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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Jesus said, “Be on guard; don’t be deceived.” (Lk 21:8)

Jesus said, “Be on guard; don’t be deceived.” (Lk 21:8)


Today’s Passage: Lk 21:5-11  
Meditation: We find now and then Jesus giving strict instructions to his disciples as to keep alert and be vigilant on; sometimes on second coming, on other occasions on false teachings. You can also call to your minds many parables he has spoken on this subject. Through today’s meditation passage Jesus is preparing even us to be on alert as we hear something about the end times. Of course, it was there in the beginning of the early church and continued through centuries up to this day. Why is Jesus so much concerned about this?

It is because anyone is easily deceived when he is desperate, in difficult situations, in fear, in confusion etc. These moments, therefore, are to be handled with care and discernment. We need the help of the Holy Spirit in its abundance at this juncture. Certainly, we feel relieved as we hear something that gives solace and support to us; however, these can be deceiving also. In the holy bible as well as in our daily lives, we find many examples for this.

These moments can be even the moments of our tests and trials. One of the best examples in the bible is the person of Job. In his most difficult situation of his life, we find that he was tested through his wife and his friends. But he was cautious enough not to speak anything against God. In our most difficult situations, Satan may not be in the form of something negative or frightening, but can be in the form of our friends and relatives; in the forms of what we are most in need of.

Even Jesus was tempted in the form of bread as he was hungry after his forty days of fasting. In today’s passage, Jesus says, “Be on guard; don’t be deceived. Many men, claiming to speak for me, will come and say, ‘I am he!’ ‘The time has come!’ But don’t follow them. Don’t be afraid when you hear of wars and revolutions; such things must happen first, but they do not mean that the end is near.” (Lk 21:8, 9) Yes, be on alert always and everywhere.


 Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Help each one of us to be on alert against false teachings. O Holy Spirit, give us the gift of discernment that we may always learn and live the true teachings. We pray especially for those who were and are deceived by the false prophets that they may return to the fullness of the truth at the earliest. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!  

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

Monday, 24 November 2014

Jesus said, “I tell you that this poor widow put in more than all the others.” (Lk 21:3)

Jesus said, “I tell you that this poor widow put in more than all the others.” (Lk 21:3)

Today’s Passage: Lk 21:1-4  
Meditation: It is quite an interesting picture of Jesus we get from today’s meditation verse. He is sitting near the Jerusalem temple donation box and simply watching the people who offer their gifts to the temple. Is it just to see the people who offer more than anyone else and benefit from them? For offerings of the people in these days draw a lot of attention. How much each one has contributed to is well counted today. There are also people who go after those who give more donations and make secure that all their programs are well sponsored.

However, from the response of Jesus, we understand that his purpose is not of that sort anyway. He is not praising here the rich people who contributed more out of their prosperity, but the poor widow who offered only two small copper coins. Therefore, it doesn’t give us any indication as to his appreciation for the huge gifts of the rich, rather it give the impression that he was reading their minds and hearts. There we get a lot of encouragement and solace to our life
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The Psalter prays to Lord, “My wanderings you have noted; are my tears not stored in your vial, recorded in your book? (Ps 56:9) Surely, this widow also should have the prayed the same; for she is offering these two small coins not from her abundance but from her utter poverty. Jesus saw her purity of heart beyond her offering. We hear in the beatitudes, “Blessed are the pure in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:3)

We also do some offerings in our daily lives as well. They may be offerings of our time, talents, conveniences, and money etc considering all our limitations. If they are from the depth of our hearts, then, be rest assured that they are well counted before the Lord; they are written in the book of life.
   
 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 these Pharisees who lived a life of show before others. It is not that which we offer matters but the attitude. Give us the grace to trust in you and surrender ourselves before you. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen! 
                

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

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…