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May 13, 2007: 6th Sunday in Easter- Fr. Satish

"My Peace I Give to You"

Sunday Mass Readings

BBC carried a news item last week on their website titled “Unholy row at clergy soccer game.” A friendship-building football match between Muslim and Christian clergy in Norway was called off after a row over the participation of women players. Muslim Imams had refused to play against women because it went against their beliefs about close physical contact with the opposite sex. But when the church decided to drop its women players, the priests' team captain walked out in protest. The game was meant to be an enjoyable end to a day-long conference in Oslo. Members of the two faiths had been discussing ways of encouraging greater inter-faith dialogue.

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May 6: Fifth Sunday of Easter - Fr. Satish

"A New Commandment"

Sunday Mass Readings

Last Monday, National Public Radio carried an amazing interview on its program, ‘Talk of the Nation.” Cheryl Ward-Kiser is an ordinary person like any of us; Up until that day when five men and a woman entered her home, raped her daughter and murdered her husband in her sight. While the crimes were being committed, Cheryl was herself pinned to the ground by a man who had her foot on her back and a gun to her head. Cheryl saw through the conviction of these criminals but that did not seem to bring her a closure.

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April 29, 2007: Fourth Sunday in Easter - Fr. Satish

"I have made you a light to the Gentiles"

Sunday Mass Readings

On my visit to India two summers back I had an experience I will never forget. When I landed at the Bombay airport, there was news that a security personnel had gone on a shooting rampage. He was of course overpowered and being questioned. My first question to my brother was, “Is he a Muslim?” Since the attack on the world trade centre it not uncommon to look at Muslims with suspicion. The moment I asked the question it had struck me how prejudiced my question was. Later than evening my brother’s family and I took a train to my hometown. When I used the toilet in the train I left my wallet in there. After an hour I realized that my wallet was missing. All my credit cards, my driving license, social security card and one thousand dollars in cash were in there. I ran to the toilet only to find that someone had taken it. I was frantic. Meanwhile, I realized that a man about fifty years old was looking intently at my desperation. He asked me what was wrong. I told him I had lost my wallet. He asked me a few questions and then he very kindly took the wallet out of his pocket and handed it to me. He had gone into the toilet after me and found the wallet but did not know whose it was. He was on the lookout for a frantic man so he could return to the owner. I checked the wallet. Not a thing was missing. I thanked him profusely. It was as if God was teaching me a lesson. This sincere and good man happened to be a Muslim.

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22nd April, 2007: Fr Satish Joseph

"We Must Obey God Rather Than Men"

Sunday Mass Readings

Zimbabwe, the small country in the South of Africa is much in the news these days. The fortunes of Zimbabwe have for more than two decades been tied to President Robert Mugabe, the pro-independence campaigner who wrested control from a small British colonist community in the 1980’s and became the country's first native leader. Prior to his reign there had been much oppression of the natives by British settlers. For example, in 1930, the Land Apportionment Act restricted the native access to land, forcing many of them into wage labour. Native opposition to colonial rule grew between 1930 and 1960. Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980 and since then has been the ruled by Mugabe. While he began well, he changed the country’s Constitution in 1987 and became its executive president. They say, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Now, Mugabe presides over a nation whose economy is in tatters, where poverty and unemployment are endemic and political strife and repression commonplace. Zimbabwe has the world's highest annual rate of inflation - 1,700% - and only one person in five is in full-time work.

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April 8, 2007: Easter Sunday - Fr. Satish Joseph

"Jesus is Alive! We 'are' the Evidence"

Easter Sunday Mass Readings

The cover of the April 8, 1966 issue of The Time did not have pictures of any personalities or world events. It had only three words printed on it: Is God Dead? As early as the Oct 22, 1965 issue, Time had printed an article on the “death-of-God theologians.” Among them was Thomas J.J Altizer, an associate professor of religion at Atlanta’s Emory University who wrote, “We must recognize that the death of God is a historical event: God has died in our time, in our history, in our existence.” What compounded the issue was the discovery in December 1945 of fifty-two Coptic extra Biblical texts at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. These documents were translated into English by 1970. These texts presented the life, death and resurrection of Jesus rather differently than the traditional gospels. The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Peter, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Gospel of Judas and other extra-biblical literature do not take the resurrection of Jesus for granted. Fictional accounts of Jesus’ life like the Da Vinci Code, and the more recent documentary on the tomb of Jesus by Hollywood director James Cameron only add fuel to the fire.

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