Lent 4 A - Blindman

Opener Stories: Spiritual and Moral Blindness
 Quoted From Fr. Tony Kadavil’s Collection:

 Watson had missed the most obvious:

Sherlock Holmes, the great detective who had solved many mysteries, and Dr. Watson, his companion, went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. "Watson, look up and tell me what you see." Watson replied, "I see millions and millions of stars". Sherlock Holmes then said, "Well Watson, what does that tell you"? Watson pondered for a minute and then replied, "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Chronologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why, what does it tell you"? Sherlock Holmes responded, "Watson you idiot, someone has stolen our tent". Watson had missed the most obvious. He was clever enough to notice the complexities of the stars but he missed what was plain and simple.  Today’s Gospel reading is about a whole lot of people who miss the point. In Jesus’ healing of a blind man, the Pharisees missed the most evident point that it was a real miracle by divine intervention. (Rev. Gehardy).

Lent 3 A - Samaritan Woman at the Well

A Samaritan Woman Evangelist:
There is a Greek monastery at Mount Athos in which nothing female is allowed. Men can enter but not women, roosters but not hens, horses but not mares, bulls but not cows.  Armed guards patrol the border to insure that nothing feminine passes the gates.  It has been this way for more than 700 years. [Arnold Prater, The Presence, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993).]  Separate but definitely not equal: that has been the attitude toward women of many churches through the ages.  So, it's really remarkable that this particular Samaritan evangelist happens to be a woman.  She would be as surprised about it as anybody.  When she first met Jesus, she was surprised that even he talked to her.  Once converted, she became an evangelist, enthusiastically introducing Jesus to her fellow villagers. (FR. Tony Kadavil)
Thomas O’Loughlin
Introduction to the Celebration

During Lent we reflect on God’s loving mercy: he comes to us as sinners with the offer of new life, he puts no limit on those to whom he offers his love and forgiveness, and he bids us to do the will of the Father. Christ is offering us now his love and forgiveness. Let us recall that we are in his presence, let us recall our need, let us ask him to give us new life and pour into our hearts the Holy Spirit.

These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack

Despite what you may believe, heart attacks rarely happen “out of the blue.”

In fact, your body may be trying to warn you of an impending heart attack for days, weeks, perhaps even a month or two before it occurs. Unfortunately, by the time you actually recognize you’re suffering a heart attack, it could be too late to prevent death or debilitating heart damage.

Lent 2 A - Transfiguration - Homilies

Opening Stories:

1) The Samurai Warrior and the Zen Master

One day, a Samurai warrior went to a Zen master for instruction. "Please," the huge man asked in a thundering voice that was used to instant obedience, "teach me about heaven and hell."
The master scowled at the swordsman, then broke into mocking laughter. "Me, teach you about heaven and hell? I wouldn't waste a moment trying to instruct the brain of an overweight ignoramus like you! How dare you ask me for such a lofty insight?"
Well, upon hearing these words, the Samurai grew furious. No one could insult him like this and get away with it. Enraged, his face flushed and he drew his sword to chop off the teacher's head. Just as he was about to strike, the master raised his hand and calmly said "That, sir, is hell."
Upon hearing this, the samurai suddenly realized the profound lesson the master had just taught him – that we make our own hell by indulging in anger and resentment. The warrior was so grateful for this teaching that he dropped his sword and fell to his knees in front of the Master, bowing in humility and gratitude. When he looked up, the old man was smiling.
"And that, sir," the teacher noted, "is Heaven.
"You risked your very life to teach me in this way?", the Samurai couldn't help asking the master.
"I figured that there was no other way you would have learnt!", the master calmly explained.

Fr. Bill Grimm:


Lenten Penance on Sundays too?

Is it true that during lent, on Sundays, you may do/eat the thing that you gave up?

For example, if I gave up chocolate for lent, could I eat it on Sundays during lent? I have heard from more than one person that the things that you give up you can do on Sundays in lent?

Lent: 40 Days of Exodus

Lectio Divina: 1st Sunday of Lent, Year A

By Monsignor Francesco Follo

PARIS, March 07, 2014 ( - 1)  Lent: 40 Days of exodus[1] to go to the Promised Land.
      As suggested by today’s liturgy (the first Sunday of Lent) the right way to take part in Lent is to remember and relive what it was like for Him the 40 days of prayer and fasting spent in the desert and that ended with the passing of three tests.
     In the narration that Jesus did ​​for his disciples, the three temptations, which summarize this time of trial, let quite clearly understand that, in a battle that foreshadowed his agony, He chose the love of the Father and the charity for us and started drinking the cup of the New Covenant, which He would have then sealed with his offering on the Cross.

Indian Customs Baggage Rules for Arriving Travellers


The Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India notified the Customs Baggage Declaration Regulations, 2013 vide Customs Notification No.90/2013-Customs (N.T) dated 29th Aug. 2013 which regulates the baggage carried by travelers coming into India from abroad.  As per this regulation, passengers who to come to India shall declare their accompanied baggage in Form-I appended to the regulation.  Copy of the form-I is enclosed herewith. Subsequently, the Department of Revenue has issued a Corrigendum dated 10th Sept. 2013 notifying the following. 

Communion on the Moon - 1969

The First Communion on the Moon
(July 20th, 1969)
The Apollo 11 crew: Neil Armstrong, commander (on left); Michael Collins, command module pilot (mid); and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, lunar module pilot.

TEMPTATION - Illustrations

It was F.B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know: First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin. And second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her. We also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances.
Stephen Brown, Christianity Today, April 5, 1993, p. 17.

A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
1. Materialism.
2. Pride.
3. Self-centeredness.
4. Laziness.
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness.
5. (Tie) Sexual lust.
7. Envy.
8. Gluttony.
9. Lying.
Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81 percent) and when they were physically tired (57 percent). Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent).
Discipleship Journal, November / December, 1992.

Lent 1 Sunday - Homilies

Opening Story:
Some people fall into temptation, but a great many make plans for disaster ahead of time. "Son," ordered a father, "Don't swim in that canal." 
"OK, Dad," he answered. But he came home carrying a wet bathing suit that evening. 
"Where have you been?" demanded the father. 
"Swimming in the canal," answered the boy. "Didn't I tell you not to swim there?" asked the father. 
"Yes, Sir," answered the boy. 
"Why did you?" he asked. 
"Well, Dad," he explained, "I had my bathing suit with me and I couldn't resist the temptation." 
"Why did you take your bathing suit with you?" he questioned. 
"So I'd be prepared to swim, in case I was tempted," he replied. 
Too many of us expect to sin and excite sin. The remedy for such dangerous action is found in Romans 13:14, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." Whenever we play with temptation, it is easy to drift into great danger. A woman was bathing in the Gulf of Mexico. She was enjoying the comfort of relaxing on an inflated cushion that kept her afloat. When she realized that she had been swept about a half mile out from the beach, she began to scream, but no one heard her. A coast guard craft found her five miles from the place where she first entered the water. She did not see her danger until she was beyond her own strength and ability.
C. Swindoll, One Step Forward, p. 85.

For More Illustrations, see the separate post on Lent: Stories and Illustrations - TK
Fr. Bill Grimm:

Genetic mutations discovered that could prevent type 2 diabetes

MNT FeaturedAcademic Journal
Almost 26 million children and adults in the US have diabetes, while 79 million of us have pre-diabetes. Now, researchers have identified rare mutations in a gene that they say could prevent type 2 diabetes - the most common form of the disease - even in people who have risk factors for the condition.
The international research team, led by investigators from the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, and the Massachusetts General Hospital, recently published the findings in the journal Nature Genetics.
The researchers say that if a drug can be created that mimics the protective effects of these mutations, this could open the doors to the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
To reach their findings, the investigators analyzed the genes of 150,000 individuals over five ancestry groups using next-generation sequencing.

Tony De Mello: Song of the Bird - Stories

8 Stress-Busting Tips from Experts

                          Stress Management                    
By Dr. Mercola
Every year, the American Psychological Association (APA) conducts a survey on the impact of stress in America – and as you may suspect, it’s substantial.
The latest survey found that many Americans are still reporting extreme stress levels (8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale) and many say their stress levels have increased in the past year. As APA notes:1
Stress is so commonplace in American culture that a Google search generates millions of results with essays, opinions and missives on what stress is doing to us…
Survey findings illustrate a scenario in which Americans consistently experience stress at levels higher than what they think is healthy. And while the average level of stress may be declining, people have a hard time achieving personal stress management goals…”

8 Sunday - Another Reflection - Tenderness of Love

By Monsignor Francesco Follo
PARIS, February 28, 2014 ( - 1) Faith[1] overcomes concern[2]
      This Sunday’s liturgy presents as the first reading a passage from the prophet Isaiah, who assures us that God does not forget us, and as Gospel a passage from the Sermon on the Mountain in which Jesus invites us not to trust in riches called mammon[3], but in the provident God who takes care of creation and of the creature par excellence: man.
      The risk denounced by Jesus is to trust in the power of money to secure life, maybe holding the foot in both camps. This attitude denotes an ambiguous life, conducted without full commitment to God and unconditional dedication to his service which is for life, while the service to material things is a finite answer to our desire for the infinite. It is important that Jesus illustrates the choice between God and wealth using the verb to serve. In fact if we do not use money wisely and evangelically, there is a serious and certain risk to become the servants of money, concerned only to accumulate it impoverishing for this reason our personal relationships, including that one with God. We have in this verse (Mt 6, 24), a variation on the theme of the blessedness of the poor (cf. Mt 5:3) that the text that follows declines in a new way in line with the trust in the providence of God. In fact, in Matthew 6: 26 and the following passages, Jesus describes the garden of the world and invites us to look at the world with eyes of faith. By faith we see in action the concern of the Father for everything: He takes care of everything even the lilies of the field and the birds of the sky and, more importantly, He is provident to men, beloved children made ​​in his image.