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!

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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?”

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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!

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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…

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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!

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

… until you have wings to fly!”

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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!

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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!”

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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!

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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!”

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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!

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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!”

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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!

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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.

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