Cycle A Mary Mother of God



Num 6:22-27; Gal 4:4-7; Lk 2:16-21

One more year has been added to the pages of history. The year 2010 passed by leaving its joys, and pangs of grief. The earthquake in Haiti (in January) resulted in the deaths of 200,000 to 250,000 people. The floods which swept through Pakistan (in July) hit the country very badly.

Cycle A Feast of Holy Family



Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Col 3:12-21;   Mt 2:13-15, 19-23

Exile, deportation and seeking asylum in other countries have been common in our history.  Wars and civil strife have torn apart many families, and separated parents and children, brothers and sisters, or husbands and wives for many years, and, often, perpetually.

Cycle A Christmas



Is 9:2-4,6-7; Tit 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-16

The winter of 1911 was very bleak in Ukraine, especially for Mennonites (The Mennonites are a group of Christians). The Russian Revolution was in full swing and Mennonites all over the country were living under the threat of violence. Every day stories of great atrocities circulated around the small

Cycle A 4th Sunday in Advent


Is 7:10-14; Rm 1:1-7; Mt 1:1-25


Roger Chillingworth is a character in Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, The Scarlet Letter. He is an old and lonely scholar in England dehumanized by a life of abstruse studying. He married a young wife and sent her, to the Puritan colony of Massachusetts, with instructions to live quietly until he arrived. Due to

Cyclke A 3rd Sunday in Advent



Is 35:1-6,10; Ja 5:7-10; Mt 11:2-11

Sometime during the sixteenth century, in Velankanni, India, our Lady with her infant son appeared to a Hindu boy carrying milk to a customer’s home. Our Lady asked for milk for her Son and the boy gave her some. On reaching the customer’s home, the boy

Cycle A 2nd Sunday of Advent



Is 11:1-10; Rom 15:4-9; Mt 3:1-12

Alexander is one of the most fascinating personalities in human history. Although he was the son of a king and inherited an empire that included most of the Greek city-states, he set out to conquer an empire for himself. From 335 B.C. to 324 B.C., in 11 years, Alexander and his army battled their way across 22,000 miles; and founded some 70 cities in the lands he conquered and ordered them to be named after him.

Cycle A 1st Sunday in Advent



Is 2:1-5; Rom 13:11-14; Mt 24:37-44

On a mountain of Northern Vietnam, there is a rock that appears like the image of woman bearing a child in her arms looking toward the horizon like waiting for someone. This image is especially striking at sunset and sunrise, bringing about indescribable emotions to all who have ever looked up to that mountain and admired the waiting woman.

Cycle C Christ the King



2 Samuel 5: 1-3; Colossians 1: 12-20; Luke 23:35 – 43.

In the year 200AD Jingo, the Empress of Japan, invaded Korea. Following the defeat, the Korean king placed valuable treasures before the empress and promised to pay “homage and send tribute until the sun no longer rises in the East, but comes from the West; until the courses of the rivers turn backwards and the river pebbles ascend and become stars in Heaven”.

Cycle C 33rd Sunday in the Ordinary Time



Mal. 3:19-20; 2 Thess. 3:7-12; Lk. 21:5-19
 
 The Liturgical year of the church is coming to an end. Next Sunday, we shall celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, and the Sunday after, we shall start the New Liturgical Year.
 
Today's readings direct our attention to the End of the World, otherwise known as the Last Things, or the Day of the Lord. “The End Time” is a theme spoken of in all the religious writings, in the traditions of every society, and celebrated much in literature.

Cycle C 32nd Sunday in the Ordinary Time



2 Mac 7:1-2, 9-14; 2 Thes 2,16-3:5; Lk:20: 27-38

Life after death has been a burning problem for many in every century. So, the legends, folklore and fiction are full of stories of man’s attempt to gain immortality.

There is a story about Alexander’s quest for immortality. Alexander, the great, came to understand that in the mountain of Kaf there was a great cave, very black and dark, wherein ran the water of immortality.

Cycle C 31st Sunday in the Ordinary Time



Wis. 11:22-12:2; 2 Thess. 1:11-2:2; Lk. 19:1-10
Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq who succeeded Ghazi was one of the most interesting, and colourful rulers of India. He ruled Delhi from 1325 to 1351. Mohammad Bin Tughlaq shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, located in the Deccan region of India. He did this in order to administer the provinces located in the south. Since things did not work out as he had planned, the capital was shifted back to Delhi after two years.

Cycle C 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time



Sir 35:12-14, 16-19; 2Tim 4:6-8,16-18; Lk 18:9-14

In the 10th century BC, after King David captured the city of Jerusalem and made it the capital of the Israelites, he chose a high place as the site of a great temple to house the Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 24:18-25). But the construction of the project was completed by King Solomon in 957 BC. The Temple of Jerusalem was an important centre of religious and national identity from the beginning, but it became even more

Cycle C 29th Sunday in the Ordinary Time



Exodus 17:8-13; 2Tim 3:14-4:2; Lk 18:1-8
 
Once a person was driving his cart through a rain drenched road. As he moved forward the wheels began to sink in mud. The muddy roads held the wheels tight, and he could not drive forward. He yelled at the horses, He beat the horses, but there was no change. His cart remained stuck in the mud. Then he began to pray for the assistance of God. Being a great devotee of Zeus, he revoked his name. Hearing the zealous prayer Zeus appeared before

Cycle C 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time



2 Kgs. 5:14-17; 2 Tim. 2:8-13; Luke. 17:11-19

There is an interesting story about two Angels who were sent to the Earth.  The    cries and petitions of the people reach the door steps of heaven constantly. So once God decided that he should send the angels to the Earth to collect them directly from the people. Thus two angels were sent to the Earth with carry bags. One was commissioned to collect all the petitions, and the other was asked to collect gratitude.

Inherit Eternal Life



To inherit eternal life Jesus teaches us two conditions (Luke 10:25-28): i) Love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind; ii) Love your neighbor as yourself. My ultimate goal is receiving eternal life.  We all understand the need to love God. But “loving my neighbor as myself” is a problem. That is the reason the teacher of law put counter question “who is my neighbor?”

Cycle C 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time



Hb 1:2-3,2:2-4;  Tim 1:6-9,13-14; Luke 17:5-10

In the readings of today we find prophet Habakkuk, Timothy and the Apostles facing the problem that put to severe test their faith threatened to crumble.

Situation in Jerusalem was very bad at the time of Prophet Habakkuk. When the powerful Assyrian empire that

Cycle C 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time



Amos 6:1,4-7; 1 Tim. 6,11-16; Luke. 16:16,19-31.

 
In 701 BC, a rebellion backed by Egypt and Babylonia broke out in Judah, led by King Hezekiah. In response Sennacherib sacked a number of cities in Judah. The Account of Sennacherib’s invasions gives details of the things carried away by Sennacherib. He took 46 of his strong fenced cities; and of the smaller towns which were scattered about, he took and plundered a countless number. From these places he took and carried

Cycle C 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time



Amos 8:4-7; 1 Tim. 2:1-7; Luke. 16:1-13

On 22 August 1485, in marshy fields near the village of Sutton Cheney in Leicestershire, Richard III led the last charge of knights in English history. A circlet of gold around his helmet, his banners flying, he threw his destiny into the hands of the god of battles.

Among the astonished observers of this glittering panoply of horses and steel galloping towards them

Cycle C 24th Sunday in the Ordinary Time


Exo  32:7-11,13-14; 1 Tim 1:12-17; Lk 15:1-32 

Napoleon Bonapart, the French Emperor, decided to campaign against Russia, in 1812. Napoleon was pushing on with preparations for war on a colossal scale. By the summer of 1812 he had about 750,000 men under arms of whom 450,000 were destined for the actual invasion. On 28 May this army of armies set out towards East. Immense stores were collected. Two million pairs of boots were held in reserve. The baggage was hauled by

Cycle C 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time



Wis 9:13-18; Phlm 9-10,12-17; Lk 14:25-33

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed earnestly to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but no one seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and in which to store his few possessions.

Eucharistic Prayer III

The priest, with hands extended, says:
You are indeed Holy, O Lord, and all you have created rightly gives you praise, for through your son our Lord Jesus Christ, by the power and working of the Holy Spirit, you give life to all things and make them holy, and you never cease to gather a people to yourself, so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name.

Eucharistic Prayer II


The Priest, with hands extended, says:
You are indeed Holy O Lord, the fount of all holiness
He joins his hands and, holding them extended over the offerings, says:
Make Holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall,

Cycle C 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time


Sir. 3:17-20, 28-9; Heb. 12:18-9, 22-24; Lk. 14:1, 7-14

Once Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was travelling to a village for one of his regular speeches. At his station a young officer got down from the train with a suitcase.

The young officer shouted for a coolie. Vidyasagar went to him and said, "Why do you need a coolie to carry this small suitcase? Can’t you carry it yourself and save the money?"

Cycle C 21st Sunday in the Ordinary Time



Isaiah 66:18-21; Hebrews 12:5-7,11-13; Luke 13:22-30

In ancient times, towns were surrounded by walls and had one or more gates to which one reached through a narrow wooden passage. The great palace of the Chinese emperors, popularly called, “The Forbidden City” is also characterized by narrow gates. When there was any sign of danger, the narrow gates were easy to close, and easy

Cycle C 20th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

In today's Gospel Jesus said to his disciples: "I came to  bring fire to the earth." It is a very strong statement  for the listeners of Jesus. The contemporaries of Jesus expected that the Messiah would bring peace to the troubled nation, that the Messiah would   establish political stability in the nation,

Cycle C: The Assumption of Mary

Revelation 11:19, 12:1-6, 10; I Corinthians 15:20-26. Luke 1:39-56

There is a beautiful story about a fruit seller. He supplied fruits to the Royal court. One day the King had a special guest. He ordered mangoes to be supplied for the dinner. Since the season of Mangoes was over there was none to be picked from anywhere. After a long struggle he managed to get hold of a few. But, they could not be presented to the royal court as they were partially damaged. Fear of punishment had overtaken him.

Cycle C 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Wisdom 18: 6–9; Hebrews 11: 1–2; 8–19; Luke 12: 32–48

22 May 2010, The Air India Express took off from Dubai and headed towards Mangalore (India), with 160 passengers and 6 crew members. The original reservation chart had the names of 169 people. In that nine people cancelled the trip. One of the passengers had just returned from India on 20th, but was called back by her ailing husband. So she boarded the next available flight. Out of 166, 158 died when the plane overshot the runway

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 against material wealth.  He never bothered to care for his nephew or his employees.
 
One day night, he saw an unusual figure in his

Cycle C 17th Sunday in 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.

Cycle C 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time


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. When a mob tried to attack them, he offered his daughter as substitute and pleaded to spare his guests.

Cycle C 15th Sunday in the 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 on the one side; and Archangel, Michael and others on the other side. Satan was defeated and expelled from heaven. Satan and the other rebel angels are described as lying on a lake of fire,

Cycle C: 14th Sunday in 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”.

Cycle C 13th Sunday in the Ordinary Time



1 Kgs. 19:16b, 19-21; Gal. 5:1, 13-18; Lk. 9:51-62

The Indian Epics narrate many amazing stories about the dedication of the disciples to their masters. The story of Ekalavya in Mahabharata is such an amazing one.  Ekalavya is introduced as a young prince. He lived near the ashram of Drona, where Pandavas princes and Kaurava princes used to take lessons in various arts. He had great desire to learn the art of archery from Dronacharya. But Drona would not accept him as his disciple. But the boy was not to be put off; his determination knew no bounds.

Cycle C: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Zech 12:10-11; Gal 3:26-29; Luke 9:18-24

Oscar Wilde’s “The Happy Prince” is a beautiful story.

In Autumn Swallows migrate to the warm climate of Egypt. On the way a Swallow took asylum at the foot of a golden statue, ‘The Happy Prince’. As he was preparing to sleep, a drop of water fell on him. He looked up but there was no sign of rain. Again came a drop of water. The Swallow looked up, and he was shocked to see ‘The Happy Prince’ shedding tears. The Prince had precious stones for his eyes, a ruby on his sword hilt, and his body was made of gold. Yet, the Prince was not happy. The Swallow flew up to his shoulder and asked, “Dear Prince

Cycle C: 11th Sunday in the Ordinary Time


2 Sam 12:7-10; Gal 2:16, 19-21; Lk 7:36-8:3


Aesop's Fables have been around since 620 B.C.  Millions of people have enjoyed hearing them and learning from them for centuries. The story of the lion and the mouse conveys a great message.

A lion was sleeping one day when a little mouse came along and ran up and down over his face.
This awakened the lion and made him very angry.

Cycle C: 10th Sunday In Ordinary Time




1 Kgs 17:17-21, 22-24; Gal. 1:11-19; Lk. 7:11-17

The First Reading from the First Book of Kings [1 Kgs 17:17-21, 22-24] took place in the days of the great drought that was long remembered and even recorded in the Tyrian annals. When Elijah visited the widow's house, she felt that Elijah had been sent by God to make sure that she knew why her son had died. According to the mentality that prevailed in the days of the Old Testament [Jn. 9:2], the people believed that bad things happened as a punishment for their sins. So did the woman too. But after Elijah's  prayerful intercession to God,

Cycle C: Corpus Christi



Gen 14:18-20; I Cor 11:23-26; Lk 9:11-17

The Pelican is excessively dedicated to its young one. The pelican collects small fish and stores in the pouch at its neck. In the process of feeding them the bird presses the pouch against its neck. There is a reddish tinge at its breast plumage and redness at the tip of its beak.  All these specialties of the pelican have given rise to a legend of the Pelican feeding its young with its own blood.

Cycle C: Feast of Holy Trinity


Proverbs 8:22-31; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

One day St Augustine of Hippo was walking along the sea shore and reflecting on the doctrine of the Trinity. He suddenly saw a little child all alone on the shore. The child made a hole in the sand, ran to the sea with a little cup, filled her cup, came and poured it into the hole she had made in the sand. Back and forth she went to the sea, filled her cup and came and poured it into the hole. Augustine went up to her and said, "Little child, what are you doing?" and she replied, "I am trying to empty the sea into this hole."

Cycle C: Feast of Pentacost


Acts 2:1-11; I cor 12:3-7, 12-13; Jn 20:19-23

One of the popular plays of William Shakespeare   is “The Merchant of Venice.” Antonio, a successful merchant of Venice got into trouble because of his generosity. His friend Bassano requested him to lend him some money. Antonio agreed, but, as all of his assets were tied up at sea they went to Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. Shylock agreed to lend them 3000 ducats, but only if Antonio would sign a bond offering a pound of his flesh if the loan was not repaid in three months’ time. Antonio assented to the arrangement.

Cycle C: Ascension of the Lord



Acts 1:1-11; Eph 1:17-23; Lk 24:46-53
There is an interesting Zen story.

Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung. The other monk asked him, "Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know its nature is to sting?"

"Because," the monk replied, "to save it is my nature."

Cycle C 6th Sunday in Easter



Acts 15:1-2,22-29 ; Ap 21:10-14,22-23: Jn 14:23-29.
 In 403 BC, Han, one of the Seven Warring States of China, asked the rulers of Wei to dispatch troops to assist it in attacking the state of Zhao. Marquis Wen of Wei declined the request and said: "Because Wei and Zhao are brotherly states, we have signed a pact of mutual nonaggression. Thus, I dare not comply with your request." Upon hearing this the Han messenger left in anger.
When those in Zhao heard what happened, its ruler asked Wei to provide troops to help attack the Han.

Cycle C 5th Sunday of Easter


Acts 14:21-27; Ap 21:1-5; Jn 13:31-35

In 1336 BC Alexander the great began his conquest of the world. It was his dream to conquer India, the land of legends. With his army he marched towards India and reached the city of Multan. Alexander saw that the city was well fortified.  He was not ready to give up. He led the assault against the city of Multan. He climbed the fortress and ascended on the top of the city walls. Below he saw a large army aiming their poisoned arrows at him. He did not wait. He jumped into their midst. Two of his soldiers followed him. The great leader of war led from the front and his soldiers followed him. History presents a few examples of such heroic men who led from the front and others followed him. We do not see any leader other than Jesus admonishing his followers to imitate him. Jesus told his apostles, “love one another as I have loved you.”

Cycle C 4th Sunday of Easter



Acts 13:14,43-52; Ap7:9,14-17: Jn 10:27-30
9th December 1971 was the saddest day in the history of Indian Navy. Indian Navy deployed INS KHUKRI off the coast of Diu, in the Arabian Sea, for a submarine hunt. While in operation, the ship was struck by a salvo of three torpedoes. The ship sank in minutes. When everyone was trying to save himself Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla chose to be with the ship under his command. He was seen standing on the deck with a feeling of dedication and commitment to the ship and the sailors entrusted to his care. The ship was swallowed by the Arabian Sea with 194 men. Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla displayed conspicuous gallantry and dedication. He held on to the ancient tradition, “Captains don’t abandon their ships.”

Cycle C 3rd Easter



Acts 5:27-32, 40-41. Rev 5:11-14; John 21:1-19

In 1748 during the battle of Nile aboard the French Ship Orient, there took place a great and heroic event of trust. Commander Louse de Casabianca asked his young son Giocante to wait for his order to leave the deck. The boy stood on the deck waiting for his father’s orders. The ship caught fire. Flames rose to the sky. He was surrounded by flames. Finally he called out,
“Say father, say, if yet my task is done”

But the poor  little boy did not know that his father was lying dead and cold in the bottom of the ship.

Cycle C 2nd Easter Sunday



Acts 5:12-16; Rev 1:9-13, 17-19; John 20:19-31
 
After the death of Jesus, for fear of the Jews the Apostles confined themselves to a closed room. They received the news of the resurrection of Jesus from many sources.  He was seen by the women who visited the tomb. Peter saw the empty tomb. He appeared to the apostles themselves. But these testimonies did not give them enough courage to come out and    proclaim the reality of resurrection. They remained behind the closed doors.  Again Jesus appeared to them and greeted them, “Peace be with you.”

Cycle C Holy Thursday

Ex 12:1-8, 11-14; I Cor 11:23-26; John 13:1-15

Many people desired to leave behind them a concrete symbol for the posterity to remember them. The Pharaohs of Egypt had thus built the great pyramids of Egypt. It stands high, embraced by the heavenly clouds, still bearing witness to the memories of Pharaohnic rule. Former President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, figured his great face on a mountain between the cities of Pujo and Baguio. But on 30 December, 2002 the visage was blown to pieces.

Jesus left behind him not a perishable monument, but his very real presence in the institution of the Eucharist.

Cycle C Easter

Acts 10:34, 37-43; 1 Cor Rom 6:3-44; Mark 16:1-7

Alexander the great went to Corinth, to see the great philosopher, Diogenes of Sinope. Alexander was thrilled to meet him. He wished to do him some favour. But Diogenes replied, “Give me a little of immortality.”

Dear brothers and sisters man’s search for immortality is as old as man himself. In the Biblical accounts of creation we read that the serpent tempted Eve with the promise that if she ate the fruit she would become like God. And Eve could not resist that offer. She disobeyed God’s command with the desire to become like God.

Cycle C Good Friday



Is 52:13 – 53:12; Ps 31:2.6, 12-13, 15-16, 17-25; Heb 4:14-16, 5:7-9, John 18:1-19:42

Evil can never be conquered by evil; but only by goodness, violence by non-violence; and hatred by love for the enemy. That is the message of Good Friday.

French Revolution broke out with the noble aim of   freedom to all and establishing universal brotherhood. But the means used was annihilating the opponents. It caused untold misery, blood shed, violence and hatred.  Russian revolution broke out to wipe out the evils existed in the Tsar empire, again the means used was one that of violence. And violence gave rise to more violence.

Cycle C Palm Sunday


Is 50:4-7; Phil 2: 6-11; Luke 23:1-49.

The royal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem echoes many details from the life of the ancient kings of Israel and contemporary history.

The crowd around Jesus was aware of King Solomon’s royal procession on David’s royal mule as he was taken to be anointed as king.

After he rode the royal mule to be anointed, the crowd followed with shouts of “Long live King Solomon!” and they blew the trumpets and played music on pipes and sang and rejoiced in the royal procession. Riding the royal mule, and then later being seated on David’s royal throne, were both acts that confirmed that David’s kingship was legitimately being transferred to Solomon. Other narrations are found in the book of Jeremiah (13:1-11) and Ezekiel (4:1-4).

William Shakespeare gives a vivid account of the Roman triumphal procession. When Julius Caesar was returning after the victory over the sons of Pompey, the common people took a holiday, decorated the streets and shouted slogans for Caesar.

The Jews who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem that day were aware of the connections to Israel’s past kings and practices in the contemporary empires. His entry on a donkey, the spreading of cloaks beneath Him, and palm branches waving—these all were acts for royalty.

The Jews were eagerly waiting for the fulfilment of the Prophecy made by Zechariah, about 500 years ago. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey….. He shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Zech. 9:9-10).

They had lived under foreign rule for hundreds of years, with no son of David to rule on the throne. Finally, it seemed, here was the one to reclaim the throne! Just as in the royal parade for Solomon, now nearly ten centuries later the Jewish crowds in the same royal city raised their voices in the royal procession. They rejoiced and praised God for the mighty works Jesus had done, and said “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!

There was a great difference between the imperial processions and the triumphant entry of Jesus. In the Roman Imperial Processions, the picture bearers went ahead; the standard bearers moved ahead of the king; the crosslets lined before the king. Unlike the Roman imperial processions Jesus did not have any picture bearers.  There were no bearers of standards, trophies or crosslets.  Jesus was in front and He led the procession.  Because Jesus came as the king of peace. He was no ordinary king. He required no special anointing from the priests, for He had been anointed with the Holy Spirit in His baptism. He needed no officials to transfer authority, no borrowed mule from the previous king to establish His legitimacy. He wore no finery or royal robes, and marched with no other army than a small band of fisherman. He carried no sword. He made no political promises.

But Jesus gave kingly orders. He ordered his disciples, “Go off to the nearby village, you will find a tethered colt, untie it and bring it here.” These words reflected the power of authority. So the disciples did not dare to question him.

Jesus made kingly demands too. In case anyone questioned them, they were to answer “the master needs it.” The master needed a service from the owner of the donkey. And he had the right to demand that service.  As Jesus required the service of the owner of the donkey he needs the service of each and every one of us today.  He keeps on sending a variety of messages to us with the impression, “the master needs it.”

The master’s demands come to us through our neighbours.  When we place our Lenten sacrifices remember that the master needs it. The master needs to extend support to an ailing brother. The master needs it to quench the thirst of someone. The master needs it to satisfy the hunger of a needy. The master needs it to provide shelter for a homeless. And the master needs it to alleviate the pain of the suffering.

Let us remember the words of Alice Cary, "True worth is in being, not seeming: in doing, each day that goes by some good.” During this Holy week let us ask him, “Lord what do you want from me.”

Cycle C Lent 5th Sunday



Is 43:16-21; Phil 3:8-14; John 8:1-11
Oscar Wilde’s story “The selfish Giant” has a great message.
Every afternoon, the children used to go and play in the Giant's garden.
It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games

Cycle C 4th Sunday of Lent

Jos 5:9-12;2 Cor 5:17-21; Luke 15:1-3,11-32
Return of the Prodigal son

St Luke gives three parables of Jesus in the 15th chapter of his Gospel. All the three deal with the message of God’s mercy.

The parable of the shepherd who lost a sheep
The parable of the woman who lost a coin

Cycle C 3rd Sunday of Lent



Ex 3:1-8,13-15; 1 Cor 10:1-6,10-12; Luke 13:1-9
 
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Deadliest Natural calamities and man made disasters have been part of human existence. Blizzards, diseases, famines, floods, volcanic eruptions and wild fires have consumed the life of millions.

Pope's last angelus

click to watch the last Angelus Pope Benadict XVI

http://youtu.be/TuVKcsqYztU

Cycle C 2nd Sunday of Lent



Gen 15:5-12, 17-18; Phil 3:17-4:1; Luke 9:28-36.


Transfiguration of Jesus

The world is full of manifestations of God’s glory. Every morning, from the depth of darkness rises the sun, transforming the sleeping, inactive and dull earth into a vibrant planet teaming with life and activity. The light and warmth emitted from the rays of the sun enlivens every blade of grass and burst open every bud longing to blossom. This transformation of nature has been a mystery

Cycle C 1st Sunday in Lent


Deut 26:4-10; Rom 10:8-13; Lk 4:1-13

One of the strangest monuments in the world is “The boot Monument” at Saratoga in America. It shows a boot with the inscription, "In memory of the most brilliant soldier of the Continental army, who was desperately wounded on this spot, winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution,

Ash Wednesday


  Joel 2:12-18; 2 Cor 5:20 – 6:2; Mt 6:1-6,16-18



One of the   events that  changed the course of human history is the Kalinga war, fought  in 265 BC between Emperor  Ashoka and  the  people of Kalinga.  About 100,000 Kalinga civilians and 10,000 Mauryan soldiers were slain.  The blood reddened river near Kalinga proclaimed

5th Sunday in ordinary time


 Is 6:1-8 ; I Cor 15:1-11; Lk 5:1-11



A  large imperial court.  Servants waited at the king for his command. They proclaimed the praise of the one  seated on the throne. Holiness  hovered over the court like a cloud. There at the corner of the court stood a poor wretched, unclean, frail  man. His eyes fell on the king, and his state of unworthiness made him all the more miserable. He trembled with fear. One of the seraphs came down to him  with  fire from the Altar and touched his mouth  with it to purify him. Then he heard  the voice of the  king,
"Who shall I send?"
The man answered, "Here I am, Send me."
That is prophet Isaiah, accepting his divine call.

Today's readings contain the theme of God's call. The divine call of Isaiah, the call of
St. Paul and  Jesus' call to St. Peter.

There are several things in common in the way God called them and in the way  they reacted.

God's call is always unexpected. St. Paul  was galloping to Rome to persecute the Christians there. On his way, he received the call of Jesus. A sense of unexpected mystery overtook him and he asked, "Lord, who are you?"

The Gospel presents another unexpected call. An ordinary fisherman,  Simon, was called by Jesus. He said, "Follow me." He followed him.

The Old Testament gives us numerous example of God's call. All of them came unexpectedly. Moses was tending his sheep on Mount Sinai, when he was called. The Judges Gideon, Esther and Deborah received  their calls to take up a specific mission and the call came  unexpectedly.

A feeling of  sinfulness came upon them all; they felt totally unfit for the task, and tried to decline it. When Moses was called he said, "Who am I  that I should go to Pharaoh!: Moses hesitated to say "Yes" to God. When Isaiah saw the overwhelming glory of God his sinfulness over took him. Jeremiah protested, "I know not how to speak. I am too young. When Jesus called St. Peter he said, "Lord go away from me. I am a sinful man." St Paul became aware of his utter spiritual misery. Momentarily, he became physically blind.

God responded to their sinfulness by  reassuring them of His help. To Moses he promised, "I will certainly be with you." Isaiah was touched with the divine fire. Jeremiah  was told, "Have no fear; I am with you." St Peter was assured, "Do not be afraid, from now on it is men  you will catch."

Once reassured by God they went through their task  courageously, enduring  innumerable trials.  Isaiah cried out, "Here I am. Send me." He carried out the command of the Lord and prophesied till the end of hislife.  St Paul exhibited unchallengeable  zeal until the  sword of his enemies silenced him. St Peter remained faithful to his task till the moment his body became  still on the cross.

The call of God continues in history. We should keep our  ears open to hear , recognize and accept it. Let us remember the words of Khalil Gibran " Wisdom stands at the  turn in the road and calls upon us publicly. But we  consider it false and despise its adherents."

A  reminder from St Ignatius Loyola , "Even if you gain the whole world and lose your soul, what do you gain?", upset the  tranquility of a  young professor and  made him think. - think about  the meaning of life. That was the unexpected call  to a great apostle, St. Francis Xavier.

A young, curious and skeptic college student  heard about  a great saint  living in the forest. He visited him with an intention to question him. When he  reached there something overtook him. He sat at his feet and asked him, "Guru, Have you seen God?" There came the unhesitant answer from Guru, "Yes", I see God in your eyes." Swami Vivekananda  recognized his call from  the words of Ramakrishna Parama Hamsa.

These messages prompt us to  be open to God in the circumstances of our lives, to acknowledge  that we are instruments of God, and  to offer  our service to Him. If we can do this, God will accomplish through us  what He has once achieved through Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Paul and Peter.

Satish