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April 16th, 2014

The Week That Changed The World

The Week That Changed The World

As we all prepare for the Holy Week, the week that changed the world, the following reflections are for you to use and to share with others.

Palm Sunday

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38)

On Palm Sunday we commemorate the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. On this joyful day He was surrounded by throngs of people singing His praises and marveling at all the miracles He had performed. Here, at the beginning of Holy Week, let us take some time to focus on the things we wanted to accomplish during Lent. Have we made improvements in our prayer life? Have we offered sacrifices to God? Have we given alms or service to those in need?

As we reflect on today’s readings, especially the Lord’s Passion and Death, let us renew our commitment to a deeper relationship with our Savior.

Monday Of Holy Week

“Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)

Monday of Holy Week is a day of waiting. Just as in the Christmas carol we sing, “Let every heart prepare Him room”, we must also prepare our hearts for the sorrows of the Triduum. Even though Monday can be the most hectic day of the week, don’t forget to carve out some quiet time for yourself today. Get up a little earlier to do the readings for the day. Find a quiet place to sit at lunch and read your favorite spiritual book. Gather your family to pray at the end of the day. These are all excellent examples for integrating the spirit of Holy Week into your day.

As we reflect on today’s readings, especially when Our Lord raises Lazarus from the dead, let us ask Jesus to raise us above any obstacles that prevent us from drawing nearer to Him.

Tuesday Of Holy Week

“I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)

Today we continue our waiting and preparation as we approach Good Friday. Just as you did yesterday reserve some time to “Be still and know that (He) is God” (Psalm 46:10). If possible, make a Holy Hour today and visit with Our Lord in Adoration. During His agony in the garden on Holy Thursday Jesus asks His disciples to pray with Him. If you don’t have a lot of time, or if you find an hour is too long to stay focused, try going for 15-20 minutes. You will be amazed to find that even this brief break in your day can refresh your soul!

As we reflect on today’s readings, especially Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, let us search our own lives to identify weaknesses or temptations that may cause us to betray Our Lord if we are not careful.

Wednesday Of Holy Week

“See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts revive!” (Psalm 69:33)

As we reach the middle of our Holy Week our waiting turns to anticipation. Spending a little time in prayer each day has helped us to identify some of our weakness and times we need to turn quickly to Christ for help. Spend some of your daily prayer time doing an examination of conscience.

As we reflect on today’s readings, especially Isaiah’s words foretelling Our Lord’s suffering, let us seek forgiveness for times we have caused others to suffer.

Thursday Of Holy Week

On Holy Thursday we celebrate the institution of the “source and summit” of our Faith – The Holy Eucharist.

On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples: “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)

As we reflect on today’s readings, especially Paul’s remembrance of the Last Supper, let us ask for the Graces we need to truly believe in Christ’s presence in the Eucharist and to approach the altar with reverence and awe.

Good Friday

“But He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the Lord laid upon Him the guilt of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)”

One of the most beautiful traditions of this day is the Veneration of the Cross. “While we bend down in body before the cross we bend down in spirit before God.”

As we reflect on today’s readings, especially John’s recount of Christ’s Passion, let us try to keep an awareness of Our Lord’s suffering in our hearts throughout the day.

Holy Saturday – The Easter Vigil

“We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.” (Romans 6: 4)

On Holy Saturday our sorrow and emptiness begin to be replaced with a growing joy and anticipation.

As we reflect on all of the readings and responsorial psalms, let us rejoice and give thanks to God for our wondrous Salvation History.

Easter Sunday – The Resurrection Of The Lord

“Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.” (Matthew 28: 5-6)

Alleluia! He is risen! This is the most joyous feast of the year. Christ’s death and resurrection is the foundation of the Christian Faith. The church is now filled with the spirit of Jesus and with His Light. It is no longer silent as we join our songs of praise with the choirs in heaven. We are reminded of Christ’s promise “I will give you a joy which no one will take from you.” (John 16:22). Easter is the beginning of our new life with Christ. Although our Lenten Journey is complete, don’t forget to create times of prayer in your daily lives where you can spend time with our Risen Lord.

As we reflect on today’s readings, especially the Gospel, let us ask the Risen Christ for courage and strength we need to take His Light into the world.

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April 3rd, 2014

20 Inspirational Quotes

20 Inspirational Quotes

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.

Don’t count the days, make the days count.

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.

He who loves 50 people has 50 woes; he who loves no one has no woes.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?

I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.

In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.

In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.

It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

It is better to travel well than to arrive.

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.

Go to 10 Most Inspiring Quotes if you would like to see Christian inspiring quotes.

- – - The above list of 20 inspirational quotes are collected by Amit Singh

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March 24th, 2014

If You Were Born In A Poor Family

My blessed family

We don’t get to decide to which family we are born into or the financial status of our parents. It happens like everything else, according to our Almighty Father’s plan. Have you ever questioned this plan? If yes, read on.

The First Incident – The Audi car

Today, on the way back from work, I happened to see a beautiful Audi A4 car (costs around 50 lakhs of Indian Rupees) on the road. The awesome appearance of this luxury car made me stand and look at it until it passed out of my sight. This raised many thoughts in my mind. When will I ever be able to buy such a luxurious car like that one? My brain immediately answered that question “No Georgy, you are never going to have that much money to buy that car and even if you earn that much someday, you will surely have a lot other priorities to be completed using that much money”.

This made me think about the owner of the car. Obviously he might be a very rich man, might be a very successful professional or it can be that his parents had lots of money. I mean, he might be born into a very wealthy family who have so much wealth in excess to spare for this luxurious car. This same thought made me look at my family, which is an average one. Even though both my parents were employed, I am sure they can never afford to buy me such luxuries of life. For a second I looked up at the heaven and told in my mind “God, if you had wished, then it would have been me sitting in that luxurious car. I could have lived with all the luxuries that life could provide me. But you chose not to!”. Day-dreaming about my never-to-happen Audi-drive, I moved ahead to the local railway station.

The Second Incident – The Popcorn Seller

After getting into the local train, I happened to see another person who completely made me feel how stupid I was. It was a 10 year old boy selling popcorn to all the train passengers. At each station, he would get down and go to the next compartment and continue his sale. He is doing this all day. I started to guess the condition back at his home.

The boy must be born to a very poor family whose parents are doing manual labor to earn daily bread for themselves and their children. They don’t earn enough to send their kids to school as primary education sounds like luxury to them considering their monthly income. The boy is helping his family for their livelihood. School and education is not possible for him and he will surely end up as a manual laborer just like his parents, unless some miracle happens.

This gave birth to another thought inside my head. “It could have been you in his place. But God chose not to! He gave you well employed parents who could give you very good education apart from all your basic needs. Leveraging on that, you were able to earn a good job in this highly competitive world which enables you to lead a normal happy life and which will also help you bring up your children in the best way possible.” This time, I looked up to the heavens and said THANK YOU LORD for the family I was born into, thank you Lord for my lovely parents who gave me the best of everything they possibly could, thank you Lord.

Be Thankful For Your Family Background

The very fact that you are reading this article on your computer, laptop, iPad or mobile handset is a proof that you are truly blessed than millions of others who live on the same planet, just like you and me. But its too common that we all never look down the ladder of life. Our eyes are only looking at greater things, greater comfort, greater luxuries just like the Audi car that caught my attention. It is not that we should never look at those who are more well placed in life or not try to improve our situation, be it our profession, be it our skills, be it any good thing that we have. On the contrary, we should be making the best use of all the gifts and resources God has provided us in this life and should try to continually improve ourselves, our skill-set, our job status, everything for HIS greater glory.

But please remember that we should never look up the ladder and complain about our present situation. We are very well up the ladder and we have so many brothers and sisters who are less fortunate than us, just like that popcorn seller boy. So while you try to improve yourselves and your present situation and comforts, while you try hard to be in your boss’s chair one day, all this time, please remember: you should never stop thanking our God for your present state of life which He has generously gifted you.

Thankfulness Calls For Action

I am afraid, being thankful alone won’t be enough. Your creator, Our almighty God definitely wants you to utilize all the gifts He has bestowed upon you including your education, your job, your skills, your money, your time, everything, for helping all those less fortunate ones around you. You have much more duties to perform for others. With more gifts, come more duties.

Try to help those who are really in need of your help. Don’t shoo away saying ‘What difference can I make to their lives?’. When you help a child get his forbidden education, you really do make a lot of difference in his life. So, where ever you are, take a look around. I am sure the Holy Spirit will show you hundreds of ways to help those needy ones around you and thereby express your gratefulness to the Lord in its fullness. God bless you all.

- – - written by Georgy N Joseph

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