Praise the Lord! We finally have a reason to celebrate. The months of hardship faced by our parishioners and more so by our loving parish priest, who through these months of building of the new church structure had to endure the discomfort of dust, noise and the stress of ensuring that work gets completed to satisfaction. But it's over now and we have a bright and spacious Church that's would be a blessing for many generations to come. For many of our parishioners who had to take solace of attending services in other parishes, our new St Peter's Church beckons. We praise our God for His grace and guiding light in ensuring that this new Church building takes the shape He destined it to be. We must not forget to remember in our prayers our beloved Bishop, His Eminence Most Rev. Bernard Moras, our beloved parish priest, the Church Building Committee and the many workers who toiled unceasingly to put up this beautiful edifice. We owe it to them by our prayers, our words of appreciation and our commitment to building a committed people of God, under the banner of St Peter.

"God has gathered together as one all those who in faith look upon Jesus as the author of salvation and the sourceof unity and peace, and has established them as the Church"Vatican II: Constitution on the Church

Our Commitment:

The new Church calls for a revival - a revival of minds and hearts. It provokes us to examine ourselves and ask the question: “How might the church be a “healthy” church?” As the evangelist Mark tells us, ”And no one pours new wine into old wineskins, otherwise; the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” (Mark 2:22, NRSV). With a beautiful new church edifice and a rededication of the church, we too are called to rededicate ourselves by a change in our attitude. So like new wineskins we too might manifest the glory of God in his gracious gift of this new church building.

When we Catholics gather for public worship in the Church, we physically come together, people of different races, cultures and diverse linguistic backgrounds. We merge to become a local configuration of the body of Christ. Together, we do things: we pray, sing, speak, listen, move, stand, sit, kneel, bow and partake of the Lord's Supper. Worship is all about human bodies forming the body of Christ. This thought is the very foundation of our worship. Anything else, centres around ourselves and a need to fulfil an obligation and we tend to then lose sight of the fact that as one people we constitute the body of Christ that is present and active. Paul had to reprimand the church in Corinth, which had turned worship into a time of hoarding and feasting. They neglected the fact that the whole body of Christ was gathered to share in the Eucharistic meal (1 Corinthians 11:21-29).

Bringing worship to life:

To commit ourselves more meaningfully to the church, let us resolve to bring our worship to life. Three areas would help in our reflection; discarding self-centredness, service leadership and inspiration. Each of them, as we will see, relates directly to the sense that worship of God is an embodied activity.

Discarding self-centredness:

The very soul of Christian living lies in our being able to share. Be it our time, our possessions and our thoughts. If we had to examine our conscience at the end of each day, we would be surprised as to how much we have held back from giving. Man seems to be constantly living in fear and doubt - fear about our tomorrow and doubt as to what the future holds for us. Surprising that we call ourselves Christians then! The word of God, clearly tells us: “do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” Isaiah 41:10 (NRSV). And again in Mathew 6:26 (NRSV), “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

If we commit to one body of Christ as one community, sharing and taking care of the needs of the community, then we need not fear. Because just as the left hand tends to support a dysfunctional right hand, so would one member of the community be led by the Lord to support the other member in times of need, and more so would Christ look after his flock, as the head of the body of worshippers. But to do that, we need to embody the spirit of true Christian worshippers.

Service Leadership:

We all know what leadership implies. From a professional leading his colleagues into a job task, to a woman leading her children into accomplishing their daily tasks and even to a pastor leading his flock into worship; leadership is all about going before and guiding people. But for most people, caught up with this aspect of 'leading' is that they fail to understand that leadership also involves the basic element of “humility”. I recently worked for a leading MNC, where the attrition rate was rather high. Apart from the inadequate monetary rationale served, it was observed that 'top leaders' often misused the power vested in them to ensure that tasks were achieved with unreasonable demand. As a community of Christ, we are called to be servant leaders, or as I would rather term it, “service leaders”.

What makes for a service leader? Being thoughtful, intentional, and careful are three main characteristics that mark a service leader. Service leadership is a privilege and a joy. But it is not an entitlement for those seeking centre-stage. Service leaders take the lead only insofar as it enables them to serve God and God's people. They do their work not for their own sake, but for the sake of those that God has drawn together. Christian service leaders; whether preachers, pastoral helpers, prayer leaders, Eucharistic lay ministers, choir members, ushers and word ministers must lead in ways that draw attention not to themselves, but to Christ and those gathered in his presence. For the spiritual and political well-being of a church, a service leader must realise that leadership is not at all about “me,” but about the body of Christ.


A church built on the honest and committed involvement of the people of God ensures that people are inspired at all times. A committed Church engages people from all walks of life, connects with their emotions and spiritual passions and draws them deeply into prayer and worship. We the people of God, drawn together as one body of Christ, must allow for the in-working of the Holy Spirit. St Paul gives us a beautiful description on the nature of the body of Christ. (1 Cor 12:1-27), Paul teaches about the body of Christ and the gifts of the Holy Spirit that bring it to life. He makes it clear that not all persons have the same spiritual gifts. “To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:8-10, NRSV). In the church, we often conduct our affairs forgetting that God has placed a tremendous array of gifts before us in the unified body of Christ. Even in small congregations, there will be people specially gifted who could be inspired for different kinds of service leadership. There will be teachers who make magnificent lectors because they read aloud to children with passion and purpose. There will be journalists and gifted writers who would do wonders in writing articles for church magazines and on social topics. There will be those who love to serve quietly, who will prepare the sacramental elements better than another person who is gifted for music or teaching. There are musicians with beautiful voices and trained on various instruments, who with proper encouragement can conduct praise and worship services at various times. There are even people with gifts for public speaking, who can serve as preachers and masters of ceremonies at spiritual gatherings. This is just the tip of the ice-berg in a long list of spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit places in the local configurations of the body of Christ. The spiritual gifts among us are many and some would surprise and delight us if we found ways to use them in worship. Worship is inspired when unexpectedly good things happen.

However, it may so happen that people are unaware of their own special gifts. They might be aware that they possess a certain capability for some task or ministry, but think it might be a common skill. My advice would be to lay them at the feet of Jesus, for He would help you develop your talents. Parish Council members and Small Christian Community leaders could make a point in their ministry to identify different talents among people, call them out, provide opportunities for their nurturing, and finally deploy them in the worship life of the congregation. In doing so, these parish council leaders would have served as agents of the Holy Spirit who first placed those gifts in our midst, and who hopes they will be well used in the public ministry of the body of Christ.


Our Church can truly be a vibrant Church, if we bring our talents to the forefront, our resources to the benefit of the other and our time well-disposed to the service of the Lord as a community, each day. We would witness miracles in our midst. The new Church structure is just not to be admired or held in awe, but beheld in reverence and sanctity. And that reverence would come from our posturing, our demeanour and our selfless commitment to the service of God and the other. In the enlightening words of our Bishop Rev. Dr. Bernard Moras on the occasion of his feast on the 20th of August 2012, “As children of God, we need to have pure hearts, devoid of selfishness, antipathy for our fellow beings and unforgiving attitude. Only having charitable spirit and clean hearts can we see God.” Therefore, as one body of Christ, let our gaze be fixed on the cross where we behold both dimensions - the vertical dimension in our constant gaze as one family towards the Lord; and the horizontal dimension in our nourishing and helping the other. As Christians let us stand worthy of our baptism, bringing the uniqueness of our individuality and the special talents God has bestowed upon us to bring worship in this Church alive. Let heaven rejoice, when we come together as one family in the body of Christ. Alleluia!
by: André Gomes


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