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October 29th, 2012

Poem : Our Eucharist

Our Eucharist

Oh, You are God
As You once claimed
Along with Your
Flesh and blood
Christ Jesus named.

You became a man
Because You are Love
Through bread and wine
We share eternal trove.

Oh Bread of Life
May I receive You daily
On Calvary at Holy Mass
For You are Our God
Our Eternal Eucharist
And without Your Presence
We are but a myth

- – – written by Liam Ó Comáin


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December 6th, 2011

Courage To Do Dangerous Things

Courage to do dangerous things

So, if a young man feels that he is adventurous, let him take up holiness.

A close observation will reveal that young people are always adventurous. Being adventurous is not a sin. In fact, it is God’s gift. But a young man does not know how to express his adventurousness. So he takes to activities which seem to be very adventurous. But though most of the activities he does are adventurous, they are not only useless but also dangerous to him and to the society.

Most young men take pride in being able to ride the bike very fast. They feel that they can show to the world that they are very courageous by riding the bike at such a speed and in such manner. A child looks at them and tells himself, “One day I must ride the bike like this.” But the young man from whom the child got inspiration faces an accident and realizes the uselessness and danger of such activities and stops such things. But the child grows up and imitates that young man or does more dangerous things than him. Some times it ends in fatal accidents or life long handicaps. This vicious cycle continues.

They show courage in swimming in dangerous rivers and seas. They show courage in fighting with the authority. They show courage in going near dangerous animals. They do many other things like this. Some young men show their adventurous nature by resigning the job they have, thinking that they can get another one so easily. They realize the foolishness of these acts only when it is impossible to revert the consequences of their acts. These are some areas where Satan misguides the young generation to misuse the sacred gift of adventurousness given by God.

Saints are people who realize their adventurousness. But since this adventurousness is guided by Jesus himself, it bears fruit and brings great benefit to the society. They show their adventurousness in the most adventurous task, i.e., holiness. For choosing holiness as their field to prove their adventurousness, they are indebted to their parents also. Their parents show them that holiness is the most adventurous thing in life. They also show their children that holiness is a useful adventure. It is useful to both the one doing that adventure and to the people who observe his adventure.

Choosing holiness is the greatest adventure. All are called to this adventure. If anyone feels that this world does not offer him anything adventurous, I will tell him to try holiness once. You will see that only the really strong go all the way. And the ordinary will bid adieu sooner than they start. Holiness is for that sturdy, trendy young guy. The remaining just fret and strut in streets and campuses and bars and clubs. The strong fight their way to the Kingdom of God. For every other adventure, desire is enough. But for holiness, desire must be accompanied with great strength and will power. So holiness is the greatest adventure this world can offer.

So, if a young man feels that he is adventurous, let him take up holiness. It is truly challenging. A rash ride on the bike requires a moment’s courage. Resigning a job requires a few days courage. And there will always be many to encourage this adventure. That encouragement itself takes away the real pleasure of that adventure. Choose holiness. It requires courage of a life time. No one except God will be there to support you. No one except God will be there to encourage you and applaud. This darkness is really adventurous and exciting. This trusting the Unseen is really adventurous. Everything else is mere sham. I feel that a sister or a priest who has shut herself or himself within the four walls of a cloister is the most adventurous person on this earth.

When everybody jumps into a strong current, it requires courage to tell oneself, “No, I won’t do it.” When everybody copies in the exam, it requires courage to say no to that extra mark that can be had by copying. When everybody jumps the red light, it requires courage to say no to that extra time that one can have by violating that rule. And when everybody goes to that bad movie, the courage one requires to sit at home is unfathomable. When everybody goes to tuition and some other coaching missing the holy mass, being willing to miss that tuition and coaching is not a child’s play.

A person who can restrain himself from doing something when there are many to applaud doing that thing is adventurous. A person doing something when there are many to applaud is being just ordinary. Trying to receive praise is ordinary. Being able to bear scorn is extraordinary. Doing something when reward in one form or the other can be seen is ordinary. Doing something when reward cannot be seen in any form is really adventurous.

- – – written by Adv. Shibu Varghese


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July 30th, 2011

Parables About The Kingdom of Heaven

Parables About The Kingdom of Heaven

Parables About The Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 13:44-53)

Jesus said to the crowds, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. The one who finds it buries it again; and so happy is he, that he goes and sells everything he has, in order to buy that field. Again the kingdom of heaven is like a trader who is looking for fine pearls. Once he has found a pearl of exceptional quality, he goes away, sells everything he has and buys it”

Jesus said to his disciples, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a big fishing net let down into the sea, in which every kind of fish has been caught. When the net is full, it is dragged ashore. Then they sit down and gather the good fish in buckets, but throw the worthless ones away. That is how it will be at the end of time; the angels will go out to separate the wicked from the just and throw them into the blazing furnace, where they will weep and gnash their teeth”.

Jesus asked, “Have you understood all these things?”. “Yes”, they answered. So He said to them, “You will see that every teacher of the Law who becomes a disciple of the Kingdom is like a householder who can produce from his store things both new and old”. When Jesus had finished these parables, He left the place.

Reflection:-

Today, Matthew places three parables about the Kingdom of Heaven for us to ponder over. The announcement of the Kingdom is of essence in Jesus’ preaching and in the hopes of the chosen people. But it is evident the nature of this Kingdom is not understood by the majority. The Sanhedrin who condemned him to death did not understand it, nor did Pontius Pilate or Herod, and initially, not even his disciples understood it.

We can find only in the good thief, hung in a cross along with him, the comprehension Jesus requests when he says: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). Both had been accused as criminals and were about to die; but, because of an unknown reason, the good thief recognizes Jesus as the King of a Kingdom that will come after that terrible death. It could only be a spiritual Kingdom.

In his first preaching, Jesus speaks of the Kingdom as of a hidden treasure, the finding of which causes the finder a great joy and impels him to buy the field to be able to enjoy it forever: “and so happy is he, that he goes and sells everything he has, in order to buy that field” (Matthew 13:44). But, at the same time, to reach the Kingdom it is necessary to look for it with yearning and effort, to the point of selling all one may have: “Once he has found one of exceptional quality, he goes away, sells everything he has and buys it” (Matthew 13:46). “What is He referring to when He says seek and he who seeks, finds? I daresay He is referring to the pearls and to the pearl, pearl that acquires he who has given up everything and has accepted to lose everything”.

The Kingdom is peace, justice and liberty. To reach it is, at the same time, a gift from God and a human responsibility. In front of the greatness of this divine gift we realize the imperfection and instability of our own efforts, quite often destroyed by our sins, our wars and our malice that looks insurmountable. Nevertheless, we must have confidence, because what looks impossible for man is more than possible for God.

This Gospel is a vital call to conversion. Jesus does not spare us the hard reality: “The angels will go out to separate the wicked from the just and throw them into the blazing furnace” (Matthew 13:49-50). The warning is quite clear. We just cannot take it easy and go to asleep!

Now, it is our turn to freely choose: we either seek God and make goodness a part of our life, or we prefer to stand on the precipice of death. Or with Christ or against him. To convert ourselves means, in this case, to freely opt to become one of the upright ones and live a life worthy of his sons. However, within us we have the experience of sin: we realize the good we should do but we do the evil, instead; what do we do to provide our lives with a sense of true unity? We, alone, cannot do much. Only if we place ourselves in God’s hands shall we be able to attain the goodness and be counted amongst the upright ones.

“Because we know not when our Judge shall appear, so we should live every day as if it were our last” (St. Jerome). These words are a call to live with intensity and responsibility our Christianity. It is not a matter of being afraid, but of living in the hope this is a time of grace, praise and glory.

Christ shows us the only way to our own glorification. Christ is the only way to heaven; therefore, our salvation, our happiness and whatever we can imagine happens through Him. And if we have everything in Christ, we can hardly refrain from loving the Church, that shows him to us and is its mystic body. Against purely human visions of this reality we have to recuperate the divine-spiritual vision: nothing bigger than Christ and the fulfillment of his will!

- – – reflection by Fr. Enric CASES i Martin and  Fr. Ferran JARABO i Carbonell


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