to different families. They were also very happy that I was regular and punctual. Since I knew almost all the families of my area it was very helpful for them too. When review myself today I find that it was not truly the expression of my interest in family visits or make fathers familiar to these families rather it benefited me a lot;especially I could share the coffee time with them. Yes, father I will follow you wherever you go. Back to the scene, Jesus answers the man,"Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lie down and rest." Lord, Jesus Christ I am very happy that I am with you today as a priest not for the coffee time, but to be simply with you and to be sent out wherever you like. Amen. Have a nice day.             

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Feats of SS.Peter & Paul Mt 16:13-19

Feast of SS.Peter & Paul  Mt:16:13-19

Who do you say that I am?
Amidst the hosanna/halleluiah cries of thousands, Jesus wants to single out what his disciples think of him. The question sometimes we ourselves want to raise in our daily life. It seems to me at times it is an age of friendship. When I go sometimes through the facebook/google+ accounts of some of my friends I am amazed to see the friends accounts/circles, not in hundreds or in thousands,but in lakhs, naturally from all walks of life. One day it happened to one of my youth parishioners. His marriage celebration was the occasion. Since he had many friends, as it was told, I thought the celebration would have gone well with their generous cooperation and help. But it turned to be  the worst day, as I was told, this young chap never wants to remember, alone and alone, everything on one shoulder. As the saying goes, water,water everywhere not a single drop.... Do you too want to ask the same question - who do you say that I am? -  amidst the heaps of likes that receive everyday? Really I hope so. Therefore, instead of judging others, let us ask the special grace we need today to be a real friend to my brother/sister. Nice day to you...                  

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Immaculate heart of the mary

Immaculate heart of Mary 28-06-14
"Son,why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you so anxiously." My,God! one of the best comforting words contemporary man wants to hear. Though lost or left, everyone wants to hear this 'manthra.' Now a days children know that they are astray and almost on verge of loss, that they should not have stayed back with their friends for such a long time, that they should not have gone to such and such places. It was their mistake only, they admit. Yet, they pray, Mom if you were....  Yes, child, here is your mother standing before you with those ever consoling words. She is just with you - before you to lead, behind you to encourage, beside you to support and encourage. She won't ever condemn you, but ask only to obey the words of Jesus Christ and see the miracle in your life. Today on the feast of immaculate heart of Mary let us rededicate ourselves,our family members, our country to her heart.      

Friday, 27 June 2014

Solemnity of most sacred heart of Jesus 27-06-2014

Solemnity of most sacred heart of Jesus 27-06-2014

On this day of the solemnity of most sacred of Jesus, let us rededicate ourselves to the most sacred of Jesus. Why does people say that Jesus' heart is most sacred? It is only because,I think, of the love, purity and sincerity of his heart. St.John in his first letter says, "in this is love, God loved us first and gave his life on the cross for us" the weak, the sinners and the enemies. We hear from the gospel of Matthew, Jesus saying,"the yoke I will give you is easy and the load I will put on you is light." A very sincere call from the core of Jesus' heart. There is no cheat, no hypocrisy, and no false promise. You have to bear your suffering by yourself, but I will make it light and bearable. He won't remove our cross from our daily  life but surely will help us carry it behind him, the crucified one. Lord, help me to carry my daily duties entrusted to me and glorify you here on earth!  Amen      

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Sunday 29-06-14 St.Peter and St.Paul

 Sunday 29-06-14   St.Peter and St.Paul

Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, today we celebrate the solemnity of the two pillars of the church: St.Peter, the prime among the twelve apostles and St.Paul, the apostle of the gentiles. Both of them proved their love for and loyalty to Jesus Christ their Lord and master by laying down their lives. 

We see Peter, a Galilean fisherman with all his weaknesses and frailties was called by Jesus and entrusted to him the care of the church.  His former name was Simon which means weak or reed and later was changed by Jesus to Peter, meaning rock. It is on this solid foundation Jesus built his community of believers, the church. Of course, it is a clear indication that those people who are called by Jesus may not be strong, intelligent, or powerful. But what matters is whether they are faithful to him or not. It was not Peter’s physical strength or fisherman’s experience that Jesus wanted but fidelity to and love for him. Once Peter felt that his strength is nothing other than Jesus Christ the crucified he was not afraid or ashamed of proclaiming Jesus as the Lord and God even in the midst of cruel persecutions and sufferings. In the book of the Acts we read that St.Peter rejoicing as they were flogged by the Jewish council. They considered it even worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of Jesus’ name.

Paul was totally contrary to Peter’s character. He was a Pharisee who had procured higher knowledge of Jewish law under Gamaliel and a roman citizen. Because of his zeal for the Jewish law only he started persecuting Christians. As in the case of Peter, Jesus was not attracted by Paul’s intelligence or his knowledge of the law but his love for Jesus. Even though he was abandoned by his friends, fellow Jews, and the pagans, he kept for himself that Jesus Christ has made him his own. Therefore, he was not afraid of proclaiming Jesus even in the midst of many a suffering that is elaborated in the second of Corinthians. Also we read in the letter to the Colossians, Paul who was persecuting Christians earlier now rejoicing in his sufferings for Jesus’ sake, longing for completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.

Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, on this feast of St.Peter and St.Paul, let us be more courageous and confident to proclaim Jesus in our daily life. Jesus does not count our money, education, family background or beauty but our openness, simple love and fidelity. With these we can do a lot for Jesus in and around our family and our village. It may be our family prayer, teaching children about Jesus and the church, going to the church and participating in the prayers and the holy Eucharist. Or even it may be our simple life witnessing Christian values, being honest, human, loving, helping out others. Then Jesus will work even wonders through us. Let us not forget that it was neither Mary nor servants who worked wonder at Cana. But their roles were also counted by Jesus. We are not called to do only extra ordinary things in our lives to be true Christian, but to do ordinary things in an extra ordinary way of fidelity to Christ, charity towards our brethren and hope in the life everlasting. Blessed Mother Theresa once said, “we are not called primarily to be successful in life but faithful in life.” 

Let us in a special way pray and believe with St.Paul, I can do all things in Jesus Christ who strengthens me. Let us keep it as a special mantra of our daily life.  May Mary mother of Jesus intercede for us that we may become simple, true witnesses to Jesus Christ from today on. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit! Amen.     

Sunday 22-06-14 Bread of life (Jn 6:51-58)

Sunday 22-06-14  Bread of life (Jn 6:51-58)

Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, today as we celebrate in a special manner the feast of Jesus’ precious body and blood, we begin to catch a glimpse of the power of Jesus' words that those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me and I in them (v.56). Eat – Drink – Abide. The image of the banquet remains, throughout the whole Bible, as the central image of life and communion." 'Man is what he eats,' the German philosopher Feuerbach wrote. Jesus' words to the gathered crowd caused a debate among the Jews who heard them.  "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Not only does Jesus offer his flesh and blood for the life of the world, there is no life apart from eating the flesh and blood of the Son of Man. That means these words had to do with, on the one hand, taking the whole of Jesus’ life and ministry into one's being - an intimate union with Jesus Christ  and on the other hand, referring to the unity/koinonia among the believers. Intimate union with Christ - unity among brethren. 

Here John is revealing the inner meaning of what Matthew, Mark and Luke will portray in the outward act of eating bread and drinking wine in the transformation of the Passover meal into an eating and drinking, "in remembrance of me." What is the memorial that he has left for us? It is none other than service and love. If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed you feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet”(13:14), “you love one another as I have loved you”(15:12). That is why the judgment becomes unique, “truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me,”(Mt 25:40). That is why St.John omits the narration of the institution of the Eucharist at the last supper and brings Jesus’ washing of disciple’s feet. Again seeing the disunity among the Corinthians St.Paul scolds them, “when you come together, it is not really to eat the Lord’s Supper.”       

Therefore, I want to make clear that communion with Christ is a lifestyle and the celebration of the Eucharist, however, does not create intimacy with the Lord -- it is a reflection of it. It should be an expression of our love and communion. True enough, we think of communion with Christ as the sacrament of Holy Communion -- an act we participate in when we are gathered together in the church for corporate/common worship. Our Eucharist is more than a mere remembrance of what once was; it is the bread of life itself, the cup of salvation. The very physical and tangible presence of the crucified and risen Christ incorporated into our very being! Therefore, communion with Christ means a restoration of the intimacy with God that brings fulfillment and satisfaction. There is no life sustaining nourishment for the spirit to be had apart from the Lord.  "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever..."

We are in communion with Christ in the whole of our lives. While we were studying in our minor seminary, Fr.Rector used to remind us, “Holy mass is not part of the day but heart of the day.” In other words, Life in communion with Christ is not confined to a few moments in public worship of Eucharist, but is a morning 'till evening, every waking moment feeding on the One who gives us his very self to feed upon. Communion with Christ has always been a mark of the follower of Christ.  We would make significant gains in our life of "followership" -- or "discipleship," if we would focus on the Eucharist as the deepest expression of our communion with Christ and not simply a "going to" or "taking of" that begins and ends in the sanctuary. Let us not forget, to feed on Christ all the days of my life is to be in communion with Christ.  

In communion with Christ also means to follow the Jesus-way. St.John in his first letter says, “whoever says, ‘I abide in him’, ought to walk just as he walked”(1:6). It means to accept the call to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of the Kingdom. It means to live the Kingdom way/message before the Kingdom is realized in its full.

Finally, then, it is clear that Jesus, when asking the crowd to “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood” is also alluding to the new community meal that he will give at the last supper, which is itself an eternal reference to his death on the cross. Whatever else Christianity is then, it must be seen as a meal, a fellowship meal at a table spread before his new flesh and blood community, comprised as it is of both Jew and Gentile, and spread out before them by the LORD himself. St. Paul says, ”as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the lord’s death until he comes”(1cor 11:26). Again, “for all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves”( 1 cor 11:29).

At this holy Eucharist, then, this table of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the heavenly banquet he himself instituted and prepared, Jesus invites us to partake of this new life, offered through his death and his resurrection. At his table we are in communion with the Son, finding the promise of life, renewal, peace, and the reality of community and of true humanness. And, at his table we find the promise of the reality of the present and future Kingdom. In other words, what we dream for the world in our heart of hearts -- peace, hope, a common humanness -- was actually accomplished when the Son died on the cross. And this is what is offered in the Eucharistic meal -- the shared memorial and the shared community life of the Son.

I conclude with this short homily with St.Paul “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (col 2:6).To live in Christ is to love.  Let us remember, “no one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”(Jn 15:13).