Vol. 167 No. 21 - May 21 - May 27, 2016
We all know the prayer called the doxology: 'Glory to the Father, to the Son and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end...' It is not only a formula of praise to the Trinity frequently said at moments of prayer but a statement of the central mystery our faith that expresses the enduring truth about God whose presence is profound and personal. It reveals that the inner life of the Divine is richer, deeper and more awesome than we can ever capture in words.
Even though God is mystery, we can still say something about him that is profound and experience His personal presence. First, The Trinity is one. That may seem strange, as the 'tri' in Trinity means three. But the 'threeness' must be understood in a certain way. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons. The divine persons do not share the Godhead among themselves as if one-third of a whole, but each of them is God, whole and entire.
Secondly, at the same time that the Trinity is one, the divine persons are really distinct from one another. "Father," "Son," "Holy Spirit" are not simply names designating different modes of divinity. The old Catechism illustration shows the Trinity as three forms of water: ice, liquid, and steam. However similies must be properly understood only under the aspect of comparison. They are distinct from one another, not in their substance, but in their relationships.
This is not just mental gymnastics of Christian philosophy or theology. Though the term 'Trinity' does not appear in the Old or New Testaments, many scripture spells out the content of the doctrine. The most explicit in the New Testament are: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19); and the apostolic blessing of St. Paul, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13:14).
God did reveal himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so it, must matter to those who follow Him. So what does all of this mean for us? How does it affect our lives as Christian believers? The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. The faith of the Christians community rests on living the life of the Trinity.
In Scripture, we experience the three-dimensional love of God when we read of His action in salvation history. God the Father is the creative, guiding, never-ending immeasurable force of Love in our lives just as He accompanied Israel in their journey to the Promised Land. The Son, Jesus Christ is the Love, which endured agony and pain, the Love that suffered and died to redeem. The Spirit is the Love, which can fill us with His grace, which keeps us going, gives new heart, renews and sanctifies us.
God is love. There are Three Persons in the Trinity, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. Together each represents the fullness of love. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father. The Holy Spirit is their love for each other. We are made in the image of a triune God. God the Father, who created us, his Son who saved us, and the Holy Spirit who continues to guide us.
We should be always creative like the Father, compassionate like His Son, and dispose our talents in the service of others like the Holy Spirit. We can never live outside the circle of this personal presence of Love that surrounds us.
The doctrine of the Trinity is foundational to the Christian faith. It is crucial for a proper understanding of what God is like, how He relates to us, and how we should relate to Him. But it also raises many difficult questions. How can God be both one and three? If Jesus is God, why do the Gospels record instances where He prayed to God?
While we cannot fully understand everything about the Trinity, it is possible to answer questions like these and come to a solid grasp of what it means for God to be three in one. The doctrine of the Trinity means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Stated differently, God is one in essence and three in person. These definitions express three crucial truths: (1) The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, (2) each Person is fully God and (3) there is only one God.
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons. The Bible speaks of the Father as God (Philippians 1:2), Jesus as God (Titus 2:13), and the Holy Spirit as God (Acts 5:3–4). Are these just three different ways of looking at God, or simply ways of referring to three different roles that God plays?
The answer must be ‘No’, because the Bible also indicates that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons. For example, since the Father sent the Son into the world (John 3:16), He cannot be the same person as the Son. Likewise, after the Son returned to the Father (John 16:10), the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit into the world (John 14:26; Acts 2:33). Therefore, the Holy Spirit must be distinct from the Father and the Son.
On Pentecost 2016, Pope Francis praised missionary work as a massive work of mercy based on the desire for everyone to be saved and loved.
The mission to the nations is “a great, immense work of mercy, both spiritual and material,” he said.
The Church’s missionary mandate means that the Church “cares for those who do not know the Gospel, because she wants everyone to be saved and to experience the Lord’s love.” Pope Francis said the Church must “announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel” and proclaim mercy in every part of the world to reach every person, young and old.
“Faith is God’s gift and not the result of proselytising. Rather, it grows thanks to the faith and charity of evangelisers who witness to Christ,” he explained. “As they travel through the streets of the world, the disciples of Jesus need to have a love without limits, the same measure of love that our Lord has for all people. We proclaim the most beautiful and greatest gifts that He has given us: His life and His love.”
Pope Francis spoke about mission work in his message for World Missionary Day, celebrated October 23. The message text was released on Pentecost Sunday, May 15.
“Mercy finds its most noble and complete expression in the Incarnate Word. Jesus reveals the face of the Father who is rich in mercy,” the pontiff said.
“When we welcome and follow Jesus by means of the Gospel and Sacraments, we can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, become merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful; we can learn to love as He loves us and make of our lives a free gift, a sign of His goodness,” he continued.
According to Pope Francis, through God’s love, the Church “discovers its mandate, lives it and makes it known to all peoples through a respectful dialogue with every culture and religious belief.”
He said everyone is invited to go out as missionary disciples who offer their talents, creativity, wisdom and experience. They go out “in order to bring the message of God’s tenderness and compassion to the entire human family.”
Mercy is a part of God’s greatness, he explained.
A recent interesting interview in the Sunday section of a local daily newspaper prompted this reflection on the purpose and methods of study of a Department of Women’s Studies in a University.
One interesting response to a question from the newspaper was: “Women’s Studies is about generating critical thinking and not imposing any particular feminist point of view on students.” It must be noted, however, that the purpose of the Women’s Studies Department is aimed at “bringing about gender justice in society...” It is necessary to be clear about what “gender” itself is all about. In the current public discourse, “gender” means different things to different people. When we talk about “gender rights” and “gender justice”, we must understand clearly what is meant. This is precisely the area in which all the confusion has occurred and because of which irrational public policies have been unleashed on the citizens. First and foremost, it must be emphasised that the most vociferous proponents of “gender” themselves admit that “gender” is not a “thing” which corresponds to any physical reality. By their own definition, gender is a “social construct” and therefore an abstraction. Therefore, there cannot be anything like “gender justice” or “gender equality.” The word “gender” does not refer to any real object. It is not a noun. Therefore, to speak of gender equality is sheer and utter nonsense. The word gender is like the word upercalifragilisticexpialidocious” in the movie ‘My Fair Lady’. It means nothing, or it means whatever you want it to mean. It can never be used in any rational discourse, even though it may have a place in a popular children’s movie
On April 25, 2016 , a new milestone was crossed by Parisar Asha through its revolutionary ‘workshopminar’, in association with Tata ClassEdge on the ‘ Emerging Global Trends in Education for a Sustainable Tomorrow’, which was attended by more than 150 school principals from different institutions pan India, at the Kohinoor Continental Hotel.
This unique ‘workshopminar’ was conducted, understanding the dire need to blend the modern approach with conventional values and the importance of focusing on the most important aspect of teaching - raising a sensitised, responsible and compassionate child who is equipped to address the challenges of the 21st century, with the right knowledge, attitude, values and skills.
Fr George Athaide, Secretary of the Archdiocesan Board of Education, Archdiocese of Bombay, inaugurated this unique initiative by instituting the prestigious Gloria Memorial Award. This award has been instituted to acknowledge the contribution of teachers in the field of education. He spoke about his long-term association with Parisar Asha, and how he enjoyed the welcome activity conducted to greet all the visitors, making them feel a part of the Parisar Asha family, and not just mere audience. He spoke about the late Gloria de Souza, founder of Parisar Asha, and how she had revolutionised the education system. “Gloria was a very passionate educator. She travelled extensively to propagate that children should be at the centre of education. She strongly believed that all children must go to school, enjoy learning and explore things for themselves.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a top infectious killer worldwide. As per the WHO Global TB Report 2015, in 2014 2.2 million cases were estimated in India which is higher than any other country. TB is a public health curse, health security threat and a development challenge. The annual state health report released by Praja Foundation stated that tuberculosis claims at least 21 lives daily in the city of Mumbai.
Ordinarily, TB is a treatable and curable disease. TB is treated with a standard six-month course of four antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support by the doctor to the patient. (irsitbrd.nic.in)
Due to high burden of malnutrition, the community is susceptible to many prevalent infections. One of the main causes of acquiring TB is living a life with a weak immune system. Under-nutrition increases the risk of TB, and in turn, TB can lead to malnutrition. Under-nutrition is a risk factor for progression from TB infection to active TB disease and severe form viz. Multi drug resistant (MDR)-TB. Under-nutrition is a predicator of increased risk of death and TB