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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Who is my neighbour........

It was the 9th of December 1979. The 10.00 am Mass had ended and the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Parish Priest was in progress, as he trudged home.
In the Gospel of Luke, the parable is introduced by a question, known as the Great Commandment: Behold a certain lawyer stood up and tested him saying,
"Teacher, What shall I do to inherit Eternal Life ?" 
No sooner had he relaxed with the Sunday Times, his Grandma, asked him to fetch a Priest. "Can you Not see your Mother breathing her Last,"she admonished him.
He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How do you read it?" 
He rushed in a frenzy, running through the by-lanes, barefoot, half clothed.
He answered, "You shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind, [ Deuteronomy 6:5]; and your neighbour as yourself. [Leviticus 19:18]
It was when he got to the church, it dawned on him, that all were at the celebrations.
He said to him, "You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live."
The church doors were open as he stood there and wept. How helpless and lonely he felt. 
But he, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus,"Who is my neighbour ?" - Luke 10:25-29 
That was when an old friend, a discard of society walked up to him, and wanted to know the reason he was weeping.
Jesus replies with a story:       
Jesus answered, "A certain man was going down, from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 
Francis, he cried, " My mother is dying and I need a Priest for the Final Blessing." He said,
By chance a certain priest was going down that way.When he saw him he passed by on the other side. 
"I ran up the building, and met Fr X, who said the place where I lived was under the care of Fr Y." 
In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side.
"I then met another priest, who had to rush for a house party as a guest. That's why I am crying." 
But a certain Samaritan, as he travelled, came where he was.
Francis said, "Raj, go up to the celebrations, and you will find someone to help." Taking courage Raj climbed the Three floors, and stood at the gates of the Auditorium. It was there he made eye contact with Dr Joyce. She saw him in a dishevelled state and wanted to know why. He cried Dr. my mother is dying, and I cannot find a priest. "Doesn't matter," she said "I will come. Your mother needs me more." 
When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an Inn, and took care of him. 
Hardly had she stepped out of the Auditorium, others of the Hi-Fly society followed her. On the way down, Raj ran into the same priest. Hey Doc, "Party Over". "No, she shot back. Raj's mother is critical, and needs me." 
On the next day, when he departed, he took out Two Denarii, and gave them to the Host, and said to him, "Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.
No sooner had she said this, the priest ran ahead of her, and rushed to the house. When the Dr got home, his mother was declared dead. The priest tapped his shoulder and said, "Thank God I got on time. I did give her the final blessing."  
"Now which of these Three do you think seemed to be a neighbour to him who fell among the robbers?"  He said, "He who showed Mercy on him.

"Then Jesus said to him, "Go and Do likewise."

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Life....long journey

He sat forlorn this day.
Seated besides him were his pets.
The rest had gone about their daily chores.
He never wanted it to happen this way.
But destiny had other plans for him.
He understood,
in life there are 'No Conclusions', just 'Experiences'.
If he has learnt from these experiences, he knew it was time to move on to a higher plane.........

will be continued as his life unfolds   

Friday, October 2, 2015

Thirty Pieces of Silver

She was the second in the family of five. She left home and hearth in search of a better life. What could be better than being an old man’s darling, rather than a young man’s slave. She agreed to be his live in partner for her share in the heirloom. Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus  (Matthew 26:14-16)  Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas
 Iscariot—went to the chief priests  and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?”   While he lived, he was the patriarch of his tribe, and no one dared challenge his mistress. Unfortunately for her, he fell ill and died soon after. Now she was left to fend on her own with her kids. She returned to her home town, renounced the life she led until then and in repentance drew herself more in prayer. So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.  From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.Then she received a notice which mentioned of his bequeath. He had bestowed a share of his wealth to her. But she had to lead a life in the faith he held.   Matthew 27:3 Then when Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that he had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself”……..She willed it and changed her name and that of her kids to his, to prove she was of his faith. How could she let go off her share. Now  the struggle began. She thought it was all readily available for her, and she could live a life of luxury. But the wealth bequeathed was nowhere in sight.According to Chapter 27 of Matthew's gospel, Judas was filled with remorse and returned the money to the chief priests before hanging himself. The chief priests decided that they could not put it into the temple treasury, and so with it they bought the Potter's Field.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Virgin Mary

Adam and Eve the first man and woman that God created to live in a paradise on earth, fell away from
that state and caused the present world of suffering. Adam gave birth to Eve through the intervention of the Creator. Eve caused the fall of Adam.
This disobedience had to be resolved through repentance. Thousands of years later was born him, who they would call Emmanuel. Jesus was conceived in the womb of his mother Mary through the Holy Spirit without the aid of a human father and born while Mary was yet a virgin.
Thus Eve who was born of the side of Adam, who had caused the fall of Adam,  gave birth to the new Adam in Jesus. It was the same energy (soul) that had been given an opportunity to save mankind as Mary and Jesus.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Gospel according to John 6:60-69

After hearing it, many of his followers said, 'This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?' Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, 'Does this disturb you? What if you should see the Son of man ascend to where he was before?   'It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.'But there are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus knew from the outset who did not believe and who was to betray him.He went on, 'This is why I told you that no one could come to me except by the gift of the Father.'After this, many of his disciples went away and accompanied him no more.Then Jesus said to the Twelve, 'What about you, do you want to go away too?'Simon Peter answered, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.'
What is to be understood in the above passage is in bold. Are we following the Word or...

Monday, August 3, 2015

For whom the Bell Tolls

The colony was a mini India. People of all states lived in Harmony. The year was 1960 when the bell first tolled in the colony. Church bells
are sometimes rung slowly (tolled) when a person dies or at funeral services and could be heard all over the neighborhood. Every subsequent year marked a death and the Bells tolled. It was 1965 when 'Death' was the topic on every tongue. Strange as it may sound it got all worried and all wondered who next.  
Elders decided to call for the services of a Priest from the local church and bless all homes. Summer of 1965 saw the introduction of the Rosary. Kids ensured their presence at the prayer as it was followed by a pocketful of boiled grams and a month end party that marked the culmination of prayer.
That year no one died. The following year too community prayers were held and no one died. All thought the spell had ended.
The city was at war with itself. A section of society was being targeted. Neighbors began shifting homes to new ghettos. It was the last year of community prayers. That year too no one died and the following year there was no one to lead the Prayer. 
31st December of the following year, kids with a few elders were busy erecting the traditional 'Old Man' on the terrace. One of the kids mentioned that the year passed without a death. An elder reminded there was still 9 hrs to go. Suddenly there was an eerie silence.
The tolls man of the local church dropped by to meet one of the residents. Having spent some time with them he departed. As he left their home, instead of descending, he ascended towards the terrace. It was at the terrace landing that his body was discovered. 
The children had finished filling the belly of the 'Traditional Old Man' with crackers and mini bombs. In the midst of the cacophony, the tolls man lying did not awake. The elders tried to awaken him and realized he was no more. Death had struck once again. News spread like wildfire.... A pall of gloom descended over the colony as they wondered for whom the bell would next toll.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Gospel according to JOHN 6:24-35

When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into those boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’
 Jesus answered: ‘I tell you most solemnly, you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.  
Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life, the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.’
Then they said to him, ‘What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?’ Jesus gave them this answer, ‘This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent.’ So they said, ‘What sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Jesus answered:
‘I tell you most solemnly, it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread;
for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’
‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’ 
Jesus answered: ‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.’

PS: And the Word was made flesh. . . . What was offered to us was the word of God in flesh. What did the Lord speak of in the years prior to his death. He spoke of God in parables. What he meant of 'True Bread' was the word of God, and we could live according to God's plan and prepare ourselves for eternal life. Unfortunately instead of following the word of the Lord, we have focused on his persona and understood him as having offered his flesh unto us as Saviour.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Gospel according to Mark 4: 35-41 read on 21st June 2015

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
“Let us cross to the other side.”
Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.   

They woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up,
rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified?
Do you not yet have faith?”

There will be storms in our life. What is to be firm is our faith in God.  It is this faith that will see us through our darkest hours into a brighter dawn.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Kingdom of God

The Gospel  as read on Sunday 14th June 2015:  Mark 4:26-34
He also said, 'This is what the kingdom of  God is like. A man scatters seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 
What is expected of us is to do Good irrespective of our Status or the Situation. Unaware to man the good that he does reaps him rewards.sermon
And when the crop is ready, at once he starts to reap because the harvest has come. 
'And on judgement day it is this good, that will bear him witness.' 
He also said, 'What can we say that the kingdom is like? What parable can we find for it?  It is like a mustard seed which, at the time of its sowing, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth. Yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.'
The joy of being in God's presence is Heaven. Will God's presence be there for all in Heaven.The similarity is as a mustard seed is to its tree.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Trouble in Paradise

Mark 10:9 and Jesus said.......... "What therefore God has joined, Let No man Separate",  and the two shall become one; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. In the house the disciples began questioning him about this again.…

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Jingle......

Product: Body Soap
l1The product was selling well in the urban areas and countryside. But the Management needed higher sales to ensure growth. Those were the days when music was king. Sales suggested they compose a jingle for their product. A jingle it was, that caught everyone’s imagination. It was in the latter part of the last century when he had first heard  the jingle. Creative music was at its peak and products attracted better viewership and sales based on the jingles wrote.  
l2Product: A New way of Life. 
2ooo years earlier he preached around the countrysides of Jerusalem. He was on a mission to reform the lost tribe. Love was his message. The way they had to keep the commandments were his parables. Three long years he spoke to them of  God and the New way of Life. As his end drew near, he wished they remembered, his preaching's and teachings. On the night before crucifixion, at Supper as Master he washed their feet , and asked them to do likewise unto others.  
The jingles were now being lisped by all. With No soap in hand they sang the jingle, and as they got off the wash assumed they had cleansed themselves because they sang the jingle.
The preaching of 3 years, the washing of the feet reflecting the service they were committed to was relegated to the background. Only recalling the last supper, was like singing the jingle.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Lord's Prayer

Mattai qeepaleeyun Waw 9-13

Avvon d-bish-maiya, nith-qaddash shim-mukh,
Tih-teh mal-chootukh, Nih-weh ciw-yanukh:
ei-chana d’bish-maiya: ap b’ar-ah.
Haw lan lakh-ma d’soonqa-nan yoo-mana.
O’shwooq lan kho-bein:
Ei-chana d’ap kh’nan shwiq-qan l’khaya-ween.
Oo’la te-ellan l’niss-yoona:
Il-la pac-can min beesha.
Mid-til de-di-lukh hai mal-choota
Oo khai-la oo tush-bookh-ta
L’alam al-mein Aa-meen.

Matthew chapter 6:9-13

"... Our heavenly Father, hallowed is your name.
Your Kingdom is come. Your will is done,
As in heaven so also on earth.
Give us the bread for our daily need.
And leave us serene,
just as we also allowed others serenity.
And do not pass us through trial,
except separate us from the evil one.
For yours is the Kingdom,
the Power and the Glory
To the end of the universe, of all the universes." Amen!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Preacher

He was speaking of a new order. His preaching’s and examples caused them to think. His emphasis was on Love - Love God, Love Parents, Love Children, Love Neighbors, Love One Another.      
preacherHis followers claimed, he was the one whose arrival was written about. This caused a disturbance in the existing order. The office bearers did not like any change to the existing. They tolerated his discourse, until they thought he crossed the line. Now their survival was at peril. He had to be done away with.
The Preacher got wind of the plot. He would not succumb to threats. Camouflage he did. His team began to dress and appear like him with flowing robes and mane. This added to their confusion until he stood up to speak. By his words alone was he recognized.
With time, the office bearers were able to get numbers on their side, and the chase to extradite him began. They did not want him to set foot in their domain. He chose not to enter their places of worship. But did challenge them, by entering town riding a Donkey. He did not set foot as was the Order. Welcomed by surging crowds with swaying palms, was beyond their acceptance. But how would they identify him in a crowd and get him arrested by the law keepers. He had a dozen lookalikes. His team had to be torn apart. Which one of this dozen would identify the preacher?
One stood up. He would identify him, if compensated.
The Preacher got to know of this crossover. Being caught was now imminent. That night as they retreated, he partook in their supper. Should he be arrested, he said, they should continue where he had stopped, and whenever they gather for a meal, recall this night of dining together.  
After the meal, the Preacher and his followers withdrew into a nearby forest. This was where they hid the past week. Nobody knew of the place. Until now, their places of hiding was unknown. 
Post midnight, whispers were aloud, of the arrival of the inimical forces, to arrest him. He asked those closest to stay on guard as he planned next. When he returned they were asleep. The sounds of the opposing forces grew nearer. He began to sweat and wondered if this is what it would finally come to. In his mind he gave in. He knew he could not escape as exits were all guarded. His own had brought about this end…..
The Meal is now a ritual. Letters sent initially to those at home of the travails as they preached the word, and accounts of those closest to the Preacher were read for others to be aware of what transpired in the writers presence. These were read and reread, so that those present would know of the teachings ….. this is read to date as the ritual continues.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Art of Loving

Ralph was at Joe’s to meet the proposed boy for his daughter Samaira. Since they were in a long period of sorrow, 963 days to be exact, and had to get over it, a wedding celebration was the better way out. Disappointed with the no show of the proposed groom, he was to leave when Joe asked Ralph if another marriage would suffice. Ralph wondered if Joe had another boy in mind.  ‘No’ said Joe ‘A girl’. They were seated in the living area. Joe got Ralph turn around and see a young girl leave the apartment. Ralph agreed she would make a good wife to his son.
A week later the father son duo visited Joe to meet a groom that never was. After a long wait they decided to depart. On descending the stairway Ralph got Raj to ring the bell of another door. It was the last bell heard, for soon the city plunged into darkness. A short while later, the door cracked open and there stood a young girl, candle in hand that shone her pretty face. They entered the living area as the customary Tea and Biscuits were served in darkness. Little did he know that he was within kissing distance of his to be bride.
A showdown on the high street and Raj had to acquiesce to Ralphs terms. As they got home Raj informed his siblings that instead of a boy they met a girl and he agreed to his father’s demands. It was an independence of a different kind to find himself engaged on that momentous day.
Marriage was confirmed for November. How the heavens roared at the appointed hour.Was this a Monsoon Wedding. And they were solemnized at the ceremony as Man & Wife.
Raj didn’t know his wife until they got married. But he proclaimed a self confessed love to her on that second night. She kind of gave him this half-shy, half-amused smile, nodded and looked off. Raj was heartbroken by the response. Why wasn’t he getting reciprocal lovey-dovey-ness as a just married couple? Love for him was an emotion to be expressed.
Now retired, he found himself offering to help out around the house more and more. And after each time, there would be this look she would give him.  This look of absolute love.  One that was soft and so beautiful. It took him longer than he cared to admit and understand what was happening. But eventually it became clear.  Through giving, through doing things for his wife, the emotion that he had been so desperately seeking naturally came about.  It wasn’t something he could force, just something that would come about as a result of his giving. In other words, it was in the practicality that he found the love he was looking for. And what was even more interesting was that once he realized this on a conscious level, he started trying to find more opportunities to help and the more they both almost intuitively, became lovey-dovey.  When he let it out of his chest that night, it wasn’t love. Telling someone you love them doesn’t mean that you do. And that’s why his wife just gave him that half-smile.  She knew, even if he didn’t, what love really is.
Now a bit more experienced with this relationship, he has finally come to realize something. Something he didn’t want to admit for a long time. He didn’t love her when they got engaged. He didn’t even love her when they got married. He didn’t love her on that second night. The fire he felt, was simply an emotional heat from the excitement of being around a woman  It wasn’t love. Love isn’t an emotion or even a noun.  It’s a verb. Better defined as giving...As putting someone else’s needs above your own.