Monday, November 30, 2015
Br. Raniero celebrated the Eucharist. He preached on today's word of God and shared his experience with the Queen of England.....he prayed that the unity between two churches may realize soon...he shared that he was invited by the Queen to her house where Prince Carlo was present too....
There is a video on YouTube that experimented on what passersby would do if someone simply collapsed in a public place and sought help. Shockingly, many people who walked by could not be bothered and simply walked on. The video looks like a modern version of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25 – 36)
Hopefully many of us would say that we would not be like the priest or the Levite in the parable or many in the video who did not stop to help. We would think that we would stop to offer our help or, at the very least, to see if we could help. We believe, after all, that this is what a good Christian would do.
The story portrayed in today's Gospel reading is similar, although not exactly the same. Simon and Andrew, fishermen, were casting their nets, and James and John were helping their father mend their nets. They wanted to join Jesus in “fishing for people.”
Jesus knew he needed help in his task of preaching the Good News; he could not do his task alone. He needed the help of others. Jesus asked them to help him and they left what they were doing to follow him.
How many among us would do what these four fishermen did? Can we simply abandon our current occupation, our concerns, and our worries so that we can do God's work? If we think we are already doing God's work, how are we challenged to follow Jesus and be "fishers of people"?
The man in the video was in need of help, like the pilgrim who fell into the hands of robbers. Who are people like them in our lives today? Do we just pass by and not bother or do we heed the call to help those in need?
Not only are we urged to do as the good Samaritan. More important Jesus identifies with those in need.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
It must have a moment great pride for Br. Rainero to be meeting and preaching to the Queen of England.....For the Capuchin Order too....it is a moment of pride....He was in the Capuchin habit and that itself is a big sign of all .....
The handshakes are always signs of hope and peace....the Queen must have definitely have known St. Francis of Assisi and she was meeting a son of St. Francis who follows him and announces the good news to all....
Jer 33:14-16; 1 Thess 3:12-4:2; Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
Today we begin the season of advent. The reminder of the greatest promise in the history of salvation - The promise of a Saviour.A glance through the history Salvation takes us back to the Paradise. Out of the infinite plan of God was born the mysterious world and its master, the man. God’s promises begin from there. The first man was promised a partner “EVE”. Abraham was given the promise of uncountable descendants. The Israelites in Egypt were given the promise of a mediator to lead them out of their misery. The wandering Israelites were promised a land flowing with milk and honey. When they were settled down they were promised a King, and a temple to worship God. And the promises continue and the history of salvation becomes more dynamic and progressive.
In today’s first reading Prophet Jeremiah reminds the people about the great promise of God, the promise of a virtuous man from the house of David, who will bring honesty and integrity to the land and liberation to the house of David. In the second reading St Paul reminds us to continue the blameless life initiated by Jesus, so that we will be ready for the second advent , the Glorious coming of Jesus, which is the theme of Today’s Gospel. The Gospel proclaims the promise of Jesus, the coming of the Son of Man in all His glory.
The factors that lead our fore fathers were faith in the promise of God, and hope in its fulfillment. Israelites’ hope helped them to cross deserts and Traverse Mountains. Abraham’s hope made him the father of a great race. Joab’s hope strengthened him to suffer his misfortunes. The hope of early Christians gave them courage to withstand persecutionDear brothers and sisters, it is hope that lead us also forward. Keats wrote “heard melodies are sweet, those unheard are sweeter.” Our hope and the pleasant waiting for something make our lives too sweeter.
When we are beset with the contemporary problems of injustice, inhuman misery, hunger and poverty it is our “hope” - hope in the promise of prophets, hope in the promise of Jesus, hope in the coming of Jesus into our lives that should lead us forward.
O Henry’s story the “Last Leaf” brings out the significance of hope.
The story begins as Johnsy, near death from pneumonia, lies in bed waiting for the last leaf of an ivy vine on the brick wall she spies through her window to fall. She counted the falling of all leaves. Now only the last one is left. She is sure that that she will die as the last leaf falls.
The night witnessed torrential rain and powerful storm. Morning Johnsy looked out of the window before breathing her last. But to her surprise she saw that the last leaf survived the rain and wind. It stuck to the vine. She began to show signs of improvement and recovered in a few days.
An artist who lived below her apartment understood the thought of Johnsy. That night he went out with his set of brush and paint. The last leaf was the creation of Behrman. Outside Johnsy’s window were a ladder, a lantern still lighted "some scattered brushes, and a palette with green and yellow colors mixed on it . . . it was Behrman’s masterpiece--he painted it [a leaf] there the night that the last leaf fell."
The sight of the last leaf rekindled the hope of Johnsy. And she survived.
Dear friends, The wisdom of our forefathers reminds us that “every cloud has a silver lining”, every night is followed by a bright day. At the end of every sorrow there some joy awaiting us. I recall the words of Shelley, “If winter comes can spring be far behind?”
I conclude with the words of St. Paul " suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us.”
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Yesterday was the feast day of Br. Massimo, he is the personal secretary of the general minister. He is a wonderful work for the Minister. He takes care of all the personal correspondence of the general minister. He is a quite and serene friar and loves the curia fraternity....he is the one who arranges the doctor and the barber for the friars....if you need any information about Rome he is ever ready to help....
Today the fraternity of Curia joined Br. Jaime in thanking the Lord for his feast day. These days the formation commission was here for their annual meeting and they have worked very hard this week. Br. Jaime is very much loved and well sought after friar in the fraternity. He is very intellectual and down to earth man. He can get along with anyone and strikes a cord with all. he has a soft corner for all the people especially the poor. He does well in giving talks and seminars....He is very popular in CCMSI....the young indian friars love him and would like to listen to him.
Jaime slices the cake.......Sergio looks on.......
In their 86th Assembly held here in Rome elected Br. Mauro, Our beloved General minister as the new President of the Union for three years. Br. General received majority of votes in the election. This election shows that he is very much accepted and appreciated for his collaboration and cooperation with the union.The joy of leading the superiors is tremendous......May the Good Lord be with you and our prayers and best wishes are always with you....
He accepted with Franciscan humility and availability this post of president for three years. We are proud of him and we promise him our prayers and best wishes. This is an added responsibility that he has to shoulder....we know that he is capable and can carry on with much humility and simplicity.
Friday, November 27, 2015
I was talking to my friends last evening and during the conversation many things were spoken and opinions were expressed. Some of these friends are well learned and good Christians too. They have contributed a lot for the growth of the society and Church a lot with their expertise and above all with their Faith in Jesus Christ. We were about 10 of us together. They highly appreciated the efforts and mission of Pope Francis and also the vast majority of Priests and religious who are giving their best to preserve the Faith and instruct those who have gone away from faith.
Some of them expressed sorrow over what is happening in the world at the moment. It is a clear indication that one is away from the Lord one believes and due to lack of spiritual strength and communion one does something which is against ones own belief and traditions. The fact that anti-human and anti-religion elements are destroying the very fabric of being human shows that something basically is wrong. Either one has no knowledge of it means to be human or one doesn't want to understand.
While conversing it was noted that due to lack of faith, belief and giving up religion makes one morally and spiritually weak. One sees that he is the boss of everything. One believes in a false spiritual world that is created by oneself. One doesn't have that inner strength to stand up to face challenges of being human. When anti-human and anti-religion elements discover this weakness, they enter into the scene. They find it easy to plan evil as there is no spiritual force in existence or there is no God fearing human beings. One doesn't have the strength to fight against these evil forces.
One gentleman, very much Christian and strong believer said that during his time religion was part of the human existence. There was hardly anyone who didn't practice religion because the environment was such. Modernization and development was all around but we were not affected. There was no who criticized religion or religious leaders. The families were solid in faith. The Churches were imparting good knowledge and communicating good news. The lives of the young were connected with the various programs held or conducted in the Church. The youth loved and longed to be part of the parish activities. Today it is no more. The churches are frequented mostly by elderly faithful. The young are taken care by the Churches but they have other forces outsides which keeps them away from religion and spirituality. The families are no more strong and solid in faith. There are no moral teachers and as a result who have good number of youth who don't believe in God neither in Church.
It is up to us to propagate the faith to our children and those around us. The external signs of spirituality do help growing in faith. The families and Churches must work together. Let our youth not be abandoned but be shown and led on proper path. Let them love Jesus. Let Jesus be shown through our lives. Jesus has to be at the centre of our lives. When He guides us then things are totally different. We love everyone and everything that has been Created by Him.