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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, ....” (Mt 16:24)

Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry his cross, and follow me.” (Mt 16:24)

Today’s Passage: Mt 16:21-27
Meditation:  Today’s word of the Lord reveals hard demands from our Lord Jesus Christ. In order to follow him a disciple should do at least three things: forget his self, carry his cross, and follow Jesus. Of the three demands the first one is today’s focus of reflection, for among the three demands I find the first one as the most difficult one. Definitely, if the first is fulfilled then the other two are, I hope, rather easy. What is the meaning of denying one’s self? It clearly means that the discipleship is completed only when one is able to say “no” to his self and “yes” to his master. It is really the denial of one’s ego. This is otherwise called abiding totally in the master. Now there are no more two entities, but only one. Jesus prayed to the father in the garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will, however, but your will be done.” (Lk 22:42) Jesus surrenders his will to the father’s will. The two different entities become now one and the same. St. Paul says, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20) It is also clearly expressed in another way in the words of a simple woman, Ruth to her mother in law Naomi, “Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I lodge; your people shall be people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die – there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you.” (Ruth 1:16) How daring and challenging it is! Unless the self of the either partner be emptied or forgotten, the family life will be of hell. Let us first therefore learn to say “yes” to God and “no” to our ego so that in our relationships also we will be able to surrender ourselves for the better cause.            
Prayer:               Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord, we are by your grace managing ourselves to carry our own crosses of daily difficulties and hardships. With all these we do find time to follow you by attending masses, praying rosaries, and doing some charity works etc. But there are moments in our life when we are asked to deny ourselves, obey unconditionally, suffer in our life and so on. Here, Lord, we do fail often. We are indeed in need of your help. Amen!  

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

Saturday, 30 August 2014

“You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts...!” (Mt 25:23)

“You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!” (Mt 25:23)

Today’s Passage: Mt 25:14-30
Meditation:  It is amazing to see that there is no victory stand before the man to place them in gradation/rank order. That makes us think that each and everyone is equal before the Lord. Both, the one who brought 10,000 silver coins and the other one who brought 4,000 silver coins are appreciated with the same words. What does it mean? When you are entrusted with some duties, your primary duty is to be faithful and then only be successful. Often we see in our day to day life, people are after showing themselves successful and thriving before their master. And if they do not prove themselves successful, they are out of the field. Yes, it is today’s benchmark. The master of this world won’t ask you whether you were faithful and honest in your life or not, but successful or not. But your Lord Jesus asks first faithfulness from you. Blessed Mother Theresa always believed that she was called first to be faithful not to be successful. What was the reward for those who added more to their silver coins? Both of them received the same promise. Why? They were 100% faithful to their duty. The man who was punished failed in his faithfulness. He was thinking and worrying about the success of his life and therefore, scared of doing business with that money. We are given, of course, different talents according to our abilities. You need not try to overcome the other, but try to get the best out of you in honesty and sincerity. In today’s world, even children are taught to overcome and defeat the other. As result, they lose real friendship and joy of co-existence in the world. Let Lord open our minds and hearts!  
                    
Prayer:               Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord, we understand today that often we are after success and victory. We smell everywhere a chase after success even at the expense of the failure/destruction of the other. Let us understand carefully what blessed Mother Theresa told, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”  Amen! 


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

Friday, 29 August 2014

“I swear that I will give you anything you ask for, even as much as half my kingdom!” (Mk 6:23)

“I swear that I will give you anything you ask for, even as much as half my kingdom!” (Mk 6:23)

Today’s Passage: Mk 6:17-29
Meditation:  I don’t know whether you call this type of behavior an addiction or not. This man may be mad after dancing.  We know for sure that when people are mad after something they cannot do anything on themselves. They are mere puppets in the hands of what they are addicted to. Earlier, “Herod was afraid of John because he knew that John was a good and holy man, and he kept him safe. He liked to listen to him, even though he became greatly disturbed every time he heard.” (Mk 6:20) What did it happen now? Now Herod forgot everything; he forgot the prophet John the Baptist, his teachings and even the fact that he himself is the king of a country. In the book of Hebrews we read, “See to it that no one becomes like Esau, an immoral and godless person, who sold his birthright for a single weal.” (Heb 12:16) Everyone who is after satisfying his bodily pleasures will be cheated and trapped in many ways by the Satan. King Herod was also cheated by his bodily pleasures; he could not distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. St. Paul says, “You do not belong to yourselves but to God; he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God’s glory.” (1 Cor 6:19, 20) On this feast day of martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, I would like to meditate on my own shortcomings and failures; for I feel that I am as if before the mirror, St. John the Baptist. Today I am not reflecting on him, rather on myself.
        
Prayer:     Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord, we understand today that often we are astray from you because we are after our own inclinations bodily pleasures. With St. Paul let us also be able to realize, “If I do what I don’t want to do, this means that I am no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the sin that lives in me,” (Rom 7:20) and “the wage of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23) Let us remember and pray, “Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil one.  Amen!  


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

Thursday, 28 August 2014

“How happy that servant is if his master finds him doing his duty when he comes home!” (Mt 24:46)

“How happy that servant is if his master finds him doing his duty when he comes home!” (Mt 24:46)

Today’s Passage: Mt 24:42-51
Meditation:  Today’s word of the Lord rightly reflects the life of a true Christian. He is on 24hrs duty. There is no vacation in Christian life. It is not just like the Jews’ saying, “we are sons of Abraham.” (Jn 8:39) Why? For, in the new Israel, ‘the children of God born as a result of God’s promises are regarded as true descendants.’ (Rom 9:8) The Gospel of St. John says, “Some, however, did receive him and believed in him; so he gave them the right to become God’s children. They did not become God’s children by natural means, that is, by being born as the children of a human father; God himself was their father.” (Jn 1:12, 13) What does it mean? Christian life is a challenging life; it demands a lot of things from you. Each moment of your life, you have to prove yourself a Christian. Your family Christian tradition is not a guarantee that you are a Christian. If you don’t live a Christian life all throughout your life, there will be the judgment, “Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do.” (Mt 7:21) To be a Christian is not then a part time call, but call to be a Christian in each moment of your life. Therefore, what we have to do is like good servants, always be on our Christian duty. Let us try to live as to hear, “How happy that Christian is if his master Jesus Christ finds him as a genuine Christian doing his daily duties faithfully when he comes again!”  
              
Prayer:      Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord, we understand today that our Christian life is not a part-time vocation, but it is a full-time vocation. Whether we are in the church, our houses, colleges or offices we are Christians doing our duties, giving witness to you in our circumstances. Once we forget our vocation and mission, even for a moment, we are going away from you that invite judgment and condemnation. Amen!  


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

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

“You hypocrites! You make fine tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of those who lived good lives.” (Mt 23:29)

 “You hypocrites! You make fine tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of those who lived good lives.” (Mt 23:29)

Today’s Passage: Mt 23:27-32
Meditation:  I am thinking today that why Jesus is behaving like this. See! The Pharisees and the teachers of the law are spending the whole amount of money from their pockets for making fine tombs; it is not for them or their people, but the prophets of God. If it were today that it happened; what would have been people thinking of it? I hope that people will surely whisper; ‘if at all Jesus couldn’t say anything good or positive about them, he could have at least kept mum against them than scolding and reproaching publically.’ But, we do find that on another occasion this Jesus himself is doing positively within no time on others’ recommendation, ‘this roman officer really deserves your help. He loves our people and he himself built a synagogue for us’ (Lk 7:5). This makes us think that Jesus is provoked, in a special way, here in this particular instance of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. Why is Jesus so offended here? It is because of their share in the offences of their fathers who killed the prophets and the righteous ones. Therefore, it is not that money that matters, but the sponsors’ heart and life. The book of Ezekiel clearly teaches, “The person who sins shall die. A child shall not suffer for the iniquity of the parent. Nor a parent suffer for the iniquity of a child; the righteousness of the righteous shall be his own, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be his own” (Ezk 18:20). Yes, it is the widow’s two coins that caught the attention of Jesus than the gifts of the rich (Lk 21:1-4).        
Prayer:               Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Let us be able to open our hearts before you. We are giving portions of whatever we have, but fail to offer ourselves as a pleasing oblation to you; ‘a living and holy sacrifice’ to you (Rom 12:1). Help us to understand that you are not anyway pleased in our different gift offerings, but deeply interested in offering ourselves, pure and holy. Amen!  

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

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

“You hypocrites! You clean the outside of your cup and plate, while the inside is full of .... ” (Mt 23: 25)

“You hypocrites! You clean the outside of your cup and plate, while the inside is full of what you have obtained by violence and selfishness. ” (Mt 23: 25)  

Today’s Passage: Mt 23:23-26
Meditation:     Jesus continues again his criticism against the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. No! He invites again review ourselves and be his witnesses in today’s world. In the first book of Samuel we find God saying Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (16:7). Since one can be judged by the other normally through his outward appearances, he is satisfied with his external behavior, beauty or external manifestation. We are, then, in a world where man cannot believe what he sees or hears. Even the smile that you received joyfully in the morning, the cry you heartily sympathized on during your office time, or even the heart breaking story that you heard in the evening, however,  makes you whisper later ‘people are not nowadays trustworthy.’ On the one hand, somewhere people have lost confidence in each other, on the other hand, people easily believes the other and are cheated over and over again. Jesus warns us today that if we are not sincere in our behavior we will mislead our people. If we do not lead our people properly, we will be responsible the fall of the people and shall be condemned and punished for the same. Let us try to be like Moses in the house of the Lord, faithful and truthful servant. He never misled the people even when he was punished by God for his single moment of his disbelief. Primarily we are not before men, but before the ever living God, “who have searched me and known me” (Ps 139:1).                      
Prayer:               Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Mother Mary, who brought up child Jesus gaining favor with God and man, may also help us gain favor both with God and man. For this we need to lead a life of honesty and sincerity. May God help us by sending his Holy Spirit upon us that we may be always truthful and sincere in our lives! Amen!  

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

Monday, 25 August 2014

“You hypocrites! You sail the seas and cross whole countries to win one convert; … as you yourselves are!” (Mt 23: 15)

“You hypocrites! You sail the seas and cross whole countries to win one convert; … as you yourselves are!” (Mt 23: 15)

Today’s Passage: Mt 23:13-22
Meditation:     “You hypocrites! You sail the seas and cross whole countries to win one convert; and when you succeed, you make him twice as deserving of going to hell as you yourselves are!” (Mt 23: 15) This message of Jesus makes me rethink about our evangelization or missionary activities. Here I share one or two of the ordinary instances. This is not only for the notice of priests and the religious but also for lay people, especially youngsters who build up their Christian family life together. In my last 17 years of pastoral experience some three or four times I have asked the bridegrooms, during their pre-marriage preparations, why they should put their partners’ life in trouble. Why such a question? Because, in all these cases the brides were non Christians but they had already known and loved Jesus. Two of them have shared their Christ experiences from their schooldays on and only because of that they loved this marriage proposal and proud to be part of a Christian family and continue their faith. Good girls, thorough with elementary faith prayers and teachings. But, when I came to my catholic part, they were, after ten years and plus of catechism formation, ignorant and indifferent about their faith. In another case, two of them were living together after a registered marriage and have a child of six years old, but wanted to have a Christian marriage (may be because of the pressure from family or society). I went for the canonical procedures and at last they were called for a preparation in view of their Christian marriage. Although, I was astonished by the poor woman’s faith and how she lives that faith through her prayers, I was really upset and belittled by the ignorance and indifference of the man. Even today, it grieves to my heart; the pain these poor women take to keep themselves united Christ, and the way they were disappointed with the lives of their Christian partners living an unchristian life. Jesus’ criticizes today each one of us for the irresponsibility we are having in our living and witnessing the Christian life. 
                                 
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. We are very proud of our family and faith traditions. But as you put your fingers against the Pharisees today, we realize that it is really against us also. Many anonymous poor Christians are ready to lay down even their life for you, but what we have is only the Christian name and some boasting on faith traditions. Lord, have mercy on us, hypocrites. Amen.  


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

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Mt 16:16)

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Mt 16:16)

Today’s Passage: Mt 16:13-20
Meditation:     What is the content of today’s gospel reading? It is Peter’s declaration about Jesus as “the messiah, the son of the living God.” What was the context of this answer of Peter? It was a prompt answer to Jesus’ question about what the disciples think of him who he is. At what place this conversation has this taken place? It has taken place in the town of Caesarea Philippi, an area of temples of the ancient Syrian Baal worship and Caesar worship. Why did Jesus, then, want his disciples confess him at this particular place? I think this has a lot to do with the place from where Peter is making this public confession. Today, I want to meditate on this subject particularly. Of course, public confession or proclamation doesn’t mean always you stand in the public corners with microphone and loud speakers and preach his kingdom message. There are plenty of occasions where we can silently and effectively proclaim him. I am proud to tell you that even the Christian name, the pious articles and dresses you wear, the way you behave before others, and your habit formation, etc are the simple and real means of your proclamation of Jesus. All those things are to be made use of in our daily life for a better proclamation of Jesus. Some may think that the identity revelation is sometimes dangerous. Yes, it is surely dangerous when you do evil, wearing all these things. Like the Israelites, who marked their houses with the blood of the lamb, were saved, you also will be saved by God. For Jesus promises, “If anyone declares publicly that he belongs to me; I will do the same for him before my Father in heaven. But if he anyone rejects me publicly, I will reject him too before my Father in heaven.” (Mt 10:32, 33) The first commandment itself is, “I am the Lord your God, you shall not have other gods before me.” (Ex 20:1,2) Let us also not be among those hypocrites, who praises him inside the church and denies him before others through his words and deeds.

Prayer:  Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. We are very active in the family and church prayers where we feel a social religious security. But, when we are outside this religious atmosphere often we don’t want to reveal ourselves which can lead us even to give counter witness to you. Give us the courage of Elijah who firmly believed in you and challenged the king and 450 prophets of Baal in our daily lives. Amen! 
Greetings:       Take courage God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Sunday…  

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Jesus said, “They do everything so that people will see them.” (Lk 1:34)

Jesus said, “They do everything so that people will see them.” (Lk 1:34)

Today’s Passage: Mt 23:1-12
Meditation:     In the Old Testament period people were inspired and guided by leaders like judges, prophets, priests and kings. Their role was very important that God’s mercy and wrath were revealed through them. People were also after them in their good and bad life situations. But we find later these leaders going away from the Lord and misleading the people. God wanted a people who are faithful to him and to his laws. When people went astray from him and his laws through the unfaithfulness of the leaders, he decided himself to be their shepherd and king. “In the past, God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us through his son.” (Heb 1:1) Yes, the eternal God became man so that we may become true children of God. Here in Jesus we find a perfect model of those different types of leaders whom God wanted to be among his people to lead them unto him and his laws. He was unlike the leaders of his time; his teaching was with authority, his dealings with men were signs of divine mercy, his miracles and wonders were moments of God’s steadfast love, and above all he was with them. Nothing was found there in his life to show himself, rather everything was to reveal the glory of his father. Today, we meditate on why Jesus was reproaching the Pharisees. “They wanted to do everything so that people may see them.” This is the difference; they wanted to show others, who they are, what their power is, how they are different from others. Jesus showed us who God the father is, how he is merciful to us, why and how we should keep the laws and become the children of God. Yes, of course, he proclaimed that everyone will be drawn to him. How? and when? When he is lifted up on the cross, when he lays down his life for the many, everyone will be drawn to him.                    

Prayer:                       Lord Jesus, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Often we fail to get guidance from you and your teachings. What we get quite often was misleading us. You are our real teacher teach us your ways always. Also we understand that we have to be the real leaders and teachers before our children, students showing them your ways. We are not to show ourselves, rather to reveal you in our daily lives. Amen!  

Friday, 22 August 2014

Mary said to the angel, “I am a virgin. How, then, can this be?” (Lk 1:34)

Mary said to the angel, “I am a virgin. How, then, can this be?” (Lk 1:34)

Today’s Passage: Lk 1:26-38
Meditation:     I do appreciate mother Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel and congratulate her on this feast day of her queenship. The way she responded to the announcement of the angel Gabriel is my meditation point today. She may be of thirteen or fourteen years of age at that time. We read in the gospel passage that she had an apparition of the angel Gabriel and was deeply troubled. But that doesn’t make her away from god’s messenger. She wanted to know it straight away from the messenger itself that how should it happen to her since she is a virgin. That approach is of course noteworthy, but is lacking today. Anyone gets any information or answer today within seconds from anywhere except from where it has to be received precisely. Especially, teenagers and youngsters are thorough with any subject you want to ask. Where do they get these informations from? Quite often they get from their peer groups, magazines, or mass Medias. “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seats of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night” (Ps 1:1,2). “How can young people keep their way pure?” Again the word of the Lord says, “By guarding it according to your word” (Ps 119:9) Let parents and teachers guide their children, like Eli guided young Samuel, to listen to God’s message and God’s will (1 Sam 3:8-10). Let youngsters and children seek first the word of the Lord, like young Jesus was engaged in listening to the teachers and asking them questions (Lk 2:46).
Prayer:                       Lord Jesus, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Often we fail to get guidance from you and your teachings. What we get quite often was misleading us. Mother Mary, we invoke your special intercession that we may also, like you, always treasure god’s words in our hearts and seek god’s will in our daily life. “Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end” (Ps 119:33). Amen!          
Greetings:       Take courage God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Friday…   


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Jesus said to them, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Mt 22:14)

Jesus said to them, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Mt 22:14)

Meditation:     “Many are invited, but few are chosen.” I don’t know how many times I have gone through it to get the meaning of this sentence. Why? because whenever I read this passage, there comes also to my mind few other verses too; like (1) but the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1Sam 16:7), (2) “Before I formed in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5), and (3) “Then he went up a hill and called to himself the men he wanted. They came to him, and he chose twelve, whom he named apostles” (Mk 3:13), (4) “I protected them, and not one of them was lost, except the man who was bound to be lost – so that the scripture might come true” (Jn 17:12), (5) “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20)  All these sentences surely tell us that the ultimate choice is from God, but we have to take also the meaning of the last two verses also. You are invited but your selection depends upon your consent. All are invited, but few are chosen. God is in need of your consent for your redemption. Then why is this invitation?  St. Augustine says, ‘He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent.’ Invitation is not a guarantee of your selection, rather an expression of God’s mercy and compassionate love. You are accountable for your life. How can you enjoy the marriage feast without consenting to wear the free wedding dress that you get at the gate?
            
Prayer:                       Lord Jesus, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Amen! Lord, even when you were so merciful to me to invite to your heavenly meal I was not ready to accept it gratefully. What you needed from me was only a heartfelt repentance before receiving you, but even that I could not do that. Like Judas, therefore, what I received was my own condemnation. Forgive me, O Lord! Amen.
       

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

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

They said, “While we put up a whole day’s work in the hot sun ...” (Mt 19: 25)

They said, “While we put up a whole day’s work in the hot sun – yet you paid them the same as you paid us!” (Mt 19: 25)

Meditation:     While explaining the parable, Jesus must have laughed at those who murmured against the landlord. Whether you like it or not, I feel it. Today I am reflecting on the same theme. Why did Jesus laugh at them? For I think that Jesus might have thought of his mission, for a while, that his father has entrusted him to be completed in the world. St. Paul says, “He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant.” (Phil 2:6, 7) The letter to the Hebrews says, “We have a high priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin.” (Heb 4:15) In order to save mankind, God has made himself equal to man, - “the eternal word has become flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14) - but here we find the worker who came on agreement feels unsatisfied for he was made equal to his fellow worker. That is why I was forced to think that Jesus might have laughed at them. There are some indications already given by Jesus that in the kingdom of heaven there are no gradations. All are equal there. If we review ourselves in a right manner we will also find that we are not better than these people. What is our attitude toward other people, especially to those who received special graces from God? They may be illiterate, poor, newly baptized or converted. Do you hear the same murmuring somewhere around you now? – “Yet you paid them the same as you paid us.” Then, surely you will hear once again Jesus laughing at…..

Prayer:                       Lord Jesus, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Whenever and wherever we go selfish and jealous, O Lord, guide us and correct us. Give us the courage to understand the compassionate and the merciful love you have toward each and every one of us. You have come to this world and gave up your life on the cross so that we all may be raised up to the level of the children of God without any distinction. Therefore, help us to lead a life of thanksgiving and fraternal sharing. Amen!  

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

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

They asked, ‘Who then, can be saved? (Mt 19: 25)

They asked, ‘Who then, can be saved? (Mt 19: 25)

Meditation:    Even after two thousand years majority of the people ask almost the same question, if the rich people can’t, who then can? As if the possibility is always with the rich people, for they have the money by which they think that they can possess anything they want. Therefore, whenever the people hear that the rich are rejected, they are more dejected for there is no further hope for them then. Here comes Jesus with a different message that “a person’s true life is not made up of the things he owns, no matter how rich he may be,” (Lk 12:15) and “there is still one more you need to do. Sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me.” (Lk 18:22) Today, my meditation is not on what all things the rich people can attain or cannot attain, rather why Jesus asks us to sell everything and follow him and why he is interested in us not in our material properties. In order to answer these properly we have to go first to the book of Genesis, where the creation of man and his fall is well narrated. God so loved the man that he gave him everything he wanted but later we find the man was cheated by the created ones and was alienated from god. Now God wants to regain him forever from the clutches of Satan, the eternal liar. If man is left after the worldly things then can be cheated again easily by the Satan. Therefore, he warns his disciples of their weakness and frailties. As long as you are attached to this world you may fall into the temptation of the first man. Secondly, he doesn’t want anything from us for he is the creator, provider, and the protector. Now it is the time to answer the disciples question, ‘Who then, can be saved? (Mt 19: 25) All who decide to give up the Satan and receive Jesus as his only God will be saved for which he has to say “no” to many things that hinder follow Jesus. This may remind you what baptism really meant for you.

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord! Teach us the meaning of the real discipleship we have received through baptism which is a rebirth to the kingdom of heaven. We want to follow what St. Paul says, “You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits on his throne at the right-hand side of God.” Please come to our help. Amen! 
  
Greetings:       Take courage God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Tuesday…                      

Monday, 18 August 2014

The young man answered, “All these I have observed, what do still I lack?” (Mt 19: 20)

The young man answered, “All these I have observed, what do still I lack?” (Mt 19: 20)

Meditation:     This word of the lord reminds me something like the man who went to see the forest and came back quite disappointed for he couldn’t see the forest but only trees there. There are people who fail to see trees for forests just like the little fish who asks its mamma to show it, where the sea is. After learning and practicing all the laws given through Moses, the rich man is in search of the good things that make him enter the kingdom of heaven. We read in the gospel of Mathew that ‘even those dinners with him and listening to his teachings wouldn’t help them enter the kingdom of god’ (cf. Mt 13:26) There are also people, even after all their sacramental life and retreats, who doubt their entry into the kingdom of heaven. Something they feel in themselves lacking and hindering them enter the kingdom. What is really happening there? I hope that the religious teaching doesn’t go into the hearts of the people; they learn only the letters of the law rather than its spirit and meaning. Jesus, the real teacher, who came to fulfill the laws let teach us the spirit and meaning of the laws. I have also seen people coming to the confessionals and confessing their old sins of even childhood for which they had received absolution. What do I still lack?...You lack nothing but the real conviction that you are saved by the power of the precious blood of Jesus Christ and you are to live in and for Jesus Christ through Holy Spirit, where you don’t want worldly things. Therefore, sell everything you have and follow Jesus; empty yourself and follow him.
            
Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Even after long years of catechism and sacramental life, Lord, we do not have the real courage to be your witnesses to our brethren. We are always searching after the new things or what are lacking. We are not really aware of what we have been given already. Often we either withdraw from or avoid those occasions of witnessing. Give your Holy Spirit in abundance so that we may be able to give witness to you before our brethren. Amen! 
   

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

Sunday, 17 August 2014

“Send her away! She is following us and all this noise.” (Mt 15: 23)

“Send her away! She is following us and all this noise.” (Mt 15: 23)

Meditation:     Today, as to meditate on the word of the Lord, let us invoke the help of the Holy Spirit who enlightens our minds and hearts. We find in the gospels many a time disciples interfering in Jesus’ ministry in a mistaken manner. All those moments we find Jesus either correcting them or reproaching them, e.g. when they stopped children coming to Jesus (Mt 19:13), when they were very busy to send them away to their villages (Mt 14:15). In today’s gospel also we find the disciples urging Jesus to send the Canaanite woman away, because they think she is a nuisance. But Jesus didn’t actually like it, though he didn’t reproach them as before. What did happen to the disciples? Discipleship is not merely following master physically rather, it is following his mind and heart. St. Paul, the perfect disciple of Jesus Christ, is proud of saying, “We, however, have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor 2:16) You might have noticed some personal assistants or secretaries to leaders, who perfectly following the mind of their master. There are others who prepare everything according to the office schedule, but utterly fail in knowing the mind of their officer. We also sometimes fail in our life to witness to Christ if we do not know and follow his mind. Jesus set his mind according to the will of God the father and therefore, he could glorify him by faithfully completing the duties entrusted to him by the father (Jn 17:4). Today, let us, in a special manner, review ourselves, whether we were obstacles in the life of anyone who could receive graces from god only because we didn’t know the mind of Christ and sent them away. 
                            
Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Today, with folded hands we stand before you, Lord. At times we were very busy with making arrangements, like your disciples, for the smooth running of your ministries, but absolutely fail to make the occasion for the people receiving your blessings. We remember our festal celebrations, bible conventions, and many religious occasions. Lord, let us first know your mind that many can be led to you, the compassionate and merciful God. Amen! 
    
Greetings:       Take courage God is with you! Have a nice and blissful day…                      

Saturday, 16 August 2014

“Some people brought children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and to pray for them,...” (Mt 19: 13)

“Some people brought children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and to pray for them, but the disciples scolded the people.” (Mt 19: 13)

Meditation:     To place one’s hand on someone’s head is a symbol of blessing. The bible, from the pages of genesis to revelation, is abundant with such beautiful unique pictures. In my pastoral life, one of the beautiful moments I most enjoyed was the moments of blessing the small children. Jesus also enjoyed it that is why he scolded his disciples who stopped the children coming to him. Earlier, in Indian Gurukula tradition, the children were sent to the Gurus in order that they learn morals and values and have the blessing of the Gurus. Gurus were not only imparting knowledge to the Syshyas but also helping them to have God experience. They considered Gurus as equal to God. Matha-Pitha-Guru-daivam (mother/father/teacher =God). When we fail to pass on this idea to our children in the early childhood itself, we are denying our children a moral and human life. The result is clearly evident from the contemporary Medias. Even parents, teachers, and religious are culprits. Children are not at all oriented toward God, the creator, but to the created things. They are not oriented at all to respect the eternal giver, but to adore the gifts of God. Therefore, it is not merely a question of parents bringing children to god, rather parents, teachers, and religious leaders first being with God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of the knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Pro 1:7) Let us learn it better and bring our children to Him.
              
Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Today, with folded hands we are before you, Lord. We have many complaints at times about our children because of their wild behavior. But Lord, in order to correct our children rightly, let us be corrected by you first. We cannot give anything to anyone without having it. Amen! 
    

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

Friday, 15 August 2014

“You are the most blessed of all women, and blessed is the child you will bear!” (Lk 1: 42)

“You are the most blessed of all women, and blessed is the child you will bear!” (Lk 1: 42)

Meditation:     What a perfect greeting Elizabeth makes today on Mary! Really it is fantastic, “You are the most blessed of all women.” Once again, we will find in Luke another lady, who was listening to Jesus’ teaching, praising Mary, mother of Jesus. “How happy is the woman who bore you and nursed you!” The first greeting was made by Elizabeth when Mary was carrying baby Jesus and the second, when Jesus was grown up and busy with proclamation of the kingdom of God. Today I meditate on, why Mary mother of Jesus, is being greeted “the most blessed one among women” and “a happy mother.” I think it is because she always was thinking, dreaming of adding colors to God’s plans and dreams. Elizabeth was also carrying a baby boy and she was very happy which is clear from her own words, “Now at last the Lord has helped me, he has taken away my public disgrace!” She had a dream for herself, she was praying for the same since long years, and now, in her quite old age, it has come true. Elizabeth is very happy. The woman who praised Mary during Jesus’ preaching had also a dream, but seeing Jesus and his heavenly teaching, she might have thought of her desperate life because of the unsuccessful life of her children. Comparing her life to Mary, she thinks that how happy Mary is! Both of them praise Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was always thinking, dreaming of adding colors to God’s plans and dreams. This is very clear from Mary’s own magnificat hymn, “He has kept the promise he made to our ancestors, and has come to the help of his servant Israel. He has remembered to show mercy to Abraham and to all his descendants forever!” 
                
Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Today, on the day of the solemnity of your and our mother Mary, help us to think of God’s plan for us instead of going only after our own projects and plans. We know that blessed is the life of those who obey and do the will of God. Send us your spirit upon us so that we may set our lives according to God’s will. Amen!


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

Thursday, 14 August 2014

“‘You worthless slave!’ He said. ‘I forgave you the whole amount you owed me, just because you asked me to... ’” (Mt 18: 19, 20)

 “‘You worthless slave!’ He said. ‘I forgave you the whole amount you owed me, just because you asked me to. You should have had mercy on your fellow-servant, just as I had mercy on you.’” (Mt 18: 32,33)

 Meditation:    Today’s word of the Lord surely prompts each and every listener or reader to judge the unforgiving servant so ruthlessly, for such was his ungrateful response to the graciousness of the king. What a gratuitous gift he had been granted as he was forgiven all his ten thousand talent debts. In the beginning, from Peter’s question and from the whole parable we get the impression that it is all about forgiving. But, I suspect this is also about our ingratitude in our daily lives. How we should lead a life of gratitude and thankfulness toward the grace of God. Man always, we know for sure, counts whatever he gives or shares with brethren, but forgets to count whatever he receives in his life. We remember well those people, moments we helped, but we are not sure of those people from we received a lot. Here goes the saying, “Man gets, gets, and forgets, whereas god gives, gives, and forgives.” The slave was getting and getting from the king and later he wanted his king forgive everything he ought to pay, but the slave was giving and giving and never wanted to forgive and forget. Therefore, this makes me think that through this parable the Lord wants me to be anointed not only for forgiving but also ‘for – giving’ myself graciously to others like St. Maximilian Kolbe who laid down his life for his friend.
                                           
Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Whenever we prove ourselves unchristian without leading a life of forgiving and gratitude come to our help with your Holy Spirit. On this day of the feast Maximilian Kolbe let us also acknowledge all the gifts and graces we received from you, O Lord,  through our brethren, and may be able to share whatever we received with our brethren.


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

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

“Whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my father in heaven.” (Mt 18: 19, 20)

“Whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them.” (Mt 18: 19, 20)

 Meditation:    In today’s word of the Lord, we find three things very striking and attractive; whenever two of you, about anything you pray for, and it will be done. What an assurance Jesus gives! What a simple thing, prayer looks! But Lord, how many times we were praying, asking, and weeping; my children and myself. How many years, we were praying; my colleagues and myself. Yet, we were not answered at all. Why? We were not asking for big things but for daily food and shelter; still we were not answered at all. Why? Again you say, “It will be done.” When? and Where? Often, you and I hear these responses from many people. Why our prayers are not heard by God? In order to answer this question we have to see first whether the conditions of prayers are really met. Has prayer got some conditions? Yes, of course! Prayer is always conditional. Jesus has expressed it many times; unless you forgive your brethren your prayer will not be heard, unless you help your brethren your offering will not accepted, unless you love your brethren you cannot love me etc. In today’s word of the Lord also, we find a beautiful clause, unless you come together in my name and ask; your prayer will not be heard. But, Lord, we are always beginning our prayers in your name only. Even then, our prayers are not heard. My friend, in my name doesn’t simply mean some verbal expressions. It is asking in the name of the person of Jesus, in the authority of the person and in the place of the person. Then, our prayers will receive the same form and spirit of the prayer of Jesus himself. Do you remember those moments of Jesus’ prayer? Then, you will of course repeat what Job said, “How can I reply, unworthy as I am! All I can do is put my hand over my mouth.” (Job 40:4) Hallowed be your name!
                            
Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Whenever we prove ourselves ignorant of real prayer, come to our help and make our heart and mind enlightened. Together with your disciples, Lord, we also want to be taught on how to pray, when to pray, and what to pray. Make us understand the meaning of praying, doing, speaking, and thinking in your name. Give us in abundance the Holy Spirit who makes us pray properly (Rom 8:26). Amen!

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


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

“He will leave the other ninety-nine grazing on the hill-side and go and look for the lost sheep.” (Mt 17:27)

“He will leave the other ninety-nine grazing on the hill-side and go and look for the lost sheep.” (Mt 17:27)

Meditation:     What an assurance Jesus has on this matter! “He will leave the other ninety-nine grazing on the hill-side and go and look for the lost sheep.” Ok, well and good! I do want to ask you personally, what do you think about this? Will anyone leave the ninety-nine and go in search of the lost one? Of course, when the division-fall is close at hand and you are short of one, you surely will go for the one and the only one. It is of great value, surely. Yes, in the beginning stage of your growth, when you had very few, how caring and concerned you were, and how inclusive you were. And what happened to you now. What made you, become more selective, go for screening and interviews, ask for reasons of absence, and think of giving punishments. I believe that when you think in terms of business and profits, going after a lost one, at the risk of losing few more, is certainly a big loss; for you can make up the one percentage loss caused by the loss of one with the other ninety-nine with you. Mathematically, you are perfectly all right. Then, why did Jesus think just the opposite way? I do believe that it is only because Jesus came into this world and gave up his life on the cross so that we all may have eternal life in its abundance. Or he might have thought of the pain of the lost one’s loss of the ninety-nine. The pain of the parish community over the one, excommunicated may not be greater than the pain of the excommunicated one’s loss of the entire community.
                   
Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Whenever we prove ourselves unchristian in our relations and dealings, come to our help and make our heart and mind enlightened. Lord, send your Holy Spirit and fill us with gifts so that we may understand better the pain of the lost ones and go after them. Amen!

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