Category Archives: Easter- A

Easter – A

Pentecost -A- 2014

Pentecost is a Jewish festival. It connects to the harvest feast or to the celebration of the first fruits. But it also reminds Jews to the Ten Commandments which they received in Sinai. This festival is still celebrated among the Jews.
But through the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit, we also celebrate this feast as a Christian Pentecost.
Yes, this is also somewhat a harvest time for us:
We are now reaping the gifts of the Spirit that we have sown in faith.
Are we growing in God’s Spirit? Do we bear fruit in us?
Let us ask for the grace of God:

Today’s reading from the book of Acts has one key sentence:
All the disciples who were waiting for the Holy Spirit, received the same Spirit of God. But the Spirit had different effects and they spoke strange languages.
We experience differences, where people live. We also recognize it in the readings: Because today we hear different reports on the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples.
Why does this happen? Is it a mistake in the scriptures? Need the disciples the Holy Spirit twice? Or is one of the two stories wrong? We have so many questions. For an answer we should know the two authors a little closer.

According to our understanding, for John, Christ was the center of attraction. His gospel does not begin with the history and other stories as in Matthew, Luke and Mark. But it begins with the narration on LOGOS, the Word of God. It is about the Christ who was present in the world from the beginning. Christ is the beginning, the way and the end for John. John was with this Christ and he is intensively passing his experience with Christ.

Luke, the author of the Gospel and the Acts, however, had a different context. He was disciple of Paul and was not so close to Jesus as John. His image of Christ is very much influenced by the Community Life. More over he is someone who describes events. The Starting chapters of his Gospel proves it.

Both John and Luke, want to proclaim the same truth- the coming of the Holy Spirit. But they have various narrative methods for that.

We know that in our lives.
Just look into two different newspapers.
We will read a same news with different versions. We are all human and have our attitudes and inclinations. We will reproduce the things only based on our experiences and tastes.
Through these two types of reports, the church represents the simple human sides of her disciples and thus remains Human.

It is important that all of them remained together and receive the Holy Spirit. Although the crowd in Jerusalem had different mother tongues, they could understand the same message because of the Spirit.
That means one more thing: the message of Gospel and salvation is reserved not only for a particular group. It is now give for all people. Christ is the Savior of the world and all who accept him will receive his Spirit.

Yes, my dear friends,
Pentecost emphasizes the fellowship and unity in love. This feast tells us, the Spirit of God can dwell and act only in such a community. Such people will be enthusiastic like John and Luke.

This is what Paul says in the second reading.
There are different spiritual gifts but the Spirit is the same.
So my beloved, we too have the same spirit of God in us.
And he acts differently in and through us.
That’s fine, because thus we have the unity and yet diversity in the church.
But this is also a challenge. In this situation we show the world whether we live in the same Spirit of God or not.
Let us not look the things that separates them, but concentrate on the inspiring spirit. Let us work for it. May the Spirit of God, bless our community and our faith. Amen!

–Thomas Kalathil

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7th Sunday of Easter – A- Acts 1, 12 – 14_Joh 17, 1 -11a

My dear ones,
at least once a week, on Sundays, many of us go to the church.
We do this in order to pray. Here at the church we are a community who gladly sing and pray together…
The community encourages us our faith, it support us .
But how I feel in my personal prayer?
Am I in communion with God? Do I feel his strength?
Do I get answers to my prayers?
Am I open to God and other fellow human beings?
Let us seek answers to these questions and ask for God’s grace:

The last days of Jesus, his resurrection and the later experiences, had been very turbulent and exciting time for the disciples. They have seen how Jesus, the Son of God suffered and dead. And then they heard and saw different accounts on his resurrection. Even they themselves spoke and ate them with the risen Christ. They tried to grasp everything. Some remained doubtful.
Others responded it quietly and thoughtfully…Yes, there was a stir in those times.

But the disciples knew that, something is going to happen.
They waited for a surprise, for the Counselor, even though they did not know how the future would look like. This experience marked a turning point in her life and thought with herself.
After the Ascension of Jesus into heaven they had no more grip. In this situation, they sought the help of prayer in the community. They waited patiently, hoping and praying for help.

Prayer! The apostles are rarely presented to us as a people of prayer.
Sure, they prayed to Jesus to teach them how they should pray; they also prayed (slept) in the night at Gethsemane. Otherwise we do not know much about their prayer life. Now, suddenly, they need Prayer. They feel that it is the only help in their situation.

Yes, my friends,
Necessity is the mother to all beginning. It was the same with the disciples of Jesus. We see through their life, how important is a community for a scattered and dispirited people.
They stayed in a closed room, but their hearts were wide open for the greatest miracle. They were ready to receive the promise of the Spirit of God.

They show their courage and their openness here.
Because, they join even the women, Mary and the mother of Jesus with them.
This was very new and modern step in a jewish context. Because Women are not allowed to pray together with men. They had special places in the temple and synagogues. But here, the apostles are not excluding or branding them as a weak gender. They take them as strong pillars of faith. S o they pray together without reservation and orthodoxy and forms a new community.

Jesus also prays; we hear it in the Gospels.
He emphasizes the role of prayer and community in the Kingdom of God.
To this end, he says that prayer should join us and should not divide us.
Through this prayer gets its authenticity. Otherwise it is a waste of time.

My friends, the apostles prayed for a common cause.
They sought strength and courage to their vocation.
They did it with love and openness and were rewarded for it.

Pope Francis showed us a great sign in the last week, as he visited Holy Land. He invited Shimon Peres, the President of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas, of Palestine to pray together. This will take place on 8th of June 2014 in the afternoon, in the house of Pope in Rome. The world looks forward for a new peaceful brotherly era.

The prayer of Apostles and the example of Pope Francis should be an example for us. We always come together as a people of prayer. We often pray – not only in the Church, even at home. Is prayer an important and powerful means for me? Does it unite me or separate? Let us try to pray with sincerity and longing. God bless us and make us real praying people. Amen!
–Thomas Kalathil

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Ascension of Christ – A- 2014

On the 40th day of the resurrection of Christ, we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension. We celebrate not only the return of Christ to his father. But that helps us to follow our goal, the Heaven carefully. As the two men emphasizing, we should not look up and remain stagnant but look up on our lives and the tasks we have to do here on earth. It is the only way to heaven and to God. Thus we come into communion with God. Our community and faith will help us to live our vocation intensive.
For that grace, let us ask for God’s mercy:

“Christ came to save us. If he wants to save us, he must be with us. But he went back to heaven. Why does not he stay here on earth? Of then we have less problems and disputes…” We hear such questions not only from our children but even from the adults. Our theologians have many answers for this. But what we need is a personal answer.
I have found my answer for the ascension:
The Ascension of Christ has a simple logical explanation.
This statement is also partially rational or scientific.
According to science, everything has its origin and source and they return to this origin and sources later. Our world and everything in it are a mix of many elements. After the end of her life she will return to these elements.

We believe that Christ is not created. He is God and exists from the beginning. His properties are divine. After his life on earth, he must of course go back to his origin. This is the logical and limited human perception. As his body is divine and was not begotten by man but the Spirit of God, his body returns back to God with his soul.

But how this theory and science help my faith?
Right here I hear the Good News. Here I feel the salvation of Christ.
The Feast of the Ascension makes me wonder and asks:
where is the origin of man?
The Holy Bible teaches us that man first comes from the thought of God as he says “Let us make man” (Gen 1, 26). This thought comes from his heart. Then God creates man in his own image. This tells us that we are people according to God’s will and image and thus enjoy a special relation to the heavens- with God. If I follow the will of God and live so determined to my origin and source, I will surely come to my God in heaven. Yes, this is a good news of the Feast.

It sounds very nice and promising. But how do I do it?
Here we look back to the history and experience of the apostles.
The two men ask, “why are you standing there looking at the sky?”
Yes, the disciples too need some guide to remind them about their life and call.
Their message to the disciples can be interpreted following:
Jesus is back to heaven. But now you shall not stand inactive.
To achieve this great experience of Heaven, you should work hard.
For this purpose, you should live on Earth and fulfil their duties.
You should carry out your vocation and mission and accomplish them in love. Such a purposeful life will surely be bring us heaven.
This will connect the heavens and the earth.

Ascension of Christ teaches me that I should go his ways and follow his words. I should follow my life with love. Then I will definitely experience heaven. It is our fundamental belief that we will be with God.
On this faith we begin our life (Baptism). We keep this faith till our end.

My beloved,
Ascension is not just reserved for Christ alone. This experience is also possible for us. But how seriously we take our lives as human beings?
Do we live as God’s image? Are we powerful in our faith?
God bless us to be so. Amen!

–Thomas Kalathil

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