It is 16th July 2018. We celebrate the memorial of Our Lady of Carmel, the Patroness of the Carmelite Order. The Brown Scapular are the promises of Our Lady of Carmel to Simon Stock a special help for the salvation of the one who wears it with devotion to our Lady. We thank God for the members of the Carmelites and wish them all a happy feast. The Readings are from Isaiah 1:10-17; and the Gospel from Matthew 10:34-11:1. Let not the rituals crowd, suffocate and nauseate the real issues of the poor and needy in our churches. It is not enough to be good in our lives. Along with being good, we must make serious efforts to deal with our secret and smelling sins of our souls. God is not pleased with the rituals and sacrifices when justice and care for the poor are neglected. Our love for the widow, the orphan and poor are the proof that we have a meaningful and worthy sacrifices. Let us not corn ourselves only by going to churches and throwing some offertory from our abundance to be noticed by people. Let us not promote and believe in a wrong religion that make us to be proud about the magnificent buildings we have, the sumptuous meals we enjoy after the Sacrifice of the Lord and the long and meaningless prayers with shouting, drumming and dancing forgetting the poor and the needy whose cry is consciously suppressed and silenced so meticulously. The first reading clearly points out through the prophet Isaiah that God is interested is this: “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” (Is.1:17). God is not at all impressed by things we are doing in our worship that does not include the welfare of the poor. The responsorial Psalm intercedes, “I will show God’s salvation to the upright.” (Ps.49:23). The Gospel insists that our personal conversion of heart that offers hope to the society at large. The religion we are in must not make us forget the people around. The worship we do has to include the poor not as the means but the very core of belief. It is not enough to be remaining a Christian in name rather we need to reflect and resonate the values of the Christian such love, justice, peace and forgiveness. True religion teaches us to lose our ourselves to win people for God. Jesus said, “Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Mt.10:39). True religion does not multiply crosses to be carried by others. True religion makes us bear the cross without complain and murmuring. A true and authentic worship leads us to make personal sacrifices for the welfare of others not for ourselves only. May we worship the Lord in truth and thoughtfulness of the poor with justice. May you have a good day.

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