Vicar’s Message

Vicar’s Message

Rev. Shiby Varughese P.

Dearly beloved in Christ,

Every breath of our life is a praise to God as we detour through the experiences of pandemic. All activities of our life are spiritual in its sense. However, every being is out of the divine agency. The celebration of divine agency is experienced in the Great Lent. Lent is threefold call to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. This commitment reflects a threefold call to conversion in relation to God (prayer), oneself (fasting) and others (almsgiving).

Prayer involves three central expressions: vocal, meditation and contemplative. Jesus taught His disciples to vocally pray to the “Our Father” in all occasions. Meditation indicates a deepening of our interior prayer, engaging our imagination, feelings, thoughts and desires. It reveals our deep thirsting for God. Contemplation, as St. Teresa of Avila suggests, is “nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.” Fasting gives us the strength to order our desires, to master our instincts, and to experience an interior freedom of the heart. Almsgiving as an act of charity performed through the medium of mercy has both spiritual and corporeal.

Meditation during the lent assures healing from Jesus Christ. Jesus is the doctor who has a cure not just for physical illness that is the outward manifestation of the destructive power of evil, but of the bent mind, heart and will which is the central citadel of evil in human life. Jesus the doctor is both the Creator and Redeemer God who is the healer of creation. The healing miracles of Jesus are seen in the Gospels is the sign of salvation and eternal life that Jesus brings to those who belong to him. The healing resources of creation are delivered through the work of the humanity whose calling it is to realize the potentialities of creation.

Meditation on the crucified Christ is the culmination of lent. The cross is an event. The image of Christ representing death, failure, pain and suffering stands at the center of our faith. Cross points to the subversive acts of God pushing all creation towards salvation and hope to all the people who are submitted to the cruelties of humankind. In the Cross of Calvary, we find the divine power presented as the emancipatory power to the crushed and wounded entangled in the power of destructions. The center of our faith and worship is nothing other than the event of the cross.

Elie Wiesel, the greatest victim and survivor of Auschwitz wrote, “whenever we experience the most horrific suffering, we may think of Jesus Christ crucified on the cross, and know that whatever horror we have experience, Jesus the son of God has also experienced it in his crucifixion; and whenever we experience suffering, we may remember that Jesus is there with us, asking the same question “Where is God?” in our suffering.

Cross gives meaning to our suffering and cross mediates grace in suffering. Cross makes us to realize that God works in our weakness. God reveals himself in weakness and helps mankind in the same weakness. Weakness amplifies our force of worthiness to live for God. In the stripes of Christ, we are healed. Here the chastisement of Christ brings us peace in times of suffering. Suffering and weakness are where God has chosen to reveal himself to humanity.

Cross never ends in suffering and death, but cross of Christ celebrates resurrection, the promise of life after death. Jesus still has his wounds, but his resurrection is unique from all others. His body has been transformed. All of God’s sovereignty is mediated through Christ, and it hinges on his power over death in his resurrection. Our ultimate hope is not simply to be with Christ in immaterial existence, but to have resurrected bodies.

God bless you all

Blessings and Prayers
Shiby Achen