Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday 2017

Good Friday – Self-sacrificing love

The crucifixion of Jesus itself we know was most unjust and cruel but why was Jesus willing to accept it without a fight like we do in our lives today? His death and the events that followed are testimony to the fact that justice and truth will always prevail in the end. They may seem to be dead for now but finally will triumph if only we had the patience and trust in God, His mercy and justice.

As we celebrate Good Friday today let us pause to reflect on the message Jesus tried to convey to us as he hung dying on the cross, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends – John 15:13.”

Those words were so powerful which very few can follow till today. His actions demonstrated the highest level of self-sacrificing love for us. Today we may not be able to do what Jesus did but the least we can do is a little sacrifice for the good of someone somewhere. It may be not much but however small it may be, a few words of comfort, companionship or a little prayer for someone during times of distress, it should come from the bottom of our hearts.
When I was young Good Friday used to be a day of fast, abstinence, reading the Passion and veneration of the cross but today it means much more than all these rituals. It is about a little self-sacrifice, despite our limitations, for someone in need and going through some crisis in life.

Have a blessed and meaningful God Friday

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Holy Thursday Reflection

On Holy Thursday today we observe a very important gesture of Jesus before his Passion and death on the Cross,his last supper with his disciples when he washed their feet,including the feet of Judas whom he knew will betray him soon.

To me this action of Jesus is a symbol of great humility which is a lesson for all of us.He showed us that this humble act is unconditional as even the so called ememy,Judas, received the same treatment.

During the mass today the priest repeats the gesture of Jesus as he washes the feet of 12 members in the parish.While this gesture is commendable but it would far significant those selected for the ritual are also those so called “enemies” or Judas in the parish.

Let us not take this washing of the feet as just a annual wiil ritual to please God but as a lesson for each one of us in our lives.It should be a lesson on humility to“wash” the feet of our own subordinates and those who may even be against us.

Today in our lives we too have many “Judas”, are we willing to go down to wash their feet?Are we willing to forgive them and accept them back into our lives?This the greatest challenge we face as we celebrate Holy Thursday today.

Have blessed and meaningful Holy Thursday

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Gospel Reflections 2.4.2017

Being God’s miracle worker

Today’s Gospel reading (John 11:1-45) tells us about one of the greatest miracles of Jesus – the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Yes, it is one of the most dramatic miracles of Jesus, something no one has done before. It proves beyond doubt the divinity of Jesus which is the fundamental believe of the Christian faith. Jesus did miracles to prove that he was God but yet many do not believe in him today as they all want such miracles today to be convinced.
It is also very relevant to us today in our own lives where we meet all sorts of problems, trials and tribulations. If fact life is a bed of thorns not roses as we expect it to be. When everything fails, we expect some miracles from God to get us out of our problems like what Jesus did. We tend to look at God as miracle worker sitting high up in the skies to cure us of all our ills. We are even willing to ‘bribe’ him with our donations, glorification, good deeds and self-sacrifices in return for his favor.
Is that what God wants from us? What does this miracle of Jesus mean to us today?
To my mind God is not just a miracle worker who will come when we want him. On the contrary He wants us to be his miracle workers among men. He has equipped each one of us with some unique talents and possessions and it we who must realize and harness those gifts to bring about an end to our ills.
It may be timely today to reflect on our role as God’s miracle worker in our midst. If we look around us we will realize that no one is happy. Everyone seem to suffering from fear, anxiety and hopelessness. What are we doing to allay these fears and bring a little comfort to these people in pain and agony of some form? 

Jesus said: I am the resurrection. Anyone who believes in me, even though that person dies, will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. - John 11:1-45

Gospel, John 11:1-45
1 There was a man named Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister, Martha, and he was ill.2 It was the same Mary, the sister of the sick man Lazarus, who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair.3 The sisters sent this message to Jesus, 'Lord, the man you love is ill.'
4 On receiving the message, Jesus said, 'This sickness will not end in death, but it is for God's glory so that through it the Son of God may be glorified.'5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus,6 yet when he heard that he was ill he stayed where he was for two more days 7 before saying to the disciples, 'Let us go back to Judaea.'
8 The disciples said, 'Rabbi, it is not long since the Jews were trying to stone you; are you going back there again?'9 Jesus replied: Are there not twelve hours in the day? No one who walks in the daytime stumbles, having the light of this world to see by;10 anyone who walks around at night stumbles, having no light as a guide.
11 He said that and then added, 'Our friend Lazarus is at rest; I am going to wake him.'12 The disciples said to him, 'Lord, if he is at rest he will be saved.'13 Jesus was speaking of the death of Lazarus, but they thought that by 'rest' he meant 'sleep';14 so Jesus put it plainly, 'Lazarus is dead;15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there because now you will believe. But let us go to him.'
16 Then Thomas -- known as the Twin -- said to the other disciples, 'Let us also go to die with him.'17 On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already.
18 Bethany is only about two miles from Jerusalem,19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother.20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house.
21 Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died,22 but even now I know that God will grant whatever you ask of him.'23 Jesus said to her, 'Your brother will rise again.'24 Martha said, 'I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.'
25 Jesus said: I am the resurrection. Anyone who believes in me, even though that person dies, will live,26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?
27 'Yes, Lord,' she said, 'I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.'28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in a low voice, 'The Master is here and wants to see you.'
29 Hearing this, Mary got up quickly and went to him.30 Jesus had not yet come into the village; he was still at the place where Martha had met him.31 When the Jews who were in the house comforting Mary saw her get up so quickly and go out, they followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
32 Mary went to Jesus, and as soon as she saw him she threw herself at his feet, saying, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.'33 At the sight of her tears, and those of the Jews who had come with her, Jesus was greatly distressed, and with a profound sigh he said,
34 'Where have you put him?' They said, 'Lord, come and see.'35 Jesus wept;36 and the Jews said, 'See how much he loved him!'37 But there were some who remarked, 'He opened the eyes of the blind man. Could he not have prevented this man's death?'
38 Sighing again, Jesus reached the tomb: it was a cave with a stone to close the opening.39 Jesus said, 'Take the stone away.' Martha, the dead man's sister, said to him, 'Lord, by now he will smell; this is the fourth day since he died.'
40 Jesus replied, 'Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?'
41 So they took the stone away. Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and said: Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer.42 I myself knew that you hear me always, but I speak for the sake of all these who are standing around me, so that they may believe it was you who sent me.43 When he had said this, he cried in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!'
44 The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with strips of material, and a cloth over his face. Jesus said to them, 'Unbind him, let him go free.'45 Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what he did, believed in him,