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Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Orlem
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THE PARISH PRIEST SPEAKS

Fr. Salvador Rodrigues

DISCIPLESHIP

 

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.

 

As Christians 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

 

Often we 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 end.

 

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HOLY WEEK REFLECTIONS

- 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 and protection.

 

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 community.

 

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!”

 

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NOVENA : O. L.  OF  LOURDES

-          Leon Bent

 

The 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.

Please get in touch to offer comments and join our mailing list for announcements and special events.

O.L.Lourdes Church, Marve Road,

Orlem - Malad West       
Mumbai 400 064-INDIA

Tel: 28822760 and 28821865

email: ollc@vsnl.com