In gratitude to God, we witnessed another mile stone in the life of Mary, Mother of Divine Love Province in India. On 08 September 2020 the second community of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters in the Diocese of Agartala, Tripura was erected in Bagbasa. It is about 150km distance from Twichakma where the first community was established. The three Sisters: Sr. Inacinha Fernandes, Sr. Bimla Barla and Sr. Tarcila Kerketta were sent out to collaborate in the educational and pastoral ministry together with the Holy Cross Fathers.
A CUP OF LOVING SERVICE
The cup reserved for holy service
Lay hidden on a dark and dusty shelf.
Years and years had passed since it
Was a useful vessel of God given grace.
But it carried a rich history of adventure:
A lone missionary priest, roaming
The imposing hills of West Virginia, -
Often on horseback - in the bygone
Time before technology came to rule
The now calcified world of ruthless
Profit and loss. - A relic of yesterday’s
Ancient history, now long forgotten.
Today the Pallottine Missionary Sisters all over the world celebrate the 100th Birthday of Sr. Christine Bohr, the oldest member of the Congregation. Let us rejoice and be glad!
The gospel is set in the context of Jesus beginning to foretell the destruction of the temple of his body, and its rebuilding in three days (John 2:19). The Lord certainly has the plan and vision for this destruction and rebuilding that is, as we hear, quite beyond the grasp of the disciples. So, I think about rebuilding and remodeling, and all of the times that God has had a vision and plan for the rebuilding and remodeling of my life that went beyond my wildest dreams. I can liken it to any rebuilding of a physical space- the comparisons are not so far off. When one is looking over the piles of dust and dry wall and knee-deep debris that are necessarily present during any reconstructive effort, maybe we can relate. Maybe we can hear the gospel being spoken in the midst of the mess we stand in…
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the family of St. Vincent Pallotti, dear Friends
A grateful heart is a thankful heart, is a joyful heart! With these words I wish to express my joy and gratitude to you for the many wishes, cards, letters and gifts that I have received on the occasion of my Feastday. Thank you for your prayers, support, words of encouragement and every sign of love and friendship. I am truly strengthened by your faith, unity, spiritual and physical presence. September 3rd was indeed a beautiful day with many joyful surprises. It will surely remain in my heart. Thank you. With a gift of prayer-
Sr. Izabela Świerad SAC
▪ Pope Francis once again appealed to all Christians for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our Planet. Considering this call, here in Rome, the presidents of the Council of the European Bishops` Conference (CCEE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) held a joint meeting and invited the faithful to take part in the Season of Creation from 1 September to 4 October. It is celebrated under the heading of Jubilee for the Earth, precisely in this year that marks the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day. In the Holy Scriptures, a Jubilee is a sacred time to remember, return, rest, restore, and rejoice.
The gospel selection today is one that proves the adage, “The Gospel is ever new.” The “newness” is not that the words we read or hear were never there before (and thus new. Rather, the “newness” is that I have changed and the gospel passage is being heard, in a sense, by a new me.
Jesus first asks his disciples a factual question, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” The people who have been listening to Jesus consider him a prophetic presence like John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the ancient prophets. They see Jesus as a man of God and thus special like the prophets were.
“And he kept trying to see him”
This short reading about “Herod the ruler” is situated in Luke’s gospel just after the healing of the “dead child.” We are told her parents were “astounded.” The curing is followed by Jesus giving the twelve “power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.” Then comes today’s reading about Herod saying he was “perplexed” about what Jesus was doing and who Jesus was. “And he kept trying to see him.” The feeding of the five thousand men follows. Just imagine the consternation of the apostles at the prospect of having to feed five thousand hungry, tired men! Who wouldn’t be perplexed as was Herod and yet we are told that “he kept trying to see him.”
What is the good-news being offered?
Prov 30:5-9; Ps 119:29, 72, 89, 101, 104, 163; Lk 9:1-6
“Take nothing for the journey…”
The authority Luke speaks of is the authority of relationship. Jesus gave his apostles the authority, to “cure diseases… proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Jesus offered nothing beyond themselves; who they were in relationship to him. He offered them no healing herbs, no potions, no medical skills, no additional anything. He sent them off with “… nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money,…no second tunic.” But neither did Jesus say anything about his expectations or results. In fact, he says, “…as for those who don’t welcome you, shake the dust from your feet.” He does not say to stick around, try and try again, or be persistent. He says to keep going, to keep moving on, to stay faithful to the mission, the journey. Stay faithful to me, to us, to what we have together. Don’t get bogged down in stuff or baggage. It is not about the quality of the hospitality offered; rather it is about faithfulness to Jesus himself. Staying faithful to the relationship.
Christ’s disclosure in today’s Gospel is startling, ”My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act upon it.” The statement is especially startling when we consider the relationship between Jesus and his mother. Christ desires his followers to be in an intimate personal relationship with Him not unlike that of a loving family.
Eph 4:1-7, 11-13; Mt 9:9-13
Imagine Matthew’s experience as today’s Gospel reading tells it. Here is he, literally minding his business, which was collecting tolls, possibly the toll paid when people transported goods, most likely fish, from the area of Galilee (Capernaum was a border town). Suddenly this man Jesus drops by. If Matthew worked out of Capernaum, he must have heard about and probably met the mysterious man from Nazareth who preached like Jeremiah and healed like Elijah. He knew that he had asked Peter, Andrew, James and John to join him. And now, though he scarcely knew him, along comes this Jesus with the simple and bold invitation, “Come, follow me.” This is most amazing. As a tax collector for the hated Roman government, most people had as little as possible to do with him, his only friends being other tax collectors and the sort of people the Pharisees labeled “sinners,” so called not because they were nasty people but because their trade or lack of learning made it unlikely that they kept the Torah properly. And yet this charismatic man of God is asking him to join him. What’s to lose? There got to be something better in this life than toll collecting. And there is something profoundly attractive about this Jesus. So he simply gets up and follows him.