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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC
"I dwell with the crushed and the dejected“ (Is 57:15)

- Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Divine Call Archives

MY LORD IS BLEEDING AND NAKED - Rev. Fr. Michael Payyappilly V.C.

A year or so back, my young, one-and-something year old, nephew walked into my room at home. In my school days, my room was decorated with posters of sports stars and rock stars. But now being a priest's room, the pictures of the Lord are very prominently put out there. These were pictures that I had put up even before I joined the seminary. One amongst those pictures was that of the Lord on a Cross in colour. My young nephew walked into my room and stood in front of the picture. He had seen the Lord on a Cross before but never something so colourful and recognisable as this one. As he stood in front of the picture he spoke out in his babyish and broken English, "Jesus standing. No clothes. Shame, shame, Jesus taking bath"! After the initial burst of laughter, my brother explained to the little child about what happened to the Lord. The facts about the Cross, the nails being pierced into His hands and about the pain He went through and the blood that came out from His body. The child seemed touched by it. After that day, my young nephew has been very taken up by the fact that Jesus is hanging on the Cross and in pain. He keeps staring at the Cross with a lot of compassion. Recently as my sister was praying, he came up to her and asked her, "Mama, can we take Jesus down from the Cross?" When my sister asked him "Why?", he replied, "Then I will bandage His hands and then put on some clothes for Him". The statement might sound cute to a few of us or maybe funny to a few of us. But does not a statement like that throw a challenge to all of us who call ourselves the followers of Christ - a challenge to bandage His wounds and to clothe Him?

The Word tells us that the Lord bled and died for us. In Isaiah 53:4 ff we read, "Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed." So the pain and suffering of the Lord was for our sake. But though that is true, maybe we should also ask ourselves if we would like to bandage His wounds and heal His pain. Certainly, literally speaking we cannot do something like that. But there is definitely a call to bandage and heal the wounds of Christ. What would be a balm for the wounds of Christ? What kind of clothing would He need to cover His nakedness?

Can the wounds of our Lord be soothed by us today? The Word gives us this answer as the Blessed Virgin puts it in the best way possible, when she said in the Gospel of John chapter 2, "Do whatever he tell you to." Doing whatever the Lord tells her to do is how the Blessed Mother lived. And she gives us that call and answer. That is what the Lord would always want from each of us. In Mathew 12:46 ff we read of how the Lord was informed about his mother and brothers visit and the Lord replied, "Who is my mother and who are my brothers?" And then he says, "Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother or sister or mother". The one who does His will! Just as the Blessed Mother pointed out, to do whatever He tell us to do. What does the mother or brother or sister signify? They signify those who love Him. In relationships, a person who loves for or cares about another person, would go to any extent to protect, heal or cure the other. They would go out of the way to soothe the wounds of the ones they care for. This could mean that there would be inconveniences, there would be a sacrifices of one's own desires and will. Yet there would be no complaint! With the Lord too, it is only those who love Him truly, who will do His will. And it is only those who love Him, who will actually make an effort to soothe His wounds and to cover His nakedness.

It is time we asked ourselves as to how much effort we take in soothing the wounds of the Lord and covering His nakedness. How much of inconveniences are we ready to go through - to live a life worthy of His love? How much of pain and suffering would we go through to help soothe His wounds? How much of time are we ready to spend with Him and heal His loneliness on that Cross? How much of our own selfish desires are we ready to give up in order to clothe his nakedness? In the Letter to the Philippians 3:8-10 we read, "For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death."

Yes, it is true that the Lord has died so that we would not have to go through a death like that - so that we would not have to suffer like him. And it is also true that we cannot actually heal the wounds that the Lord has already gone through and taken up. But it is time we asked ourselves if we even have a small child-like desire to heal His wounds; a child-like desire to clothe His nakedness. Does seeing Him on that Cross at least tug at our hardened hearts? Are our lives 'self-centred' or 'cross-centred'? Is it 'I' and 'My' centred or is it 'Jesus-centred'? Are we ready to go that extra mile to live our Christian vocation inspite of the challenges we face from an increasingly selfish and hard-hearted world? Every Christ-like act of ours is a balm for the Lord. Every act of sacrifice for Christ is a piece of cloth to cover His nakedness. There is a true story I once read about a mother and her children. It was around Christmas season and the mother who wanted her children to imbibe Christian values, told them that they would make a manger for the Lord, with straw. And each straw was to be put into the manger by the kids when they did one Christian act for the other. To cut the story short, the children did find doing 'good' to those who they hate, very tough. But they went beyond themselves to do that good and fill up that manger with so many small pieces of straw - only so that baby Jesus would have a comfortable manger to be put down into.

A comfortable manger; a bandaged wound; a covered body; these are the things we can give our Lord by doing what 'He asks us to do' and living how "He asks us to live". It might not be easy. When has following and doing the ways of Christ ever been easy? But let us do this for Him, the one person who truly cares for us! Let us have that child-like attitude of giving the Lord the very best of ourselves and bandaging His wounds and covering His nakedness with our pure and holy Christian lives.

Divine Updates

39th 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 19 - 24, 2019

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, 2019

POWER 2019 at Divine Retreat Centre

DRC is back with the highlight of the year: the 14th International Youth Conference - POWER 2019. 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. A Couples' Retreat and a Kids' Retreat will be held simultaneously. Don't miss it.

Date: July 21 - July 26, 2019

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. Joshi Kochukudiattil, 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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