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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

"Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it" (Lk 11:28) - Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Divine Call Archives

Who will roll the stone?

By Fr. Joseph Edattu VC

The scene is after the death and burial of Jesus. Three women were at the tomb, knowing that a large problem faced them – a massive boulder which locked the entrance. Who would move it? They knew that Jesus was inside. They had no strong men with them to help them, but they decided to go on forward. They sought no human support, but trusted the Lord and moved on. When they reached the spot, the stone was already rolled away.

We too have large boulders in front of us; we run to human beings to support us. If we do that, we will not reach anywhere. The women knew that Jesus was inside the tomb and the one inside could do something. Do we know Jesus is by our side? If so, why do we run after others? Trust in the Lord and move forward. If you look back at your life, you can see many examples – you struggled through many problems, which are now gone. When problems come, a person’s real character is revealed. There are some who even preach, but when problems come, they get angry and question God.

“All the works of the Lord are very good. Every command of his will be carried out in its proper time. It’s not for us to say, “What’s this?” or “For what purpose is that?” Everything will be examined at its proper time”, says Sirach 39:16 & 17. Not when YOU want it, but when HE has commanded. At the appointed time, all your queries will be answered. Why do you ask questions such as: “Why are there problems in my life? I go for daily Mass, my neighbours have no problems, they are flourishing, all except me”. In His time, all will be clear. You may see good people suffering, bad people flourishing. Malachi 3:14, says, “You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty?”. A book of remembrance is there. God says, “They shall be mine and I will spare them”. One day, God will act and all these questions will be answered. Once more, you will see the difference between holy people and evil people. The difference you see now is temporary, what you see on that day will be forever.

We read in the gospel that the stone at the resurrection was already removed. When Jesus raised Lazarus to life, the stone was not removed already – the Lord asked the people to move away the stone. But at the resurrection, the stone was already removed, in the flash of a second. The women came to the tomb with hope, trusting in God. In Lazarus’ friends’ case, they came with a lack of faith and no hope, so the Lord asked them to move the stone away.

God will wait next to the tomb. Jesus can move the stones. Trust Him. Do you come to our retreat centre believing He will do great things? He can and will do miracles. If you come closing the chapter, then even God cannot help you. Let all the chapters be open until Jesus closes them. Even mountains can be removed by Jesus, then what are mere stones, in front of Him?

In Matthew’s gospel account, who do we see rolling the stone? An angel. And what did he do afterwards? He sat on the stone. The angel announced the Good News, sitting on the stone. Today’s problem will be tomorrow’s Good News. You may not have the gift of a child, but tomorrow, you may say, “I cried and cried; and God gave me a child”. Your problems can make you a witness to God. Many retreatants share their testimonies. Without a problem, there would be no witnessing. Let there be problems; your problems will attract many to God. Without sickness, how can one have healing? Without Good Friday, there would be no Easter. These women who came to the tomb did not know it was empty. The angel asked them not to waste time, but to go to the disciples of Jesus. Our salvation will come from Jesus. We run after empty tombs. “I have to help Jesus’, we say and we feel pity for Him – we are good at that. The women of Jerusalem cried for Him. We are like the women who cried at the cross. Today the Lord tells us that it wasn’t someone else but we ourselves who crucified Him. Hebrews 6:4 says, “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame”.

We cry in front of empty tombs as if Jesus needs our tears. Don’t. Because the world is in need of salvation. Go to your brothers. We cry over ourselves, pray for our families, wives, husbands – don’t do that alone. Jer 29:7 states, “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Your growth depends on the place where you stay. In India, the government is in the process of changing. When constant attacks happen, don’t assure yourself, “Nothing happens to me”. 1 Timothy 2: 1: says, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness”. It is your duty to pray for your rulers, kings, Pope, bishops and priests. If religious leaders live in sin, how can your faith be strong? How can your children be safe tomorrow? So as the Lord says, pray for your leaders so that all may be well.

Go tell the world the message of salvation. Stop crucifying Him and don’t waste time crying in front of empty tombs. Today, you may be frightened of your problem; tomorrow, you will stand in front of your problem and preach to the world.

 
Divine Updates

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 - drcsydney@gmail.com. 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

Tamil Convention in DRC

Answer God's call and experience His burning love for you. Our 12th Tamil Convention will be held at our DRC campus this year. The convention will include 4 simultaneous retreats - for priests & religious, for couples, for youth and for children. Please spread the word.

Dates: 29th April - 4th May, 2018

Divine Retreat Schedules

ENGLISH RETREATS

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.

MALAYALAM RETREATS

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.

OTHER LANGUAGES

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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