Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Journey 332

Read: Mathew 2: 16-18
      For many of us the motto in life is “ I need to be always in the centre of the universe”. To be in the centre of the universe, I always need to be in the limelight or to be in the centre of attraction. This is becoming very rampant in the life style of many individuals. These are the kind  people who want to be “the baby during the baptism, the bride during the wedding, and the dead body during the funeral service”- wanting everybody’s attention on themselves. This is true not only about many of us but also those who work especially in the media, trying by hook or crook to get popular rating for their programmes. So you have number of reality shows on Indian TV that has a famous personality from the film fraternity or cultural icons gracing certain shows so as to boost ratings of the show. Some even go to very absurd extent to boost not only their ratings but also to communicate the so called variety that is present in their programmes. One of the channel station in Australia, 2Day FM is now on the news world wide, not for any positive reason but for going to the most nasty way of playing a prank in the name of fun and popularity but which now has cost the life of an nurse who is of an Indian origin in England. It is not the first time that the Sydney radio station 2Day FM is in in the news for all the wrong reasons. They have been reprimanded a few times earlier for breaking certain code of conduct that should be exercised by the media personnel. The latest prank that went horribly wrong was when the DJ of this radio station Mel Grieg and Michael Christian phoned the King Edward VII Hospital in London posing themselves as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, and wanting to talk to Duchess of Cambridge, who was admitted in the hospital. The Duchess was pregnant and the DJ’s posing as the members of the royal family, wanted to know her welfare. Jacintha Saldhana the duty nurse answered the call and she put the pair on to duchess’s nurse who unknowingly revealed the medical details of the pregnant duchess. With their prank call being successful both the DJ’s promoted the stunt and also described their stunt   “as the prank call the world is talking about”. Not only that both the DJ’s bragged about their prank call on Twitter. When the hospital authorities realized that the DJ’s and the radio station has played a hoax on them they condemned this whole episode as a  foolish prank. But that is when disaster struck. The concerned nurse in this prank incident, Jacintha Saldhana was found dead last Friday, having apparently committing suicide. Though the hospital authorities were very supportive of the nurse at this critical times, people are all shocked at how a prank and hoax played by two DJ’s just to shoot the rating of their programmes, cost the life of an innocent nurse.  The death of this nurse points certain to certain hard and painful truth about how people today are concerned only about their image, their work, popularity and their prospects. People who are willing to  go to any extent, willing to do the most heinous acts or stoop down to any derogatory level as long as they are able to achieve fame, money and popularity that will boost their ego, even if it means trampling on the feelings and privacy of others. This advent season, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord, one of the important changes that we all could is to consciously crucify our self, crucify the sadistic desire for fame and popularity and consciously create a life style that is centered on others than us.
                  We are meditating on the theme “Transformed Living” and the portion that we shall use for our meditation is from Mathew 2: 16– 18. This is an advent reading where we find the character of Herod who display similar qualities that of the prankster in the radio station. A person who was an egomaniac, who was only concerned about his fame and popularity and moreover someone who wanted to hang on to power either through hook or crook. Though there are several Herod’s mentioned in the bible, the Herod in this portion is one who is sadistic of all. When he is promoted to be the king, his craving for absolute power made him a murderer. He kills most of his relatives without any feeling of guilt as his only one motto is to be the King of the Jews. When he hears the news about the birth of a baby boy who would be the future king, he is very cool and calculative and schemes the devilish plan to hold on to power and kingdom– the devilish act of exterminating infants. A king who is worried about infants, a king who feels threatened by birth of infants, goes to the cruel extent of murdering hundreds of infants, with the evil intention that he needs to be King for the rest of his life and have absolute power through out his life. As somebody said “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.  Looking into our world I think we have lots of modern day Herod. The  mad craze for power, fame and popularity transcends language, culture and religious barriers. I think we are sometime are more horrifying and hypocrites than Herod. Herod publically acknowledged that he will not submit to the authority of the king that was born-Jesus Christ, but we Christians who claim loyalty and commitment to our Lord have the most subtle way to keep the Lord away from our life and focus all our attention, authority and power  on ourselves. Though we claim verbally that Jesus is the Lord of our life, our actions show that it is only “I ” who is the lord of my life and I will not allow any one to control me neither will I submit or humble myself to another. There are lots of individuals who find it very difficult to submit to authority figures, even if it is their parents, their boss, their parish priest or a clergy to his bishop….the list goes on. This Christmas let us remove from our life the attitude of Herod, where life is not all about fame and popularity, life is not about trying all the means to keep ourselves on the center of the universe and attraction. It is when we learn to crucify our self, learn to humble ourselves, that our Lord is truly born in us and He becomes the Lord of our lives.


Rev. Dr. Joe Joseph Kuruvilla