Feb 1 (Mk 6:1-6)

It was the 19th century British essayist Mr. Charles Lamb and his wife Mary who moved the 17th century playwright William Shakespeare from his undeserved obscurity to the limelight of fame.

>> The two selected 20 of Shakespeare’s best-known plays and set out to make them accessible to children and to pay enthusiastic homage to the original works.
Together the Lambs distilled the powerful themes and unforgettable characterizations of Shakespeare’s plays into elegant narratives–classic tales in their own right.
All of the Lambs’ stories…

… with their clear, supple, and rhythmic prose

… reward any reader, whether encountering Shakespeare for the first time or revisiting his work.

This Charles Lamb was once involved in a discussion of the question:

“Who is the greatest literary genius of all time?”
Two names finally emerged: William Shakespeare and Jesus of Nazareth.

Charles Lamb put an end to the debate when he said:

“I’ll tell you the difference between these two men.
If Shakespeare walked into this room right now, we would all rise to greet him…

>> But if Jesus Christ came in, we would all fall down and worship Him!”

The greatness of men may make us rise in respect…

>> The greatness of Jesus would compel us to kneel in worship and adoration!

“Let’s talk about Jesus” is a popular English hymn.
Today, for our reflection, let us talk about Jesus…the most influential person ever, in history!

The Gospel of the day reveals the immensely charismatic personality of Jesus.
Jesus came to His own country (Mk 6:1).
On the Sabbath Day, Jesus began to teach in the synagogue…

….and many who heard Him were astonished! (Mk 6:2a)
The popularity and the fame of Jesus was on the rise…

>> He had healed many who were with various sicknesses and diseases.

>> He had cast out demons from many who were possessed and under bondages.
Jesus became a sought-after person…

… an attraction for many people!

>> His tremendous passion for the missions was admiring…

>> His spectacular urge to preach the Kingdom of God was amazing…

This unfazed commitment to the mission, caused feelings of astonishment!

>> And so the people began to question…

“Where did this man get all this?

What kind of wisdom has been given Him?

What mighty deeds are wrought by His Hand?” (Mk 6:2b)

The mighty charismatic personality of Jesus caused a dual effect…

… one positive and one negative

… one supportive and one obstructive

We need to examine our life and check:

“What is the effect that Jesus has on our life?”

>> Are we persons who are supportive of the plans of God in our life…

… or do we obstruct the workings of the Lord, especially when we don’t understand His ways?
>> Are we persons who are grateful to the Lord for His mighty works in us…

… or are we able to see only at the negativities of life and end up criticizing God?

As Christians, we are people who have said “Yes” to follow ‘this’ Jesus…

… He who wants us to follow Him in healing the world

… He wishes us to become agents of casting out demons and unclean spirits

… He who waits on us to preach and teach the Kingdom of God to all people anywhere
To be like Jesus, we need to imitate Him, not just in works… but above all in His Being!

… Totally committed to a life of prayer and union with God (Mk 1:35)

… Passionately zealous for the salvation of people (Mk 1: 32-33)

… Absolutely focused on the needs of the Kingdom of God (Mk 1:38)
>> Do I have my prayer life and communion with the Lord as the greatest thrust and push in all my activities, undertakings and ministries?
>> Do I have a deep desire and commitment to bring God’s love to all people and be passionate to share Him to all others?

>> Do I remain undistracted in the midst of all worldly attractions and forego personal pleasures by remaining focused on His Kingdom alone?

Jesus, while in this world….

… was misunderstood…. was contradicted… was criticized

>> While in the world, as Christians, we will also have to face a lot of oppositions, criticism and even persecutions…

…. Our own world may be filled with shattered hopes, unfulfilled dreams, meaningless miseries etc
But the Lord assures that I AM “the One who heals the broken-hearted”. (Ps 146:1)

>> Let us be filled with the power and spirit of Jesus, “the One whom we ought to preach by our lives” (1 Cor 9:16)

H. G. Wells, a prolific English writer, summed up the difference between Jesus and others:

“Christ,” he wrote, “is the most unique person of history.

No man can write a history of the human race without giving first and foremost place to the penniless teacher of Nazareth.

>> From poverty and obscurity to teacher to death on the cross, to ascended Lord – Jesus Christ is the growing figure of history.

He is unique – for while all others decrease, He increases!”

As we thank the Lord for the First Month of the New Year, and offer this New Month of February, into His Mighty Hands, may the Lord have a positive and lasting effect on our life…

… and may we discover and be convinced of Jesus, to be the greatest in our lives.

Shall we fall in deep adoration, ardent worship and fervent submission to Him, so that we can become agents of Him, who transforms the world continually?

>>> Let us not have the woe of not preaching the Gospel! (1 Cor 9:16)

>> Let us share the blessings of the Gospel! (1 Cor 9:23)

> Let us become all things to all! (1 Cor 9:22)
God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jan 31 (Mk 5:21-43)

 Here is a story of a mother and her little four-year-old daughter were getting ready to retire for the night.


The child was afraid of darkness.

The mother, alone with the child, felt a little fearful as well.


When the room lights were put off, the child caught a glimpse of the moon outside the window.


“Mother,” she asked with innocence, “is the moon, God’s light?”


“Yes, my child” said the mother “God’s light is always shining.”



The next doubt was, “Will God blow out His light and go to sleep?”


The mother smiled at her and replied, “No, my child. God never goes to sleep.”


Then out of a simplicity of a child’s faith she said that which gave reassurance to the fearful mother: “Well, so long as God is awake, I am not afraid!” 



The assurance that God was with them, made the little child courageous and strong!


ü A deep faith casts away every fear…

ü A strong belief puts aside every panic…


The Gospel of the Day is a wonderful journey, with Jesus, in this movement from “Fear” through “Faith”…

… Jairus, whose daughter was at the point of death, is led from the “fear of death and hopelessness” through “faith” to experience the miracle of restoration of life

… The woman with haemorrhage for twelve years is led from the “fear of shame and depression” through “faith” to experience the miracle of cleansing and wholeness of life.



The Gospel passage of the day is one of the many “sandwich” passages in the Gospel of St Mark.


“Sandwich” stories are a literary technique in which the narration of one story begins, but is interrupted by another story, before finishing the first one. 


Some of the examples of these “sandwich stories” are…


In Mk 3: 20-35, we have…

ü Mk 3:20-22: Jesus’ family members set out to seize Him

o Mk 3: 23-30: Jesus speaks to the Pharisees on their accusation of Him

ü Mk 3: 31-35: Jesus family comes to meet Him


In Mk 6: 7-33, we have…

ü Mk 6: 7-13: The disciples sent on a mission

o Mk 6: 14-29: Herod’s opinion on John the Baptist and the narrative of the beheading.

ü Mk 6: 30-33: The disciples return from the mission


In Mk 11: 12-25, we have…

ü Mk 11: 12-14: Jesus cursing the fig tree

o Mk 11: 15-19: Jesus cleansing the Temple

ü Mk 11: 20-24: Jesus’ teaching on the withered fig tree


In Mk 14: 1-11, we have…

ü Mk 14: 1-2: The Conspiracy against Jesus

o Mk 14: 3-9: The anointing of Jesus at Bethany

ü Mk 14: 10-11: The conspiracy plan by Judas to betray Jesus


Such kind of “sandwich” layers illustrates points for reflection by showing ..

… similarities and contrasts between the outside and the inside layers.

… the first and the last as “the bread”‘ and the centre one as the “filling” of the sandwich!



Today’s Gospel also follows this “sandwich-story” structure… Mk 5: 21-43

ü Mk 5: 21-24: Jesus is pleaded by Jairus to heal his daughter

o Mk 5: 25-34: The woman suffering from haemorrhage is healed

ü Mk 5: 35-43: Jesus heals the daughter of Jairus


There are many similarities and contrasts between the “bread” – the outside layers and the “filling” – the inside layers in this ‘sandwich’passage…



• Jairus’ daughter is 12 years

• The woman was suffering from haemorrhage for 12 years


Description of the Condition:

• Jairus’ daughter at the point of death

• The woman at the point of utter hopelessness


Status of the person:

• Jairus is the daughter of a ruler of the synagogue

• The woman with the problem of bleeding is an old widow


The support system for the suffering one:

• Jairus’ daughter has many people to mourn – to weep and wail loudly

• The widow is all alone in her suffering and agony


The place:

• Jairus’ daughter is in her room, in the house

• The woman with the haemorrhage is out on the crowded street


The mode of healing:

• Jairus’ daughter is healed with a word, “Talitha Koum”

• The suffering woman was healed by a “touch”


The title used by Jesus:

• Jairus’ daughter is called by Jesus as ‘Little Girl’

• The suffering woman is called by Jesus as ‘Daughter’



Some of the key messages of both these stories invite us to reflect on our own life…


• Emphasis on Faith

Jairus, the father of the sick child, as well as the suffering woman display a tremendous faith and trust in Jesus


ü Do I also put my trust and hope in the Lord, even when situations are “dead-like” and there seems no hope in life?




• Acts of humility

Jairus, as well as the suffering woman, make acts of humility, by falling at the feet of Jesus and pleading for mercy and help


ü Am I able to let go of my egoistic tendencies and be ready to fall at the feet of the Lord, seeking for His mercy, compassion and help?



• The Lord being in perfect control

Jairus, as well as the suffering woman experience the charismatic power and control that Jesus displays even when throngs of pain, suffering and death are surrounding him.


ü Do I realise that even if there are crowds of humiliation and shame around me or mourners of discouragement and despair wailing loudly in my life, the Lord is still in perfect charge, if I surrender and offer my life to His tremendous power?



The “sandwich stories” of the day are a great invitation for us to move from a “Life of Fear” to a “Life of Faith”, trusting and putting our hope in the Lord and in His Mighty Power.


It is to be also noted that after the cure of Jairus’ daughter, the Lord asked her parents to “give her something to eat” (Mk 5: 43)


This could also be a reminder for us, in our spiritual life, that after moving from a “Life of Fear” to a “Life of Faith”, we also need to sustain and nourish it by eating and consuming of the “Life of Fullness” in the Most Holy Eucharist!


Let us let go of every “Fear” in our lives, by having deeper “Faith” in the Lord and enjoying the “Fullness” of healing and happiness!


God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jan 30 (Mk 5:1-20)

 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 His great ministry of bringing the Kingdom of God to many…

… of healing

… of rebuking the evil spirits

… of bringing consolation and joy to the people.             
And today He enters a Gentile territory…

… They came to the other side of the sea to the territory of Gerasenes” (Mk 5: 1)

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.


As He enters the territory of Gerasenes, Jesus encounters a man “who came from the tombs with an unclean spirit” (Mk 5:2)
St Mark would go on to describe the awful state that the man was in…

… dwelling among the tombs

… none could restrain him

…. bound in chains 
Sometimes, in life, we too find ourselves in such a situation… 

… though not physically, but mentally, socially and spiritually!
 In all such “possessed” situations of life… 

… are we ready to encounter the presence of the Lord?

>> In the sunset of darkness and pain in my life…

…. Do I encounter the Lord to receive the Light of Hope and Healing?


>> In the sunset of emptiness in my spiritual life…

…. Do I encounter the Lord to receive the Light of Faith and Revival?


>> In the sunset of frustrations and despair…

…. Do I encounter the Lord to receive the Light of Encouragement and Support?


>> In the sunset of sadness and lukewarmness…

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


St Mark goes on to describe the state of the demoniac…

… how he would hurt himself with stones (Mk 5: 5)

… how he cried out loudly to the Lord (Mk 5:7)

… how he pleaded the Lord to not chase away from that comfort zone (Mk 5:10)

We need to ask ourselves…


>> 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 declares His intentions of going to other towns (Mk 5:18) and also exhorts the demoniac who was healed to remain in his place, and to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God (Mk 5: 19-20).


The zeal and enthusiasm of the Lord to reach out the Gospel to many others is really amazing

>> And He also inspires and exhorts those who have been touched by Him, to become a witness to His Works and His Kingdom


 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…


This Altruism of Jesus challenges us…

… to be willing to change our lives, go beyond our zones of comfort and help the needy with the Acceptance and Restoration of the Lord!

…. 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!



Jesus was possessed by a deep love of His Father…

… which made Him to be Altruistic in reaching out to others.


Jesus was filled with a deep fervour for the Kingdom…

… which 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.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jan 29 (Mt 5:1-12)

An elderly person was given a latest model of a mobile phone, on his birthday by his son who lived abroad. 
 Seeing the phone, the man exclaimed:

“Oh son! This piece of technology is just of no use for me! 

I do not belong to your generation. This gadget is too complicated for me!”
But as he made this comment, he also saw a little letter attached.

It was a letter from his son.
It read thus:

“Dear Father, Wish you a very Happy Birthday! 

On this special day, I am presenting this latest phone for your use. 

I know that you will react by saying it is of no use for me.
But knowing you, I have also attached a simple-to-use manual… a booklet, that I myself have prepared so that you can use the phone without any hassles.
Wish you a happy time using the phone and hope to hear you soon!”
The man was pleasantly surprised, and saw another booklet which read “Manual for use” with its table of contents: 

1. Usage instructions,

2. Safety instructions

3. Assembly and Installation instructions

4. Maintenance instructions.

5. Troubleshooting instructions

6. Service locations

7. Product technical specifications.

8. Warranty information

These 8 instructions were to help the man to make the best use of the product and get the maximum out of it.



Seeing the 8 instructions, the man immediately exclaimed: 

“Oh this is so wonderful!

These 8 instructions are just like the 8 beatitudes that Jesus had given, for make the best use of our life here on earth and get the maximum out of it!”


>> Just as Instructional Manuals become guidelines for better usage, greater effectiveness and higher appreciation…

… Our Christian spiritual life also needs an Instructional Manual…

… for better fruitfulness

… for greater effectiveness

… for the higher glory of God


The Gospel of the Day – The Eight Beatitudes: one of the most beautiful passages of the B.I.B.L.E. (sometimes expanded as being “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”!) – presents to us a ready reference Instruction Manual with 8 instructions, on how to live as a True Follower of Christ.



The passage begins with the sentence, “Jesus went up to the mountain and SAT DOWN…and HE BEGAN TO TEACH them” (Mt 5:1)


Detail from Sermon on the Mount, Fra Angelico, 1442, Museo di San Marco della Angelico, Florence

In the Jewish Tradition, the Rabbi (teacher) would sit and teach.

>> The Hebrew word ‘Rabbi’ is derived from “rav”, which means ‘Great One’.


When St Matthew specifically mentions that “Jesus sat down and taught”, Jesus is presented as the Rabbi: The Great One – The Teacher – who speaks with great authority.



Jesus is the New Moses, who presents the “New Law- the law of Absolute Love!“


What is this teaching of such great authority?

>> It’s a teaching which calls for a reversal of the worldly values!

>> It’s a teaching that turns the worldly standards of greatness upside down!



The world holds in high esteem the aspects of power, prestige, richness and prosperity.

>> The yardstick of greatness of people is very often measured in terms of these external achievements.


But Jesus, the teacher-par-excellence, reverses this false notion of the world…

… And pronounces BLESSEDNESS to the poor, the mourning, the meek, the hungry and thirsty, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers and the persecuted ones!



High jumpers while competing with each other, keep raising the bar higher and higher, to achieve victory.

>> Similarly, the Beatitudes that are pronounced by Jesus raises the bar – the standards of Christian life are raised to a great proportion.



All the beatitudes, focus on one aspect: The need to lower oneself and instead to understand that “God alone suffices”!



Very often many questions pop up in our minds…

…. ” Why is my life full of suffering, though I seek to live a genuine life?”,

… ” Why do the unjust prosper, and the people who pursue for justice fail to receive rewards?“

… “Why does success elude me whereas those who adopt wrong means bask in achievements?”


It’s hard to give a downright answer to such questions…

… but the Beatitudes gives us a glimpse into the mind of Jesus: That in all such occasions, our attitude ought to be, ” God alone suffices!”.


“God alone suffices” ought to be our mantra…

… when we find ourselves at the receiving end, even though after having worked hard, we don’t find the expected success

… when we are still subject to persecutions and hardships even though we live in honesty and truthfulness



Of course, this teaching is hard to follow..may even seem impractical…!

>> Yet, we are not alone..

.. Jesus the teacher, Himself is our Model and Example.. He walked the talk!



Hanging on the Cross, Jesus became the epitome of the Beatitudes that He Proclaimed…

… He was the One Who was Poor, Mourning, Meek, Hungry and Thirsty, Merciful, Clean of Heart, Peacemaker and the Persecuted One!




Today let us look to Jesus, the Teacher and the One who lived out the Beatitudes, and make our Christian life more meaningful!


In the words of Fulton Sheen, ” It’s hard to be a Christian… but it’s harder not to be one!”



May the Divine Instructional Manual given by Jesus on the Mount became the pattern for us to lead a Committed Christian Life!



God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jan 28 (Mk 4:35-41)

The journey with the Lord is always an interesting one…


>> There are moments of tremendous joys and happiness…

>> There are times of fascinating delights and elations…


There are also however, moments of dryness and silence.



The Gospel of the Day is an account of the Disciples experiencing this dryness and silence, in their journey with the Lord.



Its a very late evening…nearing midnight…

>> The disciples along with Jesus, who have embarked on a boat, are caught in the midst of a heavy storm.


“A violent squall came up and the waves were breaking over the boat..” (Mk 4: 36)



Some of the disciples were fishermen.



They had been many many years at the sea.

>> They had often suffered the fury and vehemence of nature

>> They had been greatly used to many storms and tempests at sea.


But this storm seemed to be too fierce and too ferocious.


>> The disciples feared greatly!

>> The disciples panicked very much!


With death bells ringing in their ears, and a dreadful end before their eyes…

..the disciples were shocked to see Jesus, unmoved and unperturbed.


“Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion” (Mk 4:38)



In the moment of their deep anguish and helpless, the disciples cry out:

“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mk 4:38)



>> The boat could capsize anytime and all of them could be drowned soon…

>> The storms could lash brutally and the waves could overturn them any moment…


Time was fast running…



But Jesus seemed totally unfazed!

>> Jesus seemed totally disinterested!


And they cry out to Jesus… Lord, do you not care??!!




How many times have we screamed similar words to God:

 “Lord, do you not care?!”


>> Lord, do you not care… that my family member is so sick?

>> Lord, do you not care that I feel totally alone and miserable in my life?

>> Lord, do you not care that my marriage is failing and my family is breaking up?

>> Lord, do you not care that am without a job now and the future ahead is so bleak?

>> Lord, do you not care that my life seems so meaningless and without any purpose?

>> Lord, do you not care that I am plunged to loneliness and abandoned by all my friends?

>> Lord, do you not care that I encounter only failures, dejection and rejection in my endevours?




When we look into the Gospel, it is amazing to know whose plan it was, in the first place to make this boat journey…



When we re-read the Gospel passage, we find the answer…

Mk 4:35 says, “On that day, as evening drew near, Jesus said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side'”!




Shall we read that again?


… JESUS said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side”!



The idea to go in the boat was not that of the disciples…

>> The idea to go in the boat was that of JESUS!



The encounter with the storms was not some accident!

>> The stumbling into the violent waves was not some unlucky thing!


It had a purpose!

It had a meaning!

It had an intention!



For the disciples, it was a moment of terror…

… But the Lord used this terrorizing time to teach them to have faith in Him!


For the disciples, it was a time of immense crisis…

… But the Lord used this critical moment, to teach them to trust in Him!


For the disciples, it was a time of dreadful fear…

… But the Lord used this fearful circumstance, to teach them to believe in Him!



Our moments of struggle are a time of testing…

>> Our moments of struggle are a time of learning…


Testing of our genuine faith….learning of deeper trusting!

>> Testing of our real convictions…learning of profound dependence!




Let us learn to grow deeper in trusting the Lord in crisis moments.

Then we too will be blessed to hear the Lord commanding the waves and storms of hardships,

“Quiet! Be Still!” (Mk 4: 39)




God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jan 27 (Mk 4:26-34)

 Nature is a wonderful teacher.


Albert Einstein, the renowned scientist says, ” Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”


The earth and the sky…the woods and the fields… the lakes and the rivers…the mountains and the seas…

…. are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.



Jesus loved the nature very much.

>> Jesus, the preacher made great use of examples from the nature to put forth His teachings.



The Gospel of Day is a typical example of Jesus quoting from the nature to explain.



All through His teaching ministry, Jesus presents different examples, metaphors and symbols to explain about the Kingdom of God.



Today, Jesus speaks about a man who scatters seeds on the land.


Without his awareness there is a growth.

“…and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how” (Mk 4:27)



One of the most tender ideas that this parable presents is that there are many things in life that are not understood and yet, it turns out to be beautiful!



The seed that grows, unnoticed and unseen, is a sign of the Kingdom of God.


>>> The seed takes root.

>> The seed sprouts.

> The seed grows.

But HOW this takes place, is unknown and unseen…


The effect of the growth is seen, but the process of the growth is unknown!

>>> The result of the progress is observed, but the manner of the progress is hidden!



In John 3:8, we read, “The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes… so it is with everyone born of the Spirit”



The movement of the Spirit of God is gentle and mild!

>> The growth of God’s Kingdom is hidden and concealed!


This points to the tremendous fact that God is in total charge and control!

…that God is in perfect sovereignty and power!

…that God is in total dominion and management!



We are sometimes people prone to a lot of strategies and planning.

>> When things don’t turn out the way we have planned, we get worried and anxious.

>> When situations don’t fall in line with what we envisaged, we get tensed and upset!



But, today God tells… I am in total control!


When my life seems to be in a complete mess and nothing is understood by us…

>> God says, “I am in total control”


When circumstances around me go haywire and I lose control of things…

>> God says, “I am in total control”


When conditions are highly worse and it seems to be the end of the world for me…

>> God says, “I am in total control”



This is not to say that we need to have a passive and lethargic attitude to life.

>> This is not to say that we need to have a casual and a lazy mentality in life.

>> This is not even to say that we should not have plans and strategies in our life


But this is a great reminder to know and realise that God is the Ultimate Master!


There are no accidents…no “by chance” happenings…

… for a Christian.

>> Everything finds its place, in the Permissive Will of the Lord!



Do I trust in Him to lead through the dark moments into light?

>> Do I believe in Him to lead through the depressing moments into joy?

>>>> Do I have faith in Him to lead through the confusing moments to clarity?



Let us enjoy the silent working of the Spirit within us…

….and be part of the..

… unseen, yet dynamic..

… silent, yet spectacular…

growth of the Kingdom of God!



God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jan 26 (Lk 10: 1-9

Arabian horses are made to go through painstaking and meticulous training in the dry deserts of the Middle East.


One of the most important aspects that the trainers expect from the horses is of “absolute obedience”.



The final test to assess their level of obedience is quite extreme…


The trainers compel the horses to be without water for many days.


A few days later, they turn the horses loose towards a pool of water…

>> The highly thirsty, parched and dehydrated horses, of course start running towards it.


But just as they get to the edge, ready to plunge in and drink, the trainer blows his whistle.

>> Screech….!


The horses are to stop mid-way…


The horses who have been completely trained and who have learned perfect obedience, stop!

>> They turn around and come pacing back to the trainer.

>> They stand there trembling, wanting water… but they wait in perfect obedience.


When the trainer is sure that he has their obedience, he gives them a signal to go back to drink.


>> Complete obedience  from the horses is a sign of their being completely trained.


Well.. this sure sounds hard and severe…

>> But perhaps, we need to learn an important aspect: the need for trustful obedience to our Master!.


  • When we are in the dry deserts of life, we got to be totally obedient to God.
  • When we are in the parched phases of life, we ought to fully heed the voice of the Lord.



The Gospel of the Day is an exhortation by the Lord to listen to Him, to give heed to His Word and to be obedient to Him.



“Jesus appointed seventy (two), whom He sent ahead of Him, in pairs to every town and place He intended to visit” (Lk 10:1)



They were “chosen and appointed”.


>> Why were these chosen?

…and not others?


>> Well… we can only make some guess-works… because the bottom-line is:

“They were ‘chosen'”

Choice is always a gift, and not a merit!

>> This gift cannot be demanded…. it is given by the Lord, out of His Will


Therefore, it demands a sense of “gratitude” and a spirit of “responsibility”!



The choosing of the seventy (two) also reflects Jesus as the New Moses!


Moses had chosen seventy elders.


We read this in the Book of Numbers:

“The LORD said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people.” (Num 11:16)



The “seventy” were chosen from the elders of the tribes of Israel to assist Moses.

>> They were to become an extension of the work that was entrusted to Moses, by Lord Yahweh


In the Gospels, the seventy (two) disciples are also called, by Jesus, for the similar task:

>> They were to become an extension of the work that was entrusted to Jesus by the Heavenly Father.



In this task of “becoming an extension”, one of the most important essentials was that of “listening to the words of the Master”

>> Obedience to the Word is a necessary criteria to become a true extension of the Lord!



Jesus very specifically lays downs rules and regulations to be followed in their mission journey and task:

“Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road….” (Lk 10:4)


These exhortations by the Master would cause…

… a sense of insecurity for the disciples

… a feeling a being stranded in the problems that they could encounter.


Yet, the disciples were strongly urged to…

… Listen to His Exhortation

… to Trust in His Providence

… and to be obedient to His Word


  • The disciples were to listen to Jesus, the Beloved Son and grasp His teachings for life
  • The disciples were to listen to Jesus, Beloved Son’s commitment in the path of suffering
  • The disciples were to listen to the Beloved Son’s trust in God’s Will at every moment



Each one of us is called and chosen, as Christians, to be a disciple of Christ – “an extension of the Lord’s tasks in this world” …

… “You did not choose me, but I chose you; and appointed you to go and bear fruit; fruit that will last” (Jn 15:16)



  • Life will take us through many deserts and desolations of difficulties.
  • Life will put us through various storms and hurricanes of hardships.

But in all such moments, are we ready and open to listen to the Voice of the Lord?



Yes, when we are in the dry deserts of life, we better be totally obedient to God.

>> When we are in the parched phases of life, we ought to fully heed the voice of the Lord.


The Lord will take us through…

… every crisis

… every desert

… every darkness

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8: 31)


>> Let us grow in our efforts to be completely obedient to our Master!

>> Let us pray for His grace to be truly listening and following the voice of our Master!


Are we ready to listen and obey the voice of the Lord?



God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jan 24 (Mk 3:31-35 &a Feast of St Francis de Sales)

It was a tense afternoon in the September of the year 1594.


The Bishop of Geneva in France, had convoked a meeting of all his clergy.

>> There was an urgent need for priests to go to a place named Chablais.


Chablais was a territory in Geneva, which had been under political and religious siege.

>> Around fifty priests in this place had been banished.

>> Many churches had been burnt and devastated.


Chablais had become a place of terror for the Catholic Church.

>> It had became infamous for its terrible persecution of the Catholic Faith.

It’s in this horrifying situation, that the Bishop of the place had called for a meeting…

… to ask for volunteers to go to this place and renew the faith.


But none came forward…

>> None were willing to risk their lives…
It’s at this point, that there came a gentle yet firm voice – “My Lord, if you think that I am capable of it, command me, I am ready!”

The voice was of St Francis de Sales.


His own father considered this decision as “utter madness”

>> Perhaps, the other priests and clergy would have also felt this decision as a “crazy one”


The risk of being driven out, failing in his undertaking and of becoming a laughing stock of the world was great indeed.

>> But St Francis de Sales stood firm to His decision.



>> It was a decision which perhaps defied reasons…

>> It was a decision which perhaps seemed out of senses…

But this decision was to become the turning point of a spiritual revolution!
St Francis de Sales was convinced, that nothing is greater than “seeking and doing” the Will of God. 

>> He would in fact, later in life, say: 

“Do everything calmly and peacefully.

Strive to see God in all things without exception, and consent to His will joyously. 

Do everything for God, uniting yourself to him in word and deed.” 

What about our Christian Life? 

>> Is it centred on seeking and doing the Will of God, at every moment, in every situation?

The Gospel of the Day is a narrative of Jesus displaying His conviction and commitment on the most vital dimension of the Kingdom of God: Doing God’s Will.

Jesus was in the thick of His ministry.

>> The place was packed with people sitting on the floor, in the passage-way, around the doors and windows, craving to listen to what Jesus was speaking.

It’s at that time that His family members arrived.


His family couldn’t get through to Him

>> So they send a message in, and it passed from one person to person: “Tell him that his mother and brothers are outside looking for him” (Mk 3: 32)

The message finally reached Jesus.



It is interesting to consider the feelings and reactions of the different persons…


• The family of Jesus…

….were eager and concerned to get the Lord back home

… were wanting to meet Him and if possible to give Him a break in His ministry


• The crowd around Jesus…

… were understandable that the family of the Lord are keen to meet Him

… were expecting Jesus to stop His preaching, to accommodate meeting His kith and kin

It is in such critical moments and crucial situations…

… that the Lord loves to make use, to put across a message…

… that the Lord loves to thrive on, to send forth a teaching…

Jesus uses the arrival of His physical family as an opportunity to teach about His relationship with His spiritual family.

What is most needed…

… is not human relationships

… is not human affairs

>> Rather, spiritual relations and spiritual affairs!


Jesus brings to focus the importance…

… to seek and do God’s Will

… to become related in the Kingdom.

What is our own attitude and mentality…

>> Am I concerned more with worldly affairs or do I engage myself more into spiritual realities?

>> Am I disturbed more by earthly concerns or do I share more the anxiety for spiritual growth?

>> Am I obsessed more with worldly gains or do I be zealous for spiritual graces and blessings?


Very often we lose our focus…

>> Very often we lose sight of the proper track…

The Lord, today, brings back the “spotlight” on the essentials of a Christian Life.

>>Christian life sometimes gets diluted with too many “social” concerns…

… at the expense of spiritual realities.
>> Christian life sometimes gets polluted with too many “interdisciplinary” matters…

… at the expense of true faith and teachings.
>> Christian life sometimes gets ruined with too many “compromising” practices…

… at the expense of Gospel values and standards.

Today we celebrate the Feast of St Francis de Sales.

…. the Doctor of Love!

… the Gentleman Saint!

>>He, today, invites and encourages us to embrace this path of constantly seeking and doing the Will of God!
In His book – The Introduction to the Devout Life (a book recommended for all, especially those in family life) ….

>> He clearly enunciates simple and practical tips of how one can grow in devotion and holiness…

… by constantly remaining in the presence of God

… by continually doing the Will of God

 Undoubtedly, in doing the Will of God, we will have to…

… we will have to face moments of loneliness, ‘cos we will find ourselves, swimming against the currents of the world

… we will have to encounter hardships and rejections, ‘cos we would become a subject of calumny and mockery, as others may oppose us

… we will have to go through situations of darkness, ‘cos we would find it hard to even have clarity in our life of faith 
But in all such situations, the Lord assures us, with the 5 magical words: I WILL BE WITH YOU!

This was the conviction that led St Francis de Sales to become a Great Saint…

… treading confidently and optimistically in the Path of Holiness and Sanctity. 
He would say: 

“In all your affairs, rely wholly on God’s providence, through which alone you must look for success. 

>> Nevertheless, strive quietly on your part to cooperate with its designs…

… Imitate little children who with one hand hold fast to their father while with the other they gather strawberries or blackberries from the hedges.” 

May we seek the mighty intercession of the Gentleman Saint to “Seek and Do” God’s Will at all times and thus “soar in the skies of sanctity”

May the following words and quotes of St Francis de Sales inspire and strengthen us:

>> “Bloom where you are planted”

>> “Be what you are and be at its best”

>> “I have made a pact with my tongue… not to speak, when my heart is troubled!”

>> “A spoonful of honey attracts more bees than a barrel of vinegar”

>> “Be patient with all things; but first of all, with yourself!”

>> “Praying daily for half an hour is essential, except when you are busy… in those times, an hour!”
Wish you all a very Happy Feast of St Francis De Sales!

>> With joy and love, let us proclaim with him, “Vive Jesus…Live Jesus!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jan 23 (Mk 3:22-30)

 It was a healing and deliverance session in a praise and worship music concert.


The music was in full blow…

>> The praises were ringing high…

>>> The atmosphere was electrified….


In that high and spirited ambience, the choir began to sing the hymn,

“In the name of Jesus, In the name of Jesus, we have the victory….

In the name of Jesus, In the name of Jesus, demons will have to flee…”


As this hymn of mighty power and deliverance was being sung…

… some of the people who were standing in front, and were reportedly demon-possessed, also began to sing and dance joyfully!


Now that was something surprising and shocking for the people who were singing on the stage…


It was a song for deliverance…

… but instead, these possessed people were also enjoying…


It was a song for liberation…

… but instead, these possessed people were also rejoicing…



On asking them as to how could they be also happy and rejoicing, these people answered:

” Well, although most of you are singing, ‘In the name of Jesus, demons will flee’, none of you seem to be singing it with any conviction or belief.


You seem to be enjoying the music more..

… and so therefore, we too are happy to enjoy the music and sing along!”


>> The hymn lost its power and value…

… because it was sung merely as a fast number!


>> The prayer lost its sanctity and sacredness…

… because it was sung merely as a jumping song!


There was no authority in the singing.

>> There was no credibility in the prayer.

>>>> There was no sincerity in the faith.



When authority and integrity are lacking in a spiritual endeavour, there is very less spiritual growth and nourishment!

>> When authority and integrity are present in a spiritual endeavour, there is much spiritual progress and advancements!



The Gospel of the Day is an exhibition of how true integrity and authority can work tremendous wonders, conversions of heart and transformations of life…

… and how it can also cause some people to engage in calumny and character-assasination!



The Gospel of the Day begins with the statement that…

… “the scribes who had come down from Jerusalem said, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebul and by the prince of demons , He casts out the demons” (Mk 3:22)

One of the reasons why the Scribes were irked by the personality of Jesus was because of the tremendous authority that was displayed by Jesus!  


Yes, the amazing factor in the ministry of Jesus was His tremendous authority!

>> The wondrous aspect in the ministry of Jesus was His awesome integrity!

 Elsewhere, in the Gospel of St Mark, we read…


>> The people “were astonished at his teaching, for He taught as one who had authority…” (Mk 1:22)


>> “..they were all amazed so that they questioned among themselves…. ‘…with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him” ( Mk 1: 27)



This authority and integrity came…

… through His deep union with His Heavenly Father.

… through His faithfulness to the commands of His heavenly Father

… through His undivided devotion to His Heavenly Father



How authoritative, credible and integral are we in our life…

… as a Christian?

… in the family?

… as a consecrated person?


Authoritative does not mean arrogance…

>> Credibility does not mean over-confidence…

>>> Integrity does not mean super-importance…



Authority, credibility and integrity in the Lord means…

… filled with the power and strength of God’s Spirit

… imbued with a deep passion for the Lord and His Church

… living an honest lifestyle in accordance to God’s Will and teachings



The Gospel of the Day calls us to check and examine…

… is my prayer life and devotion truly authentic and credible?

… is my preaching and spreading of God’s Word filled with His Holy Spirit?

… is my reception of the Sacraments helping me to make an honest effort to be a true Christian?



Let our prayers become a true raising of hearts to God…

>> Let the receiving of the Sacraments become an honest transformation for life…

>>> Let the spreading of God’s Word become a credible witness to God’s Kingdom….


Jesus is our model and example to be true and honest in life!

>> Jesus is our ideal and standard to be faithful and committed to our mission!



God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jan 22(Mt 4:12-23)

The town of Feldkirch, Austria in 1799 was faced with the prospects of being attacked by the armies of Napoleon.
It was an Easter Day and the sun shone brightly, letting the soldiers of the enemy being spotted.

The Town Council was called together, in haste, to consult what had to be done.

> It was a situation of tension.

> It was a time of immense distress.

After a long period of discussion, the dean of the Church made a proclamation:

“My brothers it is Easter Day! 

We have been reckoning our own strength, and that fails.
Let us turn to God.
Ring the bells and have service as usual, and leave the matter in God’s hands…”

It was a hard and (humanly speaking) a risky decision, but they agreed to do as he said. 

Thus from the Church towers of Feldkirch, rang the boisterous and joyous peals of the bells, in honour of the Resurrection of the Lord.

 > The streets began to be filled with worshippers, hastening to the Church.

The enemy army, on hearing the sudden ringing of the bells, were taken aback with surprise and shock.
They came to a conclusion that the Austrian Army had arrived in order to relieve the place.

So they fled hastily!

The town of Feldkirch were saved from the possibilities of destruction and ruin! 

Divine Providence had rescued a tiny town, who placed their trust in Him, from the deathly clutches of a mighty army!

Is my life of faith, characterised by a “Deep Trust in Divine Providence”?

The Gospel of the Day is a wonderful presentation of the marvels that can be witnessed when one place’s one’s complete trust in the Lord and surrenders one’s life – in action and deeds – to the Providence of the Lord. 

Our Blessed Lord was into His ministry of preaching and proclaiming God’s Word, after the arrest of John the Baptist (Mt 4:17)

The Word was transforming people…

   … and in sometime, a wonderful transformation was to happen to a person, who would become a close follower of the Transforming Lord!
“As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea” (Mt 4:18)

In the Gospel of St Luke, we read in interesting statement, in the similar context…

… “the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets” (Lk 5: 2b)

This verse, though little and appears insignificant carries a mighty message: the message of the Power of God’s Providence.

The fishermen had toiled the whole night… caught no fish, and were now, dejectedly, washing their nets.

The boat was empty – bereft of any fish!

But Divine Providence had a mighty plan in this “barrenness”

>> The emptiness of the boat allowed our Blessed Lord to enter it, and make it His Pulpit for preaching God’s Word!
>> The vacancy in the boat prompted our Blessed Lord to enthrone it, and make it His platform for calling His First Disciples!


Had there been fish in the boat…

  … in all probability, the fishermen would be in it, sorting and cleaning the fish..

  … and would have left no space for the Blessed Lord to preach from it 
Had there been a mighty catch that night…

  … in all probability, the boat, filled with the fish, would not have been there

  … and the vehicle of “catching fish” would have missed the chance to be a “podium for proclaiming God’s Word”

Is my life, at this point, empty and barren… like this boat?

>> Maybe its been a long time I have been watching and expecting, patiently and faithfully, for my boat to be filled.
>> Maybe its being a horrible wait, sometimes even leading to frustration and hopelessness, for my boat to be filled
But can I trust Divine Providence, in having a purposive plan for this “emptiness and barrenness”? 

When Jesus called them, “Come after me, I will make you fishers of men…”

… “At once, they left their nets and followed Him” (Mt 4: 20)
Here is a beautiful story of how..

A competent fisherman who had failed utterly in his field of competence…

… is initiated into being a competent fisher of people, for the Kingdom of God!

As Christians, we do claim to be people of faith and belief.
But does this “faith” translate itself into real “trust”?

>> When hardships come in life… I may proclaim my faith with my lips.. But do I “trust” Him to take me through?
>> When emptiness fills my life.. I may perform external works of faith..But do I “trust” Him to utilize my barrenness, in the way He wants?
>> When toils of life yield no results… I may persist in saying that I have faith… But do I “trust” Him to grant me the fruits of labour, in His own time and in His own measure?

And if I really “trust” in the Lord…
… I would be a person of joy, going about my works without anxieties and radiating serenity and calm…

   > even when walking through the valleys of sufferings

   > even when sinking in the deluge of pain   

   > even when surrounded by the clouds of uncertainty!

May we take this message of the Gospel to heart… 

… and be reminded of the need to “let go” of our own fears, apprehensions, preconceptions and pride in order to “fully trust” in the mighty power of God’s Providence, and experience His Awesome and Amazing Care for us!

God Bless! Live Jesus!