Mar 1 (Lk 16:19-31)

Schindler’s List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama film, which received 7 Oscar awards.

This movie is based in the true story of a Catholic businessman, Oskar Schindler, who lived in Poland during the 2nd world war.

After a life of initial notoriety, in which he made a lot of money, by betraying his own people…

… Schindler, later realised the horrors of the Nazi rule.

He began to use his wealth and influence…

… in order to save his fellow Jews from the holocaust.

By the end of the war, he was reduced to having very little money

>> But in the process, had managed to save hundreds of Jews from being killed.

The last scene of the movie depicts, Schindler being thanked by the people whom he had saved.

But suddenly, Schindler began to weep!

>> Looking around at the people who were rescued, he exclaimed: “I could have done so much more!”

Holding up his gold watch, he moaned, “This could have bought someone’s freedom!”

>> He wished that he could have started sooner in helping people, so that many more could have been rescued!

>> His self-centredness had caused failure in saving many more people!

It was a an agonizing experience of the negative effects of “indifference in life” and the “sin of omission”!

We need to examine our life and check:

>> Am I a person who misses out on doing the good we can?

>> Do I fail to reach out the needy, even though I am able?

>> Has self-centredness became a way of life for me?

The Gospel of the Day is a powerful message to look deeper into these aspects of our life…

… and seek to be more other-centred and heaven-oriented!

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is set out as a play… a two-act play.

>> The plays takes place on two stages:

… the stage of this world

… and the stage of the other-world.

1. This parable could be perhaps called as a “parable of contrasts”!

The contrasts are plenty:

In the First Act (Lk 16: 19-22)….

>> A rich man – a poor man

>> The man is rich but unnamed – the man is poor but is named, Lazarus (meaning ‘God Helps’)

>> The rich man clothed in purple – Lazarus clothed fully with sores

>> The rich man caressed with fine linen – Lazarus licked by the dogs

>> The rich man feasted sumptuously – Lazarus desired to be fed by what fell from the table.

>> The rich man died and was buried – Lazarus died but was carried by the angels.

In the Second Act (Lk 16: 22-31)…

>> Lazarus is in Abraham’s bosom – the rich man is in Hades.

>> Lazarus receives good things – the rich man was in torment.

>> Lazarus was comforted – the rich man was in anguish

2. This parable could be perhaps also be called as a “parable of comfort and consolation”!

It’s a “parable of comfort and consolation” because….

… Lazarus, who had undergone great misery and suffering was blessed with the presence of joy of the Lord.

It gives comfort and consolation to us, who need to be strengthened in our moments of trials and hardships, knowing that the Lord will surely look with mercy on His needy ones.

>> “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5: 3)

3. This parable could be perhaps also be called as a “parable of challenge and confrontation”!

It’s a “parable of challenge and confrontation” because…

… the rich man, who had a luxurious life, was condemned to torments, and had to endure the flames of suffering.

It presents a great challenge and a confrontation before us, who need to realise that “indifference in life” and the “sin of omission” are extremely punishable.

> It tells that the attitude of closing one’s eyes to the pain and misery of the other is disastrous!

>>>> “He who shuts his ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in his own time of need.” (Prov. 21:13)

We live in a world of contrasts…

… the rich gaining much and the poor losing much day by day!

… the corrupt enjoying worldly success while the honest often helpless on the losing side!

… the powerful lording over all others while the simple of heart crushed in oppression and misery!

This “world of contrasts” needs a “Gospel of Comfort and Consolation”, and towards this, we are “challenged and confronted”…

>> Challenged to get rid of our attitudes of indifference and lethargy to help the needy ones.

>> Confronted to overcome our tendencies to remain satisfied in our comforts and close our eyes conveniently to the necessities of the other.

The ways of the world constantly allure us…

…To be “dressed in purple linen and fine clothes” (Lk 16:19) and to be self-centred: “Just go about with our business and don’t consider other’s needs”

… To be “dining sumptuously” (Lk 16:19) and to look to only one’s own comforts and needs: “Live and let live. I don’t need to care about others, when I have my own cares to be attended to!”

But the Christian way of life is a challenge to this “rich man’s style of living”

>> There can be no excuse given to us…

… if we miss out on doing the good we can!

… if we fail to reach out the needy, even though we are able!

… if self-centredness has become a way of life for us!

Time is short…

… and our life is limited!

Let us begin today, with no further delay…

>> To do the good we can…

… in the best way we can!

… to all the people we are able!

… in every situation that is possible!

Let us seek to be more other-centred and heaven-oriented…

… and in this world of contrasts, make our life a ‘Good News of Comfort and Consolation’.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

EUREKA: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens! Day 12: “Story of a Soul”

A. What is it?

>> “Story of a Soul” is the autobiography of St Thérèse of Lisieux- also called as The Little Flower.

>> It was first published on September 30, 1898 – one year after her death at the age of 24.

>> This book outlines the spirituality that was lived and exhorted by the St Therese – “The Little Way”

B. What does it speak of?

>> The ‘Story of a Soul’ is St. Therese’s autobiography.

>> The book is divided into 11 chapters:

… Beginning with her first memory, it traces her life, ending with her blissful death in the convent.

>> “Story of a Soul” tells of how the Way to Holiness was not great and noble deeds but the fulfillment of the smallest duties with great love and complete reliance upon God.

>> Desiring the lowest place in all things and fulfilling all the duties of the state in life, the Little Flower describes of how she offered many penances for the conversion of sinners, especially during her final illness and the dark night of the soul she suffered at that time.

C. Pointers for Reflections

1. Focuses on the “Little Way” of Holiness

>> It is a challenge to break the notion that “spirituality and holiness” consists primarily in heavy austerity and hard penances alone

>> It shows of the most important element needed towards holiness – perfect trust and holy love

2. Presents the method of “offering to God” all what we do in life

>> Every action of ours can become an “offering to God” and thus “an act of saving” others

D. What virtues/points can we pick up from the “Story of the Soul”” for this Season of Lent?

1. Doing everything with love

2. The virtue of Trusting in God

E. Tips to practice these virtues

1. Consciously make a prayer (or at least, become aware) – “I am doing this work/activity, for the Love of God and only for His Glory!”

2. Love God and give Him the First Priority and Place in life

May this Lent and the familiarity with the Classical Book of Spirituality “Story of a Soul” help us to grow in our acclamation: “Eureka – I have found the Lord”

(The Full Text of “Story of a Soul” can be found at:

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 28 (Mt 20:17-28)

It was the place known as the Place of the Skulls…

>> A Man had died…

… a cruel death

… an unjust death!

Nature had witnessed the excruciating suffering of this Man.

>> And nature, silent and speechless, yet responded in its own manner:

>> Darkness enveloped over the whole land…

>> The earth quaked in anger and desperation…

>> The rocks split wide and many tombs opened up…

A few people had also witnessed the terrifying suffering of this Man.

And these people, though had voice and power, responded in their own manner:

>> Some were sadistically and treacherously ‘feasting’ their senses with the agony of the Man…

>> Some were appallingly indifferent and shockingly lukewarm…

Very few were enormously heartbroken and shattered..

Among these were a few men….

>> One by name, John… who was a Beloved of the One who died

>> Another was Nicodemus… who a secret follower of the One who died

>> Yet another was Joseph… who was from Arimathea, another disciple of the One who died

Among these were also a few women…

>> Most notably, the Mother of the One who had died!

>> Among others, a Mary of Magdalene… a Mary, who was the mother of James and Joseph

There was also another woman…

The last few hours had been extremely terrible for her.

>> She had witnessed the horrible suffering and death of a Man…

… and also experienced the pain of the Man’s Mother.

This woman herself had two sons.

>> And she knew the agony and pain of a mother seeing the suffering of her precious children.

And through those dreadful moments, this woman remembered an incident that had happened in her life…

Some weeks back, she had approached this Man with a favour for her children (Mt 20:20)

>> Her children, were the disciples of the One who had died.

She had requested, “Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand, and one at your left, in your kingdom” (Mt 20:21)

But the Master had responded, “You do not know what you are asking.

>> Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” (Mt 20:22)

She had not really understood the meaning of the Cup, back then.

>> She was more interested in securing a good place for her children, as it the case for every mother.

But, now….

…standing before that same Master…who had died a horrible death… she understood what was meant by the “Cup”

… standing before the same Master’s Mother… who had borne immense pain of Her Little Child’s death… she understood what was meant by “drinking the cup of suffering”.

She realised…

… the path to glory is only by treading the way of the Cross.

… that more than asking for places of honour, a true commitment to do God’s Will was needed

… that her request was triggered by a ordinary human concern and not tuned to seeking what was more needed by the Lord.

And standing before the Cross, she would have wished and prayed..

“Lord, not a place of honour, but grant that my children would follow you passionately!

>> Lord, not a seat of glory, but grant that my children may be faithful to you for life!”

This woman – the mother of the two sons, who are also called as Sons of Zebedee: James and John – invites each of us also…

… to put our focus totally on the Kingdom values and not on transient material concerns.

… to live in absolute commitment to God’s Mission and leave rewards to the mercy of God

>> Are we ready to put into place “first things first”…

… God’s Kingdom over every other materialistic wanting…? (Mt 6:33)

>> Are we ready to prioritize our concerns and focus…

… seek holiness and salvation over other transitory aspirations…? (1 Pet 1:16, Mt 6:21)

>> Let us look to the Cross to draw greater inspiration to prioritize our needs and wants.

>> Let us look to our Blessed Mother who sought God’s Will for Her Child above all else.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 27 (Mt 23:1-12)

Examine whether the given statement is true or false…

>> This looks like a familiar, age-old expression, isn’t it?


… This used to be one of the many questions which all of us would have faced, in our exams, in our school-days.

>> The statement had to be read…and then decided…whether it was TRUE or FALSE.

The Gospel of the Day today invites us to Make our Life a Statement…

… and Decide whether “I am True or False”…

>> Is my Christian Life a genuine and an authentic one…… TRUE or FALSE?!

The Gospel of the Day presents a Challenging Jesus who seeks to expose the duplicity and deceptive life of the Teachers of the Law and exhorts to lead An Authentic way of Life!

Chapter 23 of the Gospel of Matthew is an extremely emotion filled and volatile passage.

The Great Master Jesus, is in a confronting mode and minces no words in exposing the duplicity of the Teachers of the Law.

Chapter 23 almost speaks of Jesus reaching a sort of boiling point…

Let’s think of a pan of water on the stove…

You turn the burner on high and slowly the water becomes warmer and warmer …

>> And then, there are a few bubbles in that water and those few bubbles come to the fore…

>>> And pretty soon the water in the pan is furious with bubbles because the water has come to its boiling point…!

The words of Jesus in Chapter 23 come to a boiling point!

Today’s Gospel Passage deals with some of the crucial areas of the Teachers of the Law…which very often have a similarity in our lives too…

#1: They preach, but do not practice!

>> How often am I in the habit of telling virtues to others…

… but fail to practise them myself?

>> How often do I love to advice goodness to others…

… but fall short of trying to be good myself?

>> How often do I want the whole world to be changed…

… but reach nowhere in trying to improve my own self?

# 2: They lay burdens on others… but lift not a finger to help

>> How often do I expect others to achieve perfection…

… but fail to do my own activities with zeal and passion?

>> How often do I want others to fulfil their duties well…

… but miserably unaware of my own obligations and tasks?

>> How often do I cause others to be good and holy..

… but indulge myself in deeds of corruption and sin?

# 3: They Practice deeds of Religiosity to be seen by others

>> How often do I parade my acts of charity before others…

… in order to boost my index of popularity?

>> How often do I want my deeds of assistance be noticed by others…

… in order to win admiration and acclaim?

>> How often do I go vocal in boasting of my own achievements…

… in order to become great and famous?

# 4: They love places and titles of honour and respect

>> How often do I seek the best places in society and the Church…

… and try to make a peripheral show of my status?

>> How often do I grow attached to places and titles of glory…

… and develop an unconscious love for vain glory?

>> How often do I get disturbed and even troubled easily…

… when others fail to acknowledge my position and repute?

The list of questions is too long…. the record of queries is too extensive…

>> But we need to make this check.. a reality check of our own lives!

It is not very difficult to live under the garb of a well-polished and neat looking title of a Christian.

>> It is not very hard to move forward with our Christian lives being peripherally good and “appearing” pious.

But let’s stop fooling ourselves…

On Judgment Day, none of our external packing and wrapping will come to our rescue.

In our life here, some day or the other, our hollowness will get exposed if were are not true to our inner selves.

>> A false life does not befit a person who seeks to follow the Authentic Christ.

A duplicity in life is not appropriate to a person who wants to walk in the footsteps of the True Christ!

To live an authentic and true life.. is certainly hard…

… and is a treading through paths of difficulties.

But in difficulties, grace abounds…in hardships, blessings increases…

…. in adversities, mercy flourishes!

The question in the Examination Paper of our Lives is staring at us today:

>> Choose the correct alternative – Is my Christian Life a genuine and an authentic one…


God Bless! Live Jesus!

EUREKA: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens! Day 11: “Lumen Fidei”

A. What is it?

>> “Lumen Fidei” is the First Encyclical of Pope Francis. It was the completion of the work of his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI.

>> It was issued on June 29, 2013 in conjunction with the Year of Faith

>> “Lumen Fidei” means “The Light of Faith”

>> The document, completed the Papal Trilogy on the three theological virtues, following Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclicals Deus Caritas Est (on Charity) and Spe Salvi (on Hope).

B. What does it speak of?

>> “Lumen Fidei” celebrates Christian faith as the guiding light of a “successful and fruitful life”, inspiring social action as well as devotion to God…

… and illuminating “every aspect of human existence”, including philosophy and the natural sciences.

>> “Lumen Fidei” is divided into four chapters, each drawn from a passage in Scripture:

(i) We have believed in love. (1 Jn 4:16)

>> Reviews Salvation History—the story of God’s people—to see Faith throughout history.

>> Explores the rootedness of faith in the absolute fidelity of God, Who is completely trustworthy.

>> God enters human history and invites each person to participate in His plan of love.

(ii) Unless you believe, you will not understand. (Is 7:9)

>> Seeks to understand the relationship between Faith and several other aspects – Reason, Love, Truth, and Theology.

>> As Faith comes through hearing and sight, it is an intensely personal experience which opens out into a unique trustworthy knowledge…

… stimulating a constant dialogue between Faith and Reason.

(iii) I delivered to you what I also received. (1 Cor 15:3)

>>Ultimately, Faith and Truth are received in community.

>> We accept this Faith in a community and in the communion of the Church. Specially, the Sacraments allow us to experience this Faith.

>> This Community stays unified through the Apostolic Tradition and Apostolic Succession which safeguards Truth and allows our Faith to be handed on.

>> The Church extends the relational reality of Faith not only through Her Doctrines, but through Her very Sacramental Life

(iv) God prepares a city for them. (Heb 11:16)

>> Shows how faith should be the foundation of our society. Faith is needed for the foundation of our society, marriage and family.

>> Faith in God provides the common Faith so that our societies can endure.

>> Faith does not answer every question, but provides a lamp to help us navigate through the darkness and the Presence of God, who is with us, personally in our suffering.

C. Pointers for Reflections

1. “Lumen Fidei” fortifies our Faith by responding to various contemporary doubts and attitudes that undermine believing

>> Faith is not an outdated relic of the Dark Ages. Christian Faith, rather, provides the foundation for fidelity in interpersonal relationships, without which society would be debilitated by fear.

2. Contradicts the Philosophy of Secularism (= being without God and glorifying only human abilities)

>> The power of secularism which tends to portray God as distant or dead is negated, as Faith makes God tangible and Christ-like Love possible.

3. Faith is not only personal, but essentially has a Communitarian dimension

>> Faith in the One God, directed toward the One Lord, is shared in the One Church, and so must be professed in its full unity and integrity.

D. What virtues/points can we pick up from the “Imitation of Christ” for this Season of Lent?

1. Understanding and deepening our Fundamentals of Faith

2. Reviving our Sacramental Life (especially Holy Eucharist and Confession)

E. Tips to practice these virtues

1. Pick up the 12 basic articles of the Apostles Creed (I Believe) and make a study on each of those Basics of our Faith

>> Prepare a list of possible doubts and contradictions

>> Try to find reasonable solutions, which could be used as a tool to defend and proclaim our Faith

2. Try to go for Holy Mass, with due preparation, as often as possible (without restriction to only Sunday Mass)

>> Make it a point to go for Confession, at least, once every month

May this Lent and the familiarity with the Encyclical “Lumen Fidei” help us to grow in our acclamation: “Eureka – I have found the Lord”

(The Full Text of “Lumen Fidei” can be found at:

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 26 (Lk 6:36-38)

A little boy started to Sunday-school with two five-rupee coins – one for the Lord, and one for himself.

On the way to church he lost one of them – as it went inside a drain, on the way

“There goes the Lord’s coin!” he said.

What the boy uttered concerning his loss…
… is a reflection of the mind of many grown-ups.

It is always the Lord’s money that is lost.

We tend to be extremely “rigid/unyielding/scrupulous” when it comes to giving to God or to others!

The Gospel of the Day calls for an open mind and generosity in heart, by…
•       Giving to God and obtaining His graces and favours.
•       Offering to God and receiving His blessings and mercy.

The Lord, continuing His teachings on a practical Christian life, exhorts, “…give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give, is the measure you get back” (Lk 6:38)

Jesus brings a very concrete example from the market scene, to drive home his point of generously giving.

The context of Jesus is the market in Israel, the middle-east part of the world.

As in many places today, this area witnessed markets that had buyers and sellers engaged in bargaining and negotiating over prices, quality and the amount of things and goods.

There would be many of the open-air markets, where the farmers would bring their grain—wheat, corn, barley—and spread it on a mat on the ground.

Potential customers would examine the grain, make an offer, and the bargaining would start….

When a price was finally set, the customer would offer his container—usually a large bowl or pot or an open vessel—and the seller would use a scoop (measuring spoon) to fill the container.

There would be some interesting steps in this process of measuring the grain for a customer and which Jesus quotes in His approach to giving:

•       First, the seller would fill the container to the top.
•       Secondly, he would press the grain down and fill some more.
•       Thirdly, he would shake the container so the grain would settle and then fill in some more.
•       Finally, he would fill the container until it overflowed!

The contents of this overflowing container would then be transferred to a pouch or a bag so that the buyer could bring home the contents from the market.

Well, this process could sound a bit strange and weird to us in the modern world.
•       We live in times, when contents are sold by the weight, and not the volume..
•       We live in times, when manipulations are done to give as less as possible…

But this is where, Jesus, bringing in the example of the market, invites generosity in giving…
•       Our giving ought to be measured not by weight, but by volume…and that refers to a far-greater amount of giving!
•       Our giving ought to, not be curtailed down by clever manipulations…rather is to be done very generously and lavishly!

St Paul in 2 Cor 9:6 would say, “Whoever sows sparingly, will also reap sparingly; whoever reaps bountifully will also reap bountifully”

Our giving ought not to be a calculated effort…rather should be a overflow from the heart!

When we engage is such a lavish and generous giving, God too will shower His abundance, in a similar and much better fashion!
“For the measure you give, will be the measure you get back” (Lk 6:38)

Of course, that is not to say that we are limiting God’s power of giving…
God’s surely showers His gifts lavishly!
>> God surely pours His blessings overwhelmingly!

But the Lord invites us to be less “rigid/unyielding/scrupulous” when it comes to giving to God or to others!
•       Give to God, who deserves all, so that we may be worthy to receive His blessings.
•       Give to God, who is worthy of all, so that we may be blessed to receive His graces.

In the Divine methodology of exchange, the advantage is that, we get much more than what we give… we obtain far greater than what we offer!

God’s giving is not to be seen just from material or physical aspects…
In fact, that would just be a very limited and low level of understanding.

God’s gifts are to be understood more from a spiritual perspective:
… Gift of His mercy to live a life in union with Him.
… Gift of His grace to be faithful and more committed.
… Gift of His love to be better human beings and be more charitable.
… Gift of His salvation to enjoy eternal bliss and happiness with Him .

All these gifts will be surely lavished  and given… “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured out into our laps!”

The greatest exchange….. is seen and experienced in the Holy Eucharist.. at every Holy Mass.

Let us give ourselves entirely to the Lord… especially at Holy Mass and through the Mass, at all times of the day… to all persons in our life.

Then, in the words of Fulton Sheen, we will be graced to hear the words of the Divine Lord telling us…
•       You give me your humanity, and I will give you my Divinity!
•       You give me your time, and I will give you My eternity!
•       You give me your broken heart, and I will give you Love!
•       You give me your nothingness, and I will give you My all!

God bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 25 (Mk 9:2-10)

George Washington was the first president of the United States and one of the founding fathers of the US.

He was well admired for his strong leadership skills that saw him win the first two national elections unanimously.

Once at a banquet, given to some of the officers, a distinguished French Officer asked Washington’s mother, how she had managed to rear such a splendid son.

The mother replied, “I taught him to obey!”

Obedience was the school that he had been trained in, in order to achieve excellence of life!

In Christian life too, obedience ought to be the school in which we are trained, to be effective apostles of the Lord…

…Obedience to the Voice of the Lord

… Obedience to the Will of the Lord

The Gospel of the Day is an exhortation by God to hear the voice of the Lord, to listen to Him and to be obedient to Him.

The Second Sunday of the Season of Lent presents to us the “Transfiguration Event” from the Gospel of St Mark.

The scene of the Transfiguration is indeed a powerfully visual and authoritatively impactful incident.

Jesus takes three disciples – the core team among the Twelve – Peter, James and John – and led them up a high mountain. (Mk 9: 2)

Why were these three chosen…

… and not others?


We can only make some guess-works… because the bottom-line is:

“They were ‘chosen'”

(And, Choice is always a gift, and not a merit!)


• Probably as the one who is the Leader

• The one to whom the Lord entrusts to be the rock on which He would build His Church (Mt 16:18)


• Probably as the one who had an intimate bond with the Lord

• The one who is referred to as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (Jn 13:23)


• Probably as the one who warranted a special privilege, being the first apostle to be martyred.

• The one who would be the first among the apostles to literally lose his life for Jesus (Lk 9:24)

These three also had a privilege of some “firsts”…

• Peter was the “First” Pope of the Church…

• James was the “First” Martyr among the apostles…

• John was the “First” witness to the death of Christ…

The choosing of the three also reflects Jesus as the New Moses!

Moses had chosen seventy(two) elders.

>> But when he went up to the mountain, there were three close men with him: Aaron, Nadab, and Abiu. (Exodus 24:1)

Jesus had chosen twelve apostles.

>> But when he went up to the mountain, there were three close men with him: Peter, James and John (Lk 9:28)

Jesus is the New Moses…

….through whom the New Covenant will be established!

… through whom the New Law will be written on the tablets of the heart!

Up on the mountain, witnessing the glorious and magnificent Transfiguration, the disciples behold their Master, Jesus in dazzling white…joined by Elijah and Moses. (Lk 9:3-4)

And then, they heard a Voice, from the cloud…

“This is my Beloved Son! Listen to Him!” (Mk 9: 7)

“Listen to Him”…is the commandment that is exhorted!

• The Apostles are to listen to the Beloved Son, Jesus and grasp His teachings for life

• The Apostles are to listen to the Beloved Son’s commitment in the path of suffering.

• The Apostles are to listen to the Beloved Son’s trust in God’s Will at every moment

The same words are today echoed boldly and loudly to each one of us: “This is my Beloved Son! Listen to Him!”

• 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?

Abraham in the Old Testament…the Father of Faith… went through such immensely agonizing and hard moments. (Gen 22: 1-3)

Asked to sacrifice “His Only Beloved Son” Isaac… His special one…

… Abraham was torn between listening to his own voice of affection for his child or to the voice of God

… Abraham was shredded between listening to his own reasonable mind or to the incomprehensible plan of God

• But Abraham chose to put his faith in the Lord.. and to listen

• He chose to trust absolutely in the providence of God… and to be obedient

Yes, when we are in the dry deserts of life, we are still asked 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 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!

EUREKA: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens! Day 10: “Imitation of Christ”

A. What is it?

>> The “Imitation of Christ” is a Christian Devotional Book by Thomas a Kempis (He was a German-Dutch Canon Regular Priest)

>> It was composed around 1418-1427, in Latin

>> The “Imitation of Christ” is perhaps one of the most widely read Christian book, after the Holy Bible.

B. What does it speak of?

>> The “Imitation of Christ” presents the idea that the study of Christ’s life and the emulation of His Example is the highest pursuit that human beings can achieve.

>> Christ is the ultimate example of Christian’s spiritual lifestyle.

>> Love is exalted as taking the highest place and faith is fundamental to the spiritual life. >> The “Imitation of Christ” seeks to repair and develop our spiritual life and meditate on God as the source of everything.

>> The “Imitation of Christ” comprises of 114 Chapters, divided into Four Books:

(i) “Helpful Counsels of the Spiritual Life”

>> The “Imitation of Christ” derives its title from the First Chapter of Book I, “The Imitation of Christ and contempt for the vanities of the world”

>> Book One deals emphasizes an interior life by renouncing all that is vain and illusory, resisting temptations and distractions of life, giving up the pride of learning and to be humble, and patiently enduring the world’s contempt and contradiction.

(ii) “Directives for the Interior Life”

>> It contains instructions concerning “inward peace, purity of heart, a good conscience and for moderating our longings and desires.

>> It calls the reader to grow in the virtues of Patience, Submission to the Will of GOD, Love of Jesus, Enduring the loss of comfort, and Taking up the Cross.

(iii) “On Interior Consolation”

>> This longest book (consisting of 59 chapters) is in the form of a dialogue between Jesus and the disciple – a call to come into closer union with Him

>> A beautiful call by Jesus is: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Without the Way, there is no going; without the Truth, there is no knowing; without Life, there is no living.

I am the Way you are to follow; I am the Truth you are to believe; I am the Life you are to hope for.”

(iv) “On the Blessed Sacrament”

>> The Fourth book emphasizes on the fact that Jesus says “there is no Offering more worthy, no satisfaction greater, for the washing away of sins and to offer oneself purely and completely to God at the time the Body of Christ is offered in the Mass and in Communion!”

>> In order to receive the Sacrament, the Lord invites to “make clean the mansions of your heart. Shut out the whole world and all its sinful din…

… and sit as a solitary sparrow on a housetop and, in the bitterness of your soul, meditate on your transgressions.”

C. Pointers for Reflections

1. The “Imitation of Christ” is a guide in changing our lives and learning to grow closer to Christ in Spirit and in Deeds.

>> We are constantly required to ask ourselves: “How am I really following Christ in my life?”

2. The “Imitation of Christ” strongly speaks on the necessity to have “humility of the heart”

>> In a world that glorifies sensationalization and pride, and in a culture of worldly ambition and crazy power-mongering, this Book is a mighty challenge!

3. The “Imitation of Christ” calls forth to have moments of silence, reflection and deep prayer

>> In a world where we “cherish and feel out-of-place without noise”, the Book comes as an eye-opener to make suitable changes in our lifestyle to nurture moments of silence – and thus to come in closer Imitation of Christ!

D. What virtues/points can we pick up from the “Imitation of Christ” for this Season of Lent?

1. Growing in the Humility

2. Becoming more and more Christ-like in our attitudes and conduct towards others

3. Cultivating the Spirit of Prayerful Silence, even in our “busy and noise” schedule

E. Tips to practice these virtues

1. Practise every day, an action of humility

2. Ask this practical question to ourselves: “WWJD – What Would Jesus Do?”

3. Consciously set apart, at least sometime in the day, for a time of silence – and seek to grow in union with the Lord and His Will

>> We usually like to always have “words” in prayers and feel “awkward and incomplete” when there are no words or “talking”

>> Let us seek to spend time with the Lord, “in silence” and in the stillness of our hearts and minds, grow in the Experience of God’s Love!

May this Lent and the familiarity with the Spiritual Classic – “Imitation of Christ” – help us to grow in our acclamation: “Eureka – I have found the Lord”

(The Full Text of “Imitation of Christ” can be found at:,_Kempis._Thomas,_The_Imitation_Of_Christ,_EN.pdf)

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Feb 24 (Mt 5:43-48)

The following story is known to us, perhaps in different forms…

A gentleman who was walking down the streets of a city was greatly interested too look at the street children – many of whom were carrying smaller children upon their backs – and managing at the same time to play their games.

“It is too bad,” said the gentleman to one little fellow, “that you have to carry such a heavy burden!”

“He’s no burden, Sir!” came the quick reply; “he’s my brother.”

The child who was carrying his younger sibling, did not count the pain or the difficulty in carrying; instead embraced the situation joyfully.

“He’s no burden, Sir… he’s my brother” – is a phrase that ought to strike a chord in our hearts.

As Christians, we need to make this journey…

… of considering people not as a “burden” but as a brother!

… of considering people not as a “stress” but as a sister!

The Gospel of the Day is an powerful exhortation by Jesus to make this transition from considering people as a “burden” and “stress”…

… and instead look at them as “brothers and sisters”, extending the Christian virtue of unconditional love to all.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, continues to pull down barriers of “comfort and coziness” by challenging His disciples to rise above the normal standards of the world.

Today He speaks on the aspect of “Love”.

Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human person.

The dictionaries define love as being ‘a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person’ or a ‘feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection’.

Generally speaking, love is considered only to be a human ’emotion or feeling’.

>> It is something that is usually understood as being “felt” or “sensed” or “experienced”.

Jesus surely did consider “love” as an emotion and a feeling.


• He loved the company of people….

• He cherished affection of those who followed Him…

• He treasured relationships and fostered friendships with all…

But beyond these “external” dimensions of Love…

… Our Blessed Lord taught and showed a higher aspect of love.

Love, not just being a “feeling ” but ” love as a “decision”.

>> Love, not just being a “sensation” but love as a “commitment”

Therefore Jesus would say, “For if you love only those who love you, what recompense will you have?” (Mt 5: 46)

Love, when understood only as a “feeling” or an “emotion” can get reduced to being just an “object” or a “thing”

• Just as one exchanges goods with each other… love is also exchanged with one another.

• Just as one shares one’s belongings and possessions with one another… love is also shared with one another

• Just as one gives and takes things from each other… love is also given and taken from each other

But the Lord presents a higher understanding of love and demands a much supreme expression of love from His followers: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5: 48)

Love to be a “virtue” has to surpass the ordinary realms of being “an emotion” and “feeling” and transcend to being a “radical decision” and a “faithful commitment”.

When someone hurts us, we don’t “feel” like loving…

>> But Jesus says, “Love that person”, because love is a “daring decision”

When someone continues to be lukewarm, we don’t have any “emotions” of love…

>> But Jesus says, “Love that person”, because love is an “absolute allegiance”

When someone continues to cause pain, we don’t “experience” any love…

>> But Jesus says, “Love that person” because love is a “challenging commitment”

Now this teaching certainly irks our “normal” understanding.

• How can I possibly love someone who has hurt and killed me, mentally?

• How can I be expected to show love to someone who still hurts me, even intentionally?

• How can I be told to love people who have no regard for me at all and treat me as an object?

It seems to be an impossibility.

It seems to be absurd.

But let us look to the Crucified Lord…

… and we have the perfect example of this Love being lived in actuality!

Jesus on the Cross shows that love is to be a “daring decision”, an “absolute allegiance” and a “challenging commitment”!

Love to be a “virtue” has to surpass the ordinary realms of being “an emotion” and “feeling”…

… and transcend to being a “radical decision” and a “faithful commitment”.

>> One may not be able to “show” love…

… but can we still, at least pray and wish for the good of the person?

>> One may not be able to “talk” freely to the one who has hurt…

… but can we still, at least refrain from wanting bad to happen to that person?

>> One may not be able to “resist” from having bad feelings when encountering one’s enemy… … but can we still, at least offer the person to the Mercy of God?

This teaching certainly seems to be a big “burden” and a significant “stress”

But this is where, we need to make a journey…

… of considering people not as a “burden” but as a brother!

… of considering people not as a “stress” but as a sister!

The Lord has walked through this journey.

He is still with us, to accompany us.

• This journey may be hard

• This journey may be hurting

• This journey may be painful

But the Lord says, “My grace is sufficient for you!” (2 Cor 12: 9)

Let us trust Him!

>> Let us be courageous in Him!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

EUREKA: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens! Day 09: “Dei Verbum”

A. What is it?

>> “Dei Verbum” is the Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 18 November 1965

>> The phrase “Dei Verbum” is Latin for “Word of God”

>> It is one of the smallest Vatican II Documents (26 paragraphs or roughly 3,000

words in Latin)

B. What does it speak of?

>> “Dei Verbum” addresses the Catholic Church’s beliefs in regards to Sacred Scripture.

>> “Dei Verbum” is laid out into 6 Chapters:

1. Chapter 1: Divine Revelation Itself

>> Speaking on the Nature of Revelation, this chapter demonstrates God’s desire to communicate with human beings, revealing the mystery of the Divine Will.

>> It offers a summary of the Salvation History

>> It also emphasizes the Truth of this Revelation and the fact that it is accomplished in such a way that human beings can comprehend it.

2. Chapter 2: Transmission of Divine Revelation

>> The Truth of Revelation, is rooted in Christ’s very person and in his own proclamation of the Gospel; having commissioned the Apostles to carry it forward…, the truth of the

Gospel also lies in the Apostolic Tradition.

>> Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal devotion and


>> Tradition and Scripture make up a single Sacred deposit of the Word of God

3. Chapter 3: Sacred Scripture: Its Divine Inspiration and Interpretation

>> It affirms the importance of both- the Old Testament and New Testament

>> It adopts the threefold-process of the Formation of the Gospels with the three levels: (i) the time of the Historical Jesus (ii) The oral preaching of the earliest apostles (iii) The time of the Evangelists

4. Chapter 4: The Old Testament

>> The plan of salvation was spoken through the authors of the Old Testament.

>> Its purpose was to prepare for the coming of the Christ and to show to all, how God interacts and deals with mankind in justice and mercy.

>> God wisely arranged for the New Testament to be hidden in the Old, and the Old to be made manifest in the New. While Christ made the new covenant with His blood, the Old Testament sheds light on and explains this mystery.

5. Chapter 5: The New Testament

>> The New Testament stands as a Perpetual and Divine Witness to the Reality of Salvation.

>> The Gospel Authors wrote about things handed on by word of mouth or in writing, sometimes a synthesis, sometimes as a proclamation, but always the honest truth about Jesus.

6. Chapter 6: Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church

>> The Church has always venerated the scripture together with the Tradition as the supreme Rule of Faith.

>> The Church encourages the study of the Church Fathers as well as those exegetes who so well illuminate the teaching within the scriptures.

>> Individuals should read with enthusiasm, following the mind of the Church.

>> All clergy must read the scriptures with diligence. The same is encouraged for the laity and Religious. All faithful should not forget that prayer should always be the companion to reading God’s Word.

C. Pointers for Reflections

1. “Dei Verbum” is considered as one of the important achievements of the Vatican Council II since its implications is for the treatment of Sacred Scripture itself.

>> It accords rightful significance to the Bible as the special locus of Divine Communication or Divine Revelation.

2. It presents three key principles of Catholic biblical interpretation:

(i) Pay attention to the content and unity of all the Sacred Scriptures.

(ii) Read and interpret the Bible within the living tradition of the Church.

(iii) Keep in mind the coherence of all the truths of revelation

3. The understanding from “Dei Verbum” is enshrined in the Catechism of the catholic Church (CCC), affirming reading Scripture for its four classical sense – the literal sense, and then the spiritual sense divided into three: the allegorical, tropological, and anagogical senses.

>> The allegorical sense (Typology) concerns how the Old and New Testaments relate, the tropological sense is the moral sense, and the anagogical sense concerns the soul’s progress to heaven.

D. What virtues/points can we pick up from the “Dei Verbum” for this Season of Lent?

1. Making it a Daily Habit to Read the Bible

2. Studying the Bible and going deeper into understanding the meaning of Scripture in our daily life

E. Tips to practice these virtues

1. Set apart a time, daily, to read God’s Word.

>> Just as our meals become a daily “must”, so should the Bible be part of our daily “sustenance for strength”

>> “Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” says St Jerome

>> Christ is the primary and ultimate revelation of God. So the more we read and reflect on Scripture, the more we can know Him and love Him

2. Learn, practise and revive the Catholic Tradition of the “Lectio Divina”(= a Latin term, means “divine reading”)

(i) The first stage is LECTIO (reading): Read any passage of the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us

(ii) The second stage is MEDITATIO (reflection): Think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us

(iii) The third stage is ORATIO (response): Leave thinking aside and simply let the heart to speak to God.

(iv) The final stage is CONTEMPLATIO (rest): Let go of our own ideas, plans and meditations and also holy words and thoughts. Simply rest in the Word of God and listen, to God, who speaks within us with a still small voice.

>> As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within and this will have a profound effect on the way we actually live.

May this Lent and the familiarity with “Dei Verbum” – the Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation – help us to grow in our acclamation: “Eureka – I have found the Lord”

(The Full Text of “Dei Verbum” can be found at:

God Bless! Live Jesus!