Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bengaluru, while presiding over the holy Eucharist as part of the Ruby Jubilee celebrations of Catholic Enquiry Centre (CEC) in Bangalore began to shed light on the meaning of a French word - . restaurer, meaning to restore. In the sixteenth century, one could see all cities were in dilapidated state. Even today, if one goes to any city, these cities are in need of restoration. Archbishop, at the outset, introduced the relevance and importance of the thanksgiving Mass on the occasion of the Ruby Jubilee of CEC situated at the Infant Jesus Shrine campus at Viveknagar. He urged all present to join him to seek God’s blessings upon the Archdiocese and the CEC.
Msgr Belangar of Paris put up a board to sell soup in his shop which read: ‘All those who labour and has trouble in stomach, restore’. This has the reference to the bible verse – “Come to me, all you that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11: 28).
The gospel, offers to restore, (so does the restaurant), loaded with mercy and tenderness. Jesus invites those afflicted with sin, despair and misery. He beckons everyone in need of his love and presence. Referring to Gospel of the day, the chief celebrant reminded the congregation the words each one should utter in gratitude, “Thank you Father for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to the little children.” People consider themselves wise and intelligent and rationalist with God. They believe in their ability and achievements. They have nothing more to learn. But those close to God, learn from Him, humility and goodness and He reveals to them the truth. They listen to him and follow him. Our own anxieties, worries, family and personal problems besides all difficulties each one goes through need to be taken to Jesus who says “come to me for rest” and to restore peace, serenity and calmness.
Dr Moras, narrating a story said, a beggar used to go to church to spend some time and get out after a while. Once, the sacristan asked him why he was going to the church at 12 noon every day. Is it to steal? Soon he met with an accident and was admitted to a hospital. He was cheerful. Nurses and doctors were surprised about his smile, joy and optimism. A nurse asked him why and how, he made all those around cheerful. He replied. “My visitor comes to meet me daily”. To the query, who was that visitor, he said, it is Jesus who comes at 12 noon and soon he disappears. I see Jesus every day. Like the beggar, Jesus should be part of our lives. He takes it over all our worries. He handles it in our favour.
In another story, Archbishop said, one man was struggling to walk and asked Jesus “where were you? I was carrying you.” Each step you put forward was mine. Jesus carries our burden and burden becomes light. Offer the day and every action to him, every breath and movement to him. He will lighten our burden.
Forty years of CEC’s existence, it proclaimed the good news to those not heard of Jesus. Sisters, lay persons and Frs had been working hard. CEC was established with the primary task to make known Jesus to all. Jesus gave the command to go to the whole world and proclaim the good news, proclaim through all types of media and every possible means. Jesus is the way, truth and life of 16 million Catholics in the Archdiocese, said the prelate.
During a cultural and felicitation function soon after the Eucharist, Archbishop Moras said Ruby Jubilee is to obey Jesus. CEC has its office at Infant Jesus Church campus. Every institution, church and establishment should be an CEC with the words, ‘may I help you, to make Jesus known. Take along Jesus with social activities, health care and educational programmes. The modern world is beset with suicide reports, murders, violence and restlessness. We should give Jesus to them. All such evils will disappear. All problems the world faces would vanish.
Archbishop, a committed worker for gospel said, Holy Father appealed to the world, societies and communities to think of the deprived, abandoned, hungry and the neglected to give Jesus to all. The 16th Association of CEC – India and the biennial General Body Meeting was held in Bangalore on July 7 and 8. Archbishop wished all ‘Peace of Christ reign in our hearts.’
Fr. J A Nathan, spiritual Director, presented a brief description of CEC and about all its activities. He said among other things that co-workers get together every Thursday for renewal of promise. The workers achieved and carried out a number of activities during these 40 years.
Fr Vargese Paul, national president, ACECI, spoke of giving Jesus to others. “We have no Jesus to give”. All workers and all Christians should overcome this situation, reminded Fr Varghese, who is author of several books and articles. He also presented a brief history of CEC. Fr Varghese Paul at present based in Ahmedabad is a pioneer of CEC of Bangalore Archdiocese. He expressed satisfaction about the present work of CEC. He said Archbishop began CEC in Belgaum when he was the bishop there. Fr Varghese who was editor of a number of publications said, we have to respect and love people. We have no enemies. Quoting Mother Teresa, he said, love people with a smile and commemorate God’s love in different ways. A Gujarati saying has it that what is in the well only we get in the bucket. If there is no water, nothing comes.
Fr J A Nathan intermittently spoke of the achievements and present varying activities the workers execute with dedication and diligence.
Msgr Jayanathan, Vicar General, who was personally involved in the three-day meeting, quoting Pope John Paul I said ‘Who is a theologian?’ Someone from the participants said ‘one who speaks about God’. Pope asked how beautiful if a theologian speaks to God. Msgr, an orator, writer, administrator and a communicator, among other talents, exhorted the workers and others to experience and exhibit God. Quoting 1Jn 1:1 Msgr said, share which we have heard, which we have seen, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life… A Christian’s life is to witness God and Jesus.
Archbishop said it gave him immense joy in hosting the bienneial G B meeting in Bangalore. It was an occasion of great joy for the Archdiocese. He urged repeated to spread Good news to non-Christians and others. Every diocese, parish, institution and every Christian is to preach and spread the good news. He narrated his experience while travelling to Chennai. A pastor sitting next to him spoke at least one hour on Bible and Jesus. They use 10% of income to distribute Bible – Gideon Bible. The pastor gave one to the Archbishop, too, even though he was well aware that he was giving the Bible to an Archbishop. This indicated the pastor’s commitment towards his goal.
Recounting another experience Dr Moras said, a nun went to meet him and she narrated an incident while travelling by train. Sr. was reading a book. A north Indian was also travelling with her. He struck a conversation with Sr. The co-passenger said, ‘you people are blessed. Give a contact that I may place my problems to him and to get to know your God’.
Archbishop Moras posed a question – whether do we make use of our opportunities to speak on Jesus to others. Other religions give out Koran and Bhagawat Geetha free of cost. He thanked all CEC members who worked for the last 40 years. Dr Moras who lost his eldest brother ver recently urged upon all concerned to encourage youth and young persons to be co-workers. He expressed the need to change the world. What we see today is tension, terrorism, and violence in families, societies and countries. Only Jesus can give loving and lasting peace. Jesus said I have come to serve. All six districts cannot come to CEC but all have the responsibilities to go to them. God blessed the Archdiocese in many ways. Archbishop appealed to all members of the GB to do their utmost to spread the good news in their own respective places. Bangalore is Rome of the East. Bangalore is great with many industries, technological establishments, hospitals, Universities. Also it has so many commissions and migrants. We are all called to do this noble task. Peace and Justice to be established. In 2008, All Karnataka United Christian Forum was formed to witness Jesus to non-Christians.
Archbishop felicitated several persons including Fr Varghese Paul, Fr Varghese N, SVD, Secretary & Executive Secretary, ACECI, the past directors, superior of Daughters of St. Paul, Sr Jannet, the present Director, CEC and Fr J A Nathan. Archbishop was honoured with a shawl. Several children were also presented with prices and gifts. Archbishop released a Souvenir and gave the first copy to Fr. Varghese Paul. Students of St. Ann’s of Chennai (St. Rock’s School) and youth of Infant Jesus Shrine performed dances and CEC youth sang songs.
Prior to the Mass, John Xavier, an active co-worker and preacher, presented a brief history of CEC of Bangalore. The Ruby Jubilee celebration concluded with a vote of thanks by Sr. Janet.
Rev. Dr. Robert Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga was the main celebrant at the inaugural Mass for the General Body Meeting began on July 7. The key note address was read out by a representative in the absence of Archbishop Bernard Moras.
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