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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.

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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Friday of the 3rd Week in the Ordinary Time Download This Homily

Republic Day of India

 

Jer 33: 31-34

Jn 8: 31-36

 

FOLLOWING THE WAY OF INCLUSIE LOVE IS THE ROUTE TO TRUTH AND FREEDOM

 

 Two important days in the life our nation are Independence Day on August 15 and Republic Day on January 26. Both are celebrated by all citizens of India as the national festivals.  If Independence Day celebrates the attainment of freedom from alien rulers, Republic Day celebrates the acceptance of the Constitution of India, the guarantee to safeguard the freedom of all citizens of India. On Republic Day, martyrs and heroes who showed courage and bravery for country’s sake without bothering their own lives is also remembered and conferred prestigious and significant awards. The constitution, besides laying down the basic principles of governing the country, guarantees the fundamental freedoms of every citizen of India. The preamble of the constitution clearly states that India is secular country, signifying that the state should not discriminate against any citizen on the basis of religion and it has to protect the fundamental freedom of every citizen to profess, practice and propagate one’s faith. (Art. 25).

 

The vision of India is clearly spelt out in the preamble of the constitution as a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic that secures to all citizens Justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. This vision enshrined in the Indian constitution is very much similar to the Kingdom of God vision of Jesus, a situation in which God is accepted as a loving father/mother and all human beings as brothers and sisters, enjoying equal respect, freedom and justice.

 The developments in our country, especially during the last three months, have been diametrically opposed to the vision of the constitution. Fundamentalist groups have been liberally indulging in hate speech, violence against the minorities, including burning churches, forced conversion of poor people and violent opposition to a popular movie because a Muslim is in the lead role. What is worrying is that a government that is constitutionally bound to protect the rights of the people and the fundamentals of the constitution remains a mute spectator or a tacit supporter.

 Against this backdrop what does Jesus speak to us through today’s Gospel reading? Jesus says, “If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples; you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The way to realize truth and enjoy freedom is obeying the teaching of Jesus. “Love one another” is the fundamental teaching of Jesus and that is to be the identity of the disciples of Jesus. The early Christian community practiced this teaching of Jesus in letter and spirit and they became a rallying point for many to enjoy the Kingdom of God situation. As Jesus himself has shown through his life this love is expressed through unconditional forgiveness, respect for the human dignity of all without any discrimination, sensitivity and sharing. Jesus approach was that of inclusiveness, going beyond the barriers of faith, race, profession etc. That is why he could easily accept the Samaritans, the tax collectors, the centurion, the prostitutes, the lepers and all those who were excluded by the Jewish religious leaders.

 Today when the Christians in India feel discriminated and targeted because of their religion the questions we, the disciples of Jesus, have to ask ourselves is “Am I practicing the teaching of Jesus: inclusive love?”;  do the people work with us and those who are in contact with us experience the inclusive love? The opposition and discrimination against the Christian community by the fundamentalist groups is a challenge for us, the disciple of Jesus, to make inclusive love our identity, going beyond the rituals, symbols,  worship centres, statues etc. It is also beneficial to reflect whether the overemphasis on the incidentals, neglecting the core, is also a reason for the aversion to the Christians. This is also an opportunity to study the constitution of India, grasp its richness and propagate its richness and beauty as a part of all our apostolates, especially of education. Why don’t we exhibit the preamble of the Indian Constitution at a prominent place in all our institutions? Only the way of inclusive love and definitely not religious fundamentalism, that can lead to truth and real freedom.


 Jacob Peenikaparambil CMI

 

 

Hebr 10: 32-39

 

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

He said,
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

 

 

KINGDOM OF GOD IS PRIMARILY GOD’S WORK, BUT HUMAN BEINGS HAVE TO CREATIVELY COOPERATE WITH PLAN OF GOD

 

Any good work started out of love for the fellow human beings is an expression of God’s Kingdom. The inspiration to start such an initiative comes from God. Mother Theresa started her work alone in a slum of Kolkata with one care centre for the discarded persons to die with dignity. Today the Missionaries of Charity, the religious congregation started by Mother Theresa, has more than 4500 members and is active in 133 countries of the world. Baba Amte started Anandwan with one leprosy patient. Anandwan today has two hospitals, a college, an orphanage, a school for the blind, a school for the deaf and a technical wing. More than 5,000 people are dependent on it for their livelihood. A common element that can be noticed in these endeavours is unshakable faith in the providence of God (positive thinking) and hard work with perseverance by the persons who started them. This could be the practical application of Jesus’ parable of the growing seed and the mustard seed.

 The seed germinates with the power God has put in it, but the growth of the plant and its bearing fruits need care and protection by the farmer. A friend of mine starts certain initiatives without any capital with him and he says, if it is God’s work He will provide the resources”. A number of initiatives started by him become fruitful because he gets generous help from others. At the same time he plans everything meticulously.

Realization of God’s Kingdom is the result of God’s initiative and the creative response and cooperation of human beings. Any new venture for the realization of God’s kingdom will have to face problems, obstacles and even setbacks. What motivates and strengthens the persons involved in the endeavour is deep faith in God. They will tell themselves, “If God is with me who can be against me?” The firm conviction that God works through them enables them to overcome crisis and go forward. As a result their movements expand and grow and large number of people will be able to take benefit of them.

Certain conditions are to be fulfilled for the growth of the Kingdom of God and the success of the endeavours to realize the Kingdom of God. Purity of intention is the first condition. If the endeavour is started with ulterior motive of catering to one’s selfish interest it may not succeed. Secondly, those who are the leaders of the endeavour or movement must be able to overcome their egos. It would be difficult for an egoistic person to get the support and cooperation of others. An egoistic person will have always the tendency to react and reactions will damage the cause. Thirdly, openness on the part of the leaders for change is very essential because the world is changing at an unprecedented speed and in order to cope up with the changing world one has to create new ideas through constant reflection and ready to take ideas from others. According to the management guru, Peter Drucker if an organization is controlled by its past its future will be doomed. The past should not be a burden, but a guiding light.


Jacob Peenikaparambil CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

Get it on Google Play

Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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