Tribute to Nelson Mandela: Fr. Cedric Prakash; sj.

Every Human Has A Right




Friday, December 06, 2013

Mandela Will Never Die!-by Fr Cedric Prakash sj

Mandela Will Never Die!
 – Fr. Cedric Prakash sj
Nelson Mandela is no more! And hopefully, Mandela will never die!
The Mandela era finally came to an end last night (Dec. 5th 2013)-and its time for all of to reflect on what this one man has contributed towards making our world a more human and harmonious place.
When one looks back at the struggles he faced as a child, as a youth and later on as an elder statesman, one is simply amazed by the sheer grit and determination which characterised one of the contemporary world’s greatest figures. A large part of Mandela’s life was spent in isolation during his life sentence in the infamous Robben Island Jail. The torture he was subjected to would make any mortal give up, but with his’ never-say-die’ spirit, Mandela finally came out to freedom and  to new world in 1990; and a few years later  he became the first democratically elected President of South Africa.
His extraordinary life teaches us three key lessons:
·         if the spirit is strong- it will ultimately triumph, despite the powers and vested interests doing everything to subjugate one.
·         the belief that a non-violent struggle is the only and sure way to achieve results – something he learnt from Mahatma Gandhi.
·         divisiveness of any kind ( particularly racism) definitely has no place in a world which is becoming more and more a globalised village. Mandela believed that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God and  though we are different in several ways, we are all equal.
At this moment much is being written and debated about Mandela’s legacy to the 20th & 21st century. The hard fact however remains that despite being an icon and an inspiration for millions across the world several parts continue to be ravaged with violence, hatred and divisiveness.
 Let us take Gujarat in India, for example, which gave to the world Mahatma Gandhi – one of the greatest apostles of non-violence. If one is a Muslim in Gujarat today, one is confined to specific ghettos or areas across the State. This is sadly evident in the commercial capital Ahmedabad, where a Muslim finds it impossible to buy or rent a house or a commercial establishment in the Western up-market part of the city. The tragedy is that the institutionalisation of this practice is very easily accepted by the majority community. In a State which projects itself  as ‘vibrant’ this is a blatant form of apartheid indeed!
Mandela fought against the segregation of the blacks in his native South Africa. He had to endure much because of this but then as history shows us, truth ultimately triumphed over falsehood. He is someone to be emulated. His unflagging spirit gave him the courage to speak truth to power; he did not care about the consequences that followed. What mattered most for him was that all men and women – whether black or white, rich or poor, should be able to live together, walk hand-in-hand and work side-by-side, accepting always the dignity of the other. The great thing about Mandela was his ability not to harbour any rancour or revenge for his white oppressors. He forgave unconditionally and that is why he was able to usher in a new South Africa with a hope of a better future.
The world has truly lost one of  its greatest sons! As we join in the mourning -the best way  to pay tribute to ‘Madiba’ is to “celebrate” the fact that he gave SO MUCH to this world-It  is therefore important  that each one of us wherever we are, try to do our best to realise his vision,to continue the legacy he has left us- in the simple, small ordinary events of our daily life.
 And if we sincerely do so- Mandela will never die!
                                                                                          6th December  2013
Fr. Cedric Prakash sj
“PRASHANT”   (A Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace)
Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad – 380052,Gujarat, INDIA
Tel :+91 (0)79-27455913/66522333
Cell : 9824034536
Fax:+91 (0)79-27489018
English: Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robbe...

English: Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island Français : Cellule de Nelson Mandela, Robben Island Deutsch: Nelson Mandelas Gefängniszelle auf Robben Island Myanmasa: Robben Island (ရော်ဘင်ကျွန်း)ပေါ်ရှိ Nelson Mandela’s (နယ်လဆင် မန်ဒဲလား) ၏ထောင်အခန်း (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Mumbai Cardinal begins Advent with slum poor



Cardinal Gracias launched the campaign to raise awareness of the needy living in the city.




Dharavi slum in Mumbai.


Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai has launched the Advent Campaign against hunger and disease with a pastoral visit to Dharavi, an area known as Asia’s biggest slum.

“Pope Francis has dedicated his pontificate to economic justice, equality and peace. During his visits to poor communities, he praised the courage of the poor, urging society to receive them with love and compassion,” the cardinal said launching the initiative.

With the theme “struggle for survival– bringing hope to the urban poor,” the campaign to create greater awareness in society towards the poor who live in large urban centres.

The cardinal visited the Dharavi on Nov. 22. The area created in 1880, under British colonialism, now houses some 1 million people of multi-religious and multi-ethnic population. The area enshrines many negative aspects of India: open sewers, piles of garbage everywhere, dirt and crumbling shacks.

Mumbai’s St. Antony’s parish covers Dharavi and within a radius of about 300 metres there are six chapels. Two Christian communities are particular to the parish: Tamils (about 5,000 people) and ethnic koli (about 1,000 people).

Cardinal Gracias visited the parish and six chapels, stopping to pray and to bless all the faithful he met on his journey.



Dharavi Slum ,Mumbai ,Cardinal Gracias ,Advent ,Slum Poor




Archbishop Oswald Gracias of the Bombay Dioces...

Archbishop Oswald Gracias of the Bombay Diocese, India. Image taken by me after the Christmas midnight mass. (Cropped) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





Pope Francis: It’s not a lie, Jesus Resurrected!

Published on Dec 4, 2013
During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis asked thousands of people out in St. Peter’s Square to pray for five nuns who recently were kidnapped in Syria.

“Now I would like to invite all of you to pray for the nuns of the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Saint Tecla in Ma’lula, in Syria. Two days ago, they were kidnapped by armed men. Let us pray for these sisters, and for all those who have been kidnapped in this on-going conflict.” 
During his catechesis, the Pope talked about the Resurrection. He explained that even though it’s hard to understand, the Resurrection explains people’s yearning for eternal life. It’s a seed, said the Pope, that God instilled in humanity.
“This is not a lie, ok? This is truth. We believe that Jesus Resurrected. Jesus is among us and alive right now. But, do you really believe that He is alive? Oh, you don’t? Yes or no? So, if Jesus is alive, do you think He would just let us die without resurrecting us? No! He waits for us because He has risen. The power in His Resurrection will raise us too.” 
With thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope also said that the resurrection of each and every person is closely tied to that of Jesus.
“This fate is the source and the reason for our hope. A hope we sow and protect. This hope, if we protect it, if we protect it, it becomes a light that illuminates our personal story and that of our community.” 
But resurrection is not limited to the after life. The Pope said that through Sacraments, like Baptism and the Eucharist, the seeds of resurrection bear fruit in every day life.
Despite the cold weather, the Pope held his general audience outdoors, in St. Peter’s Square to accommodate a crowd of more than 30,000 pilgrims. As usual, he blessed several children.
English: Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene

English: Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene (Photo credit: Wikipedia)







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