In an interview, one of the participants compared her faith with that of another and said, “My faith is modern, unlike hers which is old”. Is there a ‘modern’ and ‘old’ faith? There are people who are happy to accommodate what is trendy in the society in the name of becoming modern. This could include moral matters on which the so called progressives differ from the traditional teachings of the Church. But know that being trendy does not justify lack of passion for Church’s teachings.
The Late Queen Elizabeth was farewelled with much pomp and ceremony, rightly fitting, especially for a long reigned monarch. One of the highlights from the funeral day was the cultural and religious diversity of the dignitaries and the congregation. What a harmony of the demography!
A woman complained, “So and so is harassing me saying that I married him. It is true father I married him to get a visa to Australia. He knows that I have a husband and family back home”, she said. Marrying a stranger just to organise a visa to Australia! It shows the extent people go to achieve a goal once it is set in mind.
Is getting a speeding ticket a sin? The answer is no. Similarly, after accidently breaking a glassware not saying ‘sorry’ to your host is a bad manner; but not a sin. Then what is sin? Today’s Gospel, (Luke 15:1-32) teaches about what constitutes ‘sin’ and what is God’s response to the sinner.
The Gospel today seems to ask the disciples to hate their families. Jesus said, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” It sounds so much against the spirit and mood of Fathers’ Day, which is today. Can you still honour fathers and the parental figures and be good Christians?
I have been busy lately with birthday parties. All the attention you get and the food you share give you a good feeling. Such celebrations are expressions of us being social creatures. Is that all? The Gospel of today has a little more to tell us.
There is a humour about a man who died and went to hell. To his surprise he saw his parish priest there. “Father, I did not expect you here”, he said. The priest shushed him, “the bishop is below us. Don’t let him hear you”. This cruel joke contains some biblical truth.
Mario Joseph is a firebrand Catholic evangelist in Kerala, India. He has an amazing story of conversion from Islam to Christianity. He who was an Imam (a Muslim preacher) by the age of 18, became a Catholic preacher. In his talks he advocates the importance of family relationships. Yet he has not visited his parents or siblings ever since his conversion.
Bishop Pablo David, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), admonished the priests, bishops and other church leaders to take heart their role in the Church as representatives of the “Synodal God in the Body of Christ” and not only as “ordained ministerial priesthood” who are lording it over the church members. Synodality is a hotly discussed topic in the ecclesiastical circles now. It is generating a fair share of warning and anxieties for the Church leadership. Anxieties and warnings to the leadership is nothing new.
I once came across an interesting scenario. A father who loved his two sons divided his land and gave to his sons. The elder son got his parcel of land and ownership documents of his younger brother. And the younger brother got his share, but titled to his brother.