Easter 5 B - Vine and Branches

The Lord may find us as we search for him - Mary at the tomb (it's he who finds us even though it's we who search for him even as Zacchaeus). The Lord may give us a personal experience of him in our theological and ideological doubts (Thomas. That's another form of searching for him like Augustine and Thomas Merton). The Lord may open our eyes during the Eucharist and the breaking of the bread and word (Emmaus; the search continues). And if we are willing, he will lead us to the green pastures and refresh, guide and protect us as the Good Shepherd (he will search for us, he will search for our nourishment).

On the 5th Sunday, we are called to realize the symbiotic connection, communion with the Lord. He and we are connected. We really DO NOT have to search if we are connected. Beyond the emotions of Mary, beyond the intellectual uncertainty of Thomas, beyond the confusion in faith in our Emmaus journeys, beyond our waywardness, dangers of wolves and strangers, lack of pastures, the Good Shepherd providing and protecting, we now come as Christians to the realization that we are family, we have inheritance, the same DNA, we shall not be left out, starved....

The Lord meets us at our tombs (Easter-losses), at our locked rooms (Thomes - disappointments and doubts: second Sunday), on our journeys (aimless or disoriented: third Sunday), but more importantly when we do our work (4th and 5th Sundays). Whether our business is about sheep or vine, we need to remain faithful and committed and produce a 100 fold for the KOG and for our families.

Tony Kayala, c.s.c.

The Titanic Priest: Good Shepherd

The Untold Story of the Titanic’s Catholic Priest Who Went Down Hearing Confessions            

Amidst all the tales of chivalry from the Titanic disaster there is one that’s not often told. It is that of Fr. Thomas Byles, the Catholic priest who gave up two spots on a lifeboat in favour of offering spiritual aid to the other victims as they all went down with the “unsinkable” vessel.

A 42-year-old English convert, Fr. Byles was on his way to New York to offer the wedding Mass for his brother William. Reports suggest that he was reciting his breviary on the upper deck when the Titanic struck the iceberg in the twilight hours of Sunday, April 14, 1912.

According to witnesses, as the ship went down the priest helped women and children get into the lifeboats, then heard confessions, gave absolution, and led passengers in reciting the Rosary.

Easter 4 B - Good Shepherd

-Pope Francis: Pastors should smell like the sheep
-Count sheep to sleep
-"What do pastors do to the sheep?", Sunday School question. '"They shear them", little Amy answers.
-One Televangelist: Ho do you run a church? First form, then feed and finally fleece!!!
-A book about another televangelist: Ministers do better than "laypeople"!
-The Chief minister of Kerala, a practicing Christian, was at a Peoples' Grievance Redressal public meeting on April 23, 2015. Over 9,000 people gathered with issues to be addressed by him. He stayed up to 2:30 am the next day from 9:00 am the previous day. There was a power failure and so they started a generator which had barely enough diesel and so it conked out. So they attached a table fan to the only UPS meant for the computer to keep running. So he said, "If my people have to bear this heat, I could also. Turn it off!"
a. Know the shepherd
b. Called by name: Jesus calls: Mary in Grief and loss; Thomas in doubt (don't be an unbeliever), Peter in betrayal (Do you love me more than ...?); Saul the persecutor (Why are you persecuting me?); Zachhaeus, Simon, Philip ....
c. Lay down my life for you - wolf/enemies/persecution
d. leadership today: we are shepherds and sheep: Parents, teachers, cops, politicians, executives
Tony Kayala, c.s.c.

Easter 3 B - Emmaus Journey

-Your mercy, Lord, impels us to walk with every person on the journey of the Lord
-Your mercy, Christ, reveals your face in the breaking of the bread and sharing of our lives
-Your mercy, Lord, encourages us to face the trials and tragedies of life with courage and perseverance

Easter 2 B - Divine Mercy - Recognize by Nail Marks

Tony Kayala, c.s.c.:

1.     Psychologists talk about the left brain and right brain approach or the masculine and feminine in us. As we all know that all women are not right-brained nor all men left-brained. Most of us function from a combination of both. However, at times we seem to function from one side more than the other.

2. Last Sunday it was all the women rushing to the tomb “early morning” before dawn. (Do men love to sleep at that time!) The sensitivity, the grieving of women, the need to anoint a “dead” Jesus are all too obvious. These emotions, wonderful as they are, can also blind us to the reality, psychologists warn us. Who will roll the stone away (that’s men's job too), who could have taken him away (men need to find out), taking him as the gardener (women are not supposed to look at strange men and so don’t examine them properly) are all part of the emotion of looking at the past, looking for a dead Jesus. So Mary Magdalene misses a live Jesus standing before her. 

Easter 2015 - Vigil and Day

Yesterday we came to celebrate death. Today we have come to celebrate life; life beyond death; life beyond the grave.

They left 42 years ago Vietnam. But Vietnam never left them. The horror, violence of those days walked their days and haunted their nights, until they decided to go back to Vietnam. So six of them went back to the old battlefields with new purpose. They spent 10 days scouring the fields for mines they had planted to protect American lives, which killed thousands of innocent farmers. When they came back, their tombs were empty. The tombs they had sealed and kept with the stinking experiences of the past were now freed and there was fresh air.

Empty tomb is the mystery of the Resurrection and the centre of our faith. Resurrection is possible only, i.e. new life, by emptying the old tomb.