It is 12th September 2018. It is the Episcopal Ordination Anniversary of our Beloved Arch Bishop Alex Thomas. May we wish him and say a prayer for him that he is faithful to the One who called him to serve. The readings are from 1 Corinthians 7:25-31, and the Gospel from Luke 6:20-26. Being single is indeed a challenge sexually and spiritually. Without the help of God, sufficient prayers and a constant watchfulness over the choices of our behaviour, we cannot be chaste. In everything you do, remember your end, and you will never sin. (Sir.7:36). Over-indulging in pleasures of any sort will cost us spiritually and materially. Whether we are married or single, we are to be faithful to the one we have chosen to spend the rest of the life with. The married must be faithful to their spouses as the single must be faithful to the Lord. Each state of life has its blessings and burdens. The source of all happiness is God. Our single-mindedness, our selfless service and unadvertised sacrifice can lead us to God who offers happiness for all that we are and all that we have made effort to be good, faithful and fruitful. In times of troubles and persecutions, St. Paul suggests that being single is better off. Whatever the vocation we have chosen, we need to live a chaste life that brings all the blessings from the Lord. “In the world you will have trouble.” (John 16:32). Lasting happy life cannot be achieved without a certain amount of sacrifices. Promiscuity, pleasure seeking attitudes and behaviours, individualism, uncontrollable and addictive consumeristic tendencies are all on the increase suffocating the space of love, affection and mutual respect. We learn to live in the world not attached and controlled by the world. Let us be ready to vacate the space in the world anytime when the Lord calls us back. This world is changing and “the world as we know it is passing away.” (1 Cor.7:31). When the institution of marriage being attacked from every corner, being single for Christ is being criticised and discouraged from even in our families, we need to rely on the Lord and the rewards and blessings for being married or single. To be single is not sin. To be married is not sin. But to be married or single only for the self-seeking pleasures is sin. The responsorial Psalm encourages, “Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words.” (Ps.44:11). The Gospel presents us with the version of the Beatitudes from St. Luke. Our hunger for happiness and peace can be achieved by seeking the Lord not the recognition of the world. Our material poverty, physical hunger, the loss of loved ones are not permanent when we have made a choice for the Lord and His Kingdom. “Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of Jesus…. For then your reward will be great in Heaven.” (Lk.6:22). When we feel that we do not need God anymore, we have become poor, hungry and at a loss of direction. Let us not go after the music of the world that pleases us, rather tune ourselves to the voice of the Lord that promises the lasting happiness. May you have a good day. God bless you.