1. Holy Thursday

“A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who piously recite the verses of the Tantum ergo (Let us bow in Adoration) after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday during the solemn reposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament.”

2. Good Friday

“A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who

1. Devoutly assist at the adoration of the Cross in the solemn liturgical action of Good Friday; or

2. Personally make the pious Way of the Cross, or devoutly unite themselves to the Way of the Cross while it is being led by the Supreme Pontiff and broadcast live on television or radio.”

3. Easter Vigil

“A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who, at the celebration of the Easter Vigil (or on the anniversary of their own Baptism), renew their baptismal vows in any legitimately approved formula.”

What is Plenary Indulgence?

The COMPLETE remission before God, of the temporal punishment due for sins already forgiven.

>> It can be either for one’s own self, or to a Faithful Departed.

Basic Requirements for Plenary Indulgence

 Be in a state of grace (Make a confession)

 Receive Holy Communion

 Have an intention to receive the Indulgence

 Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father

 Resolve to never sin again (including venial sins)

God Bless! Live Jesus!

For the Holy Week

We have entered into the Most Blessed Week in the Liturgical Calendar

>> The Holy Week commemorating the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord.

• The Lord came to this world to die.

• The shadow of His cross was cast on every event of His life.

And now, we are ready to mingle ourselves with those Sacred Moments of commemorating His Cross.

1. MONDAY, we have the Gospel wherein Mary anoints the feet of the Lord (Jn 12: 1-11)

We could ponder on some of the aspects…

a. The deep love of Mary

… Least bothered of what others felt.

… Least mindful of her own shame or dignity

All that mattered to her was Jesus and love for Him

>> Can I grow in my spiritual life, to possess such a unique and undivided love?

b. Danger of piety being covered up under the cloak of materialism, duplicity – Judas.

His focus was moved from “Following the Lord” to “Plotting against the Master”

>> Is my love for the Lord, losing its sheen and getting corrupted with worldliness?

2. On TUESDAY, we ponder with the Lord in His final discourse to His disciples (Jn 13: 21-33, 36-38)

We could dwell on some of the aspects…

a. The various attitudes towards the Lord, highlighted through the Disciples

… John, the beloved disciple, who could remain close to His heart.

… Simon Peter, the wavering disciple, genuinely wishing to follow the Lord, but failing often due to human limitations.

… Judas, the betraying disciple, in whom darkness had slowly encompassed and the night of sin was being encountered.

>> Am I growing in my love for the Lord, to be His beloved, or am I still floating on the waters of uncertainty or am I going downhill into spiritual darkness, failing to hold the hand of the Lord?

b. The prime importance needed in preparation to receive the Lord in the Holy Mass.

The Apostles had the privilege to participate in the First Holy Eucharist.

… however one of them, received the Lord with a deliberate and purposeful sin in the heart, which led to bringing death upon himself, at the reception of the Life-giving Bread.

>> Do I make the necessary preparations to receive the Lord worthily in the Holy Eucharist, growing in awareness of His presence in our hearts throughout the day, and in turn becoming a Eucharist to the needy in the world?

3. On WEDNESDAY, we reflect on the downfall of Judas (Mt 26: 14-25)

We could contemplate over some aspects…

a. Judas falls into the sin of avarice

One of the greatest dangers in life is that of misuse and attraction to money.

The Lord said, “Where thy treasure is, there thy heart too” (Mt 6:21)

>> Is my life too much attached to worldly pleasures, riches, powers, my own talents and capabilities that I fail to depend on the Lord and make Him the only and ultimate treasure of my life?

b. An insider is the one capable of being the greatest traitor and betrayer.

Among all the people who knew Jesus, The Twelve were chosen to be the closest.

… they shared the inner-most life and secrets of the Lord.

And therefore, the greatest danger was from one among them; and Judas Iscariot proved this right, by agreeing to betray his Master.

>> As an insider in the Church, am I betraying the Lord, by leading a lukewarm life, a scandalous life or a disinterested life?

4. On THURSDAY, we celebrate the Maundy Thursday.

The word Maundy comes the Latin word “Maundatum” which means Command.

Three commands were expressed by the Lord …

1. The Command of Love

2. The Command of Commemorating the God of Love in the Holy Eucharist

3. The Command of continuity of sharing in the Priesthood of Jesus, the Priest and Victim

>> Can I grow in this consciousness and conviction to carry out the commands of the Lord?

5. On FRIDAY, we live through the Passion, Agony and Death of the Lord.

He who was sinless made Himself sin, for you and me!

… He who was blameless took upon the whole blame, for you and me!

>> Shall we make and mould our lives for holiness, abandoning our sinful ways, to be in greater communion with the One who died so that we may have life, and life in its abundance?

6. On SATURDAY, we pray at the tomb of the Lord, contemplating…

…. His deep, immense and unconditional for each of us, personally

… His Divine Wisdom to redeem the world back to Himself, scripting the greatest story ever

Yes the days are here…

… with another chance to review our lives, and renew our love-life with the Lord.

St Francis de Sales says, “Calvary is the Mount of lovers”

… and… “The love which is not the fruit of the Passion, is feeble”.

Our Greatest Lover is crucified there…as an expression of His love for us!

Come, let us also tread to path towards Him on Calvary, with our Blessed Mamma

… purging our sins, growing in His love

… and thus seek to rise with Him, and sing our eternal song – “Alleluia! He is Risen”

Wish you a Blessed Holy Week!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Mar 25 (Palm [Passion] Sunday)

Many of us would have read the following, with a picture of Jesus Christ crucified…

It goes like this…

” I asked Jesus, how much do you love me?”

And Jesus answered, “This much”

And He extended His arms on the cross…

But there’s a sequel to this, which perhaps is not known much, but is worth reflecting..

Jesus then asked me, “How much do you love me”

I picked up the hammer and the nails….

saying, “This is how much I love You!”

… and began to crucify Him!

• The Passion of the Lord is a result of our sins…

• The Crucifixion of the Lord is a consequence of our disobedience…

As Isaiah would say, ” It was our infirmities that He bore and it was our sufferings that He endured” (Is 53:4)

We are entering into one of the Most important weeks of the Liturgical year… The Holy Week!

>> And we commemorate the start of this Holy Week, with the Passion Sunday, also known as the Palm Sunday.

There is a cute story of Little Johnny who was sick on a Palm Sunday.

>> This prevented him from going to Church that day and stayed home with his mother.

His father returned from church holding a palm branch.

The little boy was curious and asked, “Why do you have that palm branch, dad?”

With joy, Daddy replied, “You see, Johny… When Jesus came into town, everyone waved palm branches to welcome and honour him; so we got palm branches today”

“Aw, Good Lord!” grumbled little Johnny. “The one Sunday I can’t go to church, and Jesus shows up!”

The innocence of Li’l Johny made him to feel that He had missed the Lord when He come to town.

But when we think a little deeper, we also realise, that sometimes we are similar…

>> We miss the Lord so often!

>> We fail to take notice of the Lord very many times!

• Every day at Holy Mass, the Lord, really, substantially and truly comes to us in the Holy Eucharist.

>> Do I miss to see and be nourished by Him?

• Every moment, we have His Holy Word in the Bible, through which the Lord reveals and teaches more about Himself.

>> Do I miss the chance to read and experience Him?

• Every now and then, we encounter the Lord through different situations and in many people in need, in despair, in absolute trouble.

>> Do I miss the opportunity to serve Him and to learn from Him?

The Lord today enters the town, riding on a donkey. (Mk 11:7)

The donkey has a specific symbolism..

>> In the olden day, military officers engaged in war and battles would ride on the most efficient animals: the fast and furious warhorses.

But after the victory in the war, the victorious officers would parade into the city riding on…. yes, a donkey.

>> That was the reason why the people shouted out when they saw Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.

In the First book of the Kings 1: 38-4, we read of how Prince Solomon used the royal donkey of his father David, for the ceremonial procession on the day of his coronation.

The new Solomon, Jesus, the True Prince of Peace and the King of Kings today enters His city, Jerusalem on a donkey as well!

• A new reign of peace was being signaled.

• A new kingdom of love was being ushered.

Are we ready to welcome the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace into our lives?

• He is not the glorious King of might and wealth…

>> But He is the Spectacular King who will reign on His throne of the Cross.

• He is not the proud Emperor who parades much show and pomp…

>> But He is the Wonderful Lord who displays His compassion and love by His wounds!

Are we ready to welcome this King into…

Our lives?

Our homes?

Our hearts?

The Passion of the Lord is about to begin…

Are we going to be part of the people who crucify Him?

>> Or are we going to be people who repent of sins and seek to live a life worthy of the King?

He Died for love of us.

He suffered to save each of us.

Are we going to remain stubborn and adamant and continue to be a people who shout, “Crucify Him”…

… Or shall we repent, fall on our knees, seek a transformation, and, with palm branches in our hands, truly exclaim and acclaim Jesus as the Lord, shouting, ” Hosanna to the King of Kings! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Wish you a Blessed Palm Sunday…

… and a Glorious Holy Week!

Let us try to make this week, a “holy week” indeed…

… maybe by making our Confession

… maybe be taking a decision to read the Bible every day, without fil

… maybe by spending time with Jesus, in personal prayer, every day

… maybe by repairing some relationships from which we keep away

Let us be intimate with the Passion of the Lord and experience His tremendous love…

… so that we too may worthily and honestly shout, on Easter Sunday, “Alleluia! He is risen!”

God Bless! Live Jesus

Mar 24 (Jn 11:45-57)

A person who had his house near the forest, found a large number of rats, that had infested his house.

Not finding an easy way to get rid of this menace…

… he went to the city to find a solution.

A flavoured poison for rats, attracted his attention and he bought a few to his house.

He kept a few of these boxes of flavoured poison around his house, including one under his bed.

That night he could not believe his eyes!

>> Below his bed, was a feeding frenzy…

… a number of rats were relishing the flavoured poison!

The following morning, he checked the boxed and found them all clean – perfectly licked!

In order to make sure that his plan would work, he tried the same method the following day as well..

… placing the boxes of flavoured poison everywhere.

The rats once again, savoured the “poisonous food” again!

But in the few days that followed…

… everything was quiet!

The tasty and popular “food” did its trick!

All what is “popular” need not, always be good!

Some “popular” things can lead to “death and destruction!”

The one who chooses “goodness over popularity”…

… are the ones who will prevail and persevere!

The Gospel of the Day is the presentation of how Jesus remains as a Symbol of “Goodness being chosen over popularity”…

… in the face of extreme hatred and pitiless feelings.

Life often crushes us and cause immense disappointments.

• When things don’t shape up as we plan, we get greatly frustrated.

• When people don’t behave in the way we expect, we get totally devastated.

But through today’s Gospel reading, the Lord invites us…

… to not get shattered or disappointed with life’s bad-turns or evil-leanings…

…Rather, to gather strength and courage to fight the evil, arm oneself in faith and hope and seek to live a life of holiness and conviction…

>> “Seek Goodness over popularity!”

The Gospel of the day, on this eve of the Holy Week, introduces us to culmination of the sharp antagonism and hatred that was building up against Jesus.

Jesus had raised up the dead Lazarus (Jn 11: 1-43)

This event garnered a lot of attention…

… many people began to believe in the person of Jesus, as the Messiah and Lord.

>> But many others, also began to have a greater bitterness towards this Man who was working wonders!

Many people grew in their following of Jesus and placed a greater trust and confidence in Him

>> But many others, had their flames of jealousy intensified and began to have greater plotting to finish off the “law-breaker” and “blasphemer”

• The good that the Lord had done, was apparently turning out to be an evil for the Lord!

• The “life-giving” action of the Lord would immediately result in a “life-taking” act on Him!

• The event of blessing to Lazarus would apparently turned out to result in an occasion of curse on Him [since dying on the cross was considered to be a curse ( Deut 21: 23)]!

In the ensuing planning and plotting by the chief priests and the Pharisees, the High Priest said, “… it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish” (Jn 11: 50)

• Jesus had grown to be a big threat for them

• Jesus had gathered up much popularity and had become a menace for the leaders.

Therefore, the High Priest suggested a “quick-solution”… to kill Jesus!

But, everything in life has a purpose…

… Because God is the ultimate ruler, preserver and nurturer of this universe!

• They plotted death but God planned life

• They were selfish but God made Him the Saviour

• They sought for political gain, but God ensured spiritual gain.

• They hoped to spare one nation, but God saved the whole world.

• They intended the worst evil for Jesus but God turned it into the greatest good.

• They wished to scatter all His followers, but God brought them together as one holy nation.

Our life also follows this same pattern…

• The events we think are bad, also have a purpose in God’s mind.

• The moments that we consider as cursed, also can be turned to a blessing by God.

Sometimes, it’s just too hard to accept this teaching… too difficult to understand this concept..

But we have a beautiful answer in this our painful moments: the Cross.

Look to the Cross and find strength from Him…

… who was abused though He was pure

… who suffered immensely, thought He was faultless.

… who underwent tremendous agony, thought He was sinless.

This was the way of God…

…mysterious to us, but life saving for the world.

… baffling for us, but redemptive for the world.

What is most important is not to get discouraged or disheartened…rather…

… to seek the Lord wholeheartedly in all those situations

… to be faithful to the Lord in steadfastness and patience.

.. to be strong and joyful, finding strength in the love of the Lord.


…YES… everything in life, happens for good!

All what is “popular” need not, always be good!

… b’cos some “popular” things can lead to “death and destruction!”

The one who chooses “goodness over popularity”…

… are the ones who will prevail and persevere!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Mar 23 (Jn 10:31-42)

“We are strewn all over the ground.

Some of us are considered useless….

Some of us are just stamped upon…

Some are made use in some hard labour…

Some of us… well..some of us, however, are made use for some inhuman practices.

This includes making use of some of us, to hurt others… to cause pains and wounds to others…and some even to cause fatal deaths!

Our life is often long… but sometimes, such kind of painful moments and incidents, ooze out any bit of feelings we may have (though we are considered not to be having any sentiments!)

Are you wondering who we are?

Well.. we are the family of stones!

Yep.. Stones!

Strewn all over…

Sometimes useless, right?

Sometimes just stamped upon, right?

Sometimes just made use for hard labour, right?

But sometimes, some of us, the stones … also become objects of injuring and causing pain to others…

One such occasion was when, as you read in the Gospel of St John 8.. some of us were picked up by a gang of highly malicious, judgemental and selfish people, to cause death to a woman who was caught in an act of immorality.

• We were ready to thrown on that woman.

• We were set to become objects of brutality and terror.

However, that day, we encountered the most amazing personality.

He had glorious eyes.

He had a breathtaking voice.

He had a tremendous authority.

His name was Jesus!

And His one sentence, “He who is without sin, let him be the first to stone” dropped the jaws of all those blood-thirsty and cruel people.

We were all released from their hands.

We saw them all turning their backs and going home, in shame.

We also saw, the wonderful triumph of mercy and love and compassion.

However, a few days later, some of us were soon back to find ourselves in the hands of those blood-thirsty men.

This time, the target was none other than that same charismatic person named Jesus.

You read about that in John 10:31, “The Jews took up stones again to stone Jesus”

We were left wondering why was this innocent man being targeted so badly.

• He was after all preaching the Kingdom of God.

• He was bringing the message of God’s Love and salvation to the world .

By His Life, He was declaring Himself to be the Messiah from God.

By His works, He was also proving Himself to be the Son of God.

But none of these “clear-cut” evidences were able to convince those people.

• They still believed that Jesus was a blasphemer.

• They still were determined to think that Jesus was a heretic.

And so they picked us up.. yes, we the stones… to indulge themselves in a blood-bath of the Blessed Man of claimed Himself to be the Lord and Saviour of the World!

Our thoughts go out to those people who wanted to stone….

• God had blessed them with such beautiful hearts.

• God had showered them with so much of wisdom to discern and understand.

Yet, they failed to make use of these divine gifts and instead, had hardened their hearts!

What a pity, that those human beings had become like us… stones!

Yes, just how could they become stone-hearted??

Stone-hearted… that they failed to be open to the possibility of God’s hand at work.

Stone hearted… that they were adamant to be closed to any explanation of the Lord.

Stone-hearted… that they were stubborn to listen to the voice of God’s Spirit in their lives.

We, the stones, now appeal to you, dear readers….To be wary and examine your lives:

Are you also acquiring a nature like us, the stones…

…. hard to the feelings of other people and failing to understand them?

… rigid to the inspirations of the Spirit of God and not letting Him work in your lives?

… inflexible to have changes and transformations in life, to attune oneself to God’s Will?

There are many of us in the world…

Your streets, your roads… are all, indeed strewn with all of us, the stones.

But we sincerely beg you…

… not to let your hearts to become like us

… not to let your lives to be similar to our nature.

Let the world have more of, not stony-hearts, but tender, loving, understanding and compassionate hearts…

Let the world have more of, not hardened souls, but docile, open, submissive and humble lives…

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Mar 22 (Jn 8:51-59)

It is said that during the First World War, in American towns any household that had given a son to the War…

… was entitled to place a star on the window pane.

A certain man was walking down a certain avenue in New York, accompanied by his little boy.

The lad became very interested in the lighted windows of the houses, and clapped his hands whenever he saw a star at the window pane of the houses.

As they passed house after house, he would say:

“Oh, look, daddy, there’s another house that has given a son to the war!

>> And there’s another! There’s one with two stars!

>> And look, there’s a house with no star at all!”

After quite some time, they came to a break in the houses.

Through the gap could be seen the evening star shining brightly in the sky.

The little fellow caught his breath and with an excited exclaim said:

“Oh, look, Daddy,” he cried, “God must have given His Son, for He has got a Star in His window.”

He has indeed!’ said Daddy!

Yes, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn 3:16).

This Gift of God – Jesus, the Son of God – is the point of controversy in today’s Gospel.

Not all people were able to digest this fact, that Jesus, could be fully divine.

>> Not all were able to grasp this aspect that Jesus, could be the Son of God.

It is such a debating discussion over the Divinity of the Lord that forms the chunk of the Gospel of the Day.

One of the constant companions of the Lord, all through His life was…

… being hated!

It was especially His declaration on having a Divine origin that generated greater sparks of hatred.

The debate continues between Jesus and the Jews.

>>The Jews had immense pride in calling themselves as the children of their Father, Abraham.

As the debate continues, the Lord puts forward the gem of His defense…the core of His revelation: “Truly truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (Jn 8:58)

Those words hit the critics of the Lord, direct on the face…

“Before Abraham was, I AM!”

>> “I AM” was the title of God Yawheh!

>> “I AM” was the sole privilege of the Lord Almighty!

This was the name that was given by God to Moses: “I AM who am. This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you” (Ex 3:14)

It was pure blasphemy for any mortal to use it for oneself.

>> It was sheer heretical for any human to apply it to oneself.

I AM – the Name..

… demanded fear as to none other

… commanded respect as to no one

… contained awesomeness as in nothing else.

And therefore, the Lord had to face the consequences of this “blasphemous” act:

“So they picked up stones to throw at Him” (Jn 8:59)

And so the life of the Lord expounds an important truth:

>> Where there is the mention of Divinity…

… there are forces of the evil seeking to cast it away.

>> Where there is the presence of the Divine…

… there are powers seeking to destroy the sacredness.

Jesus, the One hated the most, was the Most Divine.

>> Jesus, the One who was always contrary to the moods of the world, was the Most Divine

Fulton Sheen picks up this beautiful aspect, to present a secular, rational and a logical reasoning to see the Truth in the Holy Catholic Church.

We quote him here….

“If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world;

… in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hated.

My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh.

If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world!

>> Look for the Church…

…  that is hated by the world as Christ was hated by the world!

…  that is accused of being behind the times, as our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned.

… which men sneer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth.

… which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils.

… which, in seasons of bigotry, men say must be destroyed in the name of God as men crucified Christ and thought they had done a service to God.

… which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because He called Himself the Truth.

… which is rejected by the world as Our Lord was rejected by men.

… which amid the confusions of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its Voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly it is other worldly. since it is other-worldly, it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself.

But only that which is Divine can be infinitely hated and infinitely loved.

>> Therefore the Church is Divine.”

Our own lives sometimes becomes an object of hate when we stand for Christ, the Truth.

>> The more we tend towards being Divine…

… the greater is the opposition we face.

>> The more we tend towards being Spiritual…

… the higher is the shame we encounter.

Jesus, is the same, yesterday today and forever.

As His true followers, we too will have to undergo agony, pain, humiliation and even suffering….

>> Let us be firm in His grace and stand bold, facing the challenges to our faith

>> Let us grow in our love and commitment to the Holy Church and share in Her suffering.

Let us deepen our Faith that “God has given His Son, for He has got a Star in His window”…

… and may this Bright Star –  Jesus – always shine in our lives!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Mar 21 (Jn 8:31-42)

There is a simple fable, perhaps known to many of us… of a swan….

The swan – white, beautiful and spotless – was pitying a poor pig, who was in its muddy environment.

>> It began to describe to the pig, that further up the river, there was a beautiful country – with green banks and rising slopes.

The swan invited the pig to join the happy company of the white swans that lived in that “pleasant country”.

The pig was pretty fascinated and was willing to go.

>> But it asked a question: ” Is there any marshy swamp in that pleasant country?”

“Oh no!” replied the swan, “the land is free from all mud and mire”

“Ah Hmm…” said the pig with face cast-down, “In that case, I am sorry, I cannot accompany you!

I must stay here in the swamp!”

An invitation to move from the dirty swamp to a pleasant country was extended…

… but the offer was refused and rejected!

So true is this fable, with respect to our own experience in spiritual life.

>> We are constantly exhorted, to advance to live in holiness and purity…

… but we stubbornly choose to inhabit in sin, shame and ignorance!

>> We are often invited, to move into a life of spotlessness and sanctity..

… but we remain satisfied to dwell with the unclean and dirty things of life!

The Gospel of the Day is a continuation of the Jews getting into arguments with Jesus on the question of His Divinity.

>> The Lord invites them open their eyes to see and experience the Truth…

… but they close their minds, and choose to remain stubborn, in their own understanding

>> The Lord exposes before them the futility of being ignorant and the advantage of knowing the Truth…

… but they wilfully choose to remain stuck in their past knowledge and be unwilling to open their hearts to possibilities of change.

Jesus, the Truth-Incarnate, declares:

” You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free” (Jn 8: 31)

But the people retorted and answered: “… we have never been enslaved…” (Jn 8: 33)

They considered slavery from only a physical perspective!

>> They were extremely offended when Jesus considered them to be slaves!

But Jesus brings the focus into right perspective (as he does always!), and speaks of a deadlier form of slavery and a higher form of freedom…

>> A slavery to Sin…

… that causes one to be away from God and His people

>> A slavery to ignorance and error…

… that causes one to be closed to God’s Word and prevent His transformation to take place within

He invites to receive Freedom in Him…

… that enjoins with knowing and doing the Father’s Will

… that liberates one from the bondages of death, and leads into peace and joy!

The danger to remain stagnant in sinful or ignorant ways constantly lurks in our life:

>> The Truth of the Bible is often presented to us in appealing and interesting formats…

… but we often seek to remain ignorant or don’t show any interest to read and understand God’s Word

>> The beauty of the Sacramental Life and the Teachings of the Church is laid before our eyes…

… but we time and again, tend to be lethargic, casual and sometimes even, hostile to them

>> Our eyes often come into contact with the suffering lot of people, in and around us…

… but many times, we turn a blind eye to them and remain indifferent in our cosy lifestyle

Each of us needs a purification…

>> Each of us needs a movement…

A purification from our stubborn ways to a life of obedience and docility to God’s Word

>> A movement from a sluggish life of faith to being a fervent and committed Christian

Yes, Jesus is constantly extending His Nail-Scarred Hands to lead us to the “pleasant country” of holiness and sanctity.

>> Let us not deny his invitation and say:

“Ah Hmm…! I am sorry, I cannot accompany You!

I must stay here in the swamp!”

Instead, let us make a self-examination of our state of life…

… realise the need to have a purification and a movement…

… and embrace and live with Jesus, the Truth, “Who sets us free”!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Mar 20 (Jn 8:21-30)

St. Augustine speaks of a conversation, he had, with an unbeliever.

The other man showed him his idol gods and said, “Here is my god; Where is thine?”

>> He again pointed to the skies and said, “Lo, Here is my god; Where is thine?”

>> He further showed some of the land creatures and said, “Behold, here is my god; Where is thine?”

“But” St Augustine says, ” I showed him not my God;

>> Not because I had not one to show him, but because he had not eyes to see Him”

Unless one open’s one’s eyes to the Divine realities…

… one cannot see the Divine!

If one chooses to remain closed to the light of Divinity…

… then one continues to remain in the darkness of life!

The Gospel of the Day is the account of Jesus presenting Himself as the Light of the World and his continued debate with the Pharisees, who chose to remain in the darkness of error and ignorance.

Jesus is at the Feast of the Tabernacles (Jn 7: 10)

>> It is a kind of a harvest festival.

It’s a festival of going up to Jerusalem and join in the festivities with many of the other farmers and vineyard-keepers…

… being grateful and expressing one’s thankfulness to God Yahweh, who has blessed with a good harvest.

In the evening of the Feast day, everyone gets together in the Court of the Women at the Temple to dance and praise God for his goodness.

There is an elaborate ceremony involving the pouring out of water from great pitchers and then the lamps are lit.

>> Four huge oil lamps are positioned around the courtyard and the priests’ assistants pour great quantities of oil into the bases of them.

>> Massive wicks are created from the worn-out clothing of the priests and stuffed into the necks.

>> Darkness falls quickly with very little twilight between the strong sunlight and the rising of the moon, which follows very rapidly at this time of year.

Suddenly the lamps are lit and the whole courtyard is bathed in their light.

>> A cheer goes up from the revellers and from around the city, as the light can be seen from every part of Jerusalem.

Using the contrast between…

… the glowing exuberance of the brightly lit courtyard

… and the growing darkness in the atmosphere

>> Jesus makes a loud and bold proclamation:

“I am the light of the world.

Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn 8: 12)

But the Pharisees objected and spoke in retort:

“You testify on your own behalf, so your testimony cannot be verified” (Jn 8: 13)

There was a contrast-play, on here….

>> The Temple was lit brightly

…. Jesus declared Himself as the Light of the World

>> The evening had set and the surroundings were growing darker

… The Pharisees, by rejecting the person of Jesus, chose to remain in darkness!

Jesus was constantly giving witness to the fact that He was the “light of the world”

>> He brought the light…

… of healing – to those sick and in distress

… of salvation – to those in sin and guilt

… of power and grace – by His words and teachings

But the Pharisees and many of the “creamy class” of the Jewish society, chose to dwell in “darkness”

>> They remained in the darkness…

… of ignorance – by not being open to the teachings and works of Jesus

… of death – by continuing a life of sin and error and refusing the offer of grace from Jesus

Jesus wishes to be the “light of our life”!

Do we open our hearts to allow His light to shine through us?

>> Or do we get stagnant in darkness, and choose to reject His teaching in our life…?

Do we seek the Lord in honesty seeking, to cause His light to shine in our minds?

>> Or do we remain indifferent in darkness, and get stuck to our pride mentality and lifestyle…?

One of the most tragic statements in the Bible reads thus:

” He came to His own, and His own rejected Him” (Jn 1: 11)

The Lord comes to us, today…

.. proclaiming Himself as the “light of the world”

Shall we not open our hearts, in repentance and contrition…

… and allow Him to reveal “the light” of His love and grace in our hearts?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Mar 19 (Solemnity of St Joseph)

The early American Indians had a unique ritual in their training of young boys to be brave and strong in their lives.

The evening of the boy’s thirteenth birthday, would consist of the final test, after having learnt hunting, exploration, fishing and other skills.

The boy was placed in a dense forest to spend the entire night all alone.

Until then, he had never been away from the security of the family and the tribe.

But on this night, he was blindfolded and taken several miles away.

When the blindfold was taken off, he would find himself in the midst of the thick woods.. and he would be terrified!

Every time a branch snapped or something fell, he visualized a wild animal ready to pounce.

• His heart would pound with fear…

• He would seek for some consolation, but would find none..

• He would long to feel safe again, but the wait seemed to be an unending one…

After what seemed like an eternity, dawn broke and the first rays of sunlight entered the interior of the forest…

Looking around, the boy saw the wild flowers, lush trees, and the outline of the path.

Then, to his utter astonishment, he beheld the figure of a man standing just a few feet away, armed with a bow and arrow.

Guess who it was ?

It was his father!

He had been there all night long.

The boy had been unaware, but the father was always there, to make an intervention, in case of any eventuality of danger.

The protection of the father encircled the child, irrespective of whether the boy was aware or not.

Such is the tremendous protection and security of God, our Loving Father.

In the fullness of time, when God, the Father decided to send His Beloved Son to the earth, for the redemption of humankind, He had to entrust the care of His Precious Child to the protection and care of a human father…

>> And it was St Joseph who was chosen to be assigned this task and responsibility of being the caretaker and protector of Jesus, the Son of God!

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Faithful and Just Protector of Jesus – St Joseph.

Just as God had entrusted Him to be the protector of the body of Jesus while on earth, St Joseph is also the protector and patron of His Body on the earth today, the Holy Church.

St Joseph in fulfilling his task of being the protector of Jesus, teaches us a few lessons…

1. He was ever prompt to the voice of the Lord

In his moments of confusion, he was still open to the promptings of the Spirit.

“When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him…” (Mt 1:24)

• Am I docile to the inspirations of the Lord, so as to be in greater tune with the Will of God?

2. His love was attentive to the needs of the Divine Child and the Mother

St Joseph was ready to make any sacrifice for the sake of protecting Jesus and Mary.

He was willing…

…to undergo societal humiliations

… to bear physical hardships of travelling, migration, lack of comforts etc

… to be prudent to the socio-political situations and make decisions in favour of the family

• Does love prompt me to be attentive and sensitive to the needs of others, and cause me to make sacrifices towards the good of the other?

3. A willingness to be playing the “backdrop role” in the great drama of salvation

St Joseph, was privileged to be sharing the most intimate physical presence with the two holiest persons of this world – Jesus, the Son of God and Mary, the Immaculate Mother.

Yet, it also meant that Joseph had to stay away from the limelight of glory and be the “silent yet impactful” figure of the salvation history.

• Do I have the courageous humility to take up any role that the Lord entrusts me, in His plan of salvation – be it shorn of fame, littleness in glamour or even subject to awkwardness, uncertainty or dislikeness?

4. He was ready to give up his personal decisions and doubts in obedience to the voice of God

St Joseph was not afraid to shed his own personal concerns, anxieties and even doubts, when asked to be part of the mysterious redemptive plan of God.

There were many things that were not understood by him…

There were a lot of factors that prompted him to question and confront..

Yet, He had the deep daring to keep them all aside – because he was convinced that God’s mighty hand was at work, in them all.

• Am I willing to place my faith in God and follow my vocation faithfully, even though circumstances around me maybe uncertain, the future looks bleak and my own reasonable thinking may see situations and people as being illogical, unscientific and irrational?

As St. Alphonsus Liguori says, “We should, indeed, honour St. Joseph, since the Son of God Himself was graciously pleased to honour him by calling him father.

>> If the King of kings was pleased to raise Joseph to so high a dignity, it is right and obligatory on our part to endeavour to honour him as much as we can!”

• The Lord protects us, no matter how fearful the external situations are…

• St Joseph protected the Little Divine Babe and His Mother, despite hardships and trials…

• Shall we also not trust in their Heavenly protection, and in turn, be a protector and defender to each other?

Happy Feast of St Joseph, the Just Worker in God’s Plan of Redemption.

>> Glorious Blessings of Jesus, his Precious Child – the Way, the Truth and the Life

>> Heavenly Intercessions of Mary – his loving Spouse and our affectionately protecting Mother

God Bless! Live Jesus!