Issues Vol. 168‎ > ‎

Vol. 168 No. 48 - December 02 - December 08, 2017

01 Cover

posted Nov 30, 2017, 10:16 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 10:16 PM ]


03 Index

posted Nov 30, 2017, 10:15 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 10:15 PM ]


04 Official

posted Nov 30, 2017, 10:11 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 10:12 PM ]


05 Engagements

posted Nov 30, 2017, 10:03 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 10:03 PM ]


07 Editorial - Is the Advent Attitude Artificial?- Fr Anthony Charanghat

posted Nov 30, 2017, 9:55 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 10:13 PM ]

Advent might look a little artificial! After all, Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, was born 2000 years ago, and we are still awaiting Him. Advent, however, is not an exercise in make-believe. Rather, it recognises the fact and the truth that the entry of Christ into every part of our life is not yet finished.

Each year, we discover that there is more of our life to unlock to Christ. That is why Advent each year is about expectantly and actively waiting for new light, new life, new birth of Christ into our life. This is the reason for recalling Isaiah’s active longing for God’s coming as an appropriate attitude for Advent.

Isaiah’s reading is about the anguished outburst of a desperate people. Having exhausted all possible human alternatives, Isaiah cries out, "Why do you let us wander from your ways? Tear open the heavens and come down with the mountains quaking… we have become unclean, all our good deeds are like dirty rags." We are in need of Advent laundering - repentance.

The prophet cries out on behalf of his people whose lives are in ruin. “You are the potter, we are the clay. Come down and shape us up." It is the prayer for a Saviour of the O.T. people who felt impotent, separated from God, because of their sins. We are called to make this spirit of penitential prayer our own at Advent.

St Paul tells the Corinthian Christians and us that the great intervention has come and to reach out for the new gifts and grace of the Lord: “You lack no spiritual gift... He will strengthen you to the end. God has called you to fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ." The great gifts of revival, renewal and transformation that the Saints have received are available to us through the life of the Church.

The Lord teaches us in the Gospel of Mark to ‘Wake up and be on the Watch.’ We can not afford to be asleep and blind. The reading refers of course to His coming in glory. But it can also apply to the present, to the ‘now’. It is easy for us to limit His coming to the past 2000 years ago, or to the future when the Lord will come at the end of history and to ignore the ways the Lord comes to us today.

Each time Scripture is read, the Lord speaks to us. Each time the Mass is celebrated, the Lord is present with His cleansing redeeming love for the Church and for us. Each time we come to Communion, He pledges eternal life to us who live the meaning of that Communion.

As we light the candles of the Advent Wreath and their light becomes strong each week of Advent, the presence of the light of Christ becomes stronger. The Lord was born once and for all at Bethlehem. Advent and Christmas is not about waiting to celebrate the rebirth of Christ every year. It is about the rebirth of faith, the rebirth of our commitment to Christ and His Church.

The first Sunday of Advent—the start of a new Church year—is a good time to make a more honest self-scrutiny, as we prepare for Christmas confession. Maybe there is some bridge-building we need to do in our life. In this year that marks the first World Day of the Poor, we must reach out in concrete acts of mercy to the marginalised, to children who are abused, to women who suffer violence, to families in conflict, and to those in the throes of hunger, famine and homelessness caused by the ravages of war and natural calamities.

Advent calls us to watch for the movement of God in our life.

08 Embracing Advent - Sr Gerard Paul rjm

posted Nov 30, 2017, 9:50 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 9:50 PM ]

Every year of life waxes and wanes; every stage of life comes and passes by; every facet of life is born and slowly fades;every pleasurable moment is destined to become a memory. This is the true nature of our earthly existence.

Into this natural rhythm, we place the Advent wreath in our churches, chapels and oratories. While every hope dims and every possibility turns to futility, to those looking for life, there is a child in us waiting to be born. It is to these who have heard the call of Advent: "Stay awake, the Master is coming" that the figure of the Christ Child beckons.

In a world brightened by artificial lighting and twinkling tinsel, we look to that light from a tiny star that came to rest over the little village of Bethlehem. In that light, we have hope—a hope that guides us through the darkness of sin into the dawn of eternal life, and that light, that vision is seen only by those who keep watchfully awake throughout the season of Advent.

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09 Going beyond Relief to Healing - Christopher Mendonca

posted Nov 30, 2017, 9:48 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 9:49 PM ]

The Book of Consolation in the prophet Isaiah

is no doubt the harbinger of good news.

The prospect of a return to Jerusalem

certainly brings relief to those in Exile.

Couched in the message of relief, however,

the prophet seeks to convey to Israel

that it will be a healing as well.

Paul, writing to the Corinthians centuries later,

will talk of the blessings of the consolation we receive from God.

He is quick to add, however, that it is given to us

so that we too may console others

with the Consolation we have received from God.

As Christ's cup of suffering overflows, so does his consolation. 

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10 Five things to look for during Pope Francis’ trip to Myanmar, Bangladesh - Elise Harris

posted Nov 30, 2017, 9:47 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 9:47 PM ]

On Nov. 27, Pope Francis touched down in Yangon for what will likely be a politically charged and religiously significant six-day trip, bringing him to both Myanmar and Bangladesh, as the two countries face an escalating refugee crisis.

Pope Francis is on his third tour of Asia, since his election in 2013. It is the first papal visit to Myanmar—the Holy See having established formal diplomatic relations with the country earlier this year.

His visit to Bangladesh, however, is the second time a Pope has visited; the first being St John Paul II in 1986. Bl. Pope Paul VI made a brief stop in the territory in 1970, when it was still East Pakistan.

Throughout his six-day visit, Pope Francis will give 11 speeches in all: five in Myanmar, consisting of three formal speeches and two homilies, and six in Bangladesh—five official speeches and one homily.

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12 Goencho Saib - Marcellus D’Souza

posted Nov 30, 2017, 9:45 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 9:46 PM ]

St Francis Xavier was born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta, a Navarrese-Basque Roman Catholic missionary in the Kingdom of Navarre on April 7, 1506. His father was a Privy Counsellor and Finance Minister to King John III of Navarre (part of present-day Spain). He resided in a castle near Sangüesa which still partially stands today, and is in the possession of the Jesuit order. Francis was surrounded by war, as Navarre was the target of a campaign by King Ferdinand of Aragon and Castile.

Francis studied at the University of Paris, where he was influenced by Ignatius of Loyola, who encouraged Francis to become a priest. In 1530, Francis Xavier earned his Master's degree, and went on to teach Philosophy at the University of Paris. On August 15, 1534, Francis Xavier made vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. He planned to travel to the Holy Land to convert non-believers. Francis Xavier started his study of theology that same year, and was ordained a priest on June 24, 1537.

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13 Advent –Ure!!! - Eddy D’sa

posted Nov 30, 2017, 9:41 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 9:42 PM ]

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God." (Luke 3:4-6) The Word of God came to John in the wilderness. What image does the word "wilderness" conjure up in your mind? Barren wasteland? Deep, untouched forests? Absence of civilisation? Wild beasts? The beauty of nature? Danger? The unknown? The unexpected? Ah! A wilderness adventure! Every boy should be a Boy Scout! But adventure is not reserved for the young alone! It's never too late to be an adventurer! We're in the season of Advent. The word 'advent' itself comes from the same root as 'adventure'. But possibly, 'advent' is a churchy word. It infers piety, musty robes, dusty wreaths, solemn hymns, boring sermons and fidgety children. Say 'advent' and eyes glaze over; it's hard to keep from yawning. But say 'adventure' and folks are on the edge of their seats! When you hear the word 'adventure,' what do you think of? Sailing on the high seas in search of new worlds? Stepping out onto the moon? Bravely going where no man has gone before?

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