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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Identity is for the Greater Glory of God

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time - Readings: Isaiah 22:15, 19–23; Psalm 138:1–3, 6, 8; Romans 11:33–36;  Matthew 16:13–20
Christ Handing the keys to St. Peter by Pietro Perugino
Know thyself 
As I write these few lines taking the readings of this Sunday, I am in the midst of teaching a course on theology. I am dealing with the development of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. I imagine how the whole world is enveloped by the grace of this Spirit. The Spirit speaks and in fact speaks boldly. This is what made Simon Peter to say with such courage and determination, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” when Jesus asked his disciples “But who do you say that I am?”  (Matthew 16:15-16).

Why did Jesus ask this particular question to his disciples? What did he expect from them? Identity is very crucial in our world. Who are you in this world, in your congregation, in your company, in your institution, in your neighbourhood, in your village, town, city, state, country, etc., determines your place not just in this secular world, but even in the religious world? Your identity matters. Identity gives life and a purpose to live. A good identity is must and a norm.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Health Remedies - Kashaya in Times of Corona

Green leaves tea with whole lime pieces and boiling water - Kashaya
We learn from mistakes. We also learn through experiences. The experience of chronic illness enabled me to experiment with a number of things. I read a number of scientific articles published in research journals to see what the doctors were doing with me. In order to heal my Ulcerative Colitis, I tried medicines from Allopathy to Ayurveda, Homeopathy to Siddha. There is nothing wrong in experimenting. My argument is that by consuming various kinds of medicines there might be some chance for healing. In other words, a particular component of medication might be able to fix the imbalance that was set in the body.

Every illness is the result of some sort of imbalance in our body. Medical practitioners may call such imbalances as lack of immunity, or lack of nutrition or proteins or vitamins, etc., in the body. The Ayurveda pandits would name this imbalance due to three Doshas in one's being, that is, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. We say the individual constitution of a person are in balance that is when Vata-Pitta-Kapha are inherently at ease and in harmony. Unfortunately, that is not possible. Whether we like it or not imbalance is part and parcel of our growing, maturing, ageing and dying process. Otherwise we would live just like Adam, the first human being on the earth according to the Bible, who lived for 930 years! (Genesis 5:5).

Saturday, August 8, 2020

God: He Comes, Ever Comes, Wherever We are!

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Readings:1 Kings 19:9, 11–13: Psalm 85:9–14; Romans 9:1–5; Matthew 14:22–33
Photo courtesy - Jean Marc Arkelian 
God comes to us in unexpected moments
Today's reading from the first book of Kings describes a unique experience of prophet Elijah. God meets him under unexpected circumstances. There is contrast between the silence of the cave and the noise of the mountain, solitude and disturbance. God meets him in unexpected moments of life. The prophet is the best example for us to think and expect differently about God whom we know from our scriptures, traditions and personal prayer.  

Need to clarify the concepts about God
The fourth century Church Father St Gregory of Nazianzus in his Oration 31:8 writes about God so delicately. "The revelation of what was previously hidden should suffice for us. 'What competence have we here? We cannot understand what lies under our feet, cannot count the sand in the sea, 'drops of rain or the days of this world, much less enter into the 'depths of God' and render a verbal account of a nature so mysterious, so much beyond words."