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15th August – ASSUMPTION OF
BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
August 19, 2007 Year: C
Jer 38:1-2, 4-6, 8-10
Heb. 12:1-4; Lk 12:49-53
I came to bring fire to the earth
"The officials of King Zedekiah heard the words that
Jeremiah was saying to all the people: 'Thus says the
Lord: 'Those who stay in the city shall die; but those
who go out to the Chaldeans shall live.''
the officials said to the king, 'This man ought to be
put to death, because he is discouraging the soldiers
who are left in this city, and all the people, by
speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking
the welfare of his people, but their harm.'
Zedekiah said, 'Here he is; he is in your hands; for the
king is powerless against you.'
they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of
Malchiah, the king's son, which was in the court of the
guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. Now there was no
water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sand in
Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, an officer in the king's
house, left the king's house and spoke to the king, 'My
lord king, these men have acted wickedly in all they did
to the prophet Jeremiah by throwing him into the cistern
to die there of hunger, for there is no bread left in
the city.' Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the
Ethiopian, 'Take three men with you from here, and pull
the prophet Jeremiah up from the cistern before he
dies.'" [Jer. 38:1- 2, 4-6, 8-10]
"Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of
witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the
sin that clings so closely, and let us run with
perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to
Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for
the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the
cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at
the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider Jesus who endured such hostility against
himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or
lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not
yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood." [Heb.
"Jesus said to his disciples: 'I came to bring fire to
the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I
have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what
stress I am under until it is completed!
Do you think that I have come to bring
peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!
From now on five in one household will be divided, three
against two and two against three; they will be divided:
father against son and son against father, mother
against daughter and daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and
daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." [Lk. 12:49-53]
To those who were learning to regard
Jesus as the Messiah, the anointed one of God, these
words would come as a bleak shock. They regarded the
Messiah as conqueror and king, and the Messianic age as
a golden time.
In Jewish thought fire is almost
always the symbol of judgment. So, then, Jesus
regarded the coming of his kingdom as a time of
judgment. The Jews firmly believed that God would
judge other nations by one standard and themselves
by another; that the very fact that a man was a Jew
would be enough to absolve him. However much we may
wish to eliminate the element of judgment from the
message of Jesus it remains stubbornly and
unalterably entrenched there.
The Authorized Version and the Revised Standard
translate verse 50, “I have a baptism to be baptized
with”. The Greek verb baptizein means
to dip. In the passive it means to be submerged.
Often it is used metaphorically. For instance, it is
used of a ship sunk beneath the waves. It can be
used of a man submerged in drink and therefore
dead-drunk. It can be used of a scholar submerged
(or sunk, as we say) by an examiner’s questions.
Above all it is used of a man submerged in some grim
and terrible experience-someone who can say, “All
the waves and billows are gone over me.”
My grandfather took me to the fish pond
on the farm when I was about seven, and he told me to
throw a stone into the water. He told me to watch the
circles created by the stone. Then he asked me to think
of myself as that stone person.
"You may create lots of splashes in your
life but the waves that come from those splashes will
disturb the peace of all your fellow creatures," he
"Remember that you are responsible for
what you put in your circle and that circle will also
touch many other circles. You will need to live in a way
that allows the good that comes from your circle to send
the peace of that goodness to others. The splash that
comes from anger or jealousy will send those feelings to
other circles. You are responsible for both."
That was the first time I realized each
person creates the inner peace or discord that flows out
into the world. We cannot create world peace if we are
riddled with inner conflict, hatred, doubt, or anger. We
radiate the feelings and thoughts that we hold inside,
whether we speak them or not. Whatever is splashing
around inside of us is spilling out into the world,
creating beauty or discord with all other circles of
Remember the eternal wisdom
WHATEVER YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS...
I repeat the words of Saint Paul, "In
your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to
the point of shedding your blood." [Heb. 12:4] What
powerful words worthy of reflection!
I have not come to bring peace, but
sword, signifies that Jesus wants us to be warriors
against evil and sinful. The just must suffer.
I heard once someone saying, that he
wanted to come out of sin, but did not succeed until he
fell into greater troubles and realized that he was sick
and his condition was dangerous. He went finally for
making a good confession of sins and made reparation,
and he became a healthy person again.
God chose us to be his sons and
daughters, to create in us a disposition for God’s
kingdom. In our lives, we ought to accept what is
spiritual and pleasing to God, rejecting what is sinful
and offensive to Him. Those who renounce God and His
existence, they adopt sin because their actions are
sinful and offensive to God and neighbour. Those who are
indifferent and are not ready to accept the truth, also
are inclined towards sin. Those who persecute people who
believe in God and are harmless, they too are sinning
and are rebellious to God’s spirit. Those who intimidate
the pious faithful who adore Jesus in the Blessed
Sacrament, their opposition to what is holy is a sign
that they themselves cannot be holy.
Life is a constant combat against evil
and sin. This is easily understood through the Gospel
truths. Jesus himself had to combat the evil tendencies
in the desert as the inception of his mission, and then
he had to combat evil in the society, he had to struggle
against the malpractices of the Pharisees and rulers of
Like Jesus we too have to struggle
against sin and Pharisaic tendencies.
year, it comes to our attention that dozen of priests,
brothers, sisters, seminarians, teachers and other
Catholics are murdered because of their faith in Christ.
These martyrs reflect only a small percentage of the
many other Catholics who are murdered in a number of
countries, some nations where the Catholic faith is but
a minority of the population.
While the lives of many of the faithful pass by
unnoticed in this world's book of Catholic martyrs, in
Heaven, these martyrs are glorified for having followed
in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus. Their names shall
never be forgotten.
Jeremiah struggled to preach the Word of
God to people. He was rejected and persecuted. Perhaps
Jeremiah himself could not accept this treatment on the
part of the King and people. But God was constantly with
Jeremiah and was working through him.
Lesson to be learnt, that we are not
alone in our life. Whenever we are persecuted, we must
be aware that God is with us and he takes care of us. He
will never allow us to be orphans. If we cast a glance
at the whole of the Bible, we find similar situations
with regard to Moses, Patriarch Job, Ezekiel, Amos and
Prophet Jonah. All these holy people suffered and were
eventually rescued by God.
Sister is Pregnant:
It happened in a religious convent that
the sister was practicing her nursing profession in a
known hospital. She was well accepted and always happy
to serve people with a smiling face. In the course of
time the comrades in her convent became jealous and were
particularly interested about her chastity. They spread
rumors that this nurse sister was friendly with a doctor
in the hospital. They accused her silently that she was
coming late at times, perhaps going to the house of the
doctor. In the end they even spread the rumors that she
was pregnant. What happened? This young sister could not
stomach the accusations and she disappeared. The members
of her community spread still further rumors that she
might have eloped with her new found love – the doctor.
Then came a rude shock to them, when the neighbors found
her body in the open well of their own campus. The lay
people insisted for a postmortem of her body. Truth came
out, in fact the sister was not pregnant. Who were
pregnant? Well you can just imagine, the sister
companions were pregnant with malice.
Saint Paul said, "I do not understand my
own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the
very thing I hate." [Rom. 7:15, 19]
Cow and Pig
A rich Landlord who once asked his parish priest—“Why
does everybody call me stingy when every one knows that
when I die I will leave everything I have to this
The priest said; ‘There once was a pig
and a cow. The pig was unpopular and the cow was loved
by all in the village.
This puzzled the pig. The pig said to the
cow, “people speak warmly of your good nature and your
helpful attitude. They think you are very generous
because each day you give them milk, butter and cheese.
But what about me?
I give them everything I have. I give
them the famous Goa sausages, bacon and ham. I also
provide ingredients for mouth watering sorpotel. Yet no
one likes me. Why is that?”
The priest continued: “Do you know what
the cow answered? “
The Cow said, “Perhaps
it’s because I give while I am still living.”
Examples of the inner conflict may
involve making a resolution not to steal, ill-treat or
spoil ones name anymore. It may include a self-promise
to spend more time with the loved ones. It may involve
making a resolution to no longer miss the celebration of
the Holy Mass on Sundays. But when the time comes to get
out of bed on Sunday morning; that is a different story.
These and many more are examples of the inner battle.
While we want to be good and spiritual in all our
actions, our human nature interferes and draws us
towards the worldly ways. As such, we must constantly be
on the alert and strengthen our wills by resisting what
is not Christian.
Let us try in this week to continue our
search for God’s kingdom. Let us try our best to keep
away evil from our life. Do we try to keep away from all
sorts of things and people who ruin us? God has called
us to be holy. Holiness does not mean that we need to be
always with Bible and praying. Holiness does mean
helping our brethren who are in need, trying to
encourage them and being helpful towards them. This will
certainly take us a long way in our life that is
pleasing to God.
to resist evil:
Try to cultivate presence of God
Be faithful for your daily prayers
Try to speak well of others
Do not think too much of the past or
Be focused and try your best to do
what you have to
Visit your neighbor and help
Enter into a pious and holy
Try to discuss about Biblical themes
– ASSUMPTION OF BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
"God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his
covenant was seen within his temple.
great portent appeared in heave: a woman clothed with
the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a
crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying
out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth.
Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red
dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven
diadems on his heads. His tail swept down a third of the
stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the
dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a
child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it
And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to
rule all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child
was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne;
and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a
place prepared by God, so that there she can be
nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming, 'Now
have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of
our God and the authority of the Messiah.'" [Rev.
11:19a, 12:1-6, 10]
"Brothers and sisters, Christ has been raised form the
dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since
death came through a human being, the resurrection of
the dead has also come through a human being; for as all
die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But
each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at
his coming those who belong to Christ.
Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to
God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and
every authority and power. For Christ must reign until
he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last
enemy to be destroyed is death." [1 Cor. 15:20-7]
"Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in
the hill country, where she entered the house of
Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped
in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy
Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, 'Blessed are you
among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And
why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord
comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your
greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And
blessed is she who believed that there would be a
fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.
And Mary said, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my
spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked
with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely,
from now on all generations will call me blessed; for
the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is
his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from
generation to generation. He has shown strength with his
arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their
hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their
thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the
hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his
mercy, according to the promise he made to our
ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.'
And Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and
then returned to her home." [Lk. 1:39-56]
The Eleven Seven Chain Train Bomb Blasts last year
cannot be easily forgotten. Last year during this time
the memory of this tragic day in the history of Mumbai
was well fresh in the minds of millions of travelers by
train. Anthony was on one of the trains that blasted at
Mahim station. He had to enter the first class
compartment and that day because he lost his spectacles
while trying to enter the first class compartment, he
was forced to enter the second class compartment. And
when it reached Mahim station, it blasted, the
compartment which he had to board. Most of the travelers
died instantly and many more injured. Anthony thanked
God for saving his life. He then helped carry the dead
bodies, and became a good Samaritan until 10 pm. Then,
Anthony walked, the long distance from Mahim to Mira
Road. He was not afraid to walk, he just walked the
distance praying, thanking God for his life and reached
home early morning at 4.30 next day. After a week he
wanted to offer a thanksgiving mass, and he told me the
whole story. Anthony told me that he had that day lost
the sense of time. He used to be very punctual, very
particular to leave the office, start back home and
reach on time etc. This event brought about a complete
change, and he thought of offering his free services
whenever and wherever needed in the church and at home
and in the neighborhood in the Community.
Mary set out and went with haste:
Mary was in a hurry to help. She did not delay in
responding to the need of Elizabeth. This is what we
learn form Mary, always quick to find out the need of
others. Later in her life she showed how she was always
keen on finding out the needs of others. At the marriage
feast a Cana, she was the one who found out the need for
Mary greeted Elizabeth:
This is one of the qualities of a content person in
life. A content person always sees a positive realm in
the other. The greeting happens spontaneously. Mary
greeted Elizabeth with a intention of congratulating her
for her pregnancy, greeted because she is older than
herself and greeted because she brings further joyful
tidings to Elizabeth. That is what Mary normally does in
our life. The angel greeted her and she passes on the
greetings to others.
Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord:
Magnifying the Lord is a kind of prayer of praise. We
worship the Lord and then magnify his greatness in our
life. Whenever we meet a loving person, we cannot but
magnify him/her, applauding their good qualities, their
talents and abilities. Magnifying the Lord is to forget
ourselves and praising God for all that he has done to
For the Mighty One has done great things
Mary realized that the Mighty has done great things for
her. When we are too much concerned about ourselves, we
never realize that the Mighty God does wonders in our
life. We normally take everything for granted. But when
we go deeper into our life and find out how God has been
good through the years, then we can be grateful to him.
Often we are blind to God’s goodness in our life.
One day a boy of about 16 years of age named Kyle was
walking home from school. He was carrying many books and
other items and was seemingly have a lot of trouble
Eventually, he tripped, and all the books
and items fell from his arms. At that moment a young man
named Will saw him from the other side of the road and
walked over to see if there was anything he could do. He
helped the boy pick up his things and carry them home.
In the next three months, him and the boy
became very close. And then on the last day of school,
Will found a note in his locker. It read:
You don't know this, but on that day
three months ago, I had just cleaned out my locker. I
was going to commit suicide. I thought no one cared
about me. However, when you came over, I realized that
someone did. So you see Will, when you picked up my
books, you really picked up my life. Thank You,
Mary Assumed into Heaven keeps watch over
Oh, this is Assumption day. Mary goes up
higher, but not without us. She always cares for us. I
remember my Mom was a daring lady when we were children.
She used to take care of us very much. On certain days
at home in the evenings we used to be very fearful of
snakes that were creeping into our home. One day a huge
cobra had entered. My mom took a solid piece of stick to
chase away that creature. I remember we all the four
children were behind her clinging to her Sari and
following her. That night I got up three to four times
with fear of that creature. But each time I got up I saw
my mom keeping a vigil with a dim lamp besides us. Oh,
that I cannot forget. She was always concerned about us
and even today at 75 she continues to be so. If so, what
about Mother Mary? She always keeps watch over us. Never
WISH YOU ALL, DEAR FRIENDS,
A VERY HAPPY FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION
A GREAT 60TH INDEPENDENCE
DAY OF OUR COUNTRY
New book from Fr. Rudy :
Short review of the book: This book is an out come of a
serious exegetical study on the important words and
texts from the writings of St John of the Cross. The
study deals with a short life and writings of the mystic
and then does a complete study on GOD, MAN and WAYS to
EXPERIENCE GOD. The book is available at: St. Joseph
Church, Near Holy Cross Convent School, Mira Road East,
Thane Dt. Maharashtra State - 401 107, India. Books can
be ordered through email:
The cost of the book is Rs.
125/- pp.xviii + 234, The Title of the Book is: THE
DYNAMISM OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH - An Exegetical Study on
St. John of the Cross, author: Dr. Rudolf V. D' Souza,
OCD, MA. PhD.
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