19, మార్చి 2023, ఆదివారం

 

Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Isaiah 65:17-21

John 4:43-54

Hope - Hold On Pain Ends

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, the readings presented to us today lead us to establish “Hope” in our lives. Hope in general, reduces our helplessness and stress and increases our happiness and quality of life. In simple words, it helps us move forward despite the difficulties with a belief of better days to come. Whereas Biblical Hope is to have a belief and confidence in God’s promises and faithfulness.

In today’s first reading, Prophet Isaiah offers to the people of Israel a Hope of future Messianic age, in which as God promised “look! I am going to create new heavens and new earth”. God promises a new heaven and new earth and new jerusalem. Messianic Age /world refers to a :

     A world with life and prosperity

     A world filled with joy and peace

     A world without weeping, sadeness, pain and death.

In the present times, the world is completely polluted by sin and sinfulness, therefore in the Messianic Age there will be complete renewal of the world in which the past is totally erased by the hand of God.

To put it plainly, Messianic Age is going to bring better times, better futures and better lives Individually, Socially and the whole world as a whole (a complete transformation).   

In fact, this is what Jesus proclaimed through his personality and his ministry, In him  is the Messianic Age. That's why St. Paul says  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). God has formed us and made us in his image and likeness, unique in our personality, but this was marred by our sins. However God is capable of once again creating us anew (the New US)

An example is found in today’s Gospel. Jesus restores the life of the dying son of the Official. It was not just a physical healing but a spiritual healing too. When the official came with a request to heal his son, he believed in Jesus. And when Jesus said “ go home!your son will live”. He set off for his home believing the words of Jesus because Jesusò’words have hope.  The power of Jesus' words and combined with the faith of the official brought a miracle in his family. The whole household was made anew with the gift of healing, life and blessing of Jesus.

This is what Jesus came to do with us. We are threatened with death due to our sinfulness and He came to save our souls and offer us new hope and new life in the face of our inevitable death for Jesus said “ I am the resurrection and the Life”    

 

 

It is a known fact that There will be pains, sickness, and tragedies but God offers us a hope of new life, if we are firm in our faith.

 

For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

You are my refuge and shield;in your word I hope. (Psalm 119:114)

 FR. JAYARAJU MANTHENA OCD

 

 

Fourth Sunday of Lent

1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13; Eph 5:8-14;  Jn 9:1-41

 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, the readings of the day focus on “Sight”. There is a beautiful saying “ do not judge a book by its cover”.

 

The Foundation:

1st reading : it is said in the first reading Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart." Prophet Samuel was sent to Jesse, to appoint one of his sons as the King of Israel after Saul disobeyed God. when Samuel saw the eldest son, tall and handsome and thought he must be God’s choice to be king. But he was not in God’s choice nor did other children expect the youngest son, David who was shepherding the flock of his father.

     God does not choose nor judge by outward appearances.

     God is not deceived by the external image and manifestation of one’s health and wealth, name and fame.

This lays the foundation for the Gospel in which Jesus says, the man was born blind for the manifestation of God’s works. 

 

Gospel:

In the Gospel Jesus restores sight to a man born blind. This is not just a simple story of healing blindness but it represents the lives of every follower of Christ. This is to bring light and sight to the people in darkness and blindness. Next what happens to this man is a perfect example of the life of every follower of Christ.

Pharisees, consider that what Jesus has done on sabbath was against the law. To spread that Jesus is not from God they pressurise first the man to give false narrative about himself, then they pressurise his parents to state false narrative that their son is only temporarily blind. Once again they put pressure on the man. Their sole intention was to twist the facts to suit their position and spread false narratives about Jesus.

This man was brave and firm, he was not perplexed by their interrogation or intimidation. He was clear in his position. He was born blind, now healed by Jesus, who is a prophet and from God. 

Pharisees brush him aside, refuse to accept his blindness, also by his words of faith they get angry and start to insult him and refuse to accept Jesus. These are the traits of people who are blinded by their prejudices and false indoctrinations (teachings).

Today in our society too,  a group of people have arisen who do not accept the facts and truths of life, who do not want to know, who are indoctrinated by false narratives. When they face facts, they get angry and resort to insulting the other.

 

After he was expelled from synagogue and community, he was found by Jesus again. This time his spiritual sight was opened, he was led to see Jesus, the Messiah. He accepts, believes and becomes instantly the disciple of Christ. 

In the beginning the man was  born blind, he could not see

     He was a beggar, referring he has nothing

     He is an outsider, no one to accept him

     He was without christ

But in the end he was accepted by Jesus, able to see physically and spiritually, he became a disciple of Jesus, he saw the light of Christ. A new life has begun for him.

 

But the Pharisees remained in their blindness. They were blinded by their prejudices, sins, refusal to accept the facts, refusal to listen, and above all by their pride. That’s why they could not see Jesus, the saviour, the light of the world. They were Spiritually blinded to the truths.

 

As in the first reading, God skipped over all the brothers but saw a great character of goodness and caring, great potential to be leader in David, the youngest son. So also in the Gospel, Jesus passed over self righteous and so called religious Pharisees and saw blind beggar to be a great disciple. His life was totally transformed. In the second reading dear brothers and sisters, St. Paul reminds us today therefore that we were in darkness and blindness. But now we are chosen by God, found by Jesus to manifest his Divine will and works. Hence, he has bestowed on the light and sight to see clearly. We became the children of light. So in our lives we need to reflect that aspect of light and sight, need to be people of integrity, good, right and true, and transparent, need not hide from light because we are in light.

 

Today, let our prayer be along with the beggar in the Gospel : Lord, that I may see.

 

And I will give them another heart and a new spirit I will put within them. From their bodies I will remove the hearts of stone, and give them hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19)

in whose case the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.(2 Corinthians 4:4)

FR. JAYARAJU MANTHENA OCD 

11వ సామాన్య ఆదివారం

11వ సామాన్య ఆదివారం  యెహెజ్కేలు17:22-24, 1 కొరింతి 5:6-10, మార్కు 4:26-34 ఈనాటి పరిశుద్ధ గ్రంధ పఠణములు దేవుని యొక్క రాజ్య విస్తరణ గురించి బో...