the Examiner Articles
Cardinal’s Homily at the Ordination Service
St Pius X College, Goregaon
March 25, 2023
My dear Brothers Sunil, Dylan, Amol and Jordan; dear Fr Aniceto, our Rector; the Staff of St Pius College; priests of the Archdiocese of Bombay and beyond; my dear religious sisters, brothers present here, and my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
March 25, 2023 is a very historic day for our new Ordinandi. It is a historic event for the Seminary. It is a very special day for each of us in the Archdiocese of Bombay, especially those participating in this Eucharist.
Today is a historic day for the four of you being ordained because your long journey to the priesthood – begun eight years ago – reaches its high point this evening. Mark you, it is also a beginning, because your priestly ministry will begin immediately after Mass, blessing people, comforting them, strengthening them.
Today is a historic day for the Seminary, because after three long years, we are once again having our priestly Ordinations at the historic St Pius College grounds, and some of our young seminarians will be seeing this solemn ceremony here for the first time.
Today is a historic day for each one of us, because we are partaking in this very spiritual event in the life of our Church. It is a day of spiritual vibrancy. God still calls many young men and women to His full-time service and life-long commitment, and many generous young men and women have the courage to say Yes to the Lord and follow Him wholeheartedly.
In 2020, when our batch of 'lockdown priests' was ordained, we postponed the Ordination nine times! Finally, we had the Ordination ceremony in the Seminary Chapel on the Feast Day of St Francis Xavier,with just six family members present for each newly ordained priest. It was as solemn as every liturgical service in the Church. Yet one can imagine the strange atmosphere around. Then we had our priests of the pandemic era ordained also in the Seminary Chapel with many restrictions. Today, we are joyful that once again, we are getting back to normal, on the Seminary grounds and with big numbers participating.
Perfect Peace on Palm Sunday
Can I trust God? Really trust Him?
The message of Palm Sunday is one of promise and absolute faith. It shows the importance of believing God, prior to seeing final results. Jesus' arrival into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was foretold long before it happened. "Say to Daughter Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'" (Zechariah 9:9)
So, what does this have to do with our 21st century circumstances today?
The Lord's promise to love us unconditionally, to never leave or forsake us, and to do what we cannot do for ourselves, gives us a firm foundation we can stand on. He provides the encouragement and strength to turn our weakness into strength. The message of Palm Sunday points to a Saviour who is willing and able to save us from any catastrophe, and He shows us how to best conduct ourselves when emotions run high.
By reading Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-40, and John 12:12-19, we capture the panoramic view of the Palm Sunday story. It sets the scene for the prophecy fulfilment of Zechariah 9:9.
As directed by Jesus, two of the disciples went into a village, and untied a donkey and its colt, then brought them to Christ for Him to ride. Nearing Jerusalem, word spreads about Jesus' approach. I imagine whispers started first. "Did you hear? He's coming — the one they call Messiah — our King. We must welcome him as he deserves."
Maundy Thursday: Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Maundy Thursday of Holy Week marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum. During these three solemn days, we relive the Passion, death and Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ — three days that are central to Christianity.
The first of these Triduum days is Holy Thursday, which celebrates the Last Supper when Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the priesthood, washed the feet of the Twelve Apostles and gave a new commandment. The day seemed to have a normal beginning, with everyone preparing for a celebration. In the Jewish world in which Jesus lived, what we call 'Holy Thursday' was the celebration of the Passover.
Every year, in accordance with God's command, Jews commemorated the night when the Lord passed over the first-born Israelites while striking down those of the Egyptians. This was at the time when Moses, at the Lord's command, prepared to lead the Israelites out from Egyptian bondage (cf. Ex 12). The Lord told Moses not to forget the Passover act, His sparing of the Israelites: "This will be a day of remembrance for you, which your future generations will celebrate with pilgrimage to the Lord; you will celebrate it as a statute forever" (Ex 12:14).
1200 years later, on the Wednesday before the Passover celebration, Jesus sent two of His apostles to Jerusalem to confirm the location where He and all the apostles would make a pilgrimage to eat the annual Passover meal. The apostles were told exactly where to go, who to see, and instructed to make the necessary preparations. Jesus too celebrated the Pasch in compliance with the prescription: at home with His family, for the apostles had become His new family. … And so the Pasch has become a Christian feast also."
Tetelestai! Signed, Sealed and Delivered in Blood
The magnificent sculptures of American Presidents' faces in the grandeur of Mount Rushmore is an unfinished business. The sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, never finished his masterpiece. For all its grandeur, Mount Rushmore remains an unfinished work of art. At a totally different level, today we see that the quest for peace is just that—a quest, and not a finished journey. The search for lasting peace on earth is another bit of unfinished business. Unfinished business? Plenty. Leaving behind unfinished business is one of our worst fears. All of us go through life leaving behind a trail of unfinished projects and unfulfilled dreams. How few there are who can come to the end of life and say, "I finished exactly what I set out to do."
One person in history who never left behind any unfinished business was Jesus Christ. He is the only person who could come to the end of His life and say—with absolute and total truthfulness— "I have finished everything I set out to do." It is Friday, nearing the ninth hour (Mark 15:25), on Golgotha. One glance at the cross in the middle makes it clear that this man, Jesus, will not last much longer. He looks dead already. His body quivers uncontrollably, his chest heaving with every tortured breath. If you listen, you can hear the death rattle in his throat. Then he speaks again. It is a quick shout. Just one word. If you aren't paying attention, you miss it in all the confusion. Then he breathes out another sentence. Then he is dead. What was that shout? In Greek, it is only one word … TETELESTAI… "It is finished." (John 19:30)
The Death of Judas, my friend
The experience of Zacchaeus: (A Soliloquy)
Judas was my friend,a disciple of Jesus.
We had a common interest in money.
He was an astute manager of finances.
As a tax collector, I shared with him the shrewdness
that enables one to manipulate accounts,
ostensibly for 'charitable' purposes.
I may have been short in stature, but not short-sighted.
I kept my conscience clear by providing for the poor,
willing to compensate four-fold anyone I might have defrauded.
But I knew that the colour of money
is apt to blind one's spiritual vision.
My inner discomfort made me want to see Jesus,
this man who had been talking about
how hard it would be for those with riches
to enter the kingdom.
I climbed the sycamore tree to get a glimpse of Jesus,
unable to see Him because of the crowd.
Jesus urged me to come down quickly;
He was to come and stay with me that evening.
I watched the heads of those in the crowd turn in surprise,
the eyes of one meeting the eyes of another in utter disbelief.
But Judas, however, was different; he befriended me,
distinctly having a 'prosperity gospel' in mind
as I was soon to find out, much to my embarrassment.
Centuries of Stargazing leave Jesuit names written in the heavens
Centuries after the Holy See muzzled Roman Catholic stargazers for questioning the centrality of the Earth in the cosmos, Jesuit astronomers from the Vatican's in-house observatory are increasingly writing their names in the heavens.
The Vatican, run by Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope in history, recently announced that three more Jesuit scientists from its Jesuit-run observatory had asteroids named after them as part of a fresh batch that included the 16thcentury Pope who commissioned the Gregorian calendar and a Tuscan pastry chef whose hobby is the firmament.
Jesuits, while not quite yet as numerous as the stars, have had more than 30 asteroids assigned to them since the space rocks began to be formally named in 1801. That "should not be surprising, given the often scientific nature of this community," said the astronomer Don Yeomans, who worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and is now part of the group that gives official approval for the names given to asteroids.
The three astral Jesuits named last month are the Rev. Robert Janusz, a Polish priest and physicist who focuses on measurements of light from star clusters (565184 Janusz); the Rev. William R. Stoeger (1943-2014), an American priest (551878 Stoeger); and the Rev. Johann Georg Hagen (1847-1930), an Austrian American who, per the naming citation for 562971 Johannhagen, "devised several ingenious experiments at the Vatican to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth, directly confirming the theories of Copernicus and Galileo."
Emerging Technologies for the common good
Dr Pascoal Carvalho
There is no denying the fact that technology has impacted us in a way that we could never have imagined several decades ago. We see this today even in the way that wars are being fought. Obviously, not all technologies are for the common good. Many are being used to the advantage of a few to denigrate those with lesser means.
Debates on Stem cell and embryo research seem to be so "outdated" today, given other advancements in the field. We seem to have got hitched on to more "fashionable" technologies like Gene editing, Nano, IoT, etc.
The Pontifical Academy for Life held a workshop on the theme - 'Converging on the person: Emerging Technologies for the Common Good', from February 20-22 this year. The Academy debated on the ethical aspects of Emerging Technologies like Nano technology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science which have impacted our society, whilst focusing on the human person. Eminent speakers in each of the fields provided insights on the current status of the technologies and challenges in the future.
Pope Francis met with members of the Academy on February 20 in Sala del Concistoro, at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City. He reiterated that the progress of science and technology must always be at the service of human dignity and integral human development.