Saturday, December 27, 2014

48th Wedding anniversary greetings

Dear Wilfred & Alice Jeremiah
We know that marriage is a life of ups and downs,trials and tribulations and a life that is full of challenges from the time you said “I do” in front of God 48 years ago 
The fact that you have come out together unscathed in that most difficult and arduous journey speaks volumes for the deep love you have for each other 

We are deeply touched and inspired by your resilience to endure together the challenges that you both have encountered in this long journey of 48 years

 We pray that the Lord bless you both with many more years of good health, peace and happiness together so that you can continue to be an inspiration us and for many who have taken the first step in their path of matrimony

May our heavenly Mother be with to guide you through in the remaining part of that difficult journey

God bless you both

With Love

 Dr.Chris & Joice

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas 2014 – The joy of Christmas

Not in trees and lights but in the family

We are in the season of Christmas and preparing to celebrate this festival in our own ways. As we do so may be should take a look at how some others are doing and expecting this Christmas.

Mr.A is a 60year old man who was so busy putting up his Christmas tree and the decorations in the typical colors of Christmas. These are not cheap anymore but he says he has been doing that for 50 years and that brings the Christmas mood. For him there is no Christmas without the decorated Christmas tree. He was so excited about his children returning home for Christmas to spend just 2 days with them.

Mr.B is a 68 year old man who says Christmas in not what it used to be when he was young when all his brothers and sisters, seven of them, would come back home and spend valuable time together with their parents. Today although he still has some of them around, but sadly they are not in talking terms. In fact he becomes so sad when reflecting on Christmas of the past with them.

Mr.C is a 70 year old retiree. When his own children were young he used to have such wonderful times with them, buying new clothes, presents and spring-clean his home. He remembers the lavish dinners with roasted turkey and wine. Today he sits alone with his wife and wait but their children are too busy to come home. They give all sorts of excuses for being not able to come home for Christmas.

Mrs.D is an 80 year old woman who is sitting alone in an old folk’s home for the past 3 years. She waits eagerly for the return of the only daughter to take her home for Christmas or at least come to spend some time with her. She did not come the last 3 years but she hopes she will turn up this year. She is anxiously waiting for her with great hopes. Will the daughter turn up?

Mrs.E is a 60 year old man used to celebrate Christmas in a very happy way with his parents, children and siblings. This year his daughter wants to leave the home due to some incompatible differences. Christmas is not the same any more as his heart is preoccupied with the daughter wanting to leave him.Will she leave him?

Yes, Christmas reminds us of Christmas trees, decorations, new clothes, roasted turkey and wine. But is this auspicious day all about these physical things? What does Christmas mean to you? What does the birth of Jesus mean to us who call ourselves to be his followers?

When we were young Christmas was about trees, lights, feasts, clothes and gifts. At that time the family unity was not an issue as our children were small and loved our company. We took family unity for granted but today when they are adults themselves things have changed. The trees and lights, feasts and gifts are all there but the family may not be there. Now we realize it is not the trees and lights that brings us joy but the family unity.

As we celebrate Christmas this year let us remember the many families that are disintegrated and separated. Let us remember the parents who are longing for their children and also those children who have been left neglected by their parents. We pray that the infant Jesus guide them to bring back the true joy of Christmas back into their lives once again.

Those of us who have caused hardship and pain to others and those living in sin let us allow Jesus to be reborn into our lives to guide us in right path which would bring His joy to us,our families and those around us.

A joyous and blessed Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas time for forgiveness

As Christians celebrate Christmas this year they do so with great deal of anxiety and fear over the uncertainties of their future in the country. The prevalent Muslim-Christian tensions is the country created by certain quarters for political gains is indeed really a real threat to the existing peace and harmony among the various races in the country. This together with the threats of ISIS in the world has thrown the world into chaos from which we may never recover. 

In our country all sorts of accusations have been made against the Christians for trying to convert the Muslims to Christianity. The irony is that these are done by those who have little or no knowledge of what Christianity is all about. They refuse to dialogue or reason but are only interested in throwing wild accusations without any evidence to prove their allegations.

Like in all religions there could be over zealous Christians who believe in aggressive propagation of their faith but by and large this group is small and insignificant in a country where Christians for just about 9% of the population. The majority of the Christians are mature, wise and law abiding and would never want to do anything that is against in the country’s constitution which forbids preaching their faith to fellow Muslims. 

Christianity, like all major religions, is about love not hate, about peace not war and it is about charity and helping the less fortunate regardless of race or creed. It is about sharing the little they have with those who don’t have anything. To accuse them of wanting to convert the Muslims to their faith is utterly wrong and mischievous.

In the world today there is so much hate towards people of different faiths. Even in our country this hate is gaining foothold which the religious and political leaders are not serious in putting a stop to it. The “Allah” issue is the main cause of this. Our pride as a nation of diverse origins living together in peace and harmony is fast eluding us and it is time that everyone make serious and genuine efforts to stop this. 

As ordinary citizens we are helpless as religious and racial hate is propagated with blatant disregard for the laws. Even the law enforcers do not seem to do anything to stop the irresponsible people from trying to incite trouble. We are sad that the peace and goodwill that we struggled to build over half a century is going to be destroyed by this hate politics of the minority. We see destruction and disruption coming and want to do something to thwart it but not sure what to do. Where do we from here? Who can we turn for help? Even God does not seem to hear to our plea.

The answer came to me in the form of a sermon from a priest recently. He said that the solution for all our troubles is within us which is simple but most difficult – forgiveness. It is in forgiving those who preach hate towards us that will stop their injustice and aggression towards us, not confrontation or court battles. But forgiving the ‘enemy’ is the most difficult thing to do. It needs a lot of humility and strength to do so and many of us don’t have them.

Today we are hated and denied our rights to even worship God in our way. Christmas is about forgiveness. Are we willing to forgive those who provoke us, propagate hate towards us and even persecute us? It is difficult but for the sake of peace and love, we have no option but to do so like what Jesus himself did.

Are we willing to forgive those who prevent us from using ‘Allah’ and seize and mutilate our Bibles? Are we willing to forgive those who throw all forms of false accusations and insults? Are we willing to forgive those who say that they cannot greet us during this Christmas? Are we, like Jesus, prepared to forgive those who do not know what they are doing? These are the pertinent questions that we must ask ourselves as we celebrate this Christmas.

In the eyes of men forgiveness is a sign of weakness but in the eyes of God it is sign of great strength

A blessed and Joyous Christmas