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Saturday, 22 November 2014

“He is the God of the living, not of the dead, for to him all are alive.” (Lk 20:38)

“He is the God of the living, not of the dead, for to him all are alive.” (Lk 20:38)


Today’s Passage: Lk 20:27-40  
Meditation: Before going into the meaning of today’s meditation verse, it is good that we have some background of it. Verses 19 and 20 rightly say about the teachers of the law; who they are and what they have in their minds. It is because of this dual mind set, Jesus reproached them of their hypocrisy. However, they had good qualities too; they always stood with the traditions and the structure. If at all with some importance to the externals, they always stood faithfully with the law and traditions.  We know for sure from history that it is only the Pharisees who could resist the roman domination and continue to exist.
 
Now see the Sadducee, they are the priestly class and are here only to test Jesus. They are considered as the custodians of the heavenly things but speak as if they are of the children of the dead. They always stood with the political authority in power and felt security in their life. They were not enjoying the protection and help from the living God. The net result of this is what we know from the Jewish history that they were fully buried in the pages of history; they do not even exist now.

Jesus says, “He is the God of the living, not of the dead, for to him all are alive.” (Lk 20:38) All are alive for the living God. I do believe that it is not only about the life after death or resurrection, but of the life right now here on earth; it is for you and me. If we lead a life of the dead with regard to faith, heavenly things, and life after death, etc., we are away from the living God. We will be like the Sadducee who always sought the safer side with the authority of this world.

How is our life as a faithful? Is it just like the hypocritical life of Solomon “who loved the Lord, and obeyed the statutes of his father David; yet he offered sacrifice and burned incense on the high places?” (1Kg 3:3) Then, either we are dead or we do not believe in the living God. Like Sadducee, we also will be buried in the pages of history without anything to hand over. Therefore, let us pray with the Psalter, “Some rely on chariots, others on horses, but we on the name of the Lord our God.” (Ps 21:8)
        
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Help us today to examine ourselves and lead a genuine Christian life. Sometimes, we also are like Sadducee who lived a life of hypocrisy. Give us the grace to live for Jesus and witness to Jesus in and around us. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen! 
                

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

Friday, 21 November 2014

“Whoever does what my father in heaven wants him to do is my brother, my sister, and my mother.” (Mt 12:50)

“Whoever does what my father in heaven wants him to do is my brother, my sister, and my mother.” (Mt 12:50)

Today’s Passage: Mt 12:46-50  
Meditation: Look at the way the people considered Jesus’ mother and his brothers. They are asking Jesus to meet them immediately; “Look, your mother and brothers are standing outside, and they want to speak with you.” (Mt 12:47) They love Jesus absolutely and therefore, those who are beloved to Jesus are beloved for them too. How nice the people are!

Again, what did Jesus say? Jesus answered, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look! Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does what my father in heaven wants him to do is my brother, my sister, and my mother.” (Mt 12:50) Those people who are listening to the word of God are beloved ones of God the father. Here Jesus also acknowledges that those who are beloved to the father are also his beloved ones.

Today, I want to meditate on our own relationships. How do we consider them? There are blood relatives, friends, masters, subordinates, teachers, and students, and so on. Remember that our relationship to these people says louder than our speeches and stories. Secondly, are these relationships rooted in our relation to God? It does matter a lot for Jesus. Does it matter to me too?

St. John says, “What we have seen and heard we announce to you also, so that you will join with us in the fellowship we have with the Father and with the Son Jesus Christ.” (1Jn 1:3) The letters and proclamations were for them to make a relation with God the father and Jesus Christ. In other words, whatever we do should be for the greater glory of God; to have union with God, to lead others into this union. 
           
PrayerLord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Our physical birth into a family itself makes us related to a great number of people in this world. How more related we will be through our rebirth in baptism. O God, give us the courage to understand that we are related each other and have the duty to be thankful and help each other in our lives. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen! 
                

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

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Jesus said, “If you only knew today what is needed for peace! But now you cannot see it!” (Lk 19: 42)

Jesus said, “If you only knew today what is needed for peace! But now you cannot see it!” (Lk 19: 42)

Today’s Passage: Lk 19:41-44  
Meditation: How sharp Jesus’ word in today’s meditation verse is! It is true that many are very happy with Jesus’ picture of everlasting love, forgiving love, compassionate etc. All these pictures are real and true. However, there are moments where even this ever-forgiving God himself cannot do anything for you. It is about this moment St. Augustine says, “God who created you without your consent and cooperation, won’t redeem you without your consent and cooperation.”

It is true that he forgives and accepts us even at the last moment. We experience this forgiving love in its abundance on the cross as we hear, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.” (Lk 23:43) Again, Jesus’ prayer on the cross, before God the father, for the forgiveness of those who sinned against him and his imparting of power to Peter who denied him thrice are also moments of his compassionate and forgiving love.

Truly, he longs for the return of each and every sinner and is waiting for them. All the three parables of the fifteenth chapter of Luke underline this truth; the parables of lost sheep, lost coin, and prodigal son. There we read, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety nine respectable people who do not need to repent;” (Lk 15:7) “the angels of God rejoice over one sinner who repents;” (Lk 15:10) and “we had to celebrate and be happy, because your brother was dead, but now he is alive, he was lost, but now he has been found.” (Lk 15:32)

However, he laments, “If you only knew today what is needed for peace! But now you cannot see it!” (Lk 19: 42) Those who walk away from God and boasts of their bad ways should know that there comes a moment in their life, where they no more can think of God or salvation. Going after evil ways make you deprived of the Holy Spirit who guides in the path of the Lord. Jesus says, “But now you cannot see it!” Therefore, let us not dishearten ourselves and turn against God. 

PrayerLord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Have mercy on us! O Lord, many a time we were on our own self-centered ways. We had forsaken you and sought for the worldly pleasures. Lord, help us to return to you and your ways. Give your Holy Spirit in its abundance that we may always walk in your path. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
                  

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

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

“Take the gold coin away from him and give it to the servant who has ten coins.” (Lk 19: 24)

“Take the gold coin away from him and give it to the servant who has ten coins.” (Lk 19: 24)

Today’s Passage: Lk 19:11-28  
Meditation: Jesus says, “I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness.” (Jn 10:10) We know for sure that the crucifix proves itself vividly this mind of Jesus. However, today’s meditation verse first gives us the impression that he is another person. It seems that he is justifying the act of the man who has gone to be enthroned. Like this man, Jesus also has come to take whatever we have from us. He is almost like an unrighteous judge. Because, the other servants too feel the same and that is why they are saying, “Sir, he has already ten coins.” What an injustice it is!

We also find in and around our society the same thing. When the poor become poorer and the rich become richer, people feel that God is hardheartedly taking away from them even whatever they have. But, is that the same matter discussed here? Is it in the same way that we approach this verse? Anyway, to understand in a better way, let us see also the parable of the talents (Mt 25:14-30) along with the parable of gold coins (Lk 19:11-28), since they are taught in view of the immediate expectancy of the kingdom.

The main thrust of both the parables was on the faithfulness, though there is difference in the way of presenting. In the former, the man did neither entrust them to do some business with the amount nor was concerned about what they have earned, but whether they faithful or not. In the latter, he entrust them to do some business and earn for him. Therefore, we find him rewarding the servants according to their work. However, the final message is whether they were faithful or not.

This is about the final judgment. We are given some duties to be accomplished before second coming. There is time for laziness and therefore, we have to be more alert and watchful on our duties entrusted. Jesus himself gives us the model: he says, “My food is to obey the will of the one who sent me and to finish the work he gave me to do.” (Jn 4:34) Again at the end of his life we hear, “I have shown your glory on earth; I have finished the work you gave me to do.” (Jn 17:4) 
       
 PrayerLord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Have mercy on us! O Lord, many a time we forgot the duties entrusted to us and were lazy people. You are the righteous one and we have to be righteous too. Give your Holy Spirit in its abundance that we may be always responsible and faithful servants in our life.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen! 
                

Greetings: God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Wednesday…

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

“This man has gone as a guest to the home of a sinner.” (Lk 19:7)

“This man has gone as a guest to the home of a sinner.” (Lk 19:7)


Today’s Passage: Lk 19:1-10  
Meditation: Today’s meditation verse gives us a lot of encouragement and strength to our real Christian life. Jesus’ decision as to go to the house of Zacchaeus made people think, “This man has gone as a guest to the home of a sinner.” (Lk 19:7) However, I do like and appreciate Zacchaeus very much for his humility and openness before God and people.

How painful it was for him to live a life amidst contempt and humiliation. But one day he made up his mind to come forward and be reconciled with God and his people. If you closely observe his actions, you will understand that he was not just saying the prayer, “I confess to almighty God,” but was living the penitential prayer. Let us try to live this prayer more honestly and humbly.

 It may not be his cheating (cf. v.8 declaration of Zacchaeus proves himself that he was not a cheater) that made people go against Zacchaeus, but the title tax collector. May be through decades, because of many reasons, the title tax collector received this negative mark. Jesus himself uses that title in a negative sense; “even the sinners and the tax collectors.” But Zacchaeus came out from that with his humility and openness of heart.

Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Listen sir! I will half my belongings to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back four times as much.” (Lk 19:8) Jesus’ saying gets good meaning here in this action of Zacchaeus, “If you are about to offer your gift to God at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God.”  
  
 PrayerLord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Have mercy on us! O Lord, give us the courage to lead a meaningful Christian life in all circumstances. We want to repeat that simple sentence, “When I say, “I am a Christian,” I do not mean that I am holier than you, rather I confess that I am a simple sinner who received God’s grace somehow, and want to live that grace,” and offer it as our today’s prayer. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!  
                

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