Fr.Joe's Sermon at The Basilica of Mount Mary, Bandra, Mumbai, India.
Beloved brothers and sisters, in our lord Jesus Christ. The theme today, is the very characteristic of being a Christian. Each one of us always signs ourselves, reminding ourselves, that the cross, is a must for all Christians. We cannot escape it, and sometimes we have this cross, scripted in our entire life’s journey. And so Mary also when she came to offer Jesus, Simone gives her this script, that she will be a Mother of sorrows. On my ordination day, as my Mother was overwhelmed, she whispered to me “ Sonna boy from the time you were born, I have developed this Bronchial Asthma. And I always knew that God was giving this son to me, who would do, who would have a very special vocation.” Four years in the priesthood, mom succumbed to that cardiac asthma. Everyone of us, from that very birth, has some kind of note, that we will be fulfilling, the essential characteristic of a Christian. The Cross. “If you wish to be my disciple, learn to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. Alas satan is coming along with a different kind of script, and using renewal programs like born again, fundamentalist, proclaiming a gospel that is called feel nice Christianity… feel nice Christianity. You come to us you will always feel nice, and the other one is more dangerous it’s called the prosperity gospel. You come to us and you have everything that you need, money, bungalows whatever you want. Satan is trying to destroy the church, by a contrary message that it will always be smacking of running away from the cross. Let’s ask the lord to save us from this. But there is another aspect of this message today, and that is what St. Paul struggled with, he was embarrassed, but he was given what he called a thorn in the flesh. Many of us specially working in the field of addiction, see people embarrassed about being an alcoholic, chemically dependent, sex addict, something that they cannot really overcome, And they are afraid to admit it. St. Paul cried, to take this away, and God said, “No it’s ok, for when you are weak, you are strong for virtue is made strong in weakness.” And the punch line is…” My Grace is enough for you.” So God, really doesn’t need our strength, he does excellently if we acknowledge that we are human, and I may be human in a particular way, that I may be human in a particular way, by my weakness, my sickness, whatever it is, but I can make of that something beautiful for God. And finally, Mary stood by the Cross. In the final analysis, it is not whether our life becomes a success or a real failure, what matters in the word of Blessed Mother Teresa is “That we are faithful..We are faithful to the end.” Let us pray to Our Mother that all of us will get this Grace to be faithful, and when we receive the Eucharist, we receive that same power, which Mary from the time of conceiving Jesus till she stood by the cross, stood she, experience this power, all through because without Gods Grace we can do nothing. Amen.
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