Pastor’s Desk

Give to God what belongs to God

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: What do we owe God and our neighbor? Scripture tells us to give to everyone whatever is their due. On this note, the Jewish authorities sought to trap Jesus in a religious-state issue. The Jews resented their foreign rulers and despised paying taxes to Caesar. They posed a dilemma to test Jesus to see if He was loyal to them and to their understanding of religion. If Jesus answered that it was lawful to pay taxes to a pagan ruler, then He would lose credibility with the Jewish nation who would regard Him as a friend of Caesar. If He said it was not lawful, then the Pharisees would have grounds to report Him to the Roman authorities as a political trouble-maker and have Him arrested.

With this topic Jesus teaches us a deeper meaning as well. We too have been stamped with God’s image since we are created in His own likeness. God created man in His own image: male and female, He created them. We, therefore, rightfully belong not to ourselves, but to God, who created us and redeemed us in the precious blood of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  That is why we all belong to God.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

They would not come to the Feast

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: The Parable of the Wedding Banquet tells us about how the invited guests refuse to come for the celebration. God always desires our friendship, so He invites us time and time again into His relationship. We sometimes fail in our response. The lame excuse we give is no time. Let this parable remind us all to recommit our relationship with God in prayer, particularly having family prayers.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Good Tenants

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: Why did Jesus’ story about wicked tenants cause offense to the scribes and Pharisees? It contained both a prophetic message and a warning.
This parable speaks to us today as well. It richly conveys some important truths about God and the way He deals with His people. First, it tells us of God’s generosity and trust. The vineyard is well equipped with everything the tenants need. The owner went away and left the vineyard in the hands of the tenants. God likewise trusts us enough to give us freedom to run life as we choose. Secondly this parable also tells us of God’s patience and justice. Not once, but many times He forgives the tenants their debts. But, while the tenants take advantage of the owner’s patience, His judgment and justice prevail in the end. As the parable invites us to be faithful and responsible to our daily duties as followers of Jesus.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Have a great time with your family. God bless!

Which son did the Fathers will?

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us that words do not express the full human response to God, until they are put into practice in each person’s life. What is required is the integral response of the whole person: his thoughts, words and actions in total human capacity. To draw on a Biblical distinction, our search and openness to the experience of God needs to involve the heart even more than the mind. It is the heart that is the origin of our desires and actions. The heart turns truth into action. The gospel here distinguishes clearly between those considered nominally good and those who actually do well. One son only says he will work and the other does the actual work. Jesus declares, in a way that must have shocked the legalistic mindset of His hearers, those tax collectors are entering the Kingdom of God before the chief priest and the elders. In other words the one who works for his salvation will achieve it. As we reflect this parable let us learn to do Gods will with sincerity and trust.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

God is generous and gives us work for His kingdom

Dear friends: God is generous in opening the doors of His kingdom to all who will enter, both those who have laboured a life-time for Him, and those who come at the last hour. While the reward is the same, the motive for one’s labour can make all the difference. Some work only for reward. They will only put in as much effort as they think they will get back. Others labour out of love and joy for the opportunity to work and to serve others. The Lord Jesus calls each one of us to serve God and His kingdom with joy and zeal and to serve our neighbor with a generous spirit as well.

 

Forgiveness

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: How often should I forgive? That was the question of Peter. Sometimes our question could be that too. Forgiveness is a Christian virtue and is the hallmark of our Christian faith and practice. Forgiving the other in the full sense is a form of loving and caring.

The first reading from the Book of Sirach tells us that if we forgive our neighbor, we ourselves will be forgiven. In the gospel Jesus tells us, in response to Peter’s limited generosity, that there is no limit to forgiveness. We are a people in need of forgiveness and we are endlessly called upon to forgive. Jesus tells us that we must be compassionate as our heavenly Father is compassionate. If we don’t forgive those who err against us how can we ask forgiveness from God?

Fr. Jerome

Jesus the Wonder Worker!

IMG-20160719-WA0008Miracles are one of the means of God’s revelation of the truths of His Kingdom. Evangelists powerfully present Jesus who performs various miracles. They invite everyone to have strong and deep faith in Jesus. How did Jesus perform all these miracles, such as feeding five thousand, driving out demons, and so on?

All the power Jesus had came from His Father, for He was indeed the Son of God and His Father has reveled to Him everything that would help Him to save humankind. Today, we do not wait for God to perform miracles, indeed there are already enough in our life. They are a great favour of God to all of us to grow in our faith relationship. We learn from Jesus to spend time with God alone in prayer, for He is experienced truly in the silence of our hearts.

Fr. Roshan D’Souza, OCD  

Seek the Kingdom of God

Fr.-JeromeDear brothers and sisters today’s Readings stress on the importance of the Kingdom of God and demand a personal response on the part of every Christian to God and to his Kingdom. In normal language the Kingdom of God is understood as God’s rule in the heart of every individual. Today’s Gospel presents us with the image of the kingdom; its focus is not the hidden treasure, pearls or the catch of fish. It is the actions of the people in the parables. They are relentless in their search for the prize. They are persistent in the face of challenges and they become innovative in looking for ways to overcome the obstacles they face. It is with joy and assurance that one sells everything else to obtain them. In the first reading we have the king making a right choice before God. He asks for a listening heart that is to have the wisdom to serve God’s people with Justice. God grants him his request and more qualities to indicate their divine origin.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Purpose of the Word of God

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: God reveals to us and communicates with us continuously through persons, works and situations. The Word of God comes gently and is never intended to remain suspended like clouds in midair, but to soak the earth and to be drawn back toward God after completing its purpose. The Word of God is eternal, Word without beginning or end. Today the Word of God is compared to seed that sprouts and brings forth new life. All of our life, entire creation is groaning in anticipation of being all we can become. God’s spirit is infused within human beings where it brings forth divine fruits. The farmer is aware that he has to prepare the ground, weed it and water it to produce good fruit. We are invited to sow the seed of the Gospel with our lives. In the Gospel of today we have the parable of the sower. The farmer goes out to sow the seed and it is placed in varying types of soil. A person who hears the Word of God and understands it, reaps a rich and fruitful harvest. The readings invite us to have a taste for the Word of God, therefore, let us cultivate the habit of reading the word of God.

Fr. Jerome

 

Don’t Be Afraid

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: “Do not be afraid.” How good it is for someone who is worried to hear those words from Jesus. Jesus knew we needed to hear those words. “Do not be afraid.” Jesus, who was human as well as divine, knew that some of us need to be reminded again and again not to worry. So many times in the Gospels we hear Jesus asking us not to worry. Three times in today’s Gospel we hear Jesus saying, “Do not be afraid.” The reason why Jesus tells us these words is that the Heavenly Father has great concern for us all. He knows us well, our person, our well being, and our needs. Prophet Jeremiah, tells us to expel from our mind all fear and worry because God is with us and He will protect us from all evil. He invites us, therefore, to commit our cause to God.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

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