Lent 3 C: Fig Tree: Produce Fruit or ....


Life’s changing choreography
You take your partner by the hand, you hold each other close, and you look into each other’s eyes . . .
For most of us, our first dance is a discovery of this amazing person you have fallen in love with — then, with family and friends and champagne and roses, you begin a new dance as spouses.
The next dances are jigs and skips around your first apartment or starter house.  Soon the dance includes new partners: the colicky baby, the first-grader, the teenager and the angst of being fifteen, the young adult off to college.  The next time that it’s just the two of you again is at the wedding of your son or daughter and their first dance with their spouses.  Your delight becomes your children and grandchildren; you travel to new places; you finally stop and dance closer together once again.
But eventually the rhythm will slow as you will find your joy in the memories of the steps you have danced together.  You become each other’s caregiver and protector as you glimpse together into eternity.  You wheel your spouse to the doctor, you slowly help your spouse to the bathroom, you gently dress and feed and prepare the medications for your beloved.  You take your spouse’s hand for the last time.
Different steps, different rhythms, different settings.   Before you know it, the whirl of courtship becomes the shuffle of old age.  But the choreography is the same: you take your partner by the hand, you hold each other close, you look into each other’s eyes . .


The most beautiful people we have known are those
who have known defeat,
known suffering,
known struggle,
known loss,
and have found their way out
of those depths.

― Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Legal and Logical: Law Professor Stumped

A young law student, having failed his Law exam, goes up to his crusty old professor, 
who is renowned for his razor-sharp legal mind .  

Student: "Sir, do you really understand everything about this subject?"
Professor: "Actually, I probably do. Otherwise I wouldn't be a professor, would I?"
Student: "OK. So I’d like to ask you a question. If you can give me the correct answer, 

Amazing Story - Paderewski & Hoover

This is a fantastic story. Some of you may have read it before, but it is still relevant in today’s world where this kindness is repeated over
and over again in many forms, some of them very small. It’s the kindness that really matters and brings about results.

This is a true story that had happened in 1892 at Stanford University. It's moral is still relevant today.

A young, 18 year old student was struggling to pay his fees. He was
 an orphan, and not knowing where to turn for money, he came up with
 a bright idea. A friend and he decided to host a musical concert on
 campus to raise money for their education.

 They reached out to the great pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski. His
 manager demanded a guaranteed fee of $2,000 for the piano recital. A
 deal was struck. And the boys began to work to make the concert a

Lent 2 C - Transfiguration

From the Connections:

“Les Miserables”
The epic film Les Miserables, based on the Victor Hugo novel and the international stage sensation, is a story of grace and redemption, of compassion and mercy.
The story begins with a simple but profound moment of forgiveness.  Jean Valjean has been imprisoned for stealing a small loaf of bread to feed his sister’s daughter.  Paroled after 20 years of hard labor and brutal treatment, Valjean is a broken, bitter man.  He is desperate for work but no one will hire a parolee.  Cold and hungry, he is taken in by a kindly bishop.  During the night, Valjean steals the bishop’s silver plate and flees, but he is quickly taken into custody by the local police.  The constables bring Valjean to the bishop’s residence and ask the bishop to identify the thief and his silver.  Indeed it is his silver, the Monseigneur says — but the bishop explains that he gave Valjean the silver.  He thanks the police for bringing Valjean to him because he was concerned that Valjean forget to take the valuable candlesticks, as well.

Lent Sunday 1 - Temptations

From Fr. Tony Kadavil:

1: The Exorcist:

Because of the book and movie, The Exorcist, there is probably more talk about the Devil than ever. The movie earned even more than The Godfather - $180 million. For blocks, people lined up waiting to enter the theaters. One theater operator reported that, at each showing, there were four blackouts, six vomiting spells, and many spontaneous departures during the show. Today, we are pre-occupied with the Devil. In New Jersey, a twenty-year old lad persuaded his two best friends to drown him because he believed that upon death he would be reborn as a leader of forty legions of devils. In San Francisco, there are 10,000 dues-paying members of a church of Satan. In The Exorcist, we see how terrible it is to be possessed by the Devil and how hard it is to get the Devil out of a person. The film tells the story of how a twelve-year old girl was possessed by the Devil, how unsuccessful every attempt was to cure her, and how two priests were brought in to perform an exorcism in the Name of Jesus and with His power. So horrible is it to be possessed by the Devil that the movie was considered a horror movie, leaving viewers with psychological trauma. Our real concern today should not be how to get the Devil out of us, but how to keep the Devil out. Even if we get the Devil out of us, we may not be permanently free of the Devil. Recently, someone asked me what would happen if one did not pay one's Exorcist. I did not know. He told me, "You will be repossessed!" In today's Gospel, Jesus' challenge was to keep Satan from entering Him. We see Jesus confronted by the Devil and watch Jesus refuse to allow the Devil to come into his life and thinking. Today, we need to study the methods of Jesus that we, too, may keep the Devil out!

Karla, a Prostitute at 12, has a Mission Today

Mexican human trafficking survivor says she was raped more than 43,000 times in four years after being forced into the illegal trade at age 12

  • Karla Jacinto says she fell into the hands of human traffickers in Mexico at age 12 while waiting for friends at a subway station
  • She claims that she was sent to a number of cities, brothels, roadside motels, homes and streets known for prostitution
  • The 23-year-old says she was forced to see at least 30 customers a day, seven days a week, for a span of four years before being rescued in 2008 

Caring for ostracized community

Story By: Saji Thomas

The ostracized people
Bhopal: “This is my new life and I am indebted to my Ma [mother],” says Gundeli Bai, who has lost fingers on both hands due to leprosy. “I would have died, and my body could have been eaten by dogs long ago,” says Bai, who has been living for more than two decades in an enclave for leprosy patients started by her “Ma,” Sr. Julia Thundathil.

Ash Wdnesday

From Fr. Tony Kadavil:
1) “Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”
Some of the senior citizens here today can remember a song that was popular exactly 41 years ago. In 1971, a group from Canada called the Five Man Electrical Band had a hit called “Signs.” The song is about how signs are always telling us what to do, and the chorus says, “Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” Four decades later, the question it poses – “Can’t you read the sign?” — is one we might ask ourselves today. We are going to be signed with ash - the sign of our faith, the cross. “Can’t you read the sign?” The cross of ashes means that we are making a commitment – that we are undertaking Lent as a season of prayer and penitence, of dying to ourselves. It also describes our human condition: it says that we are broken, and need repair; that we are sinners and need redemption. Most importantly, it tells us that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to carry our crosses. It also reminds us that we are dust and ashes – mortal human beings carrying an immortal soul. (  

5 Sunday C

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

The first reading is a well-known passage from the Old Testament, in which Isaiah describes his vision of Yahweh in heaven with imagery from the earthly temple of Jerusalem. The call of Isaiah is striking due to the sharp contrast between Isaiah's utter unworthiness and the overwhelming holiness of God. Isaiah confesses his sinfulness, and is purified by the symbolic action of the seraph touching his lips. Then God asks, "Whom shall I send?" to which Isaiah generously responds: "Here I am, send me!" Every vision of God implies a choice and an invitation. Every vision implies a mission. Each time we come to God he sends us on a mission. We cannot come to God unless we are ready to go forth in His name!

Chennai Floods and Orphan Boys

Homeless boys recognized for service during floods 

Indian of the Year
Chennai: During the December deluge, when the city was submerged, many residents rose to the occasion to offer aid to those who were hit the hardest. There were many unlikely volunteers doing such selfless work.