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February 18, 2018 - Giving-Up & Emracing

First Sunday of Lent

Scripture Readings

There is a ninety year old parishioner whom I visit every so often. She takes Lent very seriously. The other day when I visited her she winked at me and said, “I am giving you up for Lent!” It was one of those rare times when I did not have a comeback. I said to  her that I was going to tell on to the entire parish. She smiled. Humor aside, I think the story highlights our obsession with “giving up” during Lent. Often, Lent becomes all about giving up. Sometimes, the  very thing that is integral to the Lenten spirit is also the cause of its demeaning. Equating Lent with “giving up” or penance-for-penance-sake destroys the spirit of Lent. 

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February 11, 2017 - Imitating the Out Stretched Hands of Jesus!

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Scripture Readings

As powerful as the story of the healing of the leper is in today’s gospel reading, I want to begin with Paul in the second reading. Pauls says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ!” (1 Cor 11:1). Paul makes this statement as a conclusion to the question of believers eating food offered to idols by an unbeliever. This was a complex issue for the early Christians and it will long to explain it in this homily. The point I am trying to make is that Paul refuses a black and white answer. Rather, he says that he’d rather eat the food placed before him by an unbeliever so that he does not displease the unbeliever. On the other hand, if a believer would be scandalized by Paul’s behavior, he would rather not eat it. Thus he concludes, “… I try to please everyone in every way, not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that they may be saved” (1 Cor 10:34). Paul imitation of Christ lies in this - that he does not seek his own benefit but of others, so that they might be saved. His imitation of Christ is not about saving himself. His imitation of Christ is that they might be saved!

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February 4, 2018 - Antidotes to Drudgery

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings 

Of all the weeks, this was not the week that I wanted to deal with a scripture reading from Job. In today’s first reading Job reflects on life and says, “Is not man's life on earth a drudgery?” (Job 7:1). Drudgery is a very distressing word. It is an immensely burdensome state of being. I have just returned from home seeing the drudgery of my ninety year old father. My heart breaks to see him this way. He sleeps almost all day, wakes up to eat, use the the bathroom, pray a little and then back to bed again. All the medication he takes to stay alive… it is depressing for him and my family. My eighty year old mother said to me the other day, “Does this have to be how our last days are? Dad sleeps most of the time and I walk about the house like a ghost.” Its called drudgery. As I left home this time, I did not feel that I was merely leaving home. I felt that I was abandoning my parents. My life still has meaning. My ministry is still my life. I am surrounded by very some supportive people and a lovely puppy. But to me life seems like drudgery right now. I won’t be surprised if there are people in this church who feel like my father, my mother or I feel at the moment. Drudgery is real.  

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January 28, 2018 - Holiness is a Personal, Family, and Social Pursuit

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

At every visit home, one of the greatest edification I receive is from my parent’s spirituality. First of all, they are two very genuine people. So I believe that their spiritual life is also genuine. Their hour-long morning and evening prayer, their selfless intercession for every need of the world, their participation in daily mass, their devotional practices and corporal works of mercy are truly inspirational. Not once have I felt that my priestly holiness and spirituality is superior to theirs. In fact, I have felt that the opposite is true. I know that my parent’s holiness far exceeds mine. And I know this to be true about them not only as retired people but even when I was a child. For that matter, there are many people in this congregation of whom I would say the same thing. 

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January 21, 2018 - The Kingdom of God is at Hand

Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

(Fr. Satish is in India visiting his parents. This homily was preached by him three years back. The homily is still relevant for today as we reflect Christ's call in the Gospel).

Each time I leave my home in India to return back to my ministry in Dayton, the  last day, the last hours, and the last moments are even intensely emotional. Just before I leave, mom and dad always pray over me and give me their blessings. As they blessed me this time I realized how much it hurt all of us to part from each other. For some reason, my mother always surprises me with her prayers over me. She prayed something like, “Loving God, bless the people of my son’s parish whom you have called him to serve. Bless them and let them know your love through him.” This is what is surprising about my mother – she is always able to rise above the immediate situation and find the bigger meaning and purpose. She did this when I left home at 16 and she does it even now when I am 48. In her simple prayer, my mother, had lifted us all from our gloom and given meaning. We still wept as we parted but there was hope.

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