Thursday, October 9, 2014

Jesus in a paradox.

A teenage boy from a tribal village came to the capital city in search of a job. He was not highly educated. Hence he got a job in a motor repairing workshop. He did not have many good clothes. His clothes got dirtied by grease, paint and dust. Though he washed his clothes regularly, they were shabby compared to that of the city lads. 

On a Sunday morning, the boy went to the church, the church of Jesus of Nazareth. He found a seat in one of the benches. The highly sophisticated faithful sitting in the same pew looked at him with contempt and one by one started moving away to some other far away seats. Oblivious to all that was happening, the boy prayed fervently. 

When the Mass was over, some of the faithful complained to the parish priest about this boy and the way he is dressed for the Sunday Mass. The parish priest found the boy still in prayer in the church. 

He called the boy and told him very discreetly “ Before you come to the church next Sunday, just talk to Jesus and ask him what kind of dress you must wear when you come to the church” The boy agreed. 

Next Sunday, when the boy came, the priest observed that the boy still dressed the same. He approached the boy and asked him whether he spoke to Jesus about the dress. 

The boy replied. “Yes father, I prayed to Jesus and he appeared in person. I asked him about the dress I should wear to the church. He said that he does not know what to answer because he has never been to this church before. So I wore the same dress I had.” 

He added “He also told me to look at the new mansion next door.  That is a modern church named Infant Jesus Church lavishly built by a new group of faithful. I am not allowed by the clergy of both these churches to enter any of these two churches as I am a non-denominational catholic and I don’t belong to any particular group or rite.”

(adapted from a story; author unknown)


  1. My heartfelt congrats, dear Jose Paul. Ever since you landed from the busy bazaar of Delhi on to the pages of Almayasabdam in this prosaic green land of Kerala you have been entertaining readers with an umpteen avalanche of anecdotes, stories and writings with wit and wisdom. I thank you for it in the name of all the readers. Some one has to do it. I am doing it instead of waiting for that some one to come.
    The torrent of writings flowing one after another prompted me to compare your mind to the Panchali’s Akshapatram. All your writings seems to have one focus: healing the wound of division in the Syromalabar Church. Yes divisions are unacceptable among the followers of Jesus. “Is Christ Divided?” is the 155 page booklet of a petition you and your Delhi group Laity4unity ( sent to Francis Pappa who is now struggling might and main to steer the Rome Synod on Family, caught in the crossfire of stormy discussion and dialogue for and against admitting divorced and remarried to communion(Table fellowship of Jesus)
    Divisions in the family, whether you call it the Domestic Church, Global Church, Syromalabar Church, Latin Church or what ever name you all it must be overcome and remedied by dialogue, dialogue, dialogue, dialogue and dialogue, a thousand times dialogue until you succeed. That is, you never give up even if the other party keeps the mouth shut. You can always open the closed mouth with a witty piece of dialogue. That is what you are doing: correcting by making fun of, laughing at or ridiculing. In Latin they call it Ridendo Corrigere(correct by poking fun). You are doing precisely that.
    Many in the top echelons of the SMC never answer mails or respond to questions from the underdog, called laity or Church citizens. But in Delhi you have a gracious SMC bishop, an Eparch who gives interviews to papers like Manorama imitating Francis Pappa dialoguing with atheist editor of La Ripublica. What more you need? Which means he is quite open to dialogue and therefore quite unlike other SM bishops! His dialogue with Manorama has given you ample ammunition, avenues and food for thought to approach him and get responses. So let the dialogue through Almaya continue. Once dialogue is started, solution that ends in a kiss of peace can’t be too far.

    James kottoor

  2. A rite is a means, a way to connect with God. Therefore a person is free to choose the rite or ritual that is helpful to nourish one's spirit. For pure administrative reasons, it may good to belong to a rite. But it is not good to use a rite for power and control. I am of Syro-Malabar origin, but I essentially use the more practical Latin rite format while celebrating the Eucharist. I personally think that all the three rites (Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malanakara, and Latin ) should come together and develop an Indian rite or guide-lines for worship and sacraments. It is also good to cooperate with non-Catholic Christians in developing a worship format.

    Fr. John K. Thekkedam (Swami Snehananda Jyoti)