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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

“Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then Jesus and his disciples went on to another village.” (Lk 9:55)

“Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then Jesus and his disciples went on to another village.” (Lk 9:55)


Today’s Passage: Lk 9:51-56
Meditation: In the gospel of Mathew we find Jesus on his way to Jerusalem turning round and rebuking Peter, “Get away from me Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don’t come from God, but from man.” (Mt 16:23) Peter was rebuked for he was an obstacle on his way to Jerusalem. Why did Jesus then in today’s passage turn and rebuke his disciples James and John? It was really the villagers of Samaria who did not receive him or stop his way to Jerusalem. What the disciples did may be compared to the action of Jesus. But is that correct to say what the disciples did is the same as what Jesus did? It simply reminds me of the two doubts put forward by Zachariah and Mary and God’s response to them; one is seemingly ‘punished’ and the other glorified. One is accepted and the other one rejected. In today’s passage the Samaritan villagers who blocked Jesus’ way were not punished or rebuked but the disciples who questioned the villagers. What is the difference between the actions of the villagers and the disciples? It seems to me that the action of the villagers was not a premeditated one; a natural reaction between the Samaritans and the Jews for ‘the Jews will have nothing to do with the Samaritans’ (Jn 4:9) But this was not the case with Peter or the disciples. They are to be united with him and follow him everywhere in every way possible. John will say, “This is how we can be sure that we are in union with God; whoever says that he remains in union with God should live just as Jesus Christ lived.” (1Jn 1:5) This is also the reason why some of the weaknesses of the sinners and tax collectors were tolerated and of the Pharisees and teachers of the law were not tolerated. (Mt 23) The Lord says, “Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given” (Lk 12:48) Yes, more patience, forgiveness, and kindness is required from the disciples than the poor villagers; from me than from others who have not even known Jesus.
                                            
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord Jesus, many a time we have compared ourselves with the ignorant ones. Our deeds and words were like that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. But we know today that our vocation is higher than these people not only in our rights but also in our responsibilities of witnessing you and your values. Give us your Spirit and lead us in the right path. Amen! 
                

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

Monday, 29 September 2014

“Jesus answered, ‘I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you.” (Jn 1:48)

“Jesus answered, ‘I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you.” (Jn 1:48)

Today’s Passage: Jn 1:43-51
Meditation: “Jesus answered, ‘I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you.” (Jn 1:48) The immediate response of Nathanael to this was, “Teacher, you are the Son of God! You are the king of Israel!” He might have thought that nobody except God could know of his secret/private life. We read in the book of Samuel that mortals can see only the outward appearance whereas God looks into the heart of man. (1 Sam 16:7) It reminds me also of the testimony of the Samaritan woman, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” (Jn 4:29) Yes, the revelation of my past doings by someone, it has to do something with the divine knowledge. As the reminding of my past life may lead me to God’s presence, the presence of God also can lead me to think of my past life. Therefore, after the miraculous catch of fish Peter asks Jesus to go away from him for he knew that he was a sinner. (Lk 5:8) Psalmist says, “Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.” (Ps 139:4) That means he knows also of my future. Jesus says to Judas, “Be quick about what you are doing!” (Jn 13:27) Only he knows who and what I am in its complete sense for “he is the same yesterday, today and forever,” (Heb 13:7) and ‘he is the first and the last; who is, who was, and who is to come.’ (Rev 1:8) That is why it is said that being before the Lord is more than being before the mirror. It makes you go back to your past life as well as look forward with a renewed spirit. St. Paul rightly puts it when he says, “I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself.” (Phil 3:12) Let us “walk before him and be blameless.” (Gen 17:1) This is what God wanted from Abraham and today wants from me and you.
                       
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord Jesus, we do not know how to answer you for you know everything what we are. Like Peter we too repent on our sins and confess we are unworthy to be before you. But at the same we know for sure that it is this unworthiness that made us come to you and you to us. Lord, thank you for all what you have been to us. Amen! 
                

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

Sunday, 28 September 2014

“Even when you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” (Mt 21:28-32)

“Even when you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” (Mt 21:28-32)

Today’s Passage: Mt 21:28-32
Meditation: The message of today’s parable is very apparent as we understand it from the immediate response of Jesus’ listeners. When Jesus asked people after the parable, “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” They all answered, “The elder one.” That means the parable was effectively communicated to them. But the problem arose when Jesus applied the message to their life and life situations, i.e., the repentant tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before the Pharisees and the Scribes. Now Jesus is directly turning to them, “Even when you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” On this verse we will concentrate today our meditation. On Jesus’ question as to “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” They all without doubt answered, “The elder one.” It shows also that it is very easy to judge others and their deeds. We often do the same in our life too. But counting other people’s sins doesn’t ever make me a saint. It is only my repentance and returning back to the ever merciful and loving father that makes me the child of God. Therefore, we have to learn anew what the word of God speaks to you and me through this verse. Jesus himself says, “Is it not this reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?” (Mk 12:24) What all things happen in and around us, both positive and negative, are all come under the plan of God. Nothing happens in our lives without his knowledge. All these are either lessons or warnings or models to our lives. If we do not learn properly from the experiences of these people, like the Pharisees, we too will hear the judgment from Jesus, “Even when you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” (Mt 21:32) Therefore, it is not the time to judge the two sons as to who of the two was really obedient to his father or not, rather it is the time for us to review ourselves and see whether ‘I am serving and loving the Lord with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my might’ (Dt 6:4) or not. 
           
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Let us remember that counting other people’s sins doesn’t ever make me a saint. It is only my repentance and returning back to the ever merciful and loving father that makes me the child of God. Let the Holy Spirit make us repentant on our sins and confess them before and our brethren. Amen! 
                

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

Saturday, 27 September 2014

“The Son of Man is going to be handed over to the power of men.’ But the disciples did not know what this meant.” (Lk 9:44b, 45)

“The Son of Man is going to be handed over to the power of men.’ But the disciples did not know what this meant.” (Lk 9:44b, 45)



Today’s Passage: Lk 9:43b-45
Meditation: It is something a natural reaction from the disciples. After seeing the works of Jesus the people were still marveling at Jesus. (Lk 9:43b) And Jesus’ disciples also might have felt the same. Now comes Jesus’ reminder, “‘don’t forget what I am about to tell you! The Son of Man is going to be handed over to the power of men.’ But the disciples did not know what this meant.” (Lk 9:44b, 45) How can they understand this? A man who is doing great things, even miracles and wonders, is all on a sudden going to be handed over to the power of men. “It is impossible!” they might have thought. The people who enjoyed the miracle of feeding the five thousand now want Jesus to be their king, someone who will liberate them from the roman domination. But after some time when they heard Jesus saying he is the bread from heaven, they asked, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” They could not understand him and some of them turned back and would not go with him anymore. (Jn 6) Do you remember what had happened on Jesus’ trial? The people who cried out Hosanna to the Son of David are now shouting “Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!” (Jn 19:15) Why this change? It may be because they expected a political Messiah in Jesus Christ, but now he has become silent before Pilate. Who needs a silent and pathetic man! They cried out in loud voice, “Kill him! Set free Barabbas for us!” (Lk 23:18 – Barabbas had been put in prison for a riot that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) It doesn’t matter whether you are a saint or sinner, but should be dominant and powerful. Therefore, there is no other way but reject weak and fragile Jesus and accept the strong man Barabbas. Do I realize that I am doing the same thing as these people whenever I go after the power and money of this world and go away from the prayer life or sacramental life? Once again comes Jesus’ reminder ‘don’t forget what I have told you today!’  
          
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. O Jesus, I trust in you and in your everlasting forgiving love manifested on the cross. We are easily tempted to follow you who perform miracles and wonders for us than one who was crucified for us and our sins. How can we love the crosses and sufferings in our lives without loving you, the crucified one? O Holy Cross, we come to you with our own daily crosses, help us to love and bear them. Amen! 
                 

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

Friday, 26 September 2014

“Then he gave them strict orders not to tell this anyone. He also said to them, ‘The Son of Man must suffer much…” (Lk 9:21, 22)

“Then he gave them strict orders not to tell this anyone. He also said to them, ‘The Son of Man must suffer much… but three days later he will be raised to life.’” (Lk 9:21, 22)



Today’s Passage: Lk 9:18-22
Meditation: We all know the context of the verse that it is just after the declaration of Peter about Jesus, “You are Messiah.”  (Lk 9:20) Why did Jesus then stop them from telling this truth to anyone? Humanly speaking, normally people like to be praised and exalted before others. But at the same time we find also Jesus after his resurrection sending his disciples ‘to proclaim him and God’s kingdom to all nations.’ (Lk 24:47) Is it not the same Jesus asking them today not to tell anyone that he is God’s messiah? In one sense yes, he is one and the same Jesus, but in another sense he is not the same Messiah. It is because of this difference that they were asked not to announce him as messiah before others. Bible scholars unanimously say that the idea of God’s Messiah Peter had at the time of proclamation was may be only of “a God’s anointed one” or “a political messiah.” The reason behind this is that they could see in Jesus through his miracles and wonders “a political messiah” who would liberate them from the roman domination. That is why ‘they tried to make him a king after the miracle of the feeding of five thousand people.’ (Jn 6:15) If this is the idea of God’s Messiah that the disciples are going to give to people, then the people will be misled. Therefore, Jesus wanted to correct their understanding of God’s Messiah to the real Messiah. He began to teach them, “The Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. He will be put to death, but three days later he will be raised to life.” (Lk 9:21, 22) We know that what happened at the foot of the cross of Jesus. “The army officer who was standing there in front of the cross saw how Jesus had died. ‘This man was really Son of God!’ he said.” (Mk 15:39) Have I really understood Jesus, the Son of God? Or do I have the same idea of Peter after the miracles and wonders of Jesus? The one who has not understood Jesus the crucified and resurrected cannot understand Jesus the Son of God; he seeks in his life only the wonder worker Jesus. Am I really equipped to proclaim Jesus, the Son of God?                                                            
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. O Jesus, I trust in you and in your everlasting forgiving love manifested on the cross. We are easily tempted to follow you who perform miracles and wonders for us than one who was crucified for us and our sins. How can we love the crosses and sufferings in our lives without loving you, the crucified one? O Holy Cross, we come to you with our own daily crosses, help us to love and bear them. Amen!                  

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

Thursday, 25 September 2014

“When Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard about all the things that were happening he was perplexed, because...” (Lk 9:7)

“When Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard about all the things that were happening he was perplexed, because some people were saying that John the Baptist had come back to life.” (Lk 9:7)


Today’s Passage: Lk 9:7-9
Meditation: What did make Herod become so perplexed at the news? Is that the news about the healings and the preaching of Jesus? Certainly not! But, the sayings that ‘John the Baptist has been raised to life’ made him got confused and perplexed for he had John the Baptist’s head cut off. If you remember the passage of the death of John the Baptist in Mathew, there you will find Herod becoming sad on John’s beheading. It means that he didn’t want to kill him on that day, but because of the promise he had made in front of all his guests he gave orders that John’s head be cut off. (Mt 14:9, 10) It shows that this killing was really against his conscience and will. That was really haunting him thereafter. In the book of Genesis God warns Cain, “Why are so resentful and crestfallen? If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door; his urge is toward you.” (Gen 4:6, 7) Peter in his first letter admonishes the Christian community, “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1Pt 5:8) Once you have sinned and continued the life of sin without repentance, then you are under the control of Satan who make you always slave to fear, doubts and evil thoughts. This will naturally lead you to do the works of darkness and evil. Paul rightly says, “The wages of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23) But that is not the end of the story for “if we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.” (1Jn 1:9) Even the Old Testament witness to this truth as God says about Solomon, “He has not followed my ways or done what is pleasing to me according to my statutes and my decrees, as his father David.” (1 Kg 11:33) It doesn’t mean that David never committed sin rather he repented on his sins and returned to the Lord. The word of the Lord says, “The Lord was displeased with David had done.” (2 Sam 11:27) But David repented on his sin and confessed, “I have sinned against the Lord,” (2Sam 12:13) and “The Lord loved him and sent the prophet Nathan to name him Jedidiah, on behalf of the Lord.” (2 Sam 12:25) In order not to be haunted by the sins, repent, confess, and return to the Lord. 
                                               
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. O Merciful father, I trust in you and in your everlasting forgiving love. Many a time, because of my sins I went astray from you but did not repent and return to you. Now I realize that those moments were of fear and unhappiness. Like prodigal son we also want to come back to you, please send your Holy Spirit upon us that we may be conscious of our sins and return to you. Amen! 
                 

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

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

“The disciples left and travelled through all the villages, preaching the Good News and healing people everywhere.” (Lk 9:6)

“The disciples left and travelled through all the villages, preaching the Good News and healing people everywhere.” (Lk 9:6)

Today’s Passage: Lk 9:1-6
Meditation: We find in this verse that the charism of Jesus Christ is effectively and efficiently communicated to the twelve disciples. The effective communication of the conviction of the master makes the accomplishment of the task of the disciples much easier. When the master’s target and the means to attain it, is clear then, the disciples are on right track. Jesus gave his disciples the clear target of the proclamation of the message of the kingdom of God and the power they need to accomplish their ministries. The minute details of their life style during the ministry of course sharpen their concentration. We read in today’s passage, “The disciples left and travelled through all the villages, preaching the Good News and healing people everywhere.” (Lk 9:6) Today we have many projects in our minds and the financial resources for their achievements; still we lack and lose somewhere or somehow its effective accomplishment. What is happening here? I do think that the success of the mission to a certain extent depends on the concentration of the missionaries. It should not be scattered as to lose their target. Even with all the powers showered upon, why are we not yet effective in our evangelization activities? Do we have with us all those things that are prohibited to carry along with us? The first book of Samuel says, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears, and the lowing of cattle that I hear?” (1 Sam 15:14) And in the second book of kings we read, “Is this a time to accept money and to accept clothing, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, and male and female sales?” (2 Kg 5:26) These are the warnings of god received by King Saul and Gehazi, the servant of Prophet Elisha respectively. They lost their identity on their way. We should learn more of our mission than earn from mission. Therefore, Jesus said to his disciples, “Take nothing with you for the journey: no stick, no beggar’s bag, no food, no money, not even an extra shirt,” (Lk 9:3) for, to succeed in our mission we must have single minded devotion to our goal.                       
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Amen! We all are sent on the particular mission of proclamation of God. Io order to be effective in our ministry we have to rely on the one who sent us always. Once we felt that we are self sufficient then we may go astray from the target. Therefore, O God, help us always depend on your providence than on the earthly securities. Amen!   
               

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

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

“Jesus’ mother and brothers came to him, but were unable to join him because of the crowd.” (Lk 8:19)

“Jesus’ mother and brothers came to him, but were unable to join him because of the crowd.” (Lk 8:19)

Today’s Passage: Lk 8:19-21
Meditation: A mother is in search of her beloved son. I do like the picture of mother Mary about whom that old lady one day spoke up from that crowd, “How happy is the woman who bore and nursed you.” (Lk 8:27) Yes, she is the happiest and the most blessed one. ‘She is the most blessed of all women’ as Elizabeth would dare to say. (Lk 1:42) However, Mother Mary is not only the one who bore and nursed Jesus but the one who always was with Son Jesus and played a significant role in the salvific work of Jesus. Her role as mother of Jesus was not over with her giving birth to Jesus as some people would like to say. All four gospels speak of this beloved mother who is after her son. Do you remember some of the Journeys she made to meet Jesus? Those pilgrimages of Mary should be kept in our mind always and it will surely be ‘the rock of our salvation.’ When he was a boy of 12: “My son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.” (Lk 2:48) When he was misunderstood by the people: “when his family heard about it, they set out to take charge of him, because people were saying, ‘He’s gone mad!’”(Mk 3:21) When he was proclaiming the message of the kingdom of God: “Jesus was still talking to the people when his mother and brothers arrived. They stood outside asking to speak with him.” (Mt 12:46) When he was abandoned even by his disciples: “Standing close to Jesus’ cross were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” (Jn 19:25) She makes the same pilgrimages even today for you and me in a different way. Yes, she is in search of you too; when you are felt lost, misunderstood, successful, and even abandoned by all. Take her with you today itself like the beloved disciple to your own life. After the holy mass, everyday, I hear the beautiful prayer “All for Jesus through Mary.” O Mary, mother of Jesus, be with us always that we not lose Jesus, our Savior. 
                       
 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 especially for the gift of Mary your and our mother. O Mary, our dear mother, keep us always under your protection that we may never go astray    from Jesus. O holy mamma, be with us always! Amen! 
          

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

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…   

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Jesus continued, “Now to what can I compare the people of this day? What are they like?....” (Lk 7:31)

Jesus continued, “Now to what can I compare the people of this day? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the market place.” (Lk 7:31) 

Today’s Passage: Lk 7:31-35
Meditation:  A totally different face of our Lord Jesus Christ is recounted in today’s verse. Most of the gospel accounts reveal Jesus as having the feeling of sympathy or pity for the people. And that makes the background for Jesus’ miracles; feeding the five thousand people, (Mk 6:34) and raising the son of the widow at Nain, (Lk 7:13). Sometimes, we find Jesus rebuking the Pharisees, the scribes and the Sadducees, admiring John the Baptist, the people and his disciple, and meticulously observing the activities of people; poor widow’s offering and the woman’s anointing. Yet another time, he is asking for the opinion of people and disciple about himself, rejoicing in his spirit, and weeping before the tomb of Lazarus. Different and many are the scenes! Among all these today’s reaction of Jesus stands distinguished and illustrious. Does Jesus feel dejected because of the indifference of the people? May be! Because, the indifference is the greatest tragedy man is going to face, for the opposite of love is not often hatred, rather it is indifference. That is why it is said, ‘love me or hate me but spare me your indifference.’ The greatest punishment you can give to others is to be indifferent to others. The book of revelation says, “I know that you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth!” (Rev 3:16) Have your say before others! Jesus is asking today to you and me, “Do you love me?” And if, instead of giving Jesus an answer positive or negative, I remain indifferent that will be the greatest sin against him. It is high time to review ourselves and give our individual answer to him. Am I indifferent to the love of my God, my brethren, spouse, children, and friends? If yes, I am punishing him/her in a cruel way. Let us not be like the children sitting in the market place.                                                          
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Many a time, you have come to me and asked about my relationship to you, my brethren, and the church, but I was indifferent to your question. Now I know that you expect from me an answer. After receiving all the graces from you and still I keep myself indifferent to your generosity, like the one who got thousand talents and hid under the ground, I will be punished. Give me your Holy Spirit and guide me to lead a life of accountability. Amen!    

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

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

“When the Lord saw her, his heart was filled with pity for her, and he said to her, ‘Don’t cry.’” (Lk 7:13)

 “When the Lord saw her, his heart was filled with pity for her, and he said to her, ‘Don’t cry.’” (Lk 7:13) 

Today’s Passage: Lk 7:11-17
Meditation: We are blessed with a God who hears the cry of his people (Ex 3:7), wipes away every tear from the eye of his people (Rev 7:17), and teaches you and me, “Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them.” (Mt 5:4) As we read today’s passage we come across with many other similar passages where Jesus is found having compassion with his people and comforting them. But we concentrate on today’s verse and meditate. We find here that the woman’s cry is heard by Jesus and he comforts her; “When the Lord saw her, his heart was filled with pity for her, and he said to her, ‘Don’t cry.’” (Lk 7:13) It is true that he heard and saw her crying. But the most important thing was not that his seeing and hearing her cry, rather his heart was filled with pity for her and did the miracle. In the parable of the Good Samaritan also (Lk 10:25-37) we find a priest and a Levite, who saw and heard the cry of the wounded man, still walked on by, on the other side. It is not seeing or hearing, though important, that matters but your compassionate love for the other. The Good Samaritan saw the wounded man, and his heart was filled with pity. The Lord saw the weeping woman, and his heart was filled with pity. There are even moments in our life where we will not be able to give nothing to others but our pleasant and consoling presence. But that is also well counted before the lord if it is done in love and compassion. On the final judgment day a reward is reserved also for those who did that friendly visit, “I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.” (Mt 25:36) Modern times experience often the hardening of heart of people even at the moment of death of the other. At times, no one is bothered about the danger of the man in accident; rather everyone is engaged in getting the live for his FB or WhatsApp postings. Are we losing the compassion for the other?                                          
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Have mercy on us! Lord Jesus, we know that you never stopped your journey except for the cry for help. Let us also learn from you that we feel pity for the other who is in need than see and walk on by on the other side. Amen!  
  

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

Monday, 15 September 2014

“Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, ‘Here is your son.’’” (Jn 3:17)

“Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, ‘Here is your son.’ Then he said to his disciple, ‘She is your mother.’” (Jn 19:27)

Today’s Passage: Jn 19:25b-27
Meditation: This verse really reminds me of the centurion’s proclamation, “The army officer who was standing there in front of the cross saw how Jesus had died. ‘This man was really the Son of God! He said.’” (Mk 15:39) Yes! The cross and the crucifixion reveal fully God, who he is. It was not finally signs and wonders but his sufferings and crucifixion. On reflecting today’s verse, I do believe that it is not only the revelation point of God but of the disciples too. Still I remember that day on which Mary the mother of Jesus and his brothers came to meet him. People were crowding him but disciples somehow managed to inform Jesus that his mother and brothers are waiting outside to meet him. Do you remember his answer? Jesus told them, “Whoever does what my father in heaven wants him to do, is my brother, my sister, and my mother.” (Mt 12:50) Jesus sees now at the foot of the cross both his mother and his disciple who “was” and “is” with him. The cross reveals, then, also the true disciples. They do not flee from him and the cross, but stay close to him. The book of revelation says, “Be faithful to me, even if it means death, and I will give you life as your prize of victory.” (Rev 2:10)  The Lord and master Jesus loved his own to the very end (Jn 13:1) and hence, the disciples are also to do the same. Here we find the picture of true discipleship at the foot of the cross; the disciples loving their master and Lord to the very end. So beautiful it is! On the next day of the feast of exaltation of the cross, where we heard about following the cross, loving the cross, and bearing the cross, we really experience and meet two disciples of the cross and the crucified one; Mary the mother of Jesus and the beloved disciple. Today as we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, let us take her to our homes, our lives, and our hearts as our mother like the beloved disciple. She is Jesus’ one of the best gifts to us from the cross, “She is your mother.” Jesus has entrusted us to the love and care of this mother, “He is your son.” If you are under the protection of Mary, you will never be in the coverage area of Satan the eternal liar.                        
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Have mercy on us! Lord Jesus, we thank you in a special for your gift of mother Mary. We do believe that she is our mother also. Help us to live under her divine maternal protection and affection, and prove ourselves her true children. We remember also in a special way our physical mothers, who have suffered a lot for us, cared and loved us, give them your choicest blessings today. Amen!    

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

Sunday, 14 September 2014

“For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.” (Jn 3:17)

“For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.” (Jn 3:17)

Today’s Passage: Jn 3:13-17
Meditation:  This is really amazing good news for us from our loving God. He cannot judge the world but only love. How it comes? We know that God is the truth, the holiness, and the goodness. If he comes to the world that which is not good, there should naturally be a judgment. But we hear from God himself that there is no judgment on the world at all. “For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.” (Jn 3:17) Do you believe this word? I do believe that God cannot judge but only love. Why? The reason is very simple that he loved the world so much. This is the greatest weakness of the almighty eternal God. Do you really love anyone in your life? If you love someone so much, then you won’t need any explanation for this word. Mother Theresa says, “If you judge others there is no time to love them,” God perfected it today saying to you and me, ‘if you love others there is no time to judge others.’  But at times I am struggling with this problem of judging others. Yes, I do remember some moments where I went judging others; their words and deeds. It was only later I realized it was those moments where I lost love toward others. St. Paul reminds today you and me, “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.” (1 Cor 13:4-7) On this solemnity of the exaltation of the Holy Cross let us learn to love the cross and its fruits instead of just wearing it.
    
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Have mercy on us! Lord Jesus, it is through your cross we realized and experienced the depth of your love. Teach us today that cross is not something we should get rid of, but something we should take up in our daily life, follow you and glorify you. Amen!
   

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

Saturday, 13 September 2014

“A good person brings good out of the treasure of good things in his heart; a bad person brings bad ...” (Lk 6:41)

“A good person brings good out of the treasure of good things in his heart; a bad person brings bad out of his treasure of bad things. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Lk 6:41)

Today’s Passage: Lk 6:43-49
Meditation:  It is true that a man cannot give what he doesn’t have; or one can give to others only from what he has. Jesus says, “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Lk 6:41) That means our words reveal ourselves without veil. The net result is that we are judged or justified by our words and deeds. I do remember whenever the teenagers and the youth come for some spiritual conversation or counseling and share their problems; I used to give them these inspiring words of the Lord. Most of them were under some bad habits or sins. We know for sure that nothing is so stronger than a habit. Therefore, if you want a change in your life then change your habits. Jesus says, “A good person brings good out of the treasure of good things in his heart; a bad person brings bad out of his treasure of bad things.” (Lk 6:41)  This treasure of good and bad is accumulated through our own habits. And if you suffer from bad habits and want to get rid of them, first keep yourself away from those who encourage these habits. Second proper way to eliminate bad habits from your life is to replace them with good habits. Make it a habit to say good words, see and hear good things, and think what is good. The angel Gabriel was sent to Mary who was “full of grace.” (Lk1:28) We are called to have treasures of goodness and holiness. Therefore, never encourage evil doings and sayings of others. We find people sending likes to FB friends’ postings or forwarding them. Of course it is a good encouragement for your friends but before sending your likes or forwarding them, make sure whether this ‘like’ is to encourage good or not. Remember each time you open a bad website is an encouragement for these evil doers. Benjamin Franklin used say, “It is easier to prevent bad habits than breaking it.” Together with this let us also try to have some good habits which will make us good people.
      
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord Jesus, sanctify all senses, especially our eyes, ears, and lips; make them instruments of goodness and holiness. Teach us to learn that judgment lies in our very selection of good and evil. Mother Mary full of grace and goodness help us to share in always what is good and holy. Amen!


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

Friday, 12 September 2014

“Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but pay attention to the log in your own eye?” (Lk 6:41)

 “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but pay attention to the log in your own eye?” (Lk 6:41)

Today’s Passage: Lk 6:39-42
Meditation:  This is one of the real problems you and I daily face with. Some persons will say that judging others defines who you are primarily rather than who others are. In a sense it is very true for by judging others you reveal yourself completely first and your judgment on others but still be on wait for verification. It is true that we are seeing mostly with our eyes not ourselves but others. Therefore, there is a tendency to judge others and their doings than ourselves. And it is a fact that our eyes have got two eyelids mainly to protect our eyes from the dangers of dusts and dirt. But it can also be used as to see things or not to see. Often we do it in our lives as something we don’t like to see, we close our eyes. There are also moments in our lives even when our eyes are wide open we don’t see some things in others or outside. How does it happen? It can happen when you love someone with all his/her weaknesses and shortcomings. It is the case with the mothers who love their beloved children, husbands their wives, and teachers their beloved children. But if it were on the others whom they don’t like then they make the judgments on them one after the other. Therefore, Mother Theresa rightly says, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Another thing is that by judging others, you make yourself easy to judge. They will say to you in return, “Judge me, go ahead, and just remember to be perfect the rest of your life.” Therefore, John Wesley says, “We should be rigorous in judging ourselves and gracious in judging others.” Then we won’t be able to look at the speck in our brothers’ eye, without paying attention to the log in our eye. I finish this reflection with the caption that often comes to my mind, ‘don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you.’                                                    
 Prayer:    Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord Jesus, as human beings, we are unable to make correct judgment on others for we can make judgment based only on the external appearances of others. But you know everything even the thoughts of the minds of the human beings. Therefore, let us always come before you and know who are and how we are. Having the feeling of forgiven by the Lord let us also be merciful toward our brethren. Amen!  

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