Feb 19 (Mk 8:14-21)

A little boy – staying in the city – was to go with his family to his native village with his family.

On the night before leaving, he made a prayer to God:

“Good bye, Dear God!

>> We are going to the village tomorrow.

See you after 5 days! Take care!”

Though this prayer expresses a lovely dimension of prayer…

… and the innocence of a child’s immense love for God

>> This prayer is also a reflection of many of us “elders” who feel that when we move away from familiar places/situations…

… we are out of the sight of God!

Is my life of faith only dependant on “familiar situations” and “moments of comfort”…

… to feel that God is near me?

>> Do I feel very uncomfortable and lost spiritually, when things seem too alien or situations seem to be too unfamiliar?

The Gospel of the Day presents an experience of the disciples…

… an experience of not “feeling the closeness of the Power of Jesus”, despite the fact that He was with them

…an experience of “feeling lost and uncomfortable” on facing an unfamiliar situation.

Jesus is off on the boat again, with His disciples, to travel to the other shore (Mk 8:13)

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread along with them, and they had only one loaf with them. (Mk 8:14).

Jesus, meanwhile, began to make use of the time of journey, for rendering a teaching on True Discipleship.

Incidentally, He spoke on the need to be aware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod…

… the leaven of malice and wickedness (1 Cor 5:8)

… the leaven of deception and misleading (Gal 5:8-9)

The disciples, however, got it all wrong.

Their minds were still focussed on the bread.

>> They were still figuring how out, how they missed to get bread.

>> They were still trying to see how they could all adjust, with one bread.

And so, when Jesus spoke of leaven – one of the main ingredients in bread – they thought that Jesus was chastising them, for not having taken bread.

But Jesus now shows the disciples what is to be the main focus…

>> He makes them realise what was more important and needed.

The disciples were more concerned…

… with food and security.

… with material needs and concerns.

But the Lord, now, reminds them to “become aware of the Power of His Presence”

He exhorts them to peel off…

… the layers of only material concerns

… the layers of only worldly needs

… the layers of only earthly apprehensions.

The disciples were concerned that they had only one bread…

>> But they failed to see that they had the One and Only Bread of Life!

The disciples were concerned that their food may not be sufficient…

>> But they failed to see that they had the One who multiplied bread for four thousands and five thousands!

They failed to understand!

>> They failed to look beyond!

In our life journey, we too sometimes fall short of material and earthly needs.

• Do we also get perplexed and anxious like the disciples?

• Do we also fail to see beyond and realise the more important needs of life?

• Do we also fail to understand that the presence of the Lord matters much more than any other earthly aspect?

Let us realise and understand that even when things seem too alien or situations seem to be too unfamiliar…

… God and His Power is close to me!

We might sometimes feel that when we move away from familiar places/situations…

… we are out of the sight of God.

But let us come to realise that even in “unfamiliar situations” and “moments of discomfort”…

… God is near me!

Let us fill…

… the apparent emptiness of our lives with the Love and Spirit of the Lord.

… the seeming vacuum within us, with the Peace and Passion for the Lord.

God bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “When stags have put on too much flesh, they move away and hide in the bushes.

>> They are not aware that they are burdened with fat, and would not be able to run fast, if they happen to be attacked.

So when our heart is burdened with useless, irrelevant and dangerous attachments…

… we surely cannot run towards God – promptly, joyfully and easily – which is the true sign of devotion!


Feb 18 (Mk 8:11-13)

A television program preceding the 1988 Winter Olympics featured blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing…

… impossible as that sounds.

(Slalom Skiing is a snow-mountain skiing between poles or gates.

>> The poles are These are spaced more closely than those in other types of skiing

… and therefore requires quicker and shorter turns.)

Paired with sighted skiers, the blind skiers were taught first, how to make right and left turns.

>> When that was mastered, they were taken to the slalom slope, where their sighted partners skied beside them shouting, “Left!” and “Right!”

As they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skiers’ word.

>> It was either complete trust or catastrophe!

This is a vivid picture of the Christian life!

>> In this world, we must rely solely on the Word of the only One who is truly sighted–God Himself.

>> His Word gives us the direction we need to finish the course.

This requires immense faith

This requires hopeful belief

The Gospel of the Day is an example of how we become resistant and stubborn in refusing to have this faith and belief.

This is reflected by…

… the constant refusal of the Pharisees to believe in Jesus

… the adamant denial of the Pharisees to accept Jesus

We are in the eighth chapter of the Gospel of St Mark.

Jesus performed an amazing miracle of the multiplication of the loaves…for about four thousand people (Mk 8:1-9)

From there, Jesus proceeds to the region of Dalmanutha (Mk 8:10)

On reaching this place, the religious leaders namely the Pharisees, came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test Him (Mk 8:11).

But the Lord responded with a “sigh, from the depth of His spirit” (Mk 8:12)

What made Jesus to respond so strongly?

Is Jesus against asking signs?

>> Is Jesus against lack of faith?

>> Is Jesus against having doubts?

The answer to perhaps all the three questions above is…

… not in the affirmative!

Jesus is NOT necessarily against asking signs…

The Bible is a witness to many people asking for signs from God…

• Gideon asked for a sign from God (Judg 6:17)

• Moses asked God what sign would prove to Pharaoh that he was sent by God ( Ex 4:1)

• Elijah promises what Elisha had asked for, on the condition of a sign (2 Kg 2:10)

Jesus is NOT out rightly against lack of belief or unbelief…

• The unbelieving Thomas, was chided, but not condemned by Jesus, after His resurrection (Jn 20:27-28)

• The lack of faith of the disciples is saddening for Jesus, but He does not reject them (Mk 4:40)

• The father, whose boy was possessed with a demon was blessed with a healing, on his acknowledgment of littleness in faith (Mk 9:24)

• The emotionally unsettled and wavering Peter is given another chance to prove his loyalty despite his rejection and denial of faith in Jesus (Jn 21:15-17)

Then what is Jesus against?

Ø Jesus is terribly against those people…

… who reject faith, despite many signs and wonders that are plainly presented

… who demand for greater miracles for merely curiosity and excitement

… who make use of the powers of God for personal satisfaction and gratification

… who remain stone-hearted, unmoved and indifferent despite clear indications and signals from God.

The Pharisees represented this class of people, whom the Lord had a terrible dislike and aversion…

… because of their attitude of indifference

… because of their mentality of coldness

… because of their outlook of rejection

Am I also a person who constantly rejects signs and wonders from the Lord, and fail to grow in faith?

>> Am I also a person who remains obstinate and indifferent to God’s powers, and fail to be open to God’s movements in my life?

The Lord is constantly speaking to us through various miracles.

>> The Lord is constantly moving our hearts through many blessings.

>> The Lord is constantly inspiring our lives through immense wonders.

Our Christian life requires us to rely solely on the Word of the only One who is truly sighted–God Himself.

>> His Word gives us the direction we need to finish the course.

This requires immense faith

This requires hopeful belief

Let us be open and docile to Him!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ A heart of love, loves the commandments and the more difficult it seems, the more sweet and pleasing they become…

… because it pleases the Beloved and gives Him more honour!


Feb 17 (Lk 6:20-26)

Dieticians and Nutritionists offer various advices and tips on how to have a healthy lifestyle

For example, they point out diverse foods that can be either beneficial or be harmful for good health…

>> Too much of caffeine affects the body.

>> Certain foods leads to cholesterol and may cause heart diseases.

>> Fruits and vegetables with vitamins and other nutrients, anti-oxidants etc supply greater energy and vitality.

Many follow this routine and practice in their lifestyle…

>> Some to reduce; some to maintain!

>> Some to stay fit; some forced, due to their ill-health!

Whatever be the motive…there seems to be a principle behind this: “Your health is what you eat”

A similar principle can also be perhaps applied to the spiritual realm: “Your spiritual health is what you seek and feed your soul”

The Gospel of the Day says in Luke 6:21, “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled”

We are given a challenge to inspect and  examine:

>> How is my Spiritual Appetite?

>> What is the craving that I have for God and His Kingdom?

>> Am I really hungering for what matters most in my life and what should take highest precedence in my life?

Perhaps, some of us have not known real hunger…

… or we have simply got used to getting our food!

Hunger to us may only mean…

… waiting for an extra ten-fifteen minutes for food to be served

… not getting the food that I like or not being served the taste that I wish

… missing the regular food-time and then gulping down a meal from a roadside hotel etc..

And because we don’t realize much the importance of the word HUNGER…

…. we perhaps fail to grasp the urgency and the importance when Jesus says: ” Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled”!

As a result, probably, we tend to satisfy our hunger…

… through the food of amassing enormous wealth and money

… through the food of acquiring many titles and positions and power

…. through the food of many unhealthy practices and habits and addictions

But the Lord says, ” Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled”

Filled with what?

>> Food? Money? Long life? Promotions? A perfect family? A trouble-free life?

….No, no, no!

Mt 11:28 says, “Come to me…”!

It is in Jesus alone that all our hunger can be satisfied and all our cravings be fulfilled!

>> If we are hungry…

… let us go and eat of the Bread of Life!

>> If we are thirsty…

… let us go and drink of the Water of Life!

>> If we are weary or heavy laden…

… let us go to His Heart and find rest!

>> If we are guilty…

… let us go to Him, the Saviour and be forgiven!

>> If we are far from God…

… let us go to Him and be reconciled in His arms!

Yes… in the Kingdom of God, everything begins with a hunger…

… a craving

… a search

… a seeking

This is what St Augustine said: “O God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you!”

Perhaps we need to reverse and turn upside the way we have been thinking and perceiving..

Maybe we have been thinking that riches and material prosperity is that which really matters in life…

… but Jesus says, ” Blessed are the poor…the Kingdom of God is yours”

>> Have we discovered and experienced Him as the only One who is the True Richness and the Authentic Treasure of our lives?

Maybe we have been thinking that we are totally satisfied with great food and our every taste is fulfilled…

… but Jesus says, “Blessed are you who are hungry…you will be filled”

>> Have we discovered and experienced Him as the only One who can truly satisfy the hunger and thirst of our lives?

Maybe we have been thinking that we are quite happy in life and all our leisure and entertainments give us so much joy…

… but Jesus says, “Blessed are you who weep…you will laugh”

>> Have we discovered and experienced Him as the only One who can bless us with true joy and genuine happiness in our lives?

Maybe we have been thinking that we are quite safe when all people praise and flatter us in life, especially when we gain popularity at the cost of some Gospel values or virtues of life…

… but Jesus says,” Blessed are you when people hate you because of Me…a great reward is kept for you”

>> Have we discovered and experienced Him as the only One who is worth facing all difficulties and problems in order to be standing up for our Christian values and principles?

Our spiritual health depends very much on what we really seek for and what we feed our souls.

Jesus, the Dietician and the Nutritionist of our Lives, today, wants to make us fit and fine and agile in our spiritual life.

>> Come, let us make the necessary changes in our life so that we may enjoy better health and life…

… in the Lord!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) –”Do not think that you will be able to succeed in your affairs by your own efforts, but only by the assistance of God.

>> And on setting out, consign yourself to His care…

…believing that He will do that which will be best for you.”


Feb 16 (Mk 8:1-10)

Two Christian friends were talking about their life experiences.

One of them said: “It is so very hard to trust God and to realize that His Hand is still leading us in the dark phases of our life!”

“Well”, said the other, ” if you cannot trust a person out of sight, then he/she is not worth much!

>> And if you cannot trust God in the dark, it simply shows… you don’t trust Him at all!”

That’s quite a point, isn’t it?

We find our Christian Faith often on an easy course, when things go on well.

>> But when difficulties come our way, our “trust” level is questioned.

It is in these “questionable moments of trust” that we tend to enter into a “zone of limitation”

We tend to think in a limited and restricted manner.

>> We tend to limit ourselves to our inadequacies and narrowness.

But God loves to challenge us to move beyond such boundaries and borders!

Yes, human beings tend to think in a limited fashion, but God loves to expand our possibilities.

>> Human beings tend to get bogged down by boundaries, but God loves to throw open our horizons.

The Gospel of the day is a clear illustration of this expansion of human horizons and possibilities, through the miracle of the feeding of loaves…

… and thus trusting Him deeper!

Jesus is with His disciples and huge crowd.

>> They are once again in a situation of having a want of feeding this huge multitude.

It’s interesting to highlight the patterns in the attitudes of Jesus and the disciples.

Jesus sees the hungry crowd and His heart moved in compassion…

>> The disciples saw the hungry crowd and probably their minds were moved in tension!

Jesus expresses His concern and care to feed the hungry crowd…

>> The disciples express their frustration and urgency to send the crowd away at the earliest!

Jesus foresaw the possibility of immense fulfilment and satisfaction in the deserted area…

>> The disciples got stuck with seeing only barrenness and emptiness in the deserted area!

Jesus moved in action, to enquire about the possibilities of feeding the people…

>> The disciples groaned in inaction at the plight of having to feed the people!

The disciples concluded impossibility by their mathematical calculations…

>> Jesus concluded possibility by His Divine calculations!

The disciples saw only the desert…

>> Jesus looked beyond – to find an oasis in the desert!

How often are we too like the disciples…

… limited in our thinking

… restricted by our inabilities

… stuck by our mental calculations

But Jesus invites us, like He did to His disciples…to look beyond…

.. to look at Him who can shatter every obstacle and barrier!

… to look to Him who can expand every horizon and possibility!

… to look to Him who can turn deserts into pools and hills into highways!

Yes, we will have moments in our life which makes us to complain:

“It is so very hard to trust God and to realize that His Hand is still leading us in the dark phases of our life!”

But we are reminded by the Gospel of the Day:

“If you cannot trust a person out of sight, then he/she is not worth much!

>> And if you cannot trust God in the dark, it simply shows… you don’t trust Him at all!”

Let us dare to move out of the “zone of limitation” and trust the Lord…

… knowing He is always with us – caring, loving and providing…

… and thus sing with the Psalmist: “O Lord, You have been our refuge, from one generation to the next” (Ps 90:1)

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “By giving yourself to God, you not only receive Himself in exchange…

… but eternal life as well”


Feb 15 (Mk 7:31-37)

There is a beautiful little anecdote in the life of St Mother Teresa of Kolkotta, probably, known to many of us.

As Mother was cleaning the wounds of a leper, a man observed her.

The sight of the leprous wounds and the horrible stench caused that man to exclaim with disgust, “I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars!”

In reply, the saintly mother replied:

“Neither would I!

But I would gladly do it for Jesus!”

The love for the Lord and imitation of His descending love, prompted Mother Teresa to reach out her hands, even to the worst sores and the filthiest wounds!

>> Divine Love manifests its great power and reveals its glorious splendour, when it descends to even touch the lowliest, the least and the lost!

The Gospel of the Day is a wonderful presentation of Jesus, who was willing to lower to an extent, even to “dirty Himself” in order to touch human lives!

This incident of healing the ‘man who was deaf and had a speech impediment’ is very unique in the fact of the manner in which the miracle was performed.

The Book of Genesis (Chapter 1) testifies to the fact that God created the entire world with His Word!

> God doesn’t need a particular or a fixed procedure to work a miracle or a wonder

> God doesn’t comply to human understandings of causing a divine phenomenon.

Perhaps, here is a reminder for us, in our prayer patterns…

>> In my prayers, do I also make my requests in such a way that I end up even commanding how and when God should answer the prayer?

>> In my intercessions to the Lord, do I act as “God” and even order God the style and manner in which He has to answer our prayers?

Keeping in tune with this principle of “God as His own unique styles and patterns”, Jesus, the Word performs a strange pattern in bringing about the healing.

The Gospel says, “taking him (the man who was deaf and with impediment in speech) aside, from the multitude privately, Jesus put His fingers into His ears, and He spat and touched His tongue, and looking up to heaven, He sighed…” (Mk 7: 33)

Here is a highly “unclean and unhygienic” style of healing…

>> Putting fingers into the ears…

>> Spitting onto the hands or the finger..

>> Touching the tongue..

Well sounds quite disgusting, right?

(Even while reading this account, some of us might, perhaps, have a “Gosh! So horrible” feeling!)

But let’s be prepared to face this grand reality….

~~ This is our God!

~~ This is our Saviour Lord!

>> In Jesus, we celebrate a God who is willing to heal even our most painful wounds and cleanse our most sinful sores!

>> In Jesus, we cherish a God who lowers Himself even to the extent of dirtying His hands to purify and refine us!

Am I willing and ready to allow this Daring God, who would go to any extent..

> to win us back to Him

> to bring a wholesome healing in us

… to touch our hidden wounds, our shameful sores and our filthy sinful lives?

This is also a challenge and a call, to us Christians, to imitate our Blessed Lord in lowering ourselves…

… to reach out to the needy and the wanting

… to touch the hearts of the unclean and the corrupt

The beautiful quote of Blaise Pascal says, “The heart has its reason, which reasons know nothing”

Humanly speaking, it might be too unreasonable to enter into the portals of dirt and slimes in the lives of people.

>> But our Blessed Lord challenges us to imitate Him and offers His Heart of Love to be the “thumb rule” and the basic reason to reach out to all!

Are we prepared to “dirty” our lives in order to extend the charity and mercy of God to all…

…and thus, as in the title of the book on Blessed Mother Teresa, make our lives, “Something beautiful for God”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


*Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS)* – “We must never undervalue any person. The workman loves not that his work should be despised in his presence.

>> Now God is present everywhere, and every person is His work.”


Feb 14 (Mk 7:24-30)

A highly contagious virus has affected human life, down through many centuries – societies, communities and families.

This contagion is not some strand of flu that affects the body

This contagion is not even a digital malware spreading from computer to computer.

This contagion is the virus named “blaming”.

This virus – “blaming” – is perhaps the easiest culprit for many of the problems that we face in our lives.

Whenever our plans fail… we “blame” other people.

Whenever things don’t go the way it is expected… we “blame” our luck or the stars

Whenever we face personal problems and crisis…we “blame” our situations and surroundings

Often our problems find a scapegoat in this virus named “blaming”

Often our defeats find a cause in this contagion named “blaming”

But the Gospel of the day presents an amazing personality who overcomes and overpowers this virus of “blaming” and wins for herself the favour of the Lord.

The Gospel passage is the incident of Jesus’ encounter with a Gentile woman who comes seeking for a cure for her daughter, from a demon.

“…a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit, heard about Jesus. She came and fell at His feet” (Mk 7:25)

This person who came to Jesus went through a string of ignominies and exploitations…

• She had to face humiliations because she was a woman…

The Jewish society accorded a lowly and highly subjugated status to women

• She had to face disgraces because she was a Greek…

The Greeks, who were considered pagans by the Jews, were treated with inferiority.

• She had to face dishonour because she was a Syrophoenician…

A Syrophoenician denoted a mixed race – half Syrians and half Phoenician; thus denoting also a crisis in cultural and linguistic identity.

• She had to face scandal because she had to approach Jesus who was a pure Jew…

Greeks and especially Greek woman had no interaction at all with Jewish men

• She had to face crisis because her child was possessed with an unclean spirit…

A demon-possession in her beloved daughter would have chased away all her peace of mind.

• She had to face challenge to her faith when the Lord addressed to her in an apparently disrespectful manner…

Being called as a “dog” would have put off the mind of a weak and frail person

Well.. this Syrophoenician Greek woman, had many things to complain in life…

She had a number of reasons to “blame” and get defeated in life…

Ø She could have just “blamed” the society for their inhuman attitudes…

Ø She could have just “blamed” the citizens for their class divisions…

Ø She could have just “blamed” the civilization for their cruel outlooks…

Ø She could have just “blamed” her stars and fate for what happened to her daughter…

Ø She could have just “blamed” Jesus for His challenging and apparently resistant answer…

She could have just kept “blaming” anybody and anything….and get bogged down totally!

But this woman decides to overpower and overcome this “virus” of blaming.

She decides to close her eyes to all humiliations and yet stand strong with a bold face!

She decides to overlook all setbacks and defy the odds with her deep convictions and trust!

As a result, the Lord rewards her immensely and her daughter was delivered of the demon!

Are we people who get easily afflicted by the contagion of “blaming”?

Are we people who are easily paralysed by the virus of “blaming”?

The Syrophoenician woman, by her tremendous faith and bold trust is a challenge to us.

The Syrophoenician woman, by her amazing determination and resolve is an inspiration for us.

Our society, our families, our own individual selves are often under the grip and possession of this contagion of “blaming”.

Let us approach the Lord for a deliverance…

Let us approach the Lord for a liberation…

February 14 is popularly celebrated as Valentine’s Day.

Jesus, the True Lover illustrates the real meaning of love…

… by inviting us to move from our blame-game attitude to taking responsibility in life

… by laying down His Life for us and showing us the value of being optimistic in life

Jesus, our True Lover… invites and challenges us to grow in this area of our life!

Yes, the Lord…holds our hands, and in deep love and affection asks us:

“Will you be My valentine forever?”

Let’s not blush….let’s not be shy…

>> Instead in deep faith and true commitment, pledge forever, our love to the Lover of all Hearts!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ It is a fact that people are always well aware of what is due to them.

>> Unfortunately, they remain oblivious of what they owe to others!”


Feb 13 (Mk 7:14-23)

“Mamma”, said the child, feeling quite disturbed, “I feel very upset today, ‘cos my teacher corrected me!”

The mother – who was washing dishes – looked at the child and told him, “look at what I am doing…”

>> The child looked at the mother, washing the dishes

Pointing to a set of vessels that had been left unwashed overnight – she said:

“Look at these vessels

>> It is very hard to scrub these – ‘cos the dirt is stuck for a long time

So the easy method, is…

… to dip them in hot water

… keep it soaked for sometime

… and then wash!”

Then taking the child close to her, she said, “That’s how it is in life as well!

Sometimes when we are stuck with things that are not good…

We need a nice dip in the “hot waters of correction”

… remain soaked in the “feel of contrition”

>> So that we can “emerge clean!”

Always remain, therefore, open to corrections!”

Are we persons who remain open to corrections…

… so that feeling contrite, we can emerge clean?

The Gospel of the Day is a strong act of Jesus reminding the Scribes and Pharisees to undergo the process of “being washed”…

… and to be “scrubbed off” the long stuck dirt of duplicity and hypocrisy.

The Gospel begins with the statement, ” Jesus called to Him the people and said to them…” (Mk 7:14)

Jesus calls together the multitude to Himself to speak something…

>> Jesus brings aside the people to Himself to address to them something…

The background to this action of Jesus, is the context of the unfair remarks of the Pharisees and Scribes about Jesus and His disciples, in Mk 7: 1-14.

The scribes and the Pharisees had objected that Jesus’ disciples failed to keep up the tradition of the Elders to have the ritual washing before eating.

This exercise of ritual washing was more a ceremonial one.

They attached greater importance to external cleanliness over internal purity.

>> They accorded higher priority to hygiene outside than to transparency within.

They would not bother, hearts being corrupted, but they would not tolerate dirty hands!

>> They would despise unwashed hands, but they would bypass filthy hearts!

But Jesus is in prime opposition to all such deceitful and corrupt human practices.

>> He flays the Scribes and Pharisees for their misplaced priorities.

>> He slams the Scribes and Pharisees for their misleading interpretation of purity.

And so, Jesus summoned the crowd and explained what is the meaning of real cleanliness and purity:

“Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile” (Mk 7: 16)

Indeed, a remarkable statement from Jesus, the Purest and the Holiest One!

It is not just our hands alone that matter; it is our hearts that matter most!

>> It is not just our medical hygiene that counts; it is our lives that needs consideration the most!

The Pharisees and the Scribes for a long time, had enforced importance only to external purity and outside cleanliness.

Their authority was to used to stamp the importance of rituals and traditions, which were meant to…

… only emphasise bodily cleaning, but avoiding transparency in life

… only highlight cleansing of external parts, but overlooking sanctity of heart and mind

But, Jesus comes in great opposition and places things in the right perspective.

>> He reminds them of the “need for correction!”

Perhaps, we are also in “need of a correction”…

… let us therefore make a self-introspection:

>> I may be appearing to be clean outside…

… but is my heart pure and holy?

>> I may be appearing to be an angel to the world…

… but am I a barn of devilish actions within?

>> I may be appearing to be very good to all…

… but am I full of anger, jealousy and greed inside?

>> I may be appearing to be successful…

… but am I decaying interiorly with unchastity and deceit?

Is it not time to cleanse my heart and life, which is perhaps…

… defiled with sin?

… impure with unhealthy thoughts?

… and sullied with evil intentions?

Yes…Sometimes when we are stuck with things that are not good…

We need a nice dip in the “hot waters of correction”

… remain soaked in the “feel of contrition”

>> So that we can be be “washed clean!”

We may feel sad for sometime… upset for a few moments

>> But let us always remain open to corrections…

… and co-operate with the Lord in “being washed” of every bit of corruption and malice from our hearts!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Take great care not to get overly upset whenever you commit some faults.

Humble yourselves immediately before God.

>> But let this humility be a loving humility…

… which will fill you with fresh confidence to throw yourself immediately into God’s Arms

… secure in the knowledge that God – in His Goodness – will help you to change for the better!”


Feb 12 (Mk 7:1-13)

An elderly lady was known to always have a very pleasant countenance.

>> Anyone, who came in contact with her, would experience a sense of positivity.

They had never heard her criticizing or finding faults with people.

She was once asked by some of her neighbouring children on the secret of her joy.

She replied:

“I have always believed in avoiding to talk negative about people.

We need to be always good with the good.

>> But let us never be bad with the bad…


… we can shape a diamond with diamond

>> But we can’t wash mud with mud…!”

As human beings, we are constantly in the mode of “judging”

>> Judging in the sense of “choosing” or “making a selection” or “taking a decision”

But the Lord clearly warns us to be wary and careful in this act of “judging and criticising”

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus “focussing” His view on this very critical and crucial topic: of judging others and of pinpointing mistakes of others, without considering one’s own negative dimensions.

The Gospel reading describes a group of Pharisees who criticize the disciples of Jesus for not following the “external traditions” and rituals.

>> They pinpointed the mistakes of the disciples…

… and exalted themselves

Jesus however reminds the Pharisees on an important aspect: Before judging and criticizing others…

… one ought to first examine one’s own behaviour and actions

Jesus reminded them that “true devotion consists not of mere external purity and rituals…

… rather is a way of life, with consistent and committed focos on the Spirit of laws, rules and regulations.

With this fundamental principle in mind, Jesus teaches us to avoid the tendency to “rashly judge and criticize others”

The Lord reminds us that our judging…

… should not be rash

… should not a final opinion on a person or situation

… should not be a means to putting down other persons

… should not be an unfair ruling on someone’s external behaviours

Maybe a simple list could help us check our areas of “judging”

Do I…

… enlarge the negatives of others – their faults, mistakes and petty ways?

… come to hasty and negative conclusions of situations or persons?

… get involved unnecessarily in situations where I should not?

… gossip critical stories and uncharitable tales regarding others?

… have a strong prejudice to find others guilty?

… be overly harsh and even ruthless, even when speaking the truth?

… add “spicy” remarks and “sensational” jingles when telling a real-story or event?

… do away with an unkind comment by simply saying, “I was just kidding!”

… speak something critical and then try to cover it up?

… be unkind and hurtful and then quickly change the subject, to impress the hurtful feeling?

… have pleasure in condemning others?

… recount the truth in order to hurt and not to help?

… put down others with an intention to let ourselves be seen better?

The Lord strongly warns to keep away from all these and many more acts of such “judgement”.

It is also good to consider judging from another perspective:

When somebody does an act, which we consider that it can be “judged”, there are two areas which we may not really know…

1. How hard the person has tried “not to do” that particular action

>> itr can be a sin, or a mistake or a failure or a blunder etc…

2. How strong were the external forces or the circumstances that “made the person to do” that particular action…

The Lord is serious on making us walk the “path of perfection”

>> Making efforts to become “less judgmental” is an essential part of this process.

Many of us may have perhaps have a tendency to find the faults and failures of others.

>> Let us make a conscious and consistent effort to avoid negative talk about people.

May we realise that “we need to be always good with the good.

>> But let us never be bad with the bad…

Because, we can shape a diamond with diamond

>> But we can’t wash mud with mud…!”

Concentrating more on the “positives”, the “brighter” and the “affirmative” areas of people and situations…

… let us always have joyful countances, radiating the Love and Mercy of Christ!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ it is wonderful how attractive a gentle, pleasant manner is…

… and how much, it wins hearts!”


Feb 11 (Mk 6:53-56)

A pious religious traveller once found a precious stone…

… a precious jewel.

A short time later, this religious person met another traveller, who said he was hungry and asked the monk if he would share some of his provisions.

When the pious man opened his bag, the traveller saw the precious stone and, without much thought asked him if he could have it.

>> To his surprise, the man gave the traveller the stone.

The traveller departed quickly, overjoyed with his new possession.

However, a few days later, he came back, searching for the religious person.

He returned the stone to him and made a request:

“I request you to kindly give me something more valuable…

… more precious than this stone.

>> Please give me THAT which enabled you to give me this precious stone!”

Life may often bless us with many external riches and outer treasures.

>> But unless one finds a contentment within, none of these will ever satisfy or suffice.

What is needed in life, is not an external show…

… but rather, an internal glow!

The Gospel of the Day presents this theme of “external show not always a sign of internal glow”.

The passage begins with the statement of Jesus crossing over…

“And when they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret…( Mk 6:53)

This place – Gennesaret – is an interesting place.

The meaning of this place name ” Gennesaret” is a “Garden of a Prince” or the “Garden of riches”

>> This was a fertile crescent-shaped plain on the western shore of the lake of Galilee.

>> This plain of Gennesaret has been also called, because of its fertility and beauty, as “the Paradise of Galilee.”

The history of Gennesaret is glowingly described (especially by Josephus, the Historian) that would do make proud the local tourism office of the Gennesaret Chamber of‘ Commerce!

It is said of Gennesaret, that the “soil was so fruitful that all sorts of trees could grow upon it. The walnut, the palm, the olive and the fig, which usually require diverse conditions, flourished together here.”

>> “One may call this place the ambition of nature; it is a happy contention of the seasons, as if each of them claimed this country; for it not only nourishes different sorts of autumnal fruit beyond men’s expectation, but preserves them a great while.”

It is said, that the fruits of Gennesaret had such high repute among the rabbis that they were not allowed in Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, lest any might be tempted to come merely for their enjoyment!

Yet, with all these riches and glory, Gennesaret, had its own share of the sick and the suffering!

>> However fertile the land…

… there were still many who were badly ailing!

>> However fruitful the land…

… there were still many who were painfully ill!

The choicest of food couldn’t assure them perfection in health and life!

>> The choicest of fruits couldn’t guarantee them flawlessness in wellbeing and strength!


… All that Glitters is not gold

Indeed, we need to understand…

… a book should never be judged by its cover

… the cowl (large hood) does not make the monk!

Though the people of Gennesaret enjoyed the best of nature’s gifts, they were “people in need” and “people ailing in suffering and sicknesses”

And so we find, that as soon as Jesus reached their land, the people of Gennesaret “scurried about the surrounding and country and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever they heard He was” (Mk 6:55)

>> They had their riches…

… yet they had to reach out to Jesus, the richest of all treasures!

>> They had their resources…

… yet they had to run to seek Jesus, the source of all supplies!

Our own lives may sometimes represent the Land of Gennesaret…

>> Rich in many aspects – financially, talent wise, relationally etc

>> Fertile in many aspects – having great visions and plans for future, systematic, disciplined etc

>> Fruitful in many aspects – popular, acceptable, having name and fame etc

Yet, like the people of Gennesaret, we too may be lacking some of the essentials…

… lacking good health and in need of the healing touch of the Lord

… lacking peace of mind, and in need of the serene spirit of the Lord

… lacking satisfaction in life, and in need of wholeness from the Lord

The people of Gennesaret were quick to respond to the coming of the Lord.

>> Though their land had plenty, they did not fail to humble themselves…

>> Though their land was rich, they did not fail to realize their basic needs..

>> Though their land was famous, they did not fail to assume lowliness…

Am I willing to respond thus to the Lord…

… in sincerity, in openness, in docility?

Am I willing to bend myself to the Lord…

… in humility, in meekness, in submissiveness?

Let us make our life a true “Gennesaret”…

… a Garden of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, Joy and salvation!

… a Garden of Riches of holiness, sanctity and grace!

Life may often bless us with many external riches and outer treasures.

>> But unless one finds a contentment within, none of these will ever satisfy or suffice.

May our lives…

… truly reflect the ‘Paradise of God’s Reign’!

… be beautified not just with an external show, but more rather, with an internal glow!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ Borrow empty vessels, said Elisha to a poor widow…

…and pour oil into them (2 Kgs 4:3-4

>> To receive the Grace of God into our hearts, we ough to empty them of our own glory!”


Feb 10 (Lk 5:1-11)

The town of Feldkirch, Austria in 1799 was faced with the prospects of being attacked by the armies of Napoleon.

It was an Easter Day and the sun shone brightly, letting the soldiers of the enemy being spotted.

The Town Council was called together, in haste, to consult what had to be done.

> It was a situation of tension.

> It was a time of immense distress.

After a long period of discussion, the dean of the Church made a proclamation:

“My brothers it is Easter Day!

We have been reckoning our own strength, and that fails.

>> Let us turn to God.

Ring the bells and have service as usual, and leave the matter in God’s hands…”

It was a hard and (humanly speaking) a risky decision, but they agreed to do as he said.

Thus from the Church towers of Feldkirch, rang the boisterous and joyous peals of the bells, in honour of the Resurrection of the Lord.

>> The streets began to be filled with worshippers, hastening to the Church.

The enemy army, on hearing the sudden ringing of the bells, were taken aback with surprise and shock.

>> They came to a conclusion that the strong Austrian Army had arrived in order to relieve the place.

So they fled hastily!

The town of Feldkirch were saved from the possibilities of destruction and ruin!

Divine Providence had rescued a tiny town, who placed their trust in Him, from the deathly clutches of a mighty army!

Is my life of faith, characterised by a “Deep Trust in Divine Providence”?

The Gospel of the Day is a wonderful presentation of the marvels that can be witnessed when one place’s one’s complete trust in the Lord and surrenders one’s life – in action and deeds – to the Providence of the Lord.

Our Blessed Lord is fully into His ministry of preaching and proclaiming God’s Word (Lk 5:1)

The Word was transforming people…

… and in sometime, a wonderful transformation was to happen to a person, who would become a close-follower of the Transforming Lord!

The crowds were thronging together, to hear the words of Jesus.

But, “standing by the lake, Jesus saw two boats by the lake” (Lk 5: 2)

The Gospel says that, “the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets” (Lk 5: 2b)

This verse, though little and appears insignificant carries a mighty message: the message of the Power of God’s Providence.

The fishermen, as we would later read, were Simon and James and John and others.

>> They had toiled the whole night… caught no fish, and were now, dejectedly, washing their nets.

The boat was empty – bereft of any fish!

But Divine Providence had a mighty plan in this “barrenness”

>> The emptiness of the boat allowed our Blessed Lord to enter it, and make it His Pulpit for preaching God’s Word!

>> The vacancy in the boat prompted our Blessed Lord to enthrone it, and make it His platform for calling His First Disciples!

Had there been fish in the boat…

… in all probability, the fishermen would be in it, sorting and cleaning the fish..

… and would have left no space for the Blessed Lord to preach from it

Had there been a mighty catch that night…

… in all probability, the boat, filled with the fish, would not have been there

… and the vehicle of “catching fish” would have missed the chance to be a “podium for proclaiming God’s Word”

Is my life, at this point, empty and barren…

… like this boat?

>> Maybe its been a long time I have been watching and expecting, patiently and faithfully, for my boat to be filled.

>> Maybe its being a horrible wait, sometimes even leading to frustration and hopelessness, for my boat to be filled

But can I trust Divine Providence, in having a purposive plan for this “emptiness and barrenness”?

Later on, Simon would be asked by our Lord to “put out into the deep and let the nets down for a catch” (Lk 5: 4)

>> It seemed illogical, pointless and hardly reasonable to Simon.

>> It seemed as a confronting questioning of Simon’s skills and abilities in his field of expertise

But Simon “let go” of his own prejudices, tiredness and (possible) humiliation…

… and Trusted in the Mighty Providence of the One, who would be His Life and Master!

And this Trust did not fail him!

> The net was filled with fish…

>> His mind was filled with feelings of awe…

>>> His eyes were filled with tears of repentance…

>>>> His heart was filled with the joy of surrendering…

Here is a beautiful story of how..

A competent fisherman failed utterly in his field of competence…

… but is initiated into being a competent “fisher of people”, for the Kingdom of God!

As Christians, we do claim to be people of faith and belief.

>> But does this “faith” translate itself into real “trust”?

>> When hardships come in life, I may proclaim my faith with my lips…

… but do I “trust” Him to take me through?

>> When emptiness fills my life, I may perform external works of faith…

… but do I “trust” Him to utilize my barrenness, in the way He wants?

>> When toils of life yield no results, I may persist in saying that I have faith…

… but do I “trust” Him to grant me the fruits of labour, in His own time and in His own measure?

And if I really “trust” in the Lord…

>> I would be a person of joy, going about my works without anxieties and radiating serenity and calm…

… even when walking through the valleys of sufferings

… even when sinking in the deluge of pain  

… even when surrounded by the clouds of uncertainty!

Let us always seek to trust in the Lord, reminding and telling ourselves in hard situations of life:

“We have been reckoning our own strength, and that fails.

>> Let us turn to God.

Let us ring the bells of joy and confidence, and leave the matter into God’s Hands…”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “There are no galley-slaves in the royal vessel of divine love – every man works his oar voluntarily!”