Feb 29 (Mt 6:1-6,16-28-Ash Wednesday)

A legendary story goes is told of a holy person who lived an extremely virtuous life. 

>> The goodness in him diffused, as a flower would spread its fragrance. 
So impressed were the angels, that they came down to enquire on his secrets and even to offer him special gifts of miracles and thus he could gain more popularity and fame. 
>> They offered him the gift of the “touch of his hand” – so that he would be able to heal the sick or raise the dead…

… But he refused, saying that “God alone could heal”
>> Then, they offered him the “power of conversion” – so that people could turn to God in repentance…

… But he refused, saying that “the Holy Spirit alone could work repentance in souls”
>> Then they offered the power to be a “model of goodness” so that many more would be drawn to him by the virtue of his life…

… But he refused, again, saying that “if all are drawn to him, people would be away from God”

Puzzled, the angels asked him what gift did he desire!
The holy person replied:

“Grant me the gift of humility…

… so that I might do good to all, without me even knowing it!”

And so the angels interceded to God…

… and he was blessed:

>> Wherever his shadow would fall, where he himself could not see it…

… the shadow would cure sicknesses, heal broken hearts and bring back people to God in repentance!

Humility was the virtue that was sought by the virtuous person…

… and it was this simplicity to allow the Lord to take complete possession of all his goodness, that exalted him to climb the ladder of sanctity higher! 

Yes, Humility is the prime virtue that needs to embellish the life of every Christian.



Today we begin the Season of Lent.


The Gospel of the Day is a teaching by Jesus on the prime importance of doing away with pride and instead, beautifying one’s life with sincere humility .

Jesus, through the Sermon on the Mount continues to target the key areas of one’s Christian living.


Today He speaks on the three core practices that were essential pious practices of His time: almsgiving, prayer and fasting.


Jesus condemns these devout exercises becoming instruments to show-case one’s pride and exhibit pomp and self-glory.


• With respect to almsgiving, Jesus says…

… “sound no trumpet”


• With respect to prayer, Jesus says…

… “shut the door and pray to your Father”


• With respect to fasting, Jesus says…

…”anoint your head and wash your face”



One of the fundamental aspects in the Spirituality of Jesus is His emphasis on the intention of the heart.

>> Sin is…

… when the heart rejects the working of the Spirit.

>> Holiness is…

… when the heart accepts the grace of the Spirit.


• When the heart consents to evil, sin occurs

• When the heart consents to grace, goodness is affirmed.


>> An act of almsgiving happens, when the heart willingly gives – in generosity and with wholeheartedness

>> An act of prayer happens, when the heart seeks communion with the Lord – in openness and with faithfulness

>> An act of fasting happens, when the heart self-sacrifices and renounces – in sincerity and with willingness


When the intention of the heart is genuine and sincere, then one remains least bothered of external attractions and publicity…

… there is no desire to seek for attention and appreciation for one’s devout actions

… there is no inclination to want acknowledgement and recognition for one’s pious deeds


And this is the ideal to which Jesus invites us:

>> A religion that spreads not simply on the basis of external shows..

…but on the basis of genuine spirituality


>> A faith that grows not merely on the strength of pompous deeds…

… but on the foundation of true dependence and trust in the Lord



Is my practice of religion resembling a peacock’s display of feathers – wanting to flaunt one’s pride and vain glory – but in the process…

… exposing one’s unattractive face of life?

… revealing one’s cheap side of life?



Let us give heed to the wisdom from the book “Imitation of Christ” and seek to grow in humility and dependence on the Lord:


“Do not think yourself better than others lest, perhaps, you be accounted worse before God who knows what is in man.

>> Do not take pride in your good deeds, for God’s judgments differ from those of men and what pleases them often displeases Him”



May this Season of Lent help us to take concrete and practical decisions to practise the three pillars of Christian Piety – Fasting, Almsgiving and Praying…

… in its truest sense. 
>> And may this be our prayer to enshrine all our activities: 

“Grant me the gift of humility…

… so that I might do good to all, without me even knowing it!”

Wish you all a Very Happy and Blessed Season of Lent. 

>> May this season of lent, be a time – to revive and renew – and thus grow in Holiness!
May our Blessed Mother of Compassion intercede for us.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 28 (Mk 10:28-31)

In India, booking tickets and getting a confirmed seat to travel by the Railways (trains) is sometimes a stressful affair.

 >> The massive number in the people travelling makes this process a very competitive one, with all jostling to get confirmed seats.


To those who manage to get confirmed seats, there is a sense of relief.


But those who fail to get confirmation, and obtain a waiting-list ticket instead, are made to face a lot of tension and worry.

>> There is tension as to whether the tickets would get confirmed in time, so as to be able to travel hassle-free…

>> There is anxiety as to what is to be done and what are the other alternatives, if the possibility of confirmation is very less…


An assurance of confirmation makes the journey pleasant and tension-free.

>> An anxiety over the confirmation adds immense apprehension to the possibility of journey.


Our lives in the Lord, is a spiritual journey…

>> The greater assurance we have in the promises of the Lord, the more pleasant will be our journey

>> The stronger our assurances in the Word of the Lord, the swifter will be our progress in this journey towards the Lord

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus declaring His assured promises to those who follow Him, sincerely and wholeheartedly.



Jesus tells to Peter and the other disciples:

” Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and the sake of the Gospel, who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age….and eternal life in the age to come” (Mk 10: 29)


This incident takes place right after the encounter of the rich young man with Jesus (Mk 10: 17-22)


This man was proposed by Jesus to sell all his possessions and then follow Him.

> The man, however, found it hard, to let go off his attachments, and instead let go of the Lord.

>> He went away sad! (Mk 10:22)


Peter, as the leader of the disciples, however, contrasts this “possessive and worldly” tendency of the rich young man by telling Jesus, ” We have given up everything and followed you” (Mk 10: 28)

>> Perhaps, there was a growing concern among the disciples…

… as to whether their radical decision to commit themselves to the Master would go in vain!
>> Perhaps, there was an apparent fear within the disciples…

… as to whether their decisions to leave their professions, their families and their aspirations to follow the Lord would go fruitless!

And so the Lord, with a candid straight-forwardness replies that their sacrifices would surely assure them of rewards of a much higher quality and eminence.

How often do our lives also sometimes sink in hopelessness, thinking whether our expressions of faith would end up in meaninglessness!


Sometimes even fearful thoughts and anxious emotions may cross our mind…

… will the various sacrifices and pains that I take up for the Lord, go in vain?

… will my unshed tears, my unspoken prayers and painful sighs, end up in futility?

… will the efforts I make to grow in love and nourish others in faith, lead to fruitlessness?


But the Lord assures us, that none of these efforts – small or great, noticed or unnoticed, seen or unseen – will escape the penetrating eyes of the Lord and go unrewarded.

>> All our actions, done in love has an assured reward!


What is however, most essential, is our total focus on the Lord and unflinched commitment to Him.


The Lord most certainly assures us of rewards and gifts.

>> But, in this pursuit, may we not stray or lose focus of Him!


>> Our lives ought to be impelled by the love for the “God of rewards”, than merely the rewards of God!

>> Our lives must be lived in faithfulness to the “God of gifts”, than being fascinated only to the gifts of God!


May the Lord Himself be our greatest reward… our finest gift!


The journey of our spiritual life comes with a “confirmed ticket” from the part of the Lord.

>> There need be no anxiety… no undue worry!



God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 27 (Mk 10:17-27)

An incident is told of a Christian man named Johansson, when passing out of a church, was encountered by his friend Albert. 
It had been a very long time that Albert had seen Johansson in church.

>> They began to speak about their past memories, their present careers and their future plans. 

Among the several things that they spoke, Albert mentioned: “I understand now that you are in great danger!”
He had said that statement pretty seriously, and so Johansson felt quite taken aback.
With a surprise look, he queried: 

“Well, as far as I know, I do not foresee any danger to my life. 

May I know what exactly are you meaning by the statement?”
With a concerned tone, Albert replied: “I get to know, that you are getting rich!”

Albert, the friend, was according a warning to Johansson, because of the inherent dangers that “richness” could lead into…

The Gospel of the Day is a lesson on warning… 

.. A rich young man who was made to realise the fleeting nature of wealth and possessions by the Lord.

The young man in the Gospel approaches Jesus to ask, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mk 10: 17)

When Jesus gives him list of commandments, that need to be followed to help ensure a passage into eternal life, the man replies, “Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth” (Mk 10: 20)

We underline a few aspects of this young man…

>> He did desire for a life of eternity and followed the commandments

>> He did nurture a sense of being pious and devout, to please the Lord

… he probably failed to live up to the intentions of the commandments

… he possibly got lost into only keeping the letters of the commandments; not the spirit!
>> He got attached to doing God’s commandment…

… but failed to break his attachments with the riches of the world.
>> He possessed the good will to follow God’s teachings…

… but failed to let go of the possessions of his life.

The Lord realised this “pitiable” condition of the young man.

>> He was wealthy in the world, but was unable to be rich before God

>> He was obedient to the laws, but was unable to be obedient to give up his attachments.
Therefore, the Lord, knowing this state of the young man – devout yet not properly focussed – “looked at him, loved him, and said, ‘You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then, come, follow me'” (Mk 10: 21)

This young man could represent any one of us: 

>> We seek to be pious…

… but find it hard to let go of our possessions
>> We seek for holiness in life…

… but go through a struggle to give up our attachments
>> We seek to follow the Lord wholly…

… but stumble to give ourselves entirely to the Lord

Yet, the Lord does not give up on us…

> He looks on us…

>> He loves us…

And He invites us, to have the proper focus in life!
We need to realise…

… that it is not material possessions that ought to occupy our hearts; rather, our hearts needs to be possessed with the Love for the Lord.

… that it is not worldly treasures that should be our prime motto in life; rather, a life, dedicated to the Kingdom of God and helping the needy with the resources we have.

As we prepare ourselves to enter into the Season of Lent this week…

… let us pay attention to the words of the Book of Sirach:

“How great is the mercy of the Lord, His forgiveness to those who return to Him” (Sir 17:24)

May we give heed to this great warning accorded by the Lord…

>> And be possessed by the Lord…

… so that we may have a wonderful life of eternity with the Lord of all treasures!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 26 (Mt 6:24-34)

A top ranked official, was extremely efficient and skilled in all his works.>> However, he suffered from constant bouts of ulcer in the mouth, stomach upset and headaches.
Several medications couldn’t solve this problem.

Finally, a close friend of his, who had been away abroad for some years, met him..

… and knowing of his problems, suggested:

“I have the solution for all your physical troubles.
With all your works and responsibilities, you daily take up a lot of tension and worry.
So all that you need to do is…

> Choose any one particular day of the week. 
Whenever you get a problem that causes you anxiety…

>> Write it on a piece of paper….

>> Drop it inside a ‘Worry Box’…

… and then completely forget about it. 
This ‘worry box’ is to be opened on that particular day of the week.”

The official tried this method of “writing the anxieties and problems on a paper, dropping it into a ‘worry box’ and opening it only on a Sunday.”
To his surprise, he found that most of the things that had disturbed him over the past six days were already settled.

>> It would have been useless to have worried about them.

That’s when he realised, his foolishness in being anxious and worried about a lot of things in life…

… things that deserved no attention for worry or anxiety!

>> And behold, in doing so, he also found his health to be regaining to full force.

Is that not pretty similar in our lives as well?
We often fret and worry about a lot of things in life…

… only to realise, that most of them, do not actually deserve the “anxiety attention and the worry weightage.”

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful reflection given by Jesus on this nagging factor in our life – anxiety and worry.

 The Lord firstly invites us to have a clear conviction regarding our loyalty: to God or to mammon.

>> He says, “No one can serve two masters… You cannot serve God and mammon” (Mt 6: 24)


We can be faithful and committed to only one of them.


To whom have we pledged our loyalty and allegiance…?

>> To the True and Living God who alone is worthy of every honour and who alone is able to bless our lives with true joy and happiness….?

… or to false and make-believe effigies of money, wealth and possessions which may give momentary satisfactions but fail miserably in rendering true peace of mind…?

When we have made this pledge and commitment to the Lord, He invites us to “live” this commitment.


One of the strongest signs of “living” this commitment is to “trust” in Him!

>> And the external sign of “trusting” in Him is to not get into the vice of “anxiety”

Jesus asks this very practical and logical question:

“Can any of you, by worrying, add a single moment to your life-span?” (Mt 6: 27)


All of us..

… surely, as we live our lives have our quota of tensions and troubles.

… without doubt, as we discharge our duties, will have our share of pressures.

But do we let these tensions and troubles and pressures to get converted to needless “worries” and undue “anxieties”?

It is said that “worry is wasting today’s time, to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.”
Worries and anxieties cause us…

… to miss the beautiful gift of the present – Today

… causing blockage in the golden chances awaiting ahead – Tomorrow

… as a result of the cloud of undue pressures and fears of the past – Yesterday

Humans, as we are, stresses and strains are sure to come our way…

… but, does my Christian Faith help me to convert such circumstances to occasions to trust in God deeper and build our faith stronger?

>> For a person on deep faith, situations of tension are made into moments of seeking God deeper and experiencing His providence.

>> For a person of higher trust, circumstances of worries are transformed to occasions of cherishing God’s presence and developing an approach of stronger reliance and dependence.


There is no doubt that life will constantly hurl ‘bricks of worry and anxiety’ on us

>> Discouragements are an easy trap for us to stumble in our life of faith

>> Anxieties are easy snares to corner us with fretfulness and fear.
But as Christians, we need to be courageous to use these ‘bricks of worry and anxiety’ into castles of “confidence and success!”

The evil one, in life…

… seeks to hamper our desire to seek the Lord and work for His Kingdom

… attempts to tarnish our good intentions to be a messenger of His Kingdom


Do we succumb to those attacks of “anxiety” and “worry”?

… or do we stand firm, in faith and trust, placing our faith in the Lord, entirely?


Worries and anxieties often eat up our life…

… and many of us even suffer physically, spiritually and socially.

The Lord, our best friend, advises us today:

“Write down your worries and anxieties on a piece of paper… (i.e. speak to me in Prayer!)

… put them into the “worry box”… (i.e. Offer them to My Heart!)

… and open it once a week… (i.e. On a Sunday – the Sabbath Day, set apart for the Lord!)

>> And you will realise, most of the things that had disturbed over the past six days, were already settled.”

Yes, let us firmly pledge our loyalty and allegiance to our Loving God…

… and trusting Him at all times, boldly declare, with hope:

“I seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 25 (Mk 10:13-16)

Home Sweet Home.. is a phrase that is often used in our parlance.


Home evokes a feeling of comfort, relaxation, wellbeing, ease and contentment.

>> “Feel at home” is an constant invitation that we extend to our guests and visitors and make them feel secure.


>> Some places are naturally able to give us this “homely-feeling”…

>> Some persons are also naturally able to render us this “homely-feeling”…

Jesus, is the one person, who is certainly & surely able to give the “best homely feeling!”


The Gospels are a testimony to this fact…

>> Sinners found a home…

… a solace in the Sanctifying Presence of the Lord!


>> Sick people found a home…

… a remedying cure in the Healing Presence of the Lord!


>> Broken souls found a home…

… a regrouping catalyst in the Restoring Presence of the Lord!


>> Outcast groups found a home…

… an accepting embrace in the Welcoming Presence of the Lord!


>> Hopeless persons found a home…

… an encouraging impetus in the Energetic Presence of the Lord!

In the Gospel of the Day, we encounter another set of Persons who sought to find a Home in the Lord and wanted to experience His comforting love – Little Children


Little children are brought to Jesus to be prayed over and to be blessed… (Mk 10:13)


These Little Children are brought to Jesus so that find a Home in Him- a Home of Blessing & Sanctity!

>> But unfortunately… the Disciples prevented the Little Ones from being brought to Jesus!


How often this happens in our world too: Little things in life often not being given the due importance and are discarded or pushed away..


The Disciples of Jesus fell prey to this sad and pitiable trend of the ‘frantic and frenzied’ world…

>> Perhaps they felt…these little children are a nuisance in the hectic & occupied schedule of Jesus…

>> Perhaps they considered…these little children are an unnecessary burden to an already overburdened Jesus…

>> Perhaps they thought.. these little children are a hindrance in the teaching, healing and preaching ministry of Jesus…


But Jesus, the Home-giver, the Care-provider…. reprimands & reproofs this attitude & approach.

>> He is a Home to the Homeless… He is a Shelter to the Shelterless.. He is a Hope to the Hopeless…


He invites the Little Children to be brought to Him & help them feel His Homely Presence!

>> He bids the Little Ones to be brought to Him & let them be touched by His Healing Presence!



In our lives, we at times photocopy this attitude of the Disciples & fall short to approach the Lord: Avoiding the little things of life that give spiritual console and spiritual strength

>> In my work-dominated life…

… Do I fail to spend, a little time in the Homely Presence of the Lord?


>> In my high-styled life…

… Do I miss to realize & enjoy, the little joys in the Providence of the Lord?


>> In my passive life… 

Do I take for granted, the favours that I obtain in the Mercy of the Lord?  


>> In my tension-filled life… 

Do I neglect the blessings, that I receive through the Bounty of the Lord?



People might prevent us…Situations might discourage us…Circumstances might dampen our spirit

>> But, the Lord has a Home for each one of us!


The Lord never gets tired of us… let us go to Him, to seek comfort and solace!

>> The Lord eagerly waits for us… let us run to Him and be blessed and graced in His embrace!

>>>> The Lord has enough time for us … let us approach Him & experience the true happiness of life!


Jesus, is the one person, who is certainly & surely able to give the “best homely feeling!”

>> Let us be AT HOME WITH JESUS!



God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 24 (Mk 10:1-12)

An elderly couple narrates an incident in the life of their daughter.


A couple of weeks after the marriage of their daughter, they got a call from her.

>> The newly-weds had their first big fight.


After several tense moments over the phone, the mother gave the phone to the father and asked him to speak and console her daughter.


A few minutes later, the father came back to the mother, who had been sitting worriedly, in the living room.

“What happened? What did she say”, asked the tense mother.

“She wanted to come home” replied the father.


“Oh! Then what did you tell her?” enquired the worried mother

“I told her” said the father, “she was already home!”



Yes, once married, the husband and wife form one home, “leaving their father and mother”!

>> This was the truth that was explained by the father to her daughter.


Marriage is a sacred institution – a precious covenant – that demands a lifelong commitment and a faithful dedication, despite the ups and downs of life.



It is this message that is driven home by Jesus in today’s Gospel when He expounds His teaching on the sacredness of the Covenant of Marriage.


The passage begins with a testing interrogation by the Pharisees, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” (Mk 10: 2a)


 St Mark clearly points the intention of the Pharisees in asking this question to Jesus: “To Test Him” (Mk 10: 2b)


Jesus was in the district of Judea, across the Jordan (Mk 10:1)

>> Is there something specific in this particular detail being mentioned – “across the Jordan”?


“Across the Jordan” was the place where John the Baptist had been working (Jn 1: 28)

>> By mentioning the place, St Mark alludes to the outcome that had befallen on John the Baptist.


John the Baptist had got into great persecution because of his open-condemnation of the adulterous relationship of King Herod with Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. (Mk 6:17)


>> By putting forward the “same question of divorce” before Jesus, the Pharisees were laying a much greater trap…

… If Jesus condemned divorce, it could amount to an act of treason against King Herod, the ruler of the land!


John the Baptist had lost his head due to the strong stance on the issue of divorce

>> Now Jesus, is also being snared into such a life-threatening trap!


But Jesus remains the Person that He is – uncompromising, unflinching, convinced, bold and daring!


A big lesson for us too, to learn from Jesus…

>> There will be situations in life when people get into our skin, trying to put us into confusion and even states of danger…

… Can we still remain undaunted and courageous to stand firm on our convictions and principles?



Jesus came to the world to demonstrate the magnanimity of God’s Love.

  This magnanimity includes…

… His unconditional manner of loving us, irrespective of our worthiness

… His unflinched faithfulness to us, despite our many acts of betrayal and disloyalty


 It is this model of God’s love that becomes the blueprint for us in loving others, and especially in a marriage relationship.


 The partners, pledged in love to each other in marriage, ought to imitate the love that God has for us…

 >> We have cheated and strayed away from what God wants of us…

… He still loves us and is faithful to us


>> We have, on innumerable occasions, spat at His face by our shameful deeds and defamed His name by our sinful acts…

… He still holds us close to Him and remains loyal to us


>> We have, despite many warnings, purposely hurt Him in thoughts, words and deeds and even rejected His graces by not co-operating with His Will for us…

… He still waits patiently for our return and constantly seeks to draw us to Him



>> We have failed Him many times, but He has always made efforts to try to win us

>> We have hurt and pained Him much, but He has still longs for us, with His soothing balm of acceptance



It is this “magnanimity of God’s Love” that becomes the basis, the inspiration and the ideal in every marriage relationship.

 >> Therefore Jesus says, “What therefore God has joined, let not man put asunder” ( Mt 19: 6b)


We live in a world where the quickest solution to many problems is found in “throwing it away!”

>> And the same mentality affects human relationships too… especially to those in marriage.



The challenge therefore is to dare to swim against these worldly currents and bring in the “Jesus Culture of Faithful Commitment” in human relationships, especially of marriage.


 Theoretically speaking, this sounds quite good and wonderful.

 >> But when it comes down to the actual practice.. in married lives… it is undoubtedly a very hard effort.


 “But what is impossible for humans is possible for God” (Lk 18: 27), is the assurance of Jesus.



 When the going gets really hard and we want to call it ‘quits’ in our relationships…

… let us look to Jesus who said “Yes to the Will of God” in the painful agony at Gethsemane


>> There may seem no hope ahead…

>> There may appear only meaninglessness ahead…

Still, can we say Yes to God’s Will – to be faithful and committed?




When none of our efforts of restoration work out and we get ‘fed’ up and feel to have reached the ‘limit’ in relationships…

… let us look to Jesus Crucified, who was never ‘fed’ up with our misdeeds and our constant misunderstanding and misuse of His love


>> It may look like the end of the road…

>> It may seem that all the past was mere fantasy and the future appears to be non-existent…

Still, can we hold on to Hope in God – to be true to our promise and be loyal?


 The promises made…

>> to our Faith in Baptism

>> to the spouse in Marriage

>> to the Lord in Consecrated and Priestly Life

 … all demand an undissolved commitment, an undiluted faithfulness and an unmixed dedication.



May we grow in the understanding of “being faithful and committed” to our relations…

… and seek to “feel at home” – with God and with one another!


God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 23 (Mk 9:41-50)

An experience is narrated of a family who went to visit the world-famous Niagara Falls.


It was spring, and ice was rushing down the river.

>> As the family members viewed the large blocks of ice flowing toward the falls, they could see that there were carcasses of dead fish embedded in the ice.

A large number of sea-gulls ( = birds, which feed mainly on fish) were riding down the river, feeding on the fish.


As they came to the brink of the falls, their wings would go out, and they would escape from the falls.

However there was one particular sea-gull, which seemed to delay much in flying.

>> It was deeply engrossed in the carcass of a fish.

Finally, only when it came to the brink of the falls, did it “flap its wings”.

…But it was a moment too late!


The bird flapped and flapped and even lifted the ice out of the water.

>> But it had delayed too long so that its claws had frozen into the ice.


The weight of the ice was too great, and the gull plunged into the abyss!


>> Excessive attachment and attraction, at the expense of “letting go”, cost the sea-gull its life!


How true is the saying: “The finest attractions of this world become deadly when one becomes overly attached to them.”


The Gospel of the Day is the powerful exhortation of Jesus on the need to “cut-off and pluck-off” ANYTHING which causes us to sin…

…thus according the prime duty of every follower of Christ to meticulously and diligently pursue the paths of holiness!


Jesus uses an extreme language to convey this message across:

“If your hand causes you to sin… cut it off!

If your foot causes you to sin… cut it off!

If your eye causes you to sin… pluck it off!” ( Mk 9: 43,45,47)


The hand….the foot… and the eye.. are three faculties which are extremely vital for a person’s activities:

>> The hand: points to the things “that we do”

>> The foot: points to the places “that we go”

>> The eye: points to the things “that we see or desire”

Jesus, thus refers to ANYTHING, which causes sin, to be totally be dismembered.


We need to make an honest examination of our lives…

>> What are the areas of my life, which cause me to sin…

… and keeps me away, from pursuing holiness?


>> Who are the people in my life, who lead me to sin…

… or keep me away from becoming closer to the Lord?


>> Which are the activities, which instigates me to sin…

… and renders me a slave to the wiles of the devil?

As human beings, there could be a naturally tendency….

… to easily get attached to things which attract and allure us

… to find it hard to let go of situations which gives us momentary pleasure and vain gratification

… to be impelled to remain holding onto certain people, even though we know they cause us to sin

>> But the Lord calls for an honest examination of our life…

…and dares us to “let go” of anything that would cause us to be unworthy of His Love.



May we seek to not get “attached” or “stuck” to the peripheries of life…

…instead “flap our wings” in the proper time…

… and pursue the paths of holiness and sanctity!

Let our lives be a saintly one, attracting many to Christ…

… and not a scandalous one, repelling many from Christ!



God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 22 (Mt 16:13-20: Feast of the See of St Peter)

 >> “I like Christ….but not the Church…” 


>> “I don’t like the Church which has decayed today into only being an institution…”.


>> “I believe in my own way. I don’t need to go to Church and have someone tell me what to believe…”


>> “The Church is a bunch of hypocrites who like to only brag about their grand old traditions and heritages…”


>> “The Church is just not an exciting place to suit my rocking life & it’s too boring to be in tune with my cool lifestyle!”



These are hard-hitting and rough words that often emerge in opposition to the Church…

>> Perhaps some of us may also agree with those statements or are sadly, even advocates of the same….



The word “Church” is often a stumbling block for many…

>> There’s something which makes to feel uncomfortable!



Today we celebrate the Feast of the “See of St Peter” (Chair of St Peter).

>> This Feast celebrates Christ choosing St Peter to “sit” in authority as the visible leader of the Church on earth.




The Gospel of the Day presents to us the Faith Statement of Peter, the leader of the band of the Apostles and Jesus declaring to him that, “…on this rock, I will build my Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it!” (Mt 16:18)


The Great Rock..entrusts to Peter, the rock and assures Him that the Church will always stay rock-grounded!


The Lord had and still has.. great Faith and Trust in His Church…..

>> But, personally, we need to ask: Am I still shaky regarding the Church?




Let’s get to some of the Basics of the Church.


The word “Church”….in Greek…is Ekklesia. 

>> Ekklesia can be split to two words… “ek” = out of + “kaleo” = to call


This gives us an important meaning of EKKLESIA – THE CHURCH…. TO BE CALLED OUT OF….


>> The Church is a body….to be called out of the world…

… into being a Family and Fellowship in God!


>> The Church is a body…to be called out of materialistic and worldly gains…

… .and be a sign of hope and salvation!



This gives us a clue to many aspects of the Church…and which will help our own understanding…

>> The Church is not a mere building… the Church is the People of God.



We reduce the Church in our everyday vocabulary to a mere building made of stones and cement.. 


But, the Church is made of living stones (1 Pet 2:5)

>> And all of us need to contribute our mite in keeping alive this Church of God.




>> Do I give my share of talents and gifts to the Church is keeping it effective and relevant for our modern times?


>> Do I make sacrifices and offer prayers for the Church so that she may stand strong in the midst of struggles?


>> Do I promote and encourage the teachings of the Church and find beauty and wisdom in them? 



Perhaps one reason we find ourselves in a cribbing position, with respect to the Church is because of our failure to understand its nature and also have our own misunderstandings and prejudices…


When Jesus asked His disciples, “Who am I” (Mt 16: 13) he got varied answers…

… some surprising

… some unexpected


>> The Mystery of Jesus was so great…

… people failed to grasp who actually He was…


>> The Mystery of the Church is also great…

… that people fail to understand her and even form opposing opinions!



We may feel that the Church is too traditional and too conservative and too authoritarian…

>> But we fail to see that she has preserved much morals…kept safe human values..and promoted holiness


We may feel that the Church is all too mistaken in many areas and has committed many blunders…

>> But we ought to know that the Church has a human dimension and despite it, the Spirit of the Lord leads




We may feel that the Church is just too bad with scandals and hypocrites and has lost all credibility…

>> But we need to realize that the evil one attacks those who strive for sanctity and tries to disrupt God’s plans



>> The Church undergoes the pain of many a misunderstandings…

… Christ too underwent the same.


>> The Church suffers the bad name of being called by many names….

… Christ too underwent the same.



From a negative aspect, What is a Hospital? 

>> Diseases, Blood, Pus, Screaming, Pains, Twisted bodies, Suffering..


But from a Positive Aspect, What is a Hospital? 

Care, Healing, Love, Solace, Relief, Aid, Selfless Service….



Our Church can be understood in similar tones…

Weaknesses are plenty…yet, when seen from a Divine perspective, she is Holy!



All of us are concerned about the growing rejection of Church and Christian values in our society…

>> But we who are Baptized…and who seek the good of the Church, ought to join our hands and seek to revive the relevance and importance of the Church.



>> The Church has its weaknesses…

… but the Church needs Powerful Persons… in You and Me!


>> The Church has its negatives…

… but the Church needs Passionate Lovers of God… in You and Me!


>> The Church has its flaws…

… but the Church needs Committed Preachers of the Word… in You and Me!



The Body of Christ while hanging on the Cross was weak ….but “No bone of His was broken” (Jn 19:36)


>> The Church of Christ while living in the world maybe weak….but No bone shall be broken!

 “…on this rock, I will build my Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it!”



Let The Great Rock help us to stand firm and become passionate in service of the Church!




God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 21 (Mk 9:30-37)

A young American student, on a visit to the Beethoven museum in Bonn, became fascinated by the piano on which Beethoven had composed some of his greatest works.
(Beethoven is one of the most famous and influential music composers of all-time)

She asked the museum guard if she could play a few musical pieces on it.


She accompanied the request with a lavish tip (a gift/money)…

… and the guard agreed!


The girl, excitedly went to the piano and tinkled out the opening of the Moonlight Sonata (a famous musical composition of Beethoven).


She was greatly thrilled that she could play on the same piano as that of the music legend.


 As she was leaving she said to the guard, with a great sense of exhilaration: “I suppose all the great pianists who come here, want to play on that piano.”


The guard shook his head.

Then he gave a reply which shocked the girl: “Padarewski [the famed Polish pianist] was here a few years ago and he said he wasn’t worthy to touch it.”



The Great Polish pianist felt himself unworthy to play on the piano, which was played the Legendary Beethoven…

… whereas the girl (a novice in piano), took false pride and gratified her vanity!



Great people realise the significance and prominence of others…

… and in humility, lower themselves in rightful acknowledgement!



How many of us dare to humble ourselves, especially before the immensity of God?

>> How many of us choose to walk the path of humility, and be willing to follow the Ways of God?


The Gospel of the Day is an exhortatory teaching of Jesus on the importance of His Followers to be immersed into a life of humility.


Jesus was walking with His disciples, teaching them on the way….

>> He began to speak to them of how, He – the Son of Man “would be delivered into the hands of men, and they would kill Him…” (Mk 9:31)


Jesus was the epitome of self-emptiness and total self-giving

>> He expected His disciples to also learn from Him (Mt 11:29) and follow His lifestyle


St Paul in his letter to the Philippians speaks of this self-emptying (“kenosis”) of the Lord:

“He emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave….He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2: 7-8)


And so Jesus tells His disciples of how He would be handed over to human hands and suffer death


He was teaching them…

… how He had to enter into the waters of Humility – in being handed over to human hands

.. how He had to pass through the valleys of Humbleness – in suffering death on the Cross


But, sadly, the disciples were able to give little heed to these “Acts of Humility” of the Lord

… They were busy discussing who would be the Greatest among them

… They were occupied in arguing who would be the First among them (Mk 9:34)


And so the Lord gives them the thumb rule to be His Follower: Humility of Heart

 – “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all” (Mk 9:35)



… was to be the sole stepping-stone to greatness in the Kingdom of God

… was to be the lone way to be considered worthy in the Divine Way of Life



We need to examine our lives: Am I living a life of humility?

>> Do I try to always have it “my way” and insist solely on feeding my ego and my pride?

>> Am I willing to let go of my crave for position and fame, and embrace a life of service?



Ralph Emerson, an essayist and poet once said, “A great man is always willing to be little”



Every Christian is expected to Follow the Way of Humility – which was the Way of Christ!

>> He humbled Himself – and expects each of us to live in humilty

>> He came to serve, and not to be served – and challenges us too, to be so

>> He let go of His personal glory and self desires – and dares us to “let go” and “allow God”!



May we humble ourselves before the Immense Presence of God….like a Child…

… and entrusting our cares to the Lord, find Him supporting….strengthening…and lifting us up! (Cf. Ps 54:23)

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 20 (Mk 9:14-29)

A story is told of a master who had a disciple, for a long time.

>> Though the disciple was an extreme simpleton, the master persisted with him, on account of his sincerity. 
One day, a rumour spread in the village that the disciple was walking over the waters of the river. 
On hearing the news, the master asked the disciple: “Is it true, that you crossed the river, by walking on the water?”
The disciple said: “Yes, O Master. It was all thanks to you. I repeated your name with deep faith and trust, and I could cross over the river!”

The Master said to himself: “If my disciple could walk over the waters, surely I should be able much more.

>> If repeating my name can work a miracle, why not make an attempt!”
So saying, the master began to walk on the waters, uttering his name…

… only to drown into the waters!

His feeble and wavering faith, had got him drowned!

 The master thought only a mere repetition of his name would work a miracle: A peripheral faith!

>> The disciple had complete confidence that a miracle could be worked: A powerful trust!
Faith is something that comes from within…

>> True faith requires the peeling away of the “layers of doubts”

The Gospel of the Day is an incident of how a “peripheral faith” is exposed and how a teaching is given to move into the realm of “powerful trust”

The Gospel passage in focus is that of some of the disciples of Jesus, who failed to heal a possessed boy, and the chiding that was followed by Jesus.


Jesus, was along with His “chosen within the chosen” disciples – Peter, James and John – on the mount of Transfiguration (Mk 9: 2-13)


Meanwhile the other disciples were approached by a father, who brought his son – possessed by a demon – to them for a healing.

>> They were however unable to heal.

The father expresses this to Jesus, Who had come down from the Mount of Transfiguration:

“I asked Your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so!” (Mk 9: 18)



Why were the disciples unable to drive the demon?

>> Why did they fail in their task of healing the boy?


It was a moment of embarrassment and awkwardness for these disciples: being unable to cure the boy



In Mk 6: 7, we read: “Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out, two by two, and gave them authority over unclean spirits”

>> The power to cast out demons was delegated by Jesus to the disciples


Yet, they failed to heal the demon-possessed boy.




Jesus answers – through a cry of lament: “O faithless generation…!” (Mk 9: 19)

>> Jesus points to the lack of faith in the disciples

He drives home a very important dimension of Faith that we need examine constantly:

>> “Do you really believe in Me…? Or is your faith more in your own-self?”

>> ” Are you totally dependent on Me… ? Or are you being more self-reliant?”


The disciples had indeed found success in their ministry (Mk 6:30)

>> They also had witnessed the mighty powers of Jesus and were in astonishment (Mk 6: 34-51)


But somehow, perhaps, their faith had still not grown…their faith was still peripheral

>> Layers of self-dependence, pride, ‘only external piety’ etc could have been formed!


Therefore Jesus, their Master…

… peeled and “unlayered” those layers



This “peeling of layers” was a necessity for the disciples…

… to begin to depend more on the Lord and His Authority, rather than their power

… to be always humble to allow to the Lord to be given all glory, rather than self-exaltation



Have I formed such layers in my practise of the Christian faith?

… Layers of pride? Layers of self-reliance? Layers of “only external piety?

Then the Lord will often take us through situations of difficulties, awkwardness and even humiliations or embarrassment…

… in order to not become self-reliant; instead to be God-reliant

… in order to not swell up in pride; instead to humble oneself to trust in God!

… in order to not have a mere external show of faith; instead to grow in interior holiness!



The Lord wishes that we grow higher in our faith… that we love Him more deeply, for His sake alone.

Let us allow Him to help us to move from a “peripheral faith” into the realm of “powerful trust”…

>> And thus in, deep trust, to cry out: “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mk 9: 24)



God Bless! Live Jesus!