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Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Orlem
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YOUTH – POWER  SHIFT

Leslie D’Souza

 

Power, Money and Pleasure are three modern day passions. They are pursued by sinners and saints alike. The path and consequences are dramatically different.

Power often holds a negative charge to it. Despite the bad odour that clings to the very notion of power because of its misuse – power is an inescapable aspect of human relationships. It is also the secret of successful living. Jesus wants each us  to be powerful as he was! “Jesus knew that the Father had given him complete power” Jn13.3 and what do you think he did with that power when he was at the table and knew that Judas was to betray him? “…he rose from the table, took off his outer  garment, and tied a towel around his waist. Then he poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist” Jn.13.4:5

 

      Alvin Toffler the renowned futurist has researched that there have been three major “power-shifts” in the last few centuries. The shifts have been from the power of violence to the Power of Wealth and currently to the Power of Knowledge. In fact there is no doubt that knowledge is power.

 

      The unbeatable combination of Knowledge of Jesus and the Bible combined with sound professional knowledge in a chosen area of our liking is the most powerful and astounding strategy for a prosperous and successful life. And remember, Jesus wants each one of us to be successful in our studies and the profession we choose.

 

      In today’s fiercely competitive world there is no room for mediocre performance. In fact, Jesus wants us to be passionate about whatever we do. Did he not set the example? He abhors mediocracy and celebrates meritocracy. Is that not the mantra of modern day management? Remember the parable of the three servants. The master gave to each one according to his ability. Two traded, invested and built on what was given. The third servant did not want to risk losing what he got from his master and buried the gold coin he received, so that he could return it. Seemingly good intentions!! But, what did his master say “you bad and lazy servant … have him thrown outside in the darkness there he will cry and grind teeth” Mat 25.30

 

      To be successful, we must grow and develop. Every process of development in nature is a process mingled with pleasure, pain and a struggle. A caterpillar’s painful struggle into butterfly-hood must be seen to be believed. But, it must go through that necessary and painful process to be able to fly and display its magnificent array of colours. If you interfere with nature’s plan and ease the struggle, you destroy the butterfly’s chances of existence. The struggle is part of building strength in its wings to fly. It is the same for each one of us. We must struggle a little now, to be able to fly freely and proudly for the rest of our lives.

 

      We live in a knowledge economy. India is leading the pack of knowledge workers worldwide. India is a land full of dreams and confidence- the confidence comes from our largest pool of “youth power” in the world. This youth power can either be used or misused. This power is expected to provide us huge dividends on the young people’s earnings and savings. But if a large number of our youth do not find gainful employment there will be social and political turmoil.

 

      There is not doubt the future of our church and our nation rest on youth. If our youth partner with God in the shift to the Power of Knowledge, we will be the strongest and most vibrant community around.

 

      With the Power of Knowledge comes the  power of money. Money is good depending on the use we put it to. While Donald Trump flaunts his money at a multimillion dollar wedding party,  Mr. Narayan Murthy, the founder and Chief Mentor of Infosys, spends it on social upliftment of the poor. You need money to do good. The best way to ensure you have money is to invest in your knowledge and talent development.

 

            Finally, when you do good and use your money to serve others, you get almost a heavenly sense of satisfaction. A sense of pleasure that no indulgence in any form can give. In this season of Lent, may we learn to make decisions that will draw us closer to the plan God has for us. May we equip ourselves with the ability, to think with our minds, pull with our muscles and see with our hearts the destiny God has created for each of us. God cannot do what he wants for us without our help. Are we ready to go?

 

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MARRIED LOVE AND EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION    

-         Leon Bent

 

When the two in marriage abide in love they abide in God, and God abides in them” (1 Jn. 4:18).  Divine and human intimacy mirror one another.  Nuptial love-play draws us into the delicate dance of the Blessed Trinity.

 

       Jesus’ New Commandment, given at the Last Supper, was that we should “love one another as he loves us” (Jn. 13:34).  We are called to give ourselves in love, unreservedly and unconditionally, in faith, as our brother Jesus did.  This generosity forms a circle of intimacy that is far greater than marriage, family and home.  At its best it mirrors Trinitarian love.

 

       Our marital mission is measured in humble service.  Marriage is a school where authentic holiness is lived out in death to selfishness and rising, with the Spirit of Jesus, to live for others.  Such sanctity unfolds in the routine of daily-life situations, very rarely in dramatic heroism.

 

Sacramental partners move, two-by-two, into a bruised, bloody and broken world, and heal it through their warm touch.  It is the joy and privilege of passionate love, to serve each unique person who enters its hallowed sphere of influence.

 

       The Eucharist is a community gift.   It is the manifestation of an ongoing dialogue between a covenant-making, covenant-keeping God and humankind.  It has the explosive power to build a unified, vibrant Body of Christ.  Through the ‘memorial’ to Christ’s paschal mystery, we experience the dynamism that drives us outward to be Eucharist, bread broken, in our marriages, our families our neighbourhoods, our communities, and the world, at large.  Sexual love is apostolic.  St. Paul saw the close link between marriage and the Eucharistic community;  “Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church, and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy”. (Eph. 5:15).

 

       The principal fruit of the Eucharist, “the communion in the Spirit”, is an intimate union of all mankind in Christ.  The Eucharist brings about a close bonding of all who participate in the one Bread of heaven.  This should inspire matrimonial couples to enrich their conjugal love with the Eucharist and spread its raging fire to others.

 

       True communion gathers the Church together by the Lord’s love.  Jesus exhorts us to “remain in my love” (Jn. 15:9), and then says, “go out and bear fruit” (Jn. 15:16).

 

Christian spirituality is, essentially, to be part of an affective network of people who share one faith, one baptism, and one Lord (cfr. Acts. 2:42, 44, 47).  Eucharistic interconnectedness places the common good over self-interest.

 

       This results in participatory living!  God’s way of relating, not ours!

Married love, when celebrated at the Eucharistic Table flows out in communion. 

 

AN INDIAN EUCHARISTIC CHRISTMAS

Leon Bent

Pope John Paul II has called the Church to celebrate a year of the Eucharist from October 2004 to October 2005. At the heart of the Eucharist lies the Paschal Mystery, Christ’s death and resurrection, the INCARNATION (CHRISTMAS), and the Church, as Christ’s Body. These mysteries will become a reality in our lives, if our communities live what they believe and celebrate. There must be a link between the liturgy of life and the liturgy of celebration. A God who touches us. A God we feel. Christmas is the time to feel this cuddly, innocent, warm, playful God in the form of a Babe. Just like a little child, next door. Only then, will the Eucharist be the worship of the whole community. His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, often speaks of the intimate connection between the Eucharist and evangelization. The enactment of the Birth of Jesus, in Indian garb and milieu, in our Sectors and Zones this year, especially in non-Christian settings, is a case in point.

Our parish is trying to communicate the message of Christmas in the language and idiom of India. Images, street-plays,PowerPoint presentations, dance, music and drama have been used earlier. On Good Friday this year, the Suffering Christ and his “group” of followers, walked the Way of the Cross, through the length and breadth of the parish, and beyond. We, in Orlem, are attempting to give Christ an Indian face, an Indian heart. And, more importantly, break these for others. This is Eucharistic living.

In the Gospel of John, the Last Supper is set in an interesting context: “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn. 15:12); “That they may all be one …(Jn. 17:21); the washing of the feet…humble service (Jn. 13:2-15); sharing and communion of life (Jn. 6:48-58) and love unto death.(cf. Jn. 15:13).

Our Christmas message is loud and clear: the Christian community cannot celebrate  the Eucharist meaningfully, if it does not share its goods and get involved in, seek solidarity and be one with God’s family, sharing his Bread of Life (Mk. 3:31-35; Mt. 25 25:36-46). To be Eucharistic is to be united in the people’s struggle (Mk. 1:14-20; Lk. 5:1-11; 27-31; Jn. 21:1- 14). Our numerous and varied parish organisations reveal the face of Jesus, who fed thousands of hungry followers (cf Lk. 9:12-17),and comforted the broken hearted.

How can the concerns of the whole parish,its immense joys and sorrows, find an echo in the liturgy? Do they receive the energizing bread of love and service from a concerned community? How can the whole community of believers in Orlem proclaim its faith publicly,if it does not celebrate the Eucharist in love, joy, reconciliation and peace? Christmas is a time to put Jesus back into human hearts. Our own first. And, then, into persons of other religious persuasions.

The Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, or the reaking of the Bread, is a celebration, a sacrifice, a memorial and a sacred banquet. It is a sacrament of piety, a bond of Charity and a sign of unity. To partake in the Eucharist is to form one body with Christ, in a celebration of oneness of ALL peoples and ALL cultures. It heals broken relationships and a fragmented world.

Into this world Christ was born on Christmas day. All we need do is make this a reality, today! In little ways!Christmas 2004 stirs us to be messengers and artisans of peace and joy. The same Jesus who was born on that ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’is birthed at every Eucharist. Spread the Good News through the print,electronic and multi media, O ye parishionersof Our Lady of Lourdes Church! Why! We have already made a praiseworthy beginning

ANGEL GABRIEL

Dr. Shirley Fernandes, Baudi

Angel Gabriel is one of

the Archangels three,

Along with Michael and

Raphael our guide is he.

A champion and a

prince, heavens army

he leads, As captain of

the angels,

we always must him heed

He announced the

Incarnation, and

the Immaculate

Conception

It is he who uttered the

Rosary’s first notes,

And complimented Mary

with the Trinity’s quotes.

He is said to be the Guardian Angel of Our Lady herself

That is why he guides the legion(Mary’s army) so well.

Muslims believe that he did their religion to them

communicate,

But this theory has not been confirmed to date.

But by giving this their attention to him

He definitely will repay them by revealing Christianity to

them.

Feast Day 29th September.

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GOD AND US

Mrs. Berry James

Zone 1 Sector 5

Where is God we ask,

When afflicted with sorrows,

When troubled with worries.

Where is God we ask,

When the road is long

And there is no end to

our trials.

And finally,

Is there a God at all, we ask,

When overcome with distress.

But wait...

Do we ask where God is,

When we are happy and gay,

Do we remember God,

When the journey is smooth

And there is no frown to mar

the brow.

Do we ever think of God,

When the heart is content

And the mind is at rest.

The truth is plain and simple,

For all to know and see,

God is there -

With us, in us and around us.

The question then to ask is,

Are we with God?

INDEPENDENCE DAY 2004

Anterina Mascarenhas (Animator) / Marve Link, Mithchowki

On Sunday 15th August 2004, the children of Mith

Chowki Sector 5 had an unique opportunity to

express themselves by putting pen and brush to

paper! It was a sight that warmed the cockles of

our heart as eighteen children, aged between 10

and 13 years, gathered at the residence of our

Councillor, Ladislaus, to take part in the

“Essay Writing” and “Poster Painting”

contests that evening.

Many children took part in the Essay

Writing contest! The choice of topics

offered were: Freedom is “Mera Bharat Mahaan!”,“

I love My India!”, and “India - My Country,

My Motherland.” The children pledged

their love for and devotion to the country!

The Poster Contest had 18 children taking part

in four groups divided age- and class-wise.

The interaction that took place among the

participants in each group in an effort to graphically

express the theme: FREEDOM Is Love, Peace and Unity,

was to be seen to be believed. While the Councillor provided the paper and the boards, the

participants, all sitting on the floor in the corridor of Cardinal Gracias Building, got to work

with their crayons and paintbrushes helping them to give expression to their thoughts and

creativity. The four posters put up on the walls in the corridor each had a message that the

groups took great pains to explain to the judges, Alex Fernandes, Angela Antao and Monica

D’Silva, who, one must say, had a tough time deciding the winners! A number of parents did

come around to view their exhibits that were displayed for nearly a week.