Thursday, February 19, 2015

A GREAT LIGHT HAS APPEARED IN THE DARKNESS

DIVINE LENTEN 2015 Message 
“A GREAT LIGHT HAS APPEARED IN THE DARKNESS”
(Matt. 4:16)



Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ


Wishing you and your loved ones a Most Holy & Sacred Season of Lent.
At the beginning before Jesus began His public ministry, He fasted 40 days and 40 nights. After His Great Fast, Jesus chose Capernaum as the place where He would begin His preaching ministry.  In the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 4:12-17 (Jesus Begins His Ministry), there is a clear purpose why Jesus chose Capernaum to begin His ministry. Capernaum was situated in the territory of the 2 tribes - Zebulun and Naphtali. The two tribes of Israel, Zebulun and Naphtali, were the first tribes that were devastated 700 years before Christ in the Assyrian invasion. Because of this historical destruction, the people came to think that these two tribes were the most sinful of all the tribes of Israel. As a result, the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali was considered “a land that was in darkness”. When Jesus came after His Great Fast to preach in Capernaum, the evangelist tells us “a great light has appeared in the land of darkness”.

This is a message to all of us as we begin this Sacred Season of Lent. However destroyed we are by the powers of evil, however devastated we are in our lives, we have hope in Jesus! If Jesus chose Zebulun and Napthali territory to begin His ministry of salvation, His ministry is available to everyone who is desperate. We should never give up on Jesus. The terrible sins we have committed and the unfortunate tragedies and events that have come into our lives should not discourage us. The Light of Salvation has come to us. The message of Jesus wasRepent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 4:17) This is an invitation and a promise. “Repent” is an invitation for us to turn our hearts to God. We will realize that our hearts and our lives are turned away from God. As a result, God did not have much place in our lives. For our happiness, for our security, for our future, it was not to God that we turned to but to the pleasures and gains of sin.

When we turn our hearts to God, God will respond by giving us His Kingdom. Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” What is the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God is where God is accepted as King. God is accepted as the Lord and Master of our life. I accept God as the Supreme in my life. I allow God to dictate terms to me. I will do everything only according to the Word and the Will of God. When we repent and turn to God, the Kingdom of God comes upon us.

St. Paul tells us in Romans 14:17, “The Kingdom of God is Righteousness, Peace and Joy of the Holy Spirit.” That is the offer of God today – the Righteousness, Peace and Joy of the Holy Spirit! When our relationship becomes right with God, our relationship becomes right with everyone around us. The heart of the husband will turn to the wife and the heart of the wife will turn to the husband. The hearts of the children will turn to the parents and the hearts of the parents will turn to the children. All the conflicts of anger and hatred will be cleared away from our hearts and we will experience the great Joy and Peace of the Holy Spirit. Let us accept this offer from God, and turn to God and live for Him.

The blessed ashes which anointed our foreheads during the Ash Wednesday service today signifies the repentance that we need to have in our hearts.

Let Us Pray

We humbly ask You, O God our Father, that the blessed ashes which was placed on our foreheads in repentance today is a sign of the abundance of Your Grace in our lives.

O God who is moved by acts of humility and respond with forgiveness to works of penance, lend Your  Merciful Ear to our prayers. In Your Kindness, pour out the Grace of Your Blessings for us, Your servants, who have been marked with these ashes. As we follow the Lenten observances, may we be worthy to come with lives made pure to celebrate the Paschal Mystery of Your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Amen.



Yours in Christ+


Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C.
Director - Divine Retreat Centre


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