Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Nomine Emmaus (Lk 24:13)

Today we are with the disciples who encountered the Risen Lord on the way to Emmaus. They tell us how gently they were invited by the Lord to open their hearts and share stories of pain and anguish. Jesus knew that they needed a let out as they have witnessed the dreadful crucifixion of their Master. Hence, the sharing became very therapeutic for the disciples, causing them to recognize the Risen Lord! Like a mentor, Jesus further leads them to understand scripture in the light of what they have shared. Following the example of our Master, we see that it is each one’s duty to sense the other’s world and set a conducive and trustful atmosphere where such a deep level sharing triggers inner freedom. Inversely, we need to measure what is our own level of trust to go through such a process in the presence of our Lord and our earthly mentors?  The disciples nostalgically recall those exciting moments they felt their hearts were burning during their conversation and those still moments when their eyes were opened as He broke bread for them. 
In a second encounter, the disciples are baffled with another question from the Risen Lord, “Have you anything to eat?” The same question resonates in our hearts today because like the disciples, we walked with Jesus, listened to Him, shared our inner turbulence with Him and experienced the inner healing. Now the Lord expects us to be on a giving mode - breaking oneself for the others, nourishing their souls with love. I am encouraged to do a soul searching, “What do I have within that I can offer to God and His people?” I believe the hunger of every soul is to reach the divine ultimately. It is also inevitable that human beings have the need to feel loved, accepted at least to some extent as they embark on their life journey. In order to answer the question of the Lord, let us give our loving heart for others to draw vital energy as to sustain themselves. Jesus, the great Mentor invites us to reinforce the ability to walk with others patiently, listen to their inner groaning with compassion, inspire trust and hope, challenge the shadows and elicit goodness from them (by s. Jessy Paul SSpS).

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mulier, quid ploras? (Jn 20:15)

How often are we sad or troubled? Something did not go the way we wanted. Someone offended us. We again committed the same sin and broke the commandments. It happened and now we are not able to forgive others or ourselves. We do not understand why God could have let it happen to us. 
As Mary Magdalene we are staying and weeping. Thus, we focus on the dark side of our life. In this situation our guard angles are with us but we even do not perceive their presence. Since we prefer to stay alone with our pain and suffering. Our Lord seems to be far away and we just see his cross in our soul. 
Good people and angels ask why we feel so depressed. However, we do not like to talk or share our deep feelings. Although Jesus speaks to us we are like blind and deaf people. We think that it is impossible to meet Christ personally. 
For that reason, we must be called by name in order to turn towards the Lord. We need to open our heart of stone for his gentle voice and answer with love. Certainly, we are not allowed to hold Jesus only for ourselves. But we are invited to meet him in our curcumstances and then to share this experience with others. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Supra pectus Iesu (J 13:25)

Jesus, John, Peter and Judas together set up the preparation for the climax during the farewell meal. Jesus, knowing what is to come shortly gets distressed in his human spirit. Like any other person in trouble, he tries to verbalize his innermost feelings in the circle of his friends. It must have been devastating for him to notice that not even his beloved disciple John who was reclining on his side understands his inner groaning. Yet Jesus moves on to love his betrayer explicitly by sharing the bread. By this act he implies that, Judas, I love you no less, in spite of the forthcoming painful betrayal of friendship. A beautiful example of love in its pure form! A marvelous aspect of God that no one is spared from his passionate love regardless of the weaknesses.
Will I be able to love someone when I know that there is a trace of betrayal in that person? Jesus did! Am I to follow Jesus extending my understanding to others, beyond my own petty issues? Jesus exemplified this sort of love during his passion. He restored the ear of the high priests’ slave while he was arrested. Besides, while carrying the cross among insults and jeering, he finds time to console the weeping women at Jerusalem. Moreover, even while hanging on the cross, he consoles and assures the repentant thief.   Rarely do we encounter such persons who forgetting their own pain chooses to console others in their misery. Indeed, they take the role of wounded healers bestowed with divine grace and human heart. Such persons mediate the seeping in of divine love in human form to those weary souls!
Further, I am invited to check in whether there is a Peter in me, who signaled John to ask Jesus about the one who is to betray him and showed that he lacked the courage to encounter the Lord directly. At times like Peter we too make promises saying, “Lord, I am ready to give my life for you”. The consequence is repeated betrayal in big and small ways from our side. Yet, what Jesus has to offer to us is the loveliest words, “I love you no less, you are dear to my heart”. When we make an honest confession of our human weaknesses, the priest who is Christ’s representative utters the same words of assurance. When we receive the Holy Communion, Jesus readily enters into our spiritual and physical dimension with the same message. During this Holy Week like John, let us take our place close to the heart of Jesus, sharing his inner turbulence with a commitment to follow him even if it entails the cross (by s. Jessy Paul SSpS).

Monday, April 10, 2017

Martha, Lazarus, Maria (J 12:2)

Jesus is looking for friends because as a human being needs special people to share his longings and thoughts. He knows where to search them and whom to choose. His relations are based on trust and sincerity. Although, the Son of God is gentle and sympathetic towards all the people he meets, he does not spend the whole time with the crowd. He prefers to stay alone with his Father and to abide with his friends who are called apostles, brothers and sisters. 
These special friends open their hearts for Jesus and he opens his divine Heart for them. Thus, they are able to discover the deep desires of his Heart and to serve him in the best way. The true friends do not worry if they have to offer some time for one another. On the contrary, the gathering is the appropriate occasion to rest and to enrich one each other. 
Jesus does not ask his friends for a favor because they have already known all the longins of his holy Heart. Nowadays, such friends are wanted among the Christians for they are Christ-like. Thanks to them the society becomes much better and more human. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pronus in faciem (Gen 3:3)

Abraham fell face down and God said to him: “This is my covenant with you. I was amazed to know the mysterious ways of God. For God has made covenant with the ninety nine year old Abraham! We know the outcome of Abraham’s total surrender to God’s dreams. By establishing a covenant with Abraham, God gently invites him to leave His secure and familiar ground behind and move to unfamiliar realms. He asks him to change his name from Abram to Abraham. His package also consists of a promise of a land and numberless descendents! And Abraham acts with the great faith! But wasn’t it risky to be led responding to God's call and promises at this age?
In fact, in every moment of our life Lord comes to us with the similar packages of assurance and His promises. With some we strike a deal and with some we do not. It happens because of the fear of  unknown. By striking a deal with God, I fear to lose my identity, name and comfort zone!
Unfortunately, engulfed by this fear and false images, I forget God's faithfulness and the assurance of His constant presence. Due to this, I am likely to experience conflict if I am asked for a different mission, professional study or transfer to the preferred place. In reality, God is always with us visibly and invisibly during our change over times or seemingly unpleasant situations. I am invited by my God to bow my head in trust, to put on the identity of God’s own and priced possession, to take daring steps and be a channel of blessing for others. I hear the Lord whispering with extended hands, “May I have this dance?” I let Him lead the dance of life according to His rhythm! (by s. Jessy Paul SSpS).