Jul 1 (Mk 5:21-43)

A person came to a spiritual counselor to share his difficulties and problems of life.

During the break of the counselling session, as the two took a walk in the garden area, the person who was had come to share the difficulties, noticed a large statue of the Atlas.

(The Statue of Atlas is of a well-built man, who with all his muscles straining…

… is holding the world upon his shoulders)

Seeing that statue of Atlas who was struggling to hold the world, the man told the counsellor:

“Do you see that man struggling to hold the world on his shoulders?

>> That’s exactly how I feel in my life as well!

The burden of the whole world seems to be on my shoulders and I feel exasperated!”

The counsellor gave a gentle smile to the man and asked him to have his eyes on the other side of the street.

“Look at that statue,” said the counsellor.

The man noticed, at a distance, the statue of Infant Jesus…

… Who was holding the world(globe) in His Hands.

And the counsellor continued:

“We have a choice in life!

We can either follow Atlas and feel as if the entire world of burden is placed on my shoulders…

.. and thus feel exasperated and exhausted!

Or we can follow Jesus and offer our world of burdens to Him, Who will hold it in His Hands…

… and thus feel energetic and enthusiastic!

The Gospel of the Day recounts two people who had an encounter with Jesus, and offered their world of burdens to Him…

…and thus felt energetic and enthusiastic!

Sicknesses and diseases are great interrupters in life…

.. they enter into the house of life, without knocking at the doors

… they disrupt many plans and aspirations

… they reduce the hope for the future

The Gospel is a narration of two persons who encountered this interruption in life…

1. Jairus’ daughter – on the death bed – would have dashed many hopes of their family

2. The long suffering of the woman – with hemorrhage – would have crushed her aspirations

Both these two persons – Jairus and the Woman with the hemorrhage underwent similar struggles….

>> One had tremendous mental agony as a result of worry for his beloved child…

>> The other had also tremendous physical agony along with her mental and social stigmas…

Both their sufferings had reached a saturation point of tolerance…

>> Both of them were struggling immensely to swim across the ocean of agony and pain…

But both these persons also displayed a similar sort of faith in the Lord….

” Seeing Jesus, Jairus fell at His feet and pleaded earnestly with Him…” ( Mk 5:22)

“…realizing what had happened to her, the woman approached Jesus in fear and trembling; fell down before Jesus and told Him the whole truth” (Mk5: 33)

They both “offered their world of burdens” to Jesus…

… in deep faith and trust…

… with much love and devotion

… with great expectations and hopes

The “offering of their burdens” was a sign of total submission and surrender

>> Jairus offered himself to the power and mercy of the Lord…

>> The woman with haemorrhage offered herself to the compassion and love of the Lord…

This made them experience the power of the Lord.

When we offer ourselves fully to the holy and precious Will of the Lord…

… we come in contact with His Divine Providence and Wonder

When we submit ourselves to the mighty power and providence of God…

…we experience His Divine Strength and Courage

When we surrender ourselves to the dominion and sovereignty of God…

… we encounter His marvelous presence and guidance

As we complete 6 months of this Year 2018, let us recollect and be grateful to the Lord for all His Blessings…

… and as we enter into the second half of 2018 – on this day, July 01 – offer and surrender our lives to the Providence of God!

Our Christian Life – with all its challenges – places before us choices:

>> We can either feel that the entire world of burden is placed on our shoulders…

… and thus feel exasperated and exhausted!

Or we can offer our world of burdens to Jesus, telling Him, “’Here I am Lord; here’s my life. I give you my world, the whole world’…

… and thus feel energetic and enthusiastic!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 30 (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.

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 29 (Based on the Solemnity of St Peter and St Paul)

It is said that World History is a victorious story written by the winners…

… through the lives of proud emperors, famous rulers, triumphant troops

>> But Salvation History is written by God…

… through the lives of humble saints, repentant sinners and passionate lovers of the Lord!

God is an amazing script writer!

>> His Divine Wisdom, beautifully pens lives…

But often, we fail to understand this script.

>> Failures, disappointments, tragedies…are mostly, considered by us, as the end of our lives.

But today, Holy Mother, the Church invites our attention to two persons: St Peter and St Paul…

… who faced failures, disappointments and tragedies…

>> But remarkably, through the Divine Plan, their lives were scripted to a classic story….!

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the two Great Saints of the Church – St Peter and St Paul.

St Peter was overwhelmed by the Great Fishermen of Hearts!

>> All through his life, we see St Peter, varying between many emotions – over-zealous, impatient, bold, courageous, simple, daring etc

St Paul was overpowered by the tremendous power of the Risen Lord!

>> All through his life, we see St Paul, displaying many characteristics – zealous and passionate, fervent and ardent, bold and courageous.

God, the Great Script writer, knew exactly well, these two personalities!

Their life is a paradox.

>> Both had their moments of rejecting, persecuting, betraying and doubting the Lord…

>> Both had their moments of a “turning point”…

… St Peter’s call to be a Fisher of People & the Lord once again accepting him, in love, after Resurrection

… St Paul on his way to Damascus, being prevailed over by the Majestic Power of the Risen Lord!

>> Both had their moments of being misunderstood and facing tough moments from the people, especially, the close people, with whom, they lived with, and to whom they ministered.

>> Both had their moments of sharing in the Cross of Christ, in His Chalice of Suffering and in the Baptism of a Holy Death!

Today, both are honoured & venerated as Stalwarts of our Faith & the Pillars of the Church.

>> Peter had been Simon; Paul had been Saul.

>> Peter was the fisherman, the small-town Galilean Jew; Paul was the Pharisee, the scholar of the Law.

>> Peter was conscious of the Faith’s Old Testament roots; Paul had found in Christ, “all things new.”

>> Peter had lived and walked with Jesus; Paul had encountered the Risen Jesus.

>> Peter was crucified on an inverted Cross; Paul was martyred by the Sword.

Two very different persons… Two different temperaments.

>> But ONE in their Zeal, Passion, Love, Mission, Enthusiasm, Fervour…All for the Lord!

These saints have much to teach us…and much to be imitated…!

Is the story of our life, suffering from a bad-script, at the moment?

>> There is Hope….in the Lord!

Are there areas in our life, where there is persecution?

>> There is Salvation…in the Lord!

Are there moments in our life when we feel betrayed or cheated?

>> There is Love…in the Lord!

Are there situations of rejection and loneliness in our life?

>> There is Acceptance…in the Lord!

Are there times of doubt or tears or pain in the depth of our heart?

>> There is Healing…in the Lord!

The Lord, the Mighty Rock…promised and declared St Peter to be the Rock!

>> The Lord, the Good News…promised and declared St Paul to be the Evangelizer!

Today He invites us to imitate & follow the example of these Humble yet Great Saints of the Church.

Like St Peter, may we grow in faith, to declare, “Jesus, You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Mt 16:16)

>> Like St Paul, may we advance in holiness, to declare, “I now no longer live; Christ lives in me!” (Gal 2:20)

Let us grow in Obedience, in Love and in Dependence….like St Peter

>> Let us grow in Passion, in Courage and in Openness….like St Paul!

Let us entrust our lives into the hands of God, the Great and Amazing Script-Writer…

… The One Who can draw straight, with crooked lines!

Happy Feast to the Pillars of the Church….

… and to us, the Seekers of their Intercession and Zeal!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 28 (Mt 7:21-29)

A chameleon is a tree-dwelling lizard with long thin legs, a strong curled tail and a long sticky tongue.

One of the special characteristic of the chameleon is the ability to change its colour.

>> The chameleon takes the colour of its background and environment – tree, bush, or grass etc.

Generally it was considered that this change of colour happens by dispersion of pigment-containing organelles within their skin.

However, recent researches (2014) show a different picture…

Chameleons have two superimposed layers within their skin that control their colour and thermoregulation.

• The top layer contains a lattice of guanine nano-crystals.

• By exciting this lattice, the spacing between the nano-crystals can be manipulated, which in turn affects which wavelengths of light are reflected and which are absorbed.

• Exciting the lattice increases the distance between the nano-crystals, and the skin reflects longer wavelengths of light.

Thus, in a relaxed state the crystals reflect blue and green, but in an excited state the longer wavelengths such as yellow, orange, and red are reflected.

Is this not a similar case with many Christian lives as well?

Many Christians are like the chameleon – they can take on the colour of the world about them.

Just as it is difficult to distinguish the chameleon from the background, so it is very difficult to distinguish many Christians from the background of the world in which they live!

And the reason for this seems to be similar as well, just as the chameleons.

Perhaps such Christians have two superimposed-layers…

• The top layer with the tag of “Christian” – but containing a lattice of “personal agenda” and “sinful inclinations”

• When the external surroundings get conducive and favourable, this “lattice” of sin and duplicity expands – the colour changes – from “holiness” to “worldliness”!

The Gospel of the Day is a bold reminder and warning to us Christians from possessing such kind of a “colour-changing attitude” – professing one thing and living something else to suit the surroundings!

Jesus declares, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the Will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 7: 21)

This Gospel passage is the conclusion of the spectacular Sermon on the Mount which began from Chapter 5 of the Gospel of St Matthew.

This great discourse and the brilliant exposition of the Christian teaching is concluded with two fundamental exhortations by Christ:

1. Be a doer of the Word, not just a listener

2. Have a strong foundation built on Him, rather than on the world!

Christianity, for some, becomes a soothing philosophy and a relaxing religion.

• The mercy of the Lord… the love of the Father… the providence of God – they become easy escape routes to avoid duties and responsibilities

• The pious practices…the devout rituals… the spiritual exercises – they sometimes get reduced to mere ‘relaxing’ techniques or ‘lifeless’ customs

>> It gets easy to merely say ‘Lord, Lord’ – but to live a life in witness to the Lord becomes a pain in the neck

>> It feels good to say, “Jesus, Jesus” – but to orient our actions and deeds, worthy of our vocation becomes a hard reality.

But this is the challenge that the Lord invites us to rise up to…

• Being a person who seriously lives ones profession of faith and makes life a truly witnessing one!

• Being a person who consciously makes efforts to be holy and saintly in order to give glory to the salvific act of the Lord, who shed His blood for us!

Towards this end, Jesus says that we need to have our faith and life built on the strong foundation of the Lord Himself!

>> To all who place their entire hope on worldly treasures or self-capabilities – like the house build on sand – are sure to collapse!

>> To all who build their entire trust on Jesus and His grace and goodness – like the house built on rock – are sure to remain firm!

Being a Christian is an exciting adventure.

>> There is lot of contentment… loads of peace… bundles of joy!

But there is also the danger of being snared by the pleasures or riches or temptations in the world, which is constantly enticing us to move away from the Lord and identify ourselves with the world.

>> St Peter says, “Your enemy, the Devil, is prowling round, like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him, strong in faith…” (1 Pt 5: 8-9)

>> Jesus says, “They do not belong to the world anymore… ” (Jn 17: 16)

Let us examine our Christian lives and check…

>> Am I a “committed and convinced” Christian?

… am I a “chameleon” Christian?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 27 (Mt 7:15-20)

An interesting story is told of man who was looking for a job.

He was a man with bulging muscles.

>> However, he was somehow, unable to obtain a job for himself.

One day he saw an ad on the gate of a zoo for a man to play the part of a monkey!

>> He found this job quite strange…

… but his helpless situation forced him to take it up.

He was to put on an outfit of a monkey in the morning…

>> Get into the cage

>> Pensively walk up and down

>> Eat peanuts and bananas all through the day

>> And to jump from one tree to the other in the cage.

One day he was very exhausted and lost his balance as he was jumping from one tree to the other in the far corner of the cage.

>> He accidently fell into the cage of a lion which came charging on him.

With immense fear and trepidation, he cried aloud: “Help, help!”

The lion, however, in a calm voice, looking at him in his face, uttered:

“If you don’t shut up, we will both lose our jobs!!”

Both – the monkey and the lion – were actually real men…

… but disguise and pretence made them to appear and be perceived differently!

This humorous story, however, does cause us to reflect on an important trend that is often seen in our society…

… putting on a deceptive appearance, to achieve one’s aims and agenda

… donning a mask, to realise one’s goals – good or bad

The Gospel of the Day is a stern admonition by Jesus on the need “to become aware of spiritual deception and pretence” that can ruin our Christian Faith.

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 another very important area to which, many of us…

… either remain ignorant

… or don’t pay much attention

… or take it very lightly

>> They are “Spiritual Dangers”

Today, the Gospel discusses one of the most powerful Spiritual Dangers: DECEPTION!

The power of this danger lies in the fact that it is…

… very “subtle”

… very “tricky”

… and apparently appears to be highly “good”!

Jesus cautions: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Mt 7:15)

The Lord begins today’s Gospel with the word, “BEWARE”!

This is a strong word that is used in Greek – “prosecho”

>> “pros” means ‘before’

>> “echo” means ‘hold’

Thus, “prosecho” means “hold before”!

>> BEWARE – Prosecho – means…

… to hold one’s mind back from

… never to expose one’s mind

Jesus in the previous verses had given an invitation to walk along the narrow gate…

>> “Enter through the narrow gate…” (Mt 7:13)

In this striving to “enter through” to the gate of life…

… Jesus issues a strict warning to be aware of the false prophets who would misguide and lead astray

>> “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing…” ( Mt 7: 15)

In Palestine, the most dangerous enemy of the sheep was the wolf!

It was a natural enemy, roaming the hills…

>> It would wait for a flock of sheep

>> At the precise moment, it would come out of its place of hiding

>> And snatch the sheep and rip it to shreds!

The sheep would be totally defenceless against such prowling wolves!

The Lord presents this imagery to His followers – His sheep: Of being aware of such “sheep-clothed” wolves!

We have in the world, today…

>> Many religious philosophies

>> Varied spiritual methods

>> A number of attractive theological views

… which present Religion in a very alluring, charming and pleasant way!

… which make Christianity as a bed of roses – cosy, comfy and casual!

But let us give heed to the Cry of the Lord: BEWARE!

>> Let us not bleed away our precious spiritual life and our Christian Faith!

>> 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?

>> Are we attracted to “fiery preachers” and “awesome praise and worship” which appears good…

… but are deprived of the Real Sacramental Presence found only in the Catholic Church?

Let us also BEWARE and examine…

>> The books we read…

>> The talks we engage in…

>> The jokes we indulge in…

>> The habits we occupy ourselves with…

>> The music and the songs we delight in…

Are they all worthy of being “Christian”…

… or are they deceptively and subtly leading us away from the innocence and honesty of Christian Life?

Are they in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves?

Yes, we need to Beware!!

We need to examine:

>> Am I really on the watch, with respect to my spiritual life…

… or I am, exposing myself to the Deceptive techniques of Satan?

Jesus said: ” By their fruits, you will know them..”! (Mt 7:16)

Gal 5:22, “The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!”

In all our actions… and with respect to all peoples…

… let us weigh their truthfulness in the light of these “Fruits of the Holy Spirit”

… let us check their reliability by the yardstick of these “Fruits of the Holy Spirit”

>> The world will often resort to “deception and pretence” to suit its needs and wants…

>> The world will often take recourse to “deception and pretence” to rob spiritual resources…

… But, as Christians, we need to be aware, as well as be on our guard, constantly…

… preserving our innocence

… and keeping alight our light of faith!

God bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 26 (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 in the Gospel today, “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 all set to enter into this mode of “spiritual dieting?”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 25 (Mt 7:1-5)

Blessed Mother Mary.

Zechariah and Elizabeth.



Mary Magdalene.





Man crippled for 38 years.

The Samaritan Woman.

The woman caught in adultery.

The widow who offered the two mites.


The thief alongside Jesus on the cross…


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 24 (Based on the Nativity of St John the Baptist; Lk 1:57-66,80)

We all are familiar with the ‘remote control’ of a television.

In the remote control, there is the button named “MUTE”.

>> It is used to put off the sound, momentarily.

Sometimes, in our spiritual lives, too, we undergo the experience of being in the “MUTE” mode with God.

>> There is a total silence, that pervades our relation with God.

Have we undergone this experience of the “silence” of God?

>> Do we sometimes feel why is God “absent” in my life?

The Couple of Day – Zechariah and Elizabeth – underwent, this “mute” experience with God.

>> Though advanced in age, living a life of prayer, service and faithfulness, they were not blessed with the Gift of a Child.

Barrenness, in the Jewish Society was one of the greatest misfortunes for a family.

>> Being barren was thus a harsh experience for this Devout Couple!

But then came the precious and joyous moment…

>>The “His Name is John” Moment!

…..when, new life and fresh joy radiated their lives!

The names of John, and his parents – Elizabeth and Zechariah are very significant.

Their names are very significant; it tells that God’s delays are not His denials!

… The name Zechariah means “The Lord remembers”

… The name Elizabeth means, “the oath of God”

>> Thus, the name of the couple stands for: The Lord remembers His oath!

However, the long years of barrenness would have seemed as a contradiction to them – it seemed God had totally forgotten about them.

>> But this is where we learn, that God’s delays are certainly not His denials!

>> He has a better plan (Jer 29:11) – always, without fail!

And they were indeed blessed with a Son – named “John” whose name means “God is Gracious!”

True to this name, after a prolonged period of silence and hush…

… Zechariah and Elizabeth experienced the “Graciousness of God”.

>> The long agony had been finally rewarded….with the Graciousness of God – John!

The “muteness” that this Couple experienced, also reflected the Silence that the people of Israel experienced…

… in their waiting of the Messiah!

>> But the Birth of John, was the breaking of this silence.

The World, which waited eagerly for the Messiah, had now heard a Voice!

>> It was time to put off the “Mute”…

… the Voice had been Born!

John 1:23, ” I am the Voice of one, crying out in the desert!”

John the Baptist, the Voice, had been born, to announce the coming of Jesus, the Word!

We all undergo “Mute” moments in our lives!

>> They are painful and agonizing moments…

… when all seems dry, answerless, silent

…when there is only dreadful calm, a total brokenness, painful agonies and miseries

… when there is sometimes even no hope ahead!

Sometimes, in unbelief, we may begin to even question or interrogate God…

… like Zechariah questioned the Angel

… and may even get affected with some physical muteness of health or wealth or prestige or disbelief or misunderstanding or persecution etc…!

But nothing of our Unbelief will spoil God’s plan for us…

God says in Jer 29:11, “I know well the plans I have in mind for you….plans for your welfare, not for woe; plans to give you a future, full of hope!”

>> Our “mute” moments will be transformed, into, “His name is John” moments…!

>> Our “unspoken miseries” will be transfigured into ” gracious and gifted” moments…!

Let’s strengthen our lives with the oft-heard truth about three ways of God answering our prayers…

>> YES…. I will fulfill your desire in the way you want

>> or WAIT…. in my own time, I will grant your wishes

>> or NO…I have something much better for you!!

Let us be patient in faith, hope and love in our MUTE moments…

… so that we may experience the gracious & gifted “HIS NAME IS JOHN” moments in our lives!

Happy Birthday to John the Baptist, The Voice & Happy Feast Day to all, The Listeners!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 23 (Mt 6:24-34)

There is a French word named “sabot”.

It is a word which means a ‘wooden shoe’.

The English word ‘sabatoge’ comes from this root word ‘sabot’.

According to one theory, ‘sabatoge’ was the practice of throwing a wooden shoe or wooden clogs into a machinery (particularly power looms) to stop the work.

The word has come to mean ‘any attempt to hinder production or spoil a product or mess up a plan’.

In our lives, there is a ‘sabot’ – a wooden shoe that is often cast into our souls to hinder us from accomplishing the plan of God and to stop our work for the Kingdom of God.

That ‘sabot’ is called worry… and it is thrown by Satan!

It clogs our peaceful relation with the Lord and disrupts our life of joy and harmony.

In the Gospel of the Day, Jesus warns us regarding this device of ‘sabotage’ – worry – that we often encounter and experience in our lives.

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

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

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

To whom have we pledged our loyalty and allegiance…?

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus asks this very practical and logical question:

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

• All of us, surely, as we live our lives have our quota of tensions and troubles.

• All of us, without doubt, as we discharge our duties, will have our share of pressures.

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

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

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

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

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

The evil one will no doubt hurl the “sabot” – shoes – of worry and anxiety on us

• He does know that discouragement are an easy trap for us to stumble in our life of faith

• He does know that anxieties are easy snares to corner us with fretfulness and fear.

ü The evil one seeks to sabotage our desire to seek the Lord and work for His Kingdom

ü The evil one tries to sabotage our good intentions to be a messenger of His Kingdom

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

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

When the wooden blocks of worries are hurled on us…

… let us seek the help of the wood of the Cross…with Christ Crucified as our strength…

And boldly declare, with hope, “I seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Jun 22 (Mt 6:19-23)

Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 1558-1603.

>> She was probably England’s greatest and most controversial Queen.

As she lay on her death bed, the nation’s best doctors battled to save her life…

… but in vain!

When she was told that she was going to die, the unfortunate Queen began to weep.

>> She sobbed and said: “I will give millions for an inch of time!”

She had lived 70 years of pursuing wealth, fame and pleasure

>> She had servants to cater to every whim

>> It is said she had 10,000 dresses in her wardrobe with atleast 2000 pairs of gloves alone!

>> She was the queen of the kingdom which was considered to be “one on which the Sun would never set”

Yet, this apparently powerful and rich Queen of England, died – pleading for “An Inch of Time”

This is the reality of our earthly lives….

>> No matter how materially rich we are…

… none of these would count as being important, when death arrives!

>> No matter how popular and fame we acquire while on earth…

… all of it would be reduced to nothingness, when the end comes!

The only thing that would matter, would be…

… Have we made God as the ultimate treasure and meaning of our life and live by His Will?

… Are we humble enough to acknowledge and depend on the Providence of God?

>> The sooner we realise this, the more meaningful would our lives be…

>> The further we delay, the deeper would be the moments of anxieties in life!

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful reminder by Jesus to have an examination of the “longings of our hearts” and to set right “first things first”!

Jesus says: ” Do not store up treasures for yourself on earth….” (Mt 6: 19)

Every human being has an innate longing and a craving to go beyond transitory, transient and peripheral aspects of life.

>> It is this dimension that is described in terms of…

… longing for eternal happiness

… desire for peace and serenity

… yearning for the Absolute

… deep thirst for God etc…

There is a search for the Eternal….. a pursuit for the Everlasting.. in every human being!

However, very often in this quest, human beings go astray and go off track, by falsely seeking for the Eternal, in mere peripheral objects.

>> These objects vary for different people…

… It could be wealth, power, prestige, sex, drugs, other addictions, worldly attachments etc.

We often build up for ourselves castles and mansions in this physical world…

… and remain under the false pretence, that my life is comfortable and everything is very good.

Our hearts & minds gets set on “things of this world“ and we remain deceived with peripheral joys and temporary happiness and tranquility!

But today, the Lord warns us: “Have we stored up treasures on the earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves can steal?!” (Mt 6:19)

Jesus points to the fact that one must not have treasures “that would not last”

In this reference, he points to three entities: moth, rust and thieves.

1. Why moth?

Rich and extravagant dresses and garments were often expressions of wealth.

>> And moths loved to treat on such “ornate” dresses and garments

Garments, in the Bible, also refer to the dignity of a person, a symbol of righteousness and the sign of salvation

>> Moths eating such garments, point to the loss in spiritual agility and vigour!

2. Why rust?

Grains were also considered as a sign of prosperity and thus they would be stored in storehouses (as the parable of the rich fool suggests – Lk 12: 18b)

The Greek word used for ‘rust’ is “brosis” which literally means “an eating”

>> This could refer to how rats, mice, worms, and insects could eat away at these storehouses of grain!

>> If the wealth consisted of jewellery, then this ‘eating away’ could refer to “rust” (= the product of a chemical reaction in which oxygen combines with water vapour to form the oxide of the metal).

3. Why thieves?

Gold, precious metals and other costly goods would be another sign of richness.

They would be hidden by keeping them safe in the houses etc.

>> The most common method that was done was to find a secret place in the field and in the dark of night, a hole would be dug and the treasure would be buried.

But thieves would lurk around at night and watch where people would bury their treasure…

… and then go and dig it up.

The phrase “where thieves break in” could be literally translated “where thieves dig in.”

>> The houses of those times were constructed of mud; so thieves would often dig through the walls and steal the treasures!

Thus, our Blessed Lord warns against having our riches that ‘would not last’…

… those which could be consumed by moths

… those which could easily be eaten up or be rusted

… those which could be stolen and plundered by thieves

Instead the Lord says: “Store up treasures for yourself in heaven” (Mt 6:20)

We need to ask ourselves: Are we rich in what matters to God?

St Paul says, “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but be transformed by a renewal of your minds..!” (Rom 12:2)

Time and again, we like to stroll along in life, thinking, that…

… spiritual life, relation with God, Divine thoughts, holy practices, devout rituals are just not “happening” things!

>> We feel that they are too boring

>> We feel that they are reserved for the older generation people

>> We feel that they are not meant for the 21st century generation!

But.. for a moment..we need to pause and think…

We may not be thinking too seriously about our spiritual lives…

… But Jesus was really quite serious….

>> That’s why He DIED on the Cross…!

His bleeding death was real….His agony and pain and sufferings, for the sake of our sins, was real!



How long are we going to fool ourselves…?

>> Falsely inflating our egos and satisfying our craving desires…

>> Being satisfied with worldly pleasures…

>> Seeking momentary happiness…

Where our heart is…

… there will be our treasure! (Mt 6:21)

Let’s dwell deeper on the words of St Augustine:

“God, you have made us for yourself…. and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.”

All our earthly and material wealth will never give us “an extra inch of time”…

… but our spiritual longings and faithfulness, by God’s Mercy and Grace, will win for us “the reward of Eternity!”

Yes, let us soar like eagles, in our longings for God..

… .and not just be satisfied, like chickens, picking up tiny grains of worldly pleasures!

God Bless! Live Jesus!