The festive month of December is here and it brings along a special and magical time filled with family traditions and warm memories.
The feast of our dear St. Francis Xavier is generally celebrated on 3rd December but this year as 3rd December is the first Sunday of Advent, the Feast will be celebrated on Monday, 4th December. St. Francis Xavier, as we all know, gave up all his family fortunes and the worldly fame in order to proclaim Jesus. All of us, in a special way, Goans, are the beneficiaries. His faith made him forsake corruptible worldly ways to love God and his incorruptible word, and in return God blessed us to see his uncorrupted body. Every year, we make it a point to visit Old Goa. Do we go only to seek and receive favours from God through the intercession of St. Francis Xavier? Do we ever praise and glorify God for his wonders or just complain and beg for more? At least this year let us pledge to build and spread the faith we have received from this Saint, our very own “Goemcho Saib”.
Every Christian eagerly awaits Christmas, because it is a joyous season. There is a different kind of feeling. The air is different and this is the reason people wait for Christmas. It is a time to reunite families. Families who are far and wide anxiously wait for this time to meet their family members and friends.
Do you know there is time of preparation for this big day “CHRISTMAS”? We have to prepare the way and the time is called Advent. What is Advent? – Advent is a time of Expectation, waiting and preparing for the celebrations of Nativity of Jesus. Latin Word Adventus Means arrival or coming of Christ. During Advent we have four Sundays to prepare.
Why is good health so elusive in these modern times?
Sometimes one cannot help but reminisce about the good old days of our childhood when good health was in abundance among the people and there was a general feeling of contentment and well-being.
Why do we have youngsters as young as 25 years nowadays succumbing to heart attack, diabetes, hypertension etc., when in the past these terms were practically unheard off?
The fast food culture makes it cool to hang around MacDonald’s and savour those burgers, French fries, rolls etc. No one likes to eat nutritious home cooked food. Walking or cycling for even short distances is old fashioned when its more fashionable to zoom around in one’s latest trendy car. It doesn’t matter that your abdominal girth keeps increasing!!During our childhood days there were few cars and scooters around. The 100cc bike revolution in 1984 started a new path to laziness. Maruti brought out the 800 in early nineties and from then on it’s a cut throat competition among the various automobile manufacturers to bring out new and supposedly better models, even if it’s just old wine in new bottle.
For Our reflection prior to the Christmas Festivity.
About 2000 years ago, when our Heavenly Father sent His beloved son to be born of Virgin Mary, what could have been His thoughts and feelings? I believe, God is pleased if we contemplate this aspect so that our thoughts and feelings identify with that of our Heavenly Father. If this happens, will we not celebrate Christmas with the right attitude and with appropriate disposition? To know what were God’s thoughts and feelings, let us list the events prior to and soon after Jesus’s birth. Those events are:
Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ on 25th December. The significance for Christians is their belief that Jesus is the ‘Son of God’, the messiah sent from God to save the world from sin. Christmas is the festival of peace, joy, love and goodwill when families are reunited, houses are decorated with lights, x’mas trees and gifts exchanged. Saint Nicholas is associated as Santa Claus – the fat, jolly, red-clothed, white bearded Santa.
The real meaning of Christmas actually is Emmanuel, God with us. Christmas is special because it reminds us concretely that God is indeed with us in every circumstance of life. So let us embrace Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior.
Recently the church sounded an advisory cautioning the use of plastics in our celebrations. This shows that the church authorities too are aware and very much concerned about the growing menace of the use of plastics.
Plastics! What are they? In simple words they are large molecules made from small units which get repeated to form the large one (macromolecule)
Can anyone guess the age of plastics, when they actually came into existence? It was in the year 1950, and from then, there is no turning back. Why was it so important? Those born in that decade or earlier, will recall that all articles we used then were made either of wood or metal. Now most of the articles are made of plastics name it, it is there – furniture, toys, bags, pens, refills to name a few.
The lady apostolate of the Western India Region had organized a two day seminar on the 4th & 5th November at the St. Benedict Monastery, Bangalore. Four lady representatives from Goa including myself attended this Seminar.
The topic of the seminar was ‘Warning signs of severe mental stress and Vincentian support with awareness’. Fr. Felix Victor, vice-principal of St. Joseph College, Bangalore in his inaugural address conveyed that ‘Women are called the fair sex’. They educate one child, they educate a family. Indian society is still backward in protecting the rights of women. The government has passed several acts to protect & empower women. Vincentians all over India are working to uplift women. Therefore “as Vincentians, keep the fire burning, for you are the beacon”, was the clarion call from Fr. Felix Victor. The main resource person was Sr. Ida Lobo of Holy Spirit Convent Bangalore. Sr. Ida had a fruitful session. She got a feedback from every state on the problems women faced.