Cycle C 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Eccl 1:2,2:21-23; Col 3:1-5,9-11; Lk 12:13-21

Charles Dickens in his play “The Christmas Carol” gives the picture of a selfish man, Mr Scrooge, whose sole aim in life was acquiring as much wealth as possible at any cost. He considered Christmas celebrations as humbug, and hated charity. He weighed human relationship

Homily: Cycle17C

Cycle C 17th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

Gen. 18:20-1, 23-32; Col. 2:6-14; Lk. 11:1-13

Leo Tolstoy’s “God Sees the Truth, But Waits” is a parable of forgiveness.

Ivan Demetrievich Aksenov was a merchant living in the town of Vladimir. One day he planned to go to a fair as a business venture, but his wife pleaded for him not to go because of a nightmare she had the previous night. She said that all his hair had gone gray when he returned from the fair. Aksenov ignored his wife's dream and left for the fair.

Aksenov met another merchant on his way, and the two decided to travel together. They checked into an inn and retired separately. Aksenov woke early the next morning to get to the fair and left without the other merchant. Not far down the road, Aksenov was stopped by the police. They explained that a merchant was just murdered and robbed in the town, and they searched Aksenov's bag. They found a bloody knife, and despite Aksenov's claims of innocence, he was sentenced to be flogged and sent to Siberia.

Aksenov spent twenty-six years in Siberia. Slowly he gave up his desire for revenge, resigned to his fate, and dedicated his life to God. He became a mediator of sorts in the prison, and he was well respected by the other prisoners and guards alike. One day a new prisoner, Makar Semonovich, was transferred to the prison. After overhearing several conversations, Aksenov discovered that Makar Semonovich was the man who committed the murder for which Aksenov was blamed.

One day the prison guards noticed that someone had been strewing mud around the grounds, and the search led to the discovery of a tunnel. Aksenov had found out earlier that it was Makar Semonovich who was digging the tunnel, but even after being questioned by the police, Aksenov declared that it was not his place to speak about the matter. Makar Semonovich approached Aksenov later that day in a terrible state, and he confessed eventually his crime. Aksenov forgave Makar Semonovich, and he felt as if a terrible weight had been lifted.

In the prayer that Jesus taught, He added a clause, “Forgive us as we forgive our trespassers”. Forgiveness is the central problem of life. Sin is a sense of separation from God, and is the major tragedy of human experience. Whenever sin increased, God’s inevitable punishment was pronounced. Many a time we find mediators, pleading with God, for the sake of humanity. The first reading gives an instance of Abraham’s pleading with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah, even if there were only ten just men in the city.

We often think, what is the use of one man observing justice, while the whole world around is reeling in injustice. The first reading is the answer to this question. The just life of one man, can save the whole world from the punishment of God. Whenever we do a little act of kindness, whenever we extend a helping hand to the needy, whenever we console an ailing friend, whenever we adhere to truth, we contribute to the goodness in the world. No good action, however trivial it appears, will go futile.

The Prayer that Jesus taught us covers all life. It covers past sins. When we pray we cannot do other than praying for forgiveness. The primary condition to accept God’s forgiveness is to extend our forgiveness to others.

If our prayers are not being answered, we should search our consciousness, and see if there is someone whom we have yet to forgive. Find out if there is some old thing about which we are very resentful. Search and see if we are not really holding a grudge against someone.

Secondly, it covers the present need. It tells us to pray for our daily bread. When the people of Israel were fed with “Manna” (Ex 16:11-21) they were directed to gather only what was enough for the day. We are not to worry about the unknown future, but to live a day at a time. Cardinal Newman prayed for the strength to keep the next step.

Lead, kindly Light, amid th'encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene--one step enough for me

Since we are filled with remorse about the past and anxiety about the future we forget the present. We often ponder over what we could not do yesterday, or what we will do tomorrow, so we fail to see the obligations of today. Hence Jesus reminds us to live “today”.

Thirdly, it covers future trials. “Temptation” means “any testing situation”. It includes every situation that is a challenge to and a test of a person’s integrity and fidelity. As one grows more and more intense in spiritual life, the trials that he has to overcome too increase. As we advance, new and powerful temptations await us on the path, ever ready to hurl us down, if we are not watchful.

To emphasize the importance of persevering in prayer, Jesus gave the story of a friend who arrived at midnight and the necessity to go next door to one’s neighbour to borrow loaves of bread.

Jesus concluded His teaching by saying that “If you ask, it will be given to you.” Our prayers are answered by not granting what we ask, but by giving what we need.

I asked for strength…….
And God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom…
And God gave me problems to solve
I asked for prosperity…
And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work
I asked for courage…
And God gave me Danger to overcome
I asked for love….
And God gave me Troubled people to help
I asked for Favours….
And God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted…
I received everything I needed, my prayer have been answered.



Gen 18:1-10; Col 1:24-28; Lk 10:38-42

Hospitality is a great virtue hailed in all the world civilizations. To the ancient Greeks and Romans, hospitality was a divine right. In the Biblical tradition hospitality is an obligation. The most extreme example is provided in Genesis (19:8), Lot provided hospitality to a group of men.

Cycle C 15th Sunday In Ordinary Time

Deut 30:10-14; Colo 1:15-20; Lk 10:25-37

The Epic poem “Paradise Lost “of John Milton gives a vivid description of the fall of Angels from “Heaven”. The Satan decided that he was equal to God, and he was powerful enough to challenge God. So, a war broke out in heaven. Satan and his followers rallied

Cycle C 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

[Is. 66:10-4; Gal. 6:14-18; Lk. 10:1-12, 17-20]

John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” is one the greatest works that describe the journey of human soul towards its destination.

Christian begins his journey from his home town the “City of Destruction” to the “Celestial City.” On his way he had to face numerous challenges. Finally he reached the “wicked Gate” which would lead him to the “King’s Highway”. At the end of his journey he reaches the “Place of Deliverance”. When he steps on to the “Place of Deliverance”, the burden on his back falls down and he is relieved. There he is given the greeting of peace and he is welcomed into the “Celestial City”.

In today’s Gospel we see Jesus sending out his disciples to impart to the people greeting of peace and welcome them to the “Kingdom of God.” The Gospel says that Jesus sent out a large number of disciples. There were seventy of them.

The number seventy has great significance. It was the number of the elders who were chosen to help Moses with the task of leading and directing the people in the wilderness (Num 11:16). Again, it was the number of the Sanhedrin, the Supreme Council of Jews. The number seventy also represented the number of nations in the world. There are seventy tribes or clans listed in the Book of Genesis. In the mind of Luke, the sending of the seventy disciples was a sign that all the nations of the world are to be invited to the “Kingdom of God.”

This passage also tells us of certain supremely important things about our journey. We are to travel light. It is easy to get entangled in the things of this life.

The Poem: Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost expresses this concept in a very touching manner. The poet was travelling through the woods filled up with snow. He was tempted to stop to enjoy the beauty of the woods. But he became duty conscious and he thought,

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

Once Dr Johnson, after seeing through a great Castle remarked grimly, “These are the things which make it difficult to die.” The Earth and its fleeting allurements often blot out heaven. The advancements of science and its achievements make us feel too self- reliant and forget the reality that we are mere travellers on the Earth. We just pass by never to return. In this journey many of us are deterred by the dazzling sights along the way and forget the aim of our journey.

“Men, like nails, lose their usefulness when they lose direction and begin to bend.” Says, Walter Savage Landor. So it is of utmost importance that we should always be conscious of our goal.

Secondly, we are to concentrate on our task. When Jesus sent out His disciples they were directed to greet no man on the way. In the Old Testament we read that Elisha heard of the news of the death of the Shunemite woman’s son. He ordered his servant Gehazi to gird his loins and take up his staff in his hand and go and lay the staff on the face of the child. If anyone saluted him he was not to reply. Gehazi was entrusted with a mission. Jesus sent out His disciples in the same manner. They too were entrusted with a mission. So they were not to stop until they reached their destination. Like the Christian of the Pilgrim Progress we are on a mission and we should not be stopped by anything on the way.

When Lot and his family fled from the wicked men God commanded him to go forward and never turn back until they reached the mountain top. But Lot’s wife turned back to see what was happing behind her, and she became a salt statue.

Orpheus is a Greek mythical figure. His music was enchanting. One day he was shocked to see that his wife was dead. So he went to the underworld and played so mournfully that all the nymphs and even Hades, the god of the underworld, was moved by his music. Hades agreed to allow Eurydice, his wife to return with him to Earth on condition; he should walk in front and not look back until they both reached the upper world. He set off with Eurydice following him, and in his anxiety as soon as he reached the upper world he turned to look at her, and she vanished for the second time.

The command of Jesus to His disciples was never to stop or turn back; but to go ahead until they reached their destination. Bu in our anxiety and worries, we often tend to turn back and defy His command.

Now we are entrusted with the same mission that Jesus entrusted His disciples with, i.e., to bring God’s reign into our lives.