My Daughters

My Daughters
my cute daughters

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

The festival of Easter is referred in English by a variety of different names including Easter Day, Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day and Resurrection Sunday. On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Christians celebrate Easter Sunday because Jesus rose from death. Jesus was buried on Friday and rose from death on Sunday. Easter is the feast of feasts, the unalloyed joy and gladness of all Christians. Even many who rarely go to church at any other time attend worship services at the church of their choice on Easter Sunday. Jesus rose from the dead on the first Sunday following the feast of Passover. They put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree or cross; but God raised Him on the third day. That’s Easter.

According to Matthew 28:1-6: “Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning and His clothing white as snow. And for fear of Him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been risen as he said”.

This is considered and known as Easter Sunday (Domhnach C├ísca), an occasion for Christians to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection, in Ireland. Among Christians, it is a celebration of Jesus Christ returning from the dead. And Easter this year will have special significance in my heart because now I truly know the pain behind the death and so can really rejoice at the resurrection. Now I truly believe that Jesus died for my sins and resurrected to redeem me of all my transgressions.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Good Friday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Passion of the Christ or Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday. Good Friday (from the senses pious, holy of the word “good”) is a religious day observed by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus, it’s the Friday on which the Church keeps the anniversary of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It commemorates the final hours of Jesus’ life, His crucifixion, and death, as described in the Christian Bible. On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary.

It’s also known as the Dark Friday, as Christ died on the cross for you and me. In the “Way of the Cross” processions and crucifixion reenactments, Christians remember Jesus’ death on Good Friday as “it was our infirmities that He bore, our sufferings that He endured. (Isaiah 53:4). Isaiah 52:13-53:12 52:13 See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. The First Reading is always: Isaiah 52:13—53:12. 13 Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.

Good Friday is the anniversary of Jesus’ death on the cross. According to the Gospels, Jesus was put to death on the Friday before Easter Day after He had said: “It is accomplished” and bowing His head He had given up His spirit.

On Good Friday the whole Church mourns the death of our Savior. This is traditionally a day of sadness, spent in fasting and prayer. The title for this day varies in different parts of the world: Holy Friday for Latin nations, Slavs and Hungarians call it Great Friday, in Germany it is Friday of Mourning, and in Norway, it is Long Friday. Some view the term Good Friday (used in English and Dutch) as a corruption of the term “God’s Friday”. This is another obligatory day of fasting and abstinence. In Ireland, they practice the black fast, which is to consume nothing but black tea and water.

According to the Church’s ancient tradition, the sacraments are not celebrated on Good Friday or on Holy Saturday. Celebration of the Lord’s Passion, traditionally known as the Mass of the Presanctified, (although it is not a mass) is usually celebrated around three o’clock in the afternoon, or later, depending on the needs of the parish. On this day the ministers enter in silence. All then kneel for silent prayer, after which the Celebrant stands and begins the liturgy.

The altar is completely bare, with no cloths, candles nor cross. The service is divided into three parts: Liturgy of the Word, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion. The priest and deacons wear red or black vestments. The liturgy starts with the priests and deacons going to the altar in silence and prostrating themselves for a few moments in silent prayer, and then an introductory prayer is prayed.

In part one, the Liturgy of the Word; we hear the most famous of the Suffering Servant passages from Isaiah (52:13-53:12), a pre-figurement of Christ on Good Friday. Psalm 30 is the Responsorial Psalm “Father, I put my life in your hands”. The Second Reading, or Epistle, is from the letter to the Hebrews, 4:14-16; 5:7-9. The Gospel Reading is the Passion of St. John.

Part two is the Veneration of the Cross. A cross, either veiled or unveiled, is processed through the Church, and then venerated by the congregation. We joyfully venerate and kiss the wooden cross “on which hung the Savior of the world”. During this time the Reproaches are usually sung or recited.

Part three, Holy Communion, concludes the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. The altar is covered with a cloth and the ciborium containing the Blessed Sacrament are brought to the altar from the place of reposition. The OUR FATHER and the ECCE AGNUS DEI (This is the Lamb of God) are recited. The congregation receives Holy Communion, there is a “Prayer After Communion”, and then a “Prayer Over the People”, and everyone departs in silence.

This is a day of mourning. We should try to take time off from work and school to participate in the devotions and liturgy of the day as much as possible. In addition, we should refrain from extraneous conversation. Some families leave the curtains drawn, and maintain silence during the 3 hours (noon — 3pm), and keep from loud conversation or activities throughout the remainder of the day. We should also restrict ourselves from any TV, music or computer—these are all types of technology that can distract us from the spirit of the day.

If some members of the family cannot attend all the services, a little home altar can be set up, by draping a black or purple cloth over a small table or dresser and placing a crucifix and candles on it. The family then can gather during the three hours, praying different devotions like the rosary, Stations of the Cross, the Divine Mercy devotions, and meditative reading and prayers on the passion of Christ.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday. It’s also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries and is observed during Holy Week on the Thursday before Easter. The feast of Maundy (or Holy) Thursday solemnly commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and is the oldest of the observances peculiar to Holy Week. Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus Christ’s institution of the Eucharist. The word Maundy comes from the Latin mandatum, which means “commandment”.

Holy Thursday is the day that Christ celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples. Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the three-day Easter celebration, in one of the traditions, the traditions behind Maunday Thursday when Christians remember the Last Supper of Jesus. It was the day on which Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples, sharing bread and wine.

The Washing of Feet on Maundy Thursday is another practice on this day by washing the feet of twelve men. Foot-washing ceremonies are often a part of Maundy Thursday services. Before the Passover meal, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. The biblical story of the feet-washing ceremony is mainly interpreted as an act of humility, a recurring message in the observance of the Holy Week. Historically, the feet-washing was a common practice in Eastern countries because people wore sandals and walked on dusty roads.

There are biblical allusions to the practice of feet-washing. In the Old Testament, the act was described as a lowly service as it was performed by slaves on guests especially in well-off households. That is why the disciples were surprised by the humble gesture of their preacher, prompting Apostle Peter to protest, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Peter asked, to which Jesus Christ replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand”.

“No, you shall never wash my feet,” Peter protested.

Jesus Christ answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

The religious ritual was inspired by a biblical account of that fateful night before Jesus Christ’s passion, crucifixion, and death. John, the beloved apostle, has described in the 13th chapter (verses 1-17 of his gospel), Jesus Christ’s rare act of washing the feet of his disciples during dinner, now known as the Last Supper.

A passage from the chapter goes like this: “The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him”.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion -
For more than conquerors we are!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.

His Word shall not fail you - He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well;
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.

Monday, March 25, 2013

God’s plans…

…are greater than ours. Yesterday I was witness to God’s plans for my doggies (Tinker Bell) and (Peter Pan) and can vouch that God has a definite and beautiful plan for all of us on this earth. Be it you, me, my neighbor, friends, enemies or for that matter, any one on this earth – God has a perfect plan for each one of us.

We were extremely excited when we got Tinker Bell and Peter Pan at home on 1st September, 2012. But soon enough they were turning out to be big menace – they were destroying each and every possible thing at our home – we were finding it exceedingly difficult to handle them. You name it, and they have destroyed it – sometimes it would be so very frustrating for all of us, especially me, to clean up their mess, that I would be in tears and wonder why they were being so destructive and messy. From dog lovers, we were turning out to be dog haters.

So many times we tried to give them away but nothing was working out. We tried the adaptation camp, speaking to NGOs and friends, but nothing was working out. And here I was growing frustrated each passing day because of their messy and destructive nature.

Then during Signature Mumbai Holy Spirit showed me the way out – I spoke to my CEO about them and asked whether he would be interested in keeping them in his farmhouse. By the grace of God, and according to His perfect plan for Tinker Bell and Peter Pan, he readily agreed. But still we had to wait awhile for the fencing work to begin at his farmhouse. The work is still on but yesterday all of us went to Alibaug to leave the dogs there.

While I give this testimony, I am very sure that because of God’s perfect plan for the doggies, He wasn’t allowing us to give away the dogs to any Tom, Dick and Harry. God wanted us to hand over the dogs to a sensible and reliable person like my CEO in who’s farmhouse the dogs will be safe and well taken care of. He’s also a dog lover the way we are and will never mistreat them. So I am so very happy for them both.

Though initially they will have to suffer little bit to get accustomed to the surroundings and people, they will soon get used to it. I am sure they are going through this wee bit of suffering again because God knows they have a wonderful future ahead. They are the only dogs at that place right now and once they are left loose, they will be ruling the place. They have wonderful broccoli, auburgine, tomato, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, watermelon plantations and I am sure the doggies will have a gala time there. They are placed next to the kitchen and surely Tinker Bell will enjoy that because she just loves food. Peter Pan, a lover of corners, has a corner all for himself. There’s a big swimming pool and wonderful play area for them. The lavish surrounding is just too good – a haven for them. I am so glad for them both and all this happened to accomplish the perfect plan God always had for them right from the time of their conception – their mother died and they both came to our home, and we loved them a lot. Now they have gone to Alibaug – and have an open lavish farmhouse to take care of – how lucky they are!

And all this was accomplished yesterday – Palm Sunday – Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and also their triumphant entry into my CEO’s farmhouse in Alibaug. This is the Holy Week – they might have to suffer a bit while the fencing is being done but I am sure by Easter Morning they too will resurrect with the Lord and be the kings of that place and have the entire farmhouse for them. Halleluia…

Lord Jesus, thank you so much for finding such a wonderful home for Tinker Bell and Peter Pan.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me…”

Friday, March 22, 2013

Palm Sunday

Sunday, March 24, is Palm Sunday 2013.

Palm Sunday is the start of Holy Week for Christ followers. On Palm Sunday, Christians mark the occasion of Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in His path, before His arrest on Holy Thursday.

It’s the sixth and last Sunday of Lent and beginning of Holy Week. The biblical story of Palm Sunday is recorded in all four of the Gospels (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-38; and John 12:12-18). Unlike other Masses, Palm Sunday contains two proclamations of the Gospel. The first is from Luke’s account of Jesus Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.

PS: Encouraging Words -

"I pondered the direction of my life,
and I turned to follow your laws. …
O LORD, your unfailing love fills the earth;
teach me your decrees."
Psalm 119:59, 64

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blessing in disguise

From today there will be no van service for my kids. This means I will have to bring them back from school every day. The van driver has shown inconvenience to bring back Googaa from school in the afternoon. So I have decided to bring them both from school in the afternoon; Golu will go to leave each morning.

The moment I heard this news, I took this with full positivity – for me, this is nothing but a blessing in disguise and allows me to come one more step closer to my daughters. Yet another dream of mine – of getting them back from school – is getting fulfilled. Though I will have to make two trips in the heat of the sun, somehow I am very happy about it. I am extremely delighted though I will have problem on the days I will have to go to office and also during exhibition times but I am sure the Lord will plan out something equally good. I am not at all worried like earlier…

Then yesterday I read this somewhere: (Psalms 27-29)

“I have asked the Lord for one thing –
this is what I desire!
I want to live in the Lord’s house all the days of my life,
so I can gaze at the splendor of the Lord”

I just love these words. It just expresses my own desire. How well the psalmist has described something which I could never think of but was always there in my mind.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Proud of my photography...

That’s the way I like it…

Everything is back to normal from today onwards. Why? Because, from today, my kids’ new academic year has begun and I am so very glad about it! Glad, because they are in higher class now (Googaa, seventh standard) and Goldie (fourth standard). Oh…I feel so happy!!! And I am also happy because from now on everything will be on track – right from opening my eyes at 5 o’clock in the morning till the time I go back to sleep at 10 pm – everything will be on time. Hopefully, everything will be punctuality personified, because that’s the way I like it…

I am all the more happy because today I blogged and also had my green tea after what seems an eternity – wish everyday was a school day……!!!

4th March – fourteen years and still counting

4th March, 2013, was a very special day for us as Golu and I celebrated fourteen years of our togetherness. But as the day was extremely hectic I couldn’t blog on our fourteen years of togetherness on that day. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure – we have worked really hard to make a home. I am really grateful for each day, and for the fourteen years of togetherness. It has been an extraordinary, happy and harried togetherness.

Isn’t it amazing? Just imagine. Together with each other for the last fourteen years – what a wonderful achievement in this world where every second family is broken! I personally know of so many families who have loads of money but broken from within. So it’s time to look back at the fourteen years of togetherness.

It has been a season of togetherness – yippee!!! We are in our fourteenth year of togetherness. Fourteen years of tolerating each other.

“Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also” – is all I found in the Bible on fourteen years.

Fr George Karamvely

Last week, from Sunday, March 10 to Friday, March 15, we had the third mission/retreat in Hindi for the Lenten season in our church. I couldn’t attend the first two days but was regular from Tuesday onwards. The Hindi mission began in the evening at 7:30 to 9:30pm with preaching, adoration and healing service. This mission was preached by Fr. George Karamvely from New Delhi and team. Fr. George was the director of Faridabad Divine retreat centre, a well known preacher in Hindi.

Fr. George used to preach for all the masses in Hindi so I have become quite accustomed to Hindi Eucharistic celebrations. This Hindi mission has really, really been very anointing for me. But sadly, I couldn’t purchase any of the books by Fr. George.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Yesterday at Gorai beach...

Its been a long time...

...since my last post. Nowadays life is so very busy because of the kids being at home for their summer holidays that I just don't get the time and few peaceful moments for myself to compose any blog posts. Blog posts are the last things on my list of priorities.

I am writing this post from my mobile. Today I don't have any Sunday evening commitments. I am sitting at home doing nothing. It is one of those dull Sunday evenings like in the past. I really hate this. It makes me unhappy and insane. So this post.