THE PARISH PRIEST SPEAKS
Fr. Salvador Rodrigues
Marketing is all about getting people to make a choice for you and your product
as against the other. The choice depends upon the personality of the person or the attractiveness of the product, that is,
beneficial, pleasant and satisfying. 2000 years ago someone set out to market
an ideology. He offered benefits and satisfaction, but understood differently, and to be obtained through an odd process.
He definitely said “I have come that you may have life and life in abundance” Jn.10:10. But he also said “if
you choose to be my disciple- take up your cross and follow me” MK. 8:34. At face value it sounds odd, that to have
life one has to embrace the Cross- but Jesus’ life proves what he says is true.
living in this world, we desire to follow Jesus, but somehow, we aren’t willing to pay the price. We desire our following
to bring us rewards and satisfaction, as unenlightened humans would understand
And hence , we are disappointed at not having life in abundance, as the world would understand it. Our discipleship lacks
depth and commitment, and satisfies itself merely with rituals and external practices. It rarely touches the core of our being,
whereby, we, like the Master, are willing to risk or lose our lives because we value truth, justice, service- the CROSS
either compromise or run away from these values. When confronted with suffering for what is right, we question the wisdom
or existence of God. Our prayer is, let this chalice pass from me but we fail to add, not my will but thine be done
As we come to the Lord then, in prayer, may we learn from Him
the essence of true discipleship, so that, we can live in this passing world with our hearts set on things that will never
- Leon Bent
Lent is a ‘coming home’ to God, to others and to ourselves in reconciliation, repentance
forgiveness, conversion, hope, peace and love. It is a special time of grace. The Holy
Week Services are action and power-packed expressions of God’s Covenantal love.
On Palm Sunday we acknowledge and acclaim Christ as our King. He battles on our behalf against
the powers of evil. His only weapon is his Cross. The main point of the Service is the “procession”, when the
people shouted Hosannas on their way from Bethany to Jerusalem.
Our procession is a kind of rehersal, in symbolic fashion, of our Final Passover on the Last. Day,
from this vale of tears to eternal bliss, from this earthly existence to our heavenly home.
The palms are not instruments of magic, but powerful signs of god’s blessings for our sanctification
Maundy Thursday is also called the Thursday of the Lord’s Supper. It is a feast of
Love. We are transported to the Upper Room for a fraternal meal with Jesus. It is a Mass
of Christian unity, for Christ’s death united man to God. He prayed , “Father, that they may all be one, as we
are one”. He gave us an example of mutual charity and servanthood, by washing the apostles’ feet. He gave us his
own unique Commandment, that we should love one another as he loves us. He gave
us a sacrament of love and unity, the Eucharist, and ended with a teaching on unity,” I am the Vine, you are the branches.”
The quintessence of the Maundy Thursday spirit, then is unity.
The name Maundy is an old English form for the Latin word Mandatum. It means Commandment. “A
new Commandment I give unto you….”
The next ceremony of Holy Week is that of Good Friday. This day is ‘good’ because Christ
redeemed us from sin and damnation. It makes all our days filled with he holiness
of God. It has three parts , unlike any other in the Liturgical Year. A) A service of Instruction and Prayer. B) A service
of Adoration of the Cross. C) A Communion Service We enter into the saving passion and death of our Lord. First all, with
our minds, in our attentive listening to the account of his suffering; then with our wills, through praying for different
people caught up in varying difficulties; next in our emotions, by grateful adoration of his Cross; and finally, by intimate
union of the Victim on the Cross, in Holy Communion.
And, by entering his passion and death, we are carried along toward the glory of his Resurrection.
The Holy Easter Vigil or the ‘Night Watch’ is held in memory of the first coming of Jesus, and in expectation of his Second Coming on the Last Day. The rich content of
the Liturgy is made up of a festival of light. Christ is symbolized by a lighted Paschal Candle. The priest sings, “The
light of Christ,” and the people reply, “Thanks be to God,” as the light of Christ shines in the darkness.
The five grains of incense inserted into the candle remind us of the five glorious wounds of Christ. The candle thus, speaks
eloquently of our Risen Saviour. It now becomes the focal point of our worship during the service.
This is followed by Scripture reading (the Prophecies) and Song. The Exultet is a song of praise of the Paschal Candle and the Paschal night. It is a proclamation of the victory of Christ who rose triumphantly
from the tomb. It is extravagantly beautiful, exquisitely crafted and poignantly poetic and joyful. A lengthy set of Prayers,
is then recited. Then comes an elaborate Baptismal celebration, preferably of adults. Baptism calls us all to a dying and
rising with Christ and “new birth”. By Baptism we become God’s children, brothers and sisters of our Lord
and each other. We form one great family in Christ. Public Baptism is a source of much joy for the local church, a parish
The final element of the Easter Vigil is the Eucharist of the Resurrection. Holy Saturday now gives
way to Easter Sunday. Our glorious Alleluias are shouts of remembrance of divine faithfulness, intimacy and tenderness despite
humankind’s sinfulness. The prayer on our lips should be “Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!”
: O. L. OF LOURDES
parish conducted a nine-day open air Novena, from February 3-11, with Mass at 7 p.m. The Feast Day Eucharist was celebrated
on Saturday, February,12 , followed by fellowship for the vast through of devotees:
A delightful variety Entertainment programme coupled with piping hot, month-watering fare, served by the eight
Zones of the Parish.
From prayerful congregation, to rapt audience to jubiliant celebration, all in a flash! What a transformation,
set amidst fairy lights and people in colourful attire, flitting all over the church ground in gay abandon and easy communion.
Thousands of faithful attended the Novena. This is nothing unusual for Orlem, as our people have a stirring
devotion to our Lady of Lourdes.
Since the Archdiocese is making an all-out effort to promote living
according to Bible principles, the overall theme was, ‘Know, Love and Live
the Word of God.’
Four priests and five lay persons, including a couple, broke the Word for us. The lay speakers especially, shared
how the Scriptures spoke to every situation in life, and how the Bible has enriched, both, marriage and family life . Good
homilies stir the mind, personal testimonies touch the heart!
The theme was reinforced with an exhibition based on the Bible, of posters and other material, both inside the
church and outside as well. Religious articles like statues, were also.
This year, unlike in the past Zonal participation was limited to Commentaries, the Lectors role, and enactment
of skits. The various parish ‘agencies’ animated and prepared the liturgy:
Fr. Gilbert De Lima’s Team (Seminary), our Liturgists, the regular Mass Choirs and the Word Ministers. Fr. Austin coordinated this combined effort
to a nicety. The good news is that, the Novena did make an immediate impact,
in the sense that, the Faith Centre (Book Shop),reported a brisk sale of Bibles and other books.
Besides a meeting was held in the School Hall on February, 13,
from 10.30 - 12.00pm to spread the good Word in our Zones and Sectors, indeed,
to every family. There was a reasonably good turnout, despite the fact that , the feast is traditionally celebrated in homes,
with an elaborate festive lunch.