In order to understand this text well we will deal with the entire pericope starting from verse 1 -14. We are now in the fourth of the five great discourses of Matthew. Chapter 18 is the community discourse addressed to Peter and the disciples and broadly deals with community relations.

The text opens with the disciples asking Jesus who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. The entire pericope must now be seen on the basis of this question and not through a modern day application of issues or our own interpretation.

This question asked by the disciples is a bit of an oddity. You won’t be asking this question when twice before this; in rapid succession (Matthew 16:21-23 and 17:22-23) Jesus has declared his passion death and resurrection.  Perhaps what was bogging the minds of the disciples was the primacy of Peter, for Jesus in Chapter 16: 16- 19 had declared him to be ‘the rock’ and now the others wanted to know where they stood on the charts of power.

Jesus places a child in their presence as an answer to their question. They were driven by the desire to be given status and Jesus clearly demands that they change their mindset. Using a double negative he insists they will never enter the kingdom of heaven if they are driven by such earthly titles and honours.

Children, in first century Palestine were considered the lowest on the social strata. While they were loved and cared for they certainly had no rights. Jesus was not asking the disciples to emulate the faith of child but rather become like a child who has no rights. In verse five, Jesus humbles himself  identifying with a child who has no power and wants the disciples to do the same.

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The traversing Bombay Seminary was transferred to Surat by Bishop Hartmann. This exile is mentioned in The Examiner of December 16, 1852, in the following words: ‘On December 14th, the orphanage was opened at Parel, the ecclesiastical students having already re-moved at Surat, where our Seminary will henceforth remain.’

However, within two years the rolling stone found its way back home due to the changes taking place in the Vicariate of Bombay. Bishop Hartmann welcomed religious personnel other than the Carmelites – namely the Capuchins and the Jesuits. This favourable initiative led to some unfavourable events that ended the Carmelite administration of the Vicariate in 1853 (after more than a hundred years of service). The Capuchins too pulled out and left the Bombay – Poona Vicariate into the hands of the Jesuits in 1858!

Fr. Thomas of the Passion was the last Carmelite Rector of the Seminary. In April 1853, his post was taken by the Capuchin Fr. Fulgentius. Before the end of 1854, Fr Fulgentius was transferred back to Bombay to build the preaching ministry. The future of the Seminary now hung in the balance. On January 2, 1855, Hartmann in desperation wrote: ‘I have nobody (among the Capuchins) for the Seminary; I shall have to hand it over to the Jesuits, a number of whom are shortly coming.’

Thus a fresh chapter reopened in the history of the Bombay Seminary – this was its journey with the Jesuits.

In February 1855 the Bombay Seminary returned home to the little town popular to date in the annals of Catholicism – Bandra. The Seminary was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was housed within St Peter’s Church building.

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Sunday – 19th Sunday in Ordinary time – Matthew 14:22-33

Today we celebrate Vianney Sunday and I would like to take the Gospel of today and dove tail it with the celebrations of clergy day that we celebrate across the world. I will do this in the form of a meditation.

THE LORD: The Gospel text begins with Jesus withdrawing into the mountains to pray. Prayer and solitude were an integral part of Jesus’ life but this time his desire to be alone in prayer was tinged with sadness. Chapter 14 begins with the narrative of the beheading of John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus. Immediately after this Jesus found himself thronged by people in the wilderness who were spiritually and physically hungry. There was no time to grieve. So, he fed the five thousand and with a heart that was still grieving he went to the mountains where he prayed.

HIS PRIEST: My life must be a mirror of you Lord; the servant cannot be greater than the master. Many times, I too hold back my own emotional needs to meet the needs of those entrusted to my care. Like you Lord, I find the harvest great and the labourers disappearing. I am human Lord, I struggle with my own ups and downs and there is no one to help me pick up my shattered heart, there is no time to deal with it, so I sweep them under the carpet. Where do I find my solitude? Like you Lord I have to find some time to be alone to find strength in prayer and snatch a few moments of silence.

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It is a fact that many people love Eggs especially for breakfast, and then some detest them. My husband loves eggs served to him at any time of the day. My mom on the other hand loves a fair hit of green chillies in her omelette to help her mentally get over that eggy edge.

As one of the most affordable sources of protein most of us except if fully vegetarian by choice, have eaten eggs in some form or the other. It is the key to a well-risen cake or soufflé. Mixed in with cream and cheese to make that scrumptious quiche. Those golden yolks are gently beaten with sugar for luscious custards and lemon curd. Egg whites are whipped until fluffy to make meringues and mousses. 

A combination of the white and yolk or the full egg is beaten and brushed gently as a final layer on top of all types of artisan bread, pies, puffs, and pastries creating that beautiful golden crust. Its uses are endless.

Eggs are also used as emulsifiers, for example in the making mayonnaise and salad dressings. Used as a thickener for soups, and a binder for all sorts of delicious cutlets and crumbs.

Boiled, fried, poached, scrambled, baked, or pickled I love eggs but like with everything in life I eat them in moderation and organic or local when possible. 

Eggs come in many sizes, types, and colours. They have been part of religious symbolism and traditions for many cultures all over the world. A sign of fertility, immortality, sacrifice, birth, and rebirth. But before we get into a little more detail on this let me fill you in on some interesting facts I have read about eggs.

 

Interesting facts.

– The egg carton was invented by Joseph Coyle in, British Colombia to solve a dispute about broken eggs between a farmer and a hotel owner. The first egg cartons were made of paper.

– Yolk colour is dependent on the diet of the hen. That bright yellow, orange or red yolk comes from feeding the hen yellow corn, marigold petals or red peppers. The yolk could be almost colour less without an orange or yellow plant pigment feed.

– Peeling a cooked egg is easiest when the egg is put into boiling water rather than heating the egg from the start in cold water. Once cooked, lightly crack the top and bottom and then proceed to roll the sides on a flat surface. This helps the eggshell to slide out easily as a whole.

– Washing an egg shortens the length of its freshness. However, in some countries, it is mandatory to wash an egg before it is sold to the consumer.

– Fresh eggs have cloudy whites and are more difficult to peel than older eggs. This is because the “air cell” surrounding the inside of the shell increases over time.

– The largest recorded egg was laid by a hen named Harriet, in Essex. It was 9.1 inches in circumference.

-The Araucana chicken a native of Chile, can lay different coloured eggs. Blue, green, brown, and pink. It is also known as the Easter egg chicken.

Human beings have consumed eggs since the beginning of time. Quail, Ostrich, Pheasants, Pigeons, Emu, Turkey, Peafowl, Partridge, and Guinea fowl. The most popular being Hen, Duck, Geese, and Quail eggs. 

A celebration of eggs…traditionally, religiously, and artistically.

-French brides in the past broke an egg at the doorstep before entering their new home for luck and fertility.

– The Jews serve eggs at Passover as a symbol of sacrifice and rebirth.

– Easter eggs are dyed or painted as part of an age-old tradition in Europe.

– The Chinese and certain tribes around the world use chicken eggs at ceremonies to predict the future.

– In Hungary and Romania wooden eggs are painted as motifs of the Christian Easter story.

– In Russia, the Czars had special Easter eggs made by the famous jeweler, Carl Fabergé at the beginning of the 20th century.

– Easter egg hunts and parades are common in most countries around the world and so are the traditions of egg knocking and egg rolling.

Shakshuka.

 Shakshuka is a family favourite! The dish loosely translated means ‘all mixed up’.

 It is a mildly spiced North African/ Middle Eastern baked dish of eggs poached in a tomato-based sauce and is usually served in the pan it is cooked in. Eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner it is served with warm crusty bread or Pita that is used to dip in the sauce and the traditionally soft-cooked egg.

Nowadays this dish has become a popular part of menus at most breakfast cafes and restaurants. Each serving their version of the dish.

Here is mine and it does not involve an oven.

Ingredients

Olive oil- 2tbsp

Onion -1 Large, chopped

Red bell pepper-1, chopped or chunky

Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic- 4 cloves finely chopped or grated

Paprika-to taste

Pepper or chilli flakes to taste

Dried or fresh Thyme- a pinch

Tomatoes- 1 large can, crushed or whole

Parsley-Chopped, to top

4-5 Fresh eggs

Feta- crumbled, to top 

Warm the oil in the pan on medium heat.

Add the garlic, thyme, and chilli flakes. (Most people add this later, but I like to add it first to flavour the oil.) Followed by the onion and salt, and cook till the onions are translucent. Throw in the diced peppers and cook for a quick minute.

Don’t let the peppers cook for more than a minute or you end up with a mushy mess. I personally like them crunchy.

 Pour in the crushed tomatoes and reduce the heat. If using whole tomatoes allow the sauce to cook longer so that the tomatoes break down to a chunky mix and come back to a simmer. Add the paprika and pepper.

Now using the back of the tablespoon make around 4-5 wells in your tomato sauce and gently crack open the eggs into these spaces. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and continue to cook on a low flame.

It is at this point you must decide how you like your eggs. Some people prefer them runny, others opaque white and with a little wobble in the yolk, and some liked it cooked further.

Whatever you decide please keep in mind that the eggs will continue to cook with the residual heat in the pan. So always switch off the flame a little earlier.

Toppings are your choice. Parsley, crumbled feta, slightly smashed Greek olives, or even some more red chilly flakes. 

Enjoy with some warm, toasted bread or pita.

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I make this at home and make it in bulk. Once made it stores in the refrigerator forever. I do not use any food colouring for this recipe. This is perfect for pork chops with a series of other ingredients and for schezwan dishes. You can also use it as a dipping sauce. Do not change the recipe or the ingredients.

Onions – 500 grams
Garlic – 200 grams (after cleaning)
Ginger – 50 grams
Celery stalks – 100 grams
Tomato sauce – 250 grams
Kashmiri chillies – 100 grams
Soya sauce – 6 tbsp
Vinegar – one tbsp
Ajinomoto – 1 tsp
Salt – 2 tbsp
Oil – 300 ml

Finely chop onions, garlic, ginger and celery. Soak the Kashmiri chillies in hot water for two minutes. This enhances the colour and softens the skin. Grind this with water to form a thick paste.

In a nonstick deep dish add all the oil and fry the onions till they are translucent. Please do not brown the onions. Add the ginger and garlic and cook out the raw flavours . Now add the celery and cook for two minutes. Add the chilli paste, stir well and add half a cup of water and cook this for the next ten minutes. Add soya sauce, tomato sauce, vinegar and salt. If need be add more oil and cook on a low heat for the next ten minutes. You will notice the colour deepens. The excess oil helps in the preservation. Finish with ajinomoto

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