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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

I have come to set the earth on fire" (Lk 12:49) - Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Monthly Reflections

Born Anew To A Living Hope - Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C.

Born Anew To A Living Hope - Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C.

"Why do you weep? What are you searching for?"

The resurrected Jesus asked Mary Magdalene who had come weeping to the tomb early in the morning to anoint Christ’s dead body with perfume: "Woman why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" (Jn.20: 15).

Whenever we falter in our search, we are led into the abyss of sorrow and disappointment. Mary had come to perform the final burial rites for Jesus. There could have been only one reason for her tears. She felt that death had defeated even Jesus, once and for all. His disciples also shared the same emotion. They grieved that in his death, Jesus had lost not only his life, but also all his relevance.

This is why Peter ran to the tomb in search of his Master. The voice that came from the empty tomb terrified Peter: "Why do you seek the living among the dead?" (Lk.24: 5).

Totally shattered by their Master’s death, the disciples were returning to the village of Emmaus when the resurrected Christ addressed them as: "…foolish men" (Lk.24: 25).

The history of the human race has always shown death as the end of everything. Man has experienced only pain from his wounds, and his sins have led him only to punishment. The human mind has constantly been tuned to consider death as the end of human existence because no other experience available can prove to its contrary. It has also got used to the anguish and torments of failure. How dispirited we get when we are hurt! We almost look forward to seeing life ebbing away.

The resurrection of Jesus has changed the conventional convictions of man and the habitual concepts of his mind. Simon Peter and John noticed the huge stone covering the tomb missing. Mary Magdalene, who had come to anoint Christ’s body with perfume, found herself at the feet of the resurrected Lord. Thomas, the disciple who stretched out his hands to touch the sacred wound of the Lord, had touched the love of God, the Lord…the living Jesus.

Resurrection of Jesus

Christ’s resurrection had defeated death and its ensuing sorrow, giving renewed life and hope to all who sought him. This joy was the first Good News his disciples proclaimed to the world. St. Peter announced to the people of Jerusalem: "God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it" (Acts.2:24).

With the same feeling of exhilaration, St. Paul triumphantly exclaims to the Corinthians: "Where O death is your victory? Where O death is your sting" (1 Corinthians 15: 55).

The disciples had experienced one great reality after their Master’s death. Without any doubt, they began to believe that Christ who had conquered death and sin, was now living amongst them. Once they were convinced of this great truth, they proceeded to proclaim the resurrection as the base of the Universal Creed on which the entire foundation of the first Church was built. "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified" (Acts.2: 36).

The resurrection of Christ is not just the memory of one eventful day in history. If it were only an event that could so easily be wiped off our memory plates, then Christianity itself would be nothing more than a mere ideology. However great be an ideology, it is bound to become obsolete as time fleets by. Similarly, however great an esteem the Master enjoys, His teachings and all the values He so relentlessly tried to preserve, will eventually fade with the pages of history. Christ’s resurrection is therefore a Divine experience, which confirms the living presence of Jesus amidst His followers, in their homes and in their communities.

Our Living Hope – Our Risen Christ

The triumph and revival of our lives that Jesus created by his resurrection, fills us with renewed promises and hope of Eternal Kingdom. It is with this hope that St. Peter praised God when he wrote:

"Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you". (1Pet.1: 3,4).

Thomas Merton, the renowned spiritual writer says: "We are called not only to believe that Jesus once rose from the dead but also to experience the resurrection in our day to day lives." When we slip and fall into the depths of depression and disappointment, the continuing experience of living with the Risen Lord beckons us to a life of hope and optimism. We can thus feel the tangible presence of the living Jesus in every phase and moment of our existence.

The mind that is aglow with the radiance of the resurrection, will neither become weary nor falter in adversity. Such a mind will anticipate the soothing touch of solace from God in every moment of agony and turbulence, instead of seeking sorrow and dejection. It will strive to find the feet of Jesus in the waves, refusing to get intimidated by adverse currents. Rather than remaining crumpled by the guilt feelings of sin, it will try to find relief by openly confessing them. It will not counter the onslaught of evil with evil; but will find a way to overcome evil with goodness.

When the shadows of death loom large before one’s eyes, Christ’s resurrection trains the mind to be filled with expectant faith. With eager longing the mind thus seeks to become radiant with the rays of eternal life. A mind that has set itself on the firm belief in the resurrection of Jesus, will always race towards the promised land of freedom which God opens up even in the midst of impossibilities.

Let Us Rejoice!

Man has always sought to discover what he searches for. If our search does not lead us to God, however, we will only discover sorrow in a valley of tears. When Christ rose from the dead, He dispelled the darkness in the tomb and kindled the Light of Hope for us to seek happiness in times of grief, the joy of deliverance from sinful experience and the fullness of Love in moments of emptiness.

"Why do you weep?
"Whom do you seek?"
Let us thank God for Jesus’ great act of love for us which we celebrate this Holy Week of Easter!

Let us pray: O God, I often forget the incredible pain and sacrifice that Your Son, Jesus, underwent in offering His Life for me. In this Holy Week of Easter, I ask for Your Grace to help me, and all Christians to reflect on our Living Hope – Our Risen Lord Jesus Christ – and to proclaim Him to those who do not yet know Him. All Praise and Glory to Jesus!
Amen
 
Divine Updates

MAGNIFICAT in Chennai

Divine comes to Chennai with the 'Magnificat on October 21,2017. Fr. Jacob Arimpur VC will lead the services. Music by Worship Culture. 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 October 14, 2017. Services to be led by Fr Jacob Arimpur VC. All are welcome.

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

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 2017 - December, 2017

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, 2017

Divine Mercy Mega Convention

Answer God's call and experience His burning love for you. A three-day convention to be led by Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC and team at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Bangalore. Please spread the word.

Dates: October 27, 28 & 29, 2017

Divine Retreat Schedules

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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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