She was Moses. 80 years of being Moses. For the past 50 years she led them through the desert on their journey to the chosen land, and now this upstart, had the temerity to speak about the alternate way to the Promised Land. Her hegemony was under challenge. What better way than to ensure this young lad leaves the caravan and discover his own journey in the desert.
Ralph had recently joined the caravan. It was rumored they were all escaping slavery of another kind. He too managed his escape from the mundane to enter this esoteric world of travelers. Although none were known to him, gradually he began making friends with members of the troupe as they trudged along night after night.
All were at rest after a long and arduous journey, as he lay his head on the sand and felt an object. He dug in the silence of the night, and soon found a compass of the lost civilization.
At daybreak he tried using it and soon learnt how to help others find their way with its help. Until then, Moses was the only one; the chosen one who would guide and all had to follow her instructions. Now when it came to light, that a few thought they knew the way ahead, this upset Moses . How could her leadership be challenged. She had to keep her fold intact. The only way was to expel this lad, and ensure there would be No further disgruntling.
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
It was after marriage, he realized his wife was deprived of inheritance. Properties in his hometown were acquired in a win-win situation.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
The homeless were allowed to build shelter on his land and care for his plantation.
When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
Then came the Land Bill that gave Rights to Tenants.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned.
He had his Estate Manager visit the land to collect the produce. They would not let him enter.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way.
When all his men were driven away.
Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
He personally visited in the hope that they will recall his benevolence in providing them shelter. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’
But they armed with swords, gathered in numbers, and threatened to slay him on his own land. They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?” They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.”
He had No choice, but to walk away forsaking all.
“Dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return.”
Having returned from school, he set off to play with the neighbourhood boys. He was 6 at the time of this incident. It was near the Peepal tree that he met Vijay a contact of his father who presented him with a tin of nutties. How excited he was to have received a gift. It was beyond the sixth hour when he returned home, with the tin in arms. He greeted his father, who was in conversation with Vijay. Pleasantries exchanged, his father sought to know what he held in his hands.
A box of nutties gifted by Uncle Vijay he blurted. Vijay tried to explain, that he wanted to share his happiness after having secured a job on his dad’s recommendation, and this a token of appreciation. His dad categorically had him return the box and admonished Vijay for this wasteful expenditure. It was on hearing the plight of his aged parents, that he got him recruited. He did not want money to be spent on such frivolous acts, and advised him to save all he could in caring for his parents.
He then turned and said, “Son, God has been kind to us, and given us the ability to help others. Never extend your palm seeking, but have the Heart of Giving.”
Since then he Never received but was Truly Blessed to give.
Gospel Jn 1:29 – 34
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
What is important to understand here is that John had willingly and gladly referred Jesus as the Messiah. Although he arrived earlier and was
known to the populace, who assumed John was the chosen one,
yet he gave it all up, saying the reference in the scriptures was to Jesus.
Do we still cling to the Seats of Power even though we lack the requirements.
How many of us are willing to give up our positions for the larger good.
He was about 24 years of age when he got selected to his first job. But the process of reaching his destination involved a change of 3 Trains. As he stood on the Platform ready to board the second train, he felt threatened by the huge crowd gathered. No sooner the train halted those in – were pushing themselves out, while those on the platform were desperate to get in. The interesting observation was when he noticed those who arrived last were desperately attempting to cajole those on board to squeeze a bit, if only to get a toe hold, but once they got in the same individual would disallow another to board shouting that the train was full and they need to try the next train.
Sadly this is the situation in all aspects of our life. Mangroves and Forests have been felled to make way for high rises, and once these self-righteous individuals have their dwellings confirmed, they hold placards against the destruction of these very mangroves and forests, as it disturbs their view of the greens.
Why cannot we be more humane, and help them find alternatives in the neighbourhood, rather than in remote areas where civilisation is yet to be established.
What better way to honour the King of Kings, born in a stable surrounded by Cattle, in an Overcrowded land,(all had arrived for the census,) Unlettered, yet taught a Million. Taught us to Live and died to Save us all. Jesus to the western world and Eisa to the East.
What better way to honour him who taught us what Governance is all about when he said, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.‘
Today the largest democracy in the world thinks it fit to celebrate the day as Good Governance Day. As his followers what more should we ask for, when he gets recognized in unimaginable ways.
To his great surprise, Moses saw a bush burning without fire to kindle it. The bush burned, and yet did not burn away; When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look; God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do Not come here, remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is Holy ground. (Exodus 3:5). He also said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
Can we in our churches start the barefoot movement:
We walk in with our footwear on, but when walking up to receive the Eucharist, can we step out of our footwear, let it be at our seated space and walk bare feet in reverence to his presence.
Yesterday’s Gospel has many interpretations.. Find yours
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”
He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”
Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Then he told them a parable.
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.
There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”