Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017

Midnight Mass: Isa 9:1-6; Ps 95[96]:1-3, 11-13; Titus 2:11-14; Lk 2:1-14. Day Mass: Isa 52:7-10; Ps 97[98]:1-6; Heb 1:1-6; Jn 1:1-18

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 ‘And the Word became flesh and lived among us’ (Jn 1:14)

Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ,

Merry Christmas to all of you who have come today to celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ our Lord.

  1. Internet world

Today we are in the internet world. The things are done kilometres away by pressing just buttons. Today’s world is an easy going world. We sit and enjoy comforts by mere phone calls and pay for the things just online. We need not go to the place of the things but the things come to us!!! Looks very magical!

But this facility was not used by our God to redeem us, though he has given us the intelligence. He didn’t make use of the internet to save us. He did not install wifi connections to spread his love. He came down in the form of His own creation and be lived like any of his creation and this is what we celebrate today.

  1. Partial world

Do we see the partiality today? We do see it in different forms though not very visible to our simple eyes. It was worse in the ancient times especially on the basis of gender, cast and nationality. Jesus is not a God who is born only for Christians. Our God is an impartial God who was born poor for the sake of the majority in the world. Rich were actually few who controlled the economy of the society; and it is true even today. If God wanted the followers of Christ to be rich he would have been born as the banker or as a multibillionaire. He did not come to divide but to unite. He came to make us all rich in the grace of God. Let us rejoice to day in his rebirth in our hearts.

  1. You and me in today’s world

What is the role of you and me in today’s world? The evils in the society and world is on rise. The world has become a dangerous place to live in today. I’m not giving a negative picture of the world but speaking the truth. The privacy is violated, the religiosity is not a favourable topic of discussion, materialism and consumerism has reached its peak, social injustice is what we get everywhere, criminal and terrorism are worrying factors, natural calamities are adding more fear.

How to celebrate Christmas today amidst all this? If we are willing we can: this year has been dedicated as year of the poor by the church. Through this the mother church is calling us to share our Christmas joys with the poor. We spend so much money on gifts can we be also gifts to someone? We send money to those who are underprivileged shall we send it with love? We make cakes shall we make some good memories this Christmas? We decorate with Christmas lights, shall become the lights of Christ?

May this Christmas make us rich in love peace, joy and grace of God. Amen.

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4th Sunday of the Advent December 24

4th Sunday of the Advent December 24

2 Sam 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16; Ps 88[89]:2-5, 27, 29; Rom 16:25-27; Lk 1:26-38

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 ‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house’ (2 Sam 7:11)

In one of the farewell functions for the senior classes a teacher gave a beautiful speech: She said, “Someday you will all be successful in life. Remember that a Dollar is not a dollar without each of the 100 cents; and I’m one of those cents of your life.”

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Jesus Christ,

Today we are here to speck about the contribution of Mother Mary towards the salvation History of course without removing the focus from our Saviour Jesus Christ.

So we have three things for our reflection:

  1. Annunciation:

The Gospel speaks of the Annunciation to Mary. According to the story Mama Mary is that precious one cent which made salvific plan of God complete. Let us ask what was announced to Mary? The Good news. Who was she? A girl or a woman. This tells us that the Lord will announce anyone who is prepared for the salvation of Christ is worthy of annunciation. There is no discrimination in salvation on the basis of gender, cast or creed.  One important thing that which is required of us is a beautiful and willing heart to receive Word of the Lord.

  1. Proclamation (of faith)

Second reading is speaking of proclamation of our faith prophecy of the ancient times about the coming of the Saviour. What we actually proclaim is our faith in the God who has planned so well the salvation of all. What do we say at the proclamation of faith? Christ has died, Christ is risen and Christ will come again! Is this not our faith? Many at times we say it casually without reflecting on it. in this proclamation of faith we also duly acknowledge the role of each cent that contributed towards the successful salvation history of all the nations.

  1. Construction:

Today’s first reading is speaking of the plan of David to construct a temple for the Lord. The Lord teaches a beautiful lesson to David by sending Prophet Nathan: I the Lord have created everything and what temple are you going to build for me out of the things I’ve created and provided? It is not the material temple that of the bricks and mortar but of character we need to build up a temple for the Lord. God is not available to us in the temples of the bricks and material things: St. Paul reminds us that we are the temples of the Holy Spirit. We need to remain the temples for the Lord but our beautiful attitude and character.

Let us allow the Lord to make home in our hearts. May God bless us and our disposition that Christ may be born in each our hearts. Amen.

 

3rd Sunday of the Advent December 17

3rd Sunday of the Advent December 17

Isa 61:1-2, 10-11; Ps Lk 1:46-50, 53-54; 1 Thess 5:16-24; Jn 1:6-8, 19-28

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 “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’” (Jn 1:23)

A priest was so accustomed to receive his gifts from his close friends. When his friend who owned butchery came and gave him a box of gift, the priest smelt the box and said, “ I know what’s inside, there are delicious sausages.” Next came  the son of the baker and the priest smelt the box and said, “these are lovely chocolate cookies.” Then the friend from liquor shop came and when he handed the box, the priest smelt it and said, “this is the my favourite port wine.” But he was surprised at the movement in the box, and the box had a kind of liquid outside. The priest, out of surprise tasted and said again, “it doesn’t taste like wine.” When he opened the box there was no wine, but a puppy!!!

 Dear brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

During Christmas we usually expect gifts, sometimes which we need sometimes what we don’t expect. Anyway after Christmas Trademe will have so many unwanted gifts!

Instead of expecting we have forgotten main characteristics of Christmas. The readings advise us to

  1. Rejoice

The mother Church calls this Sunday as the Gaudate Sunday as it has words of rejoicing. Actually the life is so beautiful that we can rejoice in the Lord always. Let us rejoice in the life, with its gifts and talents the Lord has bestowed on us. Let us rejoice for such a good God who loves and grants us His Holy Spirit in abundance! Let us rejoice with our families, with our friends, with whatever we have. Let us rejoice in the vocation we have received from the Lord. Let is rejoice and live a happy life.

  1. Relive

Most of the times due to the many pressures of life we have forgotten to live a beautiful life for the glory of God. Though we have everything we have been comparing with others and making our life miserable. If we expect things like that priest in our life, the life will become quite monotonous as we know what is going to happen for us. Let us heed what St. Paul says, ‘Do not quench the Spirit, hold fast what is good, and abstain from evil.’ In short, if we have not lived a proper life in the love of God, the life is still at hand, let us relive the life of values for the Glory of God.

  1. Reach out

When we rejoice with whatever we have and relive our life of values, we realise that the gift of life is not meant to be spent on oneself rather in the service of God and our brothers and sisters. This is year is also dedicated for the poor by the Mother Church. Let us be aware of the needs of the people around us. Let us reach our in their need. Remember when we were in need of salvation Jesus came to save us from our sinfulness. I feel that the lord has blessed us sufficiently to reach out to others like Mother Theresa, Susan Aubert, St. Francis and other good hearted people.

Let us prepare well as we rejoice in the gift of salvation, reliving our own life of values and reaching out with the love of God. Amen.

2nd week of Advent December 10

 2nd week of Advent December 10

Isa 40:1-5, 9-11; Ps 84[85]:9-14; 2 Pet 3:8-14; Mk 1:1-8

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Focus: “Prepare the way of the Lord….” (Mk 1:3)

Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ,

One of my best friends recently was diagnosed to have bread cancer. Another friend of mine lost his father who was the best friend of me. I lost my grandmother this year. If I ask all of u to speak about your tragedies of life you all will have series of things to tell. My point in telling this is nothing but to make all realise that we are all subject to the problems and difficulties, death and loss of beloved ones, loss of job, relationship, etc. Therefore we need to realise that comfort is necessity of life; if we are converted of heart, we will not lose hope but commit ourselves for the betterment of life in the Lord.

We have three things for our reflection:

  1. Comfort:

We acknowledge that we have pain, sorry, problems and difficulties. In this situation, what we need is consolation and comfort. Comfort could be found in the family relationship of love, understanding by someone dear to us; but not in all situations the comfort form humans works well. As we are physical and spiritual beings when the spirit is bogged down we need the spiritual consolation. In the case of death of our beloved ones, loss of career or family will bring our spirits really down. What we need is the comfort from God who has created us who knows our mechanism well. This is the same comfort the first reading is speaking about.

  1. Conversion

It is the matter of heart. Conversion doesn’t necessarily mean in terms of religion: that is transformation. Conversion according to me is about the change of attitudes, development of values, Christlikeness, righteousness, holiness and Godliness which is found in the second reading of today. Conversion lies not in the religion but in the disposition of the heart. This conversion is aimed at the coming forth of Jesus Christ our messiah as we are preparing for his birthday. A good Conversion will hold our balance in times of difficulties and comfort us in sorrow. Thus conversion becomes the necessary part of comfort.

  1. Commitment

If we are seeking comfort the conversion makes it easier and that leads us for the commitment; which means the true and actual ways and means of practicality. This is the voice in the wilderness which is crying out, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’ Commitment is the hardest thing we all face because it means first of all the Changing of our own old ways. Commitment seriously contains in our preparation for the coming of our Lord.  John showed us how prepare ourselves by his own life. He preached the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. HE lived an austere life of penance. Even he was well committed in his awaiting of the Lord, still he found himself unworthy!

First of all let us retrospect if we want comfort in our sorrow or not? Are we converted? If we are converted are we committed enough towards our preparation for the Lord’s birth in our hearts? Amen.

1st week of Advent. December 3

1st week of Advent. December 3

Isa 63:16-17, 19, 64:2-7; Ps 79[80]:2-3, 15-16, 18-19; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Mk 13:33-37

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 “Beware, keep alert…” (Mk 13:33)

Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ,

Today is the beginning of the season of Advent: Advent of our Saviour Jesus Christ. We all are waiting for His coming so that we can meet Him. He has told us all He will come when no one expects Him to come like a thief. In order to prepare ourselves in a right manner we have three things for our reflection today.

  1. Wrong:

Who doesn’t commit wrongs? All of us commit wrongs and many at times bear bad consequences for our wrongs. We say wrong things, we do wrong things, we think wrongly, we behave wrongly and we have wrong habits. We do wrongs in our personal, family spiritual and professional life. We don’t want to do wrongs but most of the time we learn only by doing wrongs of our own selves or of others. The saying rightly goes, that to err is Human but to forgive is divine.

  1. Wake up

Making mistakes and feeling bad about it alone will not help our growth. We need to wake ourselves from the sleep and slumber of wrongdoing. The hymn rightly goes, ‘Awake from your slumber, arise from your sleep….’ We are aware that we shouldn’t do wrongs in life as there will be repercussions later in life. To be awake we need the motivation or a goal. If we live our life like vegetables it’ll not do good to oneself in any way. We are rational, spiritual and emotional beings.  Most of all we are communitarian beings. When we do wrongs and when we are not even bothered about it, then it’s going to backfire on our family social, and community relationship.

  1. W-A-T-C-H

The meaning of waking up us being watchful. Watch we have to see the time, to remind that the time doesn’t wait for us. We also need to be watchful of our Words, Actions, Thoughts, Character and Hearts.

Words, because the irresponsible words hurt others,  and they break relationships. Gossiping, cursing, swearing, etc., are the examples of bad use of words.

Actions,  because actions speak louder than words. If I say I’m Christian or catholic but my actions are not corresponding a decent Christian behaviour I’ll not be a good example in the community and society.

Thoughts, because all the good or bad that we are is the result of what we have thought. Everything that we begin comes in the thought first. Let our thoughts begin in loving God and our brothers and sisters

Character, because St. Paul Says, “fortitude produces character and Character produces Hope.” If we have good thoughts we can have a good character. To form a better or bitter, positive or negative character is in our hands.

Hearts, because where there is our treasure, there will be our heart. Where are our hearts fixed on? Possession? Position? Power? If not on Christ, we will be ruthless and heartless.

Today let us ask the Grace of God to wake up from our slumber and give the perseverance to  WATCH and to become better people on earth. Amen.

34th Sunday of the Ordinary time: Christ the King. November 26

34th Sunday of the Ordinary time: Christ the King. November 26

Ezek 34:11-12, 15-17; Ps 22[23]:1-3, 5-6; 1 Cor 15:20-26, 28; Mt 25:31-46

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 ‘I will seek out my sheep’ (Ezek 34:12)

Today Dear brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ, is the Solemnity of Christ the King. Let us try to understand this solemnity as we reflect on three things:

  1. King:

Who is a king? King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. He could be good or bad as the history has taught us: it’s purely the personal choice. For many people who acquired this position the title remained just a title. The king is the head of a nation or country. All look to him as the example. Which earthly king has been such an example, who has not faltered at all? Many kings became by heredity some were chosen to be, and some others fought for it.

The true king is not one who has a great military force, or a great number of people under him, or any material force but who has the heart of understanding the pain of his people, who gives up his own glory and pomp for the up-liftment of the people. Not many have done this as Jesus has done! He gave up his comfortable position up in heaven and came down for you and me. So Christ is the King of hearts of millions of people.

  1. Kingship

To be chosen to become a king is not necessarily same as to have the kingship. Once again going back to the history we have seen many who became kings have ruined the world. There were many dictators who wrecked the peace of the world for their personal gain. Luckily we have had a few good ones who tried to unite the broken world. The kingship is not in the power of the position but in the good disposition. Having a great army one may not become a good king. To become a good king we need no army or territory. The king can’t be ‘Jackal and Hide’- good in front of the people and bad behind them.

The true kingship is mentioned in the readings of today: Shepherd King.

True kingship is not necessarily earthly which needs forts, ramparts, bombs  and guns but is most importantly of Love, peace, Happiness, Joy and of virtues.  Jesus is the one who had that kingship qualities in Him and may his kingdom come.

  1. Kingdom

We know the story of the a cobbler who was told by Jesus that he would visit him the next day!!! He was ready to accept Jesus, but early in the morning a small boy came to ask him some help. The cobbler helped the boy with the zeal of Jesus’ coming. Next he was visited by an old hungry lady. He thought he would forgo that day his portion of food and gave it to the lady and told her to hurry up as Jesus was coming. There were several people that day  whom he helped but Jesus was not seen. So he slept off. Jesus appeared in the dream but the cobbler was not so happy that Jesus hadn’t come in his real self. But the Lord showed all the forms of Him and the cobbler was so happy that he had given the best.

The kingdom of God is about God but the spreading of it is about us. What we are concerned is how to spread the kingdom of God. It is not just in proclaiming that Christ is our king we spread it rather by following the Lord in his virtues we spread it. It is once again not physical kingdom with territories but it is the kingdom of love, peace and happiness. Let us share what we have with others specially who don’t have it and care for the poor and little ones. Let’s not worry about spreading by converting people to Christianity because when we have transformation we don’t need conversion. That is our home work to do. Wherever we go let us give the glimpse of the kingdom of God by our words, thoughts and actions. Then the feast of the Christ the king holds meaning in our lives. May His Kingdom come. Amen.

33rd Sunday of the Ordinary time November 19

33rd Sunday of the Ordinary time November 19

Prov 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; Ps 127[128]:1-5; 1 Thess 5:1-6; Mt 25:14-30

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 “To all those who have, more will be given… but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away” (Mt 25:29)

Do you know the story of the birds as of how they started to fly? There is a legend which says that God had to carry much burden and he asked the help of the animals. Each animal gave an excuse: the elephant was too dignified; the lion, too proud; and so on. Only the birds came forward to help God saying that though they are small they are willing to carry God’s burden as much as they could. They carried with joy and they sang as they carried and did not seem to feel the weight of their burdens at all. Every day the burdens seemed lighter and lighter, until the loads seems to be lifting the birds, instead of the birds carrying the burdens. When they arrived at their destination, they discovered that when they removed their loads, there were wings in their place, wings which enabled them to fly to the sky and the tree tops.

Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ,

We have three things for our reflection:

  1. Talents

Each of is born with talents of one or the other kind. Many have multifaceted talents some have a very few but important talents. Whatever profession we are into, they are the grounds where we can use our talents. The hobbies that we have are again talents which we nourish the most. We have IT professionals, business professionals, professionals in law, politics, medicine, teaching, etc. As the Gospel relates to us that all the servants were given the talents and the first did well with the talents and were rewarded for their hard work. The last one never acknowledged that he was lazy rather he blames the master for his fear. This makes me to reflect how we make life out of our talents!!!

  1. Life

It is not possession of talents that makes us talented rather making use of them for the Glory of God and for one another’s benefit makes one talented in life. It is like having money and wealth and riches but not knowing what to do with it!!! In short life is not bragging about our talents. Life is also not just being satisfied with whatever talents we have but working on them and developing. Life is not just knowing that we are in darkness but truing constantly to overcome that darkness with the help of God and our brothers and sisters. Life is not about complaining about our troubles and groaning and moaning but knowing how to deal with the tough situations of life; knowing that God has given me sufficient grace to live my life for His greater glory.

  1. Character

The challenges we face in life and the experience we get from life using our talents and gifts help us to form ourselves better characters. Every situation is an opportunity to form a beautiful character. We may be good in computers: here we have a choice to be a computer techie or a hacker! This is one example but there are many people who are good at many things but they are using their talents for bad purposes. This is our own personal choice to make ourselves a better character or not. As we have reflected on TLC, may the tender loving care of God shower on us and may we become the instruments of love peace and joy wherever we are. Amen.