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November 19th, 2011

God Who Reaches Out

God Who Reaches Out

People have different understandings about God. Some think that the ‘Old Testament God’ is an angry God where as the ‘New Testament God’ is a loving God! But this is false. So rather than going by popular opinion, it is better to get back to the Bible to find out who our God is and what His qualities are. He is a God who reaches out to us.

2 Thessalonians 2:16 states, “…God our Father … reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence…”. Check this out: this is talking about God the Father (‘the Old Testament God’, as some would say).

It says God the Father lovingly reached out to us and surprised us with gifts of unending help and confidence. Isn’t it amazing! When did the Father do this? It was at the cross. When He did not give ear to His Son’s lament “Father, why did you forsake Me?”, He was throwing open to us the marvelous gift of unending help and confidence called ‘salvation’. And He still continues to provide help and confidence to us every moment of our life.

Think about someone caring for you when you go through times of distress. You will surely appreciate that kind act. This is exactly what the Father is doing. He uses people to help you. He turns situations in your favor. He gives you hope and strength to face the future.

What are you facing today? Is it something which you consider as ‘big’, ‘unmovable’ or ‘impossible’?

If so, the good news is God the Father is right there near you to help you! Receive His gift of life which He provided through His Son, Jesus. And ask Him to do that miracle only He is capable of doing. He surely will because He is the God who reaches out!

– – – written by Joe Abraham from www.joeandancy.com

November 17th, 2011

When One Door Closes, Another Opens

When One Door Closes, Another Opens

Trusting God when the door seems to be closing

With so much happening in the world today – the recession, job loss etc it seems like all the doors are closing right in front of us. It seems like there’s no way out of the situation we’re in. We pray and pray (day and night) asking God to open up the windows of opportunity for us, but what do you do when all the doors seem to be closed? There’s encouragement for you today.

When one door closes, another one opens

There are times when we pray and ask God for things. “God bless me with a job; give me that promotion at work; help me to pay my bills” etc. We ask God for a lot of things. However, we never ask God to open the doors which He wants to open and shut those which He wants to close.

Today, I’m looking for a job and it seems as though every door is closing on me. Turned down after turned down after turned down. Then I realized that God has something better in store for me. My plans are not always His plans.

God has another plan for you

Sometimes the things we pray for are not the things God has in store for us. Oftentimes, we pray for little things when God wants to bless us with bigger ones. Sometimes we pray to God to bless us with the wrong things. I had to encourage myself and tell myself: when one door closes, another one opens.

You may be going through a situation right now feeling as though nothing is working out for your good. You might want to give up and throw the towel in. I want to encourage you today and tell you not to give up.

When God closes one door He opens up another. It could be that God wants you to have something else or be somewhere else in life. Or that God simply has another route for you to go down. Sometimes we have to hear NO in order to get to where God wants us to be. Sometimes door closes not because God is against us, but simply because it’s used as a tool to guide us where God wants us to be.

When you feel as though you are losing hope, don’t! Giving up, don’t do it. Know that God is with you. Guiding and ordering your footsteps. He has a specific path just for you to travel down but sometimes, like children, we lose track and go down the wrong path. Because of this, God put road blocks in the wrong paths to get us going down the right path.

Conclusion

Be encouraged and know that God has the key to open every door; change every situation and open new windows of opportunities. Sometimes, road blocks are there to lead you to the path Jesus wants you to go; sort of like the yellow and white ink in the street guiding you as you drive to your destination.

Be encouraged and know that God does everything for a reason; not for our downfall, but for our good and to His glory. The road blocks we face is simply God guiding us. Be encouraged in Jesus name knowing that when one door closes, another opens. God bless you.

– – – written by Vishal Bhadlekar, 09892400687

November 12th, 2011

Beautiful Hands of The Priests

Beautiful Hands of The Priests

A priest is a man after God’s heart. God allows Himself to be physically present at his command.

Gratefully we value, treasure and know the power of the hands that God uses to transform mere bread and wine into Lord’s body and blood. Priesthood is God’s gift to oneself, to one’s own family, society and to the universal Church.

Vocation to the priesthood is a call to dedicated service and sacrifice. Every priest is called by God, no one chooses for himself the honor of being a priest. When God makes the choice, He chooses the weak and humble like Saints peter and John Mary Vianney so that He could manifest His power and glory through them. God chooses the weak and empower them to perform great wonders and service in the lives of God’s faithful people. Every priest is called by name, is commissioned and is blessed by God. In the book of Exodus we see how God calls Moses by name out of the bush, ‘Moses Moses’ (Ex. 3:4). Then God commissioned him saying, “come I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt’’ (Ex. 3:10). Finally God sends him blessed and empowered for the mission, “I will be with you” (Ex.3:12).

Every call to priesthood has these threefold qualities – called by God, entrusted with the care of his sheep and is blessed by God. Every priest is anointed forever, no matter what his weakness is, God accepts him with all his weakness, if so who are we to find fault with him? St. John Mary Vianney is the patron and model for our priests. He was a humble priest hidden in a small remote village. By his earnest preaching, personal mortification, prayer and charity he renewed the church in a wonderful way. His help to those who came to the sacrament of reconciliation was renowned and people flocked to him from all sides to obtain his advice. He is a role model for our priests today, whose feast we celebrate on 4th August. Fondly and gratefully we remember and pray for our holy priests on this occasion. Christ is the Great High Priest (Heb.4:14) and He is represented by priests in the Church. God’s blessing comes down to us through the hands of our priests. The hands of the priests play a vital role in the lives of every Christian.

Gratefully we remember our dear priest for their beautiful hands at the altar to transform mere bread and wine in to Christ’s body and blood – a holy act rather a miracle which no hands in the world can perform but only the hand of a priest. The holy hands of the priest make his whole body sanctified, for his fingers care the most holy bread and wine transformed in to the Lord’s body and blood. Every morning God’s faithful long for the holy hands of a priest, for his hands feed us with the living bread of heaven at the Eucharistic meal.

The holy hands of the priests are raised to invoke the Trinitarian God and folded to adore the creator where ever the Church is gathered. It is to the beautiful hands of the priests, we bow our heads for blessing every day – we need their blessings to keep going day by day. We venerate the holy hands of the priests which bring, proclaim and break the Divine Word to God’s holy people. Through the holy hands of our priests, at the sign of their cross, we were welcomed to the Holy Church at our infancy.

At every Banquet the hands of our priests absolve us, bless us and sanctify us again and again to strengthen us to face the realities of life. The beautiful hands of the priests are entrusted with the keys of the Tabernacle, for the Divine Vision of the Lord to His people. No one can give us the peace of the Lord at the Banquet, except the beautiful hands of the priests. Gratefully we value the beautiful hands of our priests, for our noble families take its origin by the blessings of the priests at matrimony. When we lie helpless on the sick-bed, the holy hands of the priests lay their hands, anoint and extent the healing touch of the Lord. At death-bed the holy hands of the priests grant absolution for our sins and failures and strengthen us to face death as a reality and face the Final Judgment. At our final journey the holy hands are sure to be there, at the body to give away the last blessings.

If every priest knew the greatness of their call and the beauty of their holy hands!

Pray for our priests : Lord Jesus, the Great High Priest of our faith, we thank you for gifting us your priests with beautiful hands to bless us always – from birth to death. Eternal Priest, help our priests, to live their commitment in the spirit of service and dedication. Enkindle all our priests, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, put your Word on their lips and your love in their hearts to bring good news to everyone and healing to the broken-hearted. In loneliness and pain, Lord keep them safe and comfort them with your presence and grace. Eternal High Priest, we ask you to fill our priests with the fire of divine love that their ministry may reveal your presence and blessings in the Church and let your power shine out through their weakness. May mother Mary shield them from all evil and harm and form every priest into the divine image of the Great High Priest. Amen.

– – – written by Sr. Mercy Pottokaran OSB

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