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Meaning of The Kingdom of God

Dear friends: Jesus teaches us that the kingdom of God is like a seed that the farmer sows. He scatters the seed and goes away. It silently, slowly grows. The first lesson for us is that we must do the sowing but we can’t do everything. Having done what we can, we must leave the rest to God’s hand. Night and day, even without our knowing, that seed sprouts, shoots and grows. We sow but it is God who gives the growth. Therefore, let us try to sow the Word of God.  Secondly, the lesson that we learn is the hiddenness and smallness of quiet beginnings. The mustard seed at the time of sowing is the smallest of seeds, but when it grows it becomes the biggest shrub of all. Great things always begin in a small, hidden and quiet way; they are not spectacular but silent, so let us not to worry about its size. The third lesson we learn from today’s parables is that the seed that grows into trees with branches bearing fruit, providing shelter, are all meant for others. A tree never offers shade for itself, neither are its fruits consumed by the tree. They are meant to be removed and eaten by others. Therefore, they never expect anything in return but everything is for the glory of God.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

 

Where are you?

Dear friends: God called to the man, “Where are you?” What a contrast in responses and reactions as we read in the first reading. After their fall, Adam and Eve hide themselves. God, on the other hand, seeks them out. This is not just the story of our first parents but our personal story too. Every time we fall into sin we hide from God. We break the bond that binds us to Him. We also break the bond between ourselves and others. Sin is deception. Satan gets the better of us by making evil appear as good. He entices us with false promises as he did to Adam and Eve telling them that their eyes would be opened and they would be like God. Once we have fallen he then taunts us. Adam and Eve had their eyes opened only to behold their nakedness. God never tires of seeking us out. It is He who takes the first step at reconciliation. We may be tired of seeking forgiveness but God is never tired of granting it. That is why He is asking us ‘where are you?’

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

 

Church Picnic – As I was told by our Retreat Master last week, one of the best ways to Evangelize is to provide us the opportunity to invite someone to church events- such as the parish picnic. Here is an opportunity for us to do so and I encourage you to bring a friend to our church picnic on Sunday June 24th.

Take… Eat… Drink!

IMG-20160719-WA0008Last Sunday, we celebrated the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, whereby we were given an opportunity to know and experience God who is so close to us in the unity of the Trinity. The Father created us, the Son redeemed us and the Holy Spirit sanctifies us.

This Sunday, we celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). This feast invites us to know and experience that God who saved us through His Son, also sustains us with His body and blood. St. Mark tells us that Jesus asked His disciples to make preparations for the Last Supper and during the Passover meal, He took bread and wine and offered them as His own Body and Blood. This is actualized in the perfect sacrifice of the Cross of Jesus. How fortunate and blessed are we who partake in His supper today in the celebration of the Eucharist! We are sustained and nourished by Him.

Fr. Roshan D’Souza, OCD

Blessed Trinity

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: God is love. There are Three Persons in the Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Together they represent the fullness of love. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father. The Holy Spirit is their love for each other. We are made in the image of a triune God: God the Father, who created us, His Son who saved us, and the Holy Spirit who continues to guide us. Our lives should reflect the Trinity. We should be always creative like the Father, compassionate like His Son, and share our talents in the service of others, like the Holy Spirit.

Fr. Jerome

Pentecost

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: Pentecost brings to a close Easter season and marks the birth of the church. The apostles, after the death of Jesus, met behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. But with the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they are enlightened and empowered as they go forth to preach the gospel to the whole world and proclaim Jesus as the unique and universal saviour of all mankind. They were touched by the fire of the Holy Spirit and transformed.

Jesus has not left us alone. The spirit has been given to us at Baptism and dwells within us. He has been given to console, comfort and counsel us. When we need consolation, we must turn to the spirit. When we are confused and need counsel, we must turn to the Holy Spirit. He will enlighten and guide us. All we need to say is Come Holy Spirit.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Feast of Ascension

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. This Feast commemorates the elevation of Christ into Heaven, by His own power, in the presence of His disciples on the fortieth day after His glorious Resurrection. Jesus, after His resurrection, spent forty days with His disciples instructing them and encouraging them as they prepared for their mission. The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven completed His earthly work of our redemption. Through His numerous apparitions to hundreds of people between the day of His glorious Resurrection and the day of His Ascension, Jesus proved two things. First of all, He proved that He was the promised Messiah. Secondly, He proved that through Him who overcame death, persons who persevere in their living faith in Jesus shall also overcome death and inherit the Kingdom of God. Jesus has ascended into heaven. But, He has commissioned us to continue His mission on earth. “Go out into the world, proclaim the good news to all creation”, with our frail and fragile humanity. We are to proclaim His message of love to the world not so much by our words but by the quality of our Christian lives. Jesus commissioned the apostles filling them with His peace, power and presence. So too, now He accompanies and confirms us in this mission by the power of His presence.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Love One Another

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: On the previous Sunday, Jesus said,  “remain in my Love, like a branch to vine”. One of the steps is to follow God’s commandments. And today, Jesus will continue to exhort us on this command of Love.

In the second reading, John tells us that God is love. This love of God for us prompts us to love others. Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love. In the Gospel, Jesus declares that the intimate relationship that the disciples have with Jesus and God the Father, must be translated into the disciples loving one another as Jesus has loved them. Jesus tells His disciples that He has chosen them personally and commissioned them to bear fruit in the Father.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Stay Tuned to Jesus

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: During the Easter Season the liturgy brings us closer to the resurrected Jesus and makes us realize that we are always united to Him and Him to us. He gives the invitation to all of us to enter into the true discipleship. On His mission, He sends His disciples two by two and teaches them to proclaim His kingdom as a community. He tells His chosen ones that where two or three gather in His name, He is present in their midst. He takes the initiative to unite Himself with us. Our true living comes by opening ourselves to God and to the world by becoming persons open to His will. Jesus says in the gospel, I and the Father are one, a close identification. At the same time Jesus invites His followers to identify themselves with Him and His mission. In the gospel we hear Jesus say that He is the Vine and we are the branches. Without His initiative of being pruned, no branch can bear any fruit. He says that each one must bear fruit to the glory of the Father. Let us try to stay connected to Him to bear abundant fruit.          

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Jesus is the Good Shepherd

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: Today is Good Shepherd Sunday and Vocation Sunday, and today’s readings present us with two images, the Children of God and the Good Shepherd.

In today’s gospel passage, Jesus emphasizes the self-sacrificing element in His own life in that He is the Good Shepherd who is laying down His life for His sheep. He contrasts the Good Shepherd who owns the sheep, to someone who is simply hired to look after them. The scriptures tell us the extraordinary love of God for us, has taken in Jesus, the form of the Good Shepherd. The image of the Good Shepherd was perhaps the favourite early Christian image of our Savior, and has a long tradition in the history of God’s people. It is one that would be immediately understood by the people of the time. We have the popular images of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, carrying a sheep over His shoulders, or we have a smiling Jesus sitting under a tree, with a little lamb on His lap. This image of the shepherd appeals to us because it shows the tenderness of Jesus and His compassion. Jesus, the eternal Shepherd, sends us out into the world to spread the message of love, to bring back the strayed sheep.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

The Encounter of Jesus

Fr.-JeromeDear friends in our journey through life we are confronted with several problems and difficulties which can make us lose our perspective. We can lose all direction to life and remain helpless. Then left to ourselves we become nothing and tend to remain with uncertainty. In such situations we need positive support, a sincere understanding which can place us on the right path. In the Easter context we see Jesus as a consoler and help to the disciples filled with fear. He comes constantly to them and remains with them, guides them and eats with them. By breaking the bread with the disciples and sharing the meal he makes them experience his real presence. Today we have another account of Jesus appearing to his disciples on Easter Sunday. The gospel begins with the story of the two disciples who had the experience of walking with Jesus and their recognition of the Lord in the breaking of bread. Jesus remaining close to them drives away all their doubts and unbelief by giving them the gift of peace. He asks the disciples to touch and feel him and experience his real presence among them. He remains as the real friend in their lives, and helps them back into confidence. Let the Easter season bring us Joy as we encounter during these celebrations.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

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