Sunday, January 12, 2020

Mystery. (2012-01-12, Baptism of the Lord)

2020 January 12 _ Baptz Lord _ 
Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7  • Psalm 29 • Acts 10:34-38 •    + Matthew 3:13-17

[__01__]  I’m standing here to be closer to the flowers which are being given away at the end of Mass. I’m giving you the announcement early that these red and white poinsettias are being given away.
          This is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the end of the Christmas Season and it’s connected to the manifestation of Jesus that we saw in Epiphany and 3 Kings Gospel last Sunday. Jesus’ power is being demonstrated to the first disciples.
          I’d like to reflect on this gospel and the Baptism of the Lord with 3 words:
1st.  “meal”, like “eating”
2nd. “mystery”
3rd. “sacrament”
          And in this case, the word “mystery” is a BRIDGE (connection) between the 2, between “meal” and “sacrament”.
          And, we know about bridges, living in NY and NJ where we’re always wondering about getting over the bridge. And sometimes the bridge itself is a mystery:  “Upper level?”/ “Lower level“  / “Is it rush hour?”  / “20 minutes, 40 minutes”  / “should we take the tunnel?”   You know the drill.

[__02__]  First, the “MEAL”.
This past week, I went out to eat with some friends, to a restaurant.
Immediately, we were given our menus so that we could order (appetizer, entrée… ), but we did not open the menus and continued talking
          The server stopped by our table: “No, we are not ready yet, sorry, we have not looked the menus”
          We talked some more.
          The server stopped by our table again, “No, we are not ready yet, sorry, we have not looked the menus”.
          Finally, at the 3rd time the server tried to raise the curtain and get the show on the road,  we actually placed our orders.
[__03__]   That’s just an everyday context example, but I suggest it follows along with what we understand as Catholic Christians and in the words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:
          “Just as a [real-life] human meal, it is to be human, consists not only of food but also of the spoken words, so too at the Lord’s Supper, along with the heavenly food, the Word of the Lord is presented as the nourishment and illumination for the spirit.” (Benedict XVI, “On the Spirit of Brotherhood”, Dogma & Preaching, p. 208)

[__04__]   Jesus is the Word made flesh, the word of God made flesh, who pitches his tent next to and on our table not only at this altar but also in our own homes.
          He is – his food is the Body of Christ. We say AMEN to this.
          That is the MEAL, the Lord’s Supper of the Eucharist.

[__05__]  Now, from MEAL to MYSTERY.
          This “Amen ” to the Body of Christ will be said for the first time – at First Holy Communion by  24 of our young people at 1st Holy Communion on Saturday May 16 at  11 am, (Save the date…). Please pray for them. On that day, each will receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
          It is a mystery that the Son of God and Jesus can make himself present in Holy Communion.
          It’s also a mystery that Jesus would be baptized.

[__06__]   Today is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord – and we may naturally ask – why SHOULD and WOULD and how COULD Jesus Himself be baptized?
          And, he is going to make First Communion 7 or 8 years later?
          Jesus is baptized for a different reason than that of you you  and I being baptized. It’s mysterious.
          Jesus is submitting himself to the water, submitting himself to this sign, saying that that he is going to live a fully human life, immersed in our existence, even including being baptized. That’s the mystery.
          What’s a mystery?

[__07__]  Recently, I read an article about this Princeton Professor Gregory Treverton who gives a helpful description of “mystery” vs. “puzzle”.
          In a puzzle, there is simply one missing piece and once we find that piece or make a series of rotations on the Rubik’s cube, we have solved the mysteries. I am hoping you know what a Rubik’s cube is – otherwise I have introduced one more puzzle !
          Baptism is a mystery and the presence of God Almighty in Jesus is a mystery. It is a mystery how and why Jesus comes to exist in our world.
          In contrast, we might say that putting NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong & company on the moon… that’s a scientific and mathematic puzzle which has a solution.
          A mystery is not a puzzle. A mystery does not have a missing piece, but something is not revealed, or we have not heard it yet or comprehended it yet.

[__08__]    It’s a mystery that Jesus would be baptized, that He would come to earth as a person. It’s sometimes also a mystery to know that we are loved and can be forgiven.
          Because forgiveness is also a mystery, that God loves us so much that he would give up his life for us and that God knows the goodness in you or me that we might miss or overlook.
          You and I are not puzzles to be solved. However, sometimes, I myself fall into the trap of trying to fix or solve other people or figure out others. But, truly another person – even one whom we know very closely as a child, sibling, spouse, is a mystery I cannot completely comprehend.  Mysteries are always … [TO BE CONTINUED….]

[__09_]    First, there is the meal. A meal consists of both WORD and NOURISHMENT. And, Holy Communion consists of both God’s word and God’s nourishment.
          Then, there is a mystery, that God infinite makes himself present and incarnate – incarnational – in the flesh.
          Finally, I’d like to reflect on the nature of a SACRAMENT.

[__10__]    What is a SACRAMENT?
          A sacrament in the Catholic-catechism definition is a visible sign of an invisible reality.
          A wedding ring and wedding vows themselves – are visible signs of an invisible reality.
          Holy Communion is a visible sign of an invisible reality, because we cannot see Jesus as His disciples saw Him.
          Even forgiveness – sacramentally - is a visible sign of an invisible reality.
          On an regular interpersonal level, isn’t it true that if we forgive someone else, we might be recognizing something good that is invisible to the other person or to others.
          God forgives us knowing of our goodness inside, even if we do not see this visibly or feel it tangibly.
          A sacrament is also not just something we receive or take home, but also something we give and leave behind, that we sacrifice ourselves.
[__11__]   This past Tuesday, after dinner at the restaurant, I returned home and remembered that I had left something at the restaurant, it was a folder containing several papers and documents that while not of national-security importance, I nevertheless wanted to retain.
          I had brought them to the table to show my friends and learn something about something I did not quite get or understand. I viewed this is a puzzle.
          The words and ideas on paper were puzzling and so important that- ironically  I had left it behind and had to drive back and pick them up.
          In the celebration of Eucharist and Baptism, we not only bring ourselves – we also leave ourselves behind and submit and surrender ourselves.
          We return and God returns with us so that we can be raised up, delivered, and brought home.
          It’s mysterious.   [__fin__]

Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Greatest Love of All (2020-01-05, Epiphany)

2020 January 5 _ Epiphany Sunday _  • Isaiah 60:1-6  • Psalm 72 • Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6 •  + Matthew 2:1-12

Title:  The Greatest Love of All

[_01_]    It’s easy to quantify that some people are easier to love than others.  It’s harder to measure – in ourselves – whether we ourselves are easy to love or hard to love.  Am I hard to love or easy to love?
            I think the trick answer to this trick question, regarding me,  is: YES !   We use this expression: “to know him is to love him.”  Or “to know her is to love her.”
            What we mean is that it requires intelligence and inquiry to know about another person.
            Whitney Houston was on to something in her famous ballad/song – The Greatest Love of All – in that there’s a connection between “loving and learning” (we have to learn to love ourselves) and also between charity and children. (the first line of the song: “I believe the children are our future”)
[_02_]    It seems that there is strong connection between the Christmas season and children, and the love of children, the connections of:
è The child you are. The child I am. The children of God we are. We are called to love ourselves.
è The children of God in our neighbors. We are called to love our neighbors.
è The child, our Savior. We are called to love God, born for us.
I’d like to reflect on these 3 aspects of the child in our midst while considering Gospel verses known as the greatest commandment:
 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
            I’d like to reflect on God’s love and presence in this Epiphany Gospel in 3 dimensions.
            His Love is Mysterious. It is a mysterious long journey to know and love ourselves as children of God.
            His Love is Precarious. It is broad and vulnerable journey to know and love our neighbors as children of God.
            His Love is Victorious. It is a high and heavenly journey to know and love God as the Christ child.
            And, at the end, I will close with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. about the love of God and the greatest commandment.

[_04_]     First – Love is mysterious.
            It is a mysterious and long journey to love ourselves as children of God.
            There is a famous song about this. Whitney Houston’s song.
            Whitney Houston has 150 million “views” on her video to indicate the “The Greatest Love of All” is ‘learning to love yourself…..’ Lots of people would agree.
However, sometimes, I am not naturally or immediately love-able.  Believe it or not, I am not immediately or naturally loveable at all times.
Yet, somehow even at my worst, I can encounter the love of God and love of neighbor.  Here’s the thing – I want to be loveable, sometimes I am not.  But I am loved anyway.
This “high love of Charity” may even seem outrageous, unnecessary and bad news.
C.S. Lewis wrote: “In reality, we all need .. Charity from others … but this sort of love we need, is not the sort [of love] we want.  We want to be loved for our cleverness, beauty, generosity, fairness, usefulness. The first hint that anyone is offering us the highest love of all is a terrible shock.” (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, “Charity”, p. 168)
God’s love is mysterious.

[_05_] God’s love is PRECARIOUS. It takes precariousness and vulnerability to love others as children of God.
            Born as a child in Bethlehem, the Son of God makes himself precarious, vulnerable. He is a child who had to become aware of his divinity and calling.
            That’s precarious.
            A teacher of mine once asked – did the Blessed Mother instill in her son a direct revelation that he was the Messiah? Did she declare/discipline with:  “Do your homework. Clean your room. Save the world.”
            We don’t know the answer directly about Mary’s words to Jesus. I suggest that Mary – like all mothers -  did not want to reveal or prescribe directly ..but simply nurtured Jesus so that he could become aware of his calling.
            That’s a precarious love, a vulnerable love.
            You and I live lives of vulnerability. Love is precarious

[_05.02_] God’s love is PRECARIOUS.
            C.S. Lewis writes – in The 4 Loves – that “insurances against heartbreak are not our highest wisdom. Jesus himself comes at last [on Good Friday] to say, ‘Why hast thou forsaken me?’” (Psalm 22)
            While C.S. Lewis was not giving financial advice, he uses this metaphor of money:
            “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping [your heart] intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an [favorite pet] animal.” (C.S. Lewis, The 4 Loves, p. 155).
[_06_]      To review so far.
            Love is mysterious. That makes it part of our REALITY, because even real and present things and people are mysterious.
            Love is precarious. That makes it part of our REDEMPTION. Only the vulnerable are ransomed and redeemed.  In the parable of the lost sheep, we read:  “There is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than 99 righteous people with no need of repentance.” (Luke 15:7)
            It’s precarious for the Good Shepherd to rescue one lost sheep, to love that one lost sheep to such a degree. That’s you, that’s me.

[_07_]         Love is VICTORIOUS.
            In the Gospel, the Magi are on a mysterious and precarious journey. But they are also on a victorious journey.
            They are not just searching for a child, but searching for God.
            How is God’s love victorious?
            C.S. Lewis writes that that there is in every one of us things that require forbearance (patience)   and forgiveness (compassion). The necessity of practicing forbearance and forgiveness may make us feel like we are losing, but we are really winning.
            It enables our “personal emotion” of natural love to be transformed into the “perpetual motion” of God’s divine love and charity.  This is not always easy. But, it is a victory.
            The very things or people which frustrate us also enable us to change and be changed.
            Herod – King Herod – is an example of someone unable to change or be changed. He was stubborn.   In Whitney Houston pop-song terms, he found “his strength in love”, but only in a deranged preoccupation with himself. That was his loss.
C.S. Lewis’ point is that in this way it is hard for the rich enter the kingdom of heaven.  (C.S. Lewis, The 4 Loves, p. 174).
[_07_]     In a few weeks – Monday January 20 – we will observe the memorial day of Martin Luther King, Jr. the civil rights leader who also preached and acted and wroted based on love and about the Greatest Commandment in 3 dimensions:
            The dimensions are both divine and geometric.

1st Dimension. The Long Journey. The Mysterious Dimension.
[MLK: Love yourself if that means rational and healthy self-love. You are commanded to love yourself. That is the length of life. ]
            Yes, sometimes it takes a long time and longer than 4-minute Whitney Houston song to learn to love yourself.

2nd  Dimension. The precarious and broad journey.
[MLK: Love your neighbor as your love yourself. You are commanded to do that.]
            This wide journey and love of neighbor is also precarious because people may not love us in return was we wish or expect.

3rd Dimension. The high and heavenly journey.
[MLK: Never forget there is first and even greater commandment. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind. That is the height of life. Only by painstaking development of all 3 of these dimensions can you expect to live a complete life.]

            Jesus Christ was found by the Magi – the 3 Kings – on a journey that was mysterious, precarious and victorious. Jesus, the Son of God, is the Word made flesh.
            As we sing in this season:
            “Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die, born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth. Hark the Herald Angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn king’.”
            That’s the greatest love of all.
            There is no greater love than this.
[_08_]          [__fin__]      

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Got Time ? (2020-01-01 / Mary, Mother of God)

2020 January 1 _ Solemnity Mary Mother of God  _  Numbers 6:22-27  • Psalm 67 • Galatians 4:4-7 •  + Luke 2:16-21

[__01__]     Do you have time? Do I have time? Or, does time have us.
            We might feel – especially at the close of one year and the opening of a new year – that we are under the control of the hands of time, or the hands of the ticking clock.
            Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote that we are really not at the mercy of time.
            Jesus, in this sense, lived, died and rose from the dead not only to free us from sin and death but also to free us from worrying about time, or being under the control of time.
            It is paradoxical that we gain control of “time” in our lives not by perpetual motion, but by perpetual meditation, by silence.

[_02_]           Time does not equal death.

[__03__]     Nevertheless, we try to gain control of the time. One example for me was the new phone – the smartphone I obtained recently.
            I never had a smart phone before a few months ago. And, I am really impressed with the phone’s ability to calculate time..not just exactly what time it is… but to tell me exactly when the phone is going to “die”.
            Last night at 6:50 pm:  the phone will run out of battery in 1 day, 7 hours, it is 21% charged. And, if I change the battery settings to “low battery mode”, I increase the life span by several days.
            I wish I had such control of all my resources and deadlines.
            By praying and seeking silence, for example, I am reminded and something can be revealed to me about what is really “left” or what is really “inside” of my heart.   I am not saying that every moment of silence and prayer brings a profound revelations and a-ha moment of insight…but it is paradoxical that the slower I move… the more I can learn…the more I can gain control of time and what God is speaking to me about.
            The phone reminds me – in a mechanical and physical way – that slowing down has benefits. Am I not called to have the same attitude toward my prayer and prayer time with God?
            Pope Emeritus B16 wrote it this way:  “Do [men and women] make progress when they enjoy greater comfort but their hearts stand still or shrivel up?  And can a man make progress when he does not even know himself? When he has time only for what he owns and not for what he is?”  (Meditation for New Year’s Eve, ”Dogma & Preaching, p. 347)
            In this the Gospel of Luke of this this Solemnity we read that Mary, the Mother of God: “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart”
Mary – in prayer and silence – pressed PAUSE [ ▌ ▌], in order to receive and to know the gift of God through Jesus Christ to her.  Mary does not make her heart stand still… rather she pauses, makes the world “stand still” … so that she can receive  and ponder what God has given her.
In sports – basketball or soccer or NFL football – that’s how a player often “fakes out” another player. He or she is still while the others are still moving. In this regard, a surprising amount of progress can be made in just one moment of stillness.
            Mary a model of prayer for us. By saying Yes to God and to the Holy Spirit, Mary is allowing God to work through and in her.  In order to change directions – in order to make a change – we might recall that we need at least one moment of stillness.  Sometimes, more than one moment is helpful.
            We might consider as a resolution for the new year – can put aside and invest time – at least 5 to 15 minutes per day of stillness for God to work in me.  And, to consider gradually increasing that time for God to be present.

[__04__]     As we welcome a new year, I also would like to remind you of the reverence to which we are called – the respect to which we are called – for those who have lived longer and lived a greater number of years.
            Age is an asset, years are an asset, not a liability.
            Who has time? Older people have time.
            Pope Emeritus Bendict XVI wrote:
            Should not [New Year’s Eve / New Year’s Day] cause us to reflect for a moment along these lines as well? Should we not recognize and acknowledge to one another that people need not be ashamed of any stage of life … as we ring out the old year and ring in the new, should we not realize once again that, in order to be fully himself, man needs the whole of his allotted time, from childhood to old age? Should we not try to accept again more fully the entire span given to man and to develop tolerance and even appreciation for the stage of life through which each person is living, with the realization that all of us have something to offer one another?
(“Meditation for New Year’s Eve” Dogma  & Peaching, p. 349)
            B16 is stating / reminding us that we need not just youthful energy but we also need “the maturity and experience and the resigned serenity of the elderly [person] in our lives … In this period of history, when the future is the predominant concern and people therefore seek to stop the clock at a certain point, perhaps by far the most important thing we can learn is to say a wholehearted “Yes!” to older people and to our own growing old and, in so doing, accept time and the future. (“Meditation for New Year’s Eve” Dogma  & Peaching, p. 349)

[__05__]      We also need the help of others to survive and sustain ourselves in time. We need the knowledge and wisdom of others.
            Here is one such example.
            Two elderly couples are walking down the street,  the 2 women are leading the way, 2 women talking to each other  and 2 men talking to each other.
            And, 1st man says to the other: “What did  you do for New Year’s Eve?”
            The other: “We went to this great restaurant. It was amazing. The food was fantastic, the service was impeccable, the prices were great, the ambience and environment lovely…. “
            The 1st man asks, “Great, what was the name of the restaurant?”
            And, the second man says. “What is the name of that flower, that smells so lovely, it has red petals, long steam, there are thorns on the stem…. ”
            And, the 1st man says: “That would be the rose.”
            And, the 2nd man says, “Of course.”
            So, we need others to help us to remember, at every stage of life, to remember the beauty and goodness of life.
            And, in this case, just to remember.
            Because The 2nd man also says to his wife,  “of course, the rose.   HEY … ROSE…. What was the name of that restaurant?”   [__fin__]       

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Adopted. (2019-12-29, Holy Family Sunday)

29 December 2019  -- Holy Family    Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14  • Psalm 128 • Colossians 3:12-21 • + Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23  •

Title:  Adopted.

[__01__]     At Madison Square Garden and at the Prudential Center, after a period of play of ice hockey, they take out the Zamboni. The Zamboni comes out to re-surface the ice for the ice skaters of ice hockey … or for ice skating / figure skating competition, to make the ice perfectly smooth to the appearance and touch.
            From time to time, just to keep me humble and me from becoming too proud or self-absorbed or conceited, my mother will remind me of birth, when I was born. I was the first of four children in our family.
            And, I was – therefore – the first neo-natal newborn person my mother ever saw up close. And, so my mother tells me: “You were the ugliest baby I ever saw.” But, then, quickly admits that she had no perspective, no comparison and the labor and delivery team had not yet done their Zamboni resurfacing operation. I needed one of those.
            But, this is how – in appearance – it starts out with everyone. I must tell my siblings that are equal to me in this way. In any case, I do not doubt my mother’s or father’s love. I am blessed.
            This is Holy Family Sunday.

[__02__]     Nevertheless, I am not here to reflect on or compare notes on family functionality or dysfunctionality, whose family is better or worse…. but rather to say that it is… often by an apparent misunderstanding or miscomprehension that we come to greater understanding of what a family is and what love is.
            Father Ronald Knox wrote, for example, that we do not come to understand God as father strictly by noting what our fathers (dads) do or do not. Rather, we come to understand our fathers by worship and reflect on God’s love.  In this way, we also become fathers and mothers and even father-figures and mother-figures to others.
            [*** pause ***]
            While I do not like it when I did something to displease my parents (no one is the perfect child even in adulthood) – I can learn from these misunderstandings.
            We can learn that being a son – or being a daughter – in a family is a calling… it is a choice… it is love we choose to express, forgiveness we choose to share… it does not always come naturally or easily. Sometimes, it is not pretty. It may still be beautiful.
            It is a calling, something to which we are called.
            I’d like to give an example of this calling what this means for us, not just within our immediate family, but the whole family of disciples and being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

[_03_]     I’ll start with this story of a text message someone once received. I did not receive this message. I just heard about it.
            A brother sends a text message to his brother with some urgency. This is the TEXT:
Brother_1: “I have something important to tell you. Are you sitting down?”
B-2: “Yes, go ahead”
Brother-1: “I have to tell you. Mom and Dad just told me that you were adopted !  (Exclamation point).”
B-2: “Bro, I cannot believe you are texting this to me! (Exclamation point).”
Brother-1: “Oh, no, this phone and my spelling. We just heard from college-admissions – I meant “ACCEPTED” …and there’s financial aid.”
So, is it good news to be adopted? I say it is …

[__04__]     St. Paul writes this Holy Family Sunday that we are God’s chosen ones – we have been chosen, we have been adopted.
            In this regard, however we came into this world, however we may feel about our mothers and fathers, or own calling to be a mother / father, we are all ADOPTED, chosen by God.
            In 2nd Corinthians, we read: “I will be a father to you and you will be my sons and daughters” (2 Corinthians 6:18)
            Now, if you have ever heard of or experienced the legal and real child adoption process directly or indirectly, you know that the process can be complicated, complex and confusing.
            And, this adoption process calls upon the adopting parents and the children being adopted to levels of forgiveness and understanding that are truly inspirations for us.   For example, in the case of the children or the parents - they may need to let go of past hurts, let go of why they were given up for adoption, or let go of what happened along the way to adoption.
            Adoption is a reality and loving reality in the structure of the family. It reminds us that we become part of God’s family – sacramentally – through adoption. We become part of God’s family, the Church, by adoption.
We are called to love each not because we know everyone’s story or history … or even because we “like” each other… we are called to love each other, because we know that God is love, and because God loves us.
It’s not easy. It’s a long drawn out process with heartbreak and confusion.
In this regard, Jesus does not simply invite his disciples to apply to his institute or college and then give them an acceptance letter with a scholarship for his classroom or webinar… rather he adopts them, he takes custody of them, and in the end, he lays down his life for them. His adoption is also not reversible, not revocable.  His adoption is our forgiveness, our hope.

[__05__]      In 2016, there was an Academy-Award nominated movie - non-fiction based-on-true-events movie – LION, based on the autobiography “A Long Way Home”.
            It is by written by a 34-year old Australian named: Saroo. Saroo was not born in Australia, but rather in India.  As a 5-year-old boy, Saroo wanders away from his elder brother at a train station, ends up on a train going 1,000-plus miles from his home and ends up in Kolkata (Calcutta).
            Saroo is 5 and does not speak the Bengali dialect of Kolkata in eastern India. He has no identification, no way to describe where he came from. It is truly an act of mercy that he is rescued by a kind stranger who brings him to the police station who transfer him to an orphanage. A remarkably devoted adoption agency director – Mrs. Sood – searches diligently for his family, but really has no way to communicate or interview Saroo. Saroo himself does not know where he came from.
            This happens in 1987 and Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple. He grows up Australian.
            What makes his biography so remarkable is his re-connection to his birthplace and birth-mother birth-family.  
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, Saroo discovered – just like you discovered and I discovered – Google. Specifically, Google Earth satellite images. These satellites enable us to zero in on everything on the planet.
So, for years, Saroo stays up late, draws map, looks on Google Earth for his birthplace which he only knows by a vague phonetic pronunciation and not the exact spelling. And, because India is so large and densely populated, every images is a new haystack. And, his hometown is the needle. All he can reconstruct and remember is a water tower near a railway station and train platform. Since that is not very precise, it takes years of searching on Google Earth, but he does get there.

[__06__]        I could not help but notice that Saroo’s identity is defined by his ADOPTION.           
            His ADOPTION defines him. But he is not defined by this because of LUXURY …but by LOVE.  He knows that he is loved, that he is chosen.
            In a Christian sense and the sense our salvation, we also defined by an ADOPTION. Jesus Christ laid down his life for us and took custody.
            Spoiler alert: yes Saroo does find his hometown and makes it back home.
The reunion with his mother is heartwarming ,  to say the least and Saroo is eager to help and be generous the mother of his birth; she lives an impoverished life.
            Yet, Saroo completely identifies with his own ADOPTED life in Australia,
            It is also noteworthy that as these Saroo re-connects with the family of this birth, the family of his birth and certainly not his birth mother, makes no advance, to take advantage of their relatively wealthy son and brother.
            I read that Saroo sends his mother $100 per month in India. She accepts this with great reluctance. When offered the opportunity to move to Australia, she refused…
            Of course, Saroo and his adopted family could afford more, but she would not accept it. What is most important to his birth-mother is that son is alive.
            That is the most important thing to her. Nothing else matters.
[__07__]     We have received God’s grace by baptism, by the ability to confess our sins and receive Holy Communion…and in these sacramental experiences and encounter of Jesus Christ as our savior, we both receive something and we are given away.
            We are put up, raised up and sheltered by God’s love.
            Our mothers and fathers also give us away by bringing us to the sacramental moments of Baptism and Communion and all the sacraments. They do so … so that no matter how we “look” or appear on the outside, that they can rejoice.
            And, this applies in a special way to every mother, every father, every grandparent who has actually suffered the death of a child. Losing a child to death. Because, what is their hope? Their hope is that their child lives, that they will one day see their child again and in our faith we believe this.
They know that their child lives.
            Though we die, we also live.
            You and I were adopted. That’s good news.    [__fin__]