Jun 1 (Jn 16:23-28)

A cute story is told of six year old Sally.

Sally loved to walk to and from, school, daily.

One evening, as she came back from school, it was too cloudy.

>> The skies were dark; with a frightening intervention of lightning and thunder.

>> But Sally still enjoyed to walk in those overcast conditions.

As she reached home, her mother was extremely worried.

More than anything, she was worried that her little daughter would be extremely frightened by the heavy storm and the peals of thunder and lightning.

However, as the mother saw her daughter coming from far, towards home, she was surprised.

>> She could see her little daughter looking up to the skies, every time a lightning flashed.

In curiosity, the mother asked the daughter, when she reached home:

“My child, were you not afraid of this dreadful climate? And why at all were you looking up, every time that there was a lightning?”

The little girl, with all her innocence said:

“Why at all should I be worried, Mamma?

God is always walking with me, isn’t it?

>> And moreover, today, He was taking pictures of me. So I kept looking at those flashes with a big smile!”

Well, that’s the innocent heart of a child…

… who trusts in God, and knows that He would be with her, in all the walks of life!

How happy are we, if we recognize that our Heavenly Father is deeply in love with us, His children, and never ceases to express His caring affection to us, at every moment.

The Gospel of the Day is a testimony to Jesus affirming the assuring and loving presence of God, our Heavenly Father.

Jesus declares these beautiful words, which ought to be inscribed in golden shades, on the canvas of our hearts, “… the Father Himself loves you…” (Jn 16: 27a)

This is indeed one of the mightiest and loftiest truth that we all need to know, experience, be convinced of, and live constantly in its assurance…

… the truth that “The Father Himself loves us!”

Every person longs for love and longs to be cared for…

Human love, however, sometimes fails to answer to this basic and essential need.

> Sometimes people around us get too busy, to even care for us…

>> Sometimes, people from whom we expect love, fail to understand our need…

>>> Sometimes, people who ought to care for us, fall short of their responsibility….

All this could leave a feeling a hurt within us.

>> All this could imprint a wound of sadness inside of us.

But in such moments of feeling lonely and desperation, especially, Jesus assures and promises us that we are not abandoned or left lonely…

>> Instead Jesus emphatically proclaims that just as He was loved by His Father, we too are loved by our Heavenly Father!

>> It is confidence in this tremendous love of the Father…

… that will make us to seek whatever we wish in life, knowing that our prayers will be answered, in the way and the time, that He, My Father wishes! (Jn 16: 26)

His Love will make me delight in His Will, letting go of my personal desires!

>> It is conviction in this unconditional love of the Father…

… that will make us to enjoy a deep sense of joy and bliss, knowing that in any situation of gloom or sadness or tension or worry, He, My Father, is taking me through! (Jn 16: 24)

His Love will make me want to do only His Will, setting aside my individual wantings!

Our Heavenly Father, our Abba is in deep love of each one of us…

>> The Crucifix is the proof of this “mad love” of the Father.

May we, with His grace, deepen our love and conviction in the Amazing Love of the Father.

>> He is busy… but busy expressing His tender love to us.

>> He is busy writing… writing His letters of His precious love to us.

May we always realize that He is walking with us, through every stormy and rainy situations of life…

… and we can boldly look up to the pealing flashes of troubles, with a smile, acknowledging: “My God is always with me!”

As we begin this new month of June, let us also seek the intercession of the Saint of the Day, St Justin – the Martyr – and give heed to his words: “Sound doctrine does not enter into a hard and disobedient heart”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “He asks for your own heart.

>> Give is such as it is!

Are we not aware that everything that is remitted into His Divine Hands is converted to good?”


May 31 (Feast of the Visitation of our Blessed Mother Mary)

One of the greatest violinists of all time was Niccolo Paganini.

He had his first performance at the age of 11.

>> It is said that his great technical ability revolutionized violin techniques across Europe.

When he died in 1840, he had willed his violin to Genoa, Italy – the place of his birth.

But he had it done on a condition: that no artist ever plays his instrument again.

Glad to have the violin come into their possession, the people in the city of Genoa agreed to the request, and they put it in a beautiful case for everyone to see.

But, unfortunately, wooden violins have a certain peculiarity:

>> As long as they are handled, they show no wear…

… But if it remains unused, it begins to decay!

This is what happened to Paganini’s violin.

>> His once-exquisite instrument became worm-eaten and useless.

Wooden violins of other artists have been handed down from one gifted musician to another…

…. and they continue to bring great music to audiences.

>> But Paganini’s violin is a crumbling relic of what it once was!

Such will also be the case with a Christian…

… If one does not spend one’s life in service!

A Christian’s “unwillingness to serve” may soon destroy one’s capacity for usefulness!

Today, is the Feast of the Visitation…

… A beautiful incident of how Blessed Mother Mary became a person, who rendered Her life “in service” to God and others – and thus gave full bloom to the graces of God within Her!

Visitation, from Altarpiece of the Virgin (St Vaast Altarpiece) by Jacques Daret c. 1434 – 1435. Staatliche Museen, Berlin

This Feast of the Visitation of our Blessed Mother has its origin in the medieval times.

>> It was observed by the Franciscan Order before 1263, and soon its practice spread throughout the entire Church.

>> Previously it was celebrated on July 2….

… now it is celebrated on 31st May – between the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord ( Mar 25) and the Birth of St. John the Baptist (Jun 24) , in conformity with the Gospel accounts.

One of the interesting term used by St Luke in his description of this incident (Lk 1: 39-56) is the word “HASTE”.

>> St Luke says: “In those days, Mary arose and went with HASTE…..” (Lk 1: 39)

The Angel Gabriel had appeared to Mary and announced the Good News that She was to be the Mother of the “Son of the Most High” (Lk 1: 31)

>> Mary was “overshadowed by the Power of the Most High” (Lk 1: 35)

>> The Angel had also pointed to the mighty work that was done in the life of her cousin Elizabeth (Lk 1: 36)

The Annunciation became the turning point in the life of Mary!

She was no longer the same…

… The simple girl had been exalted and chosen to be the Mother of the Most High God!

… She would no longer be seeking to do her desires; She would seek to God’s Will at all times!

… Her life would no longer be carried by her plans; Her life would be impelled by what God wanted!

The Child in Her, would now make Her to be “always in haste”!

… In haste: to serve others

… In haste: to follow perfectly the Will of God

… In haste: to have Jesus as the centre of Her life

The Holy Spirit completely possessed the Virgin Daughter of Nazareth and impelled her to act.

The beautiful incident of the Visitation of Mother Mary teaches us this beautiful lesson:

When Christ grows inside of us, we will be in HASTE….

… to reach out to others in service

… to spare no efforts to get out of our own comfort zones of pleasure, relaxing and lethargy

… to forget one’s own needs and be totally other-centred and radiate joy and hope to others

Mother Mary becomes the “Woman on the move” – on a continual and constant journey:

… She would embark on an hard trip to Bethlehem, while pregnant (Lk 2:4)

… She would again move – after the birth of the Child – along with Joseph, and flee to Egypt (Mt 2:14)

… She would return back to Nazareth, under the instruction of the Angel of God (Mt 2:23)

… She would further travel to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast and there would go in search of Her Beloved Child, when He was lost (Lk 2: 45)

.. She would be travelling with Jesus in His ministry – may not be physically, but Her Heart and Soul completely accompanying Her Son

… She would, finally, even accompany physically, with Her Innocent Child on the Way of the Cross (Jn 19: 25)

Mother Mary lived the words of the poem which centuries later would be formulated by another great Saint – St Francis of Assisi:

“It is in giving that we receive…

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life…”

The Feast of the Visitation is a reminder for us examine some of the important aspects of our life…

… Am I a person allowing the Holy Spirit to fill me and take complete possession of me – my words, my thoughts, my actions?

… Am I a person, having Jesus in me, impelled to reach out to the other in service? As St Paul says: “The love of Christ impels me” (2 Cor 5:14)

… Am I a person, who is daring to be a “person on the move” – moving out of my safe comfortable zones, moving out of conditioned and prejudiced mindsets, moving out to make my life of praise and honour to God?

St Ambrose says: “Delayed efforts are foreign to the grace of the Holy Spirit”

Charity is never idle!

>> Charity is always on the move …

… Sensitive to the needy

… Seeking to do good

May the Graces of God in us, not get stagnant, or decayed or rusted …

… instead may they be extended in loving service to God and His people…

And thus our life be a beautiful Magnificat: “My Soul magnifies the Lord my God, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!”

Happy Feast of our Blessed Mother Mary – the Mother Who moves us, constantly…towards Jesus!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “It was the two virtues of charity and humility which motivated Mary, and made her leave her little Nazareth…

… for charity is never Idle

>> It burns in the hearts where it dwells and reigns, and the Most Blessed Virgin was full of it, because She bore Love Itself in Her Womb.

She made continual acts of love, not only for God…

… She also loved Her neighbor in a most perfect degree…


May 30 (Jn 16:16-20)

“Just a minute, honey, and I will be ready…”

… thus goes the words of the wife who is busy with her make-up, while her husband keeps waiting, impatiently looking at his watch.

He knows it’s getting late to go for the scheduled program.

>> He also knows that the phrase “just a minute” would last a much longer time!

“Oh, Yes, I will get the work done in the next ten minutes…”

… thus goes the words of the official when asked to speed up the pending paper work of the renewal of a contract by a perplexed client.

But the client knows the work will take much longer to be completed

>> He knows that the phrase “in the next ten minutes” would last a much longer time!

“Yes, Mummy, I will clean up the room right now…”

… thus goes the words of kids, when asked to clean up their room, which is in a state of mess

But the Mother knows that this cleaning up would be further delayed and would need more reminders

>> She knows that the phrase, “right now” would last a much longer time!

These are some of our day-to-day experiences of not being able to come to terms with “delays and uncertainties” with respect to time.

> Such delays and uncertainties, often put us through tensions or anxiety or an “uncomfortable” state of mind!

In the Gospel of the day, the disciples also undergo this experience… of “delays and uncertainties” with respect to time.

Jesus tells His disciples, “A little while and you will see me no more; again a little while and you will see me” (Jn 16:16)

But these words of Jesus put the disciples into a state of dilemma

>> They failed to grasp the meaning of the words of Jesus and were confused!

They began to have a discussion on the phrase of Jesus – “a little while”

>> “What does he mean by ‘a little while'”? (Jn 16: 18)

>> How long was this “little while” going to be?

>> How does He define the phrase “a little while”?

If they knew exactly how long this “little while” would last…

…. then they would have been more courageous and patient

But now the disciples find themselves to be confused and in dilemma.

However, Jesus the Good Shepherd, knew the confusion of His little sheep

>> Jesus, the Master, knew the perplexity of His simple followers

But He doesn’t define the phrase “a little while”

>> He doesn’t say that it is a particular moment of time that can be considered as a countdown!

>> He doesn’t refer to it as being an exact measure of time, to which one can count and gauge!

Instead, Jesus defines “a little while” in terms of an experience…

…an experience of weeping and lamenting turning into rejoicing

… an experience of sorrow turning into joy (Jn 16:20)

Is our life today in a state of crisis and confusion?

> Is our life today passing through waves of troubles and the deserts of anxiety?

>> Is our life today moving along the rough terrains of calamities and the valleys of brokenness?

Then the Lord assures us…

… “In a little while” and things will be fine!

… “In a little while” and the sunshine will appear again!

We might complain… How long is this “little while”!

We might argue…. this “little while” is being too agonising!

But the Lord invites and challenges us to look to Him, telling us…

“I too have had my painful and agonizing moments… in My life and especially on the Cross

I too had My experience of feeling ‘how long is this little while going to last’…

But I stood firm and patient in trusting the Will of My Father…

… I held on the mighty Providence of my Father and knew that a bright morn awaited Me”

Yes, Jesus, through the Gospel wishes to encourage us and strengthen us…

… in sufferings, to love Him strongly!

… in hardships, to trust in Him deeper!

… in uncertainties, to depend on Him greater!

Surely, life will take us through many experiences… of “delays and uncertainties” with respect to time.

… We may tend to lose our patience!

… We may feel like giving up!

… We may want to quit!

But let us turn to the Lord for strength, grace and courage…

… and listen to Him whispering to us…

“Hold on my Child! I am with you….embracing you in my arms!

In Me, your weeping will be changed to rejoicing

In Me, your sorrow will be turned to joy!”

Let us seek earnestly for this gift of deeper trust and complete surrender to the Mighty Providence and Holy Will of the Lord!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Have patience to walk with short steps…

… until you have wings to fly!”


May 29 (Jn 16:12-15)

William Lyon Phelps was an American author, critic and scholar who taught the first American university course on the modern novel.

He taught English literature at the Yale University for forty-one years until his retirement in 1933.

Once, while correcting an answer-paper, before Christmas one year…

… Phelps came across a note (like the kind, even these days, some children would do in an examination, to appease and please their teachers!) in the answer paper: “Only God knows the answer to this question. Merry Christmas.”

A bit amused, Phelps returned the paper with this note:

“For that answer, God gets an A  grade – outstanding.

>> And you get an F – below satisfactory. Happy New Year!!”

This little humorous incident (without being too critical), when looked from a global spiritual perspective, points out a grand and complex reality:

There are many questions of life which will keep baffling humanity.

To some, answers will be found

>> To some, answers will be known.

But to many, there will be a mysterious silence.

We does not have an answer to all questions in life.

>> Yet, life encourages us to walk ahead, with trust and hope.

As Christians, this trust and hope finds a greater meaning and strength, because we have the assurance and promise of the Lord that He is with us, and solutions for life’s problems will be revealed to us, in and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Gospel of the Day is this assurance of Jesus that even though many things are not understood in life, the Holy Spirit will reveal to us, in time and as needed, the mysteries of life and of our faith.

The Lord had been with the disciples for quite some time and had instructed them on many teachings.

>> Even at  the final discourse, in the context of the Last Supper,  Jesus teaches His chosen ones many things.

Yet, He still has many more things to tell and teach.

But like a loving parent, who knows the grasping power of the child….

>> Like an understanding teacher, who realises the comprehending capability of the student…

Jesus knows, that the disciples would not be able to understand still further His teachings.

And so He says, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (Jn 16:12)

But He does not leave the Disciples in this state of hanging in mid-air…

>> He assures them of the Might Power that will follow His going away from the disciples.

>> He promises them that the Holy Spirit will descend on them and they would realise, gradually, the power and depth of His teachings!

“But when He comes, the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you to all truth” (Jn 16: 13)

Our lives too remains a blank question-paper, with questions hurled at us, and answers found wanting!

Situations and circumstances put forward many uneasy, awkward and even unanswerable questions to us.

>> We look for answers.

>>We seek for solutions.

Sometimes we get.

>> But many times, we fail to obtain.

It may lead us to desperation.

>> It may even lead us to anxiety.

But the Lord assures us…

…  that He has the answer to every question in the world

… that He has the solution to every problem of our life.

But not all will be told to us, or revealed to us, at once.

>> They will be conveyed to us, at the appropriate time, in the appropriate situation.

From our part, what is simply needed is…

… an openness to His Spirit

… a trust in His Divine Providence

… a constant seeking to know His Will

The underlying principle for this simple, yet, seemingly hard to practise philosophy of life, is the fact that “God Loves Us” immeasurably…

… and that every moment of our life, is taken care by Him.

>> His glory fills the heavens and the earth.

>>  His knowledge permeates every event of life.

Let us seek to grow in this faith and trust in the Lord.

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them…

… but bend them with gentleness and time!”


May 28 (Jn 16:5-11)

Here is an interesting  prayer, that perhaps, many of us might have not actually made…

… but perhaps, is echoed, in the depths of one’s heart:

“Dear God,

So far today I’ve done all right.

I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t lost my temper.

I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or over-indulgent.

>> I’m very thankful for that!

But in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed…

… and from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot of help, Amen!”

Do we realise that we are prone to sin?

>> Or have we become quite “lethargic and tepid” in matters concerning sin?

Becoming aware that we are weak and fragile, helps us to depend more on the Power and Grace of God…

… Failure to realise so, will make us to bank only on ourselves and thus will lead to great falls!

It is the Holy Spirit that gives us the Grace to be aware of the “sinful areas and tendencies” of our lives…

… And helps us to totally depend on Him, to live a holy and credible life.

Jesus, in the Gospel of the day, enlightening on the coming of the Holy Spirit, speaks of the role of the Holy Spirit in convicting the world regarding sin.

He says, “And when He ( Holy Spirit, the Advocate) comes, He will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation” (Jn 16: 8)

One of the standout factors in the teachings of Jesus is His uncompromising attitude with respect to sin.

And perhaps, this is where Jesus as a Holy Person stands out incomparable with all other great spiritual or philosophical leaders of the world.

This is also where Christianity as a religion stands out unmatched with any other belief system or practice of spirituality.

For Jesus and in Christianity…

… there is an uncompromising teaching on the need to root out sin and evil offences

… there is an absolutely unparalleled insistence on removal of sin for spiritual progress

… there is an unsurpassed assertion on being holy and pure to be in communion with Him

The Lord points out to this prime role of the Holy Spirit: Convicting the world of sin.

St Peter, after His first proclamation on Pentecost Day, had the hearers’ conscience convicted of sin. “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and they asked Peter and the other apostles, ‘What are we to do, my brothers?'” (Acts 2:37)

It is the Holy Spirit that causes a person to become aware of one’s state of sinfulness and living an evil life.

>> This also means, that when there is “a loss of the sense of sin”, the workings of the Holy Spirit is also highly dormant and latent.

A “loss of sense of sin” occurs, when the Holy Spirit fails to have an active role in one’s life!

We need to make an honest examination of our conscience…

Is our life suffering from a “lack of sensation to sin”:

>> Do I continue to pursue, persevere or promote deeds of sin…

… even though I am aware of it, or has been brought to my notice?

>> Do I fail to be sensitive to issues of immense sin and evil happening in and around me, in people and situations…

… and instead become indifferent and uninterested?

A persistence with this tendency can very dangerously sever our relation with the Lord.

>> It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we become ‘convicted’ of this spiritual malady and make efforts to overcome them.

Let the reality of sin be recognized and acknowledged in our lives and in the world.

May we have a heart that is open to accept this “conviction of sin” by the Holy Spirit and to co-operate with Him to remedy this spiritual woe!

As we thank God, every morning, for the gift of life, let us also, with humility and total dependence on Him, pray:

“…in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed…

… and from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot of help, Amen!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) –”The bee has no other remedy for its sickness, but to expose itself to the rays of the sun…

… expecting heat and healing from its splendour!

Let us also place ourselves before the Crucified and say to Him: O splendid Sun of our hearts, You will revive us with the rays of Your goodness…

… we will not move from here, until Your heat brings us back to life!”


May 26 (Jn 14:23-29)

A story is told of a famous violinist who was to perform at a concert hall of world renown.

As he stood before the packed house that night and played his violin, he mesmerized the audience with his prowess and skill…

…and he was given a standing ovation.

He looked at the crowd for a moment and walked off the stage…

… only to return to render another performance.

To the amazement of the crowd, this performance was even more beautiful and flawless than the first.

He looked to the audience and left the stage for the second time, but was beckoned back by the deafening roar of the multitudes…

… and rendered a third performance.

This sequence was repeated several more times until finally the man finished his piece, looked to the audience…

… nodded his head and simply walked off the stage…

… while the cheers could still be heard.

Reporters pressed outside the violinist’s dressing room, waiting to catch a word from the man who had just given the performance of a lifetime.

As he emerged from the small room, one reporter asked the question, “Sir, why did you give so many encore performances?

>> You could have stopped after the first and everyone would have been amazed.”

The violinist stopped and replied, “For the very first time in my career, my master, the one who taught me to play the violin, was in the audience.

When I finished my performance, everyone stood except for one person.

>> I played again, and everyone stood to applaud except for him.

I continued to play.

On the conclusion of the last, I looked into the seats and I noticed that everyone, including my master, was standing and applauding!

It was only then that I was satisfied that I had done a good job.”

What about us?

>> Do we live our Christian lives in such a way that is pleasing to Jesus, our Master?

Do we allow Him to find a place in our hearts…

… so that we can reflect His Divine Touch, by our words and deeds?

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus throwing light on this beautiful theme of God wishing to make a home in our hearts: “Those who love me, will keep my word, and My Father will love them and we will come and make our home with them” (Jn 14: 23)

The story of the Bible is a God who longs to dwell with His people.

In the Old Testament, we see the Garden of Eden was a beautiful communion of the first parents with God.

The atmosphere was so much homely… so much loving

But sin caused a rupture in this homely bonding between God and human beings.

But the Lord, still longed to dwell with His people…

>> He accompanied the Israelites in their journey through the desert…being with them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

>> He also established His glory among the people of Israel by dwelling in the ark of the covenant.

Every now and then, the people sinned and lost this presence of the Lord

Through the prophets, the Lord would invite the people to come back to His homely presence.

Finally, in the fullness of time, God decided to dwell with humans, when the Eternal Word became flesh..

>> Jn 1: 14, “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us”

To perpetuate His continual presence, Jesus also gave us His Body and Blood, in Real Presence, when He instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper with the culmination of His Sacrifice on the Cross, and His rising from the dead.

This then, is the story of the longing of a God who yearns to dwell with His people.

Jesus re-iterates this constant longing of the Lord, by promising, “Those who love me, will keep my word, and My Father will love them and we will come and make our home with them” (Jn 14: 23)

The Lord wishes to dwell more close to us..

He longs to have a home in our hearts…

>> Do we make the space for Him?

The Lord promises to come and make His home in our hearts, if we love Him and keep His Word.

Loving Him requires giving Him the highest priority and precedence in our lives

>> Keeping His Word requires following His teachings and commandments at all times.

Loving Him means to constantly long for Him and to have our thoughts centred on Him

>> Keeping His Word means to make decisions and choices based on His Gospel virtues

Loving Him means to free our hearts from undue and inordinate attachments

>> Keeping His Word means to go against our personal choices to preserve His Will and plans

Let us seek to live our Christian lives in such a way that is pleasing to Jesus, our Master!

Yes, let us allow Him to find a place in our hearts…

… so that we can reflect His Divine Touch, by our words and deeds!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast…

… and our trust fixed on God!”


May 25 (Jn 15:18-21)

The Boxer Rebellion  or the  Boxer Uprising was an anti-imperialist uprising which took place in China towards the end of the 20th century.

It was initiated by the Militia United in Righteousness (Yihetuan),known in English as the “Boxers,” and was motivated by proto-nationalist sentiments and opposition to foreign imperialism and associated Christian missionary activity.

The well-trained, athletic young men were referred to as “Boxers,” because of the martial arts and physical exercises that they practiced.

On one such occasion, during this Boxer Rebellion, some insurgents captured a Christian mission school and blocked all the gates but one.

In front of that one gate, was placed a Cross – flat on the ground.

Then the word was passed to those inside that any who trampled the cross underfoot would be permitted their freedom and life, but that any refusing would be shot.

Terribly frightened, the first seven students trampled the cross under their feet and were allowed to go free.

But the eighth student – a young girl – refused to commit the sacrilegious act.

Kneeling beside the cross in prayer for strength, she arose and moved carefully around the cross, and went out to face the firing squad.

Strengthened by her example, every one of the remaining ninety-two students followed her to the firing squad!

The example of the one brave and faithful child inspired others to also be bold in their defence of faith.

These children, strong and courageous, laid down their lives, to be obedient to their faith.

>> Fear of death could not strangle their faith!

>> Fear of persecution could not suppress their conviction!

The Gospel of the Day is a mighty invitation by Jesus to remain steadfast and bold even in the face of persecutions in defence for our faith in Him.

And this steadfastness is in imitation of Jesus, our Master, who Himself underwent a miserable series of pain, persecution , suffering and humiliation, and yet remain totally faithful to His Mission.

Jesus says, “If the world hates you, realise that it hated me first… If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (Jn 15: 18, 20b)

The Lord is very clear in His teaching and preaching:

>> Friendship with Jesus would mean hostility from the world.

>> Non-compromise with Jesus’ teaching would result in antagonism from the world.

Our Lord Himself had to undergo this pain of rejection, persecution and opposition throughout His life…

>> At His birth, King Herod sought to terminate His life

>> After Baptism, Satan sought to tempt Him out of His mission.

>> During His ministry, the Pharisees and Scribes would misunderstand and misjudge Him

The Lord alerts His disciples that the same will be true in their lives too, if they too chose to remain faithful to their vocation.

As a follower of the Lord, we too need to be aware that sufferings and hardships on being Christian is sure to come our way.

What is our attitude and disposition to these trials that we face because of our faith in Christ?

Do we be bold and courageous…

… even when we are to face isolation or seclusion due to standing firm in our values and principles in the Lord?

Do we live our life in joy and calmness…

… even when we have to face misunderstandings and become an object of laughter, or called as “old-traditionalist” as a result of being staunch in following the Gospel values?

The world constantly ensnares us with temptations to abandon the Cross…

>> The evil one very often traps us with hardships to dilute our faith in the Lord…

Are we going to yield in to such temptations and enticements…

>> Or are we prepared to face any amount of difficulty, to uphold our Faith in the Lord?

Are we going to stamp the Cross of Christ and Faith in Him…

>> Or we bold and courageous to sustain our witnessing to Jesus in the world?

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear…

… rather look to them with full hope, that as they arise, God – whose you are – will deliver you out of them.

>> He is your keeper.


May 24 (Jn 10:22-30)

In many parts of the world, it is now summer!

The effects of global warming are being clearly experienced in many of the countries..

…with increased temperatures

… unusual climatic changes

But it’s pretty interesting to note, that even though externally, the climate is warm…

.. there could be many areas in our life… which remain cold!

Isn’t it?


… we are experiencing a “coldness” in many of our relationships

… there is a sense of a “cold wave” in our work-places, studies or in our undertakings and activities

We need the “tender touch” of our Blessed Lord to “warm” our “cold hearts” …

… and in order to come to experience “abundance of life” in Him!

The Gospel of the Day presents the dimension of “coldness” that was experienced by the people, who encountered Jesus, in accepting Him as the Lord of Life.

The Gospel passage the Day begins with St John giving a dual-context in the encounter between Jesus and the people…

1. The religious atmosphere of the time: “The Feast of the Dedication was then taking place in Jerusalem” (Jn 10: 22a)

2. The physical atmosphere of the time: “It was winter” (Jn 10:22b)

The Feast of Dedication was also called as Hanukkah.

This feast celebrated the liberation of the city of Jerusalem from Antiochus, the Syrian King.

>> This King had desecrated the Jerusalem Temple by building an altar to Zeus and sacrificing pigs on the Temple Altar.

The Feast of Dedication celebrates the day that Israel regained control of the temple and re-consecrated it to the one true God!

However, it is to be noted that though year after year, they gathered to celebrate the re-dedication of the Temple…

… their hearts were, perhaps, still far from God Yahweh!

.. their lives were, perhaps, still, yet to be in accordance with the Will of God!

This is what St John, the Evangelist, points to, when he speaks of the physical atmosphere of the time: “It was winter” (Jn10:22b)

This statement was not just about the weather or the season of the year

>> He was describing “a season of life… a season of faith”!

It was his style of diagnosing the interior condition of the “Faith of the People” who had come for the Feast of the Dedication!

Many of the people of Israel, were in a season of “winter”…

…”cold” in their hearts: to accept the person of Jesus – the One Who had inaugurated the Kingdom of God, going about doing a lot of works of salvation and healing!

… “cold” in their minds: to accept the teachings of Jesus – the One Who was exhorting them to live God’s commandments not just externally, but with the sincerity of the heart!

… “cold” in their lives: to accept the challenge of Jesus – the One Who was convicting them of their sinfulness and inviting them to a life of repentance and holiness!

It was this  being in a “season of winter” that prompted them to ask Jesus with a sense of apathy and irritation:

“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?

If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly” (Jn 10: 24)

“Tell us plainly” was the utterance of a frozen people…

…who had “winter” in their hearts and their minds

… who were “cold” and had begun to take their faith for granted

… who were “frozen” and were merely satisfied with external dedication of the Temple, without an inner renewal of the heart!


We need to examine our lives and check….

…. Am I also a “frozen person?”

>> Am I also, in a “season of Winter”?

… Is my relationship with the Lord, a mere utterance of the lips and fails to affect my daily living?

… Is my practice of devotion and my participation in the liturgy and sacraments, a plain ritualistic and a routine custom, without making me to truly enter into intimacy with the Lord?

… Is my life of faith, just an ordinary and lethargic one, taking the grace and blessing of the Lord for granted, and not wanting to make efforts to grow in love of the Lord and neighbour?

The Lord gives us the one straight answer: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow Me” (Jn 10: 27)

>> Let us seek to dedicate not just our externalities to the Lord; but much more our internalities – our hearts, minds and lives to His Providence

>> Let us seek to come of the “Season of Winter”….

… be warm in the love of the Lord

… be enthusiastic, receiving the touch of the Divine

… be ardent, to seek, hear and follow the voice of the Good Shepherd!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – ” _Be what you are, and be at its best!_”


May 23 (Jn 15:9-11)

One of the wonderful SMS’s that has been read and circulated by many of us, goes thus….

“Life is like having a cup of coffee…

You sit by the window, lift the cup, take a careless sip…

… and find no sugar.

Too lazy to go for the sugar, you somehow manage with that sugarless cup.

>> On finishing, you find undissolved sugar crystals, settled at the bottom!

That is life!

>> We don’t make any effort to value what is around or within us.

So look around… Maybe, the sweetness you are looking is much closer than you think!”

How often is our spiritual life also lived similarly…

>> We go through the rigours of spiritual practices…

… but they sometimes become mere routines

>> We perform many chores of religious exercises…

… but they sometimes turn out to be ritualistic.

Spiritual life becomes tasteless…

>> Spiritual life loses its fascination…

But Jesus, in the Gospel of the Day invites us to have a deeper excitement and happiness in life, by abiding in His love.

>> He tells us, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy maybe in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn 15: 11)

The Lord wishes each of His follower to live a life of immense joy and happiness.

Jesus, Himself lived a very joyful life.

What was the recipe of His happiness?

>> A life, that was lived in perfect communion with His Heavenly Father…

… seeking union with the Father through moments of solitude in prayer

… raising His Heart to the Father in gratitude and thanksgiving at every situation of life.

>> A life, that was lived in absolute obedience to the Will of His Father…

… willing to shed any personal comforts or desires to be faithful to the mission entrusted

… readiness to undergo any amount of pain and suffering, even death, to be totally committed

Jesus hands over this same recipe to us, to discover true joy and happiness in life.

When we seek to live in Communion with the Heavenly Father…

       … in intense moments of prayer

       … with a heart of thanksgiving

And we seek to being obedient to God’s Will…

       … even at the cost of some personal comforts

       … ready to bear sufferings to be faithful to Him

It is then…

… that we will experience real joy and happiness

… that we will treasure heavenly experiences in our hearts

Life grinds us through many tasteless moments and situations…

> We get upset easily…

>> We tend to get defensive…

>> We get into a mode of being lethargic…

But the Lord says… “Stir up your lives!”

“Stir up your lives” to savour the sweetness of joy, peace and serenity…

… to taste the joy that is guaranteed by obeying God’s commandments

… to taste the peace that is assured by letting our lives be symphony of service to others

… to taste the serenity that is promised by always abiding in the loving presence of the Lord

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Bloom where you are planted!”


May 22 (Jn 15:1-8)

The Time Magazine in its issue dated 19th November, 1965, reported of a major electricity breakdown along the US-Canada border.

This was called as the Northeast Blackout of 1965.

The impact of the breakdown was so great that it affected people in nearly 80, 000 sq.miles along the border!

The whole area was submerged in deep darkness.

The cause of the failure was the tripping of a protective relay, or a fuse, which was just the size of a bread box!

The safety relay, which was to trip if the current exceeded the capacity of the transmission line, was set too low.

A failure in the single fuse, of such a tiny size was able to cause the breakdown of an entire power grid of such a huge magnitude!

·      A tiny failure in the connections caused a mighty collapse!

·      A minor malfunction in the grid caused a major disintegration!

It is therefore highly essential that the most basics aspects of life, however small or tiny they may appear, be given the proper and appropriate attention.

Such is the case too, in our spiritual lives…

·      If the connection with the Lord, the Fuse of our life trips, our whole life will be in darkness!

·      If the link with the Lord, the Safety Relay of our life overloads, our whole life will collapse into obscurity!

The Gospel of the Day invites us to continually nurture and nourish our relationship with the Lord and to reflect the fruits of this affiliation in our daily lives.

Jesus says that, “I am the vine, and you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit, because without me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15: 5)

These are highly powerful words of the Divine Lord…”WITHOUT ME, YOU CAN DO NOTHING!”

There are a few implications of these powerful words….

1. Its a great message of hope

The statement of the Lord is a deep assurance that in every moment of our lives, we can bank on Him.

St Paul realized the deep understanding of this message of hope and could cry out, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13)

We can place our hope in the Lord…

… even when all seems lost and crashed in life

… even when things hit rock bottom in our life

2. It’s a great message of warning

The statement of the Lord is also a grave warning that in every moment of our lie, we can crack without Him!

The Prodigal Son realized the depth of such a break of relationship, when he had gone away from his father, and found himself in dire needs.

He would therefore say, “I shall get up and go to my Father and I shall say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you…’  (Lk 15: 18)

We are warned by the Lord…

… in every moment, we need to be dependent on the Lord

… in every situation of life, we cannot achieve true success by our own merits and talents

Sometimes in life, when things go on well and when everything seems fine, we tend to forget that it is the Lord, who is ultimately leading and guiding us.

We get into a feeling that it is my achievements and hard work alone, that is the cause of every success and smile that I enjoy.

But once in a way, when darkness engulfs our lives, maybe by way of…

… a sickness or a death…

… a financial difficulty or uncertainty of the future…

… crisis in relationships or breakage of human bonding

… or any other problem or difficulty…

We realize that there is a tripping in our relationship with the Lord, the Fuse of our life!

Unless we stay connected to this Mighty Fuse, our lives will stay in gloom and shadow

·      When we are connected with the Lord, even in the midst of any crisis, the supply of inner joy and peace will always remain constant!

·      When we are in link with the Lord, even with problems encompassing us, the streaming of Divine calm and happiness, will always remain uninterrupted!

As St John of the Cross says, “Oh, how happy is this soul that is ever conscious of God resting and reposing within its breast!”

Let us always seek to be united with the Lord, the light of our lives, so as to enjoy an uninterrupted and continual supply of the power of joy, peace and happiness in our lives!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Those who pray from the heart do not think about the prayer they are saying…

… but about the God to Whom they pray.”