Tag Archives: Priest

Let my Right Hand Wither!

The Priest, Bishop and the Pope should have Enthusiasm, Fervour, Yearning and Zeal for the Kingdom of God AS MUCH AS…

Israel was devastated. So was Jerusalem, their Temple city. There were the Israelites, settled on the banks of the Rivers of Babylon, by their captors. They had their Food, had their Water and a Place to Stay. Slaves are given all these things. They cannot Work if they are too weak, or sick, can they?

Besides getting this Free Labour, those babylonians had wanted the Israelites to ‘Entertain; them, sing them songs from their country, no less. If those Israelites had done that, they could have got some money or other favours!

But what they had said was: “If, on these foreign banks, We forget what happened to You, Oh, Jerusalem,

  • Let our Right Hands Wither, (So that We cannot play a Harp again), and
  • Let our Tongue Cleave to our Mouths, (So that We shall not be able to Sing again). Psalm 137:5 and 6.

*******

What We see below is a Nice picture of Jesus healing a man with a Withered hand. If a hand gets Withered, that hand will not ‘work;’ that hand cannot lift itself up, and We have to use our other hand for that. As this man is doing. That is a Withered Hand.

Image

Image from: http://biblestudyoutlines.org/bible-study-lessons/new-testament-bible-study/mark-3-bible-study/attachment/jesus-heals-a-withered-hand/

When I searched for more images of ‘Withered hands,’ what I got were Gruesome in the extreme. What I show now is bad enough.

Image

Image from: http://www.lwbc.co.uk/Marks%20Gospel/wonderful_healer_and_the_withered%20hand.htm

THIS was what the Jews were ready to Accept, in their Zeal for Love of Jerusalem and their country.

*******

The Zen Masters say that We have to desire enlightenment AS MUCH AS a drowning man desires Air. The Masters will sense that, and will not accept a pupil who has less enthusiasm than that.

The picture below is a good one. He has fallen into the water with his full set of clothes. In these conditions, even if You know swimming, You are in trouble. His facial expressions express his situation quite well. He seems to realize it.

THIS is How much Fervour We should have in Service of the Lord. AS this man is yearning for Oxygen and the Shore, SO should We desire the Establishment of the Kingdom of God.

Image

Image from: http://www.samuelmorrisfoundation.org.au/latest-news/2014/01/learn-what-drowning-really-looks-like/

If We do Not have the SAME Zeal for Christ, His Teachings, AND His Injunctions, We Fail. And He is Sure to say to Us, “You have Wasted the Talents I gave You.”

*******

We have the words, “Zeal for Your house CONSUMES me,” Thrice in the Bible, Psalms 69:9 and 119:139, and John 2:17.

The Word of God IS a Consuming Fire.

  • Are they saying to you: “Prophesy Not unto Us?” Why Not? (Isaiah 30:10).
  • Are they saying, “These words are Too Hard?” Why Not? (John 6:60).

Are We giving them What they WANT to listen? …You should know the reference to this.

*******

Image

My Dear father, bishop and pope, We keep Crucifixes in front of our eyes. And Why? To remind us of what He had suffered for Us. But are His Sufferings Over? Did He Not say: “Saul, Saul, Why are You Persecuting Me?”

WOULD WE DARE TO USE THIS PICTURE AS YOUR WALLPAPER FOR THIS LENT?

Do it, and Answer that Girl, Who is asking: “Am I not a Child? Have I to Work like this to Eat? Have I No Right to Play?”

And Above All her Question: “What, Dear Father, Bishop and Pope, have You done for me in Concrete Terms? When can I Expect this to End?!”

To Organize charities is Easy. To Speak Out is MORE Difficult. The Clergy CAN make a Difference. THAT was why even hitler eliminated them. Would We Dare to say: “Let my right hand Wither, Let my tongue cleave to my mouth, If I do not Speak out for You, my Lord.”

The CEO, and Passion!

Once, the Bored Car Company decided to change its CEO. After a Lot of Thought and all that, they chose Mr. Thebest. Now this person had come up from the ‘Ranks’ due to his hard work. And he still liked to work with his Own hands. He was Not Ashamed of doing the Smallest bits of work, either. Everybody clapped their hands, were full of awe of him, and called him Very Good.

If there was Any problem, it was that he did very little of CEO kind of things. But people did not mind that.

By the Way, I am NOT referring to Arvind Kejriwal. THIS man refused to dance to Other’s tunes, or rules laid down by Others, etc. He had set out the Change Stupid laws, and He proceeded with that.

Whereas in the case of Our CEO, this was not the case. Even he thought that the ‘laws’ of the company were Good.

Image

Image from: http://igloooftheuncanny.blogspot.in/2009/11/body-snatcher-1945.html

But the company gave him the boot after less than a week. Neither Mr. Thebest, NOR the people, could understand Why!

********

We have Many of these Thebests, as CEO’s, or ceo’s, in posts big or small, but Responsible posts, nevertheless. One of the Biggest, as far as I know, did not put the garbage out. But he went to pay his hotel bills. Let him pay that. But HOW MUCH of Speaking did he do? About 5 cents worth.

Being a catholic, I shall speak of my church. It is perhaps the biggest as far as numbers are concerned, VERRRRY old, and so, WELLL Organized, and has Enough money. I have been to enough Check-ups, but no doctor told me that I am deaf. But I do not hear my Leader speak. If he is ‘mewing’ somewhere like a mouse, I am not satisfied.

They tell us, it is not sufficient to publish Your blog, and that We should Share it on Facebook and Twitter, etc. The church should have organized 24×7 Television Channels, the Same in Radio Stations, Newspapers and Periodicals in the Maximum number of languages, Spreading the Message of Love and Human Brotherhood.

When the nazi thing happened, the man had been Silent. Mewing, as I said, is not allowed. When Christian Nations and Catholic ones fought, (As in Ireland), had there been any Thunder? Christian Nations had invaded others and had practiced Cruelty. I remember Bosnia. Ukraine burns, and vatican sleeps.

To give You some recent examples, One bishop serves the Poor soup, and does that even personally, but does Very little Writing, except for Recipes! One Priest in Facebook kept ‘Poking’ me for a whole 7 months. We should appreciate this kind of zeal, of course.

One Young priest likes Traveling, and posts pictures from the places he has been fortunate enough to visit. I suppose he is helping out those who have not even seen pictures of interesting places. Haha. And Most priests and pastors seem to think that a ‘social’ site like Facebook means posting pictures of themselves, or, at the most, of various churches.

The Dalai Lama is more in the News, is Heard, because He Speaks. Indian ‘holy men’ speak, reach out, have TV channels and programmes. A lot of Other Christian Brethren do this. But from the catholic side, I have heard ‘of’ the vatican radio, …but who listens to radios now?

Image

In this day and age, the Idea of the Sacred Heart, Burning with Love for Us, might seem quite Outdated. But if Art is supposed to communicate, pictures of this kind should do so. After all, it represents Passionate Love.

It is Ok to have Love for something. But it is Better to Love Passionately. One HAS to Love like that. Would Sex without passion satisfy us?

Passionate Love for a priest, bishop and the pope would mean Empathizing with the People of God. Feeling their Pain in his ‘Stomach.’ And Speaking Out! A catholic priest gets a minimum of 7 years of scholastic training in the seminary.

Oh to find some who would be Ready to put their Necks on the Block, who would Dare to Speak out! Bishop Romero did that, and paid for it with his life. Is this what deters our present day clergy?

priest, bishop and pope in…

*******

When I was in the Seminary, all of nearly 30-35 years ago, there was this joke on the three in hell in about 3 sentences. Got some ideas, so have expanded it. Definitely this is Irreverent humour, but like all my posts, supposed to make Us Think.

Caution:

In the movie, ‘The Son of the Mask,’ the man loses his job, but while phoning his wife, says, “Junior Pooped, which is a Good thing.”

This post is NOT for those who think that Everything and Anything that priests, bishops and popes ‘do’ is a Good thing. There, I have Warned You!

Note:

Heaven and hell are Not ‘places.’ Mentioning this, Just in case.

***

The Angel at the Gate was calling out, ‘Next,’ but St. Peter stopped him. He was finding his ‘table’ too wobbly.

‘Where is my Old table,’ he said, ‘and Who ordered this new one?’

“But We just saw it Well advertised,’ said the Angel in charge of Stores, ‘and We thought You might like it.’

“How much did You pay for it?” he asked. “Rs. 2,000,” said the Angel. “For its quality, Rs. 1,000 would have been quite enough,” said Peter. Too much TV, he grumbled, told them to remove that ‘Table-Mat,’ and got his favourite, reliable, old one back. And he told them to send the next person in.

And he saw good fathernogood being brought in. Peter smiled. He did not need much time to send him to the ‘right’ place.

***

fathernogood was in shock after getting that sentence. he heard Snickers from both the sides, and found many of those whom he had known on earth, many of them his parishioners, grinning and snarling at him. he was horribly embarrassed, and his height immediately got reduced by 5 centimetres. But his time was Just Starting!

he had had a cook, and had eaten well. Besides his TV, he had had an expensive video player, and a $ 1,000 camera, though he had not been a journalist, and which camera he had not used much, and which he had not known how to use! he used to dutifully consult some books and prepare a Sunday sermon. he used to see to those who wanted to offer ‘Masses,’ and fill in the registers.

“But you never invited us to Sit when we were in your office, though you had dutifully put a few benches in front of your table,” said a voice beside him, which quite shocked him. Fellows there seemed to know what one was thinking! “Except for those who arrived in Cars,” retorted another voice. fathernogood cringed.

In spite of his new hooves, his feet were burning him. The whole place was Infernally Hot! The whole place was a dark red, very smoky, very hurting to the eyes. he too started to hobble and shift from one hoof to another, like all those around him. he was glad that even the devils had to do it.

Image

[Image from: http://zekeyspaceylizard.blogspot.in/2008_08_01_archive.html]

fathernogood’s eyes popped out when he saw his bishop, good old mylordworse coming that side. he started to kneel to kiss the bishop’s ring, saw that it was missing, and remembered that those kinds of things were Out-for-Good from now on. bishop mylorsworse had been very regular in opening new buildings like churches and schools, used to visit all the convents, etc. he had specified even the colour of his ceiling fans for the home of his retirement. Oh, how he used to loll on his chair, and tell the congregation, “You are all Garbage.” Evidently, all his days of living in air conditioned rooms and traveling in a/c cars was over.

“What, you too!” said fathernogood to his old bishop, who glared at him.

“And Hush, do not make so much noise,” said bishop mylordworse, “popetheworst is busy digging with his spade. A work he is Not at all Used to. Haha!”

Whereas popetheworst had also gone around with a rosary in his hand, and had his photographs taken on his kneeler, and all that.

“Digging?” asked nogood. “Do we have to do work like that also?”

“Oh, that is something special devised for popetheworst,” said lordworse. “satan had decreed that hell is not deep enough for theworst. Actually many of the old popes are doing that.”

“bishop,” said nogood, “i always had a doubt. Whatever happened to all those Inquisition and Crusade fellows, with all that blood on their hands?”

Before lordworse could answer, if he was going to do that at all, one of the little devils gave them both a goodly poke with his red hot trident. ” Break it up, break it up,” he said. “What did you think? This is a Tea Party? Keep moving, keep moving.”

***

“Michael, just how did those crusades and inquisition fellows get in here?” asked Peter, who had also heard nogood’s last question.

“Oh,” said the Archangel, “The Lord had called You over for one of Your Famous rounds of Golf, and one Your assistants had been sitting here.”

“Take him off the roster,” said Peter, “and see that he never sits on this Chair again.” And he was glad that the ‘Table-Mat’ was away, anyway!

PS: The ‘Table-mat’ thing is an Inability on the part of our TV presenter to pronounce it right: namely, Table-Mate.

*******

The Priest and the Society

In my post named Love, Social Affairs and the Priest, I have tried to show that the Priest, Anybody who is Ordained, Who has given his life to ‘God,’ HAS to take Interest in God’s People. That is Why God chooses him.

God said to Jeremiah: “I Chose You, I Selected You, to be My Messenger.” (Ibid. 1:5, passim, Translation mine).

Jesus says: “You did not Choose Me; I Chose You and Appointed You… This, then, is What I Command You: Love One Another.” John 15:16-17.

And Loving Cannot be done from the Comfort of the Armchair. Not Unless You are 80+ and Confined to it. Then You Can do it, by Dandling Your Grandkids.

And You Cannot do Your Loving from the Armchair when the World is like This: This Child is Carrying Not less than 10 Kilos on her head. And She will do that the Whole day.

Image

‘Breathes there the man with soul so dead,’ had said Walter Scott.

If the Pain in Her Eyes does Not give Us a Pain in Our Stomach, We are Not Human Beings.

The People of God have been given Wrong Impressions. They have been brought up with Wrong Beliefs. The Reality is as Under: 

  • Going to Church is NOT Enough.
  • Saying Prayers is NOT Enough.
  • Giving Old Clothes for Charity is NOT AT ALL Enough. Or,
  • Giving some Money is NOT Enough.
  • Thinking of the Poor during Lent Alone is NOT Enough.

And Who gives the People Ideas? The media? Oh, No, Sir. The Priest and the Bishop do that, by their Teachings, Insistence, and Actions.

When We die, He is Not going to ask Us, How Many Times did You say the Rosary, How Many Masses did You Offer, or, How Many Pilgrimages did You make.

His Questions and Answers are given in Matthew 25:31-46, in the Parable of the Last Judgement.

The So-Called ‘Chosen’ one Has to Keep these things in his Mind and Heart Like Our Blessed Mother (Luke 2:19).

And Keeping these Matters in Mind is Not Enough. If he is Not Acting on it, PASSIONATELY, he is Not a Priest, Bishop or any of the rest.

The ‘Chosen’ one does not have only the Responsibility. He has also been blessed with a Lot of ‘Talent.’ And the ‘Chosen’ one Should Know What the Lord will Do to those who ‘Bury’ their Talents. Matthew 25:14-30.

Love, Social Affairs, and the Priest

Can the Priest involve himself in Social Affairs? After all, they say that Religion and politics should not mix.

I am a Christian, a catholic Priest, and this my post is directed More at Christians, though I believe that Everybody will profit by what I present here. Before speaking of the Christian Priest, let me give some Random examples, particularly from Other Religions.

Enough of Hindu Sadhus are in politics today. After all, Real politics need not be an enjoyment of the world. We see many Muslim religious leaders as heads of State in the world. And Buddhist monks, in particular, by their Immolation, etc, have been involved in the Social lives of their People.

Let me come to Christianity. Years ago, when I was in Bangalore, in one of the Franciscan monasteries, I saw the words on a plaque on the wall: “God So Loved the World, THAT HE GOT INVOLVED!” A Bold paraphrase of John 3.16. But is it not the Truth? After all, Involvement does not mean debauchery!

The Lord said to Moses, “I have heard My People Cry.” Exodus 3.7. He hears, and He Acts. That is being One with the Lives of the People. It was a Political involvement, where the ruler is interested in keeping a Whole people as Free or Cheap Labour on the one side, and their Freedom on the other.

Image

In the picture above, We see a couple of Indian Shepherds. Their sheep are carrying their special colours for easy identification in case other herds are close by! An adult animal can be sold for about rs. 5,000 or more today. If We think these People are Rich, We shall have to correct Ourselves. Just look at their clothes and the thickness of their arms.

For a Person like this,  the Loss of a Single Goat or Sheep can be Costly. Christ knows this. That is why they were given the Parable of the Lost Sheep. Matthew 18:12-14. As Many of them were Shepherds, the Jews knew the Value of Each Single animal.

A Small bit of Jewelry in the form of a golden coin would be something Very Big for Poor Women. Christ knows this, and Uses the Loss of a Gold coin as an Example.

Before we come to more of the Teachings of Christ, let us remind Ourselves of the Leaders of Jewish society of that time. Though the romans were ruling Israel then, as far as the Jews were concerned, they had their Sanhedrin, their priests, the pharisees, the sadducees, and the scribes.

It would indeed be too complicated to speak in detail about each of those mentioned above. The priests did not have much of a voice; but the high priest(s) made up for that! They were in the forefront in calling for the death of Jesus. The pharisees had set out to live the ‘law’ in its fullness, and had become quite a vociferous and influential group. All these groups were political in effect if not in name. Although a religious party, the sadducees were more important as a political force. The scribes used to make copies of their Holy Books, and thus had become experts in it, knowing much of their law. Hence they were consulted.

It is insisted that the Sanhedrin, their religious council, looked after things religious. But the whole life of a Jew was governed by religion! What he/she could or could not do, what and how much they had to offer, how far they could travel on a sabbath… were all decreed. And all the groups I have mentioned above had a say in it.

Time and again Jesus is shown as condemning these religious leaders, who were, in effect, those to whom the People listened. We find whole chapters and more allotted to this subject.

Many of the Elderly in Society were not taken care of. They had a ‘quaint’ law in support of it. They could offer what might have been needed for the care of their Parents, etc, to the Temple, and this practice was called ‘Qurban,’ meaning ‘Offered’. By this, the offerer did not have to look after his Parents, got a good name as having made an ‘offering,’ and at the same time could enjoy the products himself. Jesus Expressly Spoke against this. Matthew 15:3-6.

These teachers of the law and the pharisees would offer even a tenth part of the smallest earnings. For instance, the crop from the smallest sized vegetable and spice garden. When the Common People neglected to do this, these so-called ‘leaders’ not only criticized them, by looked down upon the People. Jesus Notices all these things, and Speaks against these religious leaders. Matthew 23:23.

The ‘priestly class’ would not help somebody even if they were wounded, and fallen by the road side. The very mention of this ‘class’ in the negative role in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) shows that Jesus is at least indirectly castigating them.

Jesus Healed! He told His Disciples to continue this Ministry.

The Jews had it that they should love their Neighbours and hate their enemies. Matthew 5:43. In this had sprung the question as to Who All were to be considered Neighbours. And Christ says that Each and Everybody is a Neighbour, to be Loved, to be Cherished and Helped as necessary.

It is not as if these pharisees, etc, were not praying enough. Oh, they were doing that all right, doing it even at street corners! But Christ castigates all these because they are not ‘Concerned about the People’.

John the baptist was killed because he told the ruler that he was wrong.

Paul finds out that somebody is living with his step mother. And Paul Publicly Condemns it. 1 Corinthians 5.

There is a question of Sharing of Property. Ananias and Sapphira err in this. Peter takes them to task, and that too, Very Drastically Indeed. Acts 5:1-11.

All the Above are Examples of How the Lord Himself is Constantly Concerned for His People. And How the Leaders of the Early Church Lived and Behaved in the Same Way.

The last three years of Jesus’ Public Life were not one of Dry Preaching. Jesus was concerned about the Complete Well Being of the People, Body, Mind and Soul. If the Priest does not Emulate the Lord in this, he fails.

If a Priest were to seek public office, that would hinder him from spending time in Announcing the Word of the Lord, as to What is Right and What Wrong. As such, a Priest has to Avoid public office. But he Can, and he Should, Raise his Voice, Loudly Indeed, where the Well Being of the People of God is concerned.

You cannot be Holier than the Lord.