Christ in People


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A Portuguese novel tells the story of  a young man who travelled to the Indies to seek a fortune, and in a few years, returned to Lisbon with several ships laden with wealth.

“Now,” he thought, “I’ll play a trick on my relatives.” He put on some worn-out clothes and went round to see his cousin Pedro.

“Here I am, your cousin John. After some years in India, I have come back home. You see how I am fixed… Could I stay at your house for a time?”

“Oh, my dear John, how I wish I could put you up. Unfortunately, there isn’t a room free in my house.”

John went round to another friend, and another, but everywhere he found the door closed against him.

Then he returned to his ships, got into his best clothes, and sailed into town with a dozen servants attending him. He bought a large mansion right on the main street of Lisbon. Within a few weeks his fabulous wealth was the talk of the town.

“Who could have imagined it?” said his friends and relatives who had given him the brush-off. “If we had only known, how differently we would have acted. But now we have spoiled our chances with him forever.”

Our Lord comes to us every day in the guise of those who need our help… How do we respond?

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Unselfishness


Shilla (7026 m) above the Spiti Valley in Hima...

Image via Wikipedia

A Sikh guru from India tells the following story:

IN the cold mountainous regions of north India, travellers are helped to keep warm in a special way. They take a small earthenware pot, put a burning coal into it and cover it up. They weave strings around it and wrapping it with cloth, carry it under their arms.

Three men were travelling that way toward a sacred shrine. When they stopped for a rest, one of the travellers saw that some other people were cold, so he took the fire out of his little vessel and lit a fire so they could all get warm. In that way, he saved them freezing to death in the cold.

When they wanted to walk on, it was already dark. So the second man took the fire out of his pot and lighted a torch with it and helped all three of them to walk in safety.

The third member of the group laughed at them and said, “You are a bunch of fools. You have wasted your fire for the sake of others.”

So they said to him, “Show us your fire.”

When he opened his vessel, there was no fire, but only ashes and embers.

With his fire, one of the travellers had given warmth and another had given light. But the third man who kept his fire for himself found that his fire had gone out. Now he had none at all.

— Tony Castle

First Do, Then Teach


Sweets in La Boqueria market, Barcelona, Spain

Image via Wikipedia

A troubled mother one day came to Gandhi along with her daughter and explained to him that her daughter was in the habit of eating more sweet food than was good for her. Please, she asked, could Gandhi speak to the girl and persuade her to give up the harmful habit?

Gandhi sat for a while in silence and then said, “Bring your daughter back in three weeks’ time, and then I shall speak to her.”

The mother went away and did as she was told, and then came back after three weeks.

This time Gandhi quietly took the girl aside and in a few simple words pointed out the harmful effects of too much sweet food. He urged her to abandon the habit.

Thanking Gandhi for the good advice, the mother said to him in a puzzled voice, “I would like to know, Gandhi-ji, why you did not say these words to my daughter three weeks ago.”

“Well,” replied Gandhi, “three weeks ago I myself was addicted to eating sweet foods.”

— Donald Nichol

Is That Your Final Answer?


I was very curious to watch Slumdog Millionaire due to all the hype and praises the media has been giving it. This movie has a cast of unknowns in Hollywood. The child actors were even literally picked up from the streets of India. But in my point of view, their acting could outdo even big-name Hollywood A-listers. And yeah, this low-budget film won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the recently concluded Golden Globe Awards. So, is it worth all the buzz? Most definitely.

Slumdog Millionaire tells the story of Jamal Malik, an orphan who grew up in the slums of Mumbai, India. Jamal enters the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and to the astonishment of the populace, makes it all the way to the final question – worth 20 million rupees. When the final question is about to be revealed, the show’s air time runs out and the moment the whole nation has been waiting for will have to resume the next day. As Jamal leaves the show, he is accosted by the police and thrown into jail on suspicion of cheating – how can an uneducated slumdog know so much?
a. He cheated.
b. He’s lucky.
c. He is a genius.
d. It is written.

During the cross-examination by the jaded police inspector, Jamal reveals the story of his life – from the brutal death of his mother, to his and his brother’s life in the streets of Mumbai, to their encounters with vicious street gangs, to the one girl he lost and loved all his life – Latika. Through the telling of his colorful life story, bit by bit we are enlightened as to how Jamal came to know the answers to the questions in the contest.

The police inspector releases him and he himself becomes intrigued by the real reason as to why someone who is obviously not interested in the money would join “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”. As Jamal prepares to re-enter the show and answer the final question, the whole nation will find out why….

What does it take to find a lost love?
a. money
b. luck
c. smarts
d. destiny

Is that your final answer?


‘The Life of Pi’ Made Me Cry


After a devastating shipwreck of a cargo ship, only one lifeboat comes out of the fiasco. This lifeboat contains a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra with a broken leg, a female orangutan, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. Along with the unusual characters in this book, Yann Martel offers a multitude of surprising events in the course of Pi’s efforts to survive and be rescued. Just when you think the surprises have ended, Life of Pi will serve up something totally unexpected that will make your jaw drop, literally. This work of art offers a magnificent mixture of story telling, drama, comedy, survival tips, insights on religion and spirituality, and animal welfare — all rolled up in a little lifeboat bobbing helplessly in the middle of the wild, blue Pacific.