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Thursday, 29 January 2015

“Does anyone ever bring in a lamp and put it under a bowl or under the bed? Doesn't he put it on the lamp-stand? ” (Mk 4:21)

“Does anyone ever bring in a lamp and put it under a bowl or under the bed? Doesn't he put it on the lamp-stand? ” (Mk 4:21)   
  
Today’s Passages: Mk 4:21-25; Heb 10:19-25
Meditation: Today’s meditation verse invites us to be aware of the mission and vocation of our Christian life. It is clearly and powerfully communicated through an allegory of a lamp and lamp-stand. So, we see first the purpose of those objects used in this allegory. The very nature of lamp is to shine and give light to the adjacent area and people. The purpose of lamp-stand is to carry the lamp on higher level that the light may be useful for wider circle.

“Does anyone ever bring in a lamp and put it under a bowl or under the bed? Doesn't he put it on the lamp-stand? ” (Mk 4:21) It is something like an exclamation. It seems to mean that it is foolish or useless to keep the lamp under a bowl or bed. Instead, one should keep it on the lamp-stand. It is, then, very clear to everyone without much interpretation. Yes, indeed! However, Jesus wants to say something more to us, for our life today.

It becomes clearer in the light of the last verse where we read, “The person who has something will be given more, and the person who has nothing will have taken away from him even the little he has.” (Mk 4:25) Jesus wants to say, then, that each one’s life is a gratuitous gift and it must be shared with others. There is a saying, “Your talent God’s gift to you; what you do with it your gift back to God.” When we share these gifts with others God will continue to bless us abundantly.

The second reading rightly reminds us the same, “Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to be good.” (Heb 10:24) Here we find the meaning of the allegory of the lamp and the lamp-stand in our Christian life. Instead, if we hide and cover our talents, our life will be of no use. John the Baptist says, “The axe is ready to cut down the trees at the roots; every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Mt 3:10) Let our life be a lamp to our brethren!

Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. We acknowledge that our life is only your gratuitous gift. Unless and until this gift is shared, it remains like the grain kept in the barn unable to produce fruits. Like the lamp placed on the lamp-stand, let our life also be offered for others. We ask for this grace through Christ our Lord. Amen!


Greetings: God is with you! Have a blissful Thursday!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

“They may look and look, yet not see; they may listen and listen, yet not understand. For, if they did, ...” (Mk 4:12)

 “They may look and look, yet not see; they may listen and listen, yet not understand. For, if they did, they would turn to God, and he would forgive them.” (Mk 4:12)

  
Today’s Passages: Mk 4:1-20; Heb 10:11-18
Meditation: In today’s readings we hear about some of our human inadequacies or limitations. The first one is from the letter to the Hebrews where it says, “Every Jewish priest performs his services every day and offers the same sacrifices many times; but these sacrifices can never take away sins.” (Heb 10:11) The second one is from the gospel of Mark where it tells, “They may look and look, yet not see; they may listen and listen, and yet do not understand. For, if they did, they would turn to God, and he would forgive them.” (Mk 4:12)

As we celebrate today the feast of great philosopher-theologian St. Thomas Aquinas, the above read passages have got special meaning and relevance. St. Thomas did believe that faith and reason are not two poles, but they go together hand in hand; perhaps faith has got an upper hand on reason. He says, “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To the one without faith, no explanation is possible.” The message we heard from Pope emeritus Benedict XVI through his encyclical Lumen Fidei, proves the same; “The faith illumines every aspects of human knowledge.”

Both of them convey that our human inadequacies could be corrected and perfected through faith. The confession of Peter underlines this fact, “Lord, to whom, would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. And now we believe and know that you are the Holy One who has come from God.” (Jn 6:68, 69) It is very important to note what he says – “now we believe and know.” Because, it is God who makes you understand the things.

It is quite interesting to note that the very people who reject and despise faith and God as unreasonable, and praise the inventions of the modern sciences, gropes in the darkness as they find the great scientific achievements began with simple hypotheses. There are great many scientists who opened new horizons of knowledge keeping their in God. Let all our pursuit of knowledge be on our knees that they be perfect and clear.

Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. The word of the Lord says, “‘This is the covenant that I will make with them in the days to come,’ says the Lord, ‘I will put my laws in their hearts and write them on their hearts.’” (Heb 10:16) Let the promise of this eternal word be fulfilled in each one of us. We ask for this grace through Christ our Lord. Amen!


Greetings: God is with you! Have a blissful Wednesday!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

“Whoever does what God wants him to do is my brother, my sister, my mother.” (Mk 3:35)

“Whoever does what God wants him to do is my brother, my sister, my mother.” (Mk 3:35)

 Today’s Passages: Mk 3:31-35; Heb 10:1-10
Meditation: Today’s meditation verse puts before us a tempting but a challenging call to become his brothers and sisters. Apparently it gives the impression that it is very easy to become brothers and sisters of Jesus; i.e., if we abide by the will of God the father, we become Jesus’ brothers and sisters. However, the question also arises as to its difficulties in its application. The prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane stands out a clear proof for this.

Nevertheless, the life of Jesus proves the same possible, though difficult. Therefore, this call of Jesus to be his brothers and sisters is a real test as far as each Christian is concerned. How can we pass this test? First of all, we have to believe that it is possible, though not easy. Call to be a Christian is a call to become Christ; it is life of becoming Christ. John makes it clear by saying, “Whoever says that he remains in union with God should live just as Jesus Christ did.” (1 Jn 2:6)

The apostles, early Christians, martyrs and saints have proved that this imitation of Jesus Christ is challenging but possible. St. Stephen, the first martyr, could pray the prayer of Jesus on the cross, “Lord! Do not remember this sin against them.” (Acts 7:60) How proudly Paul calls upon us ‘to imitate him just as he imitates Jesus Christ!’ (1 Cor 11:1) Therefore, imitation of Christ is made possible through them.

The letter to the Hebrews after analyzing the fathers and leaders of faith, tells us, “As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses round us. So then, let rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross.” (Heb 12:1, 2)

How did they make it possible? I do hope that they set their mind and heart according to the things on high. In order to fulfill the will of God the father, Jesus took the form of a servant and died on the cross. Paul says, “He (Jesus) always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God.” (Phil 2:6) So also, unless and until we set our minds according to the heavenly, becoming Christ will remain impossible.

Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Paul really helps us to find the way by saying, “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and pleasing to him and is perfect.” (Rom 12:2)  Lord, bless each one of us to live according your eternal word. I too offer myself and say, “Here I am to do your will, O God.” (Heb 10:9) We ask for this grace through Christ our Lord. Amen!


Greetings: God is with you! Have a blissful Tuesday!

Monday, 26 January 2015

“The truth will set you free.” (Jn 8:32)

“The truth will set you free.” (Jn 8:32)

Today’s Passages: Jn 8:31-36; Jer 31:31-34; 1 Tm 2:1-6;
Meditation: Mother holy church has blessed us, Indians, today with the readings that suit to our great republic day. Let us give thanks and praise to God! Today’s second reading begins with an exhortation of Paul on intercessory prayer: “First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgiving be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.” (1 Tim 2:1, 2)

This exhortation is being practiced in continuity even today in the universal church. Every day in our liturgy we pray for our leaders that they may be strengthened and guided by truth and justice; that they may be able to lead their people in peace and harmony. Today in a special we pray for our sovereign and secular country and its leaders; for the welfare of the people and integrity of the country; and for all those who have laid their life and toil for the freedom of India.

On the day of the commemoration of the sovereignty of Indian Republic, mother holy church calls upon us to reflect on the real and eternal freedom. Without this real freedom we may not be able to enjoy the political freedom that we have achieved. The political freedom is like physical and external, but the freedom Jesus gifts is internal and everlasting. That is why, even after sixty years of freedom, we are still in darkness of social, religious, and political injustice and inequalities.

In the first reading we hear, “I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God and they shall be my people.” (Jer 31:33) Let all the people surrender themselves to the divine law that they may enjoy real fraternity, peace, and freedom. Jesus has something more to say: “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and truth will set you free.” (Jn 8:31, 32)

Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord, we pray today for our republic, its people, and its leaders. Give us your Holy Spirit in abundance that we may always stand for its welfare and integrity. Lead each one of us, in every moment of life, from darkness to light, from death to life, and from falsehood to truth.   We ask for this grace through Christ our Lord. Amen!


Greetings: God is with you! Have a blissful Republic Day!

Friday, 23 January 2015

“Jesus told them, ‘I have chosen you to be with me. I will also send you out to preach, ...” (Mk 3:14, 15)

“Jesus told them, ‘I have chosen you to be with me. I will also send you out to preach, and you will have authority to drive out demons.” (Mk 3:14, 15)

Today’s Passages: Mk 3:13-19; Heb 8:6-13
Meditation: Today’s meditation verse gives us an account of the election of Jesus’ disciples as apostles and the purpose of their election. Jesus’ teachings on the kingdom of God and his healing ministry attracted many to follow him and several of them eventually turned to be his disciples. However, Jesus one day chose twelve from among these disciples and called them apostles. While choosing the twelve, Jesus reveals or explains to them clearly the purpose of their calling.

“Jesus told them, ‘I have chosen you to be with me. I will also send you out to preach, and you will have authority to drive out demons.” (Mk 3:14, 15)  Obviously we find three main elements or aspects in this election: “to be with him,” “to be sent out to preach,” “and authority to drive out demons.” These three elements in a way remind us of God’s love for Adam, and the authority and mission he was entrusted in the garden of Eden.

The creation account of Genesis and the following narratives give us a rather good picture of God’s love toward man and his love for him. The question of God, “where are you?” to Adam echoes also God’s anxiety over his absence. This is just like a loving father who is after his beloved child that is missing. Through today’s meditation verse, in the beginning of “the creation account of new Israel,” we hear again the revelation of God’s purpose; “to be with him.”

Again we read, “God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and placed there the man whom he had formed.” (Gen 2:8) He was given the garden with a mission; “The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.” (Gen 2:15) An apostle is called to be with him and to be sent out to accomplish a particular mission like Adam’s call; “to be sent out to preach.”

The third element is very important: “have the authority to drive out the demons.” It is in union with God only you may be able to do your ministry and drive out demons. Once your relationship with God is broken, then your ministry will be disturbed and destroyed by Satan as in the case of Adam. Therefore, in order to drive out demons, you have to do your ministries faithfully in union with God. Jesus says, “Without me you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5) 
                 
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. O Lord, you are our creator and redeemer. The fact that you are our creator makes us think of our call to be with you and the fact that you are our redeemer reminds us of our faithful living in this world. Lord, give us the grace to do all our duties in union with you so that we may not fall into the temptations of Satan. We ask for this grace through Christ our Lord. Amen!


Greetings: God is with you! Have a blissful Friday!