Pastor’s Desk

God feeds us with His abundant blessings

Today we begin the ordinary season of the year. Today’s readings tell us about the identity of Jesus, who He is and what His mission is. The readings of today reveal to us that God is generous to His children and He rejoices in them. In the joyful hymn of Isaiah we see how God prepares for His chosen people, the ones who had remained faithful to Him, with good gifts, and most particularly His own presence. Paul, in the second reading, tells us that all gifts come from God but with a purpose, so that we may proclaim His glory in His kingdom. These gifts may be diverse but they all proclaim God’s own glory. The Gospel presents to us the first miracle performed by Jesus at a wedding. A wedding is a time of abundance and celebration. From the food and wine that are served, to the music and dancing that follow, weddings overflow with the goodness of life. At a deeper level, weddings speak about love, compassion and unity. The wedding feast in Cana is a sign of God’s love and compassion. Here Jesus takes care of the family who is about to be pushed into a state of embarrassment. At the same time, He accepts the word of Mary to do a good act and present the family things in abundance. The abundance of the wedding is a taste of what God provides for us at the Eucharistic table.        

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Baptism of the Lord, presence of the Trinity

Dear friends: The celebration of the Baptism of Jesus, brings to an end the Season of Christmas. The Baptism of Jesus is one event recorded in the gospel when all three persons of the Holy Trinity are present. The voice of the Father is heard proclaiming Jesus as His son, Beloved. Jesus Himself, on being baptized comes up out of the water. The spirit comes down on Him like a dove. This even takes place when we are baptized as babies, or adults. God the Father calls us His beloved children. With Jesus we emerge from the water having died to sin. The Spirit descends on us empowering us with His gifts of grace to continue the mission of Christ. How truly blessed we are. It’s our responsibility to begin to proclaim the message of Christ to all the nations. Let the triune God be our guide.

Fr.  Jerome Mascarenhas

Encountering the truth/ Divine

Dear friends: Epiphany means manifestation of the Lord. In recent years the census shows that there is a sharp rise in the number of people who don’t belong to any religious faith. Yet there is still hunger for meaning of our lives, even among those who reject the existence of God. Some people try to find it in their relationships; others look to art and music etc.

What does this story of the magi have to say to about our search? They arrive at Bethlehem and offer Jesus their homage, but they need all sorts of help to get there. First of all, there is their own wisdom and expertise, but that led them as far as Jerusalem. They needed the help of King Herod, who told them to go Bethlehem; he in turn needed the expertise of the chief priests and the scribes, who had studied the scriptures and so, knew where the Messiah was to be born. So it is with us in our own search for the meaning of our lives.

First of all we Christians have the wisdom of our scriptures, the word of God. We come to know the person of Jesus Christ. We listen to the wise and holy men and women who have the rich experience of encountering God. We also listen to the church’s teachings, the Magisterium. St Paul tells the Ephesians, “that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit, namely that the mystery was made known to me by revelation”.

Finally, we believe that the child born in Bethlehem is the truth for which the human heart hungers. Like the magi, we need to be attentive to the truth wherever it is to be found, for which ultimately it is one in Him who said I am the truth. We have already celebrated the first coming of Christ at Christmas. Did we re encounter Him or was it just a celebration of parties and presents? As we enter a new year in the civic calendar let us make strong resolutions to seek and find the divine truth.

Fr Jerome Mascarenhas

God is with us

Dear friends: Blessed Christmas to all. It’s the story of God’s love for us. For God so loved the world that in the fullness of time He sent His only begotten son, born of a woman, to save and redeem us from sin and death. Today our hearts beat with the joy of being saved, freed and loved. St John writes, the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus, who is Immanuel, is ever present, is in a special way with us once again as we come together to share the joy of Christmas. Let us celebrate Christ’s birth with the great hope of knowing that He loves us always. Let us share the joy of Christmas with everyone. I take this opportunity to thank everyone for your continued support towards many different spiritual ministries, organizations, volunteering in various outreach programs, and working towards building up a strong community. I wish and pray that the year 2019 brings us good tidings of peace, Joy and good health to all.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

 

Rejoice in the Lord

Dear friends: Saint Paul, writing from prison to the Philippians, says, “rejoice in the Lord”. Joy is not the absence of suffering, but the absorption of suffering. If we wish to have real lasting joy we need to look at the three letters that make up the word JOY. The letter J stands for Jesus. If we want joy, Jesus must come first. We must give Him the best and the first place in our lives and make Him the centre of all that we are. The second letter O stands for others. Our family, our neighbors, and friends form the second circle. We love them, serve them, care for them, and help them. We get joy only when we give it. The last letter Y, stands for You. When we think of ourselves last we experience joy. When we recall and remember the times we experienced joy we will realize that was when we thought of ourselves last. Therefore, in the midst of busy preparations for Christmas let us not forget to give Christ first place.

I request you to try to bring a friend to Christmas service here; will enhance your joy of Christmas.

Fr.  Jerome Mascarenhas

Prepare the way of the Lord

Dear friends: St John the Baptist is urging people to prepare a way for the Lord. It was a necessary proclamation because people were living in sin. The scripture says every mountain has to be made low. There are mountains of pride, jealousy, selfishness. Every valley will be filled in, we think of the valleys of emptiness in our lives. Every rough road will be made smooth. Advent is a time to prepare ourselves the best possible way to encounter JESUS. A friendly reminder about confessions on Wednesday at 7:00pm with visiting priests.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Season of Advent

Dear friends: I invite you to enter into the spirit of Advent. Waiting, watching and welcoming are the attitudes which will help us to do so. Much of our life is spent in waiting. We wait for buses, trains, for job interviews, for our medical test reports etc. waiting is eager expectation. We wait for the Lord. He comes to us in so many ways, while reading the word of God, in joy and sorrow, in sickness and health, in success and failure. Secondly, we need to watch, watching demands alertness. In the parable of the ten virgins, the five wise virgins kept watch and trimmed their lamps as they waited for the bridegroom, so that when he did come they went with him into the banquet hall. The five foolish virgins felt drowsy and fell asleep. The Lord came and they were caught napping. Finally, we need to welcome Jesus. What better way to welcome Him than to remove the obstacles that prevent Him from entering. Let us welcome JESUS into our hearts, our homes and lives.  Happy Season of Advent.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

 

Jesus the King

Dear friends: “Are you the king of the Jews?”, Pilate asks Jesus. Was it a question that arose from a sense of insecurity that threatened Pilate’s power? Or was Pilate repeating the popular opinion about Jesus who had seen His power by healing the sick and the suffering, cleansing lepers, feeding the crowds and even raising the dead back to life? “Yes, I am a king. I was born for this. I came into the world for this, to bear witness to the truth”. Jesus said, “my kingdom is not of this world”. The kingdom of Jesus is a kingdom of truth. He is the way, the truth and the life. The kingdom of Jesus is a kingdom of holiness. Jesus delivers us from evil. He died on the cross to save us from the slavery to sin. He poured on us His spirit to make us holy. The kingdom of Jesus is the kingdom of peace, even at His birth the choirs of angels sang of peace. Let us celebrate today the feast of our heavenly King, Jesus, by following Him.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Always be alert and prepared

Dear friends: Today is the second last Sunday of the Church liturgical year. As the church brings its liturgical year to an end, it traditionally presents the knowledge of the end times. This gives us the message that Jesus is the beginning and end of all things, all things exist in and through Him. He is the Alpha and the Omega and He is the source of all things. Today when we look around the world, we see so much suffering, hardship and pain. There is much corruption, terrorism and poverty. The world experiences the hardships of what is generally termed as the climate change. But, here we have a message of hope in the words of Jesus. We visualize the Kingdom of God that offers love, compassion, kindness and mercy, the sign of new hope of the future. Even in the midst of suffering and hardship, the word of God continues to be alive and active, as we wait for the fulfillment of the kingdom of God in Christ, and look forward to a just, loving and peaceful world. In the first reading of today we are presented with a holy person seeing the vision of God. He sees that God’s faithful people will rise to eternal life. In the second reading we are reminded that Christ’s sacrifice has accomplished the forgiveness of all sins. We have been consecrated to His Father and made perfect in God’s sight. Today’s gospel anticipates the dramatic events that will take place at the end times. It speaks of a time of suffering, the sun being darkened, the moon not giving its light, the stars falling from heaven, and the powers of heaven being shaken. It will be a time when heaven and earth will pass away forever.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Do little things with great Love

Dear friends: God loves a cheerful giver, the one who is willing to part with things without any hesitation. Compassion and cre for others surely prompt our own giving. To give to the other involves sacrifice on the part of the giver. God created this beautiful world and God the creator of all, is responsible for all the blessings we enjoy. Life in this world was given to each of us as an undeserved, free gift. We have different kinds of physical talents, features, and abilities, plus diverse spiritual and intellectual gifts as well. They vary a lot from person to person, but what they all have in common is that they come as free gifts from God who didn’t have to create any of us. God invites us to live a sincere and honest life in accordance with the will of God and share them with others generously.

In the first reading, a prophet offers life to a poor widow and her son. The woman only has to respond in faith and God will take care of her needs. She generously and willingly gave to the prophet what little she had and God blessed her abundantly.

In the second reading, we learn that Jesus offered the one necessary sacrifice to take away sin. He offered Himself once and for all to take away our sins. In the Gospel, Jesus teaches that we must learn to give not only from the surplus, but even from what you have as a necessity to give generously. That is what the poor widow contributes and Jesus rightly appreciates before the people.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

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