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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

"God raised us up with Him



Eph 2:6

) - Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Divine Call Archives

Be friends with Jesus

By Fr. Biju Koonan VC

“This is my commandment: to love one another as I love you…You are my friends if  you do what I commanded you” (John 15:12 - 14)

It would be the greatest honour to be known as the friends of Jesus. But this Bible verse holds a conditional promise. What is the condition?…’If you do what I commanded you…”. The command which makes us the friends of Jesus - is to love another.

Our model for this kind of love is none other than Jesus. The distinctiveness of His model is that Jesus gave His ‘being and having’ to all mankind. Being is what He is, having is what He has. If we obey this commandment of love, the result would be that we become friends of Jesus.

Jesus sums up the ten Old Testament laws into two – namely, to love God and to love your neighbour as yourself. In the Word, Jesus told people around Him that one should recognise a person as His disciple by sensing and experiencing the love in that person’s nature. “I give you a new commandment: love one another. This is how all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”(John 13: 34,35)

I recollect reading about a friend of Jesus, named Dr Bracket. A really efficent and loving doctor, he worked among the poor in Mexico. Inspired by the love of Jesus, he did wonderful things for those people.

On the day of his wedding, as he prepared to go to the church, a young Mexican husband approached him, pleading for urgent help. His wife was in labour and faced complications. He agreed to get Dr Bracket back to church in time for the ceremony.

Unfortunately it was a very critical case and the doctor had to spent a lot of time to save the lives of the young mother and her newborn. The villagers rushed the doctor to the church, but so much time had passed, he was so late that his bride-to-be declared that she did not want to get married to him anymore. She refused to accept a man who was late to his own wedding.

The Mexican family tried their best for a reconciliation with the doctor’s bride and her family but they refused to comply. They were not ready for any kind of compromise. The wedding was cancelled.

Dr Bracket continued with his busy service as before, as if nothing had happened. His clinic in town was located above a clothes store, so he put a signboard there. “DR BRACKET - OFFICE ABOVE.”

Many people came to the loving physician’s clinic and enjoyed his great service. Years passed by. Unfortunately, the marriage never took place.

Years later, he passed away. Many people gathered at the graveyard to give him a solemn burial. They gathered together after his funeral; they had much to say about the great man’s selfless service and genuine love.

The villagers wanted to put up a memorial stone with a plaque sharing an obit about their inspiring doctor. A proper decision could not be reached – over the content of the eulogy, so they extended the discussion to the following day.

That evening, the couple that the doctor helped, sacrificing his wedding day and his eventual wedded bliss - came to his home. They too decided to do something for the loving doctor who had changed their destiny, but they were very poor.

Keeping the desire to pay their last respects to their lifesaver, they searched around. They noticed the doctor’s professional nameplate, took it and put it at this tomb and decorated it with flowers.

The next day, the villagers came there for another discussion about how to pay tribute to the doctor. To their amazement, they saw the flowers and the board, “DR BRACKET - OFFICE ABOVE”.

The villagers eventually concluded that this was the proper tribute - because the loving doctor had merely changed his office to above - to heaven. They went to their homes happy. Even after his death, many people visited that old doctor in his new office – remembering his service with love.

He became a friend of Jesus, by obeying His great command of LOVE. “This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1John 4: 21)

The Lenten season begins soon. Let us examine our hearts.

Are we really friends of Jesus? Do we really fulfil the commandment of Jesus…to love God and to love one another?

Let us pray and try to become the friends of Jesus!

Divine Updates

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

Retreat for Priests, Religious and Lay Ministers

Divine Retreat Centre is organising a retreat for Christian leadership - priests, religious and laity in Christian leadership roles. Please spread the word to Christian leaders and religious you know.

Date: 28 July - 2 Aug 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

Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Sydney

Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2019. For bookings, email Fr Roni George, Director - or Hurry, as admission is limited.

Date: January 2019 - December, 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 Vincentian priests.


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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