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

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.