Temptations and trials of life are to prove us: they are for a good purpose. What is that purpose? To make us stronger and more pure. When we conquer temptation, we become a much more pure person – more holy, righteous and just. When we triumphantly go through the trials of life, we become a much stronger person more steadfast, enduring and persevering. By conquering temptations, we become much more like Jesus.
Temptations is not a sin, but rather it is the giving into temptation which becomes sin. Adam and Eve were tempted with the promise of greatness. They fell! We should not expose ourselves to temptation.Temptation is resistible. Jesus was tempted, but he did not yield.
Knowledge of the Word of God is key to resisting temptation in our lives, just it was in the life of Jesus. Pray for divine help with God’s help we can resist all temptations.
Our efforts to resist temptation will always be rewarded. The path of life is not an easy path to walk. It is filled with all kinds of temptations, trials, sickness, accidents, disappointments, sorrows, suffering and death.
There is something else. Whenever we give in to a temptation, it takes power from us, but when we resist a temptation we take power from it. The devil wants to take power from us, to make us weak, but when we resist him, we gain strength. If we unite ourselves to Jesus, we can achieve true happiness.
Fr. Anand da Gama Pais
‘The Word became a human person, and full of grace and truth, lived among us’ (Jn 1:14)
A child’s innocent, sweet smile brings joy and hope even in the most dire situations. A child’s smile dispels darkness because it ushers in another world. A child is a cause of joy, a messenger of hope. It brings good news. For us human beings the birth of the saviour seems too wonderful, yet we know this is exactly what happened more than two thousand years ago in that stable of Bethlehem. And the poor, humble shepherds were the first ones privileged to receive the good news. God’s love for man was so great that He could not leave him in his miserable sad state of being a slave to sin and to the powers of evil, Jesus in Emmanuel, ‘God with us’ God’s purpose in creating us was that we live in Him by loving Him and loving one another. That means we have a great responsibility to recognise His presence in us and in our neighbours. The ideal way to celebrate Christmas is to make room for the saviour of this world and in our lives. Christmas is not a time or season, but a state of mind. To have the real spirit of Christmas is to love, share and be at peace with God and others. When we open our hearts to the lonely and the frustrated and extend a helping hand to the poor and the sick, we have spirit of Christmas.
How am I going to celebrate Christmas this year? Only with a beautiful dress and new pair of shoes? By making a crib and hanging a star? By making some sweets? Are we not going to clean our heart with a good confession? And empty it to receive Jesus? Can we keep Jesus there only or are we going to share the good news of the Lord with great joy? Let Christmas be Christmas this year! Wishing you all a Christ filled Christmas!!!
Fr. Anand da Gama Pais
In Luke 7, Jesus observed a huge funeral procession in Nain. The entire town was present. He observed the young men and women weeping. He observed the pastors and apostles weeping. He observed the elders weeping. He observed the fathers weeping. He observed the children weeping. He observed the sadness on people’s faces. Nothing seemed to move Him, until He saw the mother. The Bible says He had compassion when He saw her and immediately raised her boy from the dead. (Luke 7:12-15). It was the cry of a mother that moved the Heart of God. Still today, mothers who cry before the Lord for their families, for their marriages, for their homes move the Heart of God. When mothers stop praying their families (especially their children) perish. Satan gets a foothold and starts to destroy the home, yet when they return to their rightful place as the anchor of the home, demonic strongholds get demolished. In Psalms 17, 36, 57, 63, and 91 God’s role is likening to that of a mother. As a mother protects, upholds and defends her children, so does God also protect us under the shadow of His wings. We find refuge there and can hide there until the danger is over.
A mother’s role is so vital that a father cannot get his prayers answered if he dishonours/ disrespects her (1 Peter 3:7). Because, of this favour over mothers, they are also the most attacked persons in the home. The devil is terrified of mothers (the powerhouse in the home). Yet the Lord has put inside mothers grace and resilience to overcome any situation. Today, as the woman of the home, consider yourself blessed. Consider yourself highly favoured and consider yourself victorious, praying the daily rosary with all your entire family, when you pray, the daily rosary. “Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God, passes through the Blessed Mother.”
-Fr. Anand da Gama Pais
St. Teresa of the Gutters, as she is commonly called, was one of the greatest missionaries of the twentieth century. She spoke the universal language of love that is intelligible to everyone. With all the fibres of her being, she preached through action. She went everywhere to serve Christ in the poorest of the poor. With the witness of her life, St. Teresa reminds everyone that the evangelising mission of the Church passes through charity, nourished by prayer and listening to God’s word. She proclaimed the Gospel living her life as a total gift to the poor but, at the same time steeped in prayer. Her life was a radical living and bold proclamation of the Gospel. “As you did it to one of the least of my brethren you did it to me” (Mt 25:40) St. Teresa highlights the deepest meaning of service – an act of love done to the hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, prisoners, is done to Jesus himself!
The figure of St. Teresa of Kolkata is well known all over the world. Her personality and humanitarian work have been broadcast through every form of the media. She had been favourite subject of countless biographers and hundreds of books have been published about her in nearly all languages. She was born on 26th August 1910 in Yugoslavia as the youngest of three children and was baptised Agnes. Her father Nikola Bojaxhui and mother Rosa Drane Markit were both natives of Albania. St. Teresa was always cheerful, hardworking, charitable and generous, and had a notable talent for organisation. She founded the missionaries of charity through which she continued with her ministry to the poor while bearing witness to the joy of loving and serving. She won the Nobel Prize for Peace and the Bharat Ratna is 1980. She accepted all these “for the greater glory of God and in the name of the poor.” She always labours and spoke out to uphold the dignity and value of every human life.
On 5th September 1997 she was called to her heavenly reward. Let’s imitate her in all her goodness, the icon of the Good Samaritan. Reflecting on the pastoral theme “Go and do likewise” (Lk 10:37) be a Good Samaritan to others.
– Fr. Anand da Gama Pais