Matheran Feast DON AGUIAR
Every year on the first Sunday of May, the faithful of Holy Cross Church in Matheran celebrate their parish feast. This year, the feast was celebrated on May 4. Thanks to the charismatic persona of Fr Calistus Fernandes, the feast has been gaining momentum, with the faithful surging from various corners of the archdiocese and beyond. This year, more than 300 faithful flocked there for the feast. The Mass was celebrated by Bishop John Rodrigues with Frs. Elias D’Cunha, Joe D’Mello and Calistus Fernandes as the other concelebrants.
The scenic beauty of the hills, the serene ambiance of the church, coupled with a lucid but touching sermon, carved a niche in the hearts of the faithful. The Mass was celebrated partly in Marathi and partly in English. The Bishop touched upon the issue of social concern through the parable of the scorpion. Although it is the nature of the scorpion to sting it is the nature of the villager to help. Sometimes the needy do not appreciate our help, but as Christians, we must never stop doing our duty of helping them, no matter what the cost. Through the power of baptism, Christians are vested with deep concern and understanding for the poor and the needy. We must exercise this power and work towards making this world a better place.
The bishop also highlighted a second aspect in the community, namely those who seek profit at the cost of the Church. They seek to attain influential positions in the Church, and in the bargin for power and prestige, end up exploiting the church and making money at her expense. The Church is the family of God and using the Church for material gains betrays the very purpose of the Church – the Sacrament of salvation. Although this temptation has existed ever since time of the early Christian community (example od Ananias and Saphira) one must keep re-focusing on the mission of Christ-service. People should ask themselves why they follow Jesus. It should neve be for prestige, power or profit, but to be a people of goodwill and not a people of selfish and ulterior motives. As Christians our love and service to society should be outward manifestation of our inner devotion and love of Jesus.
Empowered with the Bishops message, the power of the Word of the Eucharist, the faithful dispersed with burning hearts and faith aflame.
Congratulations are in order for Fr Calistus and his team together with Fr Elias D’Cunha & Fr Joe D’Mello for their excellent organizational skill in making the feast a grand success.