jtemplate.ru - free extensions for joomla

June 4, 2017 - Dear God...

Pentecost Sunday 

Scripture Readings

I read the scripture readings for Pentecost for the first time on Wednesday. As I read each of the readings I could feel my eyes tear up. Somewhere in the deepest part of my being, I feel very tormented. Nothing troubles me more than the inability of human beings to come together and work for the common good. Global conflicts, racial divides, economic inequalities, political and religious intolerance affect me deeply. When I was a kid and later as a teenager, I used to be much more optimistic. I believed then, that one day we will work through our problems. I believed that one day there will be fewer poor people in the world. I believed that one day, nations will spend less on weapons and more on education and development. At fifty-one, I have become less optimistic. I have not lost hope, by my hope is fading that in my life-time I will see a more equitable, peaceful, and united world. The scene on that first Pentecost was the beginning of a revolution, a recreation of a wounded world. The tears filling my eyes was an expression of two things: first, my regret at the world continuing to be a wounded world; second, a pining for a new Pentecost. “Dear God,” I prayed, “please let your Spirit work wonders in our midst again.” As I prayed, I continued to write my prayer. I invite you to pray with me. 

Read more...

May 28, 2017 - Intangible Yet Real

The Ascension of the Lord

Scripture Readings

I have a letter with me written by my mother on August 10, 1992. Earlier that month, I had written home about the difficulty I was having in the seminary. I was trying to get my parents opinion on taking a leave of absence. Here is what she wrote back: “If you cannot continue, I am telling you as I have said always, “Our door is always open.” I have no intention to make you a priest. If you find it difficult, get out early. I am only waiting for your ordination to retire. Find a good job in Bangalore and settle the matter. Nothing to worry. I am with you.” With the assurance that my mother gave me, anybody would think that I quit. However, that is not how it worked out. I said to my self, if my mother is with me, I can weather any storm. I decided to take my difficulty in the seminary head on, knowing that, no matter what, my mother was with me.

Read more...

May 21, 2017 - The Jesus Option

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Scripture Readings

There is a new book that is creating great controversy in Christian circles. It is written by Rod Dreher and entitled,The Benedict Option. The subtitle of the books says it all. It proposes a “Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation.” Dreher believes that our nation is no more a Christian nation but a post-Christian one. He believes that Christianity is entering a new Dark Age and that in our time and within our civilization we may live to see the death of Christianity. The main enemy of Christianity, according to him, is militant secularism which threatens to eliminate religion entirely. Dreher invites believers follow the model of the sixth-century monk St. Benedict, who, as the Roman Empire collapsed, withdrew from society and set up religious communities. Following the Benedict option, Dreher invites today’s Christians to withdraw from politics, move inward, and deepen, purify and preserve their faith. He also suggests that Christians secede from mainstream culture, pull their children from public school, put down roots in separate communities and find new and more radical ways to practice their faith. Even though I do not entirely buy Dreher’s main argument, I at least think that he is concerned about the right thing - the relevance and authenticity of Christianity for in our times. 

Read more...

May 14, 2017 - Of God and Mothers

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Scripture Readings

Perhaps most of you know that Pope Francis has been on a twenty-four hour visit to Fatima. He was there to canonize two of the three children who witnessed the apparition of Mary. Apart from all the celebrations, he also tweeted, “Whenever we look at Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness.” On mother’s day, there is nothing more beautiful Pope Francis could have said about Mary. Mothers are the face of love and tenderness of God and Mary. In my life these days, much focus has been on my father because of his ill-health. I love my father to death. However, it is my mother who is the hero. This woman who gave birth to me, nurtured me, and loved me - this woman is my hero. Gentle yet strong, loving yet straight-forward, tender yet firm, holy yet humble  — she is my hero. She is small but she has the biggest heart. My mother is my hero. As I often say, “My mother is the best mother in the whole wide world.” I am sure most of you will say that same thing about your mother. 

Read more...

May 7, 2017 - When Suffering is Life-Giving

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Scripture Readings

High profile geo-political events have monopolized our attention for more than a year now. Brexit, the American election, the North Korean conundrum, and now the French and British elections. Locally, the issue has been between fake news and alternative truth. In the midst of all the brouhaha, news about critical humanitarian crises have not made the headlines. Twenty-three million people in East Africa risk hunger, starvation, and death due to a persistent drought. The problem is compounded by ethnic conflict. As you know, the most affected people in times like this are women and children. For the past couple of weeks, I have been unable to detach myself from the suffering of the people in East Africa. 

Read more...