Issues Vol. 169‎ > ‎

Vol. 169 No. 12 • MAR 24 - 30, 2018

01 Cover

posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:34 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 11:55 PM ]


03 Index

posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:33 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 7:33 AM ]


04 Engagements

posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:31 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 7:31 AM ]


05 Editorial - Spanning Service to Sacrifice - Fr Anthony Charanghat

posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:19 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 11:56 PM ]

On Maundy Thursday when we remember the institution of the Eucharist, the Gospel chosen for the Liturgy is not from the synoptics that describe the words of the institution; instead, the Church proclaims John's good news of the washing of the feet. It is the gospel that offers radical challenge to the conventional ideas of leadership, a summary of Jesus' life of selfless service that was a reproach to those who lusted after status, and a sacrificial love that was unafraid to place others before self, so different from our self-seeking society. The foot-washing at the Last Supper spans the spectrum from His life of service to His ultimate sacrificial Love on the Cross.

On the night of this Last Supper, 'the hour' is dawning - the hour when Jesus will show those whom He loved in the world, how He will love them to the end. He begins to dispossess Himself; on that night of Thursday, He himself will lay off His garments; the next evening, his clothing will be ripped off Him by others. Wrapping a servant's towel around Himself, Jesus begins to show a visible sign of His humble service; the next day, naked on the Cross, He will be wrapped in nothing but His own blood.

He is the Good Shepherd who earlier had said:"For this reason, the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again." (Jn 10:17) In His hands, He takes the basin full of water and His disciples' dusty, soiled feet. These are symbols of all things the Father has put into Jesus' hands. Authority is about to be redefined in a new 'transfiguration' - not dazzling as on the mountaintop, but humbly on the floor, in terms of towel, basin and feet.

Jesus begins to wash His disciples' feet without any discrimination. Judas is there. He is not passed by; the community of disciples is never an elite gathering of the perfect. Peter protests about Jesus washing his feet. Does he suspect that a Master who gets down on His knees on the floor as a humble servant will expect the same of him? When warned that the unwashed, those who do not accept Jesus as a servant, who prefer a different kind of a Messiah, will have no part of Jesus, Peter becomes overzealous and enthusiastic about washing of his hands and head as well. Jesus explains to him that it is the quality of relationship, and not the quantity, that makes a true disciple.

Jesus then challenges His disciples about the understanding of what He has done. He reminds them that they rightly call Him 'Teacher and Lord', but He has just given them a subversive example of Lordship, where there is a reversal of the servant and the served status; a service that includes both the struggling faithful and the blatantly betraying. "If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, then you also have to wash one another's feet," Jesus says. Jesus gives them a New Commandment of Love.

Their loving service is to be indiscriminate and inclusive, a ministry both to those whom they consider faithful and those they think are unfaithful. Blessed by the loving service of Jesus, they are now called to be given, broken, consumed in the service of one another. This is communion; this is what the Eucharist is all about. This is why the Church chooses this Gospel on this night.

The way out of this room leads to Gethsemane and Golgotha, to self-giving, the breaking of the Bread and the consuming of the Servant in passion and death, and the affirmation of His Father when Jesus passes over to His Resurrection.

06 33rd World Youth Day 2018 - Pope Francis

posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:17 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 7:18 AM ]

World Youth Day 2018 (Palm Sunday – March 25) represents another step in preparation for the international WYD due to take place in Panama in January 2019. We have chosen to be accompanied on this journey by the example and intercession of Mary, the young woman of Nazareth whom God chose as the Mother of His Son. She walks with us towards the Synod and towards the WYD in Panama.

Mary(like others in the Sacred Scriptures) trembles before the mystery of God's call, who in a moment places before her the immensity of His own plan, and makes her feel all her smallness as a humble creature. The angel, seeing the depths of her heart, says: "Do not be afraid!"

God also reads our inmost heart. He knows well the challenges we must confront in life, especially when we are faced with the fundamental choices on which depend who we will be and what we will do in this world. It is the 'shudder' that we feel when faced with decisions about our future, our state of life and our vocation, that trouble us and seize us with so many fears.

And young people, what are your fears? What worries you most deeply? An "underlying" fear that many of you have is of not being loved, well-liked or accepted for who you are. Today, many young people feel the need to be different from who they really are, in an attempt to adapt to an often artificial and unattainable standard. They continuously "photoshop" their images, hiding behind masks and false identities, becoming fake selves.

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08 Not dead, only asleep - Christopher Mendonca

posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:16 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 7:16 AM ]

The Experience of Luke (a first-person account)


As one who belonged to the medical profession,

I had a special interest in death.

As a believer, however, I began to see more and more

its significance as an event in LIFE itself.

It was triggered by Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter

and His friend Lazarus from the dead.

The death of my patients occurred with a frequency

that often left me cold and immune,

part of the inevitability we must learn to accept with stoic indifference.

How I smiled as I inwardly knew

that Jairus had sent for Jesus since his daughter was dying.

He was in no hurry to reach there;

when He did, He simply assured them

that she wasn’t dead, but only asleep.1

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09 Church should foster Mercy and Compassion... - Dr. Stephen Alathara

posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:12 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 7:12 AM ]

Church should foster Mercy and Compassion: Cardinal Oswald Gracias

The Catholic Church in India should foster mercy and compassion, urged His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias, the President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) and the Archbishop of Bombay. The Cardinal was inaugurating the Bishops' Joint Reflection Programme in Sarvodaya, Mumbai on March 13, 2018, and addressing 31 Bishops from different dioceses of India who were participating in the programme.

Observing the fifth anniversary of the Pontificate of His Holiness Pope Francis on March 13, Cardinal Oswald remarked that "Pope Francis is a Pope of mercy, who draws people to the sacrament of Reconciliation. Pope Francis is a Pope of the peripheries, who has a compassionate heart for the poor, and love and concern for the neglected and suffering."

A thanksgiving Holy Mass was celebrated to mark the Papal anniversary. His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias, the main celebrant, the Apostolic Nuncio Giambattista Diquattro, the Bishops and the other concelebrants prayed for the Universal Church and the Pope. The Bishops also held a half-hour Eucharistic adoration to mark the day.

The Bishops' Joint Reflection programme was organised by the CCBI for the bishops in two batches - first batch from March 12 to 17, and the second batch from July 2 to 7, 2018 at Sarvodaya, Mumbai.

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10 Lessons from the Cross - Felicia Pledger-Cardoz

posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:05 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 7:06 AM ]

Behold the wood of the Cross on which hung the saviour of the world!

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: To be great is to be misunderstood. Jesus was not only misunderstood, but was also doubted, betrayed and eventually hung on the Cross. In the commemoration of His passion and death, we take away life's valuable lessons. Every Good Friday, we are invited to look at and contemplate the Cross. What we quite often see is an artist's and sculptor's representation of a battered, bruised and lifeless Christ. And it isn't a pretty sight. Young children hesitate, and the faithful from other denominations prefer an empty cross. Yet, Good Friday is perhaps the only day in the year that all Christians observe, by fasting, penance, prayer and charity.

Jesus' popularity spread far and wide through His teachings, healing and miracles. This obviously sowed seeds of jealousy and fear in His enemies. Poverty and greed led Judas the Iscariot to betray Him for a meagre thirty pieces of silver, just a day after breaking bread with Him. Of course, what Judas didn't know was that they would try Him like a criminal and lead Him, bearing His own cross to Calvary. Peter denied Him three times! When realisation dawned, both apostles wept. It was too late for Judas, so he took his own life, while Peter was already the rock upon which Christ had built His Church. Two of His best friends let him down, differently.

Simon of Cyrene was compelled by the soldiers to help Jesus carry His cross. Simon was just a passer-by, and he was singled out. He must have been annoyed, reluctant and embarrassed by the situation. Nonetheless, he helped Jesus all the way. Though momentarily relieved, Jesus surely would have blessed Simon. Likewise, out of sympathy, Veronica wiped the face of Jesus, and in return, she was blessed with the image of His face on her veil. One was forced, the other voluntarily came forth, and we get a lesson about service from them. Mary His mother, the women of Jerusalem, and John teach us devotion and faithfulness, even in times of utter despair and grief.

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11 Towards a New Way of Being Church in India - Praneeta D'Souza

posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:02 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 7:02 AM ]

New Way of being Church" - a term coined at the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences' (FABC) held at Bandung, Indonesia aims to go beyond the already realised accomplishments of building of educational institutions, hospitals, restructuring Catechetics, linking of the Catholic faith with social justice, the establishment of CCOs in the Archdiocese of Bombay and more.

The need of the hour is for each parish in the Archdiocese to move forward from being in a maintenance mode, wherein activities are planned and carried out in a robotic, albeit systematic way. The call is to rebrand the Church itself, radiating Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. This requires each parish to pay greater attention to some key areas.

The CBCI Plenary Assembly 2018 has identified a few characteristics of 'A New Way of being Church':

1. Foster greater lay collaboration and participation in socio-pastoral activities of the Church.

2. Promote lay leaders in academic, professional and public services.

3. Make the Church more gender-friendly by promoting more women into the decision-making in the various institutions of the Church.

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12 Romero Service celebrates 'Peace - the product of Justice and Love'

posted Mar 22, 2018, 6:59 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 6:59 AM ]

More than 100 people cheered the recent news that Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador is to be made a saint at an ecumenical service on March 17, 2018 to commemorate the 38th anniversary of his martyrdom. The service was held at St Martin in the Fields Church, Trafalgar Square, and the cheering was led by Rev. Richard Carter of St Martin in the Fields who presided. Sitting at the front was Julian Filochowski, Chair of the Archbishop Romero Trust, who has lobbied tirelessly for the canonisation. The congregation included representatives of CAFOD, Pax Christi, Christian Aid, Jesuits, Columbans, Servite Sisters and the National Justice and Peace Network. There were many homeless people who always receive a warm welcome at St Martin's - very necessary with Saturday's blizzard conditions outside.

The theme of the service was 'Peace - the product of Justice and Love'. The speaker was Rubén Zamora, a distinguished Salvadoran diplomat and passionate advocate for peace. His brother, the Attorney General Mario Zamora, was assassinated by a death squad in February 1980, a month before Romero. Zamora has been El Salvador's permanent representative to the United Nations and Ambassador to the United States and to India. He is currently based in El Salvador as an adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Zamora knew Archbishop Romero, and was perfectly placed to examine the social conflict and violence in El Salvador in the light of Romero's approach to endemic violence. His talk received a warm clap at the end.

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