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Oct. 8th, 2023 | The 23rd Times

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A Message from Fr. Jay

Dear Friends,

In the year 1991, (I was just 20 years old!) I was still a college student when India signed the agreement to enter into an open market economy through liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG). There was much opposition and agitation against this agreement. I took part in these as a student. We considered the deal as unethical to the agricultural eco system of India. One of the dangers discussed was on ‘genetically modified organisms {GMOs)’ to be introduced in the Agri-production sector and how they would positively contribute to the increase of food production but negatively lead to a disastrous circle of poverty and violence in the long run. 30 years later, I see how exactly how extreme poverty and violence have resulted in India!

The purpose of God’s creation of the first parents was to go and bear fruit that will remain. Therefore, He sealed them with his image and likeness. In the first reading, where God in His figurative speech/song, says that He planted the choicest vines, but they produced wild grapes. Something was genetically wrong. In the Gospel, the landowner, claiming his rightful portion of his business, had his servants and his rightful son killed and then was denied his rights of the land. Again, there is something genetically wrong in this business.

Both incidents tell us that we are carrying God’s gene and, especially as Christians, the ‘gene of Jesus Christ’, which should never be altered, modified or adulterated! We are called to bear fruit not to bring destruction. As we observe the 40 days for life (from Sep.27 through Nov.5), we are reminded that every child carries the ‘gene of Jesus’ and when humans try to kill the ‘gene of Christ’, it is wrong and leads to permanent violence and destruction of humanity.

It was just last week that we observed mental health awareness week. The world we live in today has been extremely stressed out due to quick, fast and rapid changes in everything. Everyone is expected to be a smart person to adjust to speed, otherwise you become outdated as well as denied space in the social realm. In such situations, St. Paul in the second reading, says “Have no anxiety at all.”

A person who carries the gene of Christ, receives the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. Yes. Let us bear fruit that carries life and that will remain!

I am giving you some homework: Please read and reflect on the second reading every day, word by word, sentence by sentence.

Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, through prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, gracious and lovely.

Continue what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

God bless,

Fr. Jay Raju