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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

“Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then Jesus and his disciples went on to another village.” (Lk 9:55)

“Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then Jesus and his disciples went on to another village.” (Lk 9:55)


Today’s Passage: Lk 9:51-56
Meditation: In the gospel of Mathew we find Jesus on his way to Jerusalem turning round and rebuking Peter, “Get away from me Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don’t come from God, but from man.” (Mt 16:23) Peter was rebuked for he was an obstacle on his way to Jerusalem. Why did Jesus then in today’s passage turn and rebuke his disciples James and John? It was really the villagers of Samaria who did not receive him or stop his way to Jerusalem. What the disciples did may be compared to the action of Jesus. But is that correct to say what the disciples did is the same as what Jesus did? It simply reminds me of the two doubts put forward by Zachariah and Mary and God’s response to them; one is seemingly ‘punished’ and the other glorified. One is accepted and the other one rejected. In today’s passage the Samaritan villagers who blocked Jesus’ way were not punished or rebuked but the disciples who questioned the villagers. What is the difference between the actions of the villagers and the disciples? It seems to me that the action of the villagers was not a premeditated one; a natural reaction between the Samaritans and the Jews for ‘the Jews will have nothing to do with the Samaritans’ (Jn 4:9) But this was not the case with Peter or the disciples. They are to be united with him and follow him everywhere in every way possible. John will say, “This is how we can be sure that we are in union with God; whoever says that he remains in union with God should live just as Jesus Christ lived.” (1Jn 1:5) This is also the reason why some of the weaknesses of the sinners and tax collectors were tolerated and of the Pharisees and teachers of the law were not tolerated. (Mt 23) The Lord says, “Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given” (Lk 12:48) Yes, more patience, forgiveness, and kindness is required from the disciples than the poor villagers; from me than from others who have not even known Jesus.
                                            
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord Jesus, many a time we have compared ourselves with the ignorant ones. Our deeds and words were like that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. But we know today that our vocation is higher than these people not only in our rights but also in our responsibilities of witnessing you and your values. Give us your Spirit and lead us in the right path. Amen! 
                

Greetings:  Take courage! God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Tuesday…   

Monday, 29 September 2014

“Jesus answered, ‘I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you.” (Jn 1:48)

“Jesus answered, ‘I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you.” (Jn 1:48)

Today’s Passage: Jn 1:43-51
Meditation: “Jesus answered, ‘I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you.” (Jn 1:48) The immediate response of Nathanael to this was, “Teacher, you are the Son of God! You are the king of Israel!” He might have thought that nobody except God could know of his secret/private life. We read in the book of Samuel that mortals can see only the outward appearance whereas God looks into the heart of man. (1 Sam 16:7) It reminds me also of the testimony of the Samaritan woman, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” (Jn 4:29) Yes, the revelation of my past doings by someone, it has to do something with the divine knowledge. As the reminding of my past life may lead me to God’s presence, the presence of God also can lead me to think of my past life. Therefore, after the miraculous catch of fish Peter asks Jesus to go away from him for he knew that he was a sinner. (Lk 5:8) Psalmist says, “Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.” (Ps 139:4) That means he knows also of my future. Jesus says to Judas, “Be quick about what you are doing!” (Jn 13:27) Only he knows who and what I am in its complete sense for “he is the same yesterday, today and forever,” (Heb 13:7) and ‘he is the first and the last; who is, who was, and who is to come.’ (Rev 1:8) That is why it is said that being before the Lord is more than being before the mirror. It makes you go back to your past life as well as look forward with a renewed spirit. St. Paul rightly puts it when he says, “I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself.” (Phil 3:12) Let us “walk before him and be blameless.” (Gen 17:1) This is what God wanted from Abraham and today wants from me and you.
                       
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord Jesus, we do not know how to answer you for you know everything what we are. Like Peter we too repent on our sins and confess we are unworthy to be before you. But at the same we know for sure that it is this unworthiness that made us come to you and you to us. Lord, thank you for all what you have been to us. Amen! 
                

Greetings:  Take courage! God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Monday…   

Sunday, 28 September 2014

“Even when you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” (Mt 21:28-32)

“Even when you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” (Mt 21:28-32)

Today’s Passage: Mt 21:28-32
Meditation: The message of today’s parable is very apparent as we understand it from the immediate response of Jesus’ listeners. When Jesus asked people after the parable, “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” They all answered, “The elder one.” That means the parable was effectively communicated to them. But the problem arose when Jesus applied the message to their life and life situations, i.e., the repentant tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before the Pharisees and the Scribes. Now Jesus is directly turning to them, “Even when you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” On this verse we will concentrate today our meditation. On Jesus’ question as to “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” They all without doubt answered, “The elder one.” It shows also that it is very easy to judge others and their deeds. We often do the same in our life too. But counting other people’s sins doesn’t ever make me a saint. It is only my repentance and returning back to the ever merciful and loving father that makes me the child of God. Therefore, we have to learn anew what the word of God speaks to you and me through this verse. Jesus himself says, “Is it not this reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?” (Mk 12:24) What all things happen in and around us, both positive and negative, are all come under the plan of God. Nothing happens in our lives without his knowledge. All these are either lessons or warnings or models to our lives. If we do not learn properly from the experiences of these people, like the Pharisees, we too will hear the judgment from Jesus, “Even when you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” (Mt 21:32) Therefore, it is not the time to judge the two sons as to who of the two was really obedient to his father or not, rather it is the time for us to review ourselves and see whether ‘I am serving and loving the Lord with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my might’ (Dt 6:4) or not. 
           
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Let us remember that counting other people’s sins doesn’t ever make me a saint. It is only my repentance and returning back to the ever merciful and loving father that makes me the child of God. Let the Holy Spirit make us repentant on our sins and confess them before and our brethren. Amen! 
                

Greetings:  Take courage! God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Sunday…   

Saturday, 27 September 2014

“The Son of Man is going to be handed over to the power of men.’ But the disciples did not know what this meant.” (Lk 9:44b, 45)

“The Son of Man is going to be handed over to the power of men.’ But the disciples did not know what this meant.” (Lk 9:44b, 45)



Today’s Passage: Lk 9:43b-45
Meditation: It is something a natural reaction from the disciples. After seeing the works of Jesus the people were still marveling at Jesus. (Lk 9:43b) And Jesus’ disciples also might have felt the same. Now comes Jesus’ reminder, “‘don’t forget what I am about to tell you! The Son of Man is going to be handed over to the power of men.’ But the disciples did not know what this meant.” (Lk 9:44b, 45) How can they understand this? A man who is doing great things, even miracles and wonders, is all on a sudden going to be handed over to the power of men. “It is impossible!” they might have thought. The people who enjoyed the miracle of feeding the five thousand now want Jesus to be their king, someone who will liberate them from the roman domination. But after some time when they heard Jesus saying he is the bread from heaven, they asked, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” They could not understand him and some of them turned back and would not go with him anymore. (Jn 6) Do you remember what had happened on Jesus’ trial? The people who cried out Hosanna to the Son of David are now shouting “Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!” (Jn 19:15) Why this change? It may be because they expected a political Messiah in Jesus Christ, but now he has become silent before Pilate. Who needs a silent and pathetic man! They cried out in loud voice, “Kill him! Set free Barabbas for us!” (Lk 23:18 – Barabbas had been put in prison for a riot that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) It doesn’t matter whether you are a saint or sinner, but should be dominant and powerful. Therefore, there is no other way but reject weak and fragile Jesus and accept the strong man Barabbas. Do I realize that I am doing the same thing as these people whenever I go after the power and money of this world and go away from the prayer life or sacramental life? Once again comes Jesus’ reminder ‘don’t forget what I have told you today!’  
          
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. O Jesus, I trust in you and in your everlasting forgiving love manifested on the cross. We are easily tempted to follow you who perform miracles and wonders for us than one who was crucified for us and our sins. How can we love the crosses and sufferings in our lives without loving you, the crucified one? O Holy Cross, we come to you with our own daily crosses, help us to love and bear them. Amen! 
                 

Greetings:  Take courage! God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Saturday…   

Friday, 26 September 2014

“Then he gave them strict orders not to tell this anyone. He also said to them, ‘The Son of Man must suffer much…” (Lk 9:21, 22)

“Then he gave them strict orders not to tell this anyone. He also said to them, ‘The Son of Man must suffer much… but three days later he will be raised to life.’” (Lk 9:21, 22)



Today’s Passage: Lk 9:18-22
Meditation: We all know the context of the verse that it is just after the declaration of Peter about Jesus, “You are Messiah.”  (Lk 9:20) Why did Jesus then stop them from telling this truth to anyone? Humanly speaking, normally people like to be praised and exalted before others. But at the same time we find also Jesus after his resurrection sending his disciples ‘to proclaim him and God’s kingdom to all nations.’ (Lk 24:47) Is it not the same Jesus asking them today not to tell anyone that he is God’s messiah? In one sense yes, he is one and the same Jesus, but in another sense he is not the same Messiah. It is because of this difference that they were asked not to announce him as messiah before others. Bible scholars unanimously say that the idea of God’s Messiah Peter had at the time of proclamation was may be only of “a God’s anointed one” or “a political messiah.” The reason behind this is that they could see in Jesus through his miracles and wonders “a political messiah” who would liberate them from the roman domination. That is why ‘they tried to make him a king after the miracle of the feeding of five thousand people.’ (Jn 6:15) If this is the idea of God’s Messiah that the disciples are going to give to people, then the people will be misled. Therefore, Jesus wanted to correct their understanding of God’s Messiah to the real Messiah. He began to teach them, “The Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. He will be put to death, but three days later he will be raised to life.” (Lk 9:21, 22) We know that what happened at the foot of the cross of Jesus. “The army officer who was standing there in front of the cross saw how Jesus had died. ‘This man was really Son of God!’ he said.” (Mk 15:39) Have I really understood Jesus, the Son of God? Or do I have the same idea of Peter after the miracles and wonders of Jesus? The one who has not understood Jesus the crucified and resurrected cannot understand Jesus the Son of God; he seeks in his life only the wonder worker Jesus. Am I really equipped to proclaim Jesus, the Son of God?                                                            
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. O Jesus, I trust in you and in your everlasting forgiving love manifested on the cross. We are easily tempted to follow you who perform miracles and wonders for us than one who was crucified for us and our sins. How can we love the crosses and sufferings in our lives without loving you, the crucified one? O Holy Cross, we come to you with our own daily crosses, help us to love and bear them. Amen!                  

Greetings:  Take courage! God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Friday…