1. बच्चों की क्षमताएॅ पहचानो और जगाओ
  2. कोशिष करने वालांे की हार नहीं होती



  1. Learning is the Key to Transformation
  2. Globally Competitive Education: The need for Enlightened leadership and System
  3. Science and Religion: To unfold the mystery of creation
  4. Mentoring: Paradigm Shift in Academic Leadership
  5. Dynamics of Terrorism: The Gandhian Perspective
  6. Motivating and Mobilizing Your Staff
  7. Value Education: Prospects and Challenges
  8. Steps for Quality Enhancement and Sustenance in Higher Education
  9. What Makes a Leader?
  12. Improving Quality of Higher Education: Autonomy to Colleges, What Next?
  13. Best Practices - Quest and Response to Quality Enhancement
  14. Motivation: The key to performance enhancement
  15. Mentoring: An Effective Process of Empowerment
  16. Education for life - The Ultimate Gift
  17. Relationship in School Administration
  18. Abstract - Envisioning Change Prospects and Challenges
  19. Challenges of Catholic Schools in India
  20. Ecological Stewardship: The Biblical Perspective
  21. Autonomy in Higher Education: Prospects and Challenges
  22. Teachers as Educators: Prospectus and Challenges
  23. Soft Skills: The Key to Success
  24. Motivation – Key to Quality Enhancement
  25. Motivation: The Key to Success
  26. A book on “Ecological Spirituality: Cross Cultural Perspective' by Dr. Fr. Davis George and Fr. Valan Arasu
  27. Women Politics and Change in India
  28. Transforming Education through Information Technology
  29. Contemporary Relevance of Gandhi and Gandhian Thought












  1. संभावनाओ को ख़तम करती है अति
  2. सकारात्मक शब्द
  3. प्रोत्साहन का चमत्कार
  4. आत्मशक्ति
  5. उपवास
  6. प्रभु के पास आएं
  7. प्रकृति और इंसान
  8. नजरिया सकारात्मक हो
  9. द्रढ़ संकल्प, समर्पण और लगन
  10. प्रेम दयालु है
  11. जीवन का केंद्र : प्रेम (54)
  13. HEADLINES - 2013

The Cross: Victory over hatred, despair and violence

Dr. Fr. Davis George
It has been rightly said by Mazinni “A person may die, but the truth implanted by him can never die.”  History bears a testimony to the indisputable powers of non violence and truth.  There have been many people who have endured great suffering and pain and emerged victorious in life.  Lives of great people would bear testimony to the courage of conviction and willingness to pay the price for the same.  Such people live on in the minds and hearts of people.  Their example motivates and inspires others to take the road less traveled.  And yet stories of hatred, violence, despair and destruction loom large in the news headlines.  Confronted with problems, pain, unjust suffering and challenging situations, farmers, students, couples and others often take the short cut of ending their lives.  Suicide, murder, violence seem to take the upper hand.   Some people think that might is right and muscle power can settle scores.  Endurance and perseverance often take a back seat.

It is in this context we must reflect on the crucifixion and death of Christ on Good Friday.  A man who went around doing good, who made the lame walk, the lepers clean, the deaf hear and the dump speak was accused and condemned due to vested interests, by religious leaders of his time who could not face the light of truth as propounded by Jesus of Nazareth.  Those who believed in religious fundamentalism, who never practiced what they preached, who only practiced piety to get appreciation and approval those who ignored the cries of the poor, fabricated cases against the innocent Messiah and felt victories in his physical death.  This very act paved the way for eternal life; Jesus destroyed death by dying on the cross and confirmed eternal life for humanity by rising from the dead on the third day.

Christ’s death on the cross signified the victory of love over hatred and cruelty.  The Roman soldiers had spears and swords and their hatred towards him would culminate in his death on the cross. But their hatred and cruelty received only one response – forgiveness.  All through Jesus’s life there have been two great approaches to life, one against the other.  On the one side was hatred and on the other was love.  They beat him with a whip until his back was an open wound.  They drove nails through his hands and suspended him upon a cross.  All day long the battle raged.  Hate surrounded him on all sides.  But love upheld him.   When the battle was over, hate lay beaten in the dust.  Christ’s non-violence represents the impotence of hatred when confronted by the power of love.

The cross is also a symbol of faith’s victory over cynicism and despair.  Many of us, unfortunately, seldom recognize this hidden conflict.  We have given up searching for the meaning of life or contemplating over its apparent absurdities.  We are too busy with the mundane.  Fortunately, for the most part, life treats us reasonably well on the surface.  But this is not true of all people.   Many have more than their share of tragedy.  The pain and injustice that they see on every side cause them to lose all faith in God and in life.  If ever there was a person who had the right to doubt God, and to despair of the human race, and to become cynical about life, that person was Jesus.  But listen to him as he prays for his persecutors, “Father forgive them, they know not what they are doing.”  Listen to him as he tells a dying thief that they will be together in paradise.  Listen to him as he says, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  Through all the injustice and pain, his faith in goodness and justice did not fail.  He kept on believing in God, he kept on believing in people, believing in life.  At Calvary, Faith won a resounding victory over cynicism and despair.

Finally, the Cross represents the victory of non-victory over force.  Jesus looked so weak on that cross that day.  He had no sword and no spear, and not even one soldier on his side.  All his kith and kin were onlookers from afar. The only thing he could do was to pray to seek forgiveness for his enemies and then die.  The world had never witnessed a more pitiful display of willful helplessness than that.  Though he could, he did not call a battalion of angels to come to his defense.  He simply died.  For some time it simply seemed that violence was the victor.  But two thousand years later, we commemorate not the military might, but a man who died on the cross.  That apparent defeat at Calvary has turned out to be the greatest victory of all time.     It has given Jesus an unparalleled place in history.  Without striking a blow, he has conquered more hearts and changed more minds and inspired more deeds than Caesar’s soldiers ever dreamed.

Mahatma Gandhi applied the power of non violence to political situation on a mass scale against the strongest colonial power and then established that non violence is the weapon of the strong and not the weak.  He often spoke of soul force and brute force.  Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye will make both blind.”   Though non violence and truth, Mahatmas Gandhi could bring political freedom tour country and at the same time he dreamed for a greater freedom of the spirit.”  The non violent suffering of our countrymen reminded us that the Cross really is a symbol of victory.  It is not strange that on Good Friday we celebrate faith rather than doubt.  Two thousand years have passed that only non-violence can combat and defeat brute force.  Do we dare to believe it?  But what is more important, do we dare to try it?

He is guilty and must die!

Dr. Fr. Davis George
Terror struck again of the fateful 26/11.  Innocent people were killed; brave police officers became martyr for the nation.  The entire country was paralyzed and terror stricken.  In an encounter with the police at Girgaum Chopatty, Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist in the attacks, was caught injured and is still in police custody.   Though he has confessed his involvement in the heinous crime and the entire country judging and awaiting for his death, still he has not been given the deserving punishment.  A terrorist caught in the act of crime.  But what is the verdict?
Jesus was found guilty by the High Priest, scribes, Pharisees and the unruly crowd during his life-time, gave the verdict that he is guilty and must die.  Guilty of what?  Guilty of telling he is the Son of God and the Messiah.  Guilty of telling them he has to suffer and die for the sins committed by others.
Guilty of healing people on a Sabbath day, guilty of giving hope and life to those who live in darkness of sin and death, guilty of going about doing good, guilty of criticism outward show of religion, guilty of showing that God is their loving father and they in turn are brothers and sisters, guilty of telling that He is the way, the truth and life, guilty of telling that even after crucification and death, He will rise again on the third day.  What a paradox of life, God who came not to condemn the world but to save the world, has been condemned and crucified just like any other criminal of his time.  Jesus said, “The Son of Man did not came to be saved, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.  For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous.”
Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of Christ, in some ways represents the very heart of Christianity – the voluntary, substitutionary and propitiatory death of Jesus Christ.  Gibson did not find any meaning in worldly riches and fame.  He became an addict of drugs and alcohol and even contemplated committing suicide.  Then he reportedly turned to the Bible and found purpose and meaning in Jesus Christ.
The big question is not ‘Who crucified Christ’; it is ‘Why Jesus was crucified’.  The answer this movie provides us is, as Gibson himself reported to Diane Sawyer of ABC, “He was pierced for our transgressions, and he was wounded and we are healed”. (Is 53:5).
Jesus Christ died for our sins.  He did not defend himself, Isaiah 53:7-9 speaks about the silent suffering servant of the Lord.  Verse 7 can be translated this way, “Though He was oppressed, He was submissive and did not open His mouth.”
He submitted to being arrested, mocked, spat upon beaten, stripped, struck down, forced to carry His own cross, and crucified.  The question we must ask is about the nature of his response.
Isaiah says, “He did not open his mouth”.  Why did he not protest his great injustice?  Why did he not open his mouth and defend himself?  Why did he strand there and take all this abuse submissively?
Even Jeremiah, the great prophet protested.  Even Mahatma Gandhi called for non-violent resistance.  But Jesus Christ offered no resistance at all, violent or non-violent.  The gospel accounts tell us that He did not defend himself before Annas, Capiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Herod Antipas, or the Roman governor Pilate.
In Mt.27:12-14 we read, “When He was accused by the chief priests and the elders, He gave no answer.  Then Pilate asked him, ‘Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?’ But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge to the great amazement of the governor.”  Isaah predicted this non-defensive and non-complaining attitude of the suffering servant.
“Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.  A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.   In faithfulness he will bring forth justice.” (Is 42:2-3).
“The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.  I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my break; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.” (Is 50:5-7)
Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered.  They sought false testimony against him.  Two came forward and said,  “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build in three days.”  And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
Jesus said to him, “You have said so.  But I tell you; hereafter you will see the son of an sated at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his robes, and said, “He has uttered blasphemy.  Why do we still need witnesses?  You have heard his blasphemy.  What is your judgment?’
They answered, “He deserved death.”  Then they spat on his face, and struck him; and some slapped him, later they shouted again and again, “Let him be crucified.”  (Mt. 56:57-68).
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus in to the practorium, and they gathered the whole battalion before him.  And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand.  And kneeling before him they mocked him saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe, and put his own clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him.  And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “you who would destroy the temple and built it in three days, save yourself!  If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
So also the chief priest, with the scribes and elders, mocked him saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.  He is the king of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.  Jesus could have come down from the cross and saved himself.  But then, he would not have been Savior of the world.
After forty days of fasting as He came out of the desert, the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to became loaves of bread.”
Jesus did not succumb to playing to the gallery and taking short cuts.  Jesus, thus, followed the eternal plan of salvation and showed the unconditional love of God.”
While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man-though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die.  “Bust God show his love for us in than while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”  (Rom 5:6-8).  And yet, he was found guilty of death.  What a paradox?
Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save the world (Jn 3:16-17).  He did not condemn the women caught in adultery but showed His compassion and forgiveness.  Jesus visited the house of Zachaeous which made the latter repent and change his life.  Mathew the tax collector detested by others, was chosen as his apostle.
The repentant thief who sought forgiveness was promised heaven while dying on the cross.  On the cross Jesus prayed for forgiveness for those who were persecuting him.  All those who touched him in faith were healed.  All those who encountered him were transformed.
His life, suffering death and resurrection changed the history of the world.  By dying on the cross, Jesus destroyed death and by rising from the death on the third day.  He established that He is the resurrection and the life and that those believe in Him shall gain eternal life.”
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.  Because He lives, all fear is gone.  Because I know He holds the future, my life is worth the living just because He lives.”

Jesus made himself obedient unto death, even death on a cross

Dr. Fr. Davis George
In the first week of February 2011 a group of us visited the Holy Land. We saw the place where Jesus was born, places where he worked miracles, the Synagogue where he taught, the Sea of Galilee where he walked, Mount Tabor where Jesus was transfigured, Gethsemane where his sweat became blood while praying, and Mount Calvary where he was crucified on the cross.  It was very touching and heart -breaking.  We were taken to a pit where he was kept the whole night as if he was a dreaded criminal. Centuries before the birth and death of the Messiah it was written, “I am reckoned among those who go down to the Pit; I am a man who has no strength, like one forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom thou dost remember no more, for they are cut off from thy hand. Thou hast put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep…. I am shut in so that I cannot escape; my eye grows dim through sorrow” (Ps 88: 4-9). What a paradox: the Creator of the world at the mercy of his own creation; what a cost he had to pay for the salvation of human kind, “Although he was in the form of God, a thing to be grasped he emptied himself and became a human being” (Phil 2:1).  He gave up all his heavenly prerogatives and identified himself with sinners so much so that he was taken as a sinner. And yet, he was treated like a criminal and crucified on the cross on Good Friday. The Bible tells us that they put a crown of thorns on him,  struck him on his head and  spat upon him , laughed at him and,  humiliated him publicly; made him carry the cross, torturing him at every step. Centuries before the birth of Christ prophet Isaiah had prophesied about the birth and death of the Messiah, that he would be a suffering servant and will die a shameful death for the salvation of human kind. It is written in the Bible “Ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried. But , we thought of him as someone punished, struck by God and brought low. He was pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins. On him lies a punishment that brings us peace, and through his wounds we are healed” (Is 53:4-5). But why an innocent man had to die like this?

In the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, Jesus was tempted by the devil to give up the way of the cross and obey the designs of the devil. He was asked to make use of his divine powers and take short cut to achieve his mission in life. He was asked to disobey his Father’s plan of saving the world. Jesus’ answer was an emphatic no to the devil and his allurements (Mt 4:1-10).  Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish and people wanted to immediately make him a king, who can wield political power. Very poignantly it is recorded, “Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the hills by himself” (Jn 6:15). Again Jesus refused to disobey his fathers plan for him. Jesus told his disciples many times that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised from the dead. Peter did not want this to happen to his Master. Jesus rebuked him saying, “Get behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men” (Mt 16:23). While dying on the cross, he was challenged to come down from the cross and prove that he is Christ (Mk 15:30-32). Jesus opted to obey his Father and his plan of saving the world. How true, he made himself obedient unto death, even death on the cross (Phil 2:8). It was not easy for him to obey and accept such humiliation and mental and physical torture. In the garden of Gethsemane he cried out and prayed, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt” (Mk 14:36). The human face of the only begotten son of God is seen in the following words from the scripture: “In the day of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplication, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered” (Heb 5:7-8). Jesus’ only aim was to accomplish his Father’s will and do always what is pleasing to him (Jn. 8:29).

On Good Friday we look at the cross and try to experience the power in the cross. The doctrine of the cross is sheer folly to those on their way to ruin, but to us who are on the way to salvation it is the power of God…. Jews call for miracles, Greeks for wisdom. But we proclaim Christ- yes, Christ nailed to the cross…. He is the power of God and the wisdom of God (1Cor 1:18-24). On the cross we see how Jesus emptied himself of the divine prerogatives which was certainly his due, but made himself obedient, yes even death on a cross.  Adam disobeyed God and sin entered the world; Jesus obeyed his father and salvation was brought to all humanity. Jesus made obedience and accomplishing his father’s will the central part of his teaching. In uncompromising terms Jesus said that whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, sister and mother (Mt 12:50).

Knowing Christ costs nothing; but obeying him costs everything. It is easy to go on a pilgrimage, but difficult to obey Him. Going to the Holy Land costs only money but obeying him costs everything. Taking part in Mass and other pious devotions cost nothing but obeying him costs everything.  Are we here on this Good Friday to know more about Christ or to listen to his words and obey him? The crucified Lord who is alive in our midst, tells us to obey him; it is said that obedience is better than sacrifice.  In our moments of prayer, when we listen and reflect on the Scripture, he continues to speak to us: Forgive your enemies; forgive your wife, your husband, your children your parents, and, anyone who has hurt you. Do we obey him? He tells us to overcome evil with good; bless those who persecute you. Do we obey or indulge in retaliation. Knowing Christ costs nothing, obeying him costs everything. He tells us to be humble and serve one another with love. But we are prone to do this only according to our likes. He tells us not to be mere listeners of the Word but doers of the Word. He tells us to deny ourselves, take up the cross daily and follow him. Do we obey? He tells us to worship him in spirit and in truth and not just mumble meaningless words. Do we obey? 

On Good Friday we see the meaning of obedience. Abraham obeyed and followed his commandments and was even ready to sacrifice his only son. Mary obeyed God and followed her son till the last. We want children to obey parents; students- teachers; wife- husband; husband – wife. And yet, we don’t want to obey God.  Salvation is in obedience. Obedience is the foundation of faith. Obedience is the response to love. That is what we see on the Cross. The Holy Spirit is given to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). Prayers are heard because we obey his commandments. On this Good Friday let us not do lips service. Let us surrender our lives and make a decision and commitment to obey him. Knowing Christ costs nothing; obeying him costs everything. 

During World War II planes used to land in make shift air strips and as soon as they land they would be taken to place of safety which even the pilots did not know. As soon as the plane stops a small vehicle comes on which was written follow me and the vehicle would pull the plane to safety. In the same way in our life’s battle field only Jesus can take us to place of safety and security, peace and contentment, healing and salvation provided we obey Him, take up our cross daily and follow Him.

Everything is complete!

Dr. Fr. Davis George
It was three o’clock. Jesus called for water. He could hardly speak. A soldier fixed a sponge on a spear and held it up to his lips. It was terribly bitter but it was enough. He strained to raise his head and look up to heaven. "It is finished," he cried and then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. The words of Jesus from the cross were not the words of a “victim” but the shouts of a “victor”! He did not say “I am finished”! He said, “It is finished!” It is like the cry of one who comes first in 400 meters run at the Olympics and gets the gold medal.  I have made it.
At the time, the moment was filled with too much emotion for those words to sink in and to ponder what they meant. But later as the early Christians read John’s Gospel and heard again those words, it dawned on them just how powerful these dying words of Jesus were. John wrote his Gospel in Greek, and those last words of Jesus are just one word in Greek – tetelestai (pronounced te-tel-es-sty).
The expression "It is finished" or tetelestai was well known to them. It was a part of everyday language. When a servant had completed a difficult job that his master had given him to do, he would say to the master – tetelestai - "I have overcome all the difficulties; I have done the job to the best of my ability. It is finished". When the Jewish people went to the temple with their sacrifice, the High Priest would examine what was brought. Most likely, he didn’t speak Greek but he would use the Hebrew equivalent of tetelestai – meaning, "Your offering is accepted; it is perfect". When an artist had finished a painting or a sculpture he would stand back and say, tetelestai – it is finished; there is nothing more that can be done to make this piece of art any better. This painting is complete.
All those who heard the word tetelestai  understood that Jesus is saying that his job of saving the world has been completed. He has finished the task and nothing can be added to what has been done. Jesus has paid the price in full – he has cancelled all debt. His sacrifice has been a perfect one, acceptable to the heavenly Father who, looking down on his Son hanging lifelessly from the cross, said, "Well done, this is my dear Son with whom I am well pleased". Tetelestai – it is finished. Everything is complete!
What is it that is finished when Jesus says, "It is finished"?
Reconciliation is accomplished. Reconciliation between God and sinful human beings who had gone away from his love. By his cross he was reconciling the world unto himself. (2 Cor 5:19) A terrible gap has come between God and all humanity caused by sin and evil. God created a perfect beautiful world and he made people to live in harmony and peace with one another. But look what’s happened. We all know what an effect our poorly chosen words and lack of consideration have on our relationship with family members and friends. Greed and selfishness destroy friendship and separate people and nations. Sin has a devastating effect on our relationship with God. Sin separates us from God and if we want to have any hope of going to heaven to be with God, then someone had to deal with sin and restore our relationship with God. So God sent his Son into the world for this very purpose.
Jesus died on the cross to get rid of the power of sin and wages of sin which is death. His death bridged the deep gulf between God and us. "Salvation is accomplished", Jesus cried. The restoration of the friendship between God and humanity has been finished. The task for which God's Son came to earth has been completed. He has won forgiveness for all people. Nothing else needs to be done. Salvation is complete. "It is finished".
That’s why we call today "Good Friday". It certainly wasn’t a good day for Jesus. He endured pain, soul-wrenching agony, hanging by the nails in his hands for hours, death on a rough wooden cross, for our sake. We call today "Good Friday" because the cross is proof of the powerful love that God has for each of us. No one, not even God, would do something like that unless he truly loved us. Here we see a love that was prepared to endure the ultimate in order to rescue us.
There is the story of priest who offered his life in place of a teenage boy in Nazi Germany. (Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe, volunteered to die in place of a teenage boy whom he did not know in the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz,  World War II.)  His offer was accepted and the priest died to save the boy’s life.
And then there was the young soldier who had been condemned to death by Oliver Cromwell. He was to be shot at the ringing of the curfew bell. His fiancée climbed the bell tower and tied herself to the clapper of the giant bell so that it would not ring. When the bell did not ring, soldiers went to investigate and found the girl battered and bleeding from being bashed against the sides of the bell. Cromwell was so impressed by her love for the young man that he was pardoned.
Because of love, people do extraordinary things for others. Paul writes, "God has shown us how much he loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! … We were God's enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son." (Romans 5:8,10). That’s how much God loves us – Jesus died for us even though we don’t deserve it. His death has made us God's friends.
Jesus' announcement, "It is finished" is clear and simple. Jesus has completed his task. The reason why he came as a human has been fulfilled. He came so that you and I can have forgiveness and salvation. He came to give us the victory. He came to ensure that we would enter his kingdom and live forever.
Invitation and Challenge
The cross of Jesus was far more than death, suffering and blood. The cross of Jesus was a place of testimony. It was here that God made His greatest declaration of love for lost humanity, (Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10). Christ’s greatest work was accomplished on the cross. When He raised Lazarus from the dead, He helped one man and his family. When He healed the lepers; delivered the demoniacs; opened the blind eyes and healed diseased, twisted bodies; He was helping one person and one family at a time. When He fed the 5,000 thousand, He helped 5,000 men plus women and children. But, when He died on the cross, Jesus was making a difference for every member of Adam’s family who would look to Him by faith. It wasn’t just one man; but it was “whosoever will”, (Rom. 10:13; Rev. 22:17). He could have saved Himself, but He stayed on the cross to save sinners!
What is the cross of Jesus to you? Is it merely a piece of jewelry? Is it just a religious symbol? Is it a talisman(of course we don't believe in this) you hang over your bed to keep the devil away? Is it pure foolishness? Or, is the cross the “power of God unto salvation”? If you will heed the message of the cross, you will find that salvation is still available. You will find that God can still save souls; change eternal destinies and transform sinners into saints of God. (“The Old Rugged Cross”) 

The Ultimate Auction

Dr. Fr. Davis George
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam conflicts broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.   He said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.’ The young man held out this package. ‘I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but think your son would have wanted you to have this.’
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.  He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. ‘Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.’  The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.  The man died a few months later. Thereafter a great auction of his paintings was held. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform where the painting of the son was on display, the auctioneer pounded his gavel. ‘We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?’ There was silence. Then a voice at the back of the room shouted, ‘We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.’ But the auctioneer persisted. ‘Will somebody bid for this painting. Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?’ Another voice cried angrily. ‘We didn’t come to see this painting.
We came to see the Van Gogh’s, the Rembrandt’s. Get on with the real bids!’ But still the auctioneer continued. ‘The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?’  Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. ‘I’ II give $10 for the painting.’ Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. ‘We have $10, who will bid $20?’ The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. ‘Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!’ A man sitting on the second row shouted, ‘Now let’s get on with the collection!’ The auctioneer laid down his gavel. ‘I’ am sorry, the auction is over.’ ‘What about the paintings?’ ‘I am sorry, when I was called to conduct this auction; I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this moment. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who takes the son gets everything!’
God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: ‘the son! The son! Who’ll take the son?’ Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”  (John 3:16-17)  He loved them to the end.  (John 13:1)   Someone asked Jesus, “How much do you love me?  He stressed out his hands on the Cross and said “this much”.   How true, “While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man-though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die.  But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
On Good Friday, God manifested his unconditional love for human kind.  It is only on the cross that we see the face of God. We look at the sun and see the energy of God. We look at the stars and see the infinity of God. We look at the atom and see the complexity of God. But it is only on the cross that we see the face of God’s love.  It is only on the cross that we see a love so great that God was willing to die for me. It is only on the cross that we hear the statement, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15: 13). 

Death Itself Takes on New Meaning and Purpose

Dr. Fr. Davis George
On Good Friday we recall Jesus’ journey along the way of the cross: a journey seemingly hopeless, yet one that changed human life and history, and opened the way to “new heavens and a new earth” (cf. Rev 21:1). Christians all over the world commemorates with deep spiritual union the death of the Son of God on the cross; in his cross we see the tree of life, which blossoms in new hope.
The experience of suffering and of the cross touches all mankind; it touches the family too. How often does the journey become wearisome and difficult! Misunderstandings, conflicts, worry for the future of our children, sickness and problems of every kind. These days too, the situation of many families is made worse by the threat of unemployment and other negative effects of the economic crisis. The Way of the Cross invites all of us, and families in particular, to contemplate Christ crucified in order to have the force to overcome difficulties. The cross of Christ is the supreme sign of God’s love for every man and woman, the superabundant response to every person’s need for love. At times of trouble, when our families have to face pain and adversity, let us look to Christ’s cross. There we can find the courage and strength to press on; there we can repeat with firm hope the words of Saint Paul: “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom 8:35, 37).
In times of trial and tribulation, we are not alone; the family is not alone. Jesus is present with his love, he sustains them by his grace and grants the strength needed to carry on, to make sacrifices and to overcome every obstacle. And it is to this love of Christ that we must turn when human turmoil and difficulties threaten the unity of our lives and our families. The mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection inspires us to go on in hope: times of trouble and testing, when endured with Christ, with faith in him, already contain the light of the resurrection, the new life of a world reborn, the Passover of all those who believe in his word.
In that crucified Man who is the Son of God, even death itself takes on new meaning and purpose: it is redeemed and overcome, it becomes a passage to new life. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (Jn 12:24). 

Invisible face of God made visible

Dr. Fr. Davis George
Jesus came to manifest the invisible face of God. He made the real name of God known that is Mercy and real face of God that is Mercy.  From Incarnation to Crucifixion he went about revealing the invisible face of God, manifesting the real power of God, mercy. To include the excluded, to reach to the periphery and proclaim the joy of the Gospel he spent his life and died on the cross. I have come not to condemn the world but to redeem the world, he said. It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick.  Neither do I condemn you he told the bewildered woman caught in adultery.  Who has not sinned, failed, fumbled, faltered and fallen?  Let him throw the first stone who has not sinned.   “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith in his blood… He justifies the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom 3:23-26). 
Pope Francis has been urging the Church, and the world at large, to “get out of ourselves and go toward the periphery.” Jesus commanded his disciples to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15). These last words of Jesus to his disciples urge them (and us) to “get out of themselves (ourselves) and go to the periphery.”  Self sufficiency and indifference can be killing others.
Where do we find the periphery? The dictionary definition of periphery is “the outside edge of an area or the area that surrounds a place or thing.” Pope Francis is referring to those areas that contain people who are social outcasts, on the “margins” of social acceptability, as being “the periphery.” He admonishes us to step outside of our comfort zones (another of Pope Francis’s frequent expressions) and to open our hearts to others, especially those who have been rejected by society.
In the Gospels, Samaritans are clearly “on the periphery” of Jewish society. So are lepers and those caught in sins such as adultery. As we read in St. Matthew’s Gospel, “While he was at table in his [Levi’s/Matthew’s] house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ He heard this and said, ‘Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners” ’ ” (Mt 9: 10–13).
In other words, the periphery is not confined to geography or social, economic or legal status or to our religious or political points of view. Anyone who is different from us stands outside our comfort zone. Getting outside ourselves and going to the periphery can mean any effort to reach out to others with compassion and understanding. It does not mean that we abandon our beliefs, principles or way of life. But it does mean that we open ourselves to those who are different from us and, in so doing, share with them the good news that all are loved by God and redeemed in Christ.
In his homily at Lampedusa, a large island near Sicily that has witnessed the tragic drowning of hundreds of African refugees attempting to find asylum in Italy, Pope Francis lamented what he called the anesthesia of the heart. “We are a society which has forgotten how to weep, how to experience compassion for [suffering with] others; the globalization of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep!” “Anesthesia of the heart” is not a Christian virtue. As we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, let’s recommit ourselves to obeying Jesus’ command. Let’s go out of our comfort zones into the whole world, including the periphery, to proclaim his Good News!
We have the opportunity to make, on this Good Friday, the most important decision of our lives, one that opens wide before us the doors of eternity: to believe! To believe that "Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our justification" (Rom 4:25)! And we all have been commissioned to proclaim the joy of the Gospel that God loves the world unconditionally. Incarnation and crucifixion show the invisible face of the merciful God. Our challenge today: be merciful like the Father -  reach out, touch and heal the broken world.

Incredible event: On Good Friday God died that we may have life.

                                                                                                Dr. Fr. Davis George
On a dark Friday two thousand years ago, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. Powerful members of the religious, political, and military communities colluded to strip him naked, mock him publicly, and crucify him. What is Good Friday and why do we call Good Friday “good,” when it is such a dark, bleak and painful event commemorating a day of suffering and death of Jesus?
Good Friday is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates the most momentous weekend in the history of the world. Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. Paul considered it to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures (1 Cor 15:3). Paul said, “We preach Christ the crucified…Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor 1:22) Cross has been the source of strength, consolation and salvation to all those who endure suffering and face challenges of life.
On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (1 Jn 1:10). It is followed by Easter, the glorious celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, heralding his victory over sin and death and pointing ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith (Rom 6:5).
1. Cross manifests the unconditional love and forgiveness of God.
As it is written, “While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man- though perhaps for a good man one will dare to die. But, God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”(Rom5:6-8)  Again we read, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (Jn 3:16-17) How true, “No greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn 15:13)
Before the Cross of Jesus, we apprehend in a way that we can almost touch with our hands how much we are eternally loved; before the Cross we feel that we are “children” and not “things” or “objects”.  We were ransomed not with silver and gold but with the precious blood of the Lamb because we were created in his own image and likeness.
2. On the cross, Jesus suffered so that we would not have to suffer.
There is an inborn tendency to sin in every person. Like Adam and Eve, we refuse to recognize God as God and we break his law repeatedly. To atone for our sins he took on a human body and came to earth as Jesus. He lived the sinless life that we should have lived, and died the death that we deserve to die. That is why the apostle Paul declared that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1).
Pope Francis said that God placed on Jesus’ Cross all the weight of our sins, all the injustices perpetrated by every Cain against his brother, all the bitterness of the betrayal by Judas and denial by Peter, all the vanity of tyrants, all the arrogance of false friends. It was a heavy Cross, like night experienced by abandoned people, heavy like the death of loved ones, heavy because it carries all the ugliness of evil. However, the Cross is also glorious like the dawn after a long night, for it represents all the love of God, which is greater than our iniquities and our betrayals. In the Cross we see the monstrosity of man, when he allows evil to guide him; but we also see the immensity of the mercy of God, who does not treat us according to our sins but according to his mercy.
3. Through the cross, we can be reconciled to God and each other.
Because of our sins, we alienate ourselves from God and others, but Jesus saves us from our sins in order to mend those relationships. That is why the Bible says, “For it pleased the Father to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col 1:19-20). In fact, Jesus’ reconciling powers will cause all relational barriers to be torn down, including the barriers of ethnicity and nationality (Rev 5:9-10). Today the world is torn by egoism, self aggrandizement, pride, self righteousness, arrogance, political hegemony. We need reconciliation and forgiveness and build a civilization of love. That is what Jesus did on the cross. All his life he went about doing good; made the lame walk, lepers clean, deaf hear, the dumb speak and even the dead were brought back to life. He worked relentlessly for an inclusive society and paid the price for it on the cross.
4. Because of the cross and resurrection, we have hope for the future.
The Bible connects Jesus’ crucifixion with his resurrection. After Jesus suffered on the cross, he was buried, but on the third day he rose from the grave! When he rose from the dead, he not only confirmed his divinity but declared that he would return one day to make things right. He will return to disestablish evil, sin, and death from their artificial throne, and establish himself as the true King over a kingdom characterized by justice, peace, and love (Rev 21-22). The Bible teaches that he alone can save (Acts 4:12) and that there is no sinner too bad for him to save (1 Tim 1:15).
Good Friday is a day to surrender our lives to Jesus who shed his blood that we may have life eternal. Someone asked Jesus “how much do you love me?” Jesus stretched out his arms on the cross and said “This much,” and died. Incredible and amazing love. Unfathomable self sacrifice.