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Moments of Absence of God

05-26-2019From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

We are fast moving towards the end of the Eastertide. Next Sunday will be the feast of Ascension. The liturgy of the word is preparing us for the farewell of Jesus. The gospel text for this Sunday comes from the farewell discourse of Jesus after the last supper (John 14:23-29). Jesus says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me say: I am going away and shall return." Though the going away of Jesus is a preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the absence of Jesus could be agonizing. We might all go through moments of absence of God/Jesus, just as St John of the Cross, a Carmelite mystic who lived in the 16 century in Spain, is known for his mystical poems. His famous "Spiritual Canticle" (written in 1678) opens with these lines: Where have you hidden Yourself, and abandoned me to my sorrow, O my Beloved! You have fled like the hart, having wounded me. I ran after you, crying; but you were gone.

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Love and Service

05-19-2019From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

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 he is united to us. He gives the invitation to all of us to enter into the true discipleship but in the context of the community. On his mission he sends his disciples two by two and teaches them to proclaim his kingdom as a community.

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Good Shepherd Sunday

05-12-2019From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

Sunday of Easter is celebrated as the Good Shepherd Sunday. Happy Mother's day. We think of the 'pastoral' love of God, as we also pray for vocations to priesthood; priests are the 'pastors' of the church. Each year, for the gospel reading, we hear one part of John 10. This year, being Year C, we listen to the third part of that chapter. Today, Jesus says, "I know them and they know me; and I give them eternal life." These two themes form the two parts of my reflection today.

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Peter’s Mentor: The Beloved Disciple

05-05-2019From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

In the liturgy, since the beginning of the Easter Triduum (the three days before Easter), through the Eastertide we hear so much from the Gospel of John. In the passion narrative and in the resurrection accounts of the Gospel of John, suddenly we have a new disciple who is introduced as: "the one whom Jesus loved" (Jn 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20). He is unique to the Gospel of John, and he is unnamed. Being anonymous there is something mysterious about him; there is something mythical about him; and in fact, there is something divine about him. Interpreting this figure within the general style of the Gospel of John – that this Gospel is highly symbolic – I have always looked at this 'Beloved Disciple' as a symbolic person. In this way, I find it possible to identify myself with that disciple, and to seek the intimacy granted to him by Jesus.

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Alleluia! He is Risen!

04-21-2019From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

We cannot live Easter without entering into the mystery. It is not something intellectual, something we only know or read about… It is more, much more! "To enter into the mystery" means the ability to wonder, to contemplate; the ability to listen to the silence and to hear the tiny whisper amid great silence by which God speaks to us ( 1 Kings 19:12).

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The King on a Donkey’s Back

04-14-2019From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

Today the Church is celebrating the Palm Sunday which is also known as Passion Sunday to commemorate thebeginning of Holy Week and Jesus’ final agonizing journey to the cross. The word passion comes from a Latin wordPassio meaning “to suffer,” and we meditatively go with the sufferings of Jesus. Here we have the rejoicing with thecoming of Jesus and at the same time a reminder of his suffering that is to come in a short time. In the liturgicalcalendar Holy Week begins with the Sixth Sunday in Lent. Palm Sunday reminds the faithful of the glorious andtriumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. As Jesus entered into Jerusalem the crowds greeted him with shouts of joyand proclaimed him as the messianic king. They spread their cloaks on the ground and placed the palm branches onthe street and shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”.

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“Neither do I condemn you.

04-07-2019From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

We are just one week away from the Holy Week and away from our celebration of God’s love shown in the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. For us Christians this season of Lent is a time of special grace in which we experience the presence of a personal God who cares and loves us. Our response is to transform ourselves and live according to his will. We want to do something new and come to him in obedience and freedom. We ought to change our lives during Lent and come closer to him. Therefore the Church calls this season as a joyful time, because it is our preparation for the future joy of Easter that approaches us bringing his blessings, mercy and forgiveness. As we approach to the end of our Lenten season, we are reminded of our last opportunity to cooperate with God’s graces and his benevolent love. 

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The Story of Two Boys

03-31-2019From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

On this fourth Sunday of Lent, when the Church already rejoices in the coming feast of Easter, singing "Laetare Jerusalem", "Rejoice, O Jerusalem", it is the Gospel of the return of the prodigal son that is proposed to us as today's reading. And this is indeed a Gospel of joy and peace, for it concerns a truly profound and lasting conversion: that of a son who returns to his father and throws himself at his feet, asking for his forgiveness for having squandered his entire inheritance. Here we are called upon to renew ourselves and experience the loving invitation of our Lord.

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God Offers a Second Chance

03-24-2019From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

The liturgy of the Third Sunday of Lent begins by acknowledging God´s holiness and his claim on us that we belong to him. It recognizes that we are his own people, and must live in a way that reflects his holiness. God offers us the gift of faith as our path towards holiness. At the same time we all want and desire to live a peaceful life. We all want to make sense of our existence. We all desire to live a life where we can make a positive contribution to ourselves, to our families and to those around us. Challenges are always with us, difficulties surround us. However the more we long, desire and develop a personal and ultimate relationship with Jesus Christ as our best friend, there is absolutely nothing that we cannot face and overcome. Indeed we become the "power and the wisdom of God".

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Safe Haven Sunday

03-10-2019From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

We are now into the great season of Lent. It is important for us to realize that our life is a journey, a movement towards God and to prepare ourselves to receive him fully. That we are pilgrims on the journey is what Lent is all about.

During the season of Lent, the church invites us to examine our lives, to repent of our sins and do penance. This first Sunday of Lent (03.10.19) is celebrated as Safe Haven Sunday. As your pastor, I am always impressed by the love I see in the families of our parish community and am constantly giving God thanks for your many efforts that truly uphold the dignity of marriage and family life. Thank you!

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Quadragesima

03-03-2019From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

Today we have the continuation of Luke's sermon on the plain giving us some of the teachings from Matthew's Sermon on the Mount. Last Sunday's Gospel told us not to judge or we would be judged ourselves. This does not mean that we are never to criticize other people. 'Criticize' comes from Greek to make a rational judgment. So we speak of a film or drama 'critic' who may indeed tear a production to pieces or, on the other hand, may praise it to the skies giving full credit to it. We have here the three distinctive unrelated sayings of Jesus: blind leading the blind, the splinter in the companion's eye, the good tree and its fruits. What is being forbidden by Jesus is not judgment as such but negative, destructive judgment. There are times when we are expected to give constructive, helpful criticism.

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