Dharmapuri Diocese Dharmapuri Diocese Dharmapuri Diocese

Bishop's Message


Bishop's Message

My Dear Fathers, Sisters and the Laity,

"Lent is a time for deeper dialogue with God through prayer, for renewed gratitude for God’s mercy and for increased compassion for people whose lives are under attack" - Pope Francis

            Lent brings the death and resurrection of the Lord more insistently into the horizon of our lives. Before the Lord, we are all weak and needy, poor but in whom we are rich. Grateful for our various callings and rejoicing in that poverty that opens us to God's grace; let us observe Lent together in prayer, penance and almsgiving.

            Mother Church invites us to celebrate the two important feasts. They are the feast of St. Joseph, the husband of Mary, and the feast of the Annunciation. Both the feasts reveal the humanity of Jesus, as we reflect more about the humanity of Jesus in this season of Lent.

St. Joseph was an ordinary manual labourer although descended from the royal house of David. In the design of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." Today there are so many institutions that have St. Joseph as their patron which shows how important he is for our people. When the angel of the Lord revealed to Joseph the mystery of the virginal conception of Jesus and asked him to take Mary as his wife, Joseph recognized this as the will of God and accepted it in faith and submission and took Mary as his wife. The obedience of Joseph was inspired by a deep faith. Though Joseph had so many good qualities, yet I would like to indicate three of them in the light of the Gospels.

First and foremost, Joseph is the guardian of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the model of carrying out with love and care our daily domestic duties. He is the true and pure spouse of Mary. Together they planned, worked and shared joys and sorrows. Joseph and Mary were the first and the main co-operators in our redemption. As guardian and protector of the Holy Family, Joseph is the saint of divine providence.

Secondly, Joseph is also the model of workers. He worked as a carpenter and taught Jesus the same work. In him work was ennobled, intention and action were in perfect harmony. His example teaches us that work is an instrument of redemption, expiation and sanctification. Work is an indispensable prayer because human beings have to put their whole selves at the service of God.

Thirdly, he was silent in front of the will of God. The gospels do not contain the spoken words of Joseph. This is a clear expression that he was listening to God in silence and all the more he was guided by God in silence. He is the model and patron of interior life; his is an eloquent silence.

As we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph on 19th March, let us try our best to imbibe these qualities and put them into practice in our lives. May St. Joseph bless us and intercede for us!

The Solemnity of the Annunciation celebrates the coming of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce to her the special mission God had chosen for her in being the Mother of His only Son.

We are continually reminded of the importance of this feast to our salvation in various devotional prayers. Two examples that highlight the importance of this feast are the joyous mysteries of the Rosary and the "Angelus".

The feast of the Annunciation began to be celebrated on 25th March during the fourth and fifth centuries, soon after the date for celebrating Christmas was universalized throughout the Church. This feast celebrates the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity and the salvation of all mankind. This point of our salvation was deeply discussed by many of the Church fathers, to explain it to the faithful and to show the deep love God has for us.

May the Virgin Mary, model of faith and self-surrender to God, plead for our diocese.



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