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August 30th, 2014

The Parable of The Twins

The Parable of The Twins

Once upon a time, twin boys were conceived in the same womb. Weeks passed, and the twins developed. As their awareness grew, they laughed for joy, “Isn’t it great that we were conceived? Isn’t it great to be alive?”

Together the twins explored their world. When they found their mother’s cord that gave them life they sang for joy, “How great is our mother’s love that she shares her own life with us.”

As the weeks stretched into months the twins noticed how much each was changing. “What does this mean?”, asked the one. “It means that our stay in this world is drawing to an end”, said the other one.

“But I don’t want to go”, said the one, “I want to stay here always”. “We have no choice”, said the other, “but maybe there is life after birth!”

“But how can it be?” responded the one. “We will shed our life cord, and how is life possible without it? Besides, we have seen evidence that others were here before us and none of them have returned to tell us that there is life after birth.”

And so the one fell into deep despair saying, “If conception ends with birth, what is the purpose of life in the womb? It’s meaningless! Maybe there is no mother at all.”

“But there has to be”, protested the other. “How else did we get here? How do we remain alive?”

“Have you ever seen our mother?”, said the one. “Maybe she lives in our minds. Maybe we made her up because the idea made us feel good.”

And so the last days in the womb were filled with deep questioning and fear and finally the moment of birth arrived. When the twins had passed from their world, they opened their eyes and cried, for what they saw exceeded their fondest dreams.

‘Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on people what God has prepared for those who love Him.’

December 27th, 2012

Are You Ready For The Heavenly Banquet?

The Heavenly Banquet

We must always be ready to receive a precious call from our Lord.

Many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt.22:14). In order to prove this statement Jesus presented a unique picture of a king who set a wedding banquet in honor of his son for his people (Mt.22:1-14).

Parable of the wedding banquet

He took greatest care of the invited; at first he invited them, then he sent servants to call those who were invited. Again, he sent other servants to tell those who were invited that his dinner was ready. But they made light of it, and went off to their business. When the king saw that those invited were not worthy, he sent his servants to main streets with a fresh invitation for all, good and bad alike. And behold the wedding hall was filled with guests.

The king was very happy to see that the wedding hall was filled and it came to his notice that a man was there without wedding garment. The king was surprised to see him and asked politely, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?” But the man said nothing, neither did he apologize. So the king asked the attendants, to cast him out of the marriage hall in to the outer darkness.

Heavenly Banquet for all of us

Jesus presents before us his Father who sets a Heavenly Banquet for which we are called and chosen. There are two categories of people mentioned here in the parable. The former is the category of people who are called or invited but they could not be present for the banquet. They took light of the call and went away to their own business, made them incapable of enjoying the banquet. The latter accepted the invitation wholeheartedly, put away the entire inconveniences, expressed honor and respect to the host. As a result they were chosen to enjoy the company of the host and the wedding banquet.

The kingdom of God or the life to which we are called is like a wedding celebration for eternity. Usually the joy of a wedding feast ends within a week but the joy of a life to which we are called is for eternity. Unlike our style of invitation, we find God the Father – the host of the banquet takes greatest care and attention towards the invited.

At first he invites them, secondly he sends his servants to call them, and again he sends other servants to tell them that the dinner is ready. It is inspiring to note that the servants did not go to invite the people, it is said, “They went to call the invited guests”, which means the invitation, is given by the king himself. Yes, God invited us to his banquet when he called us to existence. Time and again he sends his attendants through Sacraments, Divine Words, persons who come into our lives and daily events to remind us and guide us on our way to the banquet hall.

The Wedding Garment is a must

God the Father comes down each day with fresh invitation for everyone to his banquet. He makes no discrimination but calls the blind, the deaf, the dumb, the sinner, the sick and everyone is called to the wedding feast, provided they have the wedding garment. Wedding garment is provided freely to any one at the entrance of the wedding hall only they need to ask for, and put on the garment before entering the banquet hall.

We are asked to put on the spotless white garment; we were given on the day of our Baptism as the symbol of purity. At this juncture the king at the banquet asks us, to put on that holy dress made available in the Sacrament of Reconciliation in case we have lost it through human weakness and sins. Just as we see in the parable the king will not entertain any excuse or justification if we fail to put on purity of soul through Sacrament of reconciliation which is freely and generously dispensed by the Church.

God gives ample opportunities to regain the purity of soul or the wedding garment. Whoever postpones the Sacraments especially the Sacrament of reconciliation is keeping away the wedding garment and makes him or herself unworthy of enjoying the Heavenly Banquet. It is pity that the man without wedding garment did not answer to the king, he was silent. He could have made use of the last chance and pleaded for mercy and the merciful Father would have ordered his attendants to bless him with a fresh wedding garment. He failed to apologize even at the last moment and God would not let him enjoy the banquet.

Our call to present state of life is a call to participation in the wedding celebration, no matter if one leads married life, Priestly life or religious life. All are called and chosen to foretaste the heavenly banquet here on earth, provided we have the wedding garment with us. I’m sure, if we put on a spotless wedding garment, possess a stainless soul and cultivate noble virtues we are certain of the foretaste of the heavenly banquet here and now.

Many are called but few are chosen. We are certain of our call to the banquet, but are we chosen to enjoy the meal? It is good to introspect if I am with the wedding garment or not. Do I take care to maintain the purity of my soul, body and mind and be ready with the wedding garment?

Prayer: Heavenly Father we thank you for having invited us to the wedding feast of your Son. Grant us your grace also that we may be counted among the chosen ones to enjoy the heavenly banquet. Forgive us Father for having lost the wedding garment on our way to the wedding hall. Lord God, have mercy on our human weakness and failures and bless us once again with a pure soul that we may be found worthy of entering the wedding hall. Heavenly Father bless us with your holy spirit that we may be sensitive to sin and keep our souls away from sin and always be found dressed in wedding garments Amen.

– – – written by Sr. Mercy Pottokaran OSB

December 5th, 2012

Sow Your Interests In The Good Land

Sow Your Interests In Good Land

Sow your interests in the good land, that you can reap a bountiful harvest.

Jesus always read the signs of the time to speak to the people around him. He could distinctively and clearly explicate the situations, irrational rituals and burdensome traditions through his thought-provoking parables. He used to mesmerize the crowd, pronouncing each word authoritatively, unfurling the dark spots that remained untouched for years. More so, triggering the lot through parables loaded with challenges and queries which provoked them to ponder and prune the unessential aspects of religious life.

Sowing your interest means, directing your life prudently and meticulously in the right way as per your choices. One has to consider this: decisions and choices are absolutely OURS. Blaming others or getting disturbed over the failures are mere waste of time. Hence, one has to orient one’s interests and sow in such places that would bring about a return of a hundred fold.

The Parable of the Sower

The Parable of the Sower (Mt: 13:1-8) is one of its rare kinds. Recline on a chair for a few minutes and contemplate, suppose you were a sower and the seeds are your interests. Where would you sow? If you would sow your interests on the bare surface of a road, won’t people think of you as an insane person, because sowing the seeds (interests) on a path (a mean work) an undertaking that is detrimental to God and to the society) is ascribed as immaturity. There isn’t any possibility for its growth for God’s spirit doesn’t rest on such works. At least the seeds on the path were useful to the birds of the air, but interests and energy invested on mean works are neither helpful to the sower nor to anyone on the earth.

God has given us the freedom to execute our interests productively, but what happens to most of us? Unessential aspects of the world seem to us more essential (priorities are driven away). Material things and unproductive pleasures sway a person for a few minutes, hours, days etc but they may have ill-effect on him/her for the rest of the years (sometimes, for the rest of life). But happiness will hover over us when we put our hands to pursue worthwhile things.

There are some people who are ambiguous about everything that happen around them, even anticipating calamities on the auspicious days. They are skeptics by thinking, inhaling pessimistic oxygen. They are the ones who consciously sow their interests on a rocky ground. They know that there is depth in the soil and no growth is possible, yet willingly they would dive in only, to be doomed. Perhaps, there is need to introspect and ask ourselves: Are we also one like them? Blaming God for the inconvenience and discomfort that we make in our lives?

Our choices shape our future

Our choices play a vital role in our lives. Our choices shape our future. As the adage goes; you are the architect of your life. If our foundation is strong, what comes over it would remain strong. If our interests like foundation are placed on the right place with the concomitant requirements no calamities could over-power it.

On the flip-side are people with thorny characters who always remain thorn in others flesh. Just as thorns which choke the plants from growing, so also persons of this character become a stumbling block in others lives. They neither grow, nor allow others to grow. For them the motto, ‘together to the top’ seems ridiculous and absurd. If one has to sow their interests in the midst of these people (ground), they would harvest a bumper crop yielding HUNDRED FOLD OF GRIEF AND SORROWS. Let us sow our interests in a fertile ground and God himself will escort us a hundred fold harvests.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, today we offer all our desires, goals, knowledge and our interests. We accept our limitations and believe that you can do wonders with our interests than what we can. Inspire us, talk to us and guide us into the right path, so that we may sow our interests on the fertile ground and reap the fruits. May our lives inspire others, shower your torrential blessings upon us that we may vibrate your life and love to others whom we meet in our day today life. This we ask through Christ our Lord, AMEN.

– – – written by H. Infant Vinoth SVD

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