Jul 1 (Mt 8:5-17)

The Roman military was one of the most successful and powerful in world history.

>> It dominated the Western world for over a thousand years.

 

• The Romans believed themselves to be descendants of Mars- literally, the sons of the war god.

• They were a proud and uncompromising people who, above all else, excelled at the art of warfare.

 

 

The core of Rome’s military strength lay in the professionalism of their heavy infantry.

 
The Gospel of the Day begins with a beautiful narrative of a healing encounter that an officer of this mighty Roman Empire had…

… with Jesus, the greatest Emperor of the Everlasting Empire of God!

 
The Gospel begins with the verse, “As Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to Him, beseeching Him and saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress” (Mt 8: 5-6)

 
A centurion was a professional officer of the mighty army of the Roman Empire.

 

Even though, theoretically, this word traces its roots to the Latin word ‘centum’ which means one hundred, a Centurion in the Roman Army was one who commanded 80 men.

 

When the Centurion made his request to Jesus, our Blessed Lord answered him, “I will come and cure him” (Mt 8: 7)

 
It is very remarkable to note what the Centurion answered in reply.

 

He says, “… For I too am a person UNDER authority” (Mt 8: 9)

 
Some other translations would read, “… For I too am a person SUBJECT TO authority”

 
Though he was a ‘Centurion’ – a person with 80 people under his ‘beck and call’, it is fascinating to see that he doesn’t say, “I am a person WITH authority” or “I am a person FULL OF authority”

>> Instead he says, “I too am UNDER authority”.

 
What was the authority that he was UNDER?

 
To know this, it would be good to see what was the position of the Centurion in the Roman Army.

 

>> Above the centurion was a senior centurion… (a total of 80 men for a Centurion)
>> Above this senior centurion, were sixty centurions… ( a total of 4800 men)
>> Above the sixty centurions were six tribunes… (each tribune had 3000 men.. so total 18, 000)
>> Above the six tribunes, were the two consuls.
>> Above the consuls, was the Emperor!
 

It was in this very long line of delegated authority that the Centurion of our Gospel passage stands.

 
The Centurions were also chosen from the best of the best.

 

A Roman soldier did not become a centurion overnight.

>> It took years!

 

The special ‘cohorts’ within each legion made up of veterans of sixteen years or more, were the normal source for men to be promoted as centurions.

 

The historian Polybius wrote:

“In choosing their centurions, the Romans look not so much for the daring or fire-eating type, but rather for men who are natural leaders and possess a stable and imperturbable temperament; 

>> Not men who will open the battle and launch attacks, but those who will stand their ground even when worsted or hard-pressed, and will die in defense of their posts.”

 
It was such kind of a man who stood before Jesus, requesting for a healing for his servant.

 

We usually look at Jesus as a soft, gentle and affectionate person.

>> But this Centurion saw Jesus as the Commanding Emperor of a mighty army!

 

In Jesus, he saw a man of strength… a man of power… a man of immense authority!

 

 

And so He tells Jesus, “… only say a Word, and my servant will be healed” (Mt 8: 8b)

 
The Centurion looked at Jesus as the head and person-in-charge of the mighty army of God.

>> He believed that the Lord had immense power and strength
>> He trusted that the Lord vested tremendous authority and influence
 

It was not necessary for Jesus to come to his house.

>> Instead, all it needed was a “Word” from Him….

… a command as in a military set-up

… an order as in the armed forces

 

 

 

Jesus is marvelled at this tremendous faith of the centurion and lavishes His praise on him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith” (Mt 8: 10b)

 
Is my faith comparable to the faith of this Centurion and can I be inspired by his marvelous belief?

 

>> Do I look on the Lord and have confidence in Him, as the One infested with all power and glory – able to overcome every crippling force of the world?

>> Do I consider and trust in the Lord as the Mighty Emperor with all supremacy and dominance – able to conquer every problem that I face and triumph over any sinful situation?

 

The Lord is the great healer.

>> He is the One who takes away our every infirmity and disease.

 
As we thank the Lord for six months of this year, and as we enter into the second half of this year…

… Let us grateful to the Lord for all His blessings, and offer our lives, in trust, into His Caring Hands!

May we be inspired by the deep faith of the Centurion, and grow in our trust and belief in the Lord, knowing that…

… We need to be bold soldiers, because we have a Powerful and Authoritative Commander!

… We need to be courageous citizens, because we have a Mighty and Awesome Emperor!
 

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 30 (Mt 8:1-4)

An integral system of education consists of proper blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application.

 

Theory refers to learning ideas and concepts, principles and philosophies regarding a particular subject through books, media, encyclopedias, academic institutions, classes, lectures and other sources.
Practicals refers to the ability of using that information and applying it in a real-life context.

 

• Theoretical knowledge shows the whole forest – builds the context and helps to set strategy.

• Practical knowledge shows a single tree – puts forth the situation and challenges to act.

 

In recent times, many of the subjects and the curriculum in institutions, insist and demand on both the theoretical knowledge and the practical dimension of knowledge.

 
The Gospel of the Day is the narrative of the ‘first in the series’ of practical applications of the theoretical knowledge that Jesus has expounded through the Sermon on the Mount.

 

The incident of the cleansing of the Leper in Mt 8: 1-4 is placed immediately after the Great Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1- 7:29)

• The Sermon on the Mount was the theoretical knowledge that Jesus expounded

• The cleansing of the leper was the theoretical application of some of those principles

 

At the start of the Sermon on the Mount, we read “When Jesus saw the CROWDS, He went up to the mountain…..” (Mt 5:1)

>> At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, we read, “When Jesus came down from the mountain, great CROWDS followed Him” (Mt 8:1)

 

• Many people in the crowd have listened and marvelled at the teachings of Jesus.

 

• Many of them now follow Him…

o Perhaps to see how He would apply those lofty teachings in real life

o Perhaps to see whether all those high ideas were really liveable in actual life

 

And what is the scene that they encounter?

 

A leper who approaches Jesus!

 

“A leper!!”… Yucks!!

>> “Stay away, all” would have been the united chorus of that multitude of crowd!

 

Leprosy was one of the most feared and dreaded disease of the ancient world.

 

The Hebrew word for leprosy (Tsara’ath) comes from a root word which means “to scourge or to strike.”

 

Leprosy was very often, considered a curse. 

>> It was incurable and highly deadly – blatantly evident on the body and an ugly sight!

 

Leprosy was almost a ‘living death’, with many sweeping implications.

 

A person would be declared a leper after tests were performed (Lev. 13).

Once declared a leper by the priest, the leper had to be cut-off from contact with society.

 

• He had to display marks of mourning, as if for the dead (thus, to touch him would defile oneself)

• When someone drew near, he had to call out, “Unclean! Unclean!”

• He had to remain outside the camp with no access to the temple or perform any worship.

 

Leprosy was, indeed, a living death!

 

The crowd who saw this leper approach and worship Jesus would have had mixed feelings – shock… anger.. unpleasantness…

 

They would have been also very curious what would Jesus do…

“He preached so much… let’s see what He does now”

“Is He really going to touch and get defiled by that dirty leper?”

 

 

But the Lord was not just well-versed in theoretical knowledge; He was also the perfect executioner of applied knowledge!

 

 

>> Theoretically He had said…

“Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and the Scribes, you shall not enter the Kingdom of heaven” ( Mt 5:20)

 

• Practically…

He now goes beyond the ceremonial stipulations of the Law and ‘touches’ and heals the leper (Mt 8:3)

 

 

>> Theoretically He had said…

“.. take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them” (Mt 6:1)

 

• Practically…

He tells the leper not to make a publicized show of his cure; instead to ‘show himself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded’ (Mt 8:4)

 

 

>> Theoretically He had said…

“Judge not, that, you may not be judged” (Mt 7:1)

 

• Practically…

He doesn’t condemn or despise or mock the leper who comes close to him and instead expresses his whole-hearted willingness to shower mercy on him by saying, “I am willing; be clean” (Mt 8:3)

 

 

Theoretically He had said…

“Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the Will of the Father in heaven” (7:21)

 

• Practically…

He puts into effect His teachings, ‘walking the talk’ and fulfilling the Will of the Father to be a Healer and Saviour to people.

 

 

The Lord was not just an eloquent and effective preacher but also a committed and convinced practiser of what He spoke.

• His deeds matched His wonderful words!

• His words produced dazzling deeds!

 

This then is the invitation to us too:

>> To have an integral Christian Life by being a Preacher of the Word (in whichever little or insignificant way possible) and a Practiser of the Word (through a witnessing and charitable life)

 
May the touch of the Lord take away any ‘leprous’ tendencies in our mind and life and free us from any bondage in order to live a firm and committed Christian Life!

 
God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 29 (Solemnity of St Paul and St Peter)

There were two brothers were convicted of stealing sheep in a particular place.

 

In accordance with the brutal punishment of that society, both were branded on their forehead with the letters S T, which stood for “Sheep Thief.”

 

One of them, unable to bear the stigma, ran away to a foreign place.

 

But people would ask him about the letters on his brow, and what they meant.

>> Thus he wandered from land to land.
Finally, full of bitterness, he ended his life and was buried in a forgotten grave.

 
But the other brother, repented of his misdeed and did not go away from his home.

 

He said to himself: “I can’t escape from the fact that I stole sheep.

>> So I will remain here, until I win back the respect of my neighbours and myself.”

 

As the years passed by, he established a reputation for respectability and integrity.

 
One day a stranger in this town saw this man (by now, old) with the letters S T branded on his forehead.

 

He asked a native what they signified.

 

After a little thought, the villager said: “It all happened a great while ago, and I have forgotten the particulars; but I think the letters are an abbreviation of SAINT.”

 
The man whose forehead was branded with ‘S T’ to signify SHEEP-THIEF, had repented and revived his life so much…

…. that other people, by now, experienced him as a SAINT

 
Yes…. The marvellous grace of God in the penitent and a believing heart is able to transform the ‘detestable scars and branding of sin’ into an ’emblem of honour and beauty’!

 
It is this transformative power and grace of the Lord that we thank and celebrate on this Solemnity of St Peter and St Paul.

 
One of the most beautiful aspects of the Love of God is that it brings people of contrasting characters and temperaments to come together in the Church.

 

• The love of God respects individuality, but forges together beautiful relationships.

• The love of God maintains personal traits, but mingles together wonderful team-efforts.

 

Such is the power and beauty of God’s Love!

 
St Peter and St Paul were certainly quite different – in their upbringing, in their temperament and in their nature…

 

• St Peter probably just had, what is called in our days ‘elementary education’.

• He was a fisherman, married with a family, and had the enormous privilege of having known and worked alongside Jesus during his ministry.

• He was chosen by Jesus as the leader of the apostles

• He was impulsive by nature and often said and did things without a prior second thought!

 

On the other hand…

• St Paul was a graduate from one of the prestigious universities of his day (perhaps, like the Oxford or Cambridge in our days) and had been tutored by the famous leader of the Hillel School of Rabbis called Gamaliel.

• He was very well-versed in the Scriptures and lived passionately by the Jewish Law

• He spent his early years persecuting Christians and seeking to end the movement called “Christianity”

• He was converted after the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ.

 
There is more…

 

>> The real name of Peter was ‘Simon’, meaning: ‘he who hears’ (from Hebrew) or ‘flat-nosed’ (from Greek)

>> His nickname was ‘Cephas’ in Aramaic or Petros in Greek, meaning ‘the rock’.

 

 

>> The real name of Paul was ‘Saul’, meaning: ‘asked for’ or ‘prayed for’ (from Hebrew)

>> His nickname was “Paul’, meaning ‘short in height’ or ‘small’

 

 

• St Peter denied Jesus three times before His Crucifixion; later, after the Resurrection, he would be asked to affirm three times to the question, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”

 

• St Paul persecuted the Church and affirmed the stoning of the first martyr, St Stephen; later, he would be asked the pertinent question on the road to Damascus, “Paul, Paul, why are you persecuting Me?”

 

 

Despite all these differences, the two apostles had an important aspect in common: They both took part in the mighty miracle of “repentance”

 

 

Ordinarily, both these persons would have perhaps drowned themselves in the sea of sorrow and misery, if they got stuck to their past life and depended only themselves…

 

Peter could have felt…

“I was given so many special privileges by the Lord.

I was to be a model for others to follow.

I had even boasted that I would give up my life for the Lord!

 

But now I have failed…

I can never ever be credible in life!

 

What would others think of me?

I would be branded forever by others… An imposter… A traitor… A boaster… A betrayer!

It’s the end of my life… It’s all over for me!”

 

 

Paul could have felt…

“I have been such a dreadful persecutor

My name and presence would cause such terror to the innocent followers of Christ

 

I have made my life an absolute wreck…

I can never be credible in life!

 

What would others think of me?

I would be branded forever by others… A persecutor… A tormentor.. A tyrant… A Cheater!

It’s the end of my life.. It’s all over for me!”

 

 

 

But they did not look into themselves… rather looked onto to Christ!

And they found strength… they found hope!

They found the Grace to Repent!

 

Yes…. The marvelous grace of God in the penitent and a believing heart is able to change and transform the ‘detestable scars and branding of sin’ into an ’emblem of honour and beauty’!

 

Today they are remembered with honour and admired with great respect…

St Peter and St Paul are the pillars of the Church!

Their names today stand for mighty courage, passionate love for the Lord and faithful submission to God’s Will

 

Is my life also being “branded” with guilt or shame or misery or unfaithfulness or sin?

• Let’s not get discouraged and drown ourselves into misery!
Instead, may we look to the Lord, who is ever merciful and compassionate, and receive the grace of repentance, which can help us to also become saints!

 
Happy Feast of St Peter and St Paul – the mighty and valiant warriors of our Faith!

 
God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 28 (Mt 7:15-20)

The world is fraught with a lot of dangers. 

>> There are physical, social, emotional, environmental, intellectual, occupational dangers etc. 
Most of the time, we are aware of these dangers, and we take means and measures, to be protected from them, and to keep ourselves free from harm.
But there is also an most important area – Spiritual Dangers – of which, many of us…

… either remain ignorant

… or don’t pay much attention

… or take it very lightly.

Today, the Gospel discusses one of the most powerful dangers, in Spiritual Life: DECEPTION!

The power of this danger lies in the fact that it is very “subtle”, very “tricky” and apparently appears to be highly “good”!
The Lord begins today’s Gospel with the word, BEWARE! (Mt 7:15)

Am I really on the watch, with respect to my spiritual life, or I am, exposing myself to the Deceptive techniques of Satan?

There is an extremely deceptive way, in which Eskimos in the North Pole kills an animal… especially a wolf…

The Eskimo coats a very-sharp knife with animal blood & allows it to freeze. 

>> Then he adds another layer of blood & another & another – until the blade is completely concealed by frozen blood. 
Next, the hunter fixes this blood-coated knife in the ground with the enticing sharp edge of the blade upwards. 
When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent…

… he begins to lick it, tasting the fresh, frozen blood. 

>> Then he licks faster, more & more voraciously, lapping the blood until the knife edge is almost bare.

So great becomes his craving for blood that the wolf is mysteriously unaware of the naked blade on his own tongue…

… nor does he recognize the instant at which his thirst is being satisfied by his OWN warm blood. 
Unknowingly, his life leaks away…as his craving for the tempting blood increases….
The Result? 

>> A Dead wolf! 
The Reason?

>> Deception!
All from the suicidal blade -…..caused by the great and cunning technique of Deception!

We have in the world, today…

>> Many religious philosophies

>> Varied spiritual methods

>> Attractive theological views

… which present Religion and Pathways to God in a very alluring, charming and pleasant way. 
But let us give heed to the Cry of the Lord… BEWARE! 

>> Let us not bleed away our precious spiritual life!

Are we a seeking a Life without the Cross and the Crucified Lord?

>> Are we fascinated to a Prosperity Gospel which glorifies richness & success & good social life…

… but nothing on repentance, virtuous life & inner holiness?
Let us also BEWARE…

… of the books we read

… of the talks we engage in

… of the music & the songs we delight in

… of the jokes we indulge in

… of the habits we occupy ourselves wit
Are they in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves?

>> We need to BEWARE!
Jesus said… ” By their fruits, you will know them..”! (Mt 7:16)
What are these fruits?

St Paul tells us in Gal 5:22: “The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!”
Let us always be on the watch…

… BEWARE!

Today let us specially seek the intercession of St Irenaeus, the 2nd century Church Father and Apologist. 
Let us give great heed to his words of warning, and thus seek to Love Christ and His Church more fervently and faithfully…

… “Error, indeed is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. 

>> But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced more true than truth itself.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 27 (Mt 7:6-14)

Like dieting?

 

Here are some “interesting” and “humorous” diet tips…

• If no one sees you eating what you like, it has no calories
• If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, they will cancel each other out.
• Food taken for medicinal purposes does not count. This would include buttered toast, cheese sandwich, chocolate jam…
• Snacks consumed during a movie do not count as they are part of the entertainment.
• Late-night snacks have no calories.
 

Dieting, over the last few years, has grown to be a fashionable trend.

>> Many try to look slim and fit

>> Many are more health-conscious.

>> Many want to shed off any extra kilos
 

But when it comes to a spiritual realm, perhaps all of us need to do a “spiritual dieting”!

• A dieting to shed off the extra “fat” of sin and evil inclinations
• A dieting to reduce the overweight of “unholy” thoughts and “impure” feelings
• A dieting to burn away the bulging flab of “uncharitable” deeds and “critical” speech
 

This “dieting” is a necessity to be “slim” and “fit” and “fine” in order to enter through the narrow gate that Jesus proposes in today’s Gospel.

 

Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate… for the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Mt 7: 13-14)

 
The Sermon on the Mount continues with Jesus presenting the wonderful message of the Kingdom of God and its radical requirements.

 

One of the key aspects in the Sermon on the Mount is the demand made on the part of the disciple to “make a choice”

• One has to radically “make a choice” for the Kingdom of God.
• One has to stay committed to this “choice” that is taken and live it to the fullness.
 

It is this “choice” that will determine whether our entry to eternity…

… eternal condemnation – is through the “wide gate” or

… eternal life – is through the “narrow gate”.

 

Jesus says that it is easy to pass through the wide gate…

• All those who choose not to live in accordance to the Gospel values

• All those who are content to make life “merry” and just “live life to the max”

• All those who fail to respond to God’s Grace and deny having a life in Him
But this will lead to doom and condemnation!

 

To pass through the narrow gate is hard…

• All those who make a choice to live according to the teachings of the Lord

• All those who boldly seek to proclaim the Kingdom by their faithful and holy lives

• All those who constantly hold on to the Lord despite hardships and difficulties in life
But this will lead to joy and eternal life!

 
The choice for the Lord and His Kingdom requires us to shed away unnecessary “fat and flab” and ‘diet’ ourselves into being “fit and fine” to enter through the narrow gate.

 
Are we ready to “diet”?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 26 (Mt 7:1-5)

Blessed Mother Mary. 

Zechariah and Elizabeth. 

Bartimaeus. 

Martha. 

Mary Magdalene. 

Levi. 

Peter. 

Thomas. 

Zachaeus. 

Man crippled for 38 years. 

The Samaritan Woman. 

The woman caught in adultery.  

The widow who offered the two mites.

Malchus. 

The thief alongside Jesus on the cross…
Relax…
This is not a reference list of all the main persons of the New Testament for some research purpose or study. 
But for a moment, let’s look at the lives of these persons…. 

>> All of them had to face some sort of trouble in their lives…some hitches and dilemmas, were a part of all their lives.

 

Now, if each of them, were to be placed on trial, as in a court, and judged according to our standards and our human yardsticks….

… Perhaps, most of them would be been condemned and convicted. 
Some of them would have been humiliated in public…

… some abused with insults and foul language

… some perhaps would be stoned or even put to death!
This is Human Judgment.
But in the Light of God’s mercy and by God’s way of judging…

… we know the story of all their lives!

Human Beings are least equipped to judge, but their judgments are miserable & condemnable

>> God is fully equipped to judge, but His judgment is praiseworthy & encouraging!
That’s the difference in Judgment between Human Beings and God!

In the Gospel of the Day, Jesus says, “Do not judge!” (Mt 7:1)

We need to clarify what does the word JUDGE mean…
>> Jury makes judgments. 

>> Schools make judgments on students. 

>> Companies make judgments on candidates in an interview or in cases of promotion/demotion. 
All these may not constitute the judgment that Jesus means. 

Judging, in the sense of Jesus, is condemning! 

>> It is to have a negative and pessimistic attitude to human beings and condemning and rejecting them outright and absolutely!!

We could consider “Judge not” from three aspects:

1. We are unworthy to pass a final judgment on any person or situation:

>> We need to let God be God and as human beings, we need to know our limitations. 
2. We are not to judge the motives of other people: 

>> Human beings see only the external…

… God sees the heart of the person! 
3. We are not to be petty faultfinders: 

>> We need to cease having a “microscopic vision”, in order to scan and scrutinize the faults and weaknesses of others. 

In the light of today’s Gospel, we need to examine certain aspects of our life…

Do I…

… maximize the sins and faults of others and minimize mine?

… come to quick, hasty and negative conclusions? 

… pass critical stories to other?

… have a strong bias to find others guilty?

… be too harsh even when speaking the truth?

… dilute an unkind remark by saying, “I was only joking.”

… say something critical and then trying to cover it up?

Even after this examination, if there is a tendency to judge, then there is one person we can be critical of…

… Yes, Our Own Selves! 
Yes, let us be judging our actions, our behaviours, our thoughts…

…. and seek to purify our lives, rather than indulging in mud-slinging on others! 

It’s high time we give up the “vulture-culture”! 
Vultures, as we know, are birds, which fly across landscapes and terrains, and with their sharp eyes, swoop down on rotting, dead flesh…

… any flesh that is decayed, becomes a great feast for them!
The “vulture-culture” is very much in our society too… 

>> We tend to relish on the decay, the weaknesses, the faults, the miseries and dark areas of others lives! 
Am I, in anyway, contributing to this foul-practice?? 

>> Yes, let’s stop being Vultures!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 25 (Mt 10:26-33)

Five-year old Jack was in the kitchen as his mother made supper.

 

She asked him to go into the store-room (the place where much of the provisions were stored) and get her a can of tomato soup.

 

But li’l Jack didn’t want to go in alone there and cried:  

“It’s dark in there and I’m scared, Mamma”

 

She asked again, and he persisted in his refusal.

 

Finally she said, “Jack, look… there is nothing to fear in going to that store-room. Jesus will be in there, with you…”

 
The constant request and this assurance made Jack to walk hesitantly to the door and slowly open it.

 

He peeked inside, saw it was dark, got all frightened and started to leave when all at once an idea came, and he said: “Jesus, if you’re in there, would you, please, hand me that can of tomato soup?!”

 
Well, this little anecdote highlights a common trend that is evident in many of our lives:

>> Fear takes an upper hand in many of our activities and renders us fragile…

>> Fear has a strong grip over our minds and hearts in many situations and makes us weak…
 

The Gospel of the Day is a clarion call by the Lord to ward off anxiety-causing fears and instead to be courageous in our life as a Christian.

 

 

Our Blessed Lord gives His instructions to His Apostles as they are being commissioned for the mission journey.

 

Today He touches upon one of the core emotions that can affect the Disciples in their mission endeavour: the emotion of Fear.

 

Jesus says, “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Mt 10:30)

 

Jesus seeks to cast off fear from His followers by showing them the preciousness and value of their lives… and how much of importance they are to Him.

 

For this, he presents the example of a sparrow.

 

Though quite strange, Jesus probably had a very pertinent reason for this choice of the common sparrow.

 
During the time of Jesus (unlike in many of our modern developed cities), sparrows were so common that they were practically worthless.

 

Two sparrows were sold for a ‘cent’

 

The word “cent” is the Greek word ‘assarion’.

• An assarion was worth only 1/16 of a denarius.
One denarius was the day’s wage for a rural worker.

 

So, by simple math, a single sparrow was worth only 1/32 of a day’s wage of a rural worker.

 
Another aspect to be noted is…

 

• In Mt, Jesus says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent?” (Mt 10: 29)
• In Lk, Jesus says, “Are not five sparrows sold for a two cents?” (Lk 12: 6)
 

If two sparrows could be purchased for a cent, then a person should get only four sparrows for two cents.

>> Then why the ‘fifth’ sparrow?

 
Probably the fifth sparrow must have been an incentive offered by merchants to get people to buy more sparrows.

 

The fifth sparrow was given, just merely to sweeten the deal!

 

 

Our Blessed Lord used this practice of buy-four-get-one-free sparrows to illustrate how much God values life.

 

He emphasizes that said that not even one sparrow is forgotten before God.

>> Even a nearly worthless free sparrow is not overlooked by God.

 

>> He takes immense interest even in an unappreciated bird!

 
Therefore, Jesus says, “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Mt 10:30)

 

>> When we have a firm conviction of how precious we are to the Lord – Who is All-Powerful and All-Mighty – our every fear will be banished away!
>> When we grow in our awareness that I am really very much worth to God – who is All-Knowing and All-Good – our every apprehension will be relaxed!
 

Fear is one of the core emotions that can affect our life as a Christian:

• Fear takes an upper hand in many of our activities and renders us fragile…

• Fear has a strong grip over our minds and hearts in many situations and makes us weak…
 

But the deeper we are convinced that I am precious and prized to the Lord, the lesser will be our fears!

 

“What need I fear, when thou art near, O King of night and day” is a refrain from a Christian hymn!

 

 

Yes…

 

>> Fear can either prevent or propel

… Prevent from moving forward, being afraid of what will happen

… Propel to have a stronger determination and rouse the enthusiasm levels

 

>> Fear can either be a barrier or a boost:

… Barrier that does not allow any initiative to be taken or any thought-process to progress

… Boost that accelerates the resolve and willpower and helps march towards the goal

 

Are we going to let “fear” to PREVENT and act as a BARRIER in our lives?

>> Or can we, convinced of the Lord’s mighty presence in our lives and our preciousness to Him, let “fear” to PROPEL AND BOOST our Christian Missionary lives….!

 

 

God Bless! Live Jesus!