It is 16th April 2019. It is Tuesday in Holy Week. The readings are from Isaiah 49:1-6; and the Gospel from John 13:21-33, 36-38. Some of us are consuming sins while most of us are consumed by our sins. Many of us betray the Lord repeatedly while a few deny Him consciously. God wants all of us to be the light to the world, but our life brings shadows of darkness and emptiness. Our walking with the Lord during this most grace-filled time of the year to be the witnesses of the Light of the World, Jesus. In the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit of The Holy Father Francis to Young People and to The Entire People of God, he insists, no.2: “Jesus is in you, he is with you and he never abandons you. However far you may wander, he is always there, the Risen One. He calls you and he waits for you to return to him and start over again. When you feel you are growing old out of sorrow, resentment or fear, doubt or failure, he will always be there to restore your strength and your hope.” God is not tired of us even though we have gone far away from God and feel our destiny and our call to serve looks bleak; yet God wishes to start all over again with us. No matter how many times we have betrayed Him, denied Him, dumped Him, God wants us to know that God cannot be saturated by the power of sin, on the contrary, God wishes us to know God loves us still, save us, sustains us always. His holiness teaches us again strongly in No.35, “The Church is young when she is herself, when she receives ever anew the strength born of God’s word, the Eucharist, and the daily presence of Christ and the power of his Spirit in our lives. The Church is young when she shows herself capable of constantly returning to her source.” May we guard our minds from the evil of the modernity and the shadows of the antiquity. It is indeed the time to renew ourselves with the light of Christ according to the signs of the times. Jesus is our redeemer and the light of the world. The responsorial Psalm praises, “I will sing of your salvation” (Ps. 71:1). Holy Week is time of glorification and unification. The passage from the Gospel exposes two men who more often like us who hand over Jesus to be betrayed by our personal sins. However closer we have travelled with Jesus, still we can depart from Him for those few coins we make. Satan can enter into ourselves even after having participated in the Eucharistic celebration. It is not enough to feel for the poor, we need to have the love for the poor in action. It is not enough to be baptised as a believer in Jesus but we need to be committed to Christ and His values to the end. The difference between betrayal and denial is not far from each other. Judas betrayed Jesus; Peter denied the Lord. There is a clear distinction in our casual and deliberate sinning against falling into sin by human weakness. Evil deceives us to the core to betray Jesus while grace demands us to humble ourselves in culminating in confession. Two men failed Jesus. One was condemned and other is given mercy. One nailed Him to the Cross by his betrayal while the other nailed himself to the Cross. All our sins are denial against the One who loves for nothing. Betrayal never regrets while denial crushes the conscience and goes astray yet there is a reverential fear that brings us back to the circle of grace to be embraced by the Lord. Lack of love leads us to betray and never feel sorry about it while failure to understand the depth of love pushes us to deny. Betrayal makes us to despair but denial leaves the marks of sorrow in the soul. How painful it would be when we are betrayed and denied by the most intimate associates of our life? We all promised our love to the Lord, yet in times of temptations, pleasures, attractions of the world and sins we do not stand for Him. Let us keep our Arch Bishop Alex Thomas and the all the diocesan and religious priests as they are preparing to celebrate the Chrism mass. May the Lord help us to renew our commitment for Christ. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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