A businesswoman wanted to join the Catholic Inquiry program of the parish. When asked what attracted her to the Church, “being a Catholic is good for my business” was the reply.
In the troubled politics of United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak has become the epitome of salvation from the feared economic disaster. This accidental hero of the time has beaten many odds. He is known for his Indian Hindu heritage. This is not a small thing in a country many still share the sentiments of Winston Churchill who led the country through World War II. He said, “All Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw”. Ironically since then someone from that stock has become more wealthy and powerful than Churchill himself. So much so the country now look to a Hindu to save it from the looming disaster.
Sometimes the good people are a worry! Imagine someone who has appreciation for a special style of Mass despises others as not Christian enough. They have made themselves the yardstick for religiosity. Parents being proud of well-mannered and pious children is a good thing. But when they are keen to trumpet it out at every opportunity and belittle others, then they are like the Pharisees condemned by Jesus.
Pilgrimages are prayerful and reflective. I was with a group of religious people in the Holy Land. We were busy from morning till evening, visiting sites of biblical importance. A friend of mine was feeling uneasy that his morning, noon, and evening prayers are interrupted by the travel schedules and site visits. But he found a solution to the problem. Proudly he announced, “Today I don’t have to worry about the prayer of the hours. I said all the prayers for the day – the morning, noon, and evening prayers-, before my breakfast.” He even finished his evening prayer before his breakfast!
The recent announcement of the Government plan to repatriate the Australian families of the Islamic terrorists currently in Syrian camps raised some eyebrows. Australia is seriously against any kind of terrorism, let alone the brutal activities of ISIS. Then how can we allow the families of the terrorists to come home to our neighbourhood? I would like to reflect on the issue with some inspiration from Luke 17:11-19
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?