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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

Monthly Reflections

Waiting for the Lord - Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C.

The Gospel of John 21:1-8 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the sea of Tiberias and he showed himself in this way. Gathered together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the twin, Nathaneal of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, you have no fish, have you?" They answered him, "No." He said to them, "Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

We are told of the circumstances under which Jesus revealed himself to St. Peter and those who were with Him. It is important for us to understand this because it is the same way that He is going to reveal Himself to us.

He revealed Himself at a very weak moment in the life of Simon Peter and of the other disciples. They were tired of waiting for the Lord, in fact the Lord had risen from the dead and had appeared to them a number of times and yet Simon Peter and the others were tired of waiting for the Lord.

Futile labour

Peter said "Lets go fishing" and the other disciples told him "we'll go with you" and they fished the whole night. Simon cast the net into the sea and every time he cast the net into the sea he was sure of making a big catch but by the time he dragged the net into the boat he knew there were no fish at all and Simon was surprised. After all he was a big fisherman. He was born by the lake, and he grew up fishing all the time. Fishing was a job that he knew, the only job that he knew and he knew the depths and the width of the Sea of Galilee. And he knew where to cast the net to get what type of fish. But that night all the expertise of Simon Peter proved futile. He did not get a single fish.

The miraculous catch

At that low moment in the life of Simon Peter, Jesus entered into his life and the Lord asked him, "Simon did you get anything" and Simon said, " no we did not get any fish". What a sad moment, a moment of total failure in the life of Simon Peter and that's when Jesus tells him, "Simon cast your net to the right side of the boat". He did so and the net was full of fish. The heart of Simon Peter was filled with great joy at this miraculous catch of fish. This is how Jesus revealed himself. When the disciples abandoned the Master and went into fishing, when the disciples were tired of waiting for the Master and went into working and failed, at that moment of failure Jesus entered into their lives to make it a success.

Jesus in our lives

Jesus reveals himself to us in a similar manner. We may experience failures, or there may be moments we don't care for God, or we may go our own way and work tirelessly. We may imagine that by our plans, by our hard work we can achieve something great in life and then we fail, are frustrated. But the Lord doesn't abandon us.

Even if we go away from Him, the Lord does not go away from us

He is always there for us even in the moments of our failures and even in the moments I do not care for him. He is concerned about us and He wants, at every moment, to make our lives a success. That's the way God deals with us. That's the way God enters into our lives.

God turns everything to my good

We need to know this as only then we will know who God is and how God loves us, loves me, personally, individually, caring for every single detail of my life and turning everything to my good. As St Paul said in Rom 8:28 - "For those who love God, He turns everything to their good". That is what God is busy with, turning everything to my good. Apparently, there are moments I don't care for God. But God cannot but care for me. He is my loving Father, so caring, and so understanding!

A young man came, once to meet me and he said to me, "Father, I had a very thriving business and when my business thrived I had many friends and almost every evening I went partying with my friends and we had business meetings often, but then Father, suddenly, I don't know how my business began to fail. Nothing indeed was working and all my projects began to flop, my calculations failed and I was totally desperate. I did not know whom to turn to, I did not know where to go to, I was a total failure. And then, my friends were not there for me. There was no party anymore because I had no money to spend for the parties and that's when I turned to the Lord". There was light in his eyes as he continued, "I understood that my God was waiting for me. I turned to Him, I began to spend time in prayer and I sold off that business.

Now I have a little agency. Father, I don't have all that money I had then, no, I don't have all those friends I had then, I don't have all those parties I had then, when my business was in its peak, but I have enough money for me and my family and you know Father, now I understand that this is enough for me.

Now I have time for my God, I have time to pray alone, personally, I have time for my family. When my business was in its peak, I had no time for my children; I had no time to spend with my wife.

I remember Father, for the last birthday of my little girl just 4 years old, a week before her birthday she came and sat in my lap and she asked me, 'Papa next week is my birthday. Papa, what gift are you going to give me'? I told her, 'anything you ask for, toys, clothes, party, anything you ask for. What do you want my girl for your birthday'? You know, Father what my girl asked me, she asked me, 'Papa, I want to sit in your lap the whole day on my birthday. That's the gift I want from you'. For one moment I understood how much my little girl missed me.

I was busy making money, with my friends, with my parties but for what? I had no peace of mind, I had no joy in my heart, I had no time for my family but now Father, the Lord appeared to me, the Risen Lord came into my life, I have time for my family, for my children, for my God and there is great peace in my heart" When everything goes well and when the business thrives, when we have many friends, let us not imagine that everything is all right with us.

God is waiting to enter into our lives to give the real gift of life, the real peace and joy in our hearts, the real love into our family. Therefore a moment of failure need not be a bad moment in our lives. That could be a moment when God is waiting to enter into our lives and re-mould our way of living. All that is needed is to turn to the Lord at every moment of sadness, sickness, failure and frustration. I need to turn to my God and ask him, "My God what are you telling me now at this moment"? The Lord will speak to us and this could be such a moment!

Let us pray:
Jesus, Risen Lord, appear before me in my sadness, in my sickness, in my failures. I imagine You do not care for me. I imagine You have abandoned me but now I know its not true. It is in such moments You are the closest to me. You want to teach me a new lesson about my life. Speak to me Lord, speak to me, your servant is listening. I want to hear Your Word and I want to re-mould my life according to Your Plan - to Your Will.
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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

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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

Hindi Convention Ojas 2019

The Divine Retreat Centre will conduct our ninth Hindi convention, in 2019. Two retreats will be held simultaneously on the campus; one for adults and another for couples and youth. All are welcome.

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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

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

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Potta-Divine's annual Potta Convention will be held at the Potta Ashram, this February. The convention will be led by stalwarts in the Catholic Charismatic ministry. Please come and be blessed beyond measure. All are welcome.

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