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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Come, Holy Spirit and Renew the Face of the Earth!

Pentecost Sunday: Readings - Acts 2:1–11; Psalm 104:1, 24, 29–31, 34; 1 Corinthians 12:3–7, 12–13; John 20:19–23
(Pentecost, Juan Bautista Maíno created between 1615-1620)
The Meaning of "Spirit"
One of the names referring to God is the "Holy Spirit." God is three in one - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is not a myth but a mystery. St Paul would say to us that the Holy Spirit makes us to call God as  Abba. "And because you are sons/daughters, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Gal 4:6). Therefore, there is an external divine support in us which makes us children of God. Both in Hebrew ruach and Greek pneuma the words for "spirit" are the same as the words for "breath" and "wind." In fact in English word "spirit" comes from Latin meaning "breath". For example, "the spirit left him" or "he breathed his last".  "Inspiration" and "respiration" have the same root. There is interconnectedness between breath and active life. When a person’s body stops breathing, it also becomes inactive and dies. Breath is the outward manifestation of activity and life. There is intimate connection between breath and active life.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Ascension: Go and be Jesus to All

The Ascension of the Lord: Readings - Acts 1:1–11; Psalm 47:2–3, 6–7, 8–9; Ephesians 1:17–23; Matthew 28:16–20
Ascension of Jesus, by John Singleton Copley.
On this Ascension Sunday, the Church commemorates an important event among the Easter narratives that is of Jesus being taken up into heaven. At the first instance this event tells us that the story of the empty tomb does not end with Jesus' appearances to his apostles and close friends and relatives. Jesus now meets his dear one's in a community. Secondly, Jesus is taken up when they were together and from their midst he is taken up into heaven, to the place which belongs to him permanently. He ascends to His Father and our Father. Therefore there is a community dimension to this feast of Ascension of the Lord. As someone said, that the Resurrection, like the Ascension, is into Heaven, or to put it boldly the meaning of the Ascension is to show us that the Resurrection is into Heaven. All the Easter narratives are fascinating, challenging and intriguing. Because of their nature, character and description. 

Presence of the Holy Spirit in the physical absence of Jesus
Ascension of our Lord is a precursor to the anointing by the Holy Spirit.  “In a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5), says St Luke.  Without the Ascension the Holy Spirit will not come down upon the apostles and later on to us as well. One leads the other.  Two things happen here. Firstly, in order to live that divine life we must receive the Holy Spirit. Secondly, we will receive the Holy Spirit provided we are purified by the Baptism. Jesus says,  "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 28:19).  The scriptures tell us how the Ascension took place in Jerusalem. Both St Luke in the Acts of Apostles and St Matthew in his gospel tell us. But it's very difficult to grasp what this Ascension is all about.  I would say this way: Until the ascension Jesus appeared to the disciples both human and divine form. However, after his Ascension, Jesus is no more seen as human. In other words, Jesus does not appear to anyone as a human person. Interestingly,  the Gospel discourses on Easter narratives tell us that Resurrected Jesus is there and not there. Take for example: Jesus appearing to Mary of Magdeline. She recognises him first as gardener and then Rabbouni, Teacher (John 20:11-18). For the disciples of Emmaus Jesus appears to them as fellow walking companion, then interpreter of scriptures and finally as priest, while breaking of the bread (Luke 24:13-35). Jesus appears to his disciples while fishing as a man who knew very good fishing, stranger, then as a cook and finally their master (John 21: 1-14).  Resurrected Jesus appeared also to his disciples when they were together in a room  as a ghost, then hungry man, finally as their master. (Lk 24:36-48).

Ascension of Jesus becomes all in all
Ascension of Jesus tells us very poignantly that once he is taken up, Jesus become all in all. His divinity is manifested completely, wholly and fully. Jesus is no more in human form here. During the apparitions of the resurrected Jesus the space of his manifestation was limited especially in and around Jerusalem and Galilee. Jesus' movements and presentation happens only in limited places. Between the resurrection and the Ascension, Jesus appears to specific people at specific places and times. Now, with the Ascension, Jesus becomes present to all in a profound and deeper way. With the ascension of Jesus he becomes completely accessible to everyone and anywhere. There is no more constrains of space and time. He is beyond any sort of limitations that the human mind can think of. In the words of St Paul to the Colossians, "Christ is all and in all" (Col 3:11). The Ascension reminds us of our trinitarian baptism, an acknowledgment of God above (Father), with us and by our side (Son) and within us (Holy Spirit).

Jesus goes high and becomes visible to all. 
"They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two in white were standing near them..." (Acts 1:10). The disciples were always accompanied even when their master Jesus was taken up very high. Always comfort is given when you look for it. Grace is handed down to you when you seek it.  Interestingly, until Jesus was taken up into heaven he was visible only to select number of people and territorial boundaries were restricted. However, with the ascension, we see the more Jesus goes high, he becomes visible to all by breaching the territorial boundaries. This happens that he might share in the life of God fully, and so that in him, we too could share the life of God. In our life too, the more far we are from our loved one's with physical distance often they become close to us!

Farewell brings out deepest emotions and the memory is solid and lasting.
Jesus spends precious moments with his close one's for the last moment before he would be taken up. In Acts of the Apostles, Luke mentions of Jerusalem but in gospel he mentions about Bethany, where as for Matthew on a mountain in Galilee, for Mark not on a particular place. Mountain is a place of revelation, a place of meeting God. Jesus often prayed on the mountains whether it is Mount Tabor or Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 14:23, Mark 6:46, Luke 6:12, John 6:15). In fact, Jesus calling his disciples on the mountain means he is calling us to experience something different, someone who is divine. He is calling us to go up and choose higher things. These last moments are very precious to them because they would carry his message to the ends of the earth. Even we when we bid farewell to someone who is close to us, we become emotional and sad. We remember after sometime how the person bid farewell to us. Usually, we remember the first and last memories  of meeting very vivid and become attached to us!

Go and be Jesus to all.
The event of Ascension is not an end in itself. But a new start. The risen life is not only without the misery and pain, without sickness and death but of peace, joy and truth, with a new entirety. In other words, with resurrection and ascension of Jesus tell us to start with a new beginning not just an “afterlife” but a real life, which would be greater and more intense and more joyful life than we have ever lived here on earth.  It is a new creation; a new beginning. Jesus gives a new mission of preaching the good news to all and to the ends of earth. In other words, to be Jesus to all. To imitate his words and actions not only in one's life but also in the lives of others.

- Olvin Veigas, SJ
24 May 2020

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Fr Adolfo Nicolás, SJ: A Man of Wit and Wisdom - A Tribute

Fr Adolfo Nicolás in Novosibirsk in 2010, photo by Don Doll, SJ
There are a few individuals who leave a mark in your life or in your institution. Fr Adolfo Nicolás, S. J., (1936-2020), is one of them. He was the 30th Superior General of the Society of Jesus from 2008 to 2016. His eight years at the helm of affairs of the Jesuit Order was marked with significant events in its history. Under Adolfo's Generalate we saw a first Jesuit Pope.  No one thought that a Jesuit would become a Pope. In its more than 480 years of history, no Jesuit had become a Pope. Unfortunately, until Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the Pope in 2013, many of our Jesuit brothers were either censored by the CDF or were under its scanner.  Adolfo handled this new situation in the Church and in the Society of Jesus very well by keeping a close contact with the Pope and welcoming him to the Jesuit curia a number of times.

The first time that I met Fr Adolfo was in Novosibirsk, Russia at our Russian Region's assembly in 2010. After the terrible killing of two of our Jesuits in Moscow in 2008, Adolfo was with us to encourage and strengthen us in our resolve to continue the work of God. I was his translator (Russian to English to Russian) for few sessions and other informal gatherings. He was very gentle and calm in every way, moreover he had a great sense of humour and wit. Few of us would spend more time with him at the breakfast table.
As translator for Fr Adolfo in Novosibirsk in 2010
I saw often  Fr Adolfo in 2015 at the Jesuit Curia and at the Canisio infirmary in Rome, while I was recovering from a serious health bout. One day at the garden party of the Canisio we were on the same table and he had a piece of advice for me on my health. He lamented that often we Jesuits do not take care of our health. Anyway, he wished me well. In fact, both of us would crisscross at the infirmary room of the Canisio as he too was undergoing some medical treatment.

I saw in Fr Adolfo a man of clarity and vision. He was a man of character, indeed. During his tenure as Superior General we saw all his letters were short and to the point. He even said that nobody likes to read long letters today. He used a lot of images and metaphors in his expressions. Perhaps his life in Asia must have had an impact on his thought processing. He said to us that we Jesuits should be like a giraffe. Fascinatingly this animal has a large heart. Because giraffe has a long neck it needs a large heart as well. Moreover, this unusual creation of God has a long neck. Thus, it can reach very high. So too we should be like.

Fr Adolfo often quoted the words of Jesus, Jn 14:6, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life". Adolfo said, Europe has the truth, Asia has a way and Africa has life. Therefore, as Jesuits we need to integrate all these three things in our faith and practice, mission and collaboration.

The often quoted words of Fr Adolfo were, we as Jesuits need to be men of prayer, depth (both spiritual and intellectual, go deep into the issues and deep into discernment ) and creativity. He repeated this idea in many of the Jesuit gatherings around the world.  He also said that there are three kinds of Jesuits, extra ordinary men, mediocre and sick Jesuits. He called us to be available and ready to go for missions. Himself being a missionary in Japan and Philippines, Fr Adolfo had grasped the sense of interculturality and interconnectedness very well. This came out when he spoke or wrote. Talking about our Jesuit life he used a beautiful imagery, when a tree falls it makes more noise than other 100 trees standing.

Fr Nicolás was a very humble man. He said among Jesuits we must address each other "tu" you (singular). The sense of equality and brotherliness that we need to practice was indeed a big step Fr Adolfo took as Superior General. Therefore, he didn't like the so called "protocols". He was very much on online education and he himself enrolled into a few courses. There was no age bar or a position to stop one from learning something new.

Fr Adlolfo believed that the Spiritual Exercises should transform us. Therefore, he called us to be in silence. He thought often we are distracted people, overloaded with too many or multiple activities.  His often quoted phrase “globalization of superficiality” should not influence us. Therefore only through silence we can enter deeper into the issues of the day and address them adequately.

Fascinatingly, this following little prayer that Fr Adolfo wrote in 2011 after an eight-day retreat with General Council summarises the kind of person he was and his spirituality. It is a prayer , which arose from the personal meditation of Father Nicolás on the miraculous catch of fish narrated by Saint John in chapter 21.
Lord Jesus,
What weaknesses did you see in us that made you decide to call us, in spite of everything, to collaborate in your mission?
We give you thanks for having called us, and we beg you not to forget your promise to be with us to the end of time.
Frequently we are invaded by the feeling of having worked all night in vain, forgetting, perhaps, that you are with us.
We ask that you make yourself present in our lives and in our work, today, tomorrow, and in the future yet to come.
Fill with your love these lives of ours, which we put at your service.
Take from our hearts the egoism of thinking about what is “ours,” what is “mine”, always excluding, lacking compassion and joy.
Enlighten our minds and our hearts, and do not forget to make us smile when things do not go as we wished.
At the end of the day, of each one of our days, make us feel more united with you and better able to perceive and discover around us greater joy and greater hope.
We ask all this from our reality. We are weak and sinful men, but we are your friends. Amen.

For more information on Fr Adolfo Nicolás please click here,

- Olvin Veigas, SJ

21 May 2020

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Jesus is the Safest Way

Fifth Sunday of Easter (A) Readings: Acts 6:1–7; Psalm 33:1–2, 4–5, 18–19; 1 Peter 2:4–9;  John 14:1–12
(Heaven’s Protection by Henry John Stock, ca. 1896.)


The scriptural readings in today's liturgy are full of wisdom. They are timely during this time of Covid distress.
I
Fix your problems at the earliest. The first reading from the Acts of Apostles 6:1–7 speaks about how the first Christian community is making in roads in those places and people who were not part of Jewish tradition. When the Word of God enters into a new culture the differences become very vivid. We see the Christianity taking roots in the Hellenistic culture, among the Greeks.  The Greek lands accept Jesus as their saviour. The meeting between Greek and Hebrew culture leads to some sort of differences, deceptions and divisions. Greeks feel that their widows are being neglected in the daily distribution of food. Even though it might not be a big problem to such a growing and enthusiastic, vibrant and intellectual community the apostles make a note of it and take a quick decision to fix this problem. Moreover, they select "seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and wisdom" as deacons. In other words, these men would look into daily running of the services of the community, e.g. distribution of food. When a problem or an issue arises in a Christian community or in an institution, there should be a quick decision to solve it. Thus harmony and peace is established.
II
Jesus is the safest way and there are no short cuts. The Gospel reading from St John 14:1–12 is central in Jesus' preaching ministry. Jesus communicates to his disciples who have a number of questions which are close to their heart.  Jesus answers the questions of Thomas and Philip from his heart. They are very intimate and leaves them in no perplexity. In all its certainty, Jesus tells his disciples that he is "the way, the truth and the life (Jn 14.6). He is the safest way to the Father in heaven. There are no short cuts in life moreover in our spiritual life. Hence our way to God is often, a narrow way. The way is open to everyone. Are you ready to follow that way?

III
In Jesus is our true and authentic identity. Through this Gospel passage, John the Evangelist brings home the true and clear identity of Jesus. When you know things are clear then you may follow boldly. Jesus has a great confident in his disciples because they know his voice. They have travelled with him in his public ministry. They have heard him preach, pray, teach, heal, touch, raise the dead, condemn the wicked, speak for God in every moment of his life. Jesus could communicate with his disciples very personal things of him because he had a great trust in them. You cannot speak something very personal or intimate with someone who is a stranger, enemy or not trustworthy. Even in our daily life all our mundane things that we do depends on the confidence and trust in the other, including business, health care system, etc.
IV
Jesus is the answer to our existential questions. By answering the queries of his disciples, Jesus is answering some existential questions of our life. The existential questions deal with life, here and now and afterwards. As intellectual beings we cannot run away from the questions that we have. They may come to us at any moment or anytime of our life. Who am I? Where am I going? What will happen after my death? etc., all  are part of our inquisitiveness which are real questions. In other words, these questions are about our life, about truth of our life. We cannot get truth from history books or science books. We get narration or opinion from such books. If history is written by the conquerers then scientific inquiries are done by a mind which in finite, limited and incomplete beings. Therefore, a theory like geocentric to the heliocentric and now the relativity, as the years passed we have moved from one to the other. Probably even the theory of relativity will be replaced with some other better theory in the future. With Jesus no other theories on God have replaced. Because Jesus is the truth. Jesus and God the Father are one.
V
The voice of Jesus is an authentic one, a real one. We are living in a world of fake news, hoax news. Telling lies have become order of the day from the Prime Minister to a peon. To be loud means to be lying. Unfortunately, same lie is repeated in our television/radio news channels, news papers, social media, twitter, facebook, and everywhere. Aa a result we too are becoming part of this conundrum. During this time of Covid turbulence, we are called to remain intentional, truthful, graceful and hopeful. In this time of helplessness, we should be hopeful; too many myths are being created. So that people can climb the ladder of power. It may be either in political and  secular life and even in religious and ecclesial life. Looking at Jesus we need to stop belly gazing attitude in our personal and social life. Just as the scriptures call us to be the imitators of God, so too, in our life we have to become Alter Christus, Another Christ.
VI
Let not your hearts be troubled. In John 14:1, Jesus said to his disciples "Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me." Heart is the center of our being. Jesus speaks corde et corde, heart to heart. In the theology of the Fathers of the Church and especially St Maximus the Confessor notes that heart is the innermost core of our being; it is the root of our existence; the place where we are most ourselves. Therefore, the human person is microcosmos. In our ordinary langauge we have many expressions connected with the heart. We often describe people in terms of their hearts; people can be cold-hearted, hard-hearted, warm-hearted, great-hearted or half-hearted, stone hearted, pig hearted, etc!

What Jesus says here about heart is not in biological or physiological sense but in symbolic sense. The heart that Jesus refers is something that is whole, that connects and combines both temporal and eternal at once once and always.  Follow your heart means follow your conscience. In the First book of Samuel, we are told that ‘Man looks on appearances, but the Lord looks to the heart.’ (1 Sam 16,7)   The penetrating gaze of God cuts through the deceitful defences that we build around us and our heart. The Book of Proverbs puts it straightaway: ‘My son give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways.’ (Prov. 4:30)

During this time of different kind, we will have to develop more of God consciousness. The kind of assurance that Jesus is trying to instil in the lives of his disciples should be ours too. They were worried because their master began to speak of his departure from their midst very soon. In fact, we can learn from our Lord Jesus to fix our gaze on that right way, real truth and eternal life while we walk in turbulent waters of our fears, darkness and anxieties.  

- Olvin Veigas, SJ

10th May 2020 

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Sin of Spiritualising our Woes and Illnesses

(Cross of Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ)
More than ever, there seems to be a sense of interconnectedness at the wake of Corona infection crises. No other time of history of humanity has seen such a vast impact on every individual on earth the consequences of an infection. The magnitude of the corona pandemic and the fears surrounding it are vociferous. There is an unprecedented panic in the world about the present, future and also about the past. We do not know when we would be able to get back to normal life, when our schools opened, markets are free to do business, work places are safe to work, travel is made easy because infection will not happen.

Even though, we are aware that we are all interconnected because we breath the same air, drink the same water, get blood transfusion when necessary by the same human body, rarely we are really aware this symbiosis that happens. In spite of our differences, in our colour, race, langauge, geographical location, religion and rite, yet we are all part of that common whole. We are so much interconnected biologically that human regeneration is possible with people who don't even understand each others' langauge or temperaments.

Pope Francis' ecological encyclical Laudato Si' made us aware how we are interconnected with the earth chemically. We are part of a common home. Each atom within us is connected with the universe atomically. Every cell of our being has to get adjusted to the different environments either it is for the minus 45 degree celsius of temperature of Siberia or 46 degree celsius hot temperature of Jaipur. 

However, in recent years, in spite of qualitative education there seems to be rise in ignorance. Sadly, this ignorance is stemming out of incapacity to analyse the things critically that seem to be very close to us. This happens to be in our spiritual realm. Often people do not understand what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the great  palaeontologist and Jesuit priest said long ago “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” A good number of people even though still locked up yet are stuck with this virus of spiritualising things. This is what I call the sin of spiritualising. Every religion is suffering with this sickness of spiritualising. The problem of today is that we are unable to understand human problems honestly and humanly. 

The sin of spiritualising occurs when we fail to get things right. When we do not get the answers that we like to get for our queries, we find comfort and solace in spiritualising. Just because you have felt the loss of sense of self worth before the Creator, it does not mean that corona infection has come from an evil spirit. Tragedies have occurred in the past and will happen in the future. tsunamis have occurred in the past and will occur in the future too. Illnesses and accidents have happened in the past and will happen in the future too. This lokaniyama (universal rule) cannot be ceased by our human intellectual or physical capabilities. One of the greatest humanists of 19th century, the Russian literary figure Leo Tolstoy once said  “To sin is a human business, but to justify sins is a devilish business.”

There are things of the world which the mind might not comprehend adequately. The messiness of our life is complicated to fix things up even though whatever human capacities might be. Therefore no one can become the spoke person either of God or to the mystery of human existence.  The Swiss Catholic Theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar put it so thoughtfully, “what you are is God's gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.”  You as a creation of God have every freedom and possibility to act and behave the way you like within your capacities. Becoming a gift to God is a grace which has to be nurtured and cultivated especially in these times of pandemic weariness.

The current problem of today with regard to our health is a serious one. It can be contained if all cooperate and work on it. If not it can kill us miserably. Therefore, we cannot call this killer virus corona as a punishment of God. Instead, we have to say to ourselves, we have created it and its our duty to fix it. There is no any reason to spiritualise it saying oh, God is punishing us because.... bla bla bla. The right way of addressing this issue would be not making ourselves fools or so pathetic and wretched  before God. 

I am sure God must be watching us how best we are trying to contain corona spread. He must be also looking at our fragility and nothingness. But certainly He is blessing all our sincere efforts. This is the time to show solidarity with one another, to sow the seeds of love and compassion to those whom we never dared to show. God does not want to come in between the freedom that we have. It's our duty to fix our problems within the freedom that we have. Amit Ray, in his "Meditation: Insights and Inspirations" puts it so bluntly, “it does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters.” More than ever, the Covid pandemic calls us to see the other person in much more humane way than unnecessarily disqualifying the beautiful word 'spiritual'.

- Olvin Veigas, SJ

07 May 2020

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Stay Secure in the Lord

 Fourth Sunday in Easter: Readings - Acts 2:14, 36–41; Psalm 23:1–6; 1 Peter 2:20–25; John 10:1–10
(MSJ Farm)

The fourth Sunday of Easter is also called as Vocation Sunday. The Word of God today chiefly deals with this theme of Good Shepherd.  We are all called to follow our Lord who keeps us safe and secure.

Peter the Apostle in the first two readings (Acts 2:14, 36–41and 1 Peter 2:20–25) exhorts people specifically, the kind of Jesus whom he is following. By following Jesus three things are assured: 1. Repentance and baptism in Christ, 2. Forgiveness of sins, 3. Showering of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. By doing so, your generation will be blessed. (Acts 2:38-39).

God blesses us even when we suffer especially during those times when we are just and truthful. "But if when you do right and suffer for it you take it patiently, you have God's approval (1 Peter 2:20). This was not only an experience of Jesus but also of disciples including Peter. The words of Peter cut to the heart of people. Peter is so much filled with wisdom and courage his words have life changing effect on people. Just like his master, Peter now acts as a true shepherd guiding his people to a path of righteousness and peace.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus puts it very strongly the kind of Shepherd he is and what kind of shepherds this world needs. A true shepherd is the one who hears the voice of the sheep, knows them by name, leads them to green pastures and running streams, he goes before the sheep; they know his voice and follow him. He is also the door for the sheep. (Jn 10: 2-4, 9). Sheep are mentioned in the Bible over 500 times, more than any other animal. Jesus as a shepherd is a good shepherd, indeed.

Looking at the readings we could gather a number of things.

1.To stay secure in the Lord and in the right Church:
The world that we live in is messy in everything. Unfortunately, instead of choosing the right path of life, wrong paths lead us very quickly and make the process very smooth.  Discerning the right path is very essential for a Christian. The saint we celebrated in this week St Catherine of Sienna (1347-1380) is best example how we can stick together in times of crises in our Church. Even at her young age, just 33 when she died, knew her path very well. She demanded the then Pope Gregory XI to reform the Church. She was so daring, St Catherine called the Pope to fix the administration of the Papal States and renewed the religious life too.

The highly popularised Latin phrase from St Augustine, Ecclesia semper reformanda est ("the church must always be reformed", shortened to Ecclesia semper reformanda) is essential in all ages of Church's existence. It has to re-examine itself in order to maintain its purity of doctrine and practice, thus fresh air enters through the windows of our Church. We have to ask that question of people at  Peter’s preaching. “What are we to do?” There is a lot to do for our Church. We are called imitate our Lord radically in a new way of shepherding. By being leaders in our Churches we also participate in a very visible way in Christ's public ministry that is being true and exemplary witnesses.

2. Let no cares of this world bother us when we have the Lord. Today at the wake of Covid lockdown, there seems to be a lot of fear among us, fear about our present status and of the future. Yes, this pandemic makes us feel unsettled at best. It is sensical to have fear because we are finite, limited beings. However, when we have the Lord as our Shepherd, we should be less worried. When we do things right, take necessary precautions, keep open our ears to good advice, and follow them promptly, then why to fear? God helps those who helps themselves. We should put into our every cell those comforting words of Peter reminding us that we are loving God's beloved sons and daughters: 1 Peter 2:21
"Beloved:
If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good,
this is a grace before God.
For to this you have been called,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps." 

Recently Pope Francis quoted an Argentinian proverb explaining how to live through moments of crisis in the faith. “When you go on horseback and you have to cross a river, don’t change horses in the middle of the river”. Those who decided to leave Jesus, the Pope said, changed horses midstream. Instead, moments of crisis require that we persevere, remain silent, stay grounded in our convictions. “It is not the moment to make changes”, Pope Francis continued. It is the moment to remain faithful. It is the moment when God is faithful, he said. A moment of crisis is a call to conversion in which remaining faithful “may inspire changes for the better, but not to distance ourselves from the good.”

At this dark moments of our world and of the humanity we need to recite that Psalm 23 daily. By trusting in the Lord completely, we will surely be able to come out from this terrible times of our life.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

- Olvin Veigas, SJ

03 April 2020