Friday, July 9, 2021

15th Sunday Better, Smile!

Better smile! 

How did you behave when you were distributing to the 5000 plus gathering?  Were you selfish or generous?  Were you feeling one above them?  Were you partial or compassionate? Were you lavish and careless?  Were you stingy and hard on people?

Now when you walk on the streets, probably there are people in those villages who had been to that same gathering;  they had watched you, observed you or even had a tussle with you.  Now it is their time to react or respond.

Jesus had the capacity to provide food for thousands of people!  Were they miracles or organizational skill is not known to me!

But for him and his disciples, he depended on the people not on miracles!

Public life and service demands; discipline, principle and compassion!

A bank cashier may handle millions of rupees.  But they don't belong to him.  But he could be very kind and pleasant at the cash counter.  You are not losing your money but one who receives can receive both money and a smile!

Mr. Kakkan, Mr. Sathiyamoorthy, Mr. K. Rajaram, Mr. Kamarajar, Mr. Omanthooraar, Mr. Nallakannu, Mr. Lal bagathoor Shasthri, Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Mr. Sahayam are some of the Indian politicians who were highly and exemplarily disciplined in this direction.  They were scrupulously cautious about common money.

A religious, a priest, a politician, a person in government service have ample number of opportunities to handle the common money.  There will be a constant temptation to swab aside some of it or the whole of it.  That is a death trap!

When Jesus instructed, "Don't carry anything more than the bare necessity", he forced them to depend on the people for their salary.  Providence therefore, is not looking up, for assistance!  But look around for your sustenance.  It is not a blind belief in an unknown God but a deep  trust in people around you.

If you have an opportunity to handle common money, just get detached from it and enjoy a total freedom.  It is bliss!!  Don't grumble, don't be silly, don't horde things for no reason, don't be stingy.

The people are provided by the master.  You only have distribution responsibility both with things and service.

Better smile! Otherwise you may go "hungry"!

Friday, June 18, 2021

12th Sunday Endless waves


Faith is not merely an intellectual activity!  It is an internal disposition!

Faith is not; thinking (or, believing) that someone or some external force can do something good or bad!

Faith is openness!  Religion tries to give you a set of beliefs and dogmas!  They are needed for any group development!  Keep it up if necessary.  But raise up from religiosity to a higher reality.

Many would say this Sunday that if you trust in Jesus, he will calm down your problems in life!  Good for "kids"!  Don't be a kid for a very long time!  Hold on to your Father!  No, problem!! But now you have children and grandchildren too.  You have to lead them as well!!

When there is commotion and uproar, a good leader takes control of the situation and projects calmness, and proposes guidance.  When there is agitation all around, a good leader would exhibit involved efforts to calm down the commotion.  On the other hand, Poor leaders (like dictators or fundamentalists)  would pour petrol on the fire!

When there is a problem in the community when there is emotions running high due to various reasons, let your internal disposition exhibit fine leadership!

When the weather is rough, better not to venture out!  Wait for a better moment, wait for a conducive weather to take a ride!

Belief will venture you out!  If you survive the trouble, you will add feathers to your belief!  If you fail, you will attribute to another type of belief, such as "God's will" and so on.

Faith is openness!  You will listen to nature, birds, children, experienced people, weather forecasts and so on.  And then you will use your judgment to ACT!

And when there is an unexpected commotion, you will certainly be affected, perturbed, or disturbed.  But, don't get succumbed to it.  Observe and Act!  Take leadership!  Don't worsen the situation by frightening others!  If you frighten the crowd, you will end up creating a religion!

Probably Jesus was pretending to sleep on a tossed-up boat,  observing "all the leaders" creating and adding their bit of commotion in the "boat"!

Be composed and collected in the rough weathers of life!  Waves would come and go, but you will have to survive and sail through!  The second wave, third-wave...

Saturday, June 12, 2021

11th Sunday, Plant Trees!


Plant Trees!

If humans had not ruthlessly cut down trees and destroyed the nature, we don't have to plant trees today!  That was not our responsibility.  Nature could take care of itself.  But man had intervened and destroyed nature.

Do you know why the elephants get agitated and destroy human inhabitants or agricultural lands?  The elephant herds have their track that they follow for centuries.  Not knowing any of these we infiltrated into the forests and refurbished it for human needs.  We destroyed almost everything; rivers, bird sanctuaries, animals, hills and mountains, even space!  There is a huge and beautiful chain of relationships between all these.  We are just a single and small entity or part of this whole wonderful design!

Humans should not enter the forests!  Senseless people throw bottles, plastics, synthetic materials all over the earth, including the forests and the ocean.  Through the oil spilled by the ships, pollution caused by flights and vehicles, carbon emission, climate change, global warming we have proven that humans are not rational anymore!  River beds are being stolen, Mining has destroyed many places, High sea fishing by motorized vassals has extinguished many ocean resources, Urbanization has put an end to nature's many resources. Nailing trees with advertisements, spilling garbage on the streets, smoking in public places, littering, cutting huge trees for the construction of houses and roads,  and never bothered to replace them with more trees and what not?

Now we run short of oxygen and frantically run for Oxygen cylinders!   What senseless human beings we are!  We are like the disciples of Paramaartha guru cutting the very branch we sit on.

The first reading (Ezekiel 17/22-24) and the gospel today (Mark 4/26-34) refer to how nature grows.  I have no interest in theologizing or theologically interpreting any of these.  Useless and irrelevant to me today!

Go and plant trees!

Don't organize religious ceremonies; gathering people as before the Pandemic and lead to kill them!  This is not the time to scratch our religious sentiments and irresistible irritations.  These are signs of "faith" built on pseudo-religious sentiments.  They cannot even be called faith but stupidity wearing a faith gown!

The Pandemic and the readings today invite us to be spiritual and practical!

Go and rectify the mess we created!

Go and plant trees!!

Saturday, June 5, 2021

The body and blood of Christ


I have great admiration for St. Carlo (Not declared saint yet by the church, but I personally prefer to call him that way!!) He had great devotion and admiration for Eucharist.  He worked hard focused on collecting Eucharistic miracles!

Thieves had entered a little church at night and broke open the tabernacle, took away the ciborium, and spilled the communion all around!  In the morning when devotees saw the communion on the floor, they were shocked and reported the same to the priest in charge!  He with a lot of fear and devotion collected them back and placed them properly.  The bishop, (I think it was late bishop Thomas of Trichy diocese) quickly came to the spot and consoled the people and finally celebrated a mass among them.  In which he preached, "the body of Christ is spilled all over; in the slums and villages, on streets and dirty places!  The body of Christ is thrown on the streets when the poor are uncared" and so on...

Every person next to you is an embodiment of the same God who lives in you!

If you cannot see the human needs around, your god is blind!

If you detest the smell of the poor,  your god is poor!

If you do not extend a helping hand, your god is lame!

If you cannot be warm to the depressed, your god is a nut!

If you cannot be compassionate to the suffering one your god is useless!

That you have no love for the people around you but can do summersault in Eucharistic devotion or lift yourself 5 ft from the ground in deep meditation, your god may be powerful and influential but is worthless!

In fact "your god" is not God!

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Ascension of the Lord Gospel is not a book

You feel very comfortable in the presence of some persons!  They inquire about you, they show interest in you and what you do, they console you when you are down, they talk positive things with you.  They are full of hope and love!  They radiate affection, compassion, and trustworthiness!

On the other hand, there are people who are all the time self-eulogizing!  All the time looking for an opportunity to say something great about themselves.  Even when they visit the sick, they would be preoccupied with themselves and their own concerns.  They stink!

Proclaiming the gospel is not explaining it in words and elaborating its theology or what we have learned from the books and libraries!

Gospel is not a book!  Gospel is not an exhortation!  Gospel is not a historical narration!  Gospel is you!  Yes, You are the gospel!

Be a piece of good news to someone or anyone!  Listening to someone's difficulties, wiping the tears of someone, clasping a hand with compassion, embracing someone with true love, sharing the joy of the other, laughing with a cheerful person, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, be at the service of the elderly or the deserted ones ... you can be good news in so many ways.

For this you must all the time look at the other person's needs, difficulties and situations; other cantered!    If you are self-centered, difficult to be good news to anyone!

Ascension is not from downward to upward! It is from inward to outward!

Therefore, Reach out!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

5th Sunday of Easter Load Shedding


Look at the pen stand on your table; Old pens that don't write anymore and Pens that you don't use anymore! but, they are all there!  They are a burden to the stand and you!  Look at your table, room, home, and your vicinity!  You will find many useless things but don't feel like giving them up.  Books, old cell phones,  old laptops, clothes, shoes, and whatnot that you don't need anymore.  They get accumulated!  Your beautiful room is like a dark room where you dumb things!  A little garbage bin!

Get rid of them and create space where you can freely move around!

Throwing them away is certainly good for you but if you can combine it with "Giving it away" (to someone in need) is much better.

Similarly, the Mind is filled with thoughts, prejudices, and worries that curtails your happiness!  A hurting word by someone is dead and gone but your mind needs it to torment you!  An incident is no more alive but your mind entertains it to keep you strangled under it.

Your ego is such a poor guy that it cannot say sorry!  It cannot forgo things!  It cannot say "I misunderstood"!  Therefore, you hoard things against so many!  You take in more than what you can chew!  You stick to ideologies that are irrelevant! You get entangled in certain religious beliefs! you get into the morass of prejudices!

You have such beautiful wings with which you can fly around and enjoy the breadth and width of the sky!  But you are stuck to the slush!

Pruning is a must for growth and harvest!

As the pruned leaves and branches become good manure for the plants, similarly that which you have shred will enhance your growth!

Face criticisms and Address issues!  There is no use postponing!  It is better to lose the branches than the whole tree!  Pain can be very constructive if you can properly address it.

We are in the midst of the Covid crisis!  Again, Don't Panic and Don't postpone!  If you have symptoms attend to it immediately.  It will save time, energy, health, money,  family, and your life.  On the other hand, if you panic, you will sink quickly!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

4th Sunday Easter Leadership vacancies


Leadership characters that were presented by Jesus is far different from that of today's political leadership!

Unfortunately, the elements of political leadership has attracted many including the Christian leaders!

Accumulation of power and money is the hallmark of political arena today!

Distribution of power, money, wealth, food, justice is the characters of Christian leadership.

In a village family, for example, the father of the family earns let us say 500 rupees a day, the mother of the family 250 and there are two income-less children and a grandmother.  The total income, the 750 of the day belongs to the entire family.  The father cannot autocratically spend 200 rupees for his evening drink!

Common money cannot be used for private ends!  Then, it is no more a family, no more a congregation, no more a community, no more a church!  I am not here talking about democracy but Christian spirit and charity!

The two children in your family are totally dependent on your income!  But they are your joy and future which is immeasurable!  The grandmother is income-less!  But she had spent her entire past for this present!   The mother comes back from the fields and works again at home unpaid!  A family is centred around love, charity and compassion, not income and money alone!

Many of our religious communities and churches have lost their credentials and respect among the common people is mainly due to its shift from a Charity model to Income oriented model.  The centre of focus has shifted from ministry and service to income generation!

Sr. Jacquline once told me to visit the Christian Fellowship Hospital in Ottanchathiram.  A couple of its doctors had also helped our village medical camps. In their hospital, payment for hospitalization is done after counselling the person.  If they are poor and unable to pay, they don't charge the regular, I was told!

Kamalaathaal an 80-year-old granny sells one rupee idli in Coimbatore, Vadivelanpalyam!   She just feeds the hungry with a determined heart!

Comedian Vivek who died recently had planted a few million trees in this country with a true determination.

Therefore, you don't need a position or a placement or an appointment or an election to become a leader.

There is a huge number of leadership vacancies in several fields!  Why do you compete in the sticky crowded street?

Feed the hungry, Take care of the orphans, work for the liberation of prisoners, help their families, teach youth culture, federate women, federate peasants, get involved with AA groups, organize cultural troupes, motivate children; Yes, you are needed in so many places.  Therefore break the cocoon of thought patterns and fly free!  Otherwise, it would get rotten!  

15th Sunday Better, Smile!

Better smile!  How did you behave when you were distributing to the 5000 plus gathering?   Were you selfish or generous?   Were you feeling ...