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