Pastor’s Desk

The Greatest

Dear friends: Jesus asked His disciples, “what were you discussing on the road?” Perhaps they had understood by now the prophecy of the passion and were preparing themselves as to who would take over the leadership. But Jesus said to them, “if you want to be great, you must become servants of all.” In fact, the disciples were on the road with Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life. Sadly, while they walked with Him, who was leading them to achieve greater things, they failed to follow His way. Like the disciples, we too often fail in our pursuit of greatness thinking only about popularity, publicity and power.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

 

On the weekend of September 29/30, our Provincial Superior, Fr Charles Serrao from India, will be doing his pastoral visitation. He will stay three nights here. We welcome him.

Who is Jesus for me?

Dear friends: Who do you say I am? That is the same question that Jesus asks you and me today. Who is Jesus for me? Is He merely a great leader who served those in need? A wise teacher who taught the path of the beatitudes? A wonder worker who performed great miracles as He healed the sick and even raised the dead back to life? Who is Jesus for me? Here is what the apostles said: Peter, “you are the Christ”; Thomas, “My Lord and My God”; so what is my answer?

Christianity is not merely a set of rules, pious practices, a collection of truth. Christianity is Christ; Christ crucified, nothing more and nothing less. To be Christian means to open my heart to Jesus, to let Jesus enter my life, to let the values of the gospel enter into my being, so that I may follow Him all the way right up to Calvary.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

 

God Liberates Us

Dear friends: One of God’s attributes is to liberate people, freeing them from all the fetters that bind them and bonds that hold them away from the divine. The Book of Genesis tells us that God created everything that was good and placed creation at the service of man. He gave freedom to man so that he could make use of all created things and serve Him, the Lord and Creator. He manifested His love to us by offering us a total liberation, which we need to accept with gratitude and a simple heart. He wanted us to manifest this love towards others. He gave us His Son in Jesus, as His gift to us, and who in turn taught us that only through love can we manifest our presence towards others. He came to save us all. He showed His special care towards the poor and the sick and healed them. In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals a man who was deaf and was suffering from speech impediment. Jesus touched him and healed him after which he could hear clearly and speak the good news of the Kingdom to all.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Pharisaical Attitude

Dear friends: The Pharisees said to Jesus, why do your disciples not follow the traditions of the elders? Jesus replied, referring to Isaiah’s prophesy, these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. As we know there is a Pharisee in each one of us. We pretend to be what we are not. We like to be politically correct even if we are religiously wrong. We want to observe the Law rather than its spirit. We pay attention to externals and neglect the internal. There is certainly place for ritual in our life, but we need to move from ritual to reality. God wants neither mere lip service nor empty creeds. God sees our hearts where all conversion and cleanliness begin and all evil has its origin. It is not what enters into us from the outside that makes us evil, but rather what comes forth from our heart.                                   

Fr. Jerome

God’s Presence Among Us

Dear friends: On this Sunday, Jesus brings us closer to the true meaning of the Eucharist, the true food. Jesus says He is living food for us, sent from the Father in heaven. Unlike ordinary food, which just sustains bodily life, this food offers a life that is eternal. From the burning bush to the gentle breeze, God has made His presence known among us since the beginning of time. Being among us as food for body and spirit is a significant way of being present. Christ’s Eucharistic presence is in bread and wine, among the commonest elements of food and drink in His day. The Lord is present among us through everyday things.  Bread comes from a process that starts with seeds of wheat mixed with water. These are brought together as dough and, after several stages of development, they end up as a unity which we call bread. Wine begins as a cluster of grapes which, when they are processed, end up as what we call wine. A group of people gather together for prayer, each of them unique. After a process which is the work of God’s Spirit, they become a unity, which we call church, or the Body of Christ. That is the importance of celebrating the Eucharist daily.

 

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Jesus is our Shepherd

Dear friends: The Holy Bible constantly reminds us of the loving, unbroken care of God towards human persons. He created everything for man and for his well-being. He sent His messengers constantly to look after His people. The image of God as the shepherd of His people has a long tradition in the history of God’s people. This image of the shepherd which appears several times in the New Testament shows us the care and concern of God in Jesus. We have the popular images of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, carrying a sheep over His shoulders. A shepherd generally walked ahead of the sheep seeking out a safe path taking them to the pastures, water and shelter. In the Gospel of today, Jesus takes pity on the people and feels that they are like the sheep without a Shepherd, indicating their helplessness. Therefore, He invites us to leave the relentless wheel of routine, busy schedule and find time to come, rest in Him. Often we say I am busy, I’m tired, feel like no energy.  Jesus has an answer for this. He invites us to come to unload all our burdens to Him.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Call to be a Prophet

Dear friends: Only twice the gospel records that Jesus is amazed. He was amazed at the faith of that pagan centurion who said to Jesus, “Lord I’m not worthy that you should enter under my roof.”  But then here, Jesus was able to perform a miracle. Secondly, Jesus was amazed at the lack of faith of His fellow villagers, when they said how did this come to Him? Who gave Him authority to perform such miracles? So they took offense with Him. But here Jesus could do any miracles. They find Jesus far too ordinary. For them, He was merely the village carpenter and the son of Mary.

Friends, this can happen to us also. This is something happening also in the present world. The world wants Jesus to be someone sensational, superman. The scripture teaches us, our God who is powerful, humbled Himself and became human like us, in all things but sin. We are called to be prophets —  humble, courageous and honest. Let Jesus guide us in our work of building the kingdom of God

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

 

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

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