Unknown year, November talk, Serial 00646

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Today's speeding of the 5,000 and it raises many problems as to what is the meaning of Jesus' ministry. It says first of all, so a great family had compassion on them and healed their sick and then he feeds them like this and many people think that the main ministry of Jesus was feeding the sick and feeding the people, feeding the hungry and today many sick people in need, in India the vast numbers are hungry and many people feel that the purpose of the gospel is to heal the sick, feed the hungry and surely that has a place in it, but surely that is not what Jesus came to do and many other state governments can do a great deal to heal sick


and feed the hungry but Jesus came to do something more and then further point, he feeds them miraculously and again some people think that these miracles of Jesus are what really distinguishes the gospel, but that's not so at all, in India we are very familiar with these kind of miracles and that's extremely common and they are not considered very important. For instance such as Sai Baba, many of you know him, he performs miracles every day and I've heard a very interesting story, he came to Madras once and stayed with a family there and it got known in the city and he prepared a meal and they expected about a hundred people prepared for them and about 500 paid and they started handing out the food and the more they handed out the more it came and everybody had sufficient and I think that's quite normal, when you have


faith like that, these things happen and people in the West think that miracles don't happen, they are just illusions, but we in the East know they do happen and they are not very important. So you see people think it's so important to feed hungry like that, to multiply bread, must be the work of God, it's not the work of God at all necessarily, there are cities, there are powers which people have, some people have in abundance, Swami Premananda in Trichy has the same powers, he came here once and I asked him just to demonstrate, he was sitting next to me and he just waved his hand in the air like that and a stream of sandal powder came into my hands, sweet smelling powder. But then what's the point of that you see? Jesus didn't come into the world to bring miracles like that and so what is it? He doesn't come just to feed the hungry, certainly it doesn't count for miracles, he comes to awaken people to himself, to the inner light of God


which is in him, to awaken people to something more than bread, something more than miracles, there is a light of God himself, this is love and we read in the Biblical Matthew, it separates from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Jesus came to bring into the world a unique love, love which is totally self-giving, which gives itself to death on the cross and which is totally transforming, love has the power to transform a person's life, when you feed them with bread you don't change them at the end of the day and then it's gone and if you perform a miracle by giving them bread, you are satisfied but love is something which transforms the whole life, not in this world only but in the next, the moment of death, love is what transforms you, love is what gives meaning to your life, so I think we all need to reflect, it's so easy to be misled you see, it sounds so wonderful to feed five thousand people with a few loaves, it must be


something absolutely divine but it's not really important and there is something, Jesus came for something much more important and in Saint John's Gospel of course, the feeding of the five thousand seemed to be something more, he says you ate the bread and were filled but he came to give them the bread from heaven, he came to give them his own inner life, to give the life of love and that's what he comes to give us now and in this Eucharist he gives bread and wine and of course it's miraculous, it transforms but really he's simply communicating his love with that bread and wine and now it's the love of God which is beyond everything in this world so that's what we're going to receive from you In this Gospel there are three things to observe, first of all Jesus has compassion on this multitude, he had compassion on them and then he healed their sick and then


he doesn't want to send them away and he feeds them with the five loaves and the two fish and most people today are concerned with these two things, first of all compassion, need of humanity as a whole, how to heal the sick, how to feed the hungry, he's a great needs of the world, the church today has this option for the poor and most people are rightly concerned with the mass of the poor in India, all over the world and the need for compassion, understanding and for inter-peoples and most people stop there and I think that's where we fail because of the third aspect, it's not brought out here very clearly but it's often in the Gospels, you retire to a lonely place and very few people realize the need, if you're going to have compassion and your compassion is going to be effective you have to learn to retire to a lonely


place, lonely place in your own heart because we all have this capacity for compassion and we all have the capacity to do things to help people but we also have this solitude, there is a solitary place in the heart and very few people find that, a great deal of the work of the church and the work of charities throughout the world fails for that reason, it doesn't go so far obviously but it doesn't go as far as it can because people don't realize this inner mystery that the heart of every human being resets solitude and silence but God is immediately present, God is present everywhere in the poor and the sick and in the food you give but that is indirect but there is a place where God is directly present, immediately present and that is in the heart and unless you discover that immediate presence in the heart your external activity will always be defective, may go so far


but it won't go far enough and I feel this is a great need of the church today, you see many are quite overwhelmed with this problem of suffering and oppression and need and sickness and in India it's overwhelming and therefore it must go out, it must serve, it must help people who are sick and give them what they need and set them free from oppression and all that is obviously right and necessary but the source of all that activity is in the heart, in this inner center of the soul and many people don't realize that and if they do pray they celebrate the mass and they say the divine office and they say the rosary but all these are external actually see and unless you through the mass, through the rosary, through whatever prayer you make you find this heart, this center, this place of communion you've not discovered the real source of life, this is a source of life and in the past you know this was recognized, people recognized you had to find that source


but you see the problem is this that for many people prayer is still in the mind when you go out you do work and so on then you go and you say the divine office or you celebrate the mass but that still can remain in the mind, you're thinking about God and you're thinking about others, your will is going out to help others and to serve God but you still don't go beyond the mind you see in the east today we realize that the essence of all meditation prayer is going beyond the mind and the saying in the Upanishads that before which the senses fall away together with the mind and very few people their senses may fall away but their mind is that's where they're praying in the mind and everything is in the head and that is where our prayer fails you see if you don't go beyond the mind you don't get to the heart of prayer and you don't change your life you see that's why many people they pray and do wonderful things in a way but still nothing happens


and it's only when prayer goes beyond the mind into the heart into the center that the things happen and Jesus was living from that center you see all his compassion all his powers came from the center where he was in direct communion with God with the father and he knows that the son can do nothing but what he sees the father doing everything came to him from the father from God from the source so i think this is the great need of the church and the world today to rediscover contemplation if you mean by contemplate this experience of God in the heart and it's found in every tradition and and the methods of meditation are there but they all are leading you to go beyond your mind and discover the indwelling presence the spirit within and to live and work and then so we can ask for that grace to discover that because that that's what changes our lives because so often people pray and nothing happens because the prayer is in the mind and the


will but that's not enough it has to go into the heart into the center where God himself is present you know which is always with us because you cannot live without law whether in ordinary human society or religion in the church of your laws and the danger is these laws become absolute instead of being purely relative and a means to an end they become an end in themselves and it's very difficult to avoid it very clear with the law of israel it has been by God to Moses he had regulated the life of Israel and was a means of opening Israel to the knowledge of God and to the love of God


and it was very effective in that way and yet of course it always had the danger that you simply obey the rules and make them an end and not a means and this law of fasting on and of eating is one of them of course the most profound is the Sabbath the Sabbath was made so that once in the week people should be free to be open to God to listen to the word of share with one another the love of God and then very easily it simply becomes a rule to keep decide exactly what you can do on the Sabbath or to let it keep it and so it can lose its meaning altogether and so again all this question of eating there were rules about eating and eating is important and wash your hands before eating things like that have a value they help you to realize the sacredness of food the sacredness of eating it's not a really a profane


thing and so it can be of value to open you to the to the presence of God when you're eating and in India we have many rules like that caste rules and so on which have their value a limited value a relative value and then as I say they become absolutized and unless you perform these rituals they eat in this way you'll be excluded you make a caste rule and other people are excluded from it and so the Jews also had their caste rules and everybody else was excluded the Jew couldn't eat with the Gentile had to live apart and that caused a great problem in the early church who had Jewish Christians who wanted to keep their rules and then you had Gentiles who wouldn't admit them and eventually of course we were set free from these laws of the Jews but we still have our own laws and fasting is a good example you see the Christian church took up fasting from the Jews we used to fast regularly we had our regular fast on Fridays


and again you see that one day in the week in which you have stayed in which you gain control which is always a problem and make that day more sacred more open to prayer to God and then of course very easily fasting on Friday becomes simply an absolute as long as you don't take the meat whatever on Friday you've stayed and you've done your duty and you've procured everything whether you relate to God in any way it becomes irrelevant so again and again you see how rules are valuable it's loose and then they become ends and we always have to relativize them and of course the church today has totally relativized fasting it's no longer speaking rules of fasting and abstinence at least the absolute minimum and that is a great gain but again you see how they have their value it's a mistake to think that all laws and regulations have no value they have their value and most people it's really a very personal thing you have to find what really helps you


like fasting you see some people find fasting extremely helpful i've known people who fasted on water for three five ten days one i heard even at 30 days and when it becomes a means to spiritual purification of prayer to communion with God it has immense value when it's simply made an end it will come positively harmful it may be simply potential for praying so we to relativize these things and personalize them to find what is the personal value and this really applies to all rules keep going to mass on sunday the rules go to mass on sunday well that's a good way of helping people to recognize sunday has its unique value and has its unique value it's an opportunity to open the ground to the grace of God to the word of God and um has this positive value but when it becomes simply a rule as long as you're there in the church for so long


on the offertory to the communion you've done your duty and then you can go on it's obviously preeminent value can be possibly the opposite you see you've turned your religion into a exercise of a law instead of being a movement of love you've changed the whole character of religion so that was happening in this reality so the lord become an answer as long as you kept the lord in these minute regulations then you were a good jew and you were pleasing to God you've done your duty and the deeper masses of the lord and love of your neighbor and so on could be potentially so Jesus came to break down that barrier of absolute law and and to give the inner freedom of the spirit and we all have to conquer that it's never a finished job so you cannot do without law you have to have regulations and religious drastic life is very obvious and yet you've always got to have the freedom which goes beyond the law which doesn't make it an absolute end


sees it as a means of relativizing and opens it to the one thing necessary the openness to the spirit of God and in the epistle we were reading from the Corinthians and Paul makes it so clear you see that the whole christian dispensation is this reconciliation God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself letting it free from these bonds of law opening it to communion with God and the end of life is communion with God to one another even through God in Christ so we all need to respect how to live out this gospel raises several serious problems Jesus goes to this region of Tyre and Sidon outside Israel pagan heathen people and this woman comes after him asking him to heal her daughter and Jesus first of all simply rejects her


and uses the language which the jews used of their neighbors we think of her as a dog and says first of all he says i was not sent except the lost sheep of the house of Israel and strange to us in a way we think Jesus being a speaking preacher universal gospel but actually he came to renew Israel came to that people of God there isn't people as a messiah to renew Israel to restore it to the place in God's plan and then no doubt through that to renew the world but his mission was to Israel and only afterwards did it go beyond and so he encounters this woman and he uses the language of the jew where they refer to all gentiles as dogs the unclean people and let's never forget that this happens in every religion you have your holy


people and outside of the dogs the Greeks had the Greeks were the educated people of the world all the rest were barbarians and the Chinese also they had the middle empire and they were the civilized people everybody else was uncivilized so every nation tends to separate itself in that way and so Jesus takes that to and he says to her it's not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs you see the children's bread is this gift of God to Israel and the gentiles the dogs are not fit to receive it but this woman perseveres she has great faith even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table and in the answer the woman great is your faith deep down to your desire and so implicitly he breaks through that barrier though he doesn't do so immediately he implicitly does and he opened it up to the world as a whole


and this is our problem you see that every religion tends naturally to center on itself each religion has a unique message from God a unique experience of God and they want above all to preserve that if you're a Jew you have the law given by Moses or the prophets a unique gift from God and the Jew wants to preserve that at all costs and in order to do so you naturally reject anything which is opposed to it in any way and then you go on then to get anything that is outside it so you isolate your own religion it's exactly the same with the Muslims he has the Quran revealed by an angel to Muhammad and this is a unique gift of God to Islam and so you want to preserve that at all costs and in doing so you reject everybody else and even in Hinduism it's much less intolerant but nevertheless the belief that Vedanta is the supreme wisdom and


Hindus must preserve that supreme wisdom and in doing so they will reject others until recently for a Brahmin or a devout Hindu not allowed to go abroad if he did he had to be purified when he came back you were polluted by going abroad and still for any stranger to come into the house into the inner house you pollute the house so you see there's a reason behind this you've got unique experience of God unique gift of God you want to preserve that at all costs and if you simply are indiscriminate then you may lose your gift and so you reject other people and every religion tends to reject others you see and so they isolate themselves and then they come into conflict with one another Jew come to conflict with the Muslim and the Hindu with the Muslim and the Christian with the with all of them so we all isolate ourselves and reject the others and what


we're trying to learn today it's not so easy you see is to preserve the truth of your own religion you can't reject that whatever you are Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist or Christian Jew you have to preserve that truth which has come down to you but at the same time you have to learn to respect and to understand as far as possible the truth of the other religion and this is something new really I don't think it's ever happened before well no it's not quite true it has happened before and particularly in India you see Ashoka you see he established Buddhism as a religion in India third century before Christ and he set up these pillars all over India and he told them you must respect all religions it's very interesting he was a Buddhist and he wanted to spread the Dharma everywhere but that meant that you also respected the other religion the Jains and Hindus and others and there have been similar movements even Akbar in the 16th century wanted to reconcile Hindus


and Muslims and Christians so on but of course these movements have been very small and only today really are we trying to learn how you see the danger is if you start mixing with other religions you lose your own tradition you lose your own unique experience of God revelation from God and how to reserve the truth of your own religion and yet to be really open to the truth of the other religion that's what we're trying today so I think we all need to reflect on this which as I say it's not easy it's easy to mix them all up just say they're all the same you don't there are differences between Christians and Jews and so on we're all the same that is illusory and it's equally easy to say no this is the true religion all the others are wrong but to be able to say this is the truth is in this religion and I cleave to that truth but I recognize the truth in other religions that is what my challenge to do today and it's not easy and you have to have that discernment you see of the truth in your own


religion and of course we tend to mix up a lot of very secondary accidental things in our religion I think this is the truth which we should preserve to take an example many Catholics until recently thought that Latin was the language of the church and without Latin you wouldn't be a Catholic at all and that was a pure illusion you see and the Latin is gone we realize now but before as many of you will remember everybody thought Latin was the language of the church you cannot have a mass in any other language and so on so we have these accidental elements which are identified with the truth you see and then we narrow ourselves and of course reject others how to learn to discern the essential truth in each religion and then to relate them because truth is one in the end you see there's only one truth one reality one god who's manifesting in different ways and to discern that unique revelation in Christ in each religion and then relate them to one another so this is our challenge again to learn the truth


okay many aspects of the story of the transfiguration first of all it's about to remember it took place at the time of the feast of the tabernacles and Israel remembered its time when it was wandering in the wilderness living in tents and being weak they lived in tents reminding themselves of their time when they were wanderers in the desert and it's very significant that from time to time people go back to a crucial period in their lives that during the wilderness was crucial for the whole history of Israel and a renewed memory that's why I'd make a comparison with the pilgrimage to Sabarimala takes place every year and pilgrims go to this forest in Kerala and once in a year they go back to the forest see we all live in cities towns villages we've all


grown up we all come from nature from the earth herself and it's good to leave civilization behind once in the year return to the forest go to the nature herself and and renew ourselves in so Israel renewed herself her journey through the wilderness year by year feast of tabernacles and of course this was the time when the law was given to Moses and Moses also was filled with this spirit of God and and it manifests itself in the light Moses came down to the mountain his face shone and they had to put a veil over his face and look at him and it was an uncommon phenomenon it's a wonderful story that if you know of Saint Seraphim of Sarov the great Russian mystic he lived in a hut in the woods and in the far north and in the snow and one of his disciples went to visit him one day


and they stood conversing in the snow there and then Seraphim said look at my face and he looked and it was dazzling like the sun he couldn't look at it his brilliant shiny face and Seraphim put his hand on his shoulder and looked into his eyes like that so it's an example you see there's a phenomena of the spirit when the spirit is present in a person it normally doesn't manifest in the body it manifests the soul in various ways but it's always a hidden presence and in Jesus it's always that hidden presence of the spirit but normally it didn't manifest in an unusual way people could mistake him for they weren't impressed he went to Nazareth and they'd always say this is the carpenter's son and they saw nothing in him and presumably the majority of people didn't see anything special just a Jewish rabbi maybe a prophet but nothing more but at times he allowed this


power of the spirit to come through either his body or of course through his miracles with his healing and so on and so on this occasion that part of the spirit shines through and reveals this mysterious power within him and of course also brings his witness of Moses and Elijah the law and the prophets aiming to show that the law and the prophets both prepared the way for Jesus and then the voice comes and again these voices and visions remember they're normal they're not abnormal today many people don't experience them very much they live in a materialist society but in ancient times visions and revelations and voices were normal in India still to the present day and so this voice comes in the cloud and reveals Jesus as a son witnessed by the law and the prophets and so it's a revelation of the hidden light of Jesus you see there was always the outer light that went about through the world and so on


then there's the hidden light and in every human being there is a hidden light with the spirit and as the spirit grows stronger it manifests itself more and more clearly sometimes they say in a brilliance of light like that and in the orthodox church that is an accepted thing this nightly table they call it and perhaps one should remind ourselves in Tamil Nadu Ramalinga Swamigal very very holy man who within the last century and he's supposed to have had a light body they say he could never be photographed he's only photographed in current and so on and certainly that he spoke himself of a deathless body so these phenomena are present and they were manifested in a special way in Jesus but you want to remember that as I say it's a manifestation of the spirit and at the resurrection this part of the spirit took total possession of the body here it was just a temporary phenomenon


shine for the resurrection the body was totally transfigured and trans God went beyond time and space you see it appeared in time and space to disciples and then it went beyond and that is the total transfiguration and that is the final destiny of human beings the spirit doesn't often shine through the body in this way but all human beings are destined to for the body and the soul to be totally transformed by the spirit and therefore go beyond present space time world in which we live and experience the fullness of the divine light and that's what happened at the resurrection so the transfiguration is a kind of premonition of the resurrection a manifestation in a limited way of that final transfiguration which will take place at the end so we need to reflect on these mysteries and see we live in this materialistic world you may never see or hear anything of this you may think all this is just fancy stories ignorant people imagine


these things but of course these are realities which experience all over the world in India these things are not uncommon and these things happen there are these phenomena of lights and voices and radiance and so on and there are realities which have been experienced unknown and on the other hand we shouldn't make too much of them they are manifestations not manifestations of the spirit which is beyond all these things the spirit is beyond all voices and all appearances of any kind and is the transcendence so as i say these are mysteries we need to reflect on and to realize they are real and yet there's something beyond them there is the ultimate reality of the spirit which is in each one of us is to the presence of the spirits is in each one of us waiting to manifest itself in different ways and we all have that gift of the spirit and we're all destined for resurrection for transfiguration in this gospel jesus says if any man would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross


and follow me whoever would save his life will lose whoever loses his life by a sick will find the word translated life is really soul suki it's a mistranslation they're afraid to say soul they think it's if you tell people they must lose their soul they'll get upset but the fact that we have to distinguish between the soul and the spirit and unfortunately that distinction is being lost but it's very real since the fall in the early fathers it's quite essential to distinguish between the soul and the spirit and the soul is the ego the psychic personality and that is what has to be lost you see as long as we center on our psyche our soul our limited human personality we'll shut off from others and shut off from the world and only when we surrender that psyche that soul that ego and allow the spirit to take possession do we always


set free to others we're open to god and so this denying oneself you deny one psyche one soul and you see it's a disaster that people have lost the distinction between the soul and the spirit they think the soul is everything you lose your soul you've lost everything but the soul is not the soul is this limited human personality and beyond that limited human personality in every human being is the spirit and that is your real self and that is your real life and only when you find that you find freedom so jesus is really telling us you see that um anyone come off it and deny himself that psyche that limited human self take up his cross and follow me and the cross is the um surrender of that ego you see jesus on the cross surrendered his psyche his soul his whole being to the father and thereby set free humanity from this bondage to the ego to the self


and that is the whole purpose of life to get free from this ego of this lower self to open to the higher self the true self where we're one with each other seeing that lower self we're all separated divided in conflict when we surrender that which jesus did on the cross then we open ourselves to the holy humanity for the holy creation and to and to god in the whole creation so that's really the meaning of this taking up the cross and we must be stopped um there's a danger of thinking the cross in the physical terms as though essence of jesus sacrifice was all the physical suffering but in a real sense that was quite accidental to redeem the world without any physical suffering it was part of his particular calling to suffer in that way but the real surrender which he made and has to remain a surrender of himself to the father took the self-surrender and that's what everybody's called to do it may involve physical suffering it may not at all that's not the fundamental thing it's


the surrender which is the essence of the cross the self-surrender sometimes people say you know the ego is this i and the cross crosses the ego cuts off your ego and sets you free and that is what the real meaning of the cross is and then he says what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and for which his life is the wrong thing and and loses his soul and um this gaining the whole world you see is when you think your salvation is going to be in the outer world you look for possessions you look for the prosperity in the world you're looking outward all the time and of course it eludes you all the time and when you turn within and discover your inner self then you find your freedom and then he says um the son of man is to come with his angels and join a department we pay every man for what he has done and this coming of the son of


man is really the um the finding of the true self you see the son of man is man himself in his real being in his fullness of being a relation to god jesus reveals the fullness of humanity the son of man and when we are judged we're judged in the light of that humanity whether we've been really human or not that's nobody's there's nothing more than that but called to be fully human and be fully human is to realize yourself to discover your inner state or openness to all and that is the final judgment and then he says um i say to you the son standing here will not taste death before they see the son of man coming in his kingdom and this coming the son of man coming in his kingdom is the fullness of humanity the final destiny of humanity and in one sense you could say that came at the resurrection you see at the resurrection jesus surrenders himself


totally to the father and was raised up to this new life the life in the spirit the body fulfilled in the spirit and another coming of the kingdom was at pentecost because through that surrender to the self that fulfillment jesus brings the spirit and at the moment of pentecost the disciples also were taken up into that world of the spirit so the one in a sense the coming of his kingdom both at the resurrection and at pentecost but of course it's still we're still waiting for it because humanity as a whole has to pass through death to resurrection to this new life to this life in the spirit that's why we're all waiting for the coming of christ waiting for the coming of the kingdom that is the final fulfillment of humanity as a whole and humanity passes beyond its present state its limited human divided state and opens itself to the fullness of life this transcendent state where we all experience our wonders with one another


and our wonders with god in christ so that's the yesterday of man is that nobody understands me so gospel challenges us in many ways many people think that walking on water is a miracle an act of god jesus was demonstrating that he was god but i think that's really a misunderstanding it applies to all most all the miracles of jesus there are these powers in india we call these cities which exist in human nature and these powers are found in all religions in all situations even outside religion many people know today various healing powers and and other micro somatic phenomena which occur and these powers can be simply neutral they can be used by god and they can be used by the devil there are all possible uses of these paths and they're all


present in india today you find all these powers being exercised for good and for evil and um i think it demands you see a different attitude to the world around us we've all been brought up in what we call the cartesian universe the universe where mind and matter are completely separated daily universe is something spread out outside of us obeying mechanical laws and owned by science and controlled by science and it's completely outsiders and the mind is something quite separate which observes this universe outsiders well that is a view which grew up in the 17th century and prevailed from two centuries and today is almost completely demolished by science itself there is no mechanical universe outsiders at all the man and the universe are interrelated and interdependent we're part of the physical universe our bodies are our organisms part of the whole organism of the universe and we're all living as part of it if we weren't breathing air


we wouldn't live for a moment if we didn't have water day by day we wouldn't live if we didn't take in food from the universe around us we wouldn't live but interdependent entities all the time and this interdependence goes throughout our whole being we're totally interrelated and interdependent of the universe around us and we can relate to it in a normal way but there are other ways of relating which are more profound and which have been known from the beginning of history the shamans for instance in all asia the arctic region and so on and north america they have known for thousands of years this power of discovering a hidden power in nature but not only the merely physical aspects of nature there are deeper psychological forces of nature and spiritual forces and they discover the spirit in nature and the spirit in man


and that's what today we're going to rediscover you see that there is a power spirit of god present in the universe and present in human beings and when we open ourselves to that spirit then these powers are manifested and it's very interesting you see jesus first of all went up to the mountain to pray he spent his time in prayer he was opening himself to that power of god the spirit of god that was dwelling in him and when that power was awakened then he could come down to disciples and he could walk on the water and there's no reason to doubt that when these powers begin to awaken you could get scientists control first of all over the body and then over the world around us even as a quite common phenomenon as if you know in india uh here in kulit and i at the annual feast people walk on the fire it's a well-known thing they build a long fire as long as this chapel and put uh logs of wood and it's burning there all the


morning and when it's all red hot burning people walk through the fire and they don't get burnt a few do have accidents but normally they don't that happens all over india and they pray and they offer themselves and they walk through the fire so these are common phenomena they're not anything extraordinary but they are signs of something much deeper you see that beyond our physical being a psychological being we all have in us a spiritual power it's hidden but latent in jesus that power was fully manifested in total control but in most people it's either not manifest at all it only has just the gimpses of it but i think we all need to realize that is this power within us and it applies to disease you see we think disease is something outside us and germ gets into us somehow and begins to work on us and then we get some medicine and we get rid of the germs but that is extremely superficial in view of disease disease is a


organic relationship between you and the world around you and when you're in proper health then you're in harmony with your environment when you get out of harmony and it can be a purely psychological cause as we know you get out of harmony of stress and anxiety and your body begins to get diseased you see it's simply we're psychosomatic beings and we're always being affected by our environment and on the other hand as you learn to open up the spirit within the deeper center you learn to control disease of course many people have not many yogis have gained complete control over the body in that way and we can all gain a certain control over disease if we learn to be surrendered to the spirit so i think the lesson from all this is beyond our physical being and our psychic being we all have in us the presence of the spirit and that presence the spirit is present in the whole universe in the whole cosmos around us


in all human beings and we can relate in the spirit to the world around us and to other people and then we get the same lesson as we had in matthew he would lose his life or rather his soul my correct translation will save it he will save his soul for losing when you're reflecting the soul is your ego your limited human person and beyond your soul is your spirit very open to humanity and to god and jesus is teaching us how to go beyond the soul limited human person and open to the divine and so he says he who loves his soul he knows it he who hates his soul in this world will keep it for eternal life and this soul is this ego this limited personality which is not evil but it


comes evil when we when we identify ourselves with it when we identify with it then we separate from others and become in conflict when we transcend it surrender it die to it then we open to others into eternal life it's a real secret of life how to get beyond this ego personality which everybody has and which as i say is not evil we have to have this ego it has to grow the child has to find a personality to become distinct and yet you've got to always to go beyond it the two things to achieve a personality some don't even achieve it and you have to and then you have to go beyond it to share with others and that is the life of the spirit and that is the real message of the gospel and any attempt to create human unity to share with others at another level is always a failure people are realizing today all these big charitable organizations we refer to india as well for years and they all began to realize that merely to pour


money into the country and give people things does not answer the need it makes people dependent it makes them greedy the more you give them the more they want and everyone's discovering now it's not the way it simply is a false trial and we're discovering that what you have to do is to help people to find their own capacities and to contribute themselves people feel fulfilled when you do when they have responsibility and when they feel that they are being called upon to do something to give people like to give not only to receive i always remember a friend of mine uh his wife were in a very remote village in the himalayas for many many years and they had a school there and a dispensary and they lived very happily with the people and they said all these people were extremely poor they were really on subsistence level the poverty line but they all shared with one another it's very common in a very poor village


they will share with one another and an english girl who lived in a village and she said that it was simply accepted when you were in need you simply went to your neighbor if you wanted some sugar or some rice or anything you simply went to them and they gave what they had and then when they were in need they came to you it's an understood thing you simply share so they lived in this village like that and they were very poor but they were happy they were sharing and it was good spirit in the community and then the government got aware of these remote villages and decided to bring them up and so they built a military road against the distance and then linked it up and then it began to send government servants to raise the sample back in the village they said in one year the village was totally ruined because everybody now wanted to get a government job to get money to get better than their neighbor it's a terrible lesson you see it's all done with a good intention you're going to the village and bring money into it and


raise the standard of life and then you get this competitive instinct comes in and it's ruining people you see they want to get better than their neighbor everywhere it's happening people want to get a better job and you put your neighbor down and you push yourself forward and so you get this money economy and this competitive economy and it ruins people's lives and the opposite is this shared life and today we are realizing that what people need is to be able to share with one another and almost feel they have something to give we don't want to simply be receiving you see it's the same with the gospel you see we've had the idea before we go and preach the gospel for all the people and so on and we carry the gospel with us and we never thought of anything to receive just have to give and give Christ to others it's a beautiful idea but people don't want just to be receiving they've got something to give they have their experience of God which they want to share with us and when you begin to share then both sides feel happy again i remember


i've mentioned it many months i think we had a meeting at the Ramakrishna Ashram in Trivandrum a group of Christians and we asked if we could meet and share with them and at first they were afraid of it because they thought we were coming there to give the gospel to them to convert them of course if you want to talk but when we did go and explain we want to share with one another we share our understanding of Christ and they understand their share understanding of Shiva Vishnu their religion and when and that opened the path completely there was a wonderful sharing went on for years after that you see when people are you you open to others and share with them then feel happy and it's the same in a village you see if you can go into a village and find people's capacities what they're able to do and what they're ready you can also give some help of course you give some help but also you bring out their capacity and they are able to give to share i think this is tremendously important and you see it raises people's


dignity they feel themselves somebody and when you're simply giving them you put them down they're just objects of your charity and this goes deeper you see what you're doing you're still be working from your ego you see you as this rich person you come and you give to that poor person you're doing something to them but when you go beyond your ego and open to the spirit then in the spirit you all share one with one another in that spirit so when we have that real charity it's not simply giving to people that's the spirit of charity real charity is loving where you and love is always shared you give and you receive you're open to others so this is the great lesson how to get beyond the ego to that you see the spirit is charity is love that is what jesus came to give he didn't attempt to get people better living you see to get food and clothing and medicine and education all these things come with it because he says seek first


the kingdom of god and all these things for the enemy the kingdom of god is the kingdom of love and when you open your heart to others you share with them and bring up let them bring forth what they have then that sharing the kingdom of god comes and then you have this mutual experience of shared love and that's really what we have to seek and the world is seeking this everywhere and none of the offices are adequate the normal offices whether you the charity of the rich man giving to the poor or the state taking over and giving to to everybody it's even more oppressive than that i think as people are realizing but to to create this community of love which is beyond the ego and unless people look at that beyond themselves and experience this gift of god you this love is a gift of god it's not something we do any longer we're receiving it from god so i thank you all for the grace to see this and put it in practice as far as we're able


this is the message of the gospel about telling a little child it's very important because this um the child represents the innocence of human nature every child is born into this world with this image of god and in the depths of all human beings there is that image of god the receptivity to the spirit of god but as the child grows all the uh traditions of human existence begin to cover that image from the very moment of birth all the language and the ways of people this shadow begins to overshadow this image of the child and we build up this personality with our own person again all our racial our traditional way of life and so on this sinful humanity begins to shadow the child and this is happening in all of us all the time


it's an innocent child in the heart but it's overshadowed all the time by human by the world the whole world of humanity the world in which we're living and conversion is when we recognize this worldly nature in ourselves and recover the innocence of the child and it's a constant thing because we're always below the shadow day by day the world is around us and its views and attitudes are impinging upon us and we have to renew ourselves day by day to free ourselves from the shadow from this burden which we carry and open ourselves to the divine life you see the heart of every human being is the child which is open to the divine life that's the image of god in us and when we free ourselves from this burden of sin then this this image of god this inner light begins to emerge and we begin to discover ourselves so jesus really came to


awaken this image of god in each person and allow the person to discover themselves and so he says whoever humbles himself like this child he is the greatest in the kingdom of god and humility is simply discovering one's own inner nature and this is rather an important point you see that there are two ways of looking at this one is to think that we're all burdened with sin and we do that very commonly we say we're all sinners we teach other people they're sinful but there's a danger in that that people get a very negative view of themselves and they feel we're weak and sinful and we're bad and god can help us of course but still we get this very bad image of ourselves and we need to correct that by saying it's true that we are weak we're sinful we're separated from god but still within every human being that image is never lost the image


of god remains always and can always be recovered and everybody is essentially good essentially in the depth of our being we are this image of god and the shadow has come over the sinners have come over it and obscured it and and hidden it but still the light is there the truth is there every human being and we have always to rediscover this life and then he says whoever receives one such child in my name receives me since you do not despise one of these little ones and it's the to recognize the hidden child the image of god in every human being it may be overshadowed so that you can't see a glimpse of it and sin can simply dominate a person and all the truth in them and yet it remains always is the hidden mystery in every human being and we have to recognize it then jesus gives the example of the the sheep that is lost you see the


it goes astray and it loses its original innocence and it's betrayed in all these ways but still the the shepherd goes in search of it and he says if a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray does he not leave the 99 of the hills and go in search of one that went astray and if he finds it truly he rejoices over it more the others that never went astray the fathers interpreted mystically that this sheep that goes astray is the human race and the angels were there and they were sharing the light of god but the human race went astray and god went in search of this human race to discover it he would bring it back to the top and then he says very beautiful this is not the will of my father in heaven that one of these little ones should perish god is in search of all those who have gone astray and god recognizes that there is this


hidden presence this image of god in every human being and and god goes in search of it and that's what we all have to do to rather find behind all the sin of the world the hidden mystery you see it's a great danger because sin is so obvious when people do such terrible things we see all these murders taking place every day and rape and violence of every sort of crime is spreading everywhere and it's easy to say all these people are narcissists gone astray and of course they have but in all those people there is this hidden mystery and if you really go into it you know when you try to go behind some terrible crime that's been committed or people are living a life of prostitution or whatever when you go behind it you see a human being with so many different problems and so much more complicated and behind it all you can always discern there is a search for truth for goodness for love it's gone astray but it's always there


like always we have to try to discern behind the sin and the evil and every human being this hidden mystery which is which can be redeemed and when we recognize it we can draw it out if we recognize the good in the person we can draw it out if we simply condemn the person of course then we shut them out from this place but if we open them to it then it's that they may not change we may not see much of it but still we can call on that hidden mystery in each person the image of god and god himself is seeking that lost sheep as they always are he's searching to discover the hidden image and to bring it to life and the restores and jesus said that angels always see the face of their father who is in heaven you see the where the image of god is there we're open to all these angelic influences and the child is open to all this world of the angels and all the spirits and then the thing comes over and we forget the angels altogether


we think they're just myths and cancels but of course they're there and when the shadow of the world is it goes away then we see all the god himself and all the hosts of angels and saints you see whether the presence of what this great mystery all the time and the child from the child each person can see that the angels are always present and we see the face of the father with the angel so that's the calling and when we celebrate the mass every time we say now with all the angels and archangels all the saints we praise your glory we enter into the presence of the angels and we discover our own image of god in each one of us um jesus says at the end if two or three are gathered in my name there and i in the midst of them


one can also say that two or three are gathered together without god without christ there is calm among them it's almost impossible for two or three people to live together without quarreling and that is our human problem we're all made different each is unique has his own unique way of thinking feeling attitudes of bible bred in us and developed in us and we can't get on with the other person i remember reading a story of some soldiers in the war they were placed in an extremely isolated place completely remote from any contact with other people and their frustration was so intense that they had hung up a sack so they could go and beat the sack from time to time to get rid of their anger their frustration with their rage and so people find that you get frustrated angry and want to kill one another and it happens of course we see it all over the world today


this terrible conflict you see in the netherland this extremely beautiful place i visited about 20 years ago really peaceful a beautiful place and christians and muslims have been living together for years and then something sparked off a cloud and it's torn to pieces as you know see the same thing in sri lanka the same thing all over the world these terrible quarrels arise and it's all because we're all self-centered you see we've all got this irony it's a gift from god that we have this really itself but then we center on that self and we separate from others and the problem is how to get beyond this self-centeredness and in the gospel jesus gives some indications first of all if your brother sin against you tell him it's fault between you and him alone he listened you gave your brother and of course we can try and reconcile it all doesn't work he does not listen take one or two others and every word may be confirmed and we can try to


deal with it as a community then he says if it proves tell it to the church this word church is only used twice in the gospels and only in st matthew's gospel and almost certainly it's the rma for how which was the congregation of israel in the old testament and jesus came to to make this new israel this new congregation of course that was church and so first of all you try to reconcile with the person then you reconcile you try to bring a group and then you try to reconcile with the community the congregation the church and still you may not be able to reconcile and ultimately we have to go beyond ourselves this is the whole problem of human life as long as we remain centered in ourselves we're always in conflict and we all think it's not because we're doing i think we're doing wrong it's because we think we're doing right all the problems arise because people are convinced that they're right it's not because


you're you sometimes you think you're wicked and sinful you're doing wrong and that's the problem but it's not it's because you're holy and righteous and convinced that you're right and other people are wrong that's where all the problems arise all the great revolutions the french revolution the russian revolution the chinese revolution they're totally convinced that they were right you see liberty fraternity equality the freedom of the proletariat getting rid of your chains and so you go all out for that and then all the quarrels begin and you begin to kill the people who don't agree with you and you have concentration camps the whole list of sin and evil goes it goes on again you see there's no answer on that level at all and the only answer is it's really in the church you have to go beyond yourself beyond your ego open up to the spirit of god within and to open up to christ is to open up to the christ within spirit of god within and in all of us there is something which transcends ourselves something that we go beyond


ourselves and we open to love to this agape and this love is not an ordinary love obviously it's a unique gift you see the gift of the gospel of christ with his agape this love which is totally unselfish totally self-giving and jesus demonstrates it on the cross he totally gives himself to the world and we of course give ourselves see the opposite of being self-centered is giving is giving ourselves sharing with others so that's the challenge for us all the time as we all know it's extremely difficult no community can live in peace but most christian communities all quarrel and all the apostles quarreled among themselves you know paul and barnabas were taught together important mark separated from them so every human being has this sort of basic tendency to because you think you're right you see that is the problem it's not because you think you're wrong or you're doing wrong you're convinced you've got a sort of goal in life and you're centered on that you feel


this is the need and you focus on that and you're oblivious of any other kind and of course we do it with religion you see each religion is convinced that it's right the jew the muslim the christian and to a large extent also the hindu and the buddhist each is convinced that is the truth see and of course there is a profound truth need but you limit yourself to your own truth and you reject all other aspects of truth and today we're trying to learn how to be true to your own truth and to be faithful to that but at the same time to recognize the truth of the other and this applies to all human situations if we could recognize the value in the other person they're saying something contrary to us but there's something there which is meaningful something which we can accept and it applies also to oneself you know you see there's a danger in ourselves we reject certain aspects of ourselves we think they're wicked they're sinful and we reject them but we're learning today that you've got to learn to accept yourself accept your sinfulness and your


failures of your pride and vanity and learn to deal with them it's no use just rejecting if that suppresses it and it comes back but when you face it accept it and find there's something positive in all evil you see nothing is purely evil evil is always a defect of the good and when a person does evil he's always seeking some good and there is some good in it so when we learn to see the good and the evil in ourselves and in others then we begin to cooperate and then we begin to find an answer but of course they say it means going beyond oneself it means surrender to the spirit it means openness to god to christ so this is the problem in all things in which we all have to work on day by day and there's no answer in this world really i think we only the time of reconciliation will only come beyond this world but still we have to work towards it to create a harmony in ourselves harmony in a community harmony in the church and eventually harmony in the world but we have to work towards it


however much we came and came back in this problem of forgiveness is a great mystery and jesus makes it clear that it's not a rational thing at all peter comes up and says quite reasonably how often should i forgive the seven times he's been very generous and jesus says not seven times but 70 times seven he makes it quite beyond all reasoning see it's not a matter of reasoning at all and same way he gives the example of a man who owes ten thousand talents isn't it ten thousand talents that's a huge sum of crores of rupees and he's forgiven and then he finds one who has a hundred denarii might be a hundred rupees and he won't forgive him so the point is the lack of all and i think as long as


we try to deal with forgiveness on a rational basis calculating how often we should forgive we never reach anywhere and really you can't deal with it on a rational way at all as we all know when you try to forgive somebody on that level it's almost impossible you try to forget about it but it keeps coming back and then you say you've forgiven him but kind actually you haven't it's not a human rational procedure at all and as long as you remain on that level we never really forgive and the same way we're never really forgiven as long as you feel the look of things simply from a rational point of view ask how can i be forgiven i've done this but when you go beyond your reason and make a surrender to god to the spirit within and something quite another dimension enters in and that is where forgiveness is it's not in the rational mind at all or the rational will it's in this transcendent mystery and we surrender to that mystery and then this forgiveness


comes something of grace of god of gift comes into our lives and we realize that we are forgiven you see many people can't can't accept forgiveness they judge it all rationally they've done this and that and they can't accept forgiveness and you can't accept it on a very human level but when something else comes then it simply takes place the whole thing changes and forgive this doesn't mean that you forget about it or that you suppress it in some way it means a total change takes place something mysterious enters in which transforms the whole situation and that applies to ourselves when we realize that we are forgiven and when we realize we are forgiven we're able to forgive the other not rationally not according to any human calculation but by some mystery of grace you see it's i think it's so important to realize you have to go beyond this great in this human calculation so i remember a story told once about a man who was in a concentration camp in


dachau or something in germany and after the war he was at least sorry who was a um um one of the guards in one of these camps and after the war he had a conversion became a christian and he met another person who had been a prisoner in that camp under him and he went up to that person and wanted to shake hands that person found it almost impossible to shake hands with this person who had been a guard in the prison in the concentration camp and made a tremendous effort to sort of ask for jesus to come reconcile and was able to shake hands you see it was not a human thing to do you can't forgive like that humanly but when you go beyond then something happens and that's the mystery of redemption you see you were not forgiven by any calculation at all but by sheer love by sheer grace by sheer gift and that is redemption


that is love so we all have to learn how to experience that love that forgiveness and then to be able to share it with others so new testament normally we don't care much for this kind of inner life but he sort of challenged the situation in the church challenging him and he feels he must say something about it and he says um yeah um he speaks you see of this um histories of being uh having visions and revelations being taken up to the third heaven


and paradise and the third heaven is only one of the heavens they use the seven heavens and paradise is only one stage and most visions and revelations belong to the lower levels of spiritual experience when you get to the higher levels to go beyond visions to go beyond all sense phenomena altogether um still nevertheless obviously it's a very profound experience and he says um first of all whether in the body or out of the body i do not know and he would say it's in the subtle body you see the gross body remains here but there is also a subtle body and in that body you can stand and go beyond and you have to have that experience in the subtle body where you get confused with revelations and then he says i have feelings that cannot be told which no man may utter so obviously it's a very profound human experience and this must have been found in familiar visions he must have had many visions


revelations that's why he has such confidence in all this preaching and preaching that god is all the time and then he mentioned very interesting having this thorn in the flesh nobody knows quite what it was some people think it was some disease but probably you know people who have psychic experience for this song will often have some psychic disability at the same time anyway for some weeks this would be experienced and he asked him if he could take it away guys and he was told and clearly important my grace is sufficient for me what god is going to have to do with this and that's why people are saying contribution to a ministering god because he recognized that today for the youth this is the situation where they are strong and powerful but they are really strong and also they are weak and feeling they are weak and they have to take a grace from god


so he said i will always have the grace of my Jesus that the power of christ shall rest upon me and so i'm contented with this things that are part of my spiritual calamity the more i am weak the more i am strong that's an extraordinary achievement i think when one learns most people think they have to be strong all the time and all the people think that they are being weak and suffering and there is even a greater knowledge, a greater human resource in my soul so it is a good thing that you know that it's an assumption of our lady in heaven and we tend to have it pictured in our mind perhaps from some paintings that have been carried up into the sky and such images are not altogether wrong obviously but they can be very misleading and for many it makes it very unreal


and of course we have to see the deeper meaning of it that reality is into the resurrection and it's part of a whole transformation of matter by spirit if you look on it, the whole creation is a gradual transformation of matter by spirit first of all you get the whole material creation, the sun, the moon, the stars and then you get life and matter begins to exercise new powers altogether and from life comes sensitivity and feeling and having a sense of experience and so on and then from life comes human consciousness and we're in the stage where consciousness, human consciousness is beginning to transform the matter of the body and in all of us it's half transformed partly the body is subdued, we can control it in many ways partly it's not under our control and eventually of course it disintegrates in death and yet the plan of God in creation was not this disintegration in death


but the reconstruction of the body that matter should greatly be transformed by the spirit until it becomes totally transformed matter obeys totally the law of the spirit and that's what happened in the resurrection of Jesus his body and soul were totally transformed by the spirit passed into a new life, into a new creation and we feel the same took place in Mary because she was without sin, she was not subject to this disintegration of death but passed through death into this transformation and I think you want to see it as something which, did I say, not a total exception it's something which is actually the plan of God in creation that all human beings should pass through death into this new state where the body is transformed by the spirit normally we undergo a certain degree of disintegration but there are many holy people whose body is already prepared for the resurrection and that should be our normal state day by day


we're preparing this body for the resurrection the external aspect of it can disintegrate but the interior reality of the body is transformed and the fathers used to say that in communion the spiritual body is being formed in us we share in that the body of Christ in the Eucharist is a risen body transformed by spirit and we receive that risen life into ourselves and our bodies are undergoing this transformation we don't see it of course, the matter of faith but all the same there is that transformation we're waiting for this body to be transformed in the recent form, you see, the body we're waiting for that redemption of our bodies and that has taken place in Mary and that is a sign for us all that's why it's very important you see, many people think of the future life and so on as a disembodied life the spirit separates from the body, leaves it and passes it beyond


but the Christian doctrine is the resurrection of the body the body transformed by the spirit, becoming a spiritual body so we ought to open our hearts and minds to this mystery and pray especially to Our Lady to enable us to realize the mystery she experienced it in herself and she can help us also to realize it in ourselves and we think today also of the independence of India it's a sort of purely a providence that it should have taken place on this day of the Assumption and again we ask for the transformation of India India has a great spiritual energy but of course also it has a very human weakness and today we experience this human weakness more than anything but we should never forget that behind that human weakness there is this spiritual tradition from the time of the Vedas onward the spiritual power is at work in India and we have to pray for that spiritual power may transform the nation, transform the people


and bring about this inner transformation of body by the spirit and we pray especially to Our Lady to intercede the endurance for the whole world that this plan of God, of transformation that of our spirit can be carried forward to its final end that is our hope and our prayer this gospel raises this hope especially of the Jews and the Gentiles and the whole plan of divine providence and revelation we don't often realize that Jesus as he says came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel he didn't come to preach to the Gentiles God had revealed himself in Israel in a unique way Jesus came to fulfill God's revelation in Israel and to bring it to its fulfillment and that looked to the future to open itself to the Gentiles


but he himself did not open it to the Gentiles in the story of St. John's Gospel how Andrew brought some Gentiles to him and Jesus, as he speaks to them always his plan is to bring Israel to its fulfillment and then from that a new movement is to spread it's to move to the Gentiles you see it's very significant here this woman is a Gentile and she comes to him and he simply ignores her and when they ask he says I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel did not come for the Gentiles and then she goes on begging him and he uses a very contemptuous language which the Jews use is it right to take the children's meat not into the dogs the Jews were the children and the Gentiles were dogs it was a common way of speaking of them just rejected so he challenges her in that way and then she says even the dogs eat from the crumbs


that fall from the master's table and he tries to say he created your faith which will be done unto Israel and so he opens it to the Gentiles but not only provisionally as it were and it took time for the church to realize that it had a message for the Gentiles Peter had a special revelation sheep sent down from heaven with animals rise Peter to show him that he could approach a Gentile and receive him into the church and then the next phase the Gentiles that is the Greeks and Romans largely began to come into the church and of course the Jews didn't accept it and that was the situation Paul faced the Jews to whom Christ had come wouldn't accept that Messiah and the Gentiles who weren't expecting it received it and became entered into the church so that was the situation this Paul and we've gone on more or less with that ever since


with the idea that God reveals himself to Israel Israel has rejected the Messiah and now the gospel is preached to the nations which is largely meant Europe for the first 1,500 years perhaps the nations of Europe few in the Middle East a little pocket in Kerala for the Syrians but practically it's a European religion and then in the 16th century it began to spread to America to the Portuguese and to India and a little fringe now in Asia 2% of Asia is Christian and so today we're challenged with a new understanding of the mystery of the gospel of the plan of God started with Israel a very small world Israel, Lebanon, Egypt little parts of the Middle East nothing beyond then it spread out to Greece, Rome, Europe nothing beyond then it spread now in a vague way in a very superficial way to other parts of the world


but only today are we facing the real challenge of other religions it's never been recognized before that God has revealed himself in other ways God has been revealing himself in India for 5,000 years and we have the scriptures the sacred scriptures of India by Tripura and Buddhists and Jain and Sikh and is a revelation from God and then we have also Islam which is another way in which God has revealed himself so today we're trying to see this grand revelation of Israel coming ahead in Christ in the context not of the Greeks and Romans but of the whole world and it's a challenge for many of us it's a challenge which is very enriching as you begin to see the gospel in a wider context you see a deeper meaning in it that's really what's happening you begin to see the gospel in the context of the Vedas of the Upanishad of the Bhagavad Gita of the Dhammapada which we read in the Buddha


and so on then you begin to get a new vision of the gospel and of the plan of God and I think this is the challenge of the church today and the movement of the Holy Spirit is to awaken us to this new situation that's what really happened at the Vatican Council at the Vatican Council for the first time in Christian history the church recognized the values of other religions it said Catholics should recognize preserve and promote the spiritual and moral values of other religions as well as their cultural and social values so that opened the gates to a new vision of the place of Christianity in the world and today we're challenged in Asia you see Christians are a little minority 2% in India and all in Asia 2% 98% of the people are not Christian at all and they all have their own profound religions for over thousands of years and we have to relate to the Hindus to the Buddhists all through Asia through China, Japan and to the Muslims


also spread through Asia as well so we're challenged you see now to see the place of Christ in the context of all these religions and to see the place of the church in the context of all those religions so this is where we are today and we're all as I said challenged we can't shut ourselves in anymore you know we're limited Christianity shut off from the rest of the world it has to be related to other religions each in our own way obviously we can't all study the whole theology of religion if we can all in some way relate to our Hindu neighbours for instance with that respect love which is due and the same way we can learn to how to associate with others but in depth you see it's not socially anybody can accept Hindu socially but it's the challenge of Hindu religion which is involved you see or Buddhist religion so this is how we have to ask ourselves today and we have to ask His Grace the Holy Spirit


it's a moment in the history of the church you see and some people have compared it you know to the moment when the church came out of Palestine a Jewish religion speaking Aramaic holy centred in Judaism moved out into the gentile world the Greeks and Romans another culture another language another whole world and became a new church and now today a similar thing is happening the church is coming out of this simple European world the western world opening its operation into Africa into the whole world and we're challenged to see the church now in Christian revelation in the context of God's feelings with the rest of the world so we pray for our own insights into the insights of the church and it's urgent you see for the world today the religions are fighting one another you see everywhere they're fighting each other in Palestine this priest yesterday from Palestine never looked a horrifying situation


see Jews, Christians and Muslims all killing one another in Palestine in Judaism and then in India we have Hindus and Muslims becoming very acute in the north now with the Sikhs you see Sikhs and Hindus Muslims all these communal forces at work dividing through religion you see because people are convinced of their own religion they can't recognise the other and see its own values