Mar 01 (Mk 10:1-12)

An elderly couple narrates an incident in the life of their daughter.

A couple of weeks after the marriage of their daughter, they got a call from her.
>> The newly-weds had their first big fight.

After several tense moments over the phone, the mother gave the phone to the father and asked him to speak and console her daughter.

A few minutes later, the father came back to the mother, who had been sitting worriedly, in the living room.

“What happened? What did she say”, asked the tense mother.

“She wanted to come home” replied the father.

“Oh! Then what did you tell her?” enquired the worried mother

“I told her” said the father, “she was already home!”

Yes…
… once married, the husband and wife form one home, “leaving their father and mother”!
>> This was the truth that was explained by the father to her daughter.

Marriage is a sacred institution – a precious covenant – that demands a lifelong commitment and a faithful dedication, despite the ups and downs of life.

It is this message that is driven home by Jesus in today’s Gospel when He expounds His teaching on the sacredness of the Covenant of Marriage.

The passage begins with a testing interrogation by the Pharisees, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” (Mk 10: 2a)

St Mark clearly points the intention of the Pharisees in asking this question to Jesus: “To test Him” (Mk 10: 2b)

Jesus was in the district of Judea, across the Jordan (Mk 10:1)
>> Is there something specific in this particular detail being mentioned – “across the Jordan”?

“Across the Jordan” was the place where John the Baptist had been working (Jn 1: 28)
>> By mentioning the place, St Mark alludes to the outcome that had befallen on John the Baptist.

John the Baptist had got into great persecution because of his open-condemnation of the adulterous relationship of King Herod with Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. (Mk 6:17)

>> By putting forward the “same question of divorce” before Jesus, the Pharisees were laying a much greater trap…
… If Jesus condemned divorce, it could amount to an act of treason against King Herod, the ruler of the land!

John the Baptist had lost his head due to the strong stance on the issue of divorce
>> Now Jesus, is also being snared into such a life-threatening trap!

But Jesus remains the Person that He is – uncompromising, unflinching, convinced, bold and daring!

A big lesson for us too, to learn from Jesus…
>> There will be situations in life when people get into our skin, trying to put us into confusion and even states of danger…
… Can we still remain undaunted and courageous to stand firm on our convictions and principles?

Jesus came to the world to demonstrate the magnanimity of God’s Love.

This magnanimity includes…
… His unconditional manner of loving us, irrespective of our worthiness
… His unreserved faithfulness to us, despite our many acts of betrayal and disloyalty

It is this model of God’s love that becomes the blueprint for us in loving others, and especially in a marriage relationship.

The partners, pledged in love to each other in marriage, ought to imitate the love that God has for us…
>> We have cheated and strayed away from what God wants of us…
… He still loves us and is faithful to us

>> We have, on innumerable occasions, spat at His face by our shameful deeds and defamed His name by our sinful acts…
… He still holds us close to Him and remains loyal to us

>> We have, despite many warnings, purposely hurt Him in thoughts, words and deeds and even rejected His graces by not co-operating with His Will for us…
… He still waits patiently for our return and constantly seeks to draw us to Him

>> We have failed Him many times, but He has always made efforts to try to win us
>> We have hurt and pained Him much, but He has still longs for us, with His soothing balm of acceptance

It is this “magnanimity of God’s Love” that becomes the basis, the inspiration and the ideal in every marriage relationship.
>> Therefore Jesus says, “What therefore God has joined, let not man put asunder” ( Mt 19: 6b)

We live in a world where the quickest solution to many problems is found in “throwing it away!”
>> And the same mentality affects human relationships too… especially to those in marriage.

The challenge therefore is to dare to swim against these worldly currents and bring in the “Jesus Culture of Faithful Commitment” in human relationships, especially of marriage.

Theoretically speaking, this sounds quite good and wonderful.
>> But when it comes down to the actual practice.. in married lives… it is undoubtedly a very hard effort.

“But what is impossible for humans is possible for God” (Lk 18: 27), is the assurance of Jesus.

When the going gets really hard and we want to call it ‘quits’ in our relationships…
… let us look to Jesus who said “Yes to the Will of God” in the painful agony at Gethsemane

>> There may seem no hope ahead…
>> There may appear only meaninglessness ahead…
Still, can we say Yes to God’s Will – to be faithful and committed?

When none of our efforts of restoration work out and we get ‘fed’ up and feel to have reached the ‘limit’ in relationships…
… let us look to Jesus Crucified, who was never ‘fed’ up with our misdeeds and our constant misunderstanding and misuse of His love

>> It may look like the end of the road…
>> It may seem that all the past was mere fantasy and the future appears to be non-existent…
Still, can we hold on to Hope in God – to be true to our promise and be loyal?

The promises made…
>> to our Faith in Baptism
>> to the spouse in Marriage
>> to the Lord in Consecrated and Priestly Life
… all demand an undissolved commitment, an undiluted faithfulness and an unmixed dedication.

May we grow in the understanding of “being faithful and committed” to our relations…
… and seek to “feel at home” – with God and with one another!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Marriage…
… is a knitting together of two hearts”
——————————

Feb 28 (Mk 9:41-50)

An experience is narrated of a family who went to visit the world-famous Niagara Falls.

It was spring, and ice was rushing down the river.

As the family members viewed the large blocks of ice flowing toward the falls, they could see that there were carcasses of dead fish embedded in the ice.

A large number of sea-gulls ( = birds, which feed mainly on fish) were riding down the river, feeding on the fish.

As they came to the brink of the falls, their wings would go out, and they would escape from the falls.

However there was one particular sea-gull, which seemed to delay much in flying.
>> It was deeply engrossed in the carcass of a fish.

Finally, only when it came to the brink of the falls, did it “flap its wings”.
…But it was a moment too late!

The bird flapped and flapped and even lifted the ice out of the water.
>> But it had delayed too long so that its claws had frozen into the ice.

The weight of the ice was too great, and the gull plunged into the abyss!
>> Excessive attachment and attraction, at the expense of “letting go”, cost the sea-gull its life!

How true is the saying: “The finest attractions of this world become deadly when one becomes overly attached to them.”

The Gospel of the Day is the powerful exhortation of Jesus on the need to “cut-off and pluck-off” ANYTHING which causes us to sin…
…thus according the prime duty of every follower of Christ to meticulously and diligently pursue the paths of holiness!

Jesus uses an extreme language to convey this message across:
“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: 43,45,47)

The hand….the foot… and the eye.. are three faculties which are extremely vital for a person’s activities:
The hand: points to the things “that we do”
The foot: points to the places “that we go”
The eye: points to the things “that we see or desire”

Jesus, thus refers to ANYTHING, which causes sin, to be totally be dismembered.

We need to make an honest examination of our lives…

What are the areas of my life, which cause me to sin…
… and keeps me away, from pursuing holiness?

Who are the people in my life, who lead me to sin…
… or keep me away from becoming closer to the Lord?

Which are the activities, which instigates me to sin…
… and renders me a slave to the wiles of the devil?

As human beings, there could be a naturally tendency….
… to easily get attached to things which attract and allure us
… to find it hard to let go of situations which gives us momentary pleasure and vain gratification
… to be impelled to remain holding onto certain people, even though we know they cause us to sin

But the Lord calls for an honest examination of our life…
…and dares us to “let go” of anything that would cause us to be unworthy of His Love.

May we seek to not get “attached” or “stuck” to the peripheries of life…
…instead “flap our wings” in the proper time…
… and pursue the paths of holiness and sanctity!

Let our lives be a saintly one, attracting many to Christ…
… and not a scandalous one, repelling many from Christ!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–
*Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS)* – “Whatever part of riches or transitory things you may possess, you must keep your heart from the slightest affection for them.
>> Do not allow this heavenly spirit to become captive to earthly goods”
——————————-

Feb 27 (Mk 9:38-40)

A man possessed a ring set with wonderful diamonds.
>> This ring was a charm – whoever wore it, became so sweet and true in character that all people loved him.

It was always passed down from father to son, and always it did its work.

As time went on, it came to a father who had three sons whom he loved with an equal love.
>> What was he to do when the time came to pass on the ring?

The father had an idea…
… He made two other rings made precisely the same way – so that none could tell the difference.

On his death-bed he called each of his sons in, spoke some words of love … and without telling the other, gave to each a ring.

When the three sons discovered that each had a ring, a great dispute arose as to which was the true ring.

The case was taken to a wise judge.

>> He examined the case, and then spoke:
“If the true ring gives sweetness to the character of the man who wears it,” said the judge, “then I and all people will know the man who possesses the true ring by the goodness of his life.
So, go your ways -Be kind, Be truthful, Be brave, Be just in your dealings.
>> He who does these things will be the owner of the true ring.”

The owner of the original ring was to be found by the life that they lived!

Am I a possessor of the “Ring” of Christian Faith?
… then it needs to be displayed by a life of faith and love

>> Am I wearing the “Ring” of being a follower of Christ?
… then it needs to be exhibited by a life of conviction and commitment

The incident in today’s Gospel focuses on how Jesus opens the minds of His disciples to “not get limited” by peripherals of religion…
… Instead to focus on the power of God and to live a life worthy of our Christian Calling!

One of the disciples – John – told Jesus: “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following Us” (Mk 9:38)

An act of demoniac-healing was being conducted by one who was “not in Jesus’ group”

The disciples were alarmed by it…
… they felt it their duty to forbid it, since that man was outside their “boundary”
… they would have felt within themselves, “How can he who is not with us, do such things?”
… there might perhaps even been a tinge of jealousy, since sometime back, they themselves couldn’t heal a possessed-boy (Mk 9:18)

This incident of the Gospel has a marked parallel in the Book of Numbers 11: 25-29
>> The Lord had spoken to Moses and bestowed the spirit on seventy chosen elders
>> Among them, two named Eldad and Medad were not in the gathering, but left in the camp
>> Joshua, came rushing to Moses and complained, “Stop them… they are prophesying in the camp”
>> To that, Moses replied sternly, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!” (Num 11: 29)

Many times, among the “chosen people”, there could be such a tendency to “monopolize” Divine gifts
>> There could be occasions when “selected persons” feel themselves to be having a special right and privilege, to which no others can lay claim!

But the Lord seeks to break such fake boundaries and false borders, by telling:
“Whoever is not against us, is for us” (Mk 9:40)

The quality of our Christian Life will be not assessed, simply by the vocation to which we are called…
…but by our life of faithfulness and fidelity

>> The Christian Vocation is not merely a “title” to be hung around in pride…
… it is a responsible duty that is to be carried out with sincerity and earnestness

>> The Call to be a member of God’s Kingdom is not merely a “plaque” to be carried around for gratification…
… it is an accountable task that is to be performed with dedication and perseverance

Yes…
> We need to let go of our “restricted, narrow and prejudiced” mindsets and be open to the working of God’s Spirit, in any people

As Christians, we all are blest with the “ring” of being called the followers of Christ
>> Let us live a life of faith and love, conviction and commitment – and become to worthy to be truly called as the “Children of our Heavenly Father”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ What good is to build houses in Spain…
… when we live our lives in France!”
——————————–

Feb 27 (Mk 9:38-40)

A man possessed a ring set with wonderful diamonds.
>> This ring was a charm – whoever wore it, became so sweet and true in character that all people loved him.

It was always passed down from father to son, and always it did its work.

As time went on, it came to a father who had three sons whom he loved with an equal love.
>> What was he to do when the time came to pass on the ring?

The father had an idea…
… He made two other rings made precisely the same way – so that none could tell the difference.

On his death-bed he called each of his sons in, spoke some words of love … and without telling the other, gave to each a ring.

When the three sons discovered that each had a ring, a great dispute arose as to which was the true ring.

The case was taken to a wise judge.

>> He examined the case, and then spoke:
“If the true ring gives sweetness to the character of the man who wears it,” said the judge, “then I and all people will know the man who possesses the true ring by the goodness of his life.
So, go your ways -Be kind, Be truthful, Be brave, Be just in your dealings.
>> He who does these things will be the owner of the true ring.”

The owner of the original ring was to be found by the life that they lived!

Am I a possessor of the “Ring” of Christian Faith?
… then it needs to be displayed by a life of faith and love

>> Am I wearing the “Ring” of being a follower of Christ?
… then it needs to be exhibited by a life of conviction and commitment

The incident in today’s Gospel focuses on how Jesus opens the minds of His disciples to “not get limited” by peripherals of religion…
… Instead to focus on the power of God and to live a life worthy of our Christian Calling!

One of the disciples – John – told Jesus: “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following Us” (Mk 9:38)

An act of demoniac-healing was being conducted by one who was “not in Jesus’ group”

The disciples were alarmed by it…
… they felt it their duty to forbid it, since that man was outside their “boundary”
… they would have felt within themselves, “How can he who is not with us, do such things?”
… there might perhaps even been a tinge of jealousy, since sometime back, they themselves couldn’t heal a possessed-boy (Mk 9:18)

This incident of the Gospel has a marked parallel in the Book of Numbers 11: 25-29
>> The Lord had spoken to Moses and bestowed the spirit on seventy chosen elders
>> Among them, two named Eldad and Medad were not in the gathering, but left in the camp
>> Joshua, came rushing to Moses and complained, “Stop them… they are prophesying in the camp”
>> To that, Moses replied sternly, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!” (Num 11: 29)

Many times, among the “chosen people”, there could be such a tendency to “monopolize” Divine gifts
>> There could be occasions when “selected persons” feel themselves to be having a special right and privilege, to which no others can lay claim!

But the Lord seeks to break such fake boundaries and false borders, by telling:
“Whoever is not against us, is for us” (Mk 9:40)

The quality of our Christian Life will be not assessed, simply by the vocation to which we are called…
…but by our life of faithfulness and fidelity

>> The Christian Vocation is not merely a “title” to be hung around in pride…
… it is a responsible duty that is to be carried out with sincerity and earnestness

>> The Call to be a member of God’s Kingdom is not merely a “plaque” to be carried around for gratification…
… it is an accountable task that is to be performed with dedication and perseverance

Yes…
> We need to let go of our “restricted, narrow and prejudiced” mindsets and be open to the working of God’s Spirit, in any people

As Christians, we all are blest with the “ring” of being called the followers of Christ
>> Let us live a life of faith and love, conviction and commitment – and become to worthy to be truly called as the “Children of our Heavenly Father”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ What good is to build houses in Spain…
… when we live our lives in France!”
——————————–

Feb 25 (Mk 9:14-29)

A story is told of a master who had a disciple, for a long time.
>> Though the disciple was an extreme simpleton, the master persisted with him, on account of his sincerity.

One day, a rumour spread in the village that the disciple was walking over the waters of the river.

On hearing the news, the master asked the disciple: “Is it true, that you crossed the river, by walking on the water?”

The disciple said: “Yes, O Master. It was all thanks to you. I repeated your name with deep faith and trust, and I could cross over the river!”

The Master said to himself: “If my disciple could walk over the waters, surely I should be able much more.
>> If repeating my name can work a miracle, why not make an attempt!”

So saying, the master began to walk on the waters, uttering his name…
… only to drown into the waters!

His feeble and wavering faith, had got him drowned!

The master thought only a mere repetition of his name would work a miracle: A peripheral faith!
>> The disciple had complete confidence that a miracle could be worked: A powerful trust!

Faith is something that comes from within…
>> True faith requires the peeling away of the “layers of doubts”

The Gospel of the Day is an incident of how a “peripheral faith” is exposed and how a teaching is given to move into the realm of “powerful trust”

The reading in focus is that of some of the disciples of Jesus, who failed to heal a possessed boy, and the chiding that was followed by Jesus.

Jesus, was along with His “chosen within the chosen” disciples – Peter, James and John – on the mount of Transfiguration (Mk 9: 2-13)

Meanwhile the other disciples were approached by a father, who brought his son – possessed by a demon – to them for a healing.
>> They were however unable to heal.

The father expresses this to Jesus, Who had come down from the Mount of Transfiguration:
“I asked Your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so!” (Mk 9: 18)

Why were the disciples unable to drive the demon?
>> Why did they fail in their task of healing the boy?

It was a moment of embarrassment and awkwardness for these disciples: being unable to cure the boy

In Mk 6: 7, we read: “Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out, two by two, and gave them authority over unclean spirits”
>> The power to cast out demons was delegated by Jesus to the disciples

Yet, they failed to heal the demon-possessed boy.

Why?

Jesus answers – through a cry of lament: “O faithless generation…!” (Mk 9: 19)
>> Jesus points to the lack of faith in the disciples

He drives home a very important dimension of Faith that we need examine constantly:
>> “Do you really believe in Me…?
… or is your faith more in your own-self?”

>> ” Are you totally dependent on Me… ?
… or are you being more self-reliant?”

The disciples had indeed found success in their ministry (Mk 6:30)
>> They also had witnessed the mighty powers of Jesus and were in astonishment (Mk 6: 34-51)

But somehow, perhaps, their faith had still not grown…their faith was still peripheral
>> Layers of self-dependence, pride, ‘only external piety’ were still formed!

Therefore Jesus, their Master…
… peeled and “unlayered” those layers

This “peeling of layers” was a necessity for the disciples…
… to begin to depend more on the Lord and His Authority, rather than their power
… to be always humble to allow to the Lord to be given all glory, rather than self-exaltation

Are there such layers in my practise of the Christian faith?
… Layers of pride? Layers of self-reliance? Layers of “only external piety?

Then the Lord will often take us through situations of difficulties, awkwardness and even humiliations or embarrassment…
… in order to not become self-reliant; instead to be God-reliant
… in order to not swell up in pride; instead to humble oneself to trust in God!
… in order to not have a mere external show of faith; instead to grow in interior holiness!

The Lord wishes that we grow higher in our faith… that we love Him more deeply, for His sake alone.

Let us allow Him to help us to move from a “peripheral faith” into the realm of “powerful trust”…
>> And thus in, deep trust, to cry out: “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mk 9: 24)

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ A sign that we truly love God is…
… that we love Him the same, in all occasions!”
——————————–

Feb 24 (Lk 6:27-38)

It is said that there is a joke among listeners of sermons and talks:

There are two Gospels:
(a) The “Gospel of the Easy” – the passages which are uncomplicated to comprehend and unproblematic to carry out.

(b) The “Gospel of the Tough” – the passages which are very difficult to understand, highly demanding in practicing and too taxing to be even considered as realistic and feasible!

The Gospel Reading of the Day would undoubtedly fall in the second category: A Gospel of the Tough!
>> And this Gospel of the Tough, has probably one of the most toughest sentence of the Gospels enshrined in it: “Love your enemies…” (Lk 6:27)

Many of us may feel that this statement is just way too ideal to be feasible and doable.

But well.. Facts remain facts…we like it or not.. we accept it or not!
>> And this fact that Jesus really meant to “Love your enemies…” is proved by what follows after this statement:

He gives some explanations for the same: (Lk 6:27-28)
>> Do good to those who hate you.
>> Bless those who curse you.
>> Pray for those who abuse you.

Jesus also gives some practical tips for the same: (Lk 6: 29-30)
>> If someone hits you, turn the other cheek.
> If someone takes your shirt, give your jacket too.
> If someone asks you, give him something.
> If someone steals your money, do not demand it back.

This is followed by the splendid Golden Rule: Do to others what you want others to do to you! (Lk 6:31)

Indeed, the teaching to “Love your enemies” is a reality and a fact and is a call to which we are invited to give heed.

That leads to a very practical question: Who are my enemies?

In general, an enemy is anyone who feels hatred toward, intends injury to, or opposes the interests of another.

The moment we hear the word “enemy”, our minds usually transports to some famous “enemies” of the world like some notorious terrorists or some dictators or rulers or gangs etc…

But the Lord is very particular in pointing out who are these “enemies”.

Jesus doesn’t restrict “enemies” to people who are against the state or the nation, but he specially means our personal enemies.

Who are these our personal enemies?
>> One clue we get from the words of Jesus, in Mt 10:36, “A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household”.

Oops! That’s pretty close, right?

Our personal enemies are not most often spread in Iraq or North Korea or Afghanistan or China etc…
>> We may perhaps never even visit these countries or encounter the people of these nations..

But our personal enemies are those in our homes…
… those in our close circles..whom we meet everyday…

People whom we meet regularly and whom we come in contact often are the ones whom most likely we can hurt or who hurt us….
… and over time…they become our personal enemies…

So, well..it’s time to identify a few enemies….a few personal enemies…
>> Do I own a grudge against the members of my family – spouses, parents, children ?

>> Do I possess hatred against the members of my community – superiors, companions, juniors, mates?

>> Do I kindle anger against my extended family members – siblings, in-laws, relatives?

>> Do I harbour ill-feelings against those with whom I work – bosses, colleagues, junior workers?

>> Do I maintain bad thoughts against the members of my church – priests, persons with religious duties, various associations?

>> Do I keep resentment against some other known people in life – friends, acquaintances, neighbours?

>> Do I entertain bitterness against many strangers – storekeepers, some walkers on the street, bus/auto/train people?

We have to admit it…
>> The ones who are close to us and who are more familiar are the ones who are hurt or who abuse us…
… and they turn out to be our “personal enemies”!

Yet, the statement of the Lord remains firm as a rock – “Love your enemies…”

So how do we love our “enemies”?

Here are some practical tips and suggestions:

1. Greeting them: Wishing them constantly atleast ensures we do not avoid them or dodge away from them.

2. Spread goodness: Answer constant avoidance with positive strokes of good deeds. Make the first move to heal.

3. Avoid evil-talk: Stop any bad utterances and expressions to flow from the mouth.
>> Every time we talk: either life comes or death.

The tongue has power!
>> Allow it to forgive and bring forth life.

4. Thank God for them: God seeks the good of ALL persons…including the one who is not liked by us.
>> Offer the person to this goodness and benevolence of God and be grateful

5. Pray for them: We may become helpless in our situation.
>> But through prayer, God has the great ability to gift pardon and mercy.

An honest heart will surely allow God’s love to flow through the relationship.

6. Ask God to Bless them: It’s hard to accept, but the enemy can be a gift from God.
>> Like Joseph in the Old Testament, who said, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Gen 50:20), the enemies become an cause for us to be humble, to keep us on our knees, to reveal our weakness & to expose our total need for God!

The teaching to – “Love your enemies…” is unmistakably a “Gospel of the Tough”!
>> Let the Crucified Lord be our model, our inspiration and our strength in our desire to live this “Gospel of the Tough”!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ We must not be disturbed at our imperfections…
… since for us, perfections consists in fighting against our imperfections!”
——————————–

Feb 23 (Mk 9:2-13)

A Christian business had the following note stuck on his door: “I follow the Submarine Spirituality!”

One of his client – interested in this caption – asked him its meaning.

To that, the man replied:
“No matter how furious the storm upon the surface of the ocean, the submarine is able to submerge to the deep and finds a place whose calm no storm ever disturbs.
>> The deep things of life are always calm and steadfast!

In Jesus I rest. In Jesus I stay calm.
In Jesus, I follow a Submarine Spirituality!”

Peace and calm are assured for those who are willing to “go into the depths” and allow the Lord to ensure the serenity of the soul
>> This is the experience of Transfiguration!

The Gospel of the Day recounts the beautiful narration of the Transfiguration of Jesus…
… whereby the disciples are given a glimpse to experience “the Glory of peace and calm!”

One of the easy tendencies in life is to “get used to”…
>> Get used to doing the same works and dealing with the same people.
A tendency of “monotony” creeps in

The danger with “monotony” is that…
… it can drain away enthusiasm from the works one does

This danger of “monotony” is a strong possibility even in our spiritual life.
>> We begin to take our faith for granted
>> We tend to view our devotions with casualness.

Prayers get boring.
>> The Holy Eucharist seems meaningless
>> Pious practices fails to generate any passion

The same danger was true even in the case of the Disciples.

The disciples had been with Jesus for a while now…
>> They had seen Him…
… performing many wonders
… teaching and addressing the crowds
… being the subject of many oppositions too

But slowly, as human tendency is – a feel of monotony would have begun to creep into their lives.

It is at this stage, that our Blessed Lord chooses three of His “core” disciples – Peter, James and John, and in their presence gets Transfigured! (Mk 9: 2-10)

The Transfiguration experience was something very special and unique for these disciples…
>> They saw our Blessed Lord glisteningly shining – His clothes being whiter “as no fuller on earth could bleach” (Mk 9:3)
>> They witnessed Moses and Elijah (Mk 9:4) – the great Lawgiver and the mighty Prophet – along with Jesus, Who was the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophet!
>> They heard the Divine Voice – “This is My Beloved Son; listen to Him” (Mk 9: 7b) – from the cloud; reminiscent of God Yahweh who would speak to His people of old, from the clouds

The three disciples were being introduced to a new perspective of their Master.
>> They saw Jesus – not in the usual way – but arrayed in His Divine Glory and Honour!

Jesus had not become something that He was not…
>> He was always God and was always the Second Person of the Divine Trinity.
All this while, the eyes of the disciples were kept away from seeing the fullness of glory – only sparks of Divinity was revealed to them

But now, here was a moment, though short – the Transfiguration – when the chosen disciples could come face-to-face with Divine Glory!

The moment of Transfiguration had made them see things in a new light…
>> Jesus was still the same – but they now saw Him, for a short moment, with a Glorious Glow

That is the splendour and glory of the moment of Transfiguration…
… when woundedness is refined into beauty
… when sufferings are graced into meaningfulness

Have we had this Transfiguration Experience?

Surely, we have had…

But perhaps, many of us fail to recognise it.. or acknowledge it
>> A moment…
… when our words have touched and sparkled a sad soul..
… when we ourselves have been healed in our brokenness by some Divine intervention
… when we experienced the light of God’s healing, restoration, forgiveness etc through the Sacraments of the Church
… when a pulse of joy and satisfaction raced through our veins in having rendered, perhaps, a tiny but significant act of service and care to a needy person
… when, in our brokenness or deep pain or lethargy, an encouraging word has revived our bent spirits

Many are such moments of Transfiguration in our life…
>> But the more we look deeper, the more we find, that God has blessed us immensely with such “Transfiguration” experiences.

It is these “Transfiguration” moments that will help us remain strong, even through the rough waters of troubles and struggles.
>> The power of Transfiguration on Mount Tabor helped to remain peaceful and calm through the stormy moments of Crucifixion on Mount Calvary for Jesus!

This Submarine Spirituality, whereby “no matter how furious the storm upon the surface of the ocean, the submarine is able to submerge to the deep and finds a place whose calm no storm ever disturbs”…
… is the invitation to each one of us are called to.

May this Gospel of the Transfiguration help us to be reminded of the assurance of the Lord that:
“The deep things of life are always calm and steadfast!”

May we always have the joy to proclaim:
“In Jesus I rest. In Jesus I stay calm.
In Jesus, I follow a Submarine Spirituality!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever…
… not even if the whole world seems upset
>> If you find that you have wandered away from the shelter of God…
… lead your heart back to Him – quietly and simply!”
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