hidden image

“Let us Go to the Other Side”

Varghese Alengaden Varghese Alengaden
13 Jun 2022
The words of Jesus to his disciples in Mark 4:35, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake”

The words of Jesus to his disciples in Mark 4:35, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake” was the theme of the general synaxis of a religious congregation. As I reflected on this theme, I found it very relevant to review the way of life and mission of the Church.

The Church which is caught up with the age-old traditional routine style is very slow to experiment any new initiative. In general, people are enthusiastic to new ideas. These new ideas are not put into practice because there is unwillingness to give up the old. Knowing this mind set, Jesus spoke very categorically, “put the new wine in new wineskin”. He warned the danger of doing patch work and compromise. “If you put new wine in old wineskin, the wineskin will break and the wine will be wasted.”

Today, consecrated men and women in the Church are busy with various welfare activities and managing several educational institutions. Yet the Church is facing opposition, harassment, alienation and elimination. All the dedicated works don’t help them in getting the good will of people who believe in the negative propaganda of the anti-church forces.

Despite the negative propaganda against the Church and opposition faced by the priests and nuns, there is not only reluctance but resistance from the Church leadership to evaluate its life and work. There is resistance to go for an exposure for learning alternatives. They continue with the old ways of retreats, rituals and way of life. Hardly very little effort is made “to go to the other side”.

The unwillingness to give up the old ideas and way of life, fear of the unknown, prejudice against those who propose new alternatives and experiments often proved successful are the reasons for their resistance to take the initiative of going to the other side. But by this resistance to go for exposure and learn from new experiments by those in leadership positions deprive the community and institution of development. Members miss opportunities for personal growth.

‘Going to the other side’ also provides opportunities to learn the perspectives and opinion of others. We need to have the humility to find out what people think of our life and mission. Following the example of Jesus, we need to find out ‘what do people say about us and our work’?   Leaders need to have the courage to evaluate themselves by asking the members and people in the society, ‘what do you say about me and my way of life’?  

Regular, rather daily, introspection of oneself is the key to one’s spiritual growth. Similarly, the communities should evaluate people’s impression about them and their works? Evaluation is done with a genuine search for truth, truth about oneself and about a community. 

The unwillingness of individuals to accept a transfer from a familiar place and work is due to lack of understanding spirituality behind the words of Christ, “let us go to the other side”. Personally, I had enriched by practicing this spirituality. When I had to bear six transfers in two years, initially I too was very upset because I felt that I was given these transfer orders as punishment. However, I took every transfer as an opportunity to learn from new place and people. These transfers taught me many noble lessons and I discovered many unique blessings in all these new and unfamiliar places. Throughout my life I kept the spirit of “let us go to the other side” and I continued receiving new insights.

I wish if persons were open to explore new possibilities whenever they have to go to new places and work with new people to discover their unknown talents. I wish if those in leadership positions have the courage and openness to set aside the routine traditional practices and enable members to explore new ways of living and working in order to make the community life and mission more relevant and effective. “Let us go across to the other side”. 

Recent Posts

Election of Draupadi Murmu as the next President of India is a foregone conclusion as the BJD (Biju Janata Dal), the YSR Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have declared their support to her.
apicture Jacob Peenikaparambil
04 Jul 2022
According to Article 60 of the Constitution of India, the responsibility of the President is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution
apicture Sacaria Joseph
04 Jul 2022
In our depraved, sick society, religion seems to be the driving force for man’s inhumanity to man.
apicture Mathew John
04 Jul 2022
The Indian media today is caught in the pincer of a severe crisis marked by a lack of credibility and responsibility.
apicture Ramesh Menon
04 Jul 2022
Abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being in the womb.
apicture Bp Gerald John Mathias
04 Jul 2022
Army needs a change from the colonial to the national. But the new scheme introduced by the government does not come up to the expectations
apicture N. Kunju
04 Jul 2022
The proposed ambitious K-Rail SilverLine Project of Kerala has invited knee-jerk reactions from the public, political parties and civil society groups alike
apicture Dr. Pauly Mathew Muricken
04 Jul 2022
Effective this July 1, in line with the notification of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of 12 August 2021
apicture Aarti
04 Jul 2022
For the last 30 years, I have been speaking and writing about the urgent need of promoting practical value education in schools, especially for high-school students.
apicture Varghese Alengaden
04 Jul 2022
“Congratulations ma’am!” “Thank you! Are you congratulating me for soon becoming the first tribal president?”
apicture Robert Clements
04 Jul 2022