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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

“I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you" (Jn 13:34)

- Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Divine Call Archives

I have found the treasure and I am not letting go of Him - Caroline Grace Wong

Recently at a weekday morning Mass, one of the gospel readings was on the Parable of the Hidden Treasure - "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." (Matthew 13:44) It was during the homily when the priest made a few observations about this particular Word of God that I realized something very beautiful which I had never thought of before.

He explained that usually treasures are hidden - that you would unlikely bump into a treasure in the middle of the road where you normally pass by everyday but that instead like in a treasure hunt, you actually needed to search for that treasure (which also explains the word treasure hunt, you need to hunt for it). There also needed to be a desire in your heart to want to find it. It also implied setting ourselves on a journey, and as in a treasure hunt, it takes time, even years to finally find that hidden treasure, if at all! "I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him. The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. "Have you seen the one my heart loves?" Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves." (Song of Songs 3:2-4)

I then asked myself what or who was the treasure that I have been looking for in my life? Have I found the treasure? At that moment, I felt my heart leaping with joy. The Holy Spirit who is "the Spirit of truth, guiding us into all truth" (John 16:13), prompted me with this sweet realization that, "Yes, I have found the treasure." He was right here present in the Word of God and in the Eucharist. The treasure was JESUS! What a profound realization that came to me through Jesus Himself who is the "Word made flesh". (John 1:14) It was as if a veil had been lifted up from my eyes. That realization left me with a tremendous feeling of gratitude, of wholeness and confidence in my heart. I felt I lacked nothing since I had Jesus. Jesus was my gold and my silver as written in the Book of Job, "Let Almighty God be your gold, and let Him be silver, piled high for you. Then you will always trust in God and find that He is the source of your joy." (Job 22:25-26) The joy and peace I felt was not like anything I have experienced before. It was supernatural! It was not like winning the jackpot (not that I have ever won one, which I also doubt I will, if I do not get myself to buy a lottery ticket) or some temporary material gains. It was from within my soul, my inner most being, a deep conviction that I carry within my heart as a treasure.

Looking back, I realised that, as the priest pointed out in his homily, I too went on a journey that started many years ago to find that which will bring me wholeness. My soul was thirsty for that "life-giving water" which Jesus mentioned in John 4:10 to the Samaritan woman, so that "I will never be thirsty again." (John 4:15) There was a yearning for a deeper conversion of my heart and a desire for a radical change. I felt challenged by the words of Jesus, "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me." (Luke 9:23) Hence, I started going for daily Mass, then gradually making regular confession, going for daily Adoration, reading the Scriptures and having a discipline of regular prayer and fasting. That journey demanded effort and discipline on my part and the openness to constant pruning and molding. It was a steep learning curve as I had to change all my priorities in life – with God taking first priority over everything else. Family, children, work had to revolve around my first priority – God! It was really putting into practice Jesus command, "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)

As I reflected further on the Parable of the Hidden Treasure, two more phrases caught my attention, namely that the treasure was "hidden" which implies it was not glittering and easily seen by the naked eye and the man who found it, "sold everything he had and bought that field", which implies that the treasure was expensive such that he had to sell all his possessions in order to acquire it. On the former, Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897), Carmelite, Doctor of the Church, in one of her letters explains why Jesus is a hidden treasure. She wrote that Jesus is an inestimable good which few find, for it is hidden, and the world loves what sparkles. She wrote that if Jesus had willed to show Himself to all souls with His ineffable gifts, there would be not one of them that would have despised Him. But Jesus does not will that we love Him for His gifts; He Himself must be our reward.

The Saint also explained the great humility of Christ hidden in the Eucharist. Because He lies hidden, without adequate faith, many of us may fail to see Him and give Him all the due reverence He deserves. As the prophet Isaiah foretold, "No one even look at Him – we ignored Him as if He were nothing. (Isaiah 53:3) Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus explained the humility of Christ, hidden in the Eucharist, in those most beautiful words, "Veiled in the white Host, O my Well-Beloved, how meek and humble of heart You show Yourself to me! You could not stoop lower to teach me humility and I desire to respond to Your Love, desire to put myself in the lowest place and share Your humiliations, that I may have part with You in the Kingdom of Heaven." And as the psalmist in Psalm 8:4-5 cried out, "What is man, that You think of him, mere man, that You care for him?" I realize more and more the depth of God’s amazing Love for us and how His Ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8)

But this incomparable treasure has a cost to it - namely the cost of having to sell all that we have in order to obtain it. It means having to place Him above our job, our family, our spouse, our children, our friends, having to change our "style of life", what we do with our free time. Is it too much, too costly? Not when we think that Jesus who is God stooped down to us to our humanity and gave His life for us when we were still sinners. (1 Peter 2:24)

As for me, I desire to love HIM above all things - more than earthly possessions which are passing away like smoke, more than family and friends, who are mortal, more than my own life which is perishable. No matter the storms that surround me and the evils that seek to devour me, I am constantly reminded of God’s abundant love and faithfulness, "I have loved you with an everlasting love." (Jeremiah 31:3) and I do not despair unto death - "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me." (Psalm 23:4)

Indeed Jesus is my treasure and the delight of my heart and I am not letting go of HIM. I believe that Jesus can be found, only if we sincerely seek Him with purity of intentions, humility and strong faith though sometimes we feel we are not making any progress in our search. But let us not be discouraged but believe in God’s promise that those who seek Him will find Him and once we have found HIM, to hold on to HIM at all cost, confident in the words of St. Paul who proclaimed - "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39).

Divine Updates


Divine comes to Chennai with the 'Magnificat on March 10, 2018. Fr. Jacob Arimpur VC will lead the services. With special sessions for children.

Venue: Stella Maris College, Cathedral Road

MAGNIFICAT in Bangalore

Celebrate an evening with our Lord in Bangalore at the 'Magnificat' on March 17, 2018. Services to be led by Fr Jacob Arimpur VC. All are welcome. Music by Glen and Teresa La'Rive.

Venue: St. Joseph's Boys' School Chapel, Museum Road, Bangalore

38th 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 20 - 25, 2018

Kannada Convention 2018

Divine Retreat Centre will conduct our annual Kannada convention in May, 2018 The convention will be blessed by the vibrant preaching of many anointed servants of God. Please come.

Date: May 6 - May 11, 2018

Konkani Convention - Kuttumb Utsov 2018

Divine Retreat Centre's annual Konkani Convention will be held at the centre. The convention will be led by Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC, Director. Talks to focus mainly on the renewal of the family. All are welcome.

Date: April 22 - April 27, 2018

Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby, Sydney

Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2017. For bookings, email Fr Roni George, Director - Hurry, as admission is limited.

Date: January 2018 - December, 2018

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, 2018

Hindi Convention Ojas 2018

The Divine Retreat Centre will conduct our eighth Hindi convention, in 2018. Two retreats will be held simultaneously on the campus; one for adults and another for couples and youth. All are welcome.

Date: May 27 - June 1, 2018

Divine Retreats in Australia

Fr. Michael Payyapilly will lead several special retreats across Australia - in Brisbane, Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne. Please bring your family and friends. Hear the Word and be refreshed. 

Date: February 19 - March 4, 2018

Divine Retreat Schedules


English retreats are held every week from Sunday to Friday. Special retreats are conducted for priests, religious and laity as well. Come and experience the Lord and grow in Him.


Inner healing retreats, growth retreats, couples' retreats and youth retreats in Malayalam, are led by Fr. Mathew Elavumkal, Fr. Mathew Naickomparambil and Fr. Binoy Chackanikunnel.


Retreats in Konkani, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu

Every week, retreats are held in five different regional languages of India, apart from in the local language - Malayalam. The retreats are led by Vincentian priests and supported by powerfully anointed laity of God.

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