Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016! (Not Merry X-Mas) Christ+Mass

The Holy Season of Advent 2016 has come to an end with the dawn of the Christmas Day just now today. 'Advent' is the season when the faithful world-wide wait eagerly and prepare mentally and spiritually for the 'Coming' of the Lord Jesus Christ to be born as a human in this world.

Many people who were with us to celebrate the last Christmas 2015 are not alive to see this Christmas. By the grace of Lord Jesus, you and me are still alive to see, witness and live one more Christmas. Thank You God!

Some people spend time discussing what to add before Christmas! Whether it is 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Christmas'. Even though there is slight difference in these words, Christmas is a celebration that brings merry making and happiness.

Christmas is the only festival celebrated throughout the world, and in every parts of the universe, by most of the humanity. Christmas brings Joy, Happiness, Peace, Prosperity and Blessings to one and all. Because The Lord Jesus Christ took the incarnation of a man to be offered as a ransom for the redemption of the entire mankind, without any discrimination of race, religion, region etc, Christmas is not the festival of just Christians but every human beings.

Christmas was shortly mentioned as X-Mas in the yesteryears. It is because the Greek letter X was pronounced as 'Kye' which is the first letter of Christ in Greek language. Even though Christmas was written as X Mas in greeting cards and letters, it was pronounced as 'Christ Mass'. But with arrival of internet the meanings of the letters are misinterpreted. As per Mathematical explanations, X denotes a person who has no name. X is also mentioned to represent filthy things now-a-days. 

The commercial world sees Christmas with its business eye only. Beautiful decorations and stars are hung on business establishments. But there is no Christ there. It is painful to understand that even Western countries that gave birth to a huge number of great Saints and Martyrs is calling Christmas season as holiday season removing the Holy Name of the Hero of the season from His own Birthday Celebrations. And even in the developing countries, some Christians are giving more importance to the external celebrations only, very comfortably forgetting and neglecting the real spirit of Christmas that is spreading and sharing Joy, Peace and happiness.

May the Child Jesus give you and all your dear ones a 'good heart' to experience His Peace as the Bible says "Glory to God in the highest and Peace to those with goodwill...!

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Year of Mercy ends, Doors of Churches close, But God's Mercy never ends!

The Universal Catholic Church has been celebrating the 'Extraordinary Great Jubilee Year of Divine Mercy' since 8th December, 2015. The official celebrations that commenced on the inaugural day with the symbolic opening of the great Door of the Basilica of St Peter by Pope Francis, and lasted nearly for an year, are ending with the Feast of Christ the King on 20th November, 2016. 

The Holy Jubilee Year of God's Mercy was observed with the motto, "Be Merciful like the Father" (Lk. 6;36). The main purpose of announcing this year was to give an opportunity for the members of the Catholic Christian community to practice the virtue of mercy and compassion to his fellow human beings as God the Father is showing to his sinful children without any conditions. It was also a golden opportunity for those people who left the Church and the Love of the compassionate Father for different reasons to come back to the main stream without any (normal) conditions or traditional punishments. 

Hundreds of thousands of people entered through the specified Doors of Mercy of Churches or Basilicas throughout the world during this period and experienced the sweetness of the Love, Forgiveness and Mercy of the Divine Father. Those who observed this Jubilee with devotion as instructed by the Holy Father Pope Francis (who is authorized by the Lord to grant) also received the special blessings and pardoning for all their sins. All those who received God's Mercy must preserve It and radiate It to the world.

There are still many people who could not take advantage of this special opportunity. Even though the Church closes the great Doors of St Peter's Basilica in Rome as a symbolic sign to wind-up the Jubilee Year of Divine Mercy, the ever flowing Mercy of the Divine Father never never ends or stops as HE is Mercy Himself (Ps 136). His Mercy and Compassion follows everyone until one's last moment in this world. As no one ever knows when is his/her final moments on this earth would be, it is imperative for each and everyone to rush to any Church as early as possible and seek the Forgiveness of sins from any Catholic Priest and receive God's unlimited and never ending Mercy and eternal Love.

The Year of Mercy ends, Doors of Churches close, But God's Mercy never ends!

The Universal Catholic Church has been celebrating the 'Extraordinary Great Jubilee Year of Divine Mercy' since 8th December, 2015. The official celebrations that commenced on the inaugural day with the symbolic opening of the great Door of the Basilica of St Peter by Pope Francis, and lasted nearly for an year, are ending with the Feast of Christ the King on 20th November, 2016. 

The Holy Jubilee Year of God's Mercy was observed with the motto, "Be Merciful like the Father" (Lk. 6;36). The main purpose of announcing this year was to give an opportunity for the members of the Catholic Christian community to practice the virtue of mercy and compassion to his fellow human beings as God the Father is showing to his sinful children without any conditions. It was also a golden opportunity for those people who left the Church and the Love of the compassionate Father for different reasons to come back to the main stream without any (normal) conditions or traditional punishments. 

Hundreds of thousands of people entered through the specified Doors of Mercy of Churches or Basilicas throughout the world during this period and experienced the sweetness of the Love, Forgiveness and Mercy of the Divine Father. Those who observed this Jubilee with devotion as instructed by the Holy Father Pope Francis (who is authorized by the Lord to grant) also received the special blessings and pardoning for all their sins.

There are still many people who could not take advantage of this special opportunity. Even though the Church closes the great Doors of St Peter's Basilica in Rome as a symbolic sign to wind-up the Jubilee Year of Divine Mercy, the ever flowing Mercy of the Divine Father never never ends as HE is Mercy Himself. His Mercy and Compassion follows everyone until one's last moment in this world. As no one ever knows when is his/her last moment on this earth, it is imperative for each and everyone to rush to any Church as early as possible and seek the Forgiveness of sins from any Catholic Priest and receive God's unlimited and never ending Mercy and eternal Love.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Syro Malabar Church NOT to wash women's feet on Holy Thursday 2016

The Major Arch Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church of Kerala, Cardinal George Alencherry has made an announcement regarding the female participation in 'the washing of the feet ceremony' during the 2016 Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's last Supper. 

'Washing of the feet' (mandatum) is a custom practised by the Catholic Church, taking example from the 'Humble Act' of the Divine Master who surprised His 12 Apostles by kneeling before each and washing and kissing everyone's feet during His Last Supper with them on Holy Thursday, before His Great Passion and death on the Cross on Good Friday. This great exemplary act of the Greatest Master before His disciples to teach them to show in action the value of humility and love to one another is being carried out by His followers throughout the world. Ever since the last Supper of the Lord in 33 AD, in every Catholic Church, the heads of the Church starting from the Pope, Cardinals, bishops or Priests, this event is performed in memory of the Lord at His command. Such a rare ceremony is performed only in the Catholic Church under the sun where a master or teacher kneeling before his disciple and washing and kissing his foot.

Until recently in the universal Catholic church, representing the Lord's 12 disciples, 12 men were invited by the priest (celebrant of the Holy Mass) to participate in this ceremony. But during the Holy Thursday ceremonies of the present Pontiff Francis after his election as the Pope, he brought about a change in the customary practice and chose some abandoned and neglected persons from the society which included some prisoners and women. 

Later this year according to the suggestions of the Holy Father, the Roman Missal numbers 10 and 11 some slight changes were initiated. The earlier wordings on the 'washing of the feet' rite said, "The pre-chosen men are accompanied by the pastor (priest)". But after the editing, the word 'men' are modified to 'people' and the present text reads as "The pre-chosen among the people of God are accompanied by the priest".  This to include everyone for the washing of the foot rite without any gender discrimination. But it is misunderstood by some people as an order of the pope to include women compulsorily for this holy ceremony by giving 50 percent reservation to female gender. 

Putting an end to this confusion, the Head of the Syrian Catholic Church, Cardinal George Alencherry issued a statement that in the universal Syro Malabar Catholic Church, women will not be included or invited for the washing of the feet during the Holy (Maundy) Thursday services on March 24, 2016. The Arch Bishop made it clear that a decision on this regard will be taken in a Church synod to be held later this year.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Catholic Christian Nurses Ministry: Glorifying the Lord through Service

When we hear and see on TV channels and in media the committed services of the Catholic Nurses spread around the world particularly in the middle east while on duty, and the various Spiritual and social activities they render during week off, we feel proud and thank God for enabling these brothers and sisters who bring pride and glory to the Lord who called them and the Church that formed them and the state of Kerala which sent them.

The nurses from Kerala are preferred throughout the world. This is because of their dedication to the work. The dedicated and sincere service of Kerala nurses abroad is bringing not only foreign revenue, but also good name to the state. Many nurses opt for nursing as their profession not just by chance, but by choice. Even if someone became a nurse by chance, they transform in to a worthy nurse thanks to the 'Word of God' which is deeply buried in them.

When many of these nurses realize their 'calling' and extend their services to the sick and the suffering with compassion and caring, they are indirectly glorifying the Lord. When they become able to see Lord Jesus Christ in these suffering people, and serve the with love and patience, they become equal to the venerable persons like Mother Teresa.  Even though a nurse is doing job as an employment for earning money, by having proper attitude and changing the mindset, the same work can be turned into a great Missionary work. When a nurse devotes his/her job as a vocation and performs his/her duty seeing the invisible Lord in the patients, he/she can find happiness in the job and endure the numerous 'crosses' happily and proudly.

May the Lord Jesus Christ strengthen all nurses who are part of the Nurses Ministry in the gulf countries and bless their near and dear ones abundantly. Through this nurses ministry, they gather together and hold prayers and other charitable activities. If all  Indian nurses (particularly the Christians) take example from them and form and operate similar ministries in the areas of their work, they will be instrumental to the spreading of the Kingdom of God. Such fellowships will strengthen the novice and wavering individuals also. This will also bring good tidings to the lives of many who are in trials and misfortunes.

God Bless....