27 September, 2013

Homily for 26th Sunday in the ordinary time year C

Lazarus and the rich man

KNXT-TV Reflections - 26th Sunday, Year C: (09/29/13)

26th Sunday Ordinary Time, Part 4, Cycle C

Twenty Sixth Sunday of the Year (C) 29 September 2013



 Twenty Sixth Sunday of the Year (C)

29 September 2013

 Luke 16, 19 to 31

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.  At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores  and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.  “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.

  In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.  So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house,  for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’  “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’  “ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’  “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”

José Antonio Pagola 
Break down the indifference
According to Luke, when Jesus cried out “you cannot serve God and money”, some Pharisees who were listening to him and loved money, “laughed at him”. Jesus was not cowed down. Soon after, he tells a harrowing parable so that those who were enslaved by wealth would open their eyes.  
    In a few words Jesus describes a brutal situation. A rich man and a poor beggar who live next to each other, are separated by the abyss there is between the life of insulting opulence of the rich man and the extreme misery of the poor beggar.   
   The story describes the two characters by strongly emphasizing the contrast between them. The rich man is dressed in purple clothes and the finest linen, the body of the poor man is covered with sores. The rich man dines lavishly not only on feast days but everyday. The poor man lies sprawled at his doorway, unable to bring to his mouth what falls from the table of the rich man. Only the dogs who look for scraps in the dustbin, come up to him to lick his wounds. 
   Nowhere is it said that the rich man exploited the poor one, or that he ill-treated or despised him. It could be said that he hadn’t done anything wrong. And yet, his whole life is inhuman, because he only lives for his own well-being. His heart is made of stone. He ignores the poor man totally. He has him in  front of him but does not see him. He’s right there, sick, hungry, and abandoned, but he is not able to walk across the door to take care of him.
   Let’s not deceive ourselves. Jesus is not only denouncing the situation of Galilee in the thirties. He is  trying to shake the conscience of those who have got used to living in abundance having at our gate, a few hours flight away, entire peoples living and dying in absolute misery.
   It is inhuman to enclose ourselves in our   “prosperous society” while totally ignoring that other poverty stricken society. It is cruel to carry on fomenting that secret “illusion of innocence” which allows us to live with an easy conscience thinking that the fault lies with everyone and with nobody. 
   Our first task is to break down the indifference, to resist the temptation to continue enjoying our well=being devoid of compassion. We must not continue to mentally isolate ourselves so as to shift the misery and the hunger that exist in the world to an abstract remoteness, in order to be thus able to live out of the reach of any cry, groaning, or weeping.
  The Gospel can help us to live alert, without becoming increasingly insensitive to the suffering of those who have been abandoned , without losing a sense of fraternal responsibility, and without remaining passive when we can act.


07 September, 2013

Responsorial Psalms 23rd Sunday Year C

KNXT-TV Reflections - 23rd Sunday, Year C: (09/08/13)

23rd Sun C - From Fr Jude B

Dear Friend,
 
We sometimes wonder why we did a particular action or what made us say things we later regretted. There are also times we question the wisdom of God when we can't figure out some happenings in our lives. In life everything has a price tag, nothing is free. It is not easy to make wise decisions, we need God's help. What price have we paid for being a disciple? Have we pondered over it? Have a discerning weekend contemplating the cost of faith! Fr. Jude
 
Sunday Ref. 23rd Sun. of the Year: "Figuring out my life wisely with the help of God" 8-Sep-2013Readings: Wisdom 9: 13-18;           Philemon 9-10, 12-17;                Luke 14: 25-33;
 
Today's first reading from the Book of Wisdom reflects that it is hardly surprising that we have trouble figuring out the intentions of God when we have so much difficulty figuring out each other. There are times when we can't even understand those close to us; there are times we can't even figure out our own intentions, so how can we understand God and his ways? "Even though God has revealed himself through the Holy Spirit we cannot understand the mystery of God. We still have much to figure out.
 
Nearness and distance
Seamus Heaney, an Irish poet has reflected on his relationship with his father, a quiet man who had reason to believe that language was a kind of betrayal. In his writing Heaney tries to figure out his father whose inwardness and reserve are a constant challenge to a son who wants to fathom him and get close to him. The son starts following in his father's footsteps but he later discovers that their skills are different: the son's new produce is poems not potatoes. There doesn't appear to be much common ground there; but even though their skills divide them, their roots keep them attached. Perhaps it is true to say that no matter how close people may be, everyone has a lot of figuring to do! - Much of our lives involve figuring out what is within our reach and what we can achieve in life.
Denis McBride in 'Seasons of the Heart'
 
In Luke's Gospel Jesus speaks of the cost of discipleship and dedication needed to follow Him. Jesus presented two parables. He compared the Christian life to a building project and to warfare. Jesus pointed out that before someone wants to build a tower, he sits down and calculates the cost. If he does not have the resources to finish the tower, in all wisdom, he does not begin the project. Otherwise the project will end before it is completed and he will look foolish. So it is with disciples! In the second parable Jesus points to a king going to battle against an enemy far superior to him, who must calculate wisely the consequences. He must carefully consider his chances of winning. If the risk is too high, he must surrender unconditionally or else all will be lost. Jesus points out that so it is with Christian discipleship. We have to make wise choices. We cannot serve two masters. We have to be totally dedicated or else we will fall by the wayside. The choices we make are absolute, we cannot be lukewarm or half hearted. Jesus uses strong language to highlight the cost of discipleship: "If a man comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters, yes, his own life too, he cannot be my disciple." A true disciple must be ready to forsake all to follow Jesus, he has to commit himself to a life of self-renunciation. True wisdom alone can guide us to this detachment from all to be attached to God alone. This is not accomplished by will power but by God-power, the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
Hating father and motherThomas Moore was Lord Chancellor when Henry VIII was king of England. He was a successful lawyer, a great linguist and a renowned spiritual and political writer. When he refused to take an oath in the 'Act of Succession', which recognized the offspring of Henry and his second wife Anne Boleyn, as the heir to the throne, declaring Henry's first marriage with Catherine as null and void, and repudiating the Pope, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in the year 1534. His family implored him -for his sake and theirs- to take the oath; his beloved daughter Margaret took the oath thinking that this would induce her father to take the oath, but he refused. He spent fifteen lonely months in the prison -in poor health, isolated from other  prisoners, deprived of his beloved books; even paper and pen were not given to him. He was convicted of treason and sentenced to death. On July 1535, he was beheaded proclaiming that he was, "the king's good servant but God's first." St. Thomas Moore loved God more than his wife, his children, nay, even his life itself.
John Rose in 'John's Sunday Homilies'
 
Ready to pay the price?An English lady traveling in Germany left a valuable fur coat in charge of a German woman in the carriage. When she returned the German was wearing the coat and said it belonged to her. The guard tried in vain to find out to which of the two it belonged and finally sent her to the consul. The consul asked to examine the coat, and brought it back a few moments later saying, "This is a very serious affair; who so ever the coat belongs to has been smuggling cocaine. Here are the two packets I found in the coat."  The German woman excused herself and bowed out of the room saying: "Just my little joke." The English woman said: "I can't understand how they could have got there." The Consul replied: "Don't worry, it is only salt, that I put to find out whose coat it really was."
John Arbuthnot in 'More Quotes and Anecdotes
 
Pay nothing …you get nothing!A man came to buy a saddle for his horse. He saw a fine piece and asked, "How much?" "Five hundred rupees", the shop owner replied. "But that is too much," the man replied. "As it is the saddle is overly decorated. Remove some of the decoration and cut down the price." "All right" the shop owner said and took away some of the decoration. "Now it will be Rs. 400." "Rs. 400? Even that is too much. There is still some decoration you can remove." And so it went on till the price was brought down to Rs. 250. Even so the customer found the price too much. At last the shop owner said, "All right, sir. The saddle will cost you nothing." The buyer asked excitedly, "Nothing? Wonderful! What do I get? The shop owner told him. "Nothing." - We get according to our willingness to pay. This holds good in the spiritual realm too.
G. Francis Xavier in ''Inspiring Stories'
 
Keeper of the flameSometime ago the Los Angeles Times carried a moving story by reporter Dave Smith. It was about a modern Christian who, put God First in his life, other People second, and himself third. His name is Charlie DeLeo. After returning from Vietnam, He got a job as maintenance man at the Statue of Liberty. Charlie told the reporter that part of his job is to take care of the torch in the statue's hand and the crown on the statue's head. He has to make sure that the sodium vapour lights are always working and that the 200 glass windows in the torch and the crown are always clean. Pointing to the torch, Charlie said proudly, "That's my chapel. I dedicated it to the Lord, and I go up there and meditate on my breaks." But Charlie does other things for the Lord, as well. He received a commendation from the Red Cross after donating his 65th pint of blood. And since hearing of the work of Mother Teresa in India, he has given over $12,000 to her and to people like her. Charlie told the Los Angeles Times reporter: "I don't socialize much; don't have enough money to get married. I don't keep any of my money. After I got my job, I sponsored six orphans through those children's organizations." Charlie ended by telling the reporter that he calls himself the "Keeper of the Flame" of the Statue of Liberty. Later a park guide told the reporter: "Everybody knows Charlie is special. When he first gave himself that title, people smiled. But we all take it seriously now. To us, he's exactly what he says: 'Keeper of the Flame."
Mark Link in 'Sunday Homilies'
 
May we conscientiously and generously follow the Master!
 
Fr. Jude Botelho

23rd Sunday C


Twenty Third Sunday of the Year (C)

8 September 2013

Luke 14, 25 – 33

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his
wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he
cannot be my disciple.  And anyone who does not carry his cross and
follow me cannot be my disciple.

 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit
down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete
it?  For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it,
everyone who sees it will ridicule him,  saying, ‘This fellow began to
build and was not able to finish.’  “Or suppose a king is about to go
to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider
whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming
against him with twenty thousand?  If he is not able, he will send a
delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for
terms of peace.  In the same way, any of you who does not give up
everything he has cannot be my disciple.

Not just any way
José Antonio Pagola
Jesus is making his way to Jerusalem. The Gospel writer tells us that
“many people accompanied him”. However, Jesus does not read too much
into their zeal. He is not deceived by the easily earned enthusiasm of
the crowds. Some are concerned today at the sharp decline in the
number of Christians. Jesus was more interested in the quality of his
followers than their number.
   Suddenly he turns around and begins to speak to the crowd of the
concrete demands  following him makes on those who wish to do so in a
responsible and decisive manner. He does not want them to follow him
in just any way. To be a follower of Jesus is a decision that will put
its stamp on the whole life of the individual.
    First of all, Jesus speaks to them of the family. Those people
have their own families: fathers and mothers, wives and children,
brothers and sisters. They are their most loved and dear human beings.
But they cannot be his disciples if they do not set aside family
interests to work with him  to promote the interests of the human
family not based on blood relationships but based on  motives of
justice and fraternal solidarity.
Jesus is not thinking of disrupting families by eliminating love and
family life. But, if someone puts above everything else the honor of
his family, his heritage or family welfare he cannot be his disciple
nor can he work with him in the project of a more humane world.
   More still. If someone thinks only of himself and his own affairs,
if he lives only to enjoy his well-being, if he cares only about his
own interests, let him not deceive himself. He cannot be he cannot be
a disciple. He lacks inner freedom, consistency and responsibility to
be taken seriously.
   Jesus continues speaking without mincing his words: “Whoever does
not carry his cross after me cannot be my disciple.” If one lives
avoiding problems and conflicts, if he does not know how to take risks
and endure punishment, if he is not ready to undergo suffering for the
kingdom of God and his justice, he cannot be a disciple of Jesus.
   We cannot be Christian any way we choose. We must not confuse the
Christian life with ways of living which distort and empty of content
the humble but responsible following of Jesus.
   It is surprising how freely Pope Francis denounces ways of being
Christian that have little to do with the disciples of Jesus:
“Christians who have good manners but bad habits, believers fit for
museums, hypocrites created by casuistry, Christians who cannot go
against the current, “corrupt” Christians” who can only think of
themselves, “educated Christians” who do not preach the Gospel…
(Pope’s words freely translated from the Spanish version.)
Promote the life of true followers of Jesus

01 September, 2013

New Parish Council Members - Xavier's parish, Navrangpura.

The large gathering of the parishioners at St Xavier's Church,Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, India, prayed for and blessed the new parish council members for 2013-2014.
They are like the burning oil lamps at the alter of humble service said the parish priest Vally Dias in his homily.
 The Photos show the parish council members in the front row of the gathering and they being greeted by the priests present.
[ Devasia]