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Monday, 22 September 2014

“No one lights a lamp and covers it with a bowl or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on the lamp-stand,..." (Lk 8:16)

“No one lights a lamp and covers it with a bowl or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on the lamp-stand, so that people will see the light as they come in.” (Lk 8:16)

Today’s Passage: Lk 8:16-18
Meditation: As we read today’s verse we get the impression that it is a universal fact that everyone lights the lamp and puts it on a lamp-stand. Of course, it has to be so; otherwise people will say what a foolish fellow he is! What is the use of the lamb then? Nevertheless, I do have some doubts about it. We say that it is universally an accepted fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west; at the same we know that there is neither sun rise nor sunset. Why am I thinking in this way? When we see the people and their talents and the way they live without making use of them, we are also but forced to think like that. Though the lamp has to be put on the lamp-stand, many a time we find it either covered by a bushel or put under abed. There can be several reasons for that like lack of encouragement, support, acceptance, resources, and so on. Some even think that they were not planted in proper land. “I had studied all these but after my marriage I was not in a position to…” some ladies murmur. There are even some who will say, “I had completed my PG, but the circumstances in the house compelled me to become a driver.” Some circumstances of life make our lamp put under the bed. But, is that the only way this verse makes us think and meditate? Is it only about our PG and other academic qualifications? Certainly, it should not be! Man is the crown of creation. The Psalmist says, “What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.” When God closes one door, makes the other door open. Therefore, it is our duty and mission to make ourselves present on the lamp-stand always. The word of God says, “Your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.” (Mt 5:16) I could have done more things in such an efficient way if I had been given such and such things. But Mother Theresa says, “In this life we cannot do always great things, but we can do small things with great love.” 
                                      
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Thank you for all the graces you are showering upon us both material and spiritual. Help us to make use of all our talents for the good of others in every way possible. It is through our good words and deeds that you are well proclaimed than our words. Mary, mother of God, you who got ready and hurried off to help your relative, guide us also to be ready always to help our brethren. Amen! 
          

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

Sunday, 21 September 2014

“Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with those who were hired last and ...” (Mt 20:8)

“Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with those who were hired last and ending with those who were hired first.” (Mt 20:8)

Today’s Passage: Mt 20:1-16
Meditation: Was it a righteous thing the landlord did to the workers who came first? “When evening came, the owner told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with those who were hired last and ending with those who were hired first.’” (Lk 8:4) The people who came at the eighth hour are still in queue while the last ones are already at home with their wages. I do remember some moments when I happened to be in queue for some or other reasons. Sometimes I found that people were very restless to admit one who was late and trying to get into the frontline, but there were also few beautiful moments where I saw people who really helping others, though they were late. In most of the cases those people who were helped were elders, disabled, or women. They thought that these peoples deserved it in its real sense and were allowed to go early. And here, what did it happen to the workers of the vineyard? According to the workers who came first, these last ones don’t deserve any special consideration and even they should not be given a full day’s wage. When people knew that the other one deserved they proved themselves very kind, generous, and helping. Therefore, the main problem is that often we know only their names not their stories. We mortals are only capable of making judgments seeing the outward appearances of others (1Sam 16:7). Why should this landlord call these people who were wasting their time throughout the day doing nothing? Was it not a waste too? Do you believe that these lazy people will work hard eight times more than the first ones and prove themselves profitable? I don’t hope so. Then, it really goes beyond our judgment and justification. Like Job let us also lay our hands on our mouths (Job 40:4) and listen to his true judgment. He is the one God “who makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil.” (Mt 5:45) 
                          
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. It is marvelous to know that you raise the lowly without belittling the other and there begins our Christian joy. With this joy let us sing the song of thanksgiving today and throughout our life, “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” (Ps 136:1)  Amen!


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

Saturday, 20 September 2014

“People kept on coming to Jesus from one town after another; and when a great crowd gathered Jesus this parable.” (Lk 8:4)

“People kept on coming to Jesus from one town after another; and when a great crowd gathered Jesus this parable.” (Lk 8:4)

Today’s Passage: Lk 8:4-15
Meditation: People kept on coming to Jesus from town after another. Why did they keep on coming to Jesus? Is it because of his healing power? It can be! But we find just before this passage Jesus forgiving the sinner woman and several women following him surrendering all what they had. Then, of course all the reason we have to think that they were not coming only to get healed, but to hear the word of the Lord too. See! How naturally Jesus behaves. When Jesus saw a great crowd around him he spoke this parable. What was it about? It was about the kingdom of God. He had no other themes except God the father, the kingdom of God and its values. A very interesting personality Jesus is! Whatever people ask him, Jesus has only one answer: “the Father.” Where have you come from? “I am coming from my father.” Where are you going to? “I am going to my father.” What are you doing then? “I am doing the work and the will of my father.” What are you saying? “I am saying nothing of my own, but what I learned from my father.” Is it not quite interesting? It is this authenticity I hope, that attracted the large crowd always. It is this same authenticity St. Paul kept throughout his life and that caused the beginning of many early Christian communities/churches. “I have been put to death with Christ on his cross, so that it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20) He asks the Christians, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? If he is not in you, indeed then, you fail to pass the test!” (2 Cor 13:5) What a marvelous zeal! Even today wherever the word of God is preached in its purity and authenticity there you will find people flowing in large numbers. “The time is surely coming, says the Lord God, when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” (Amos 8:11) Am I ready to give the word of the Lord like Jesus and St. Paul? -  Unless, indeed then, people will find out their own places where they get the word of the Lord in its abundance. Remember all our houses, buildings, institutions, and churches are more attractive than ever! Lord, have mercy on us! 
              
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Once again I pray: Make me an instrument of your message and kingdom, wherever I go and whomever I meet. And also give me the openness to appreciate the ministries of others like St. Paul who said, “It doesn’t matter! I am happy about it – so long is Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives.” Amen!


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

Friday, 19 September 2014

“Jesus travelled through towns and villages, preaching the Good News about the kingdom of God.” (Lk 8:1)

“Jesus travelled through towns and villages, preaching the Good News about the kingdom of God.” (Lk 8:1)


Today’s Passage: Lk 8:1-3
Meditation: Compared to our olden days the new generation is in a way on journey. They make a lot of pilgrimages, sightseeing, and pleasure trips whenever they get some few days free. Of course it has got a very good impact on our mental health and personality; through seeing diverse places, interacting with different people, understanding many and varied cultures and so on. Even otherwise due to profession and higher studies people are out from their land. In my childhood we were looking for vacation days to go to our mother’s/uncle’s house, only some 18 km away from our home, but that was our main tour and outing. Today I myself am far away from my hometown and working in another state. On those days Jesus was also travelling through towns and villages; from Galilee to Jerusalem through Samaria mostly on foot. He might have enjoyed the Sea of Galilee, the calmness of Mount Tabor, liveliness of the Capernaum town, ordinariness of the village Nain, the Judean desert and so on. It is well and good; however, what was the purpose of his journeys through villages and towns? All evangelists like Luke unanimously testify that it was in view of preaching the word of God/ the message of the kingdom of God. We are all apostles and missionaries and wherever we are sent we have the mission to impart and proclaim the word of God. Last month I came to know about a professor who is teaching here in a university college. He along with his group of thirty came to our pastoral centre and asked for a hall to pray. He is originally from Andhra Pradesh but at present he is working here. Since his coming here regularly on every Sunday he gathers the people whom he introduced Jesus in a particular place and make praise and worship, preaching, and sharing. A man out of his conviction gathers people and preaches the kingdom of God in his own way. Do we really make use of the conveniences or opportunities we have to preach the kingdom of God? “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Rom 10:15)                                                                                    
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Make me an instrument of your message and kingdom, wherever I go and whomever I meet. And also give me the openness to appreciate the ministries of others like St. Paul who said, “It doesn’t matter! I am happy about it – so long is Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives.” Amen!


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

Thursday, 18 September 2014

“A Pharisee invited Jesus to have dinner with him and Jesus went to his house and sat down to eat.” (Lk 7:36)

“A Pharisee invited Jesus to have dinner with him and Jesus went to his house and sat down to eat.” (Lk 7:36) 

Today’s Passage: Lk 7:36-50 
Meditation:  A simple page from the ordinary life of Jesus becomes the focus of our meditation today. Jesus is invited by a Pharisee and is right there at the table. But, an uninvited guest turned everything upside down. The Pharisee Simon might have thought of giving a dinner and thereby enter into the good list of Jesus. Now, however, it is not the dinner that matters but the host and the guests. See, Jesus, on a simple invitation, is there right at the table. Of course, when we think of his incarnation, some may think that there is nothing to be specially noted. But I think there is something more to be taken into our consideration. (1) Who is coming to the house of Simon the Pharisee? It is Jesus the Son of God who knows everything even the secret thoughts of man. Here, Jesus is asking Simon a question knowing what he was thinking in mind. Psalmist says, “Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.” (Ps 139:4) We invite Jesus into our homes through our prayers and sacraments. When we listen to the word of God, receive Holy Communion, and go for confession, Jesus is invited by us. Do I really believe that Jesus who has come to me is really the Son of God? (2)  Is he invited only to your house and for meals, not to your heart? Jesus can be invited only to your externals like Simon. He was not ready to receive him into his heart. He had really contempt for Jesus, “If he were a prophet, he would know who this woman is who is touching him; he would know what kind of sinful life she lives.” (Lk 7:39) In our time, people are inviting Jesus to their wealth, health, beauty and property that they may be protected. Nevertheless, he will not be invited to their heart and life that they may be sanctified. You are so enthusiastic in prayer when your property, health, or beauty is lost. But at the same time you are so disinterested when you lose holiness, and honesty etc. Lord God wants your “first love” not your offerings.                                                                          
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Many a time, you had been invited to my house and properties, but never to my heart just like the Pharisee Simon. Unless you enter into my heart my invitation and your visit will be useless. Some of our celebrations also become mere invitation to our pomp and show. Our feasts become sign of curse rather than blessing. O Jesus! Help us to prepare ourselves to receive you into my heart and soul. Amen!   


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