Oct 1 (Feast of St Therese of Child Jesus)

Here is a creative invitation letter….

“Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and earth, Sovereign Ruler of the World…

… and the Most Glorious Virgin Mary, Queen and Princess of the heavenly Court…

… wish to invite you to the wedding of their Divine Son Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to Mademoiselle Therese Martin…

… now Lady and Princess of the kingdoms brought as dowry by her Divine Spouse, namely, the Childhood of Jesus and His Passion, of nobility being the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.

Monsieur Louis Martin, proprietor and owner of the domains of suffering and humiliation…

… and Madame Martin, princess and lady of honour of the heavenly court…

… wish to invite you to the wedding of their daughter Therese to Jesus, the Word of God, second person of the Blessed Trinity…

… who, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, became man and was born of the Virgin Mary!

Being unable to invite you to assist at the nuptial blessing which was bestowed on them on the mountain of Carmel (the heavenly court being alone admitted there)…

… they beg you, nonetheless…

… to be present at the return from the wedding which will take place tomorrow, on the day of Eternity…

… to which Jesus, the Son of God, will come on the clouds of Heaven to judge the living and the dead.

(The hour being still uncertain, you are invited to hold yourselves in readiness and to watch.)”

This was the letter written by St Theresa of Child Jesus, in the days of preparation of her Final Commitment to Jesus, in the consecrated life.

A letter…

… highly simply, yet deeply concentrated in mysticism and spirituality

… highly childlike, yet reverberating with immense love and passion for the Lord

Today, as we celebrate the Feast of this Amazingly Passionate lover of the Lord – St Therese of Child Jesus (St Therese of Liseux)

She is a saint…

… little in structure and deeds, but gigantic in her love of the Lord!

… unnoticed and unseen, but tremendously revered and loved for her way of love!

We live in an age that relishes and appreciates insights related to growth, maturity, accountability and responsibility.

>> There is a love to hear “high” theology…

>> There is a craze to talk “systematic” thoughts…

>> There is an interest to discuss “complex” spiritualities..

Not that these are bad or not to be promoted…but these “mature” talks ought not to take one away from the basic aim of true spirituality: Love God and Loving Neighbour!

There is a tendency that these “advanced” talks get jammed with only peripheral talks & fails to translate into true action & deeds.

>> It is here, that our Little Saint of the Day invites us to find a new freshness and sparkle in Spirituality.

> She is the Little Saint who dared to love the Big God!

> She is the Big Saint who presents to us the Little Way!

This Little Way of the Big Li’l Saint resonates with the Gospel of the Day when Jesus invites and declares that unless one becomes like a little child, one cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

For a child, everything is big!

>> The toys that one plays..the food that one eats..the houses that one sees…

>> Even the ones who take care… And especially, the ones closes to the child..probably, the parents….are very big too!

… They mean everything for the Child.

… They signify the ultimate for the Child.

This is the child-likeness to which The Little Flower grew.

> Her child-likeness has God as the Centre of her world…

>> God means everything for this Little Saint.

>> God signifies the ultimate for this Little Saint!

She saw herself as ‘a child’ but energized by God who directed her journey in faith.

> Her child-likeness does not promote childishness or immaturity or passivity.

>> Her child-likeness encourages deeper trust and maturity and enthusiasm.

This spirituality of the Little Way sounds too simple….and too little..

> But in fact and in practise, is a highly challenging one…

… Is God the centre of my world, when I get drunk with a sinful and immoral life?

… Is God the centre of my world, when I get over dependant on my material riches?

… Is God the centre of my world, when I bank upon my own wisdom in my works?

… Is God the centre of my world, when I insist on doing my will, over the Will of God?

Little Therese of Child Jesus, the Little Saint is also the Big Saint of Love!

The Little lover of God invites us…

… to adorn all our words with love

… to embrace all our actions with love

… to beautify all our thoughts with love

>> It could be speaking with friends…interacting with fellow workers…discussing some business matters..enjoying with family members..

>> It could be doing household works…handling massive finances…studying various subjects…performing some spiritual activites…

>> It could be thinking some philosophical views…reflecting about some people…considering about some situations…imagining some circumstances…dreaming some visions….

… Whatever be our words..or actions…or thoughts….let them be embellished in LOVE!

The Little Way… Sounds simple, but not so simple in practise, right?

Yet, there is much simplicity…cos God remains at the centre of every effort and attempt!

> There is much sentimentality, no doubt.

> There is much simplicity, no doubt.

But with or without all those feelings, the Little Way simply tells us to have God at the Centre of Everything…and do all in Love!

Love demands a fidelity in the countless mundane ‘little’ things of daily life

> The Little Way doesn’t eliminate Heroism, rather it’s brought within the reach of the poor.

The rains of love ought to shower every aspect of ordinary everyday life.

The Little Flower dares to throw “petals” at the Loving Lord…

> These petals even considered “worthless petals” by the world – a little sacrifice, a gentle smile, a kind word, an appreciative action!

Sometimes, these “worthless petals” are nothing more than a faithful effort.

But this fact of “having tried”, a good will “to do good”…. all these petals please the Lord!

Let us join the Little Saint to tread the Little Way.

>> She promised to “shower roses” on the way to those who dare…

As a child, let us hold the hands of this Li’l Big Saint to love deeper the Big Big God of Love…

… and be inspired by her words: “Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be.”

As we thank the Lord for the gift of all the blessings in the month of September, let us offer the new month of October into His Safe and Caring Hands…

… especially seeking the help of our Blessed Mother by praying the Rosary daily, in this Month of the Rosary – October!

Let’s ‘live Love to give Love’!

>> Let’s ‘live Jesus to give Jesus’!

Happy Feast of the Beautiful Little Flower!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Sep 30 (Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48)

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

… especially a wolf

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

>> Then he adds another layer of blood & another & another – until the blade is completely concealed by frozen blood.

Next, the hunter fixes this blood-coated knife in the ground with the enticing sharp edge of the blade upwards.

When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent, he begins to lick it, tasting the fresh, frozen blood.

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

So great becomes his craving for blood that…

… the wolf is mysteriously unaware of the naked blade on his own tongue

… nor does he recognize the instant at which his thirst is being satisfied by its OWN warm blood.

Unknowingly, his life leaks away…as his craving for the tempting blood increases….!

The Result?

>> A Dead wolf!!

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

Is not the effect of sin in our lives following a similar style?

>> Like the bear, we are attracted to Sin – something which “looks” pleasurable, which “appears” good and which “seems” nice

But the danger that lurks behind these “deceptive” looks are not taken into consideration.

We continue to take pleasure in the “blood” of sinful pleasures and tempting enticements.

But we fail to realize that “slowly getting used to sin and sinful ways”, our life is being drained out and we are inching towards our death.

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus making a strong exhortation on the dangers posed by Sin and the intense need to overcome anything that comes on the way of holiness.

Jesus says, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off…

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

If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it off..” (Mk 9: 43-47)

These are very strong and powerful words of our Blessed Lord.

Our Lord came to the World as a Saviour – to redeem the world from sin.

>> It is sin that causes separation of human beings from God.

Therefore the Lord clearly asks to us make choices and radical decisions to let go of anything that can cause us to sin or move away from His Holy Will.

We need to examine our lives and check…

… My hands:

> Do I engage in activities which are uncharitable and which causes pains and hurts to others?

> Do I fail to extend my hand to those in need and those whose lives can be bettered by my helping hand?

… My feet:

> Do I stray away into paths of immorality, injustice and indifference?

> Do I fail to direct my ways on the path of righteous living, holy conduct and true worship?

… My eyes:

> Do I direct my eyes into things which are unbecoming of my way of life and with an intention to fulfil my sinful inner cravings?

> Do I move away from seeing the suffering and miseries in the world and become closed to discover the spark of Divinity in the other?

Jesus wishes that our Christian lives, not become a scandal or a stumbling block to the other…

… Rather, He desires that we be honest to our calling as a Christian..

… and walk firmly and with courage, in the path of perfection with Him and towards Him!

Let us be inspired by the words of Servant of God, Fr Peter Marie Mermier – the Founder of the MSFS Congregation (Missionaries of St Francis de Sales)

>> The most virtuous (people) avoid sin and great faults…

… but they are careless in the practice of virtue.

It is not enough to avoid evil but it is necessary to do good

… The love of God is efficacious.

>>There is nothing as strong and as active as love. It is a devouring fire!

And with respect to prayer…

“The ministry of a priest without prayer, is a barren ministry, without any effect, even harmful; it is a ministry of death!

… instead of enlightening, it blinds;

… instead of healing, it kills!

>> But the ministry of the one who prays, is a ministry of life!”

Let us seek to avoid the dangerous deception of sin…

…. And instead – armed with prayer – let us be virtuous in daily acts of love!

Happy Founder’s Day to all the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Sep 29 (Feast of the Archangels)

The Church professes and proclaims Her faith in God which is encapsulated in the Nicene Creed.

The Nicene Creed begins with the proclamation, “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE.”

The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith!

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Three Archangels – St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael.

Archangels are one of the nine choirs of angels. (cf. Eph 1:21, Col 1:16)

In ascending order, the choirs or classes are 1) Angels, 2) Archangels, 3) Principalities, 4) Powers, 5) Virtues, 6) Dominations, 7) Thrones, 8) Cherubim, and 9) Seraphim.

The Feast of the Three Archangels – St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael is an opportunity to learn more about them and to grow in deeper devotion and fondness for them.

St. Michael

The name of the archangel Michael means, in Hebrew, “Who is like unto God?”

St Michael is known as “the prince of the heavenly host.”

He is usually pictured as a strong warrior, dressed in armour.

St Michael makes an appearance in the Bible on four occasions:

In Dan 10:13and in Dan 12:1, he appears as the special guardian of the people of Israel.

In Jude 9, he appears in a dispute with the Devil.

In Rev 12:7-9, he fights against Satan and his evil forces.

What does St Michael teach us?

St Michael teaches us to depend on the power of God in our battle against the forces of Satan

St Michael teaches us to guard ourselves against the disguises and snares of evil forces.

St Michael teaches us to become a guard and protector of our fellow brothers and sisters.

St Gabriel

The name of the archangel Gabriel means, in Hebrew, “God is my strength”

St Gabriel is known as a “messenger of God”

He is usually pictured announcing something and sometimes with a lily or a sceptre.

St Gabriel makes an appearance three times in the Bible:

In Dan 8:15–26 and 9:21–27, he appears to Daniel to explain his visions

In Lk 1:11-38, he appears to Zechariah and Mary to deliver the good news from God

St Gabriel invites us to listen to God’s voice and inspirations through various sources.

St Gabriel invites us to find courage in situations of fear, by trusting in God’s Providence.

St Gabriel invites us to be open to surprises and wonders the Lord works in our lives.

St Raphael

The name of the archangel Raphael means, in Hebrew, “God has healed?”

St Raphael is known as “a wonderful helper and fellow traveller”

He is usually pictured walking with a young boy, sometimes carrying a staff.

St Raphael makes many appearance in the Book of Tobit in the Bible:

St Raphael appears disguised in human form as the travelling companion of Tobias, the son of Tobit.

St Raphael inspires us to discover God as the healing balm in our afflictions and hardships.

St Raphael inspires us to walk boldly with God in all the terrains and valleys and paths of life.

St Raphael inspires us to trust in God in seemingly hopeless and impossible hurdles of life.

Let the celebration of this Feast of the Three Archangels – St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael help us to grow in our love for our heavenly friends.

The Lord wants us to grow in holiness.

The Lord wants us to be protected in His care.

The Lord wants to be fearless in being His beloved Child.

May the Archangels help us in this our journey of life.

Happy Feast Day!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Sep 28 (Lk 9:18-22)

Nature teaches and inspires us!

One of the beautiful lessons we learn from nature is from one of the most amazing flowers – The Sunflower!

The Sunflowers literally ‘follows the sun’!

(Technically, it is called “heliotropism” i.e. ‘sun turning’)

They turn to the sun, following it all day…

… from its rising in the east to its setting in the west!

It is even found that on a cloudy day…

… if any glimpse of the sun appears, the sunflower finds and follows it!

The sunflower is a beautiful symbol of our spiritual journey…

>> Of how, we need to constantly ‘look to the Lord’, the Sun of our Life!

>> Of how, we need to always ‘follow the Lord’, the Sun of our existence!

This “looking to the Lord” and “following the Lord” finds its practical expression…

… in a life of prayer!

The Gospel of the Day presents before us with St Luke’s version of the familiar passage, of Jesus asking His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?”…

… beginning with “Jesus praying in solitude…” (Lk 9:18)

The Gospel of Luke is also known as the Gospel of Prayer.

He highlights the aspect of Jesus spending time in prayer….

>> At the time of His Baptism, Jesus prays (Lk 3:21)

>> At the time after a ministry of healing, Jesus goes to pray (Lk 5:16)

>> At the choosing of the Twelve, Jesus spends the night in prayer (Lk 6:12)

>> At the time of the Transfiguration on the mountain, Jesus was praying (Lk 9:28)

>> At the request of His disciples, Jesus teaches them the ideal and the model prayer (Lk 11:1)

>> At the garden of Gethsemane, before being led to His passion and sufferings, Jesus prayed (Lk 22:41)

>> At the final breath, in the agony and pain of His imminent death on the Cross, Jesus makes a prayer (Lk 23:46)

The ‘Praying Master’ through the ‘Gospel of Prayer’ exhorts us to some crucial and practical aspects of our life:

>> Do I spend special time in prayer…

… before important and critical times and decisions of our life?

>> Do I enjoy spending time in prayer…

… and seeking to grow in my relationship with God, our Father?

>> Do I cling to God in intense and deep prayer…

… in our time of suffering and pains?

>> Do I make prayer a way of life and rhythmic…

… with every moment of my day?

It is only when we build a strong rock-solid foundation of prayer that we can be bold in witnessing our faith!

The world may have varied responses to the question, “Who do people say that I am?”.

>> Many saw only the zeal and fiery exhortations on repentance…

… and identified Him with John the Baptist

>> Many saw only His mighty acts and deeds…

… and considered Him as Elijah

>> Many saw only His authoritative power in preaching…

…and considered Him a Prophet

But they failed to see Jesus truly as the One He really was – The SON OF GOD!

It is only when we are in prayer that we can know the Lord more…and deeper!

>> The understanding of the Real Jesus can be experienced only through our moments of prayer.

How is our life of prayer?

… Personal

… In the Family/Community

Personally, we must make it a point to spend at least sometime, daily, in prayer

>> As a family/community also, we must make a priority, daily, to come together in the presence of the Lord!

Personally, we will have a lot of activities and feelings to keep us away; but we must still be faithful to our time of prayer

>> As a family/community also, there would come many things to give us excuses; but we must still be insistent on having our time of prayer together!

The words of St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina inspire us:

>> “Prayer is the best weapon we possess. It is the key that opens the heart of God.”

>> “Let us glance at the Divine Master who prayed in the Garden and we will discover the true ladder which unites the earth to Heaven…

… We will discover that humility, contrition and prayer make the distance between man and God disappear, and act in such a way that God descends to man, and man ascends to God, so that they end up understanding, loving and possessing one another.”

Yes, the Lord encounters each one of us today personally and puts forward the same question,

“Who do YOU say that I am?”

>> May we, “like the sunflower, that follows every movement of the sun”, turn towards the Lord and walk, with joy, looking to Him, and radiating his Love!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Sep 27 (Lk 9:7-9)

Fred Bock was one of the most renowned, recognized and respected Christian music composers, arrange, studio musician, organist, pianist, choral director and music publisher.

One of his famous write-ups (read and known to many of us) titled “One Solitary Life” goes thus…

“Born in an obscure village, He was the child of a peasant woman.

He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty years old, and then for three years He travelled around the county, stopping long enough to talk and to listen to people, and help where He could. He never wrote a book,

>> He never had a hit record, He never went to college

>> He never ran for public office

>> He never had a family or owned a house.

>> He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness.

>> He had no credentials but Himself.

But when He was only thirty-three years old, the tide of public opinion turned against Him, and His friends rejected Him.

> When He was arrested, very few wanted anything to do with Him.

After the trial, He was executed by the State along with admitted thieves.

> Only because a generous friend offered his own cemetery plot was there any place to bury Him.

This all happened nineteen centuries ago, and yet today He is the leading figure of the human race, and the ultimate example of love.

Now it is no exaggeration to say that all the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that have ever set sail, all the rulers that have ever ruled, all the kings that have ever reigned on this earth, all put together have not affected the life of man on earth like One Solitary Life.”

Undoubtedly, we know on whom is this write- up on…… Jesus, of Nazareth!

A Man who was hidden in the shadows of ignorance… yet enjoys the title of being the Most Famous Person in the World!

>> A Man who sought fame from His works… yet enjoys the privilege of being the Most Impressive Person in the World!

Do we know Him?

Do we REALLY know Him?

Or do we, like King Herod, in the Gospel of the Day, end up asking, ” Who then is this about Whom I hear such things?” (Lk 9:9)

When we scan through the pages of the Gospel of St Luke from Chapters 4-9, we find that Jesus was acquiring new heights of fame, popularity and public acclaim.

His words and teachings were…

… ringing in the bells of transformation

… challenging the integrity of the religious leaders and civil authorities

… providing a cushion of hope and encouragement to the lost and the marginalized

His acts of wonders and powers were…

… instilling excitement in the lives of people

… causing the people to have reminiscences of the great prophets of old

As a result the people began to discuss and to say, “John has been raised from the dead; Elijah has appeared; one of the ancient prophets has arisen” (Lk 9:8)

Such rumours, reports and recounts caused a lot of worry for King Herod.

>> The flames of anxiety were scorching his mind…

>> The waves of guilt were drowning his heart…

And therefore, with a highly guilty conscience, in fear and trembling, King Herod puts forward his theory on the Dilemma of this Mysterious Divine Person, ” John I beheaded. Who then is this about Whom I hear such things?” (Lk 9:9)

> The enigmatic personality of Jesus was casting clouds of fear and guilt over King Herod!

> The charismatic work of our Blessed Lord was plunging King Herod into the ocean of haunting and forgettable memories!

Yet, King Herod failed to establish a relationship with our Blessed Lord.

> His mind failed to move beyond the realms of wonder and amazement, to wanting a bonding with the Messiah!

> His heart failed to cut across the barriers of doubts and anxiety, to forge a yearning to receive a touch of the Saviour!

Is our life also sadly moving along the same lines, as that of King Herod…?

>> Is our life of sin and our life of not wanting to take the risk of trusting Him, just like King Herod, causing us to miss out on cherishing a relationship with our Blessed Lord?

To King Herod….

… Jesus only remained a mysterious and stupefying character

… Jesus only remained a person who disturbed his conscience

King Herod was unable to…

… accept Jesus as His Saviour

… accept Jesus as the Lord of his life

We also have surely heard a lot about this wonderful Divine Person named Jesus.

… But has He been able to capture our minds and hearts and do we co-operate with Him to be possessed by His love?

We also have had ample opportunities to grow in our spiritual life and to be receiving a number of teachings on His Divine Word

… But has the Word of God truly become the rule and the guiding principle of our life?

It’s nice to be attracted to the power of God… to praise His wonders.. to be amazed at His awesome deeds.

But it’s just not enough to remain at this peripheral level.

Our Blessed Lord came…

…. not to simply amaze, but to attend to our sins and failures

… not to simply charm, but to challenge our lethargic lives

He wishes that we truly embrace Him…

… as the Lord of our lives

… as our Personal Saviour and Master

Jesus who lived a “Solitary Life” has made a great impact on the world

>> May our personal life also give testimony to this fact and may we truly radiate the Mighty Presence of Jesus in our lives!

Let us seek the intercession of St Vincent de Paul, the Patron Saint of Catholic Charities, on his Feast Day…

… giving heed to his words: “If Christ is the centre of your lives, no words are necessary.

>> Your mere presence will touch hearts!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Sep 26 (Lk 9:1-6)

A young man worked in an umbrella factory.

>> It was one of the largest umbrella factories in that area in terms of machinery and area.

One day, with a discouraged heart, he went to his Parish Priest and expressed:

“Father, I will have to hunt another job”

The priest was surprised, as he knew that the boy was good at his work.

He enquired, “What is the matter?

>> Do you have some issues with the company’s management?”

“No, it’s not that” came the reply.

“Does not your factory have enough orders to keep going all the time?” was the next query.

“No, it’s not that, Father” said the boy, “The factory actually has more orders than they can fill”

“Then what is the matter, my Son”, enquired the concerned priest.

“Well, they haven’t enough electricity to keep all the machines going at once.

>> And my machine has to remain idle for a greater part of the day, and I lose so much of time and pay.

The actual trouble with the factory is that…

… they have more machinery than power!”

>> The necessary equipments were available for production, but the required electricity was unavailable!

>> The needed machinery was at hand for manufacturing, but the mandatory power was unobtainable!

Does this sort of a tragedy hit our Christian lives as well?

… Am I possessing all the required resources to proclaim the Gospel message, but unfortunately failing to have the most essential aspect of God’s Power within me?

… Am I having all the necessary entities to give witness to Christ’s Teachings, but sadly, unable to be endowed with the most important element of God’s Spirit in me?

Is my Christian life being reduced to a state of “having more machinery, but less Power?”

The Gospel of Day is an exhortation by the Lord on the need to “be endowed with His authority and be filled with His power” in order to have a faithful and committed life as His disciple and His Missionary.

Jesus sends the Twelve on a Mission.

The Gospel of Luke narrates this procedure beautifully with a 2-step strategy..

1. He empowers them from within: “He summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority…” (Lk 9:1)

2. He exhorts them to be free from outside: He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey…” (Lk 9: 3)

Jesus wishes and makes sure that His disciples are “empowered from within”

>> This is an authority that makes them to be true ambassadors of the Kingdom of God

>> This is a power that causes them to be filled with the divine gifts to conquer evil forces

Jesus also wants and strongly exhorts that His disciples are “to be from outside”

>> This is a detachment from worldly things and in turn, causes them to be truly dependent of God, the Highest Power

>> This is a freedom from possessions, attachments and links that makes one to be wearied, slackened in spirit and weighed down with anxieties

Each one of us, as Christians, are to be a disciple of the Lord and a Missionary of the Kingdom.

Can I also give heed to the words and message of the Lord…

… to be “empowered from within”

… “to be free from outside”

>> I can be “empowered from within”…

… by spending quality time with the Lord, regularly, and renewing my zeal and commitment to Him

… by seeking to listen to His voice addressed to us in various situations and people and following His Will … by being obedient to His teachings and following the commandments and requirements of the Commandment of Love

>> I can be “free from outside”…

… by letting go – gradually and radically – my self-centered interests and selfish desires

… by realizing my limits and growing in awareness of the majestic power of the Lord in my life

… by constantly reviewing my life to check whether I get entangled in worldly ways and unbecoming lifestyles

Today we celebrate the Feast of St Cosmas and St Damien, the twin-saints.

>> Strictly observing the command of the Lord: “Freely have you received, freely in turn give” (Mt. 10: 8), they came to be known as “anargyroi” – the silverless…

… and their witness of charity and generosity of spirit converted many to the Catholic Faith.

May we seek their intercession and be inspired by them, to constantly be on the watch…

… and to avoid our Christian lives in being reduced to a state of “having more machinery, but less Power!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Sep 24 (Lk 8:16-18)

Some scientific experiments are fairly simple and practical, yet quite interesting and exciting too.

One such experiment, which some of us would have tried or seen others doing…

… is producing fire with the help of a magnifying glass.

The magnifying glass is kept in front of a piece of paper with the sunlight falling on the magnifying glass, in such a way that a small bright dot appears on the paper.

>> In sometime, with a strong sunlight, one is able to observe that the paper has caught fire!

The magnifying glass acts as a medium, to let the sunlight pass through and converge, in order to generate fire!

>> The magnifying glass plays a significant role in transferring the heat of the sun to objects which are focused!

Our Life as a Christian ought to be similar…

In the Gospel of the Day, Jesus tells to His disciples, “No one, after lighting a lamp, covers it with a bowl or puts it under the bed; rather he puts it on a lamp stand, so that people coming in may see the light…” (Lk 8:16)

This passage in the Gospel of St. Luke is just preceded by the Parable of the Sower (Lk 8: 4-15).

>> The parable of the Sower beautifully illustrates the various modes of reception of the Word of God.

When the Word of God is welcomed and received with a open heart, one is able to bear fruit…fruit in abundance.

>> A person, who receives God’ Word with an open heart and a receptive mind is able to reflect it in one’s life.

And this is where, a Christian Life resembles a Magnifying Glass which allows God’s Word to pass through and kindles others with the fire of His love!

We need to be an open and active medium allowing God to permeate through us, in order to let others experience His Love!

Do I…

… allow God’s word to work in me, so that the depressed may experience God’s light of joy and happiness?

… sanction God’s power to direct me, so that the suffering humanity may experience God’s light of healing?

… permit the seed of God’s word to take root in me, so that the sinful may experience God’s light of mercy?

… agree to the authority of God to control me, so that the weak may experience God’s light of strength?

… let God’s commandments to guide me, so that the wayward may experience God’s light of acceptance?

Jesus says, ” No one, after lighting a lamp, covers it with a bowl or puts it under the bed…”

Times have changed drastically however…

Earlier times, one used to be proud to call oneself as a Christian and witness boldly to be known as one.

>> Today, perhaps, many of us feel a tweak and go a bit uncomfortable when called publicly as a Christian!

What was a matter a pride some years has today possibly become a matter of awkwardness and uneasiness.

How well do I witness the Light of Christian Faith to the world outside?

There are many tiny yet significant gestures and practical actions by which we may be hiding the Christian Light in us, with a bowl, and not allowing it to shine forth…

>> Feeling ashamed to bow publicly before the Blessed Sacrament or as we enter a Church…

>> Feeling uneasy to make a sign of the cross or say prayers before meals when many are there…

>> Feeling embarrassed to be called a Christian or a Consecrated person in a secular surrounding…

>> Feeling disinterested to carry a Bible or wear a crucifix around the neck or hold on to a rosary etc…

>> Feeling strange to either wear or avoid certain dresses or habits, especially thinking what will others feel…

>> Feeling awkward to say about Jesus or the Gospel virtues to our friends, thinking that our thoughts are naive…

>> Feeling bored to participate in the Sacraments and show no interest in making extra efforts to prepare for them…

There are many more occasions wherein we may be losing out a chance to witness Christ and His Love!

The nature of the sun, is to shine upon and enliven the whole earth.

>> But if one puts a magnifying glass in the rays of the sun over a paper, this light of the sun will turn into fire.

The nature of God’s love is to shine upon and enliven the whole universe.

>> But if we act as a magnifying glass, united with Jesus, our Lord, this light of God’s Love will turn to fire!

Let us let the light of love to burn and blaze like a radiating fire through our lives!

>> Shine, Jesus, Shine!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Sep 23 (Mk 9:30-37)

A young American student, on a visit to the Beethoven museum in Bonn, became fascinated by the piano on which Beethoven had composed some of his greatest works.

(Beethoven is one of the most famous and influential music composers of all-time)

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

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

… and the guard agreed!

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

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

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

The guard shook his head.

Then he gave a reply which shocked the girl: “Padarewski [the famed Polish pianist] was here a few years ago…

… and he said he wasn’t worthy to touch it.”

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

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

Great people realize the significance and prominence of others…

… and in humility, lower themselves in rightful acknowledgement!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was teaching them…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Sep 22 (Lk 8:4-15)

“Hello… Hello? Are you there?”

Most of us use mobile phones…

>> One of the most common troubles that many of us face in the usage of mobiles is the problem of range (network).

There are many a times, especially, when one happens to frequent rural areas, that a message pops up on the mobile screen…

…”Network not found!”

…”Out of Range!”

We feel ourselves so much lost and becoming impatient when such situations arise.

This level of anxiety increases all the more when we have an urgent call to be made or in an emergency!

Sometimes, one person keeps muttering and talking…

… but the other one, having lost range, fails to hear anything!

All that remains perhaps is: “Hello… Hello? Are you there?”

Well… there is so much of tension and stress suffered when we miss our range or our network…

Isn’t it?

But have we ever given a thought to what will happen if God goes out of range, in dealing with us?

>> Perhaps many of us, might not even become aware that sometimes we are in a “no-network” zone with God!

Through the Gospel of the Day, the Lord invite us to examine the level of life that I am, in my spiritual life.

The Parable of the Sower broadcasting an uncounted number of seeds is very much familiar to us.

A great number of seeds are sown…and they fall on varieties of soil…and the reactions of each one is varied too.

>> A great number of words are spoken by God…and they fall on varieties of ears…and the response of each one is varied too..

1. Seeds falling on the way – an Attitude of “Paying no mind” to God’s words.

The seeds that fell on the way were trampled upon….and the birds of the sky ate it up.

>> God’s words are often not given due consideration…

…we remain unaffected and unmoved by it.

>> God’s words are often not given due importance…

… we take for granted as being too common and familiar.

>> God’s words are often not given due respect…

… we fail to esteem the seriousness and gravity of the Word of God!

2. Seeds falling on the rocks – an Attitude of “Passing”

The seed that fell on the rocks, when it grew, withered for lack of moisture.

>> The Word of God sometimes makes us very thrilled…

… but we soon become slack and sagging and lethargic.

>> The Word of God sometimes finds quick response…

… but we soon die out in the commitment and dedication.

>> The Word of God sometimes makes us take radical decisions…

… but we soon fade in our enthusiasm and passion!

3. Seed falling among the thorns – an Attitude of “Preoccupation”

The seeds that fell among the thorns got choked by the thorns.

>> God’s words often gets strangled…

… in the midst of immoral living and corrupt practices.

… in the presence of many diluting and misleading spiritualities.

… with too many materialistic and worldly concerns and affairs.

4. Seed falling on the good soil – an Attitude of “Perception”

The seed that fell on the good soil gave fruits of various measures.

>> The Word of God when received properly brings true joy and happiness to life.

>> The Word of God when received properly helps us to share the love and joy of the Lord.

>> The Word of God when received properly makes our life a source of blessings for others

God goes on speaking… He goes on sharing His Word…

>> Am I paying no attention to Him?

>> Am I taking His words just for passing?

>> Am I being too much preoccupied with many things and fail to listen to Him? Or…

>> Am I perceiving and understanding His word clearly and able to produce fruits for the Kingdom of God?

Let us make sure that we are in the range and network of God..

>> He constantly keeps calling us and sends many SMSs.

Are we listening to Him?

“Hello… Hello? Are you there?”

God bless! Live Jesus!

Sep 21 (Feast of St Matthew, the Apostle)

An interesting story is said of a Christian Missionary woman who had been doing the work of evangelization among a native group of tribals.

After she had been with them for a while, and after the natives had experienced the Power of the Lord…

… they gave her a new name: “Aim-day-co”

The Chief of the Tribe, in explaining the name, said:

“In our tribe, when we see anyone taking a wrong route/road, we call out “Aim-day-co”

>> It means, “Turn this way!”

Our sister came from a far-away land and found us all on the wrong road.

>> She sensed that we were in great danger of losing our souls.

So she stood and said “Turn this Way”…

… and pointed to Jesus!

May God bless “Aim-day-co”!

Are we ready to be an “Aim-day-co” in the lives of people?

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus Who became an “AIM DAY CO” in the life of St Mathew…

… and today, on the Feast day of St Mathew, we celebrate, how, in turn, this Great Saint has become an “Aim-day-co” to all of us, by his Gospel!

One of the important and essential dimensions of an encounter with our Blessed Lord is the “transformation effect” on the person.

If one has had a genuine encounter with Him…

… one cannot be passive

… one cannot just remain the same

>> Either one shakes off the dust of sin and slackness and follows Him in sincerity

… or one tries to cast Him off from life and adamantly remains in one’s own desires!

>> Either one takes radical decisions in life and orients one’s conduct in accordance with His Will

… or one seeks to do away with all Divine inspirations and obstinately sticks firm to one’s personal interests!

In any case, an “encounter with the Lord” causes an effect in life – either for the good or towards rejecting the impulses of Divine Goodness.

Do I respond positively and emphatically to the call of the Lord…

… or do I sink into an attitude of grumbling, complaining and disinterestedness?

On this feast day of St Matthew, the Apostle, the Gospel of the day presents these two “contrasting reactions” in the encounter with Jesus…

>> Matthew…. who hears the call of the Lord – “Follow Me” (Mt 9: 9)

>> The Pharisees… who observe the lavishness of God’s mercy and react with grumbling and complaining (Mt 9: 11)

Jesus very emphatically declares, ” Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Mt 9:12)

This verse is the key to understand and gauge the style of reaction, when we encounter the Lord…

>> The one who needs Him – will relish Him!

>> The one who feels no need of Him- will reject Him!

>> The one who acknowledges that one is sick, weak and in need of God’s grace and mercy – will find in Him a Saviour!

>> The one who vehemently says that one is all fine, self-motivated and strong willed – will fail to find any consolation in Him!

Here then is a wonderful check-meter to test my passion, my longing and my intensity of love for the Lord…

>> Have I discovered that by myself I cannot achieve everything that life demands of me….?

… and in the Lord alone, I have the answer to my problem and a solution to the puzzles of my life!

>> Do I realise that as a human person, I often fall into the snares of sin and can get easily caught up in evil traps… ?

… and in the Lord alone, I have the antidote to sin and a remedy to overcome the pitfalls of wickedness!

St Mathew presents a beautiful picture, of embracing the Lord fully into life because He realised and discovered the intimate need of the Lord in his life.

>> He experienced Jesus as an “Aim-day-co” – the One Who told him “Turn this Way”…

… away from the ways of sin and Turn towards the Way of Salvation!

… away from the ways of corruption and Turn towards the Way of Christ!

May we be inspired by him and seek his intercession and imitate his example in surrendering ourselves totally to the Sovereignty of our Blessed Lord…

>> And thus be an “Aim-day-co” – the one who tells “Turn this Way”…

… to many people in our lives!

Happy Feast of St Matthew!

God Bless! Live Jesus!