A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

   8/2//2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                          18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Jesus' feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospel accounts (Luke 9:10-17, Mark 6:34-44, John 6:51-58, Matthew 14:13-21). What is the significance of this miracle? The miraculous feeding of such a great multitude recalled the miraculous provision of manna in the wilderness under Moses' leadership and intercession for his people (Exodus 16). The daily provision of food for the people of Israel during their forty years of journeying in the barren wilderness foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would pass on to his disciples at his last supper meal on the eve of his sacrifice on the cross. 

Jesus makes a claim which only God can make: He is the true bread of heaven that can satisfy the deepest hunger we experience (John 6:32-35). The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, when Jesus said the blessing, broke and distributed the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, is a sign that prefigures the superabundance of the unique bread of the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper which sustains us on our journey to the kingdom of heaven. The feeding of the five thousand shows the remarkable generosity of God and his great kindness towards us. When God gives, he gives abundantly. He gives more than we need for ourselves that we may have something to share with others, especially those who lack what they need. God takes the little we have and multiplies it for the good of others. Do we trust in God's provision for us and do we share freely with others, especially those who lack?

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    6/3/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Most Holy Body and Blood                                                                                    of   Christ (Corpus Christi)

What is the Eucharist? The Eucharist is both a sacrament and a sacrifice. The Eucharist is a sacrament, an outward sign in and through which we meet Jesus who shares His life of grace with us. We see with human eyes what looks like bread and wine. We see with eyes of faith, not bread and wine, but the Risen Living Lord Jesus. Eucharist is a sacrifice. Sacrifice is offered out of love for the sake of the other. Jesus offered His own body as a sacrifice and fulfilled it on the cross when He offered His very person and life for our sake. Eucharist is a communal meal. It is done in the context of the community. It has to be offered by the community of people and there one bread is broken and shared. When Paul speaks to the Corinthian community, he stresses this oneness of the community and calls on them to share the meal together without any division between the rich and the poor.

Two words echo through our readings of the day: namely, Covenant and Blood. Moses sprinkled the blood of the sacrificial victim on the people and made the original covenant. Jesus shed His blood on the cross for our sake and made a new covenant of His blood. He gives us His own body and blood as our food and drink, a sign of the fulfilment of the covenant. In every celebration of the Eucharist the covenant is renewed.

Jesus continues to give himself as food and drink to His followers. He also continues to put it up to His followers to take their stand with Him, to take in all He stands for, living by his values, walking in His way, even if that means the cross. Whenever we come to Mass and receive the Eucharist, we are making a number of important statements. We are acknowledging Jesus as our bread of life, as the one who alone can satisfy our deepest hungers. We are also declaring that we will follow in His way and be faithful to Him all our lives, in response to His faithfulness to us. We remember Jesus, His compassion, His life, His forgiveness, His teachings, His miracles, and His love. He wanted to be remembered – and He is. If you want a new starting place to begin thinking about the body and blood of Christ, try His own words: DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

 

                                                                 Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity. Matthew 28:19 provides the comprehensive text on the Holy Trinity in the New Testament. During the course of the final meeting with Jesus in Galilee the ascending Jesus gave the disciples the great missionary command, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” 
The doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity is the central point of Christian faith and life. The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense which can never be known unless it is revealed by God. The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons. The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire. The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationship which relates them to one another.

We need to see the Trinity as the model for our Christian families: We are created in love to be a community of loving persons, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united in Love. From the day of our Baptism, we have belonged to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  How privileged we are to grow up in such a beautiful Family! Hence, let us turn to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in prayer every day.  The love, unity and joy in the relationship among the Father, Son and Holy Spirit should be the supreme model of our relationships within our Christian families.  Our families become truly Christian when we live in a relationship of love with God and with others.  

We are called to become more like the Triune God through all our relationships.  We are made in God’s image and likeness.  Just as God is God only in a Trinitarian relationship, so we can be fully human only as one member of a relationship of three partners.  The self needs to be in a horizontal relationship with all other people and in a vertical relationship with God.  In that way our life becomes Trinitarian like that of God. 

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    5/27/2018

Dear Parishioners,

THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

 

                                                                 Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity. Matthew 28:19 provides the comprehensive text on the Holy Trinity in the New Testament. During the course of the final meeting with Jesus in Galilee the ascending Jesus gave the disciples the great missionary command, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” 
The doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity is the central point of Christian faith and life. The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense which can never be known unless it is revealed by God. The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons. The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire. The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationship which relates them to one another.

We need to see the Trinity as the model for our Christian families: We are created in love to be a community of loving persons, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united in Love. From the day of our Baptism, we have belonged to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  How privileged we are to grow up in such a beautiful Family! Hence, let us turn to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in prayer every day.  The love, unity and joy in the relationship among the Father, Son and Holy Spirit should be the supreme model of our relationships within our Christian families.  Our families become truly Christian when we live in a relationship of love with God and with others.  

We are called to become more like the Triune God through all our relationships.  We are made in God’s image and likeness.  Just as God is God only in a Trinitarian relationship, so we can be fully human only as one member of a relationship of three partners.  The self needs to be in a horizontal relationship with all other people and in a vertical relationship with God.  In that way our life becomes Trinitarian like that of God. 

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    5/20/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                           PENTACOST SUNDAY

                                               

                                                     Our common everyday                                                               experience tells us that unless we are connected to a source, there is no power or activity. We may have the best cell phone, but it is useless, without the connection; we may have the best of laptops, tablets, or lights, but without the electrical connection, nothing happens. Have we a connection with our God? We are promised a live-connection in the Holy Spirit.

In the Gospel, Jesus reminds His disciples that while He is leaving them, He is not abandoning them. He is giving them, another helper they can always rely on, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit would give them His gifts of wisdom, power, fortitude, courage, and we know that from weak cowards the apostles became fearless, courageous, eloquent witnesses of Jesus Christ to the point of death. This miracle continues in the Church till today in the lives of people. We know of people who carry on living joyfully though they are suffering from cancer and aids. We know of people who have very little security, yet they can still radiate peace and joy that are gifts of the Spirit. The Spirit is very much alive and very much needed in these demanding times. Pentecost is the greatest gift of God. Let's desire the gift, accept the gift and enjoy the gift.

We need to observe Pentecost every day.  Pentecost is not just one day, but every day.  Without the Spirit, the Church is a field of dry, dead bones. Fulton J. Sheen once said about the Church, "Even though we are God's chosen people, we often behave more like God's frozen people -  frozen in our prayer life, frozen in the way we relate with one another, frozen in the way we celebrate our Faith."  Today is a great day to ask the Holy Spirit to rekindle in us the spirit of new life and enthusiasm, the fire of God's love.  Let us repeat Cardinal Newman’s favorite little prayer, “Come Holy Spirit.”

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    5/13/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

                                                                   & Mother’s Day

 

Today, we are celebrating the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. After His  resurrection, Jesus spent forty days with His disciples instructing them and encouraging them as they prepared for the mission. The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven completed His earthly work of our redemption. Through His numerous apparitions to hundreds of people between the day of his glorious Resurrection and the day of His Ascension, Jesus proved two things. First of all, He proved that He was the promised Messiah. Secondly, He proved that, through Him who overcame death, persons who persevere in their living faith in Jesus shall also overcome death and inherit the Kingdom of God. In the Gospel Jesus commissions the disciples to go into the whole world and proclaim the Good News. He gives them the power to teach, preach and do the healing miracles in His name. He gives them the command to preach his kingdom to all nations.

The Feast of Ascension of our Lord is giving us the responsibility of representing Jesus in this world. This mission was simple to understand but difficult to carry out. It was to teach to others all that He had taught them. Just as His disciples had followed Him, they would ask others to accept and follow Him too. He is with us always… and His mission our mission too.

“You write a new page of the gospel each day, through the things that you do and the words that you say. Others read what you write there, if faithful and true. So, what is the gospel according to you?”

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day, a day on which we honor our mothers, living and deceased, for their care, concern and unconditional love for us throughout the years of our lives. What does this authentic love look like? Well, look at a mother. She gives immense amounts of her time and her sweat and her attention to her child. That is why we love our mothers. They have taught us to love. They have given us the love they received from God, and have taught us to share it with another by their very sharing it with us. May we honor  our mothers by giving the love they have given us, even until it hurts. Let us remember them in our prayers.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    5/06/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                              6th Sunday of Easter

                                                   

 

                                                  Our natural instinct is the spirit of self-preservation. If we live purely natural lives, we would only be thinking of ‘I, me and myself’ alone. The culture that we live in tends to celebrate individualism    rather than community life. At the same time, we yearn to belong and to feel part of a community. Easter reminds us that we are called to belong and live together. We cannot live our faith and   journey to God single-handedly.

Today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles tells us that Paul after his conversion decided to go to Jerusalem and tried to be united to the Christian community there. But the community had heard of Paul’s reputation as a persecutor of the Christians and being afraid of him refused to associate with him. Finally, it was left to Barnabas, who was a kind, forgiving and encouraging person, to bring Paul into the community. In the Gospel of John, we hear Jesus speaking of this same unity and intimacy, which should be part of our relationship with Jesus and with His Church. He illustrates this with a very earthy metaphor: “I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower.” Firstly, we are reminded that the Father is the vine grower. He is the source of life for Jesus and His Church, and in the measure we are united with Jesus in that measure, we live and grow. No branch can selfishly seek its own good, independent of others. Pruning can be painful, but in the life of the Church, we all need pruning: correction, direction, discipline so that our lives may be fruitful in His service. This pruning is especially necessary for those who have been successful in their actions, in case we become proud. To bear abundant fruit, we need pruning and trimming to be cut down to size. Only the humble can bear fruit in Christ. Jesus’ secret was His contact with God. This means dependence. We are dependent on God for everything, right up to life itself. Are we united?

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    5/6/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                              5th Sunday of Easter

                                                   

 

                                                  Our natural instinct is the spirit of self-preservation. If we live purely natural lives, we would only be thinking of ‘I, me and myself’ alone. The culture that we live in tends to celebrate individualism    rather than community life. At the same time, we yearn to belong and to feel part of a community. Easter reminds us that we are called to belong and live together. We cannot live our faith and   journey to God single-handedly.

Today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles tells us that Paul after his conversion decided to go to Jerusalem and tried to be united to the Christian community there. But the community had heard of Paul’s reputation as a persecutor of the Christians and being afraid of him refused to associate with him. Finally, it was left to Barnabas, who was a kind, forgiving and encouraging person, to bring Paul into the community. In the Gospel of John, we hear Jesus speaking of this same unity and intimacy, which should be part of our relationship with Jesus and with His Church. He illustrates this with a very earthy metaphor: “I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower.” Firstly, we are reminded that the Father is the vine grower. He is the source of life for Jesus and His Church, and in the measure we are united with Jesus in that measure, we live and grow. No branch can selfishly seek its own good, independent of others. Pruning can be painful, but in the life of the Church, we all need pruning: correction, direction, discipline so that our lives may be fruitful in His service. This pruning is especially necessary for those who have been successful in their actions, in case we become proud. To bear abundant fruit, we need pruning and trimming to be cut down to size. Only the humble can bear fruit in Christ. Jesus’ secret was His contact with God. This means dependence. We are dependent on God for everything, right up to life itself. Are we united?

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    4/29/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                                              5th Sunday of Easter

                                                            Our natural instinct is the spirit of self-preservation. If we live purely natural lives, we would only be thinking of ‘I, me and myself’ alone. The culture that we live in tends to celebrate individualism    rather than community life. At the same time, we yearn to belong and to feel part of a community. Easter reminds us that we are called to belong and live together. We cannot live our faith and   journey to God single-handedly.

Today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles tells us that Paul after his conversion decided to go to Jerusalem and tried to be united to the Christian community there. But the community had heard of Paul’s reputation as a persecutor of the Christians and being afraid of him refused to associate with him. Finally, it was left to Barnabas, who was a kind, forgiving and encouraging person, to bring Paul into the community. In the Gospel of John, we hear Jesus speaking of this same unity and intimacy, which should be part of our relationship with Jesus and with His Church. He illustrates this with a very earthy metaphor: “I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower.” Firstly, we are reminded that the Father is the vine grower. He is the source of life for Jesus and His Church, and in the measure we are united with Jesus in that measure, we live and grow. No branch can selfishly seek its own good, independent of others. Pruning can be painful, but in the life of the Church, we all need pruning: correction, direction, discipline so that our lives may be fruitful in His service. This pruning is especially necessary for those who have been successful in their actions, in case we become proud. To bear abundant fruit, we need pruning and trimming to be cut down to size. Only the humble can bear fruit in Christ. Jesus’ secret was His contact with God. This means dependence. We are dependent on God for everything, right up to life itself. Are we united?

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    4/15/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                   

 

                                                                                   3rd Sunday of Easter

 

 

                                               The great promoter of positive thinking, Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, believed that one of the most wonderful principles known to man is called the “miracle principle”. Six words describe the principle:  Expect a miracle – make miracles happen. According to him, if you keep your eyes open expectantly every day for great and wonderful things to happen, great and wonderful things will tend to happen to you. If one expects great things from God, one will receive great things from God. According to Rev. Peale, the number one thing is to have a tremendous Faith--a faith that is so positively strong that it rises above doubt. He asserts that if we discipline ourselves to have faith in depth, it will release an astonishing power in our life to produce miracles. Indeed, there are some people who are figuratively swimming in a sea of troubles. They are so discouraged and dismayed by so many things that it is impossible for them to believe that a life-giving miracle could ever happen in their lives. The disciples of Jesus who were devastated by the events of their Lord’s passion and death were similarly troubled with doubts, fears and despair. An Easter apparition was necessary to assure them of the reality of a stupendous miracle: The Lord’s Resurrection. To the frightened and troubled disciples who were incredulous of the beautiful reality of the “miracle”, the Risen Christ revealed himself anew, opening their minds and hearts, instructing them about the Paschal event of His death and Resurrection, and its implications in their lives as Easter witnesses.

The common theme of today’s readings is a challenge to our Faith in the living presence of the risen Lord. That Faith should strengthen our Hope in His promises, call us to true repentance for our sins and lead us to bearing witness to Christ by our works of Charity. Does our Faith do that for us?  The readings also remind us that the purpose of Jesus’ death and Resurrection was to save us from our sins. Hence, they invite us to make our bearing witness to the risen Lord more effective by repenting of our sins, renewing our lives, and meeting Jesus in the Word of God and at the Eucharistic Table. 

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    4/8/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                               

 

 

2nd Sunday of Easter  

 

 

Jesus’ tomb is open and empty but the disciples’ house is closed and the doors locked tight. The house has become their tomb. Their doors of faith have been closed. They left the empty tomb of Jesus and entered their own tombs of fear, doubt, and blindness. The doors of our tombs are always locked from the inside.  What are the closed places of our lives? What keeps us in the tomb? Maybe, like the disciples, it is fear. Maybe it is questions, disbelief, or the conditions we place on our faith. Perhaps it is sorrow and loss. Maybe the wound is so deep it does not seem worth the risk to step outside. For others, it may be anger and resentment. Some seem unable or unwilling to open up to new ideas, possibilities, and changes.

The disoriented disciples we can see in the gospel. Some went fishing; some stayed in their locked room. In a disoriented community, parish or family, we can’t experience the presence of the Resurrected Jesus. Unexpected, uninvited, and sometimes even unwanted, He steps into our closed lives, closed hearts, closed minds. He doesn’t open the door for us, but He gives us all we need, so that we might open our doors to a new life, a new way of being.

The disciples opened their hearts in front of the resurrected Jesus. Jesus never asked the disciples to open the closed doors. They accepted the grace from Jesus and opened their own closed doors. Life and peace are the realities of resurrection. The life and peace of Jesus’ resurrection enable us to meet and live through our difficult situations. We are free to unlock the doors of our lives and step outside into His life.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

   4/1/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                             For us Christians, Easter  is a feast   of                                                                                                               joy when the defeat of  Good                                                                                                                 Friday is converted into victory.                                                               

 

 

 

                                                           Jesus Christ overcame death and    entered  into a new life, a new existence, signifying that death is not the end of life, but only an entry into a new existence. Resurrection of Jesus is the guarantee of the resurrection of all those who believe in Him. Faith in the resurrection of Jesus gives his followers the strength and courage to face any crisis in life, including death.

According to the description of the resurrection of Jesus by St. Mathew, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary are the first to receive the news of the risen Lord and to encounter Him. They had been there at the foot of the Cross; they had been there when Jesus was laid in the tomb; now they were receiving love's reward; they were the first to know the joy of the Resurrection. They have been given three task by Jesus: (I) They are urged to believe what Jesus had already predicted about His death and resurrection. (II) They are urged to share the news with others. (III) They are urged to “rejoice”. We can see that the members of the early Christian communities fulfilled these responsibilities, and, as a result, they attracted many people to their fold. We, the followers of Jesus, also have the same responsibilities entrusted to us.

Faith in the resurrection of Jesus invites us to a transition from the old way of life to a new way of life as depicted by St. Paul. He describes the characteristics of the old man and the new man in his letter to the Galatians (4:19-23).  The characteristics of the “old man” are immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness and the like. The characteristics of the “new man” are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control and they are the fruits of the spirit. It will be a great contradiction if we confess our faith in the resurrected Jesus, and, at the same time, live a life of the “old man”. Both can never go together. 

Let the celebration of Easter deepen our faith in the resurrected Jesus who is always with us, calling us and inspiring us to lead a life of resurrection, characterized by joy, peace and compassion. I wish you all a blessed Easter!!!

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    3/25/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                 Palm Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

Today being Palm Sunday, the Church remembers Jesus’ solemn entry into Jerusalem, in procession with a large crowd, and the people shouting with joy and pride:” Praise to David’s Son! “As we understand from the Gospels most of the activities of Jesus were concentrated in Galilee where there was a high concentration of social outcasts like lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors and people suffering from different kinds of diseases. The ordinary people who had benefited immensely from the services of Jesus had thought that He would be declaring Himself as the King of Jews at Jerusalem. That could be the reason for the people hailing him as Son of David.

 

Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem on a donkey is highly symbolic. At the time of Jesus when a king went on horseback, it meant that he was going to conquer; but when a king went on a mule, it meant that he was going to visit his people in peace. Jesus, by travelling on a mule, was declaring that He was a king of peace and not the one aspiring for political power, as many had presumed. In order to become a Messiah of peace Jesus had to suffer and sacrifice His own life. We, the followers of Jesus, are also declaring to the world that we are committing ourselves to becoming agents of peace and reconciliation and we are ready to pay any price for ushering in peace, as Jesus did. First of all, each one of us has to ask ourselves:  “Am I at peace with myself?” There could be many elements within a person that destroy peace, such as jealousy, hatred and revenge, greed and lack of trust. These are the enemies of inner peace within a person. As long as a person suffers from these disabilities it is difficult for him or her to become an agent of peace. The second question we have to ask ourselves today: “Is there peace in my family and neighborhood?” The factors that cause absence of inner peace also could be the reasons for conflicts in the family and in the neighborhood.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    3/18/2018

Dear Parishioners,

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message

5th Sunday of Lent

 

In the Gospel, we see Jesus speaking of His forthcoming passion and death not with fear, but with hope and promise. We are told that a small group of Greeks came to John and expressed their desire to meet Jesus. "They wanted to see Jesus." Jesus begins by stating that "Now the hour has come for the son of Man to be glorified." Jesus' message here is that the way to glory for Jesus and for all of us is death to self. Jesus challenges a worldly way of living. "Anyone who loves his life will lose it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." Spelling out His form of discipleship, He points out that it is not enough to be Jesus' fans, admiring what He has done for us. We become His followers as we try to live like Him and for Him. Jesus interrupts His train of thought with the confession of His own fear. It is human to feel fear in the face of great trials and suffering. We all know how we suffer at the thought of what is going to happen to us. Courage is not the denial of fear but rather knowing enough of what is to come and yet doing what you have to do. Once we begin to love, we open ourselves to pain as well as to joy. When Jesus says: "Father, glorify Your name!" what Jesus is saying is "Father use Me as You will!" What God did for Jesus, He will do for everybody. In times of crisis God is glorifying us, and we should be ready to say, "Use me as You will!" For Jesus the hour of being lifted up on the cross was also the hour of being lifted up in glory. All who share in being lifted up on their crosses will also be lifted up in glory in Him.

Today’s Gospel teaches us that new life and eternal life are possible only by the death of the self through suffering and service.  Salt gives its taste by dissolving in water.  A candle gives light by burning its wick and melting its wax.  Loving parents sacrifice themselves so that their children can enjoy a better life than they themselves had.  Let us pray that we may acquire this self-sacrificial spirit, especially during Lent.

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    3/4/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                            3rd Sunday of Lent 

                                               Today’s first reading teaches us that the Ten Commandments are the basis of our religious and spiritual life. Instead of restricting our freedom, the Commandments really help us to love and respect our God and our neighbors.  The second reading reminds us that we must appreciate the Divine “foolishness” of the crucified Christ and obey His commandment of love as expression of our Divine worship.  Today’s Gospel gives us the dramatic account of Jesus' cleansing the Temple of its merchants and money-changers, followed by a prediction of His death and Resurrection. Jesus cleansed the Temple which King Herod began to renovate in 20 BC. The abuses which kindled the prophetic indignation of Jesus were the conversion of God’s Temple into a “noisy market place” by the animal merchants and into a “hideout of thieves” by the money-changers with their grossly unjust business practices – sacrilege in God’s Holy Place. Jesus' reaction to this commercialized Faith was fierce. 

We need to avoid a calculating mentality in Divine worship:  Our relationship with God must be that of a child to his parent, one of mutual love, respect and a desire for the family’s good, with no thought of personal loss or gain.  We are not supposed to think of God as a vending machine into which we put our sacrifices and good deeds to get back His blessings. Let us remember that we are the temples of the Holy Spirit:  St. Paul reminds us that we are God’s temples because the Spirit of God dwells in us.  Hence, we have no right to desecrate God’s temple by impurity, injustice, pride, hatred or jealousy. God demands that we should keep our parish vibrant by our active participation in the liturgy with hearts cleansed by repentance and holy by allowing the Holy Spirit to control our hearts and lives.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    3/11/2018

Dear Parishioners,

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

                                             4th Sunday of Lent

 

                                              The Fourth Sunday of Lent is                                                       called Rejoice Sunday, from the first                                            words of today’s liturgy. The central theme of today’s readings is that our salvation is the free gift of a merciful God, given to us sinners through Jesus, His Son.  The readings stress God’s mercy and compassion and remind us of the great love, kindness and grace extended to us in Christ.  In the first reading, taken from the Second Book of Chronicles, we learn the compassion and patience of God.  God allowed Cyrus the Great, a pagan conqueror, to become the instrument of His mercy and salvation to His chosen people who were in exile in Babylon.  In the second reading, Paul tells us that God is so rich in mercy that He has granted us eternal salvation and eternal life as a free gift through Christ Jesus.  Today’s Gospel has a parallel theme, but on a much higher level.  Jesus, the Son of God, became the agent of God's salvation, not just for one sinful nation but for the sinfulness of the whole world.  Through John 3:16, the Gospel teaches us that God expressed His love, mercy and compassion for us by giving His Only Son for our salvation. Jesus explains to Nicodemus that he must believe Jesus’ words because He is the Son of God.  He further explains to Nicodemus God’s plan of salvation by referring to the story of Moses and the bronze serpent.  Just as God saved the victims of serpent bite through the bonze serpent, He is going to save mankind from its sins by permitting the crucifixion and death of His Son Jesus because the love of God for mankind is that great.   

We need to love the cross, the symbol of God’s forgiving and merciful love: as a forceful reminder not only of God's love and mercy, but also of the price of our salvation, the crucifix invites us to more than generosity and compassion.  It inspires us to remove the suffering of other people’s misery.  It encourages us not only to feel deep sorrow for another’s suffering but also to try our best to remove that suffering.  Hence, let us love the cross, wear its image and carry our own daily cross with joy, while helping others to carry their heavier crosses. We need to reciprocate God’s love by loving others. God’s love is unconditional, universal, forgiving and merciful.  Let us try to make an earnest attempt to include these qualities in sharing our love with others during Lent.  Our rebirth by water and the Spirit must be an ongoing process.  That is, we must lead a life of repentance and conversion, bringing us to renewal of life, with the help of the Holy Spirit living within us, through prayer, Bible reading, frequenting the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist and doing corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    2/25/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                                                      2nd Sunday of Lent

                                                             When we listen to the First Reading, often we come before God and say, “God, what can You do for me? This is what I want You to do for me. I want You to bless me, I want You to take care of my family, I want You to give me strength." But today, God turns everything around. He says, “Abraham, I want you to do something for Me." And you wonder if God said this to us, if He turned the tide on us in our prayers and said, "Listen, this is what I want you to do." And what He asks of Abraham, He asked him to give up His promise that God said He would make his offspring numerous and this was the child of blessing. Would he give up his vision, would he give up his hopes, would he give up everything for the love of God? So He says, "Abram, take your son, Isaac, your only one whom you love and offer him to Me?" Abraham had such faith in God that he did not waiver. Abraham obeyed in faith. That is why he is the father of faith. Abraham is richly blessed with descendants, and the descendants are promised protection from enemies. This is the reward of faith.

In today’s gospel, the account of the transfiguration gives us some insight into the mystery of Jesus. On Tabor, Jesus felt comforted and affirmed. He knew that the Father was pleased with Him and would give Him all the strength He would need to face whatever lay ahead. With God on His side, He could face anything. At times, life can be dark for us, and we too need to hear those reassuring words: “You are my Son, the Beloved; my favor rests on You.” People from time to time do affirm us, but their affirmation is conditional. “You are good but you need to change your behavior!” “Only God affirms us exactly as He affirmed His Son, Jesus. With Him, there are no terms and conditions even if we are sinners and have failed Him. Our problem is that as soon as we run into trouble, our faith fails us. We think that God has abandoned us. In the moments of trial, we want to flee. We forget that our Lord did not promise us a rose garden, but a garden of Gethsemane and a crown of thorns. Today, Jesus challenges us to come away from where we are to where Jesus is.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    2/18/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                       1st Sunday

                           of Lent

We have now entered the season of lent, a forty day period of time to prepare ourselves for the feast of Easter or the Resurrection of our Lord. During this season, all Christians are invited to fast and pray and be prepared for the suffering and death of Jesus and to wait for his suffering and death.

In the Gospel of today, Mark tells us that after his baptism, Jesus goes into the desert for forty days. And, during that time, he is tested by the Evil One. These temptations can be summarized to say that it was an invitation to be unfaithful to the Mission of the Lord. Satan shows the easy way but the Father wants Jesus to be faithful to his mission of suffering and death to rise again. No man is so perfect and holy as not to have temptations; and we can’t be wholly from them. All the saints have passed through many tribulations and have profited by them.

The second part of the Gospel Jesus tells us that, ‘the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe and listen to the good news’. Jesus calls us to “Repent!” This call is not just to feel sorry about our past; it is not just to stop the bad things we are doing now. Jesus is calling for a radical change in our whole way of seeing life and the world. It is a call to a change of heart, metanoia, which involves a total transformation. This will mean a turning upside down of many of the values we take for granted and which prevail in our world.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    2/11/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                                       

 

                                                                                                   6th Sunday in Ordinary Time B

 

                                                                           All three readings today teach us that we are called to become pure and holy. But we don’t become holy by some ritual observances. We become holy by confessing our sins to God and offering our lives for God’s glory and by sharing God’s love with everyone around us without discriminating against anyone on the basis of color, race, culture, religion, life style or social status.  The first reading teaches the theme of freedom from bodily and ritual impurity as a sign of internal holiness.   In today’s second reading, St. Paul exhorts us to become holy by doing “everything for the glory of God” and by showing sensitivity toward others who are different from us, rather than passing judgment on them.  Today’s Gospel describes how Jesus heals a leper, liberating him both from the disease of leprosy and from the unjust and inhuman social isolation and ostracism to which the lepers were subjected. The Leper said, ‘If you choose.” No demand, no pleading, no begging, no bargaining with Jesus, just a simple statement, “If you choose.” In other words, he was saying to Jesus, I am putting my whole life into Your hands! If You will, You can cure me, and if You decide I shall remain this way, then so be it.” Isn’t that an act of faith, a tremendous act of surrender, an attitude that tells us something about this man’s conviction, and this man’s belief in Jesus? Jesus did not forsake the man, He did not turn His back on him, He did not ignore him. Jesus was moved with pity and reached out to touch this man and made him clean.

Firstly, we need to trust in the mercy of a forgiving God who assures us that our sins are forgiven and that we are clean.  We are forgiven and made spiritually clean from the spiritual leprosy of sins when we repent of our sins because God is a God of love Who waits patiently for us. Secondly, we need to tear down the walls that separate us from others and build bridges of loving relationship. Jesus calls every one of us to demolish the walls that separate us from each other and to welcome the outcasts and the untouchables of society.   These include, AIDS victims, alcoholics, drug addicts and marginalized groups -  the divorced, the unmarried-single mothers, migrant workers and the mentally ill.  God's loving hand must reach out to them through us.   Jesus wants us to touch their lives.   

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    2/11/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                             5th Sunday in Ordinary Time B

 

 

                                                                       It may be that some of us are  reaching                                                                                             a point of no return. Our health is deteriorating and                                                                      the doctor’s forecast is bleak; our relationships are strained and in danger of snapping at any moment; the money and assets that we have stashed up are no longer secure; the law and order authorities cannot be depended upon; the political leaders who promised a stable government have gone back on their promises. Our world is crumbling around us! What do we do? Blame everyone? In this situation is it worthwhile turning to God?

We are familiar with the story of Job, part of which is contained in the first reading of today. Job’s story was a pitiable one: He was deprived of family, lacked worldly possessions, was racked by physical pain and suffered mental anguish. Job asked himself the question: “Why should God allow these misfortunes to come upon me?” Job moans his lot: “Is life worth living?” He compares his life to a slave, whose life is one long drudgery; he feels helpless and hopeless like a workman who has to work for no wages; His life is one long bore; he waits for the end which will not come. Job, though steadfast and loyal, was impatient. His human friends had failed to explain life, and he felt that his divine friend would not come either. Is there any hope for the depressed?

When we suffer, all the logic in the world will not help. Only an encounter with the Lord and the awareness that God is close to us in our pain can bring us peace. When we can say to God as Job did, “Now my eyes see you,” even though we may not understand all the reasons for our pain, we can accept it. It helps to realize that while there are no easy answers to the problem of suffering, there is still an answer. This leads to the gospel of today. Jesus has just begun his ministry and he sees suffering right in front of him. But he does not give a discourse about why people suffer, but He does simple actions to alleviate the suffering.  There was no one who encountered Him with faith, that He did not heal. If Jesus must heal us, we too must have faith in Him. The power of Jesus is still the same today, and He is ready to heal those who come to Him in faith, those who are ready to wait on Him, those who are ready to be humble and open up to Him, and those who are willing to endure until they have encountered Him. It does not matter how long we have been sick, or how long we have been abandoned. All we need is Patience, Hope, and Faith in Jesus Christ who is abundantly able to deliver those who trust in Him. 

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    1/28/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                                               4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

                                                            God’s word comes to us in various ways.  This word clings                                                       to the human person, penetrates deeply into our hearts giving                                                        us new insights and applies it thoroughly to our lives.  His word                                                    is a healing word. It purifies the person and takes away all the blemishes. In the first reading today we have Moses the prophet giving his farewell address to the people of Israel.  He tells them they will always have God’s word to guide them as they enter into the Promised Land. In the Gospel we have the typical day in the life of Jesus. He was a preacher, teacher, healer and a man of prayer. Today’s passage demonstrates the power and authority of Jesus as He expels an unclean spirit from a man and heals Him. People look at Him with admiration for He speaks with authority and power. He freed them from all the ‘evil spirits’ of fear, compulsion, narrow self-centeredness, anger, resentment, hostility and violence which prevent people from truly enjoying the experience of being alive.  His teachings were always intended to bring about a positive change in the hearts of people. As we reflect this week upon this spiritual knowledge and understanding of the Word of God, let us remember the calling that each one of us has received as children of God through the Sacrament of Baptism. Let us answer that calling by living our vocations without anxieties, placing our faith, hope and trust in Jesus who has all authority as the only begotten Son of God. May He free us from all those spirits which make us deaf, dumb, blind and lame in life and paralyzed by fear.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    1/14/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                                  Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                         

                                                                                                     I Samuel 3:3b-10,19;

                                                                                         I Corinthians 6:13c-15a,17-20;                                                                                                                                    John 1 :35-42

 

Samuel cannot be at fault for not recognizing the voice that called him as he was sleeping in the temple where the Ark of God was. He had not yet known the Lord and had not received His messages. But the boy was alert even at the wee hours of the night when deep sleep engulfs everyone. When he heard the voice, Samuel ran to Eli, who was like a father to him. Samuel eventually became one of the most influential figures in Israel because he responded to God’s call. Andrew was convinced of his call when Jesus invited him to stay with Him and immediately brought Simon, his brother, to Jesus. At the very first meeting Jesus understood the qualities in Simon and called him Peter which means rock.

God’s call is personal and He invites every individual to build a close relationship with Him.  The call from God to holiness is constant in our lives and it requires a response from us. He has called people to be missionaries, preachers, teachers, office workers, builders of families, social workers, medical practitioners, nurses, persons who could be His instruments of reconciliation, to work as priests and religious. The call that forced Mother Teresa to go and work in the slums and care for the poorest of the poor or of Father Damien to go and work among the lepers or to Francis Xavier to leave his motherland and go to distant lands like India and Japan to set the world on fire. Jesus places this responsibility on each one of us to continue His work on earth in a large or a small way depending on the talents He has given on us. 

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    1/21/2018

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                                        3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

                             

 

 

 

                           The first reading tells us how God had to deal with the disobedient, fleeing, prophet Jonah to convert him, so that, repenting, he would go to Nineveh to preach repentance there.  The wicked people of Nineveh, however, accepted Jonah as God’s prophet at once, and promptly responded to God’s call for repentance as Jonah preached it.  In the second reading, Paul urges the Christian community in Corinth to lose no time in accepting the message of the Gospel and in renewing their lives with repentance because Jesus’ second coming may occur at any moment.  Today’s Gospel describes how Jesus came to Galilee and began preaching, challenging people to “repent and believe in the Gospel.” Repentance, means a change in one's mind or in the direction of one’s life, setting new priorities. Believing in the Gospel demands from the hearers, a resolution to take Jesus’ words seriously, to translate them into action and to put trust in Jesus’ authority. Jesus preached the Gospel, that God is a loving, forgiving, caring and merciful Father who wants to liberate us and save us from our sins through His son Jesus. According to Mark, Jesus selected four fishermen, Andrew and his brother Peter with James and his brother John, right from their fishing boats. Jesus wanted these ordinary, hard-working people as assistants for his ministry because they would be very responsive and generous instruments in the hands of God.

We need to appreciate our call to become Christ’s disciples: Every one of us is called by God, both individually, and collectively as a parish community, to continue Jesus’ mission of preaching the Good News of God’s Kingdom and healing the sick. Let us be thankful to God for His Divine grace of calling us to be members of the true Church. Let us remember that it is our vocation in life as Christians to transmit Christ’s Light through our living, radiating Jesus’ unconditional love, mercy, forgiveness and humble service to all in our society.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    1/7/2018

Dear Parishioners,

     Epiphany of the Lord

 

                                           Isaiah: 60:1-6;

                                             Ephesians 3: 2-3, 5-6;

                                                Mathew 2;1-12

 

The journey of the wise men reveals our destination. The three wise men following the prompting of the Spirit, journey towards their destination. That destination is God. These three men are rich and learned. Despite having all the comforts and conveniences, they leave them behind and go in search of the greatest treasure – Jesus. Their search for Jesus, their finding of Jesus, their adoring of Jesus, and their joy at the presence of the child Jesus, all indicate our final destination and our joy in being united with Jesus.

The journey of the wise men reveals the initiative of God. God takes the initiative in revealing His Son to the shepherds and to the wise men.The Initiative of God is manifested in making the star appear. The initiative of God is manifested through the scriptures which indicate clearly that the child would be born in Bethlehem. The initiative of God is again seen in asking the three wise men to return to their country a different way.  Let us then remember that in our spiritual journey towards our destination, it is always God who takes the initiative. Before we search for God, He is in search of us.

The journey of the wise men indicates universality of salvation. We are not sure of their identity and their names. One thing is sure that they are not Jews. Jesus came as the Savior of the world; He welcomes all to Himself without making any distinction between the poor and the rich, the weak and the strong, men and women, the known and the unknown, saint and sinner.

Our response: The journey of the wise men, finally, points out the necessary conditions that are to be fulfilled to reach Jesus. The wise men recognized and accepted the sovereignty of God; they listened to the voice and read the signs offered by nature; they consulted people and the scriptures; they overcame difficulties with sacrifices. With the same dispositions of the wise men, let us, too, journey towards Jesus.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    12/31/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                       Feast of Holy Family

 

 

                                                  In today's passage the author reminds young people of all the times that they should remain loving and respectful to their parents, and look after them especially when they grow old. The blessings enumerated for caring for parents are: their sins will be forgiven; their prayers will be heard; their own children will be kind to them in their own old age and God will grant them a long life. Young people today may argue that times have changed, that they need to assert their own independence and take care of the family they wish to begin, all of which may be true. Parents, on the other hand, have no right to demand that they be cared for if they have given of themselves expecting nothing in return. But the duty to care for and respect parents will always be one of the Christians duties, drawing many blessings on those who fulfill this obligation. It is said, 'Home is where the heart is!'  Most people enjoy being at home relaxing with their near and dear ones. But there are some who love to be anywhere but at home!


Today's gospel begins with Mary and Joseph going to the temple precisely to fulfill the law, in fact, two precepts of the law. Mary did not need to be purified as she had conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet they submitted to the law humbly not craving any exemption. How very different from us, who so often claim that we are not bound by the law. "I don't have to follow the law, I am dispensed because of my special condition, my age, my sickness, my ..." In submitting to the law, Mary and Joseph and Jesus are offering God a special act of worship. All three are saying in so many words, "Here I am coming to do Your will.  Not my will but Yours be done”.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    12/24/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                               4th Sunday of Advent

 

                                                                        Today’s Gospel focuses on Mary, who becomes the                                                                             new ark of the covenant, the new tent of meeting, the                                                                         new dwelling place of God. Mary is great not ,                                                                                   because of what she did for God but because of what she allowed God to do for her and in her life. “Rejoice, so highly favored! Mary is highly favored because God has chosen her! God does not look at our capabilities but our availability! God does not need our talents; He needs us! We are so used to being chosen for our talents and capabilities that we think we have to earn and merit what we get from God. With God the impossible becomes possible! Mary’s response is a “Yes” to God’s plan. What is important is that we receive first what God has to offer, and only then, can we meaningfully give in return. Christmas is a time of gift-giving. Henri Nouwen once wrote: “When someone accepts a gift, he admits another into his world and is ready to give him a place in his own being… Ultimately a gift becomes a gift only when it is accepted.”

Wish you all a Merry Christmas and Bright New Year 2018. May the Baby Jesus shower on you and all your near and dear ones all His abundance blessing during Christmas and all throughout the Year to come.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    12/17/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                 

Second Sunday of the Advent

                          Issiah 40: 1-5 9-11;

                                2 Peter 3:8-14;

                                 Mark 1:1-8

 

We are used to announcements that inform us that something is going to happen or someone expected is arriving. At railway stations and airports, we hear announcements of the arrival of a train or plane that we are awaiting. If there is someone whom we love arriving, that announcement fills us with joy and we get all excited because we will soon see the one we are waiting for. The good news given to us is that God is coming soon. Do we believe it? Do we look forward to His arrival?

In the first reading the prophet Isaiah assures the people that the period of harsh discipline is over and God will come with forgiveness for His people. "Console my people, console them," says your God. The Israelites are asked to prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord. Therefore, they should not wait for things to happen but should be active and vigorous in preparing for the coming of the Lord. The preparation is not an external preparation but a preparation of the heart and a removal of anything that does not fit in with God's coming.

In today's Gospel Mark highlights the example of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the coming of the Lord. His role was to be the messenger announcing the coming of the Messiah. He would be the voice crying out in the wilderness, "Prepare a way for the Lord, make His paths straight." His message was one of repentance, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He invited everyone to change and repent and experience a conversion of heart. John's preaching and personal life-witness had a dynamic impact on the people. They came forth in large numbers to be baptized by him and they showed readiness to change their lifestyles and come back to the Lord. What does it mean to prepare a way for the coming of the Lord today? Where do we seek God and where will we find him?

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    12/10/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                 

Second Sunday of the Advent

                          Issiah 40: 1-5 9-11;

                                2 Peter 3:8-14;

                                 Mark 1:1-8

 

We are used to announcements that inform us that something is going to happen or someone expected is arriving. At railway stations and airports, we hear announcements of the arrival of a train or plane that we are awaiting. If there is someone whom we love arriving, that announcement fills us with joy and we get all excited because we will soon see the one we are waiting for. The good news given to us is that God is coming soon. Do we believe it? Do we look forward to His arrival?

In the first reading the prophet Isaiah assures the people that the period of harsh discipline is over and God will come with forgiveness for His people. "Console my people, console them," says your God. The Israelites are asked to prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord. Therefore, they should not wait for things to happen but should be active and vigorous in preparing for the coming of the Lord. The preparation is not an external preparation but a preparation of the heart and a removal of anything that does not fit in with God's coming.

In today's Gospel Mark highlights the example of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the coming of the Lord. His role was to be the messenger announcing the coming of the Messiah. He would be the voice crying out in the wilderness, "Prepare a way for the Lord, make His paths straight." His message was one of repentance, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He invited everyone to change and repent and experience a conversion of heart. John's preaching and personal life-witness had a dynamic impact on the people. They came forth in large numbers to be baptized by him and they showed readiness to change their lifestyles and come back to the Lord. What does it mean to prepare a way for the coming of the Lord today? Where do we seek God and where will we find him?

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    12/03/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                               33rd Sunday A

 

                                           Proverb 31:10-13,19-20,30-31; I

                                               Thessalonians 5:1-6;

                                                           Mathew 25:14-30

 

When we invest in anything or anyone we expect returns. Parents invest in their children and expect them to do well in their studies. Business people take risks with stocks and shares and hope to make a good profit from the same. Even God invests in us by giving us life and numerous blessings! In today’s Gospel Jesus uses a parable of the talents to illustrate how we should live our lives to the fullest if we are to be pleasing to God. In the parable the rich man, before he leaves for a journey gives incredible sums to three servants –the first, ten talents, the second, five talents and the third, one talent, which alone equaled the wages of an ordinary worker for twenty years!. Hurriedly, the first two servants doubled their gifts, while the one-talent man dug a hole in the ground and hid his. Upon returning the rich man asked his servants what happened to his money. After identical responses about doubling his gift, the first two are called ‘good and faithful servant’ and are placed in charge of even more possessions and welcomed into the joy of the master. When he was asked what he had done with the talent received, the third said, “I went off and buried your talent in the ground”. The tragic flaw of the timid one is that he lived out of fear even when gifted. Every gift of God is also a mandate to bear fruit in God’s vineyard. It does not matter how many talents we have but how well we use them. It matters not how many talents we have but how well we use whatever we have to better life. Have we belied His trust?

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    11/19/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                         32nd Sunday of the year A

 

 

 

 

                                                          In the West “Aesop’s Fables” were famous; one such fable  which every child reads is “The Hare and the Tortoise.” Once upon a time, a hare and a tortoise decided to run a race. The hare, which by nature was swifter, was not only snobbish, but also very presumptuous. Both started the race at the same time. The hare ran fast and in the midway, turned back to see how its competitor was progressing – the tortoise was way behind. Meanwhile, the hare thought of taking a nap before the tortoise caught up with it in the race. The tortoise was working up slowly but steadily towards its goal. When the tortoise reached the finishing line, suddenly the hare woke up and tried to finish the race, but it was too late. The tortoise had won the race. The moral of the story is ‘You snooze; you lose’; in other words, constant preparedness is the key to success. This is not only true in everyday life, but also true in the spiritual sphere. In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches that eternal preparedness is the price of salvation. Every disciple of Jesus must be ever prepared to meet the Lord- whenever He may come. Our preparedness must be characterized by three elements: 1. We must plan purposefully. The wise virgins took some reserve oil with them before they went to welcome the bridegroom, but the foolish ones failed to take any reserve oil. 2. We must prepare prayerfully. We may plan purposefully, but the energy to execute must be supplied by the Lord. 3. We must pursue positively and persistently. That which we have planned and prayed over, we must execute well with confidence and perseverance.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    11/5/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                            31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                                 

 

 

                                                                                                     Malachi 1:14b-2:2b,8-10; I                                                                                                                         Thessalonians 2:7b-9,13;                                                                                                                           Mathew 23:1-12.

 

The gospel reading is a lengthy denunciation of the Pharisees and their hypocritical behavior.  What is implied in Jesus’ objections to the Pharisees is that Christian leaders have to be the exact opposite: they are to practice what they preach, they are to follow Jesus in lightening the yoke of the Torah, and they should seek to forego claims to honor from other human beings and prefer lower status to lording it over others. “The greatest among you will be your servant.” Jesus was vehemently opposed to the Pharisaic way because it contradicted all that He was and that He stood for, namely letting God be the God of our lives. Our constant temptation is to choose self rather than God and to want to be like God. The Gospel challenges us to repentance. From this centering of our lives will follow our loving care of others and our readiness to serve rather than to be served.

Whether we admit it or not we like to think we are better than others, superior to others. We like to be in charge, to control and give orders! However, if things go wrong others are to blame –it’s not my fault! If confronted, we deflect responsibility to someone else …. the boss, the bishop, the parish priest, our fellow worker, the neighbor next door, not ourselves! But we are all responsible – No one as a human being, as a Christian, is exempted. 

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    10/30/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                                  30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                          

 

 

                                               

 

 

 

                                                                 Jesus was making a significant change in linking these two commandments together as one and inseparable. Jesus identifies Himself with those in most need of love and compassion. Loving myself: In a way, the most basic love is love of myself. "Love your neighbor as yourself," says today's Gospel.  One of the most popular books is John Powell’s, “Why am I afraid to tell you who I am?". Why do we spend so much money on clothes, make-up, appearance, image? The model of my car, my clothes and accessories -- all carefully chosen to increase my image and make me look better than I feel I really am. Why are we afraid to let others know what we are really like? Why do so many try to be one of the crowd, why do so many escape into alcohol and drugs? It is because so many people inside have little love for themselves and think that no one else really loves or could love them either. Loving others: If we have difficulty loving ourselves, it will be difficult to reach out in love to others. When I love myself, I accept myself totally as I am, recognizing both my good and bad qualities and making no effort to hide them from others. And, because of that, I have plenty of time to think of them and their needs. In short, I can begin to love my neighbor as I love myself  because I love myself. Loving God:  It is difficult to speak realistically of loving God, if I have no real experience of what love is, the experience of loving and being loved by people. Only then can I begin to see the loving experience of God. My whole life can be lived in a sea of love, given and received. Then the commandment of Jesus begins to be realized. I begin to be aware that when I am being deeply loved by another person, I too experience God’s love. He loves me when they love me; and I am loving Him when I love them. In the end, there are not three kinds of love but only one.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    10/22/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                              29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                             

                                                   Isaiah 45:1,4-6;                                                                                                                                                     I Thessalonians 1:1-5b;                                                                                                                                                   Mathew 22:15-21

 

While we go about our daily lives, we often compartmentalize our lives. We embrace one set of values for our homes, we live by another in our business lives and profess yet another in our religious commitment. There can be moments when these values clash and we have to make choices and preferences. Does God have first place? Do we see ourselves as believers first?

1) “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s”: How?  It is the duty of Christians, as citizens of the country, to pay for the services and the privileges that government provides, like paved roads, police and fire departments, banks, schools and other necessities.  If we refuse to pay taxes, how will these needs be met?   Secondly, we must submit to the civil authorities and respect the laws of our country in order to live in peace.  As loyal citizens we must also see to it that our elected representatives are faithful in maintaining law and order in the country and in promoting the welfare of its citizens without violating God’s laws.  2) “Give to God what is God’s.” How?  Since everything is God’s, we must give ourselves to Him 100%, not just 10% on Sundays.  We should be generous in fulfilling our Sunday obligations and find time every day for prayer and worship in the family, for the reading of the Bible and the proper training of our children in Faith and morals.    Active participation in the various ministries of the parish is an offering to God of our time and talents, yet another way of giving to God His due, our whole self. A loyal Christian is always a loyal citizen.  Failure in good citizenship is also failure in Christian duty.  

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    10/15/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                    28th Sunday of the Year

                                                 Isaiah 25:6-10a;                                                                          Philippians 4:12-14,19-20;

                                 Mathew 22;1-14

 

                                            The parable in the Gospel passage is about a king who invites the people of the kingdom to a wedding feast that he is holding for his son. Back in Jesus’ day the custom was to send two invitations: the first was to tell everyone that the event was being planned and the second was to tell everyone that everything was ready and about to begin. When the second invitation was extended, the people that had accepted the first invitation refused to attend.

The parable offers us a few important lessons. First of all, those that go out to extend God’s invitation to His kingdom can expect a variety of responses. Some simply ignore the invitation. Others neglect to go to the feast because they are too busy. Secondly, we should note that everyone is invited to enter God’s kingdom. The invitation went out to the good and the bad. That invitation is still open today. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you have done, or where you come from, you are invited to have a relationship with God. Thirdly, we need to respond to the invitation on God’s terms, not our own. Lastly, we find that refusing to accept God’s invitation will result in punishment. He will extend His grace to all who call upon His name. But there is a limit to how long God will allow you the opportunity to respond.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    10/8/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                      27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                                                         

                                                                             Isaiah 5:1-7;

                                                                                Philippians 4:6-9;

                                                                                     Mathew 21:33-43

 

Today’s first reading and  the gospel describe God’s care and love for all creation in general and for the people of Israel in particular. In the first reading we are reminded of all that the owner does for the vineyard. The vineyard is on fertile ground, the owner digs the soil, clears it of stones, plants the choice vines, does all he can so that it might bear good fruit. The Gospel story is our story: God gives and forgives; man gets and forgets! Even though the owner receives nothing in return, he does not stop caring. He keeps on sending his messengers: the prophets. He sent His only son and even when He was rejected and killed God did not abandon His people. God’s response to man’s infidelity is unconditional love! We belong to the Lord and He cares for us. He wants us to grow and make our lives fruitful for others and ourselves. But sometimes in spite of all that the God does for us, our lives are barren and fruitless. If God has blessed us with many gifts and talents and capabilities, what has been the output of our lives? Can we say that we have made the best use of all that we have received for ourselves and for others? Are we grateful for His bountiful gifts? 

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    10/1/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                         

 

 

  26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

                                                     Often in life we are given a choice to say 'Yes' or 'No' to people's questions or requests to us. So often people easily say 'Yes' when they mean 'No'! It is easy to give our word; it doesn't cost anything there and then. The cost comes later if and when we honor our word. Are we people of our word, or are we merely yes-men and women?

The first reading from the prophet Ezekiel is about personal, individual responsibility for responding to God's call to us. He stated clearly and unequivocally that each one is responsible for his sins, and will have to answer for them. The Gospel highlights living our faith with the parable of the two sons who are asked to work in the father's vineyard. The first says: "I will not go!", but afterwards thought better and went. The second son says: "Certainly Sir!" But he did not go.  What is the point Jesus is  making? We have to be people of our word and back up our words with appropriate action. The second point being made in today's Gospel is that even if we have said 'No' to God, it is never too late to say yes! He always gives us a second chance! Our commitment to God is not measured by lip service and external ritual but by good deeds that prove our repentance.  The first son whose word was ’No' but whose action became a 'Yes', is held out to us as the one who did the Father's will. He was late in doing the Father's will but not too late.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    9/24/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                              25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

                                             Isaiah 55: 6-9; 

                                                Philippians 1:20-24,27;

                                                               Matthew 20:1-16

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us the strange parable of a landowner who hired laborers at five different times during the course of one day to work in his vineyard but paid the same living wage for a full day’s work to all of them. This story of the landlord's love and generosity represents God’s love and generosity to all of us. It illustrates the difference between God's perspective and ours. God's provisions for our spiritual lives will never run out, and when we share our blessings with others, we tap into the inexhaustible Divine supply.  This story shows us how God looks at us, sees our needs and meets those needs generously and mercifully.

Who is a good person? One day a monk met a man who told him how good a person he was: he donates part of his riches to the poor, he defends people in court, twice a week he visits the sick. The monk listened to him and said, you are, indeed, a good person. But now you go and ask your wife what she thinks about you; your children how they would like you to be; your relatives what they expect of you; your neighbors  what stories they tell about you among others; your fellow workers what they say about you. After you’ve done all that, come and tell me how good you are!”

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    9/10/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                    23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                     Ezekiel 33:7-9;

                                             Romans 13: 8-10;

                                                 Mathew 18:15-20

 

 

                                                       In today’s readings both Prophet Ezekiel and Jesus remind us of the importance of fraternal correction. Though today’s society prefers to celebrate and trumpet the faults and failures of others, Jesus wants us His followers to correct those who offend or go wrong in charity and bring them back to the mainstream of life. Outright rejection of the persons, no matter who they are and what they have done, has no place in Jesus’ understanding. For Him all are children of God and He sends rain and sunshine on the good and the wicked alike. God is willing to offer His forgiveness to those who opt to go away from Him, and it was precisely for that reason, that Jesus was sent. Jesus’ mission was to seek and save the lost. Jesus tells us: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault.” Both the Prophet and Jesus tell us that the other who does a wrong thing deserves help and timely corrections so that he or she may come away from his or her faults and lead a worthy life. According to Ezekiel we need to become “watchmen” for others, and for Jesus we should consider the other who wrongs us as a brother or sister and should correct him or her in love and understanding. God has but one will: to save people, including you and me! The Good Shepherd gave His life for us! Most people go through life trying to ‘mind their own business’! But as Christians we cannot live only for ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘myself’, but are asked to take responsibility for others. This is especially so in matters of justice and morality; we cannot shirk our responsibility. Normally, we accept responsibility for what we do. Can we take responsibility for others?

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    9/3/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                    22nd Sunday of the Year A

      Jeremiah 20:7-9;

         Romans 12:1-2;

                  Mathew 16:21-27

 

 

                               To be a Christian, to be on the journey of discipleship, is to have our lives changed, to be led in unexpected ways. Sometimes it is in ways we would rather not go as our cross is heavy and painful. Sometimes we are called to carry the cross of being hurt by others. At times we look for a life of false expectations, a life of illusions that is free from all pain and sufferings. If as Christians we are to seek Jesus or the church or the faith only because we are seeking self-satisfaction, or because we want a solution to our problems, we are going to be sadly disappointed. That is the time we look towards Jesus for strength to carry the cross given to us and walk with Him. However, we are sure to encounter God in the midst of pain and everything is bound to change. But the cross will be with us. In the Gospel of today Jesus teaches the disciples regarding the suffering Messiah who will suffer, die and rise again. Peter cannot understand why Jesus has to suffer and die and tries to admonish Him. He receives a reprimand from Jesus and also receives the correct teaching about the cross. Jesus tells His disciples that they have to deny themselves, carry the cross and follow Him to be His followers. In the first reading Jeremiah complains about his difficulties as a prophet and the pain he experiences from speaking in God’s name. Jesus wants to make it very clear to Peter and all of us that there will be challenges, struggles and hardships in conforming ourselves to the will of God or the thought of God

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    8/20/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                         20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

                                          Isaiah 56:1,6-7;

                                              Romans11:13-15,29-32;

                                                Mathew15:21-28

 

A man who was walking close to a steep cliff lost his footing and plunged over the side. As he was falling he grabbed the branch of a tree that was sticking out about half-way down the cliff. He managed to hang onto a weak limb with both hands. He looked up and he saw that the cliff was almost perfectly straight and that he was a long way from the top. He looked down and it was a long, long way down to the rocky bottom. At this point the man decided that it was time to pray. He didn’t pray a long, wordy prayer. He simply yelled out, "God, if you’re there, help me!" About that time, he heard a deep voice coming from high up above that said, "I’m here My son, have no fear." The man was a little startled at first by God’s voice, but he pleaded, "Can You help me? Can You help me?" God replied, "Yes, I can My son, but you have to have Faith. Do you trust Me?" The man answered, "Yes Lord, I trust You." God said, "Do you really trust Me?" The man, straining to hold on replied, "Yes Lord, I really trust You." Then God said, "This is what I want you to do: let go of the limb, trust Me, and everything will be all right." The man looked down at the rocks below, then he looked up at the steep cliff above him and yelled, "Is there anybody else up there who can help me?"

In spite of a humiliating experience or response, the Canaanite woman did not give up, but she continued her effort and finally she succeeded in achieving her goal. In our life too we may have negative and disappointing experiences when we pursue certain goals. If we believe that we can achieve our goals with the power of God that is within us, every failure will be seen as a stepping stone on the road to success. 

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    8/20/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                                      19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                             

                                          I Kings 19:9a,11-13a;

                                              Romans 9:1-5;

                                                 Mathew 14:22-33

                                          Dale Carnegie relates in his famous book, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, the resilience of a discouraged and disheartened book salesman, John R. Anthony. Anthony knew his job thoroughly, but somehow he never made many sales. Day by day, he was discouraged. The sales manager threatened to stop his advances if he didn’t send in more orders. With decreasing sales, Antony grew depressed. The only reason he did not commit suicide was because he did not have the courage to do so. Since he had no one else to turn towards, he turned towards God. He asked God to help him to give him money to feed his wife and his three children. After the prayer he opened his eyes and saw the Bible on the dresser in the hotel room. He opened the Bible read the words of Jesus: “Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” As he read and prayed over those words of Jesus, a miracle happened. His anxieties, worries and fears were transformed into heart-warming courage and hope and triumphant Faith. The next morning, he got up and dressed well and headed towards his clients with a bold and positive stride. He held his chin high and introduced himself confidently and began his selling the books. From then on, he never turned back. Twenty-two years later he confessed this truth: “That night I had become suddenly aware of my relationship with God. A mere man alone can easily be defeated, but a man alive with the power of God within him is invincible. I know. I saw it work in my own life.” Anthony from his sinking state reached out to Christ and Christ lifted him up.

The story of a life battered by the waves and swayed by the gales, outwitted by confusion and terrorized by the prospect of drowning. A life to which the savior walks in with his hand stretched out with a guarantee of safety, provided we grab it and live. For a Christian, a journey without the company of Jesus is always dangerous. 

If you want to walk on the water, you have to get out of the boat. You can’t expect to stay in your safe zone and expect to reach your highest potential. You have to be willing to take some risks. I wonder how many people go to their graves with treasure still buried within them. They follow their fears, their insecurities, their lack of confidence to keep them from progressing forward. You can go higher than you are. You have gifts that have not been discovered. If you rise up in confidence and take advantage of your God given opportunities, you will be amazed at what you can do

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    8/13/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                             The Transfiguration of the Lord

                                                      Daniel 7: 9-10,13-14;

                                                      2 Peter 1: 16-19;

                                                         Matthew 17:1-9

 

                                        The Sunday Gospel presents us with an impressive image of the glorified Christ. The story of the Transfiguration is concerned with the identity of Jesus. We are told that it happened on a mountain - in the Bible the mountain is a place of divine manifestation. On the mountain Jesus is flanked by two of the most important figures of the Old Testament–Moses and Elijah, representing the law and the prophets. Thus Jesus is seen as bringing the law and the prophets to fulfillment. The cloud overshadowing them signifies the presence of God, who cannot be seen by human eyes. From the cloud comes the voice that declares something greater still about Jesus, namely that He is God's beloved Son. It was meant to confirm Him and His mission. But it also benefitted the apostles. In the transfigured Jesus, they got a glimpse of the glory that was His as the Son of God. Together with their later experience of His resurrection, it confirmed them in the belief that Jesus was the Messiah, and the Son of God. What significance has the story for us? We too are journeying towards Jerusalem –the heavenly Jerusalem. And we too can have moments of transfiguration. In His love for us, God allows us to taste on earth the joys of the world to come. The Transfiguration offers us a message of hope and encouragement.  In moments of doubt, pain and suffering, disappointment and despair, we need mountain-top experiences that we may reach out to God and hear the voice of God from heaven assuring us “You are my beloved son/daughter.” So we are able to face the future with confidence.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    7/30/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                                 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

                                                        Today Jesus speaks to us                                                                                                                              about a treasure more precious                                                                                                                      than all the worldly things.  In                                                      today’s Gospel passage, He compares it to the treasure hidden somewhere in the field and a precious jewel found by a merchant who sells everything he has to buy it. In the first Christmas night the shepherds who were resting in the field with their sheep after the day long walk with the sheep, received from the angels the Good News the whole world awaited for years, like the man who went to work in the field finds the treasure. An invaluable treasure was waiting for the Samaritan woman who went to Jacob’s well to fetch water. Mathew who was sitting in the tax office and Peter who was in his boat also had  similar experiences. 

But the learned kings who saw the star made tremendous effort, they left the comforts of their palace and made a long and tedious journey to reach Jesus. The devout and  righteous old man, Simeon, waited in the temple for years in prayer waiting for Jesus. Some find the treasure unexpectedly and for some it is the fruit of their continuous search and effort. But in both cases the effect on them is the same. The laborer who finds the hidden treasure and the merchant who finds the finest pearl sold everything they had and brought that. After finding the treasure or the pearl, to make it one’s own, great sacrifices are to be made. Sacrifice is something very painful. Offering a lamb from among the thousand, one doesn’t have to sacrifice, but offering one’s only child really is great sacrifice. That’s why Abraham became great. We may find the invaluable God experience unexpectedly through the incidents of life we think are accidental or we may find Him through our ardent search and prayer. In whatever way we find Him, we must be ready to lose everything for that. Whoever loses, gains.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    7/30/2017

Dear Parishioners,

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

                                               A little boy not familiar with an  echo thought he had heard in the                                                 woods  the voice of another boy not far off. He shouted: “Hello,                                                          there!” and the voice shouted back, “Hello, there!” He cried again: “Who are you?” and the voice replied, “Who are you?” He cried once more: “You mean boy,” and the cry came back: “You are a mean boy.” Then this little boy went home and told his mother that there was a bad boy in the woods. His mother understood how it was and said to him, “Well, speak kindly to him and see if he does not speak kindly to you.” The boy went to the woods again and shouted, “You are a good boy.” “Of course, the echoing reply came, “You are a good boy.” “I love you,” he said loudly. “I love you,” replied the faithful echo. The story of the echo is the story of the good and bad in life.

In today's gospel Jesus speaks the parable of the wheat and the weeds to illustrate how God deals with evil in the world. It is evident that in our world today there is much that is good and much that is bad. In fact, we have the experience of seeing a lot of good that we do destroyed by the evil that surrounds it and we feel frustrated and angry. Like the servants in the Gospel we want to take action, for getting rid of these weeds that are destroying the goodness that is in us and around us. But his response, a surprising: 'Let it be!', is upsetting! God who is all-powerful is patient and forgiving and He tolerates evil and even permits it to exist. In uprooting the weeds, you may destroy the wheat as well! What is wheat and what are weeds? Who are we to judge? In our own personal lives, in spite of our best intentions we have our weaknesses, our inadequacies, our hang-ups and failures that we are ashamed of. God is patient with us and permits us to live because He does not see the evil in us but the possibility of good that is in us. People say 'Change! Then I will accept you and love you!' God says: 'You are loved as you are! No terms. No conditions. No prerequisites'. We are not called to judge, to react, to reform, to improve! We are called to accept, to be patient, to love people as they are!

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    7/30/2017

Dear Parishioners,

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

                                               A little boy not familiar with an  echo thought he had heard in the                                                 woods  the voice of another boy not far off. He shouted: “Hello,                                                          there!” and the voice shouted back, “Hello, there!” He cried again: “Who are you?” and the voice replied, “Who are you?” He cried once more: “You mean boy,” and the cry came back: “You are a mean boy.” Then this little boy went home and told his mother that there was a bad boy in the woods. His mother understood how it was and said to him, “Well, speak kindly to him and see if he does not speak kindly to you.” The boy went to the woods again and shouted, “You are a good boy.” “Of course, the echoing reply came, “You are a good boy.” “I love you,” he said loudly. “I love you,” replied the faithful echo. The story of the echo is the story of the good and bad in life.

In today's gospel Jesus speaks the parable of the wheat and the weeds to illustrate how God deals with evil in the world. It is evident that in our world today there is much that is good and much that is bad. In fact, we have the experience of seeing a lot of good that we do destroyed by the evil that surrounds it and we feel frustrated and angry. Like the servants in the Gospel we want to take action, for getting rid of these weeds that are destroying the goodness that is in us and around us. But his response, a surprising: 'Let it be!', is upsetting! God who is all-powerful is patient and forgiving and He tolerates evil and even permits it to exist. In uprooting the weeds, you may destroy the wheat as well! What is wheat and what are weeds? Who are we to judge? In our own personal lives, in spite of our best intentions we have our weaknesses, our inadequacies, our hang-ups and failures that we are ashamed of. God is patient with us and permits us to live because He does not see the evil in us but the possibility of good that is in us. People say 'Change! Then I will accept you and love you!' God says: 'You are loved as you are! No terms. No conditions. No prerequisites'. We are not called to judge, to react, to reform, to improve! We are called to accept, to be patient, to love people as they are!

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

    7/232017

Dear Parishioners,

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

                                               A little boy not familiar with an  echo thought he had heard in the                                                 woods  the voice of another boy not far off. He shouted: “Hello,                                                          there!” and the voice shouted back, “Hello, there!” He cried again: “Who are you?” and the voice replied, “Who are you?” He cried once more: “You mean boy,” and the cry came back: “You are a mean boy.” Then this little boy went home and told his mother that there was a bad boy in the woods. His mother understood how it was and said to him, “Well, speak kindly to him and see if he does not speak kindly to you.” The boy went to the woods again and shouted, “You are a good boy.” “Of course, the echoing reply came, “You are a good boy.” “I love you,” he said loudly. “I love you,” replied the faithful echo. The story of the echo is the story of the good and bad in life.

In today's gospel Jesus speaks the parable of the wheat and the weeds to illustrate how God deals with evil in the world. It is evident that in our world today there is much that is good and much that is bad. In fact, we have the experience of seeing a lot of good that we do destroyed by the evil that surrounds it and we feel frustrated and angry. Like the servants in the Gospel we want to take action, for getting rid of these weeds that are destroying the goodness that is in us and around us. But his response, a surprising: 'Let it be!', is upsetting! God who is all-powerful is patient and forgiving and He tolerates evil and even permits it to exist. In uprooting the weeds, you may destroy the wheat as well! What is wheat and what are weeds? Who are we to judge? In our own personal lives, in spite of our best intentions we have our weaknesses, our inadequacies, our hang-ups and failures that we are ashamed of. God is patient with us and permits us to live because He does not see the evil in us but the possibility of good that is in us. People say 'Change! Then I will accept you and love you!' God says: 'You are loved as you are! No terms. No conditions. No prerequisites'. We are not called to judge, to react, to reform, to improve! We are called to accept, to be patient, to love people as they are!

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

          /2017

Dear Parishioners,

                         15th Sunday of the Year

 

                                                                            Today, the church invites us to evaluate the                                                                                             fruitfulness of our lives. The sower is                                                                                            God, the creator of heaven and earth.          Here we evaluate our lives from the perspective of the faithfulness we exhibit in our lives.  It is something worth looking at: our lives as seeds sown; our life bears fruit by the will of Him who subjected it in hope. My life is a seed sown on the earth, in this beautiful world we live in; and it is because we live and have a being in this world that we are concerned about our loved ones, each other and all that we consider to be ours. As humans uniquely created we travel through life’s journey in unique ways and so our lives closely resemble the various places where the seeds fall. My life might be like the seeds that fell along the path. A life to be trampled because it fell in the wrong track or my life is being squeezed out like water is squeezed from a sponge. Though we feel that our lives are being trampled and lead to despair, we still go on in hope that God will make a way.

The same is the case of the other seeds that fell in the rocky soil, only to live for a short while but still we are lead in to that situation to learn something in our lives that improves our lives and lets them be as a sign of Christ’s life. Thus, each situation we live in is a call from God; it is the purpose that God has given us in our lives. We can’t but respond to God by being faithful in our calling. Hence, we all called to be faithful in our lives because God does not count the merit but our faithfulness and sincerity. For, the fruit produced by a seed in a particular condition is complete when taken by itself. As we human beings vary and as the situations we live in vary, the fruit produced by a seed, which grows or actualizes by giving fruit, also varies. Some produce a 100, some 60 and some 30. Let’s just entrust our lives to Him and become faithful in our action; then we will become faithful. Our lives will be fruitful.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

          /2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                             14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

 

                                                                                   In the Gospel of today, Jesus says that                                                                              His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  The child-like or the infants are references to the disciples of Jesus who by most standards had no claim to fame. They were just simple ordinary persons whom Jesus had chosen to be His followers.  He tells us that revelation is given to those humble and simple persons who are willing to open themselves to God and listen to Him.

The yoke that Jesus gives for us does not cause discomfort but brings us comfort because the yoke of Jesus is easy and light. Jesus does not promise a life without burdens or weariness. On the other hand, He offers a way of overcoming them. His is not an easy way out of problems but rather a liberating way into solutions. Discipleship demands nothing less than life-commitment and a total denial of self. This is the wisdom that is hidden from the intelligent and the wise, but which is obvious to infants. Trust as children trust, Jesus says. Shelter on a mother’s breast; be carried on your father’s shoulders.  Today we have the message from Jesus to come to Him and receive the rest He alone can give. It is a call to a personal relationship. He takes us away from the impersonal relationship of law to a personal relationship of love and makes us enter a joyful life-giving relationship.  In coming to the person of Jesus, we discover that far from being burdened, we are fully liberated.  He invites us to place the yoke of ours on our shoulders and follow Him. But the yoke of love which Jesus gives does not leave any wound or deep mark. It is a burden of love, and it can never be painful.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

          /2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                                             

 

                                                                   12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

                                                 Today’s gospel passage is from the  end of Jesus’ instruction to                                                   His disciples   as He sends them forth to carry on His                                               mission of preaching and healing. He asks them to live simply and to expect opposition and rejection. After having predicted the future opposition and persecution, Jesus encourages His disciples to stand firm. Three times they are urged, "Do not fear!" "Do not be afraid!" Instead of shrinking from their task, they are to proclaim the Gospel boldly, because they will be protected just as Jeremiah was assured of God's protection. He presents before them the image of the sparrow to reinforce the disciples’ trust and hope in God.

Be not afraid:  Sometimes we are afraid that we will make a wrong decision. At other times we are afraid of what others will think when we speak up for Jesus. We are afraid of what the future will bring our children.  We are also afraid of growing old. Sometimes we are afraid of what bad health will bring us. At the root of these fears is the fear of loss. Every fear we have is grounded in the knowledge that we have something or someone to lose. I can lose my job, family, house, money, health and even life itself.  Rejection and loss are the basis of our fears. But we forget one thing: whatever trouble or crisis affects us, we know that God understands it better than we ourselves.  Our heavenly Father knows exactly what is happening. What a release from fear it is to know that God is on our side; that our life is in the hands of a loving God. Let us remind ourselves that God cares – we are each a dear child of His and He cares for each of us. "Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

          6/17/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                            Corpus Christi Sunday:

                                                                    Most Holy Body &

                                                                                                   Blood of Christ

 

 

 

                                       The Eucharist is a memorial sacrifice which Jesus asked us to celebrate. "I am the living bread … if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” What does Jesus actually mean?  We are to eat His flesh and drink His blood in the sense that we have to appropriate, to assimilate totally into our very being all that He teaches, His vision, His values, His understanding of the meaning and purpose of life. His thinking is our thinking; His dreams are our dreams...  This is the basic and fundamental meaning of eating the body and blood of Christ: total union with Him in our way of thinking and living. The Eucharistic is not something that we have to understand and grasp but something that we have to believe and live.

What 'bread' are we looking for? As human beings, we cannot live on bread alone. We need more than food to live. Jesus offered different kinds of 'bread' to people satisfying their many hungers. To people who followed Him in to the desert, and who were starving, He offered ordinary bread and so satisfied their physical hunger. To the leper whose body was falling apart, He offered the only bread that mattered - the bread of physical healing. To the lonely woman at Jacob's well, He offered the bread of human kindness and acceptance. To sinners He offered the bread of forgiveness. To the rejects and outcasts, by mixing with them, He offered the bread of companionship. To the widow of Nain, and Martha and Mary, who had lost someone dear to them, He offered the bread of compassion. To the thief who died by His side, He offered the bread of reconciliation with God. Only Jesus can offer us that bread. Though today’s society wants the bread multiplied by Jesus, it does not want anything to do with Jesus the real bread. People desire eternal life and yet vehemently seek to come away from the cross and do not want to feed on the body and blood of Jesus.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

          6/11/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                                                 


                                                                      Feast of the Most Holy Trinity                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A father was driving his little son in a car. Suddenly, the son turned to the father and asked him, “Dad! Is God one or many?” The father replied, “One, my son.” “Is the Father God?” His father replied, “Yes.” “Is Jesus God?” “Yes.” “Is the Holy Spirit God?” “Yes.” “Then how can Jesus be His own father?” asked his son. The father thought quickly. He drove the car to the side of the road and stopped it. He turned towards his son and said, “You see the bonnet in the front. Inside the bonnet there is the battery. There is only one battery. Yet I can start the car with it, turn on the lights and also blow the horn. How this happens I don’t know. It is a mystery to me. Likewise, God is only one, but three persons –the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is a mystery and we cannot understand it completely.”

                                     Today we are celebrating the feast of the Holy Trinity. The Trinity is the origin of our lives, the model for our lives and the destiny of our lives. To be made in the image of God is to be made in the image of the Holy Trinity; like the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, human beings are persons. The three divine persons are forever united with each other in mutual love, they dwell in each other. They collaborate continually, sharing as one in all their activities. Though they are three persons, they are one God, and they always act in unanimity. This provides a model for the ideal human community, in which people are united by mutual love, they work together in harmonious consensus, and the equality and dignity of each person is respected.

                             We are created for community and are called to live our faith in and with a community. Isolation and independence is a contradiction to Christianity. Every Sunday when we celebrate the Eucharist we celebrate as a community. Paul said to the Corinthians, “We though many form one single body.” In community we are to make Christ real. Love is to be the characteristic of the Christian community. It is this love that reflects in Trinity. Let this love of God encourage us to love our Brethren. Let the Holy Trinity bind us together to love and share.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

          5/28/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                               The Ascension of the Lord

                                             

                                                         Matthew 28:16-20                                        

                                         

 

 

                                          Today’s readings describe the Ascension of the Lord Jesus into his Heavenly glory after promising His disciples the Holy Spirit as their source of Heavenly power, and after commanding them to bear witness to Him by their lives and by preaching throughout the world.  But the ascended Jesus is still with us through the indwelling Holy Spirit as He has promised, "I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.”   Today’s feast is a celebration of Jesus’ glory after His suffering and death. The feast of the Ascension tells us that the Church must be a community in mission, guided by the Holy Spirit and confident of God’s protection even amid suffering and death. Jesus’ Ascension is both an ending and a beginning.   The physical appearances of Jesus are at an end; His revelation of the “Good News” is complete; the promise of the Messiah is fulfilled.  Now begins the work of the disciples to teach what they have learned and to share what they have witnessed.

We need to be proclaimers and evangelizers: To be a Christian is to be a proclaimer and an evangelizer. There is a difference between preaching and proclaiming. “We preach with words but we proclaim with our lives.” As we celebrate the Lord’s Ascension, we are being commissioned to go forth and proclaim the Gospel of life and love, of hope and peace, by the witness of our lives. We need to live a life of Christian joy in the presence of the ascended Lord. Jesus' exaltation and final blessing gave the disciples, as it gives us, the assurance that, though absent, He is still present, present even in the pain and sorrow we undergo. While in Heaven He is also with us; and while on earth we are with Him. We have a teaching mission:  Jesus taught us lessons of Faith, Hope, forgiveness, mercy, Redemption and Love. We must make His words real in our lives and in the lives of others.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

          5/21/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                  6th Sunday of Easter

                                                     

                                                 Acts 8:5-8, 14-17;

                                                   I Peter 3; 15-18;

                                                       John 14:15-21

                         The first reading refers to the story of the early Church during the persecution of Christians by Saul, because of which the believers were scattered and Philip set off for Samaria. Samaritans hated the Jews, yet when they heard the gospel, they accepted the message and were converted. Love works miracles among the people who believe and the Spirit becomes a source of power in their midst. God’s Spirit knows no boundaries. We, too, need to rejoice whenever and wherever we see the Spirit at work.

                         The context of today’s Gospel is the human anxiety of the disciples about the absence of Jesus and ultimately about the absence of God caused by His foretelling of His departure from the world. Jesus had no intention of leaving His disciples behind Him in a situation where they are left to hope without help. He does not deny the anxiety and distress, but offers a promise of presence and a sense of meaning embedded in sharing God’s life. The power of the Spirit is the rock of Christian hope. Without the Spirit, the followers of Jesus would be thrown back on their own resources which are clearly inadequate. With the Spirit, however, the disciples can face the future with a power which is much larger than themselves. In this Gospel we are promised the gift of the Holy Spirit, who will come as our advocate, the Spirit of Truth. Jesus wishes us to know that the Spirit, the best gift that God can give us, is the gift of His own presence in our lives. The Spirit will stand beside us, will comfort us when we ask, help us in difficult times, and speak on our behalf when we are in need. His power becomes real only if we let Him work in and through us.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

          5/14/2017

Dear Parishioners,

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

                                               

                  5th Sunday of Easter

                                                     

                                                                             Acts 6: 1-7; I                                                                                                                                         Peter 2:4-9;                                                                                                                                                John 14:1-12

             

                                           This Sunday readings tell us how the early Church accepted the challenge of keeping Jesus’ memory alive by remaining a dynamic Christian community, bearing witness to Christ by their unity, fidelity in worship and spirit of loving and humble service. In the second reading, St. Peter advises the early Christians to renew the memory of Jesus by   making their community a spiritual edifice built from the “living stones” of believers upon the “Living Cornerstone of Christ”. Peter praises Christians, Gentiles and Jewish, as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s own people.”  The Gospel introduces Jesus as the Way to God, the Truth to be accepted and the Life to be shared and lived. Jesus consoles His apostles who are sad and disheartened at the prospect of His arrest and crucifixion by assuring them that He is going to prepare an everlasting accommodation for them in His Father’s House in Heaven. Jesus declares that He is the safest and surest way to God, discrediting the notions that all religions are equally sure ways to reach God, but only living a good life of sharing love is necessary to reach God. But Jesus, the Way is narrow because it is the way of loving, humble and sacrificial service. Jesus is the Truth who taught revealed truths about God and God’s relation to man. Jesus is the Life because as God He possesses the eternal life of God and shares His Divine life with His disciples through the Word of God and the Sacraments.

It is said, “if you look at the world, you will be distressed. If you look within, you will be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you will be at rest”. Jesus uttered the words, ‘do not let your hearts be troubled’, when it was almost time for Him to face betrayal, persecution, crucifixion and death. Even in those moments of excruciating agony, Jesus found consolation in His Father because He knew that He was doing the will of His father. His disciples should not be worried because Jesus will go through all these and go to His Father to prepare a place for us and He will come back to take us where He is. Jesus wants to be our way, our truth, our life, but we have to let Him enter into us. It means having His sensitivity for the plight of the poor, the hungry, the aged and the sick. Living in Christ includes loving to the fullest  our capacity as human beings, with eyes, ears, minds and hearts open to joy, to beauty and to truth.  It means never to stop growing mentally and spiritually, never to cease loving and never to close our eyes to the splendor of life around us.

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

          5/07/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                4th Sunday of Easter

                             

                                                   Acts 2: 14a, 36-41;

                                                      I Peter 2: 20b-25;

                                                                   John 10:1-10

 

                        Today is commonly known as "Good Shepherd Sunday".  It is also known as "Vocations Sunday", a day when our Church prays especially for new shepherds and pastors to lead the Christian communities.

                         In the second reading, Peter encourages the suffering Christians to follow in the footsteps of their Good Shepherd, Jesus, the “suffering servant,” realizing the truth that Jesus’ suffering and death have enabled them to become more fully the children of God.  In today’s Gospel, we are presented with the most genuine, committed and never compromising shepherd who is ever ready even to sacrifice His life for the sheep.  Jesus is our shepherd who leads, protects and guides us to the safest pastures of life. Jesus claims that He knows His own sheep and they listen to His voice. Jesus is the door that protects and safeguards His followers. He is the good shepherd who gives His own life for the sheep and He becomes their way that leads to life eternal. Jesus knows that His sheep require constant attention and care. A failure on the part of the shepherd to do so can be detrimental to the sheep. The character of the sheep is such that they can never be on the right track unless they listen and follow the shepherd.

                         The sheep have no natural sense of direction; they do not seem to know which way to go in life; they are incapable of caring for themselves on their own and they are weak animals. They can easily get weary and have no defensive instincts when a predator tries to attack them.  Jesus by referring to Himself as the good shepherd wants to teach us how weak and helpless we are and how He would go any extent to save us. Like in the case of sheep, we, His followers are so vulnerable and susceptible to many failures, wounds and temptations in our lives. Jesus becomes our strength who helps to overcome our weaknesses. Our role is to serve the God we know and know the God we serve. Let us pray that we may be enabled to hear Jesus telling us, “I am the Door. Whoever enters through Me will be saved.”

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

              4/30/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                 3rd Sunday of Easter

                             

                                  Acts 2: 14,22-33;

                                          I Peter 1:17-21;

                                                    Luke 24:13-35

 

                      The first reading, from Acts, is taken from the beginning of Peter's first public proclamation about Jesus and how God raised Jesus from death, thus fulfilling the Messianic prophecies about the promised descendant of David.  In the second reading, Peter exhorts the early Christians to place their Faith and Hope in God Who has saved them through the precious Blood of His Son and Who has raised Jesus from the dead.  The Emmaus incident described in the Gospel is the story of a God who will not leave us alone when we are hurt and disappointed. The message is that the followers of Jesus are to maintain contact with their Risen Lord through the Eucharist and the Bible.

                    It is important to see that God who stands beyond our tears. The disciples who were on their way to Emmaus were in great despair as they had lost their master Jesus Christ. It was a shattering experience for them as they all dreamed of having a kingdom being established by Jesus. In their despair, they were fleeing away from Jerusalem leaving all their companions. Jesus joined them and they took Him as a passer-by who did not know anything that happened in Jerusalem. They could not recognize Him as they were overtaken by their own grief and pain.

                 Seeing God standing beyond our tears can help us to accept our pain and suffering as part of the salvific plan of God. However small they may be, our pains, joys, successes, failures, etc. have their due place in the salvific plan that God has for this world. This acceptance will give us immense strength to bear our pain and sufferings in life. Seeing God standing beyond our tears will help us to share whatever we have with the others. In spite of their personal pain and agony, the disciples were willing to share their bread with a ‘stranger’. Seeing God standing beyond our tears will help our families stand united. The two disciples who were on their way to Emmaus were fleeing from others. Jesus had asked them to stay united in Jerusalem. Experiencing God who is present in our families will help us to remain united in spite of all the differences of opinions, personal dislikes and grievances. The presence of God will be the unifying force in our lives.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

              4/23/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                               2nd Sunday                                                                                                of Easter​

                                             

                                             

               

" You believe in Me, Thomas, because you have seen Me, says the Lord; blessed are they who have not seen Me, but still believe!"

                                     Jesus’ tomb is open and empty but the disciples’ house is closed and the doors locked tight. The house has become their tomb. Their doors of faith have been closed. They left the empty tomb of Jesus and entered their own tombs of fear, doubt, and blindness. The doors of our tombs are always locked from the inside.  What are the closed places of our lives? What keeps us in the tomb? Maybe, like the disciples, it is fear. Maybe it is questions, disbelief, or the conditions we place on our faith. Perhaps it is sorrow and loss. Maybe the wounds are so deep it does not seem worth the risk to step outside. For others it may be anger and resentment. Some seem unable or unwilling to open up to new ideas, possibilities, and changes.

The disoriented disciples we can see in the gospel. Some went for fishing; some stayed in their locked room. In a disoriented community, parish or family, we can’t experience the presence of Resurrected Jesus. Jesus is always entering the locked places of our lives.  Unexpected, uninvited, and sometimes even unwanted he steps into our closed lives, closed hearts, closed minds. Standing among us he offers peace and breathes new life into us. He doesn’t open the door for us, but He gives us all we need, so that we might open our doors to a new life, a new way of being.

The disciples opened their heart in front of resurrected Jesus. Then they could experience His presence. Jesus never asked the disciples to open the closed doors. They accepted the grace from Jesus and opened their own closed doors. Life and peace are the realities of resurrection. Tornados will still form, the hungry still need to be fed, and loved ones will die. The life and peace of Jesus’ resurrection enable us to meet and live through those situations. He gives us his peace, his life, and then sends us out. We are free to unlock the doors of our lives and step outside into his life.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

              4/16/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                                             Easter

                                             

 

                                 

                                           For us Christians Easter is a feast of joy when the defeat of Good Friday is converted into victory. Jesus Christ overcame death and entered into a new life, a new existence, signifying that death is not the end of life, but only an entry into a new existence. Resurrection of Jesus is the guarantee of the resurrection of all those who believe in Him. Faith in the resurrection of Jesus gives His followers the strength and courage to face any crisis in life, including death.

                          According to the description of the resurrection of Jesus by St. Mathew, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary are the first to receive the news of the risen Lord and to encounter Him. They had been there at the foot of the Cross; they had been there when Jesus was laid in the tomb; and now they were receiving love's reward; they were the first to know the joy of the Resurrection. We, the followers of Jesus, also have the three responsibilities: to believe in the resurrection of Jesus, to share with others the good news of Jesus’ resurrection and lead a life of joy whatever may be the circumstances in which we are placed. We can see that the members of the early Christian communities fulfilled these responsibilities and as a result they could attract many people to their fold.

                                The resurrection of Jesus has serious implications for our life on earth, too. Faith in the resurrection of Jesus calls upon us for a radical transformation, a transformation from exclusiveness to inclusiveness, from narrow mindedness to a broad vision, from an old way life to a new way of life. Before the resurrection, Jesus was mainly limited to a small geographical area, but after the resurrection, Jesus became universal. As savior and liberator, he became available to the whole world irrespective of caste, class, creed, religion, language, culture etc. Faith in the resurrection of Jesus invites us to transcend our narrow identities like language, religion and culture and embrace the broader and higher identities of humanity and the fatherhood or motherhood of God.                                                                                                Let the celebration of Easter deepen our faith in the resurrected Jesus who is always with us, calling us and inspiring us to lead a life of resurrection, characterized by joy, peace and compassion.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

              4/9/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                                     Palm Sunday

                                       

                                       The Church celebrates this Sixth Sunday  in Lent

 

                                             as both Palm Sunday and  Passion Sunday. 

                  It is on Palm Sunday that we enter Holy Week, welcoming Jesus into our lives and asking Him to allow us a share in His suffering, death and Resurrection. This is the time of the year when we stop to remember and relive the events which brought about our redemption and salvation. The Holy Week liturgies present us with the actual events of the dying and rising of Jesus.  What we commemorate and relive during this week is not just Jesus’ dying and rising, but our own dying and rising in Him, which result in our healing, reconciliation, and redemption.  Just as Jesus did, we, too, must lay down our lives freely by actively participating in the Holy Week liturgies.  In doing so, we are allowing Jesus to forgive us our sins, heal the wounds in us caused by our sins and the sins of others and transform us more completely into the image and likeness of God.  Attentive participation in the Holy Week liturgies will also deepen our relationship with God, increase our Faith and strengthen our lives as disciples of Jesus.  During this week of the Passion -- passionate suffering, passionate grace, passionate love and passionate forgiving – each of us is called to remember the Christ of Calvary and then to embrace and lighten the burden of the Christ whose passion continues to be experienced in the hungry, the poor, the sick, the homeless, the aged, the lonely and the outcast.  Palm Sunday liturgy combines two contrasting moments, one of glory, the other of suffering -  the welcome of Jesus into Jerusalem and the drama of His trial which ends in His crucifixion and death. Let us rejoice and sing as Jesus comes into our life today. Let us also weep and mourn as His death confronts us with our sin. The African-American song asks the question, "Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they nailed Him to a tree?" The answer is yes, a definite yes. Yes, we were there in the crowd on both days, shouting ‘Hosanna!’ and later ‘Crucify Him!’

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

              4/2/2017

Dear Parishioners,

5th Sunday of the Lent

Ezekiel 37:12-14;

Romans 8: 8-11;

John 11: 1-45

 

                                   Resurrection hope is the central theme of the Scripture readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent. We can see the progression in themes from the thirst for living water (on the Third Sunday of Lent), through the desire to be healed of our spiritual blindness (Fourth Sunday) to our ultimate desire to share in eternal life with the risen Lord (Fifth Sunday).  Death and resurrection are the themes that permeate today's Scripture lessons. For John, the raising of Lazarus is the final and greatest sign of Jesus, the deliverer, a symbolic narrative of Jesus’ victory over death at the cost of His own life and a sign anticipating His Resurrection. Describing this great miracle, the Church assures us that we, too, will be raised into eternal life after our battle with sin and death in this world.

                                 Roll away the stone, unbind him and let him go.”  There are so many dark areas in our private lives.  We often bind ourselves with chains of addiction to gossip, envy, prejudices, hatred and uncontrollable anger, and we bury ourselves in the tombs of despair. Sometimes we are buried in the tomb of selfishness, filled with negative feelings such as worry, fear, resentment, hatred, and guilt.   Jesus asks us today to seek His help and that of the community around us to loosen those chains and come out of tombs of our own creation. If we want Jesus to visit our dark dungeons of sin, despair and unhappiness, let us ask Jesus to bring the light and the power of the Holy Spirit into our private lives and liberate us from our tombs.

                    When we receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Jesus will call our name and command, "Come out!” Jesus calls each of us by name to come out of our graves and to help others to do the same.  “Lazarus, come out!   This is good news for the person who has lived an empty, meaningless life, “Lazarus, come out!” This is good news for the tired, the hurting, the person at his or her wit’s end. “Lazarus, come out!” This is good news for all of us: “Lazarus, come out!” This can be the beginning of a new life

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

               3/26/2017

Dear Parishioners,

4th  Sunday of the Lent

     

        I Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a;

      Ephesians 5:814;

  John 9:1-41

 

See as God Sees 

In the Gospel we see Jesus healing a blind man. When the disciples see him they ask Jesus a question. They asked whether he or his parents sinned to cause his blindness.   When something bad happens to good people, when we suffer for no reason, when our prayers are not heard, when innocent people are killed, when natural calamities occur; we raise this question in our heart.  

                       The story of the man born blind in the Gospel is not so much about the man being healed, but about seeing as God sees. Here we meet a blind man with sight as compared to the so called religious Pharisees who are blind. They all have seen a miracle but none was able to see the true meaning of it. This man blind from birth is not just a single individual; he is every man, every woman. The only difference between him and all the others in today’s gospel is that he knows he is blind. All others, though they could see with their eyes are truly blind in their heart. Until we know we are blind, we can never see with new eyes.

                       Blindness is not about the quality of our vision or the condition of our eyes, but rather, the darkness within us. How we see others, what we see in the world, the way we see life is less about the objects of our seeing and more about ourselves. We do not see God, people, things, or circumstances as they are but as we are. Until our eyes are opened by Christ, our seeing is really just a projection of ourselves onto the world. What we see and how we see manifest our inner world. If we wish to see God, life, and others as they really are, then we must attend to what is going on within us. True seeing begins in the heart not the eyes. We must begin to acknowledge the fears, attachments, and beliefs that live within us and how they have impaired our vision.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

               3/19/2017

Dear Parishioners,

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

3rd Sunday of the Lent

 

Exodus 17:3-7;

                      Romans 5: 1-2,5-8;

                             John 4:5-42

 

 

                           The Gospel has the encounter between Jesus and the woman looking for water at the well at Sychar, in Samaria. Jesus is sitting by the well, when the Samaritan woman comes to draw water from the well. She comes because she needs water, but there is a deeper need, a need of acceptance, not satisfied by her many irregular love-relationships. At the well there is Jesus, who is also thirsty, not so much for water as for slaking this woman's real thirst. Strange as it might seem God is thirstier for us than we are for him! He asks the Samaritan woman "Give me a drink." But Jesus goes beyond barriers that human beings create and quickly moves from the superficial to the things that really matter. "If you knew who it is who is saying to you: Give me a drink, you would be the one to ask and he would give you living water." Once again we see the woman missing the point of the real water that Jesus is promising, when she argues: "You have no bucket sir, and the well is deep, how could you get this living water?” Jesus, with infinite patience leads her from the water of that well to the real water which he can give her, which will turn into a spring within, that leads to life. Now that the curiosity and desire of this woman is aroused she quickly asks for this water. But before Jesus gives her this water he makes her see that she has to put her relationships in order. "Go and get your husband first." The talk about her personal life is too threatening and so she quickly tries to move far away from it. But Jesus is not to be put off. Finally, Jesus reveals himself to her as the Messiah, the one who can satisfy the deep hunger with her, and when she believes she discovers that she does not need the water of that well any more, her thirst is slaked and she leaves her bucket behind and runs off to the village to tell everyone that she has found the Messiah.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

 
 

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

               3/5/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                           1st Sunday of Lent

                                             

                                          Genesis 2: 7-9,3:1-7;                                                                           Romans 5:12,17-19;                                        Matthew 4:1-11

 

 

                           What is special about lent? I am one of those who grew up with the idea that lent is mainly a season of austerity, severity and mourning. Cutting down on food and drink, and giving up some little pleasure of life – that was all special about lent. But lent is not a time of mourning. Rather, it is a time to celebrate God’s boundless love for us, evidenced in the sacrifice of his Son.

                           The readings today, lead us to realize that in this life all of us are involved in an ongoing struggle – the struggle between good and evil, between holiness and sin, between death and life. Jesus resisted temptation, remaining faithful to what God the Father required of him. The focus of the gospel passage is not so much the temptation of Jesus, but the testing of Jesus.

                            After Jesus had finished 40 days of fasting and prayer, the devil came and proposed attractive alternatives to the path the Father traced for him. The first temptation, to turn stones into bread was a suggestion to misuse His miraculous power to satisfy His own hunger, to be selfish and satisfy an immediate urge. The second test is to put God to the test to see if God is trustworthy. Satan uses this test to see if Jesus will use the divine shield to ensure His own safety. The third test was an invitation to have a tie-up with the tempter who could help Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom. But each time Jesus defeats the devil and passes the test by means of the word of God. We might draw a couple of practical conclusions: the temptations that we face in our life are not meant to induce us to sin but to make us grow stronger in our spiritual life. Like Jesus, we too can come out victorious from the onslaughts of Satan with the power of the word of God.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

               3/12/2017

Dear Parishioners,

2nd Sunday of the Lent

Genesis 12: 1-4a;

2 Timothy 1: 8b-10;

Mathew 17:1-9

 

                                 St. Paul’s second letter to Timothy explains the type of Lenten transformation expected of us. We are transformed when we recognize the hand of a loving, providing and disciplining God behind all our hardships, pain and suffering and try our best to grow in holiness by cooperating with the grace of God given to us through Jesus and His Gospel. In the Transfiguration story, Jesus is revealed as a glorious figure, superior to Moses and Elijah. The primary purpose of Jesus’ Transfiguration was to allow Him to consult His Heavenly Father in order to ascertain His plan for His Son’s suffering, death and Resurrection.  The secondary aim was to make His chosen disciples aware of His Divine glory, so that they might discard their worldly ambitions and dreams of a conquering political Messiah and might be strengthened in their time of trial. On the mountain, Jesus is identified by the Heavenly Voice as the Son of God. Thus, the transfiguration narrative is a manifestation of Who Jesus really is. Describing Jesus’ Transfiguration, the Gospel gives us a glimpse of the Heavenly glory awaiting those who do God’s will by putting their trusting Faith in Him.

Jesus’ Transfiguration gives us a message of hope and encouragement. At times, life can become very dark for all of us. In moments of doubt, pain and suffering, disappointment and despair, we need mountain-top experiences to reach out to God and listen to His consoling words: “This is my beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased.” We need to experience our own worth and the meaning of our pains and sacrifices. Without meaning, sacrifices can destroy us. With meaning they can transform us.

Each Sacrament that we receive transforms us.  Just as the Transfiguration of Jesus strengthened the Apostles in their time of trial, each Holy Mass should be our source of Heavenly strength against our own temptations and a source for the renewal of our lives during Lent.  Baptism, for example, transforms us into sons and daughters of God and heirs of heaven.  Confirmation makes us the temples of the Holy Spirit.  By the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God brings back the sinner to the path of holiness. By receiving in Faith the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, we are spiritually, and sometimes physically, healed, and our sins are forgiven.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

               2/26//2017

Dear Parishioners,

                   8th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Isaiah 49: 14-15;

               I Corinthians 4: 1-5;

                      Mathew 6:24-34

 

                                   On this last day of the Ordinary time in the liturgical calendar, the Gospel message has Jesus speaking about the need to rely on the providential care of God the Heavenly Father. According to Jesus, God is powerful to provide for any of our needs.

                  This world is a paradox. People are smiling outside but hurting inside; have thousand followers on Facebook, but are lonely within; seem to be rich but are hungry for love; good administrators at the workplace but have a broken family; able to reach the moon by getting out of earth but are unable to get out of addictions and bad habits.

                  God in today’s passage is seen as a ‘father’ who takes cares of our every need. He is the one who knew us even before we were  formed in our mother’s womb and He has kept us as the pupil of His eye. The caring nature of God essentially reminds us that He is a loving father, not someone who waits to judge and punish us. It sets our relationship with God right. This passage also points to the fact that just as God is the provider of everything in our lives, He is also the provider for the things in this universe. The birds in the air and lilies in the field are all the manifestations of His providential love. This helps us to respect creation instead of exploiting it.

                 On this earth, one becomes greedy and selfish for the fear of losing his/her food to others. Acting on this fear, one becomes arrogant to the other. He or she prefers to close one’s eyes to the needs of the other. The trends, like consumerism, market economy, and use-and-throw culture, all have their roots in this fear. If we can all convince ourselves that God will provide for all of us according to our needs, then there will be a lot of sharing among the people. The God who provides food to the birds provides cloth to the lilies, too.

               Several years ago a country gospel singer named Christy Lane scored an international hit with a record titled "One Day At  A Time." “One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

               2/19/2017

Dear Parishioners,

             7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                         

                                              Leviticus 19:1-2,17-18;

                                                       I Corinthians 3: 16-23;

                                                              Mathew 5:38-48

 

                             Today’s readings explain why Christians are expected to be holy and how we are meant to become holy people. The first and second readings give us reasons why we should be holy and the Gospel describes four methods of becoming holy people prescribed for us by Jesus. The first reading, taken from the book of Leviticus, teaches us that we should be holy because it is the command given to us by God through Moses. It also shows us the way to share in God’s holiness: “Love your neighbor as yourself” In the second reading, St. Paul gives us an additional reason to be holy. We are to keep our bodies and souls holy because we are the temples of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit lives in us.

                      In the Gospel, Jesus teaches us four methods of becoming holy as God is holy. 

 

                 The first method      is to abstain from all forms of retaliation. Jesus gives his new law of love, grace, forgiveness, reconciliation and no retaliation. For Jesus, retaliation, or even limited vengeance, has no place in the Christian life, even though graceful acceptance of an offense requires great strength and discipline of character and strengthening by God’s grace.

 

                The second method  of becoming holy as God is holy is to take the offense gracefully and love the offender. Jesus illustrates this in three images: “turning the other cheek, freely giving the tunic and adding the cloak to it, and walking the extra mile.” Jesus tells us that what makes Christians different is the grace with which they treat others, offering them loving kindness and mercy, even if they don’t deserve this treatment. We are commanded to love our enemies as Jesus loves us, with agápe love, not because our enemies deserve our love, but because Jesus loves them so much that he died for them as he did for us.  

 

               The third method of sharing in God’s holiness is by unconditionally and whole-heartedly forgiving the offender without planning revenge in any form. This means not only loving one’s neighbors, but also forgiving those enemies who hurt us and willfully cause us suffering, hardship and unhappiness.

 

              The fourth method of becoming holy as God is holy is to seal our determination to forgive our enemies by sincerely praying for their spiritual and physical welfare and for the grace needed for their conversion and renewal of life.

 

           Thus today’s Scripture readings challenge us to become holy as our God is holy by loving, forgiving and blessing others as our Holy God does.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

               2/12/2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                          6th Sunday in Ordinary time

                                              Sirach 15:15-20;          

                                                 I Corinthians 2: 6-10;

                                                    Mathew 5:17-37

 

 

                       Once the son of King Louis XVI was taken prisoner by a rival nation and sent to the torture room. The French Dauphin was held prisoner by one of the most difficult jailors. The jailor was waiting to lay his hands upon this poor helpless child, for having been born into the royal family. Every day, the jailer would increase his torture a little more, and each time the child would quietly bear it all, praying to God. One day the jailor asked him, “What would you do, Carpeto, if the Vendeans set you free? What would you do with me? Would you have me hanged?” The little boy smiled and said: “I would forgive you.” Forgiveness is one of the noblest virtues of man. As St. Francis de Sales once said,“If, someone in hatred were to pluck out my left eye, I think I could look kindly at him with my right eye. If he plucked that one out too, I would still have the heart with which to love him.”

                     When evaluating ourselves, we feel we are good law-abiding people because we have not murdered anybody, we are not in the habit of stealing anything from our neighbors, we are Sunday-mass-going Catholics, and we say our prayers and mind our own business! But is that all that Jesus asks of us? Doing the minimum that the law expects from us? Today Jesus challenges us to go beyond, to do the maximum we can for God and our neighbor, to go beyond the letter of the law, to its spirit. This passage specifically highlights the laws forbidding murder, adultery, divorce and swearing. Jesus does not stop at the letter of the law but reaches into the virtue that gives meaning to the law. Jesus is not changing the Law and the traditions passed on through the prophets. He is applying a proper spirit to what has become too legalistic. The spirit of Jesus was to form the heart as well as the mind. Jesus then focuses on two of the basic energies within us which are the sources of sin if they remain unchecked: anger and lust. All of us have anger in us and it is normal to feel angry at times. Instead of just expressing our anger we need to look at the cause of our anger. We can’t avoid getting angry, but we can avoid acting out our anger. Jesus tells us to seek to be reconciled. Jesus does not espouse a minimalist approach to morality. Jesus enlarges the prohibition of murder to embrace anger, the prohibition of adultery to include lustful glances, and the prohibition of false oaths to include any kind of swearing.

                       Jesus’ new law is not a soulless set of don’ts. He asks us to look deep within ourselves at our inner motive: Why am I doing what I am doing? And why am I not doing what I ought to be doing? Ultimately, there is only one precept that we need to embrace if we are to live in his kingdom: the command of loving our neighbor. Only love will help us to live for God.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

                1.22.2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                       

 

 

 

 5th Sunday in Ordinary time

                                             Isaiah 58: 7-10;

I                                               Corinthians 2:1-5

                                                      Mathew 5:13-16

 

 

                       Looking at his disciples Jesus exclaimed, “You are the salt of the earth and you are the light of the world”.  Salt has different features:

 

                     Firstly, salt was connected with purity, because it was white, and it came from the purest of all things, the sun and the sea.  Salt was the most primitive of all offerings to the gods.  Jewish sacrifices were offered with salt. 

 

                     Secondly, salt was the commonest of all preservatives, in the ancient world, when people did not have refrigerators and freezers.        

 

                    Thirdly, salt provides flavor to food items. One of the main functions of salt is to season food, to give it taste and flavor.  Salt has a bad reputation in recent years. It's linked to high blood pressure, a life-threatening condition. Still, even these days, with all the cautions we hear, most people prefer a little salt in their food. Therefore, Jesus reminds us to be taste givers and taste makers to the community in which we live, and thus to give meaning to our life.

 

              The role of Christians is as Christ’s light of the world. A light is something which is meant to be seen.  We are called to radiate and give light to the world.  A lamp or light is a guide to make clear the way.  Secondly, a light can often be a warning light.  Thirdly, light exposes everything hidden by darkness. Light is not light if it cannot be seen and does not illuminate its surroundings. As Christians we should make things visible, we should light up possibilities, and we should brighten our world.

             Jesus compares our Christian life to the two essentials of life, namely, salt and light. Christianity is known for its unique teachings. It expects us to be good Samaritans, repentant sinners, generous widows, grateful lepers, prodigal fathers, and so on. We are expected to give a taste of Christian life to those around us. We are called to live our Christian life to that extent that people must find our life convincing and inspiring enough to come to taste that life.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

                1.22.2017

Dear Parishioners,

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

                                          3rd Sunday in Ordinary time

                                             Isaiah 8:23-9:3;

                                              I Corinthians 1:10-13,17;

                                                 Mathew 4: 12-23

 

 

                     A young man who later became a Cardinal was returning by sea from Italy to his native England. While the boat was detained in Sicily, young Newman fell ill and nearly died. During his convalescence, he wrote these words: “Lead kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,” because he believed that the prophecy of Isaiah had come true: “The people who walked in the darkness have seen a great light.” We too have our hours of darkness. The death of a lifelong spouse, an unexpected rejection by a loved one, a smashed dream of business success or the loss of good health can throw us into temporary darkness.

                      But in these tragic moments true believers have in the past seen the light of Christ, a light that illumines the shadows of our hearts with the radiance of his splendor, guiding us to travel safely over the tempestuous sea of life. We are not the people living in the land of shadows.  Normally light is something that we welcome, but sometimes we are afraid of what the light might reveal.  We are the people of light.  We have been enlightened by Christ.  We have to base our decisions on the Light of Christ that glows within us.  He comes into our lives, and He changes our lives in such a fundamental way that we have no choice but to bring His light to others. 

                Jesus preaches “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” God is present and acting in a new way through Jesus. But, in order to receive the message of life Jesus offers people, they must “repent.” They must change their minds, examine how they think and act.

                Do we find ourselves in some way sitting in darkness; dwelling in the land of gloom?  Are we stuck in old ways of thinking, our imagination closed to the new possibilities which God’s presence can bring to fulfillment?  

 

                  Jesus invites us to think differently, leave behind the ways of “the land of gloom.” God’s kingdom is now; new life is being offered to those who will accept it.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

A Message from

Fr. Paul Mundumoozhikara

Our Lady of Grace

Administrator

 

                1.15.2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                        2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                         

                                            Isaiah 49: 3, 5-6;

                                                 I Corinthians 1: 1-3;  

                                                    John 1: 29-34

 

                             The central theme of Sunday’s readings is a challenge to live like the Lamb of God and to die like the Lamb of God.  In both the first and second readings, God calls individuals to His service entrusting them with a mission. The Gospel passage presents three themes, namely, John’s witness to Jesus, Jesus’ epiphany and identification as the “Lamb of God,” and the call to discipleship.  Those who are called gradually accept the identity of the One who calls them.  Like John the Baptist, we may choose to accept today's Gospel as a personal and cooperative call to become a witness to the Lamb of God. 

 

We are called to “Live and die like the Lamb of God”. 

 

(A) Live like a lamb by:

          1) leading pure, innocent, humble, selfless lives obeying the Christ’s commandment of love;

          2) appreciating the loving providence and protecting care of the Good Shepherd in His Church; 

          3) eating the Body and drinking the Blood of the Good Shepherd and deriving spiritual strength from the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments and our prayers.

 

(B) Die like a sacrificial lamb by sharing our blessings of health, wealth and talents with others in the family, parish and community. 

C) Be a witness to the Lamb of God.  Today's Gospel reminds us that being a disciple of Jesus means that we grow by faith to become witnesses for Him.  And bearing witness to Christ is an active, not passive, lifetime enterprise. One cannot be a disciple of Jesus at a distance, any more than one can be a distant lover. 

 

D) "Come and see."  The essence of our witness is to state what we have seen and believed and then to invite others to "come and see." For John, faith begins by responding to the invitation to "come and see."   We tell others about good restaurants, barbers, optometrists, etc.  Why isn't there the same fervor over inviting and encouraging people to come and participate in our Church activities? If we are not willing to invite others into this experience, what does that say about our experiences with Christ and with our Church?

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

Messages from Fr. Paul

                1.1.2017

Dear Parishioners,

                                            Epiphany of the Lord

                                         

                                     Isaiah: 60:1-6

                                                Ephesians 3: 2-3

                                                           Mathew 2;1-12 

 

                                     

                The journey of the wise men reveals our destination. The three wise men following the prompting of the Spirit, journey towards their destination. That destination is God. These three men are rich and learned. Despite having all the comforts and conveniences, they leave them behind and go in search of the greatest treasure – Jesus. Their search for Jesus, their finding of Jesus, their adoring of Jesus, and their joy at the presence of the child Jesus, all indicate our final destination and our joy in being united with Jesus.

                 The journey of the wise men reveals the initiative of God. God takes the initiative in revealing his Son to the shepherds and to the wise men. The initiative of God is manifested in making the star appear. The initiative of God is manifested through the scriptures which indicate clearly that the child would be born in Bethlehem. The initiative of God is again seen in asking the three wise men to return to their country a different way.  Let us then remember that in our spiritual journey towards our destination, it is always God who takes the initiative. Before we search for God, He is in search of us.

                 The journey of the wise men indicates the universality of salvation. We are not sure of their identity and their names. One thing is sure that they are not Jews. Jesus came as the Savior of the world; He welcomes all to Himself without making any distinction between the poor and the rich, the weak and the strong, men and women, the known and the unknown, saint and sinner.

Our response:

              The journey of the wise men, finally, points out the necessary conditions that are to be fulfilled to reach Jesus. The wise men recognized and accepted the sovereignty of God; they listened to the voice and read the signs offered by nature; they consulted people and the scriptures; they overcame difficulties with sacrifices. With the same dispositions of the wise men, let us,too, journey towards Jesus.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

                12/2, 2016

Dear Parishioners,

               

Christmas

                                       

                                        Isaiah 52: 7-10

                                          Hebrews 1:1-6

                                            John 1:1-18   

Christmas Reflection On I Corinthians Chapter 13

-  If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

-  If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

-  If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

-   Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

-   Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband.

-   Love is kind, though harried and tired.

-   Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

  Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

-   Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those  who can't.

-   Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

-   Love never fails.   Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.

-   But giving the gift of love will endure.

      Wish You All  A Merry Christmas. May the Child Jesus bless you and all your near and dear ones all His abundance blessings during Christmas and all throughout the year to come.

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

                12/2, 2016

Dear Parishioners,

 

                Advent

 

         

             The word "Advent," means "coming." So in Advent we celebrate the various comings of Jesus, the Word incarnate and God on earth. The Old Testament prophets looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, the Anointed of the Lord, the Great King. In today's first reading Isaiah sees a bright future in the Messianic Era. He says that truth and justice will go forth from Jerusalem to all the world. Isaiah prophesies that the Lord will impose peace on many peoples. There shall be no more war and preparing for war: "Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!"; that is, we must obey the Lord, believe in him and practice virtue.

 

               I have often wondered who waits for whom? Do I wait for the Lord or is the Lord waiting for me? We have made many pilgrimages to almost all the Holy Places. The real issue is that we need to look in more obvious places. What obvious place would Jesus hide? An inn? A barn? A cave? A crib? I think we need to ask the question about ourselves. Where and how do we hide? Under piles of work? Busy, busy, busy? In the yard? I could focus on any of those. I choose to speak about hiding behind past hurts or wounds. Wounded wolves, they tell me, hide in a corner. They howl and bark to protect the wound. If you approach, the howl becomes fiercer and angrier. The fierce anger, in the mind of the wolf, hides the wound. No one can get near it! I see God hiding behind a leafless branch excited at the opportunity of being found, and we are hiding behind our bark and growl. No one can come near.

 

           So, how do we come together? In our fair or unfair bark, we wait and wait and wait. Like the tantrum of a spoiled child, we have to wait it out and see the branch. The Lord is there all along, still excited about being found. All of our prayer is not a denial of our wounds. Our prayer is an invitation to take the risk and find a new way of healing the pain. Help to make this Advent a prayerful time of waiting to see who finds whom? Would you not wait so that the Lord might meet you?

 

     Our Christmas party this year will attempt to capture the true meaning of Christmas.  On Sunday, December 4 during coffee & doughnuts, parishioners will wrap gifts that will be taken to “shut-in” parishioners.

        Teams of parishioners will deliver the gifts on December 11, meeting in Quinn Hall after Mass and setting out about 10:15.  Caroling will be definitely encouraged.  Please “party” with us on December 4 and December 11!

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

                11- 20, 2016

Dear Parishioners,

Christ the King

             Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King, and also it is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time. Jesus, our King of Kings, no doubt, came into this world and made an impact in the history of the world. He was not like other kings of this world. He established His kingdom by laying down His life. Though He had power to destroy His enemies, He prayed for them, asking the Father to forgive them.

 

            He is a king of peace, love and joy. He laid down His life for each one of us, for the whole world. The rulers made fun of Him and the soldiers ridiculed Him, for He could not save Himself. Yet He did not utter a word against them. He bore everything patiently for saving us and the whole human race from sins. On the cross, Jesus reveals Himself as a King who distributes His gift of generosity: the gift of pardon to those who crucified Him, the gift of heaven to a repentant thief, the gift of His mother’s love to the whole of mankind.

 

          You have two options: to hurl insults at Christ the King, like the first criminal and be lost, or accept Him as your Lord and Savior and be with Him in Paradise, in His Kingdom.

 

The choice is yours!

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

                10- 23 2016

Dear Parishioners,

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time:

Sirach 35:12-14,16-18;

2 Timothy 4: 6-8,16-18;

Luke 18: 9-14.


Jesus addressed the parable about the Pharisee and Publican. The Pharisee is a scrupulous keeper of the law and meticulous follower of religious practices. He feels at home in the temple. He is not thanking God for His greatness, goodness, and mercy, but for his own personal merits and achievements. He wants to make a great impression before God and appear much superior to others.


The publican's prayer is quite different. He knows he is a sinner. He beats his breast and all he can say is" God, be merciful to me, a sinner". The publican has nothing to show to God, but a lot that God can give him: mercy and forgiveness.


Self-righteousness blocks a person's spiritual progress. God loves repentant sinners, not the proud virtuous. Humility, repentance, love for neighbor, and confessing our need of God's mercy will make our prayer acceptable to God. Jesus warns us that

Have a Blessed and Joyful  Week

                10- 16, 2016

Dear Parishioners,