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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.


April 6, 2007: Good Friday - Fr. Satish Joseph

"By His Stripes We are Healed"

Good Friday Readings

In recent times, scientists have issued stark warnings about the perils of “global warming.” Human beings have been on the face of the earth for thousands of years. Has it taken us this long to realize that our actions and our lifestyle has consequences? If there is anything “global warming” is teaching us it is this, that we must take responsibility for our actions. To look at the melting ice in the artic region; to see rising sea levels causing untold hardships to the poor in low lying areas; to see the change in weather patterns across the world; to see the dramatic increase of droughts in Africa and Australia, flash floods in East and South Asia and hurricanes and tornadoes in the Americas is indeed a heart wrenching experience. We have seen this closely both in New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi. The most sobering experience for me has been to look at all these natural calamities and realize that in some way, I am responsible for this.


April 1, 2007: Palm Sunday - Fr. Satish Joseph

"The Suffering Servant of God"

Palm Sunday Readings

We know from the media that the political climate in the country is very charged right now. Republicans and Democrats have been trading charges as each other over a number of issues. A growing number of people are expressing disgust at the low standards of the political establishment. Some people say this is the lowest it has ever gotten. In the midst of all this, two high profile members from opposite political parties made significant announcements. John Edwards announced that his wife’s cancer had returned. A week later, Tony Snow, the White House spokesperson announced that his colon cancer had returned. God, goodness, heroism, evil, cancer, sickness, pain and death, do not differentiate a Democrat from a Republican, or for that matter an Indian from an American. We are all human beings and subject to the same human condition. Human beings have strived for centuries, to avoid the exigencies of the human condition. They have sought to avoid suffering and become immortal. However, we also know that enormous amount of wealth cannot prevent physical and emotional pain from tormenting us; the best anti-aging creams cannot stop us from aging; and even our foremost medical technology cannot stop us from ultimate death. No wonder, then, that when it comes to matters of life and death, like the Edwards and the Snows, we all turn to the same God.


March 25, 2007: Fifth Sunday in Lent - Fr. Satish Joseph

On Human Dignity

Sunday Mass Readings

Consider the following news worthy events that hit the news papers this week:

First on a humour note: There is a new online dating website that promises to only let beautiful people obtain membership. The aptly named hotenough.org functions like a regular dating website with pictures and profiles, but members must maintain an 8 out of 10 rating to continue their membership. Well, I guess the rest of us should spend lonely, pathetic lives.

On a more serious note: This year, 2007, Britain is commemorating the 200th year of the abolition of British slavery. Over the centuries, 12 million people from Africa were captured, sold, bought and enslaved. While European countries have paid millions of dollars for the holocaust, for some reason countries are apprehensive about either apologising for slavery or talking about reparation. Finally, Tony Blair said sorry for the slave trade, months after his statement of "deep sorrow" was criticised by some for stopping short of a full apology. In America, this is a highly contentious issue.


March 18, 2007: Fourth Sunday in Lent - Fr. Satish

"Coming to His Senses"

Sunday Mass Readings

If we had to trace our faith journey beginning with first Holy Communion till today, what would it look like? How has our faith matured over the years? If you get the chance, it would be a worthwhile exercise to list the areas where we have grown or perhaps even declined. Today’s readings encourage us to undertake such an exercise. More than any penance we may have undertaken this Lent, this might be the most important task.