Sep 1 (Lk 5:1-11)

“Would you like to come along with me, for a short walk along the sea?

>> We could share some of our experiences of life… 

… that would probably help us to live better!”

These are the words of Simon Peter, the Apostle of Jesus.
Saying a “Yes” to this invitation…

… let us now stroll along with Simon Peter, as he recounts, in first person, his experiences…

“Ah, so there you, my friend!
I am so happy that you have accepted my invitation.
Uh… by the way, be careful, as we walk along the sea…

…. ‘cos there might be some rough stones and thorny bushes. 

>> Just mind your steps, as we walk along.
So, where shall I begin with?
Hmm.. I guess I shall begin with my beginning itself…

… my beginnings with the Lord!
Let me start by saying that nothing much about my life before I encountered the Lord, is known to others.

But that itself, I feel, is a point of great reflection…

>> That unless we come to the Lord, our life is mere existence…

… nothing noteworthy, nothing special, nothing significant!

>> Only when we are in the Lord…

… do we have a meaning and purpose in life!
>> Only when we are in the Lord…

… can we say that our lives have a destination and a goal!
How I wish that many more discover Jesus as the purpose and objective of one’s life!

>> How I pray that followers of Christ may have more zeal to bring many to the love of Christ!

So continuing with my story – of my beginnings in the Lord – …

>> How very fresh is the memory of that golden day in my life!

… The day the Lord came to me and called me to be His “fisher of men” (as we would read in the Gospel of my friend St Luke 5: 10)
My friend St Luke, told you in 4:38-39, that my mother-in-law was healed of a severe fever.
This incident had brought great joy and hope to our family. 
Somehow, ( I probably guess so.. though am not fully sure!), that miracle had also sparked a sense of interest and liking in me, towards that Great Rabbi, Jesus!

>> He was already moving across streets in villages and towns bringing much healing and hope

>> He was also revealing God as a Father… as One Who was much more closer and lovable and friendlier, than many of us traditional Jews had thought!

But the experience of that glorious day still lingers in my mind…

… so fresh… so gracious!
My Master had his large crowd of fans gathered around him. 
It was such a privilege that my boat was used by the Master to stand and preach to the crowds!

>> Yeah, my simple boat became His Great Instrument of Evangelization!

… You can call it as the story of “Pauper Peter’s Plank transformed into the Precious Preacher’s Pulpit!”

After the great round of boldly proclaiming the Word of God…

… it was time for the Word to touch me!
The Master, with His powerful words reached out to me, “Put out into the deeper water and lower your nets for a catch!”
But of course, all of you do know that I am a very instinctual and impulsive man!
The “expertise” in me protested and said, “We have worked the whole night and caught nothing!”
But this is where the Master “caught me”

>> That was the bait, by which I, the little fish, would be hooked by the Great Fisherman of Galilee!
I thought I knew everything about the seas… about fishing…!
But the Lord, the Creator of all…

… sliced through my inner being and exposed my weakness!
The miraculous catch of fish that followed was a lesson in humility and obedience!

>>  I thought I knew everything… only to realize, that “human knowledge is foolishness before God’s Wisdom”

>> I felt I was an expert in my area of activity… only to realize that “human minds have to always bend before the One Who has shaped and created this entire universe!”
And so I cried out…”Depart from me, Lord! I am a sinful man!”
That was the beginning…

… of the end of my pride

… of the end of wanting “my way”
For it was also the beginning…

… of a new way of life for me!
Yes, God’s Mercy had touched me!

… and His Mercy had sparked me in a new vocation – the vocation to be “fishers of men!”

>> His Mercy would continue to accompany me, all through my life…

…. in times when I would act impulsively as the leader of the group

… in times when I would go on to betray my Master

… in times, when I would once again be called to follow the Lord after His Resurrection

… in times, when I would be instilled with hope to continue as His Vicar on the earth! 
And so I strongly believe in this statement: “Mercy is the source and the strength of every vocation!” 

>> Be it any vocation: Family life…. Consecrated Life…. Priestly Life… Celibate life…
Have you discovered the meaning and depth of this statement?
>> Check into your lives and see…

… so many are the acts of mercy of God in your life

… so many are the ways in which the Mercy of God has led you through
Perhaps, many times, you are not aware… many times, you have taken it for granted!

>> But look deeper… and surely you will find: Your life is a living witness of God’s Mercy!
And so, become aware that “Mercy is the source and the strength of every vocation!” 

Hmmm…Are you still with me?
I guess, I do talk a lot, right?
Well, as you see, I do have tears in my eyes now… (tears of joy, of course!)

… and this would be the joy you too experience, when your life is touched by the Mercy of God

>> And you give yourself, entirely to Jesus, the Great Fisherman of Galilee…and my Hero!

Are you willing to leave everything and follow Him…

… just as I did?”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


​CATHOLIC CARTRIDGE – To learn, revive, love and be faithful… to our Catholic Faith! 


We are in the Jubilee Year of Mercy

>> The year began on Dec 8, 2015 and concludes on Nov 20, 2016.
Among the many gifts and graces showered in this Jubilee…

… one of the prominent one is The Holy Door of Mercy.
We make a reflection on the importance of the Holy Door of Mercy…

… and thus prepare ourselves, to make use of this opportunity given by the Lord.

A. What is the Holy Door?

The Holy Door or “Porta Sancta” has been opened during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, giving an opportunity to receive a Plenary Indulgence , along with various other significances.


>> It was Pope Martin V, who in 1423, at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, opened the Holy Door for the first time in the history of the Jubilee. 

>> In the Vatican Basilica, the opening of the Holy Door is first mentioned at Christmas 1499
In every diocese, the Holy Door of Mercy is opened in the Cathedral. 

>> Also depending on the Diocese, a Holy Door is opened in Basilicas, Shrines or churches of importance. 

The Holy Door of Mercy will close on November 13, 2016. 

>> The Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican will close on November 20, 2016.

B. Significance and relevance of Holy Door (Thoughts while entering the Door of Mercy)

1. Our life is a constant journey towards eternity – moving from Sin towards Salvation

>> The crossing of the Holy Door symbolizes that we are ready to leave behind our worldly ways and enter into the life of eternity. 

>> It is a passage signifying leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace, from slavery to freedom, and from darkness to light!

2. Entry into the Holy Presence of God

>> In the Old Testament, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies once in a year, which was behind the large and heavy Veil

>> The passing through the Holy Door signifies, the Veil, which was torn down by Christ’s Death, is now opened, and we are to enter into the Holy Presence of God
3. Christ is the Door

>> Jesus says in Jn 10:7, “I am the gate for the sheep”

>> He is the Door through which we need to enter, to receive eternal life
4. We respond to Christ’s invitation

>> In Jn 3:20, Jesus says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock…”

>> By entering through the Door of Mercy, we are responding to this invitation of Jesus to “dine with Him”
5. The Door signifies waters of mercy gushing forth

>> In the Old Testament, we read Moses stuck at the rock and the waters gushed forth

>> The Door of Mercy is opened now for us, and the waters of God’s Grace and Mercy flow into us
6. The open Door signifies our hearts and minds

>> By entering through the Holy Door, we are also telling that I am ready to open the door of my mind and heart, to all others – in order to give them God’s mercy and compassion
7. The Door of Mercy is an experience of the Love of God

>> Pope Francis exhorts that ” the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope.”
8. The Holy Door is a reminder to revive and replenish our Sacramental Life

>> Many of the sacramental rituals begin at the Door …

…The parents welcomed as they bring their child for baptism

… The bride and groom blessed as they begin the wedding liturgy

… The catechumens greeted at the rite of acceptance

… The casket received at the beginning of the funeral liturgy.
>> The Holy Door reminds us that Christian Life is strengthened and nurtured by the frequent and worthy reception of the Sacraments of the Church. 

C. The Holy Door of Mercy gives an opportunity to receive a plenary indulgence

An Indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.

>> A Plenary Indulgence is one which removes all of the temporary punishments due to sin

(A partial indulgence removes only a part)
What are the conditions to be fulfilled to receive the Plenary Indulgence, while passing through the Holy Door of Mercy?

1. Make a sacramental confession

2. A firm resolution to stay away (complete detachment) from all sins , including venial sins

3. Receive the Holy Communion 

4. Pray for the Intentions of the Holy Father (The Our Father and Hail Mary are suggested)

4. Pass through the Holy Door of Mercy with the intention of receiving the Indulgence

5. Perform ANY ONE of the following:

… A work of piety (a pilgrimage or some pious devotion like Rosary, Stations of the Cross or participate in adoration etc)

… A work of mercy or charity 

… An act of penance (abstinence or fasting)


Ideally, these are to be done on the same day.

>> But if not possible, it is to be carried out in around 2-3 weeks time
The indulgence, which can be gained only once a day, can be applied…

… either to oneself

… or the souls of the deceased

>> They cannot be applied to other persons living on the earth

We are less than 3 months away from the closing of this Jubilee year.
Have we responded to the invitation of the Church to “pass through” this Holy Door?
If not, let us make earnest efforts…

… individually

… or (ideally) as a family or a community

>> To pass through the Holy Door of Mercy and receive the gift of Indulgence!
God Bless! Live Jesus!

Aug 31 (Lk 4:38-44)

Altruism is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others. 

>> Altruism is selflessness – the opposite of selfishness.
It consists of sacrificing something for someone with no expectation of any compensation or benefits, either direct or indirect.

The Gospel of the Day presents the Altruistic Ideal – Jesus – engaged in number of works…

… of healing

… of rebuking the evil spirits

… of bringing consolation and joy to the people.

In Luke 4:18, Jesus announced His Mission Programme of  “…bringing good news to the poor, liberty to the captives,  new sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed…”
In accordance with this manifesto, Jesus sets forward to announce the Kingdom of God through His mighty deeds and works.

The Lord unveils the Compassionate Face of the Father and reveals His Benevolent Heart to the needy and the deprived.

He cures Simon’s mother-in-law of her fever and restores her to good health and wellbeing…(Lk 4:39)
>> Am I today in need of a touch of the Lord…

… which casts away forces that makes weak and fragile?

… which takes away the fever of tiredness and fatigue of spiritual life?

… which restores me back in serving and assisting others in my life?

At sunset, He laid His hands on many with sicknesses and diseases and cured them all… (Lk 4:40)
>> In the sunset of darkness and pain in my life…

…. Do I go to the Lord to receive the Light of Hope and Healing?
>> In the sunset of emptiness in my spiritual life…

… Do I go to the Lord to receive the Light of Faith and Revival?
>> In the sunset of frustrations and despair…

… Do I go to the Lord to receive the Light of Encouragement and Support?
>> In the sunset of sadness and lukewarmness…

… Do I go to the Lord to receive the Light of Joy and Revitalization?

He also rebuked many demons and commanded them to let go of many possessed people… (Lk 4: 41)
>> Am I tormented by the demons of evil forces and satanic powers….. ? 

… The power of the Lord is here to deliver! 
>> Am I tormented by the demons of bad, unhealthy addictions…? 

… The power of the Lord is here to overcome! 
>> Am I tormented by the demons of filthy words and dirty thoughts…? 

… The power of the Lord is here to liberate! 
>> Am I tormented by the demons of peer pressure and societal strains…? 

… The power of the Lord is here to set free!

The Lord at the end of today’s Gospel passage expresses His intentions of going to other towns to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God! 
The zeal and enthusiasm of the Lord to reach out the Gospel to many others is really amazing….


Do I imitate the Lord…

…. in being zealous to reach out God’s goodness and kindness to many other people? 

… in being fervent to let ignorant people to know the saving message of the Gospel?

The Gospel of the Day invites us to take note of the Altruistic Spirit of Jesus…
The Altruism of Jesus challenges us…

…. to reach out to many sick and suffering and troubled and weak-hearted and afflicted people with the Love and Compassion and Healing and Mercy of the Lord!

… to go beyond our zones of comfort and help the lonely and the depressed and the unwanted and the rejected and the discriminated with the Acceptance and Restoration of the Lord!

Jesus was possessed by a deep love of His Father…

>>  It made Him to be Altruistic in reaching out to others. 
Jesus was filled with a deep fervour for the Kingdom…

>> It made Him to be Altruistic in saving and healing others.

Today, You and I, are invited and challenged to imitate and follow Jesus, the Ideal Altruist!

Let us show forth that we are Children of our Heavenly Father and soldiers of the Kingdom of God, not only through our words but much more by our Altruistic words and deeds and actions.

St Gregory the Great would say, “He is not wise to me who is wise in words only, but he who is wise in deeds.”
Let us grow in selfless deeds and noble tasks and self-sacrificing actions!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Aug 30 (Lk 4:31-37)

(Warning: Kindly read the following first few lines with caution…. the weak-hearted ones especially…) 

The Sedlec Ossuary is a small Catholic chapel, located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints in the town of Sedlec, in the country of the Czech Republic. 
What’s so specially about this Chapel? 

>> Or rather, what’s so strange and weird about this Chapel? 
The Chapel is estimated to contain the skeletons of around 40,000 – 70,000 people, whose bones have been artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel!

The ossuary is among the most visited tourist attractions of the Czech, attracting over 200,000 visitors yearly.
Yeah, a Bone and Skeleton filled Chapel!! 
Bizarre, right?

But the wonderful thing about this horrific-looking and ghastly-appearing Chapel is that, in the midst of all these dead and lifeless bones, reigns the Cross of Christ, right at the middle of the Chapel!
The sight of the powerful Christ in the dead and gloomy atmosphere, is a tremendous sign of Faith and Hope!


Yes, God reigns in the midst of every terrorizing event, every bizarre place and every haunting situation!
It is this truth that is also boldly testified and witnessed in the Gospel Reading today. 

Jesus encounters a man possessed by an evil spirit and who was violent and vociferous in his shoutings! 
He yells and screams, ” You are the Holy One of God!”

But there is a strange reply from Jesus… 

>> With much authority, Jesus commands to the evil possessed person, ” Be Silent….!”

Why is it that the Lord of all Authority and Power silences the cry of the evil spirits?

They were actually saying the truth that Jesus is the Holy One of God! 

>> The demons were giving witness to who Jesus really was…

… and perhaps even acted as great advertisements to the people of the town. 

Were they not actually making Jesus more popular and making known his fame and power to all?

Then, why does Jesus forbid them so strongly and powerfully in their declaration about Him?

There could be several factors…

>> And these factors also teach us, how we need to be aware of the tricks and techniques of the evil one and seek to be wary of those misleading trades of Satan…

1. They were more of a distraction than an honest witness 
>> The evil spirit was creating a scene….

… and was taking away the attention of the people from the teachings of Jesus. 
>> The evil spirit was creating flutter and chaos in the gathering…

… to excite curiosity and fear and undue emotions. 


>> The evil spirit was moving the minds of the people from the truth…

… to something spectacular and showy.

Do I get trapped in the flashy and glitzy and astonishing aspects of religion and forsake instead the serene and sublime and gentle teachings and wisdom of the Lord?

2.  They were more into defrauding than rendering genuine witness

>> The evil spirit was seeking to dominate the senses of the man…

… and acquire total control of the human person. 
>> The evil spirit being allowed to speak would have meant…

… that Jesus gave approval to its possession of the man. 
>> The evil spirit wanted to prove and demonstrate its power…

… over the faculties and abilities of the person.

Do I allow my senses- my mouth, my eyes, my ears, my body, my thoughts – to be controlled and manipulated by the evil spirit…even evil spirits in the form of drugs, smoking, alcohol, sex, vices, money etc….?

3.  They were more into deception than giving a true witness

>> The evil spirit liked to present half-knowledge as the Truth…

… just like the Serpent did to Eve, in the Eden Garden. 
>> The evil spirit was a cheater who traps a person into his ways….

… with subtle styles of deceptiveness and falsity. 
>> The evil spirit was an expert in disguising himself in the form…

… of many alluring and tempting appearances.

Do I get trapped into deception of the Evil One, by being caught up in the baits of populist gospel preaching, attractive and easy-go-spiritualities and comfortable and glamorous ways of living? 

The Lord today wants to encounter the evil forces in our lives…our families…our communities…our world!
When we encounter the powerful Saviour, perhaps…

… We too yell

… Or resist

… Or say no

… Or say “I don’t need” etc…

But the Lord wants to overpower the Evil… 

>> He commands and orders, “Be Silent…”

Let us be open to receive the healing touch of the Lord. 

>> My Life may be filled with bizarre events…

>> My society or my world may be  tangled with a lot of filth and evil ….

>> My surroundings may be cluttered with many repulsive objects and events…
Yet, in the midst of all this…the Lord..the God of all Authority and Power, still reigns supreme!

>> Yes, God reigns in the midst of every terrorizing event, every bizarre place and every haunting situation!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Aug 29 (Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist – Mk 6:17-29)

“Here’s the smell of the blood still…

All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. 

Oh, oh, oh!”
This is the infamous line uttered by Lady Macbeth, in Shakespeare’s famous work, “Macbeth”.
Having successfully plotted in killing King Duncan…

… Lady Macbeth, the main character of the play, undergoes a terrible and dreadful agony of the guilt and culpability of the murder.
The death of innocent blood haunts and torments her soul and plunges her into deep distress.
The consequence of a deadly sin can paralyze one’s mind and soul to deep ordeals of torture and anguish!

Today on this Memorial of the Martyrdom of St John the Baptist, the Gospel of the Day presents one such character – King Herod…

…. who underwent an intense tribulation after having murdered John the Baptist, an innocent and holy man.

>> And invites us to make an honest examination of conscience in the light of this “murder most foul!”

King Herod had exercised his authority and sinfulness by beheading John the Baptist. (Mt 14:1-12; Mk 6:14-27). 
The demon of guilt and shame of a “murder most foul” kept haunting him.

In this dizzy and shaken state of mind, King Herod hears about the deeds and wonders of another man, Jesus. (Mk 6: 14-16)
His guilt-filled and confused mind is unable to grasp the identity of this new man who works marvels and so he asks:

“I had John beheaded; WHO IS THIS MAN about whom I hear such wonders?” (Mk 6:16)

The king hounded by sin and shame failed to grapple the mystery of the Son of God, the King of kings!

Herod’s question is perhaps, one the most important question ever asked or answered – “WHO IS THIS MAN?” 
Being confused about who Jesus is, is not new trend…

… this is especially seen in the Gospel of St Luke. 
>> In Lk 5:21 – At the healing of the paralytic, the Scribes and Pharisees begin to ask, “WHO IS THIS who speaks blasphemy?”


>> In Lk 7:19 – The disciples of John the Baptist question Him, “ARE YOU THE ONE WHO IS TO COME, or should we look for another?”
>> In Lk 7:49 – After the pardon of the sinful woman who washed His feet, the others, who were invited for the meal commented, “WHO IS THIS who even forgives sins?” 
>> In Lk 8:25 – After witnessed the calming of the sea and the storms, the disciples inquire, “WHO then IS THIS, who commands even the winds and the sea, and they obey Him?“
>> In Lk 9:20 – Jesus Himself asks His disciples, “WHO do you say AM I?“
>> In Lk 20:2 – The chief priests and scribes question Jesus, “By what AUTHORITY ARE YOU doing these things? Or who is the one WHO GAVE YOU AUTHORITY?“
>> In Lk 22:70 – The council of elders and the chief priests and the scribes question Jesus, “ARE YOU then THE SON OF GOD?“

The persona of Jesus surpasses great minds and cannot be arrested by hardened hearts! 

>> The character of Jesus baffles proud mentalities and cannot be captured by cynical spirits!
Human explanations fail to encompass the mystery of Jesus.

>> Secular approaches fail to be fascinated by the glory of Jesus.

>> Philosophical interpretations fail to explain the depth of Jesus.

King Herod was greatly disturbed with a guilty conscience and a sinful heart.

>> He was threatened by the mighty deeds of Jesus, who was being considered a King.
The sinful and corrupt Kingdom of Herod was facing a challenge by the pure and holy Kingdom of God!

What is my approach to Jesus and His awesome Kingdom?
>> Am I, like King Herod…

…. filled with fear and doubts because of my sinful conscience and guilty mind?
>> Am I eager, like King Herod…

… to see some miracles of Jesus, just to satisfy my curiosity, but not for repentance?
>> Am I hesitant to encounter the Lord…

… because that could mean having a transformation and renewal of my life? 

Like Lady Macbeth or King Herod, the burden of our sins and weakness might plague us.. 

>> But the Lord promises His treasure of peace, tranquility and harmony if we seek Him in sincerity!

The consequence of a deadly sin can paralyze one’s mind and soul to deep ordeals of torture and anguish!
The perfumes of Arabia cannot cleanse us. 

>> The wealth of the world cannot satisfy us. 
But the Blood of Christ will purify us…

>> The Body of Christ will strengthen us

>> The Word of Christ will enliven us!

There is true salvation, genuine joy and true happiness…

…. if we approach the Lord with a repentant heart! 

May the mighty witness given by St John the Baptist, to remain firm and convinced in the values of the Kingdom…

… even in the face of martyrdom, be a big challenge to all us in this secular world! 

May St John the Baptist intercede for us, to live a life of commitment and conviction. 

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Aug 28 (Lk 14: 1, 7-14)

Sir Isaac Newton is considered to be one of the greatest scientists of all time.

>> It was Newton who had discovered the Laws of Gravity which caused great advancements in the field of astronomical studies.


But there was another person, who had greatly helped Newton to climb this ladder of success…

… and of fame and popularity.

>> But he mostly remains unknown!


His name is Edmund Halley.


>> It was Halley who corrected some of the mathematical errors committed by Newton.

>> It was Halley who prepared geometrical figures to support his discoveries.

>> It was Halley who edited and supervised the publication of his great work, “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”

>> It was also Halley who financed its printing even though Newton was wealthier and easily could have afforded the printing costs


These acts are considered to be among the most selfless ones in the history of science.


But, Halley hardly received any prominence or recognition.


He is, of course, known for the discovering a comet named the “Halley’s Comet”

… which appears briefly every 76 years.

>>  But it was recognized only after his death!


Halley is stated to have said that he didn’t care who received credit for discoveries…

>> His single mission in life was to advance the cause of science…

… and he did it!



To do an act of goodness and charity, without…

>> Wanting appreciation…

>> Seeking recognition…

>> Desiring applauds…

… though, a mighty challenge, is at the same time, a Christian demand!



The Gospel of the Day is a call from Jesus to examine our attitude towards others…

… and grow in this tremendous dimension of the Virtue of Humility!



We are in the 14th Chapter of St Luke.


Jesus has been invited for a dinner to the house of a leading Pharisee on a Sabbath Day.

>> He has just cured a person with dropsy…

… a disease wherein water gets retained in the body


>> He also tried to cure persons with hypocrisy…

… a disease wherein duplicity gets retained in the mind!



And now He seeks to cure the attitude of the people who have a false understanding of giving.


Jesus says:

“When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends, or your brothers and relatives and wealthy neighbours. For surely they will invite you in return and you will be repaid” (Lk 14:12)



Much of our giving is based purely on the (hidden) aspect of receiving back…

>> Much of our sharing is based purely on an (unconscious) agenda of getting back…


>> We share our time with friends…

often expecting that they too will accompany us in our times of hardships and difficulties!


>> We work hard for our families..

often expecting that they too will be with us in our moments of struggle & not leave us lonely!


>> We render service to many people who are in need…

often expecting that they too will render us assistance in our difficulties!


>> We pray to God & make a lot of sacrifices…

often expecting that He’ll meet all our expectations, in the way & time, we want!


>> We love many saints…

often expecting that they’ll make faster intercession on our behalf and get our works done quickly.



We have, perhaps, become very business oriented:

>>  I give, and expect returns…

>> I share, and expect a bonus…



But the Lord, in today’s Gospel comes down heavily on such an attitude.


“When you give, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind…because they cannot repay you” (Lk 14:13)



>> We are exhorted to give to those…

… who may never be able to repay back.


>> We are challenged to help those…

… who may never have a chance to return back the favour.



The Lord who said these words, shows us an example in the highest manner possible….

>> In the Holy Eucharist!



The Holy Eucharist is the best example and model…of such kind of a giving..


>> A giving without expecting back!

>>  A sharing without seeking back!


The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the poor…

… we who are poor in our morals and purity

… we who are poor in our commitment and dedication



The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the Crippled…

… crippled with our many sins and faults

… crippled with the guilt of many past failures


The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the Lame…

… lame in our longing and thirst for the Divine

… lame in our acts of self-giving and self-sacrifice


The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the Blind…

… blind to the cries of those around us

…blind to see our habits which needs repentance & improvement



Jesus, who gives Himself entirely in the Holy Eucharist today challenges us to do the same:

“I give myself to you as food and nourishment…

… even though many people fail to thank me!

>> Can you also give yourselves to nourish the lives of others…

… even if they fail to acknowledge?”


“I give myself to you in joy, happiness and peace…

… even though many despise and mock me!

>> Can you also become a source of joy to others…

… even if they back-bite and spread calumny?”


“I give myself to you as a healing for sin and guilt…

… even though many hate and desecrate me!

Can you also become a healing touch to the other…

… even if it means dying slowly to yourself slowly die in the process?”



Yes, as Christians, we have to grow in humility…

>> Our single mission in life ought to be, the advancement of the Kingdom of God…

… and we ought to pray and work for this virtue!



The onus is on us…


May we seek the grace and make the efforts…

… to do acts of goodness and charity, without…

>> Wanting appreciation…

>> Seeking recognition…

>> Desiring applauds…

… which, though, a mighty challenge, is at the same time, a Christian demand!



God Bless! Live Jesus!

Aug 27 (Mt 24:14-30)

Jesus was a classic story-teller.
He loved telling stories and parables. 
The parables of Jesus are quite simple and often with humble imagery. 

>> Probably the most touching and best parable of Jesus? … The Parable of the Prodigal Son!
>> Probably the most challenging parable of Jesus for our society?…The Parable of the Good Samaritan!
>> Probably the most hopeful parable of Jesus for the lost ones?…The Parable of the Good Shepherd!
>> Probably the most comforting parable of Jesus for the helpless ones?…The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus!
>> Probably the most merciful and generous parable of Jesus?… The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard!
>> And, Probably the most practical and feasible parable of Jesus?…The Parable of the Talents!

Of course, we may have our own opinions and differences and overlappings with respect to this list. 
But many of us will surely agree that the Parable of the Talents is a very practical and do-able parable of Jesus…

>> And invites us to shake off our slumber and laziness…

… and awake to a life of responsibility and accountability!

The Gospel of the Day, Mt 25:14-30 presents before us this simple-to-understand and practical-to-follow Parable of the Lord:  the Parable of the Talents!

Readers are drawn to this Parable because it is simple, clear and easy to understand.

>> And its lessons are hard to miss!! 

This parable tells what to do while we live in this world and the need to be responsible and dutiful. 

The Parable introduces the fact that the servants were judged by the way, they managed the master’s resources.

We learn a very crucial truth from this: All that we have belongs to God! 
>> All… 

>> Fully…

>> Totally…

>> Everything… 

>> Completely…

… Belongs to GOD! 

>> We own nothing…

>> We hold no space…

>> We possess no one…

… All belongs to GOD! 

He made them…

… He gave them to us

>> And One Day… He will take them from us again. 
Even our life itself is a gift from God! 

If only our world and our generation were to grow more and more in this truth…! 
>> How often we hold on to our possessions…

… and go bonkers in preserving and safeguarding them! 
>> How often we seek twisted and distorted ways…

… to acquire more wealth and capture vital status and ranks! 
>> How often we resort to disgraceful and shameful means…

… to win over positions and powers and authority! 


>> How often we play dirty games and indulge in dreadful activities…

… to put down people and go up in dominance! 

Another aspect we see the word used in the parable – “talents”.
Usually, when we hear the word “talents” in English, we tend to think of some natural abilities, like…

… playing the piano

… or being good at some sports 

… or being skilled in painting or knowing how to handle computers etc….

In the time of Jesus, however…

… the ‘talent’ was referred to a huge amount of money. 

One talent would represent approximately 16½ years of salary for a labourer. 
>> To give a man two talents would equal around 33 years of salary….

>> To give a man five talents would be like giving him 80 years of salary to invest…  

That’s indeed a huge amount, isn’t it? 
Imagine, how rich would the Owner himself have been!

But what was the criteria in giving different people a particular amount of money? 

>> Each one according to one’s ability
And who made this determination to allocate the amount of money?

>> The Master himself, according to His wish!

Here’s another truth: God is not obligated to treat us, like he treats anyone else. 
He can give us more or He can give us less than others.

>> Some have more money and talent and opportunity and strength and health and relationships than others. 
>> Others have less money and talent and opportunity and strength and health and relationships!

It’s not about being unlucky. >> It’s not about our ill-fate. >> It’s not about being inauspicious!

The Master…has total sovereignty and freedom with what and how much HE wants to give to His people!

This leaves us with a choice: 

1. We can either crib and gripe and grumble and complain about our situation and make excuses and just sit idle! 
2. We can accept the given situation we are in and start from where we are and do what we the best! 

>> The Dynamics of Comparison is useless…

… the Tactic of Hard Work is amazing! 
>> The Strategy of Complaining is ineffective…

… the Scheme of Determination is superb! 
>> The Policy of  Grumpiness is futile…

… the Approach of Gratefulness is incredible!

The Parable of the Talents is a very Practical Parable that the Lord has offered us!

Yesterday is past… 

… tomorrow is the Future.
>> But Today is a GIFT… 

… that’s why, it is called as The PRESENT! 


… by seeking His Grace and combining it with our hard works and determination! 

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Aug 26 (Mt 25:1-13)

One of the common songs that many of us know is… 

“Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning… Keep me burning till the end of day…”
Every Christian is called to become a beacon of light in the darkness…

…. and to be a shining star in the ambience of every night.

The Gospel of the Day too shares this aspect and reminds the aspect of being watchful for the Coming of the Lord. 
The Lord presents the parable of the ten virgins…

… with five of them being wise in keeping the lamps ready, with sufficient oils

… and the other five being foolish, in failing to make any efforts to have the lamp lit `
The message of the Parable is to “Be ready, dressed for service, AND KEEP YOUR LAMPS LIT…” (as we read in Lk 12: 35) 

>> To keep our lamps lit – is the reminder and challenge of the Gospel today. 

At our Baptism, we all have received the Light of Christ. 

>> This light, is not just to be preserved, but is to be nurtured and fostered daily. 
But we live in a world when there are many a winds seeking to put off this light in us. 

>> We live in a world, where there is a strong engulfing of the darkness trying to drown the light in us.

What are the different winds that are seeking to put off the Light of Christ in us?

>> We have a look at some of those factors, with examples from the Bible..
1.  The wind of “losing the focus from God”
>>  King David 

King David was a shining light to the people of his kingdom, as long as he followed the teachings and had his focus on God. 
But when he allowed his focus to shift from God, he sinned. 

>> He allowed himself to focus on the object of his pleasure by sinning with the wife of Uriah. 
The wind of “losing the focus from God” blew strong to put off the light in him…. 


>> Samson

Samson was a shining light of power and might, as long as he was faithful to God and had his focus on God. 
But when he allowed his focus to shift from God, he sinned. 

>> He allowed himself to focus on the object of his delight by revealing the secret to Delilah 
The wind of “losing the focus from God” blew strong to put off the light in him…. 

>> Peter

Peter was a shining light to his disciples as a person of faith, as long as he followed the instructions of his Master to walk on the waters. 
But when he allowed his focus to shift from the Lord, he began to sink. 

>> He allowed himself to focus on the object of his fear and self-panic. 
The wind of “losing the focus from God” blew strong to put off the light in him….

2. The wind of “being focused on one’s own selfish interests” 
>>  Saul

Saul was adorned to be the first king of Israel; however, as his reign continued, his own selfish motives began to creep in his kingship. 
When he “began to be more self-centered”, he began to lose the approval of God. 
The wind of “being focused on one’s own selfish interests” blew strong to put off the light in him… 
>> The Pharisees and Scribes 

The Pharisees and Scribes during the time of Jesus, insisted much on their selfish agenda in the imposition and following of the Laws. 
When they “began to be more self-centered”, they began to lose the favour of God. 
The wind of “being focused on one’s own selfish interests” blew strong to put off the light in them… 
>>  Judas 

Judas was chosen to be one of the Twelve in the mission of the Lord; but as time grew, he continued to feed his greed for money and wealth 
When he “began to be more self-centered”, he began to lose the esteem of God. 
The wind of “being focused on one’s own selfish interests” blew strong to put off the light in him…

3. The wind of “false principles and ideologies”
>> People of Israel 

The people of Israel had been blessed with the commandments of God. 
They, however, were dismayed at the delay of Moses on Mt Sinai, and instead got enamoured and attracted to false gods and especially to the deity of mammon and wealth. 
When they “began to abandon the True Teaching and attached themselves to false beliefs”, they angered God and brought upon themselves the wrath of the Lord. 
The wind of “false principles and ideologies” blew strong to put off the light in them… 
>> People of Galatians as seen in 1:6 

St Paul accuses the people of Galatia, that were abandoning the Gospel which they first heard, and instead were being attracted to the pleasurable and false teachings of the false prophets. 
When they “began to abandon the True Teaching and attached themselves to false beliefs”, they strayed away from the path of salvation. 
The wind of “false principles and ideologies” blew strong to put off the light in them… 

Let’s examine our own lives… 

Am I allowing the wind…

…  of “losing the focus from God”  to put off the light in us? 

… of “being focused on one’s own selfish interests” to put off the light in us? 

… of “false principles and ideologies” to put off the light in us? 
As the saying goes, “We cant prevent birds from flying over our heads, but we can certainly prevent them from laying a nest on our heads!” 
>> We cannot prevent these winds to rage and hit our lives…

… but we can certainly prevent them from blowing off the Light of Christ in us! 
This strength comes from our determination, perseverance & commitment…

>> But above all, being united with Jesus, the Source of Light…

…. in daily prayer

…. frequent sacraments, 

… constant nourishment with the Word of God

… and faithfulness to our daily duties of our vocation and life! 

May our lives, burning with the lamp of Christ, become a constant melody of “keep me burning till the end of day…” 
God Bless! Live Jesus!

Aug 25 (Mt 24:42-51)

>> Sportspersons sweat it out and slog their bodies through a strict routine…

… to achieve the best! 
>> Army personnel undergo a hard grilling and a grinding through tough situations…

… to achieve the best! 
>> Musicians train their voices and are extremely cautious in avoiding bad food habits…

… to achieve the Best! 
>> Scientists meticulously chalk out their experiments and are very careful in minute aspects…

… to achieve the Best!
Any profession or activity, to achieve its goal in the best manner possible…

… requires a tough preparation, unabated determination, a constant movement and an unwavering vigilance!
We are all aware of these aspects with respect to professional disciplines and careers.
But why is it, that very often, such an attitude & such a principle not get applied to Spirituality or our Christian Life?!
>> There seems to be a tendency to take our Christian Life as a routine and for granted…. 

>> There seems to be a feeling to live our Spiritual Lives in relaxation and lethargy and sluggishness… 

>> There seems to be a trend to give least botheration to the aspects of God, Soul, Sin, Grace, Salvation etc…..


Why does Spirituality most often find the least place in our lives? 

>> Why do talks of God figure so little in our daily chats? 

>> Why do thoughts of Holiness be entertained least in our minds?

It’s time to wake up from our sleep… 

“Stay Awake”, says the Lord “…….and Be Alert! ” (Mt 24: 42-44)
The Gospel passage speaks of the Second Coming of the Son of Man…
No one knows the time or the hour. 

>> No one knows the context or situation. 
Therefore….we need to be alert and watchful at all times…

… Any time!

… Any Context!

In verse 44, the Lord says, “You must be prepared”… 

… or “You must be ready” 

… or “You must be alert”.

>> When Abraham was prepared to give up his Beloved Isaac… 

… he encountered the glory of God! 
>> When Moses was ready to follow God and trust Him completely…

… he encountered the power of God! 
>> When the Israelites were ready to cleanse themselves and prepare…

… they encountered the Majesty of God! 
>> When the Prophets were willing to let go and abandon fully to God’s hands…

… they encountered the Voice of God! 
>> When Mother Mary was consenting to God’s Will in Her life…

… She encountered the ‘Grace’fulness of God! 
>> When  the Apostles were eager to wait in humility and prayer…

… they encountered the Spirit of God! 


>> When we are willing to be prepared and be ready… 

…we will experience the mighty touch and presence of God! 

One of the biggest reasons why a Christian fails to take one’s faith seriously is because of Procrastination… 

>> We mould ourselves to thinking that there is time for all this later… 

>> We still have years ahead to repent and atone! 
Like St Augustine before his conversion, we too often say:

“Give me chastity and continence… but not yet!” 
And this certainly is one of Satan’s most successful strategies in today’s world: To show there is still time… 

Satan, perhaps, does not prevent us…

… From having thoughts of prayer… 

>> But he says: “Not now, do it a little later” 
… From having aspirations of fasting… 

>> But he says: “Not now, do it a little later” 
… From engaging in works of charity…

… but he says: “Not now, do it a little later” 

And we, busy with our daily schedules…like ignorant fools… find that suggestion practical and feasible! 

Today the Lord gets  serious in His tone…and warns us: “Watch! Be alert!” 
We give the best…

… in our workplaces

… in areas of sports and music

… in the armed fields and the scientific labs 

>> But are we slackening when it comes to our Faith and our Christian Life? 
We often, invest our time and money and energy, often only for materialistic and passing things of the world! 

>> But today, let us seek to invest of ourselves in service of the Kingdom and to prepare for the Lord’s coming 
Our souls are searching… 

Our bodies are agitated and distressed… 

>> Money, positions, power, sex, drugs, alcohol, pleasures, films, criticizing others…

… None of these will satisfy or gratify us! 

Yes, it’s time to wake up from our sleep… 
“… know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep.  

For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand.” (Rom 13: 11-12a)

>> These words which awoke St Augustine from his slumber of paganism, sexual immorality and loose living, into the freedom of Holiness and Sanctity… is addressed also to each one of us…. 

Let us seek and thirst for the One whom our souls are searching…. 

…and always be on the watch, realizing that: “You have made us for yourself, O God…. and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Aug 23 (Mt 23: 23-26)

One of the very commonly known humorous incident involving the fiction characters – Sherlock Holmes, the detective and Dr. Watson, his friend and assistant goes thus?
Once they decided to go on a camping trip.

After dinner, they lay down for the night, and go to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes awoke and asked his friend: “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson replied, “I see millions of stars.”

“What does that tell you?,” asked Holmes curiously.

Watson pondered for a minute and replied:
“>> Astronomically…
… it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
>> Astrologically…
… I observe that Saturn is in Leo
>> Horologically…
… I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three
>> Theologically…
… I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant
>> Meteorologically…
… I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.”

And then he continued? “What does it tell you, Holmes?”

Holmes was silent for a minute…
…and then spoke: “Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent!!”

Very often we too are such…
>> We highlight all the minute (and mostly unnecessary) details ?
? but we miss the most important aspects of life!
The Gospel of the day presents Jesus exhorting to become aware of such a tendency in our life…
… and to buckle ourselves up to doing the things that “really” matter in life.

The Great Master, Jesus, continues in the 23rd Chapter of St Matthew…
… with the condemnation of the Hypocritical and Insincere attitude of the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law.
The Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law were very proud of their observance of the law.
>> They were very particular in making sure that even the tiny details in the Law received attention and care.

Was Jesus against this zeal and passion of the Pharisees and the Teachers in being faithful to the Law?
>> Was Jesus advocating some kind of moderation and restraint in practice of the Law?

Sometimes some Christians…
… take shade in this pretext and lead an unenthusiastic life of faith!
… take refuge in this excuse and live a very lukewarm life of hope!
… take solace in this explanation and go forward with a very tepid life of love!

But Certainly No!
>> Jesus was not against being zealous and passionate and fervent of things what matter to God!

He was the One…
… Who said to take up one’s daily cross and follow Him!
… Who demanded to love Him above all attachments of people and things!
… Who asked to value to Him and His Kingdom above all other riches and honours!

He looks for people who are willing…
… to sell their everything in acquiring the Great Pearl of Life!
… to give up their life in order to acquire it for Eternity!
… let go off their egoistic attitudes and humble oneself as a Child!

So Jesus was certainly not against the Zealousness and the Ardour of the Pharisees and Teachers to keep the law!

But Jesus was against their SELECTIVE ZEALOUSNESS..
>> He was against their PARTICULAR FERVOURS!

>> They loved to stress on the minute aspects of the Law…
… but neatly avoided the most basic and fundamentals!

>> They loved to impose the tiny portions of the Law…
? but safely bypassed the ones most needed and important!

“You strain the gnat….but swallow a camel!” (Mt 23:24)
>> The Camels were perhaps the biggest animal and the Gnats the smallest?
? that were known to the Jews!
>> They gave importance to the gift on the altar and the gold in the temple…
.. but gave lesser worth to the Altar and the Temple itself! (Mt 23: 16-22)

>> They insisted on tithing of minor objects and things…
? but failed to accord any significance to the most needed aspects of justice, mercy and faith! (Mt 23: 23)
God has made both the little gnats and the big camels.
>> Likewise, He has given some “weighty” and “less-weighty” commandments.
None should be neglected!

But the person who gives all his attention to minor peripherals and externals in serving God…
… and ignores the major ones is like the man who finds both a gnat and a camel in his soup/wine!
>> He strains out the gnat…..but swallows the camel!!

Such a person Majors on the minors….
? and Minors on the majors!!

What are these major aspects?
>> What are these weightier commandments?
? JUSTICE and MERCY and FAITH! (Mt 23:23)

A Doctrine that cannot be translated into action is utterly useless!

We are no one to judge on what was the personal character of the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law.
>> But through the words of Jesus we do know of their attitude and mentality and frame of mind…

When they encountered Jesus…
? they were busy discussing the trees, but they missed the entire forest!
>> They Missed Jesus!

When they encountered Jesus?
…they were busy counting the stars, but they missed the entire sky!
>> They Missed Jesus!

When they encountered Jesus..they were busy gauging drops of water, but they missed the entire ocean!
>> They Missed Jesus!
Have I lost my focus??

Do I be busy with tiny and unimportant external actions…
? but miss out on doing the important actions of love and mercy?
>> Maybe… I am missing out on Jesus!

Do I be busy with picking and plucking out my tiny imperfections and faults…
? but miss out on removing major sins and faults?
>> Maybe… I am missing out on Jesus!

Do I be busy engaging myself on a number of talks and retreats and books…
? but miss out on the major aspect of growing in deeper and person relation with God?
>> Maybe… I am missing out on Jesus!
Let us seek the intercession of St Rose of Lima, whose feast we celebrate today.
>> She is the patroness of gardeners, florists and all the people who are ridiculed/misunderstood for their piety!

May her words, “Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.”
? and the exhortation from our Great Master Jesus?
? be a reminder and a challenge for us to get the “First Things First” in our spiritual life!
God Bless! Live Jesus!

– Fr Jijo Manjackal MSFS
Bengaluru, India