HOPE CHANGES EVERYTHING
Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:37-44
A school tutored its students, while they were in hospital, to stay abreast with their academics. Once, it sent a tutor to teach a boy nouns and adverbs, which his class was studying. The boy had been seriously injured in an accident.
When the tutor reached his room, she was unnerved by his state, and stammered: “Your school sent me to teach you nouns and adverbs.” The next day, a nurse asked her: “What did you do to that boy?” The teacher thought she had done something wrong and began to apologize. The nurse said: “No, no! Since yesterday, his attitude has changed; he’s fighting back, responding to treatment. It’s as though he’s decided to live.”
Later the boy explained that he had given up hope until the tutor arrived. Everything changed when he realized that “they wouldn’t send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy!”
Hope changes everything!
Isaiah (first reading) writes during a period of wars and intrigue, alienation and division. In this time of discouragement, his is a message of hope: our faithful God is with us and is bringing us together. He predicts a time of unity and peace symbolized by people transforming “swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks” (changing weapons of war into tools for growth).
This is the message we need today!
No matter where we live, there is uncertainty, violence, upheaval. We need to hope… and make it change everything. In Paul’s words to the Romans, we need to throw off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; we need to live upright lives.
The gospel, too, is a hopeful reassurance that the Lord will come. We need to stay awake and be prepared.
God doesn’t send his Son into a “dying” world!
During this Advent season, will I hope and make it change everything? Will I allow light into places of darkness? Will I work for reconciliation and unity in my family/ community/ society? What swords do I need to beat into ploughshares and what spears into pruning hooks?
By: Fr. Dr. Vinod Mascarenhas SDB
Maram 22 Nov 2022: “This blood of Fr. N.V. Jose will not be wasted”, said a catechist to Fr. P.J. Varghese, then the Provincial of Dimapur Province.
25 death anniversary Mass in honour of Fr. N.V. Jose SDB was presided over by Fr. P.J. Varghese SDB at 6.30 am today at Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Maram. The church was jam-packed with all the fathers, sisters, faithful people and college students from in and around Maram. Altogether there were 12 priests present for the anniversary Mass.
Contents of Fr. P.J. Varghese’s Homily put together roughly.
Fr. Ravalico and Fr. Bianchi met a certain Tangkhul Baptist by the name Mr. John from Maram Khullen Village. He and his people expressed their desire to become Christians. They were directed to become Catholics. They were told to go to Imphal and meet the missionaries there at Imphal.
In 1956 Fr. Ravalico and Fr. Bianchi came to Maram Khullen Village. A few people had gathered in a small chapel built by them. Only men were present. “Where are the women?” asked the missionaries. “They will come afterwards. They are busy now at home”, said the people gathered in the chapel.
In the meantime Fr. John Med was appointed in Senapati to look after the centre. A school was opened at Maram with the figure of two elephants at the entrance. FR. MANIANCHIRA SEBASTIAN, SDB put forward the proposal for a higher Secondary School. Many human considerations were brought forth: will there be enough students, teachers, provisions, economic viability etc. In 1994 Don Bosco Higher Secondary School was established. Fr. N. V. Jose was appointed as the Principal of DBHS school Maram. Number of students began increasing. The proposal of starting a college was put forward by Fr. Manianchira and Fr. N. V. Jose. Again similar human considerations were put forward.
In 1997 the first Don Bosco college in the province was established at Maram. 18 June was the foundation day of the DB college Maram. Bp. Joseph Mittathany graced the occasion. On 18 November 1997 Fr. N.V. Jose took charge of the college.
On 22 November 1997, after supper, Fr. N. V. Jose SDB went to the school office to type question papers. At that time, he was typing SS question paper of class 9, a group of students were having night studies in the school building on that day. A knock was there on the door of Fr. N.V. Jose. He was shot at. There was noise of shouting by the students who were studying in the school building. When fathers came to the office from the residence, Fr. N. V. Jose was found in a pool of blood. His body was taken to the church. Many people came and expressed their condolences, shock and sadness. His mortal remains were taken to Dimapur Salesian College for the final rites and burial. In the context of the killing, at that moment, it was thought inappropriate to go ahead with the running of the college for the time being.
In 1998 Fr. P.J. Varghese celebrated Fr. N.V. Jose’s death anniversary Mass at Salesian College Dimapur. In 1999, on 22 November, he celebrated Fr. N.V. Jose’s death anniversary Mass at Don Bosco Higher Secondary School Maram. Even at that time everything had enveloped in a mystery as to who was involved in the act of killing and why was he killed in that painful manner.
When no answers were got from any source in 2000, Fr. Provincial and his team decided to move ahead with the college. At this time there was a boarding at Don Bosco Punanamei. Few Maram students were there along with Mao and Poumei students.
In the meantime Fr. Jose Palely was appointed to see to the running of Maram College. After all these had taken place, a catechist met Fr. P.J.Varghese and seems to have said, “The blood of Fr. N.V. Jose will not be wasted.” From then till now many fathers and sisters have made lot of sacrifices. 25 years ago, we couldn’t think that things could turn out to be like what we see today.
As the scripture says, “Be faithful and I will bestow on you the crown of unfading glory.” We wish the same for Fr. N.V. Jose.
Fr. Blasius Tete SDB
JESUS CHRIST THE UNIVERSAL KING
THE POWER TO FORGIVE AND TRANSFORM
2 Samuel 5:1-3; Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43
In the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Archbishop of Paris preached:
Some years ago, three young tourists—rude and cynical—came into this cathedral. Two dared the third to make up a confession. The young man went and arrogantly made his confession. The confessor told him: “For your penance, stand before the crucifix, look into the face of the crucified Christ and say: ‘All this you did for me, and I don’t give a damn!’” The young man went out and bragged that he had completed the dare; but the other two insisted he finish the dare by doing the penance. So he re-entered the cathedral, stood before the crucifix, looked up into the face of Christ and began: “All this you did for me and I… I… I don’t… I don’t give…” he couldn’t continue.
At this point, the archbishop leaned over the pulpit and said: “That young man stands before you to preach today.”
This is the power of our King has: the power to forgive and transform through love and the cross.
On the cross, stripped of everything—clothes, strength, dignity—Jesus retains his power
In a world which gives importance to territory, power, wealth, rhetoric, and show… Jesus is a king
whose kingdom has no boundaries and goes beyond nationality;
whose citizens are the poor, the lost, the marginalized;
whose crown is compassion
whose throne is the crib and the cross;
whose authority is that of humble and loving service;
whose law is love;
whose life and death was among sinners.
Is Jesus my king? If so… Do I imitate him and his way of love and mercy, humility and service? Do I allow him to transform me with the power of his love and his cross?
By: Fr. Dr. Vinod Mascarenhas SDB
Maram 16.11.2022: Video of Centenary choir ‘Dare and Hope’ was officially released today at Don Bosco College Maram by Mr. Francis Ngajokpa, Former Minister Government of Manipur. The video is an initiative of DBYES Dimapur & Fr. Salew Peter SDB. The lyric was written by Fr. Shilanand SDB & Fr. KO Sebastian SDB. The tune was composed by Sr. Helen FCC, Sr. Helena FMA & Ms Boikim Haokip the students of DBC Maram. The choir is sung by the students of DBC Maram . Recording was done by Fr. Barnes Mawrie SDB at Shillong. Photography was by Fr. Daniel Jaojian SDB. The video was arranged by Bro. Samuel of KJC Bangalore.
LIVE FULLY… NOW
Malachi 3:19-20a; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21:5-19
A warrior was struck by a poisonous arrow. His companions wanted to remove the arrow. But he would not allow them until he had answers to his questions: the characteristics of the shooter and his origins; the wood of the arrow; the bird from which the feathers came; the type of bow; the material of the bowstring. His companions cried out in frustration: “For heaven’s sake! Stop speculating and pull out the arrow!”
In this Sunday’s gospel, there is the speculative warrior in the people: they live in a present which is tense, and they want to know when the end will happen and what signs will indicate the end.
Jesus lists three phenomena which people might assume are indicators of the end: persecution, the appearance of false messiahs, disasters. But he indicates that it is pointless to speculate when and how the end will happen; it will happen “whenever”.
What is more important is our response when these things happen!
We need not be afraid because the Lord will be with us; we ought not to be attached to transient structures. We need to live fully with and for God always, to lead lives of perseverance. Then, it will be future perfect! “There will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays” (first reading). In the second reading, St Paul gives us another response: hard work. Some people in the church at Thessalonica were unwilling to work and were becoming a burden to others. Paul presents himself as a model and advises all to work hard and quietly!
Am I going to allow the speculative warrior in me to “wonder” about the future and the end of the world or will I “pull out the arrow” by working hard and living a full life?
Let us not re-live the past; not pre-live the future; let us live fully now. As Joan Borysenko writes: “The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live!”
By: Fr. Dr. Vinod Mascarenhas SDB
DBHSS overall champions of ANPSA Dimapur sports meet 2022
A two-day All Nagaland Private Schools’ Association (ANPSA) Dimapur sports meet-cum-Basketball & Volleyball tournament concluded with a befitting closing ceremony at Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School, Dimapur on November 8.
The two-day event saw the participating schools competing in various events including volleyball, basketball, march past, 100 mtrs race, tug-of-war, etc. The overall champion trophy was bagged by Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School, Dimapur. In march past, Livingstone Foundation International secured the 1st position while Herbert Spencer School and Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School came in the 2nd and 3rd places respectively. In volleyball boys category, El Shaddai Academy won the 1st prize while Community Education Centre and Greenwood Hr. Sec. School won the 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively. The team from Lorna’s Hr. Sec. School won the 1st prize in volleyball girls’ category while the 2nd and 3rd prizes were bagged by Herbert Spencer School and Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School respectively.
In basketball boys category, the team from Christian Hr. Sec. School came out as the winners while Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School and Greenwood Hr. Sec. School bagged the 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively. In the girls’ category, Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School won the 1st prize while St. Mary Montessori & Hr. Sec. School and Greenwood Hr. Sec. School came in the 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
The best player award for volleyball boys went to Albert Rangthang of El-Shaddai Academy while for volleyball girls it went to Livitoli V. Awomi of Lorna’s Hr. Sec. School. In basketball, the best player award for boys went to Rahul Yadhav of Christian Hr. Sec. School, while for the girls, it went to Kurhozu Nyuuri of Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School.
In the higher secondary category of 100 metres race, the 1st prize in girls category was clinched by Sunepjungla Longkumer of Livingstone Foundation International while Kashili M. Yeptho of Greenwood Hr. Sec. School and Bengangsenla Jamir of St. Stephen Hr. Sec. School bagged the 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively. In the same event, the 1st prize in boy’s category was clinched by Ghunashe Chishi of Bethesda Hr. Sec. School while Mhajamo Kithan of Livingstone Foundation International and Chemtipong J. Sangtam of Greenwood Hr. Sec. School won the 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively. In the 100 metres race for high school level boys, the 1st position was bagged by Imtisunep Imti of El-Shaddai Academy while Albert Meetei and Elvin Misao of St. Mary’s Hr. Sec. School clinched the 2nd and 3rd places respectively. In the same event for girls, the 1st place was bagged by Mehrin of Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School while Moamen of Greenwood Hr. Sec. School and Kezhangunuo Seyie of Herbert Spencer School came in the 2nd and 3rd positions.
In the event of tug-of war boys’ category, the robust team from St. Mary’s Montessori & Hr. Sec. School won the 1st prize while St. Mary’s Hr. Sec. School, Padumpukhri clinched the 2nd prize and Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School came in the 3rd place. The girls’ team from St. Stephen Hr. Sec. School bagged the 1st prize in the same event while teams from St. Mary’s Montessori & Hr. Sec. School and Lorna’s Hr. Sec. School won the 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively.
Despite the bifurcation of Dimapur into Chumoukedima and Niuland districts leading to some schools not being able to participate in Dimapur, the turnout of member school participants was overwhelming and the sports meet was conducted in a very enthusiastic manner unlike other years. In fact, the Dimapur unit of ANPSA is one of the most proactive units in the state which regularly organizes many such events for the benefit of its members.
The closing ceremony began with the gathering of all the participating schools followed by the prize distribution. A word of encouragement was shared by the president of ANPSA, Dimapur, Dr. Andrew Ahoto Sema which was followed by an enchanting number by the students of Lorna’s Hr. Sec. School. The vote of thanks was proposed by general secretary ANPSA, Dimapur, Reji Abraham.
The other highlights included the flag down and submission of the ANPSA flag to the president ANPSA Dimapur by the convenor of the sports meet, Dr. R. Francis, which was followed by the declaration of the ANPSA sports tournament meet closed by the president. The programme concluded with a benediction by co-convenor of the ANPSA sports meet 2022 and principal of Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School, Dimapur, Rev. Fr. Stephen Chazhisseril SDB.
LIFE IN A WHOLE NEW WORLD
2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5; Luke 20:27-38
In the film Aladdin, Aladdin sings to and with Princess Jasmine the song: “A Whole New World”. The last verse of the song is:
A whole new world; that’s where we’ll be
A thrilling chase, a wondrous place for you and me!
These words sum up the thrust of the readings of today.
In the gospel, the Sadducees—who do not believe in the resurrection of the dead—reduce this belief to absurdity by using a far-fetched example of seven brothers, who are married successively to the same woman and die before having children. They ask: “At the resurrection which of the brothers will be the wife’s husband?”
Jesus indicates that their question betrays their limited perspective. He draws a sharp distinction between this world and the “coming age”. The latter is not an extension of this world; it is a whole new world, in which a human being is a child of God and not a piece of property.
In this life, marriage and procreation are needed for the continuation of humanity. In the “age to come” people will neither die nor be born; there is no need for marriage and procreation.
We enter new relationships with God, we will be his children; and with people in relationships that transcend blood and marriage.
We will have a new way of being like angels! We will live forever in the fullness of our person.
The reason/basis for our hope in this new world is God!
The first reading is a narrative of seven brothers and their mother who are killed for their faith in the God of life. They believe that he will raise them to a higher life because they have lived faithfully on earth.
The way to prepare ourselves for this new world is living on this earth without making ideas, things, persons, and relationships into gods. We need to nurture our rootedness in God and to live faithfully by his values and ideals.
A little girl and her father were walking on a clear, starry night. She turned to him and asked: “If the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what will the right side be like?”
When it comes to answering that question, we’ll just have to leave it up to God! We’ll do our part of living right on the wrong side of heaven!
By: Fr. Dr. Vinod Mascarenhas SDB