A Brief Introduction

07-08-2018From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

Hello to you all! I am Father Prince Amala Jesuraja, (people call me Prince Raja) a Catholic Priest belonging to the Archdiocese of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Southern India. I was ordained as a priest on April 19, 2009. Let me give you a brief explanation about my name: of course some of you know the pop singer Prince from Minnesota; my mom didn't name me after him. 'Amala' means "Immaculate Mary" in my Tamil language, 'Jesuraja' means "Christ the King". In my six years of priestly life in India, I have served in different parishes as an associate pastor and in social service society.

After coming to Wisconsin and the Diocese of La Crosse in May 2015, I was appointed as an associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish, Eau Claire. Then I was appointed as a pastor for Elmwood, Spring Valley and Boyceville from Oct 2015 to June 2018, and now I am coming to our Tri-parish cluster. I remember in the year 2016, I visited all our parishes to make my mission appeal. At that time you were all so generous and Deacon Edward Wendt and his wife took me to all our Tri-parishes and treated me so well, Thank you Deacon for your hospitality. I am so grateful to Our Bishop Most Rev. William Patrick Callahan for appointing me as a pastor. With the help and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us be a good catholic parish community in the Diocese of La Crosse.

As we are in the 14th Sunday of Ordinary time, Today's three readings from the Holy Scriptures reflect on the Christian virtues of obedience, servitude and humility that should be the part of every Christian life. In the First Reading from the Book of Ezekiel, begins with the powerful vision granted to the prophet while he was living with the exiles in Babylonia. Through the vision he learns of the rebellion of people and their disloyalty to God. In the second Reading Paul tells of the real danger even in serving God where the virtue of obedience can make a person proud and self-sufficient. The Gospel of Mark tells us that Jesus taught in the synagogue of Nazareth and it was the right of any devout Jew, to proclaim the divine message in the synagogue on a Sabbath. The gospel text of today narrates to us how the people of his hometown reacted to Jesus, despite what they heard and saw in Jesus: the wisdom and wonders. I see three stages in the gospel narrative of today. A Sense of Wonder: "Where did the man get all this?" (Mk 6:2), The Statement of Facts: "This is the carpenter, surely… (Mk 6:3a), Rejection: "And they would not accept him." (Mk 6:3b). And my reflection today will focus on these. As you listen to this reflection, I would invite you not to see the gospel story merely as an historical event that just involved the people of Jesus' hometown, but as our own lived experience today.