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).