Saturday, August 29, 2015


I am writing this because after the Sunday homily couple of  Holy Family members asked me to put my homily on Facebook. The Sunday homily was about many of Jesus disciples leaving him saying, this saying is hard; who can accept it. When I came to Louisville in 2010 I attended Masses in St. Paul Parish and I asked Fr. Dismas where are the people? He said it's a long story. I started reading books to see why many left the church? One time I read David Kinnaman's 'Unchristian'; this book is a study on folks who are between 16-29 what they think about Christianity. They mainly said Christians are hypocritical, too political, anti homosexual, insensitive etc. I found many of these reasons are the reasons why people left the church. 
When I was a teenager, my parish went through a problem with the new pastor; he was not so good to the parishioners, very rude and angry. We had a discussion about the pastor in our home and my dad said, we are not going to the church because of the priest, we are going to the church because we love Jesus and the Eucharist. Priests are human beings just like us. As a teenager I had reason to quit the church but my dad's words inspired me to continue to go to the Church. 
Saint Peter understood this very well. When Jesus asks are you not leaving? Peter said to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. I wish this message of eternal life is communicated with everyone. We need courage and faith to see beyond the weak priests, beyond church building, beyond the politics. 
I was ordained at the age of 26 and I was so nervous to face the world where priests some part of the world we heard considered abusers and business people. And I talked to one of my professors about it, he said journey peacefully in the boat of St. Peter, do not look underneath you may see skulls, teeth and bones but look at Jesus who called you and he will tell you what to do. These words echoed my whole life as a priest.
Whom shall we go? We may have a spiritual experience when we go to the nature, we may calm ourselves on yoga practice but this can't give you eternal life. Eternal life is in Jesus and we experience this in the Eucharist.
I have also heard people say I hate Church and love Christ. This is a meaningless statement. In Acts 9:3 we read Jesus asking Saul, Saul why do you persecute me? Bible scholars say that we do not have evidences that Saint Paul met Jesus but at the same time they do not disagree completely the chance. One thing is sure, by persecuting Church he was persecuting Christ. Then how can one say I love Christ and I hate Church? We have many reasons to quit the church and get angry with the church and recent happenings in our diocese but as my dad said to me let us get beyond everything that happens in the Church to experience the eternal life that Jesus promised through Eucharist. Let us remember Peter's words whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


The early Indian education system was called 'gurukula', meaning house of teacher. Leaving home, disciples stayed with guru doing household works and learning from the mouth of guru. The ultimate goal of the cariculam was self realization. This was also a period known as 'Brahmacharya' which  means one who walks with God! He was asked to have faith, dedication, and concentration and later fruitfulness in his life. 
When I was reflecting over discipleship of Jesus, this ancient tradition came to my mind. This was exactly happening with the discipleship of Jesus, they left home and stayed with Jesus to learn self realization and God realization. They learned from the mouth of
Jesus and encountered him. This transformed into fruit in their lives which is the Church; the mystical body of Christ. 
In the Franciscan tradition the discipleship is known as 'mirroring Jesus', the best instance is Francis himself. He became a mirror of Jesus, his life was  'Jesus' in many ways and he was called second Christ. 
The discipleship of Jesus is challenging and at the same time enjoyable. It is a call to encounter Jesus in faith, produce fruits of the Spirit and live differently. This is to have life, life in abundance. This is very different from what your head says, this is more of what your heart says. This is also a call to mirror Christ to others. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014


The word lent orignally means spring. Spring, we all know that it is the season of cleaning and new life. Lent is spring of spituality; a new life in Christ. I was trying to reflect on how lent speaks to us. I thought of taking each letter and see what it speaks to us. The letter L stands for leaning to God. It's a time to lean to God. By the course of busy schedule of life  it is true that we may not have enough time to look in to ourselves. We may have gone astray from God. Like the prodigal son we may feel "away from Father's house." It's time to return, to dust off and to lean to to God.
Second letter 'E' stands for eat cautiously and mindfully. Gifts, hugs and kisses are the external expresdion of internal experience of love! In the same way abstaining from food, netflix, Internet and whatever resolution you have taken is external signs of your leaning to God. They express what is happening inside ourselves. Therefore, do things cautiously and mindfully. Even when you eat think about the hands worked behind it. 
Third letter 'N' stands for neighbour. Lent is time to think of the other, the suffering, the poor and homeless. It's also season to think about our blessings! Last week I was watching a movie "potter's field". It was a really haunting movie. It speaks of homeless and street people who are buried by hired workers without any religious ceremony or presence of any of their beloved ones! And the other side of the picture the Aramathea society tries to bury homeless people with the help of students. I was thinking to myself if I die today, sure many will attend my funeral. Many times we forget wonderful and beautiful blessings we have received. We take many things for granted. And this is the time to think about the blessings that I received and share with neighbours.
The final letter 'T' stands for transformation. The spirit of this season is to transform. All external expressions, prayer, fast and abstinence, are for transforming oneself to 'new creation' (2Cori. ). I remember a story of a grandma who used to say stations of the cross after every Mass. The pastor noticed that she skips 7th station each time and  thought of clarifying this. She said the 7th station is donated to the church by her neighbour whom she hates! It is meaningless to pray, fast and abstain if we do not transform and become new creation in Jesus Christ.
Book of Joel reminds us "Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning"(Joel 2:12). 

Monday, September 2, 2013


If God is present everywhere why are churches, temples and mosques important? Some people ask this question. The best answer we can give is this, imagine a warm day, breeze is everywhere but surely the breeze under a tree is more comforting than anywhere. In the same way God is present everywhere but He is more experienceabld in a place dedicated to God. 
Secondly, when people see beautiful churches some may think why people spend money on this? This kind of questions arise when we think churches are for men. But they are not for men, that's for God. When we start think in this way then churches are more appealing and beautiful.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

See through your own eyes

My friend Dr. Kimberley Parker, professor of communication Bellarmine University while she was teaching a seminar about bullying in the work places, she said, when she interviewed few workers to get data to present this paper, a couple of them said that they feel their boss is goofy or mean to them but they do not consider that is bullying. I was thinking what is bullying for one person need not be bullying for another, it depends on the person who takes it.
I was talking to one of my friends recently, she is a newcomer to a textbook publishing company in India. Her boss is very mean to her, sometimes corrects my friend  in front of 40 other colleagues. Many colleagues seeing what is going on asked to pay back in the same coin. She said to her colleagues, she doesn't feel that's bullying. I am a newcomer and feel that she teaches me and it is not my culture to pay back in the same coin. I told her this makes you sweet heart! I asked her, are you indirectly saying your boss is cultureless? She laughed!
It is better to see things through your eyes than other's eye, your culture than other's culture.

Friday, August 30, 2013

White carpet

A grandma had an expensive beautiful white carpet. She loved the carpet to death and she did not like anybody come home because she thought they dirty the carpet. When this became an obsession, she thought to visit a counsellor. And counsellor asked in their conversation, if you see 10 dirty foot prints how many people came to your home? She said five. Why did five people come to your home? Asked the counsellor. Grandma said they come because they want to talk to me and they love me. Counsellor said they are not coming to dirty your carpet, they come to love you and foot prints on your carpet is sign of love. This changed the mind of grandma, she opened her house door wide open for everyone. 
Sometimes a twist of thought can change our lives! The situation in her house is the same but she started thinking differently. Adopting positive thoughts brought constructive changes into her  life and made her happier and different. Why don't we try this!

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.


I remember a short story in malayalam which was published in a special edition of famous news paper. I do not remember the author. The story begins with a man who is depressed and was thinking to take himself. While spending a night in a lake, thinking about comitting suicide he saw a firefly. He felt as if the firefly saluting him and calling him. This moment shook him and gave up the thought about commiting suicide. A firefly could make somone happy and inspire to give up taking his life!
If a firefly can save someone's life and make him happy, how much more potentiality we have to make other's life happier! A word of appreciation, a hug, a smile, a positive stroke from you can change someone's life. Let us try to bring happiness to others through our gift of life.