“We are called to seek the good of all peoples” Mr. Shemeem Khursheed

Karachi:“Seek First His Kingdom” a very informative Lenten Seminar was held on Saturday, February 25 at St. Patrick’s Boys School Ground. Mr. Shemeem Kursheed, currently the Principal of St. Patrick’s College, Karachi was the Chief Guest. His Grace, Archbishop Emeritus Evarist Pinto graced the occasion as the Guest of honour.

This seminar was offered by the Catechetical Centre in light of its mission-vision of giving needed biblical-theological-liturgical instructions to the faithful for better Lenten celebrations.

The said event was well-attended, having more than 450 participants from 10 Parishes out of 15 of the Archdiocese of Karachi. The event attendees were engaged by the presentations and dialogue. Thousands of viewers also followed the event online, as it was broadcasted live by Good News Catholic TV Network including on Youtube.

Dominican Friars together with their Lay Fraternity were responsible for the whole programme. Whereas St. James Parish saw to the practicalities of the event. The programme included speeches, interactive sessions, witnesses and a short play among others.

Fr. Arthur Charles welcomed everyone and a group of Dominicans opened the session with praise, worship and prayer.

Mr. Anwar Daniel, the president of the Dominican Lay Fraternity, gave witness from his daily life where he experienced that seeking first the Kingdom of God was so important. He said, “to seek God’s kingdom, which is his righteousness, means that one must first know God’s will, for God’s will is to be the norm of human conduct. Jesus instructs his disciples, who also need food and clothing, not to rely on their own resources but on the hospitality of those who will receive them and accept their message of the kingdom.”

Lecturer Rev. Fr. Thomas Bhatti OP reflected on the topic Seek First His Kingdom. “What does it mean to seek God’s kingdom? Why does Jesus exhort us not to be anxious? Does God call us for a special purpose?

“In the context of the Sermon on the Mount, to seek God’s kingdom essentially means to seek his righteousness, as implied by the parallelism between ‘kingdom’ and ‘righteousness’ in Jesus’ invitation to his followers: ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well’ (Mt 6:33).”

“Jesus says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Mt 6:33). With these words, Jesus is basically saying to us: Put first things first. Get connected with God. Put God first in your life and everything else will be in order. He will make our disintegrated life whole again,” said Fr. Bhatti.

A short play written and directed by a member of Dominican Lay Fraternity brought about a very clear message of seeking first the Kingdom in the current situation. It truly enthralled the audience.

To the great delight of the participants, Archbishop Emeritus Evarist Pinto spoke to them. “We are preparing for Lent, the church season before Easter where we journey with Jesus to the cross. To ‘seek first the Kingdom of God’ means that God becomes our priority, the number one in our life. He is our greatest treasure. Our whole being and all our actions are to be God-oriented. He influences all our decisions. We are to carry him in our hearts and minds wherever we go. God directs and gives meaning and joy to our lives.”

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Shemeem Kursheed said, “I express my sincere gratitude to Fr. Arthur Charles for giving me the honour to be the Chief Guest of this very important event of the Catechetical Centre. The Centre is doing a work which is of such great importance.”

While sharing his thoughts on the theme of the day he said, “Jesus teaches us that we are to “seek first God’s kingdom. This is a call to allegiance: Jesus is saying that our allegiance to God’s kingdom and God’s way of justice stands over and above our allegiance to any earthly kingdom or any worldly way of justice. And God’s kingdom transcends borders, it transcends our geographical and political boundaries, it embraces our ethnic and cultural differences. God’s kingdom includes all peoples equally: every tribe, every nation, even all creation.”

“This means that we are called to seek the good of all peoples. This means that we are called to denounce violence wherever it is found. We are called to put a spotlight on injustice and oppression, those situations where there is an imbalance of power leading to an abuse of power. Hence, we are called always to strive for the things that make for peace,” said Mr. Khursheed.

Being a true leader, Mr. Shemeem Khursheed is the heart and soul of the College. So dedicated is he to the St. Patrick’s College’s mission, that he breathes, talks, strategizes St. Patrick’s all the time. To the audience he offered various incentives. He said that St. Patrick’s College is keen to see that all students choosing it as their centre of education are satisfied with the quality of education they get, the facilities for curricular and co-curricular activities and the loving approach of the management and staff. We are adamant in our motto of proper education and discipline.

“I am very happy to inform everybody associated with this institution that we will be happy to receive ideas and suggestions from anybody for the betterment of the institution and for the benefit of students and staff. I welcome everybody to associate with us to fulfil their ambitions,” said Mr. Khursheed.

In his concluding remarks Fr. Arthur Charles, director of the Catechetical Centre, said, “God only cares that we seek first his kingdom. He has intended a special purpose for us that we perhaps fail to discern now. Many of us are likely to agree that to seek the intention of God and perform corresponding acts of righteousness is the goal of all Christians.”

Upon the conclusion of the programme, Fr. Arthur Charles thanked everyone.

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