Monthly Reflection by
Prayer of the Month
The unending celebrations
By Fr. Jacob Arimpur VC
Peter was a very young footballer. During a game of soccer this 23-year-old player decided to celebrate after scoring a goal for his team. But unfortunately while he was celebrating his achievement with a series of somersaults, he landed on his head and injured his spinal cord. All attempts to repair his spinal cord failed. The shocking news of his death is still fresh in our minds. No one had thought that an expression of celebration could bring such a tragic end to Peter’s life. All celebrations end and sometimes in a very dramatic way.
Like the previous ones, the beginning of 2015 has also seen a great excitement all around. It shows that people don’t miss to celebrate an occasion of newness in their lives. But what if the ‘Newness’ is short lived. That would mean the end of our celebrations too because even before this month ends all that enthusiasm about the year 2015 will disappear into the thin air. Then what?? How long will we have to wait for another instance of ‘Newness’ that calls for celebrations? The Holy Bible is addressing this concern in the book of Ecclesiastes. “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See this is new’”? It has already been, in the ages before us (Ecc. 1: 9,10)
The Word of God is revealing a great Eternal truth to all of us. According to the book of Ecclesiastes the World cannot give anything which can retain its newness all the time and so it is very obvious that our celebrations too can not have a long life. Every day we get to see advertisements heralding the arrival of something new in the market. But then within no time they all disappear into the world of oblivion. Even a relationship that is new and exciting promises so much to celebrate for. But when time takes away the newness from it, impatient outbursts become more usual in most relationships if not all. That means the world can only give us spurts of freshness and hence moments of celebration for a little while. But our God is the one who works to give us the much-needed newness all the time (Rev. 21:5, Is. 43:19). He promises us a newness which remains intact every day of our life.
We read in the book of Lamentations, “The steadfast Love of the Lord is new every morning” (Lam. 3:23). A very appropriate verse from the Scripture to be reflected in a time when the reality of ‘New Year’ is sweeping the whole world. The year 2015 is not going to be any different from the previous ones if in the first place we do not strive to experience the steadfast Love of our God. The celebrations of New Year will soon cease to exist because there is nothing apart from God’s Love that promises a newness every morning. The Spirit of the Lord is giving us this message, if we want Unending Celebrations to be a part of our life there is no other way but to be permeated by the Love of God. Great achievements, much possessions or intimate relationships can only bring in newness that are temporary. A very successful film director, Imtiaz Ali, said in an interview, “None of my works gives me satisfaction that lasts long. A few days after the release of every film all that excitement of newness evaporates within no time”.
God is revealing to us in His Words that it is His Love which alone is the Ultimate answer to our search for newness. In the book of Psalms He is even disclosing the way to attain it. “The steadfast Love of the Lord surrounds those who trust in Him” (Ps. 32:10). We all claim to be believers and yet if we are not experiencing His Love, it’s because our trust is not complete. “Do not approach me with a divided mind” (Sir. 1:28) are the Words from the Scripture clarifying the nature of the trust we must have in Him. It could be that we have put our trust on some person (husband, wife, children, parents, friends, lover) assuming their support in trying times, or it could be on our own strength, skills, power that we wield in the society. The more attached we are to these the more uneasiness we’ll experience one day. “They shall be like shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes.” (Jer. 17:6).
The attachments, no matter how small it is, are always going to prevent us from trusting in the Lord completely. That is why Jesus tells the rich young man, “Sell everything you have and follow me” (Mt. 19:16). Jesus looks into this person and finds out that it is the divided mind which is preventing him from experiencing God’s Kingdom of Love. Having wealth is not a block but being attached to that wealth is the real impediment. The young man could not do what was demanded from him for he was attached to his possessions and so “he went away grieving” (Mt. 19:22).
Is it really possible to live without any sort of attachments? Humanly speaking it is impossible but with the power of God everything is possible. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13) is the assurance God is giving to every faithful. Holy Spirit is the power from above and helps us in experiencing the Love of God. “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rom. 5:5). Let us make a resolution to dedicate some time to pray to the Holy Spirit on a regular basis that we become free from attachments and learn to trust in the Lord completely. For the one who trusts in Him will experience His Love that gives us newness every morning for the life’s unending celebrations.
“O Spirit of the Lord, come and burn in me with the fire of God’s Love.”Amen.
MAGNIFICAT in Bangalore (January 14, 2017)
Celebrate an evening with our Lord in Bangalore at the 'Magnificat' on January 14, 2017. Services to be led by Fr. Jacob Arimpur VC. All are welcome.
Venue: St. Joseph's Boys' School Chapel, Museum Road, Bangalore
37th National Youth Retreat
Our annual National Youth Retreat will be held at the Divine Retreat Centre. Come and let the word of God refresh you. Simultaneous retreats for couples, children and Bible nursery to be held. Contact Divine Youth for more details.
Date: May 14 - 19, 2017
Retreats and Healing Masses in Sydney
Divine Australia invites you to healing Masses and retreats to be held across various venues in New South Wales, Sydney. To be led by Fr Augustine Vallooran VC. For details, email Fr Roni George, Director, Divine Australia - email@example.com.
Date: 29th January - 5 February, 2017
Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby, Sydney
Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2017. For bookings, email Fr Roni George, Director - firstname.lastname@example.org. Hurry, as admission is limited.
Date: January 2017 - December, 2017
Retreats in Divine Retreat Centre, UK
Divine Retreat Centre, Ramsgate UK, has announced several English and Malayalam language retreats to be led by Fr. George Panackal VC and Fr. Joseph Edattu VC. All are welcome.
Dates: Jan - Dec, 2017
POWER 2017 at Divine Retreat Centre
DRC is back with the highlight of the year: the 11th International Youth Conference - POWER 2017. The very best international preachers and gospel bands will be here to lead us into worship. Be there to experience a totally different atmosphere of prayer. Couples' retreat and children's retreat will be held simultaneously. Don't miss it.
Date: July 23 - July 28, 2017
Hindi Convention Ojas 2017
The Divine Retreat Centre will conduct our seventh Hindi convention in 2017. Two retreats will be held simultaneously on the campus; one for adults/couples and another for youth. All are welcome.
Date: May 28 - June 2, 2017