Archive for March 2016

EASTER! World’s Greatest ‘Mystery’ Story – Wrought in Profound Peace and Silence!

March 21, 2016

easter-cross-and-lilies-wallpaperPromote Peace

It seemed one of those virginal days. Behind the musty hills of Golgotha it dawned. A warm sun rose vanquishing little by little the darknerss of the previous night. In the eastern hills a white ray of light, lit the distant reflection of an earth, clothed with lilies transparently white lined in the brightest silver.

It was the quietest of morns ever to be remembered, after the gruesome and catastrophic din of the of the previous week’s, horrifying scenery. The clear benign air seemed stirred as by a stir of angel’s wings that ushered it in with shy and cheerful breezes.

In the half light of the dawn, the women advanced, breathed upon by wondering airs, lost in their sadness, under the spell of an emotion they could not explain. Were they returning to weep upon a tomb? Or put on the body of an immaculate one spices stronger than those of Nicodemus? And speaking among themselves,  who will turn away the stone from the door of the sepulcher? But when they arrived they saw the stone rolled away, and leaning against the rocks.

The women struck into silence with fright turned, expecting to see somebody to tell what happened in the two nights before. Mary of Magdala at once feared that the Jews would have stolen the body and thrown it into a canine grave used for men stoned and crucified. But it could be no more than a pre-sentiment. Perhaps Jesus was still lying in the perfumed wrappings. But…., enter they dare not. Still they could not bear to go away….not knowing what had happened.

The sun slowly rose above the summit of the hills and shone right into the opening of the sepulcher. Now they took courage and entered. At first they saw nothing, but was gripped with a new fear. At their right was seated a young man dressed in a long white garment. he looked as if he awaited them. “Be not afraid,” he said, “He is not here, for he is risen. Why seek ye the living among the dead? Remember what he told you, when he was yet in Galillee, saying the Son of Man must be delivered into hands of sinful men and be crucified and the third day rise again.”

The women listened absolutely terrified and trembling, unable to answer. But the youth went on, ” Go quickly and tell his disciples, that He is risen from the dead; and behold he goeth before you into Galilee, there you shall see him.”

The four of them still terrified, yet trembling with joy, left the grotto to go where they were instructed to. Yet going down the garden, a few steps outside it, Mary of Magdala stopped, while the others went down the road towards the city. Mary herself could not understand why she stopped. Perhaps the words of the unknown youth did not convince her. She thought, ‘May be the youth in white is an accomplice of the Sanhedrin who wished to deceive them. Then of course they had not even made sure the sepulcher was really empty.’

Suddenly she turned to go back. She stood aghast, as she saw a man behind her, outlined against the green garden and the sunlight. but she did not recognize Him even when He spoke, “Woman why weepst thou? Whom seekst thou? Mary instinctively thought it must be Joseph’s gardener come early to work. Still trembling and quivering she said, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. Sir, if you have taken Him away tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

The unknown man touched by the impassioned and artless pleading; the child-like simplicity answered only one word, spoke only one name, her name, pronounced pensively, wistfully in the touching and unforgettable voice which had called her so many times, “Mary!”

At this as if awakened from a dream with a start, the despairing woman recognized her lost Master, “Rabboni, Master!” she said, and fell at his feet in the dewy grass and tried to hold fast in her hand those bare feet, still showing the two red marks of the nails.

But Jesus said to her, “Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and unto my God and your God.” Then at once He moved away from the kneeling woman, and moved away among the flowering plants, crowned with sunshine. Mary watched until he had disappeared. Then lifting herself up from the grass, her faced convulsed, yet wild and blind with joy, ran after her companions…..

In the calm and placid air around rabbits leaping from their hideouts, bounced around in delight breaking the profound silence. Birds chirped and sang their lyrical praises to the passing wind, and butterflies fluttered around spreading the good news in whispers to their beloved blossoms, while the cool complacent winds carried the awesome news way down to the city below.

 

 

‘Martyrs of Charity’ Thoughts for Christianity’s Season of Lent

March 10, 2016

Promote Peace‘Sacrificial giving up,’ has been the keynote of Christian religious practices during the season of Lent down the ages. Recent happenings in Yemen culminating in the tragic news of the gunmen attacking the ‘Martyrs of Charity,’ a group of nuns belonging to Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, sent shock waves reverberating round the world.

Let’s face it in reality, and not ‘virtually’ as Christ’s death was in ‘reality,’ just like those martyrs, that would make Lent and give Lent a new meaning, not simply making a fetish of self-denials, of our pre-Lenten favorites. Doubtless these have a way of sanctifying oneself, paying for ones sins, to evade purgatory as traditional Christianity subscribes, but living in times of brazen acts of violence and killing, lent demands a more positive attitude of self-denials in a call to confront elements of darkness.

Ashes of Ash Wednesday, is a fervent reminder that we are constantly in death in the midst of life. “Remember man that you are dust and to dust you shall return.” Dust of the earth to be mingled with the dust stars of heaven, the mission of man here on earth.    The martyrs of Yemen are a glaring reminder of this truth. Pope Francis called these martyrs “victims of indifference.” An act of senseless and diabolical violence.” How far do these horrendous events strike our conscience? Our globalized indifference be it Yemen or violence all around us? Let’s give it a thought to make of Lent have a more positive meaning to life.

Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East. Before the war over half the population lived on less than $2.00 a day. No access to clean water. According to World Food Program 41% of the population was food insecure and child malnutrition was highest in the world. 90% of the food was imported. Yet Saudi Arabia’s stringent air, water and land blockades in the name of preventing weapons from entering the war-torn country has prevented not just food but also fuel and medicine and urgently needed aid getting to millions in need.

Yemen’s war has killed over 2,800 civilians, numbered over 8,000 casualties and over 2.4 million displaced. In the atmosphere of political instability gunmen are freely stabilizing themselves exploiting the situation, funded by wealthy countries, fuelling ‘religious radicalism,’ pursuing fundamentalist ideas.

How much does this reality of death, pain and suffering comply with our mindset of indulgences and self-listed catalogue of self-denials.  As St. Paul says, ‘I may give up everything I have, and even give up my body to burnt – but if I have no love – this does me no good.’ Cor. 13: 1-3. Jesus says, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” How does this challenge oneself. Lent as a preparation for Easter! demands not simply words but action. Jesus gave us an example as an ultimate sacrifice on the cross. let us not simply love to stay-put but make a jump-start, join an Activist Group or Movement denouncing violence, death and destruction or call for disarmament of all parties to lay down arms and  look for peaceful means to solve political issues, in the face humanitarian disaster that war has in store..