Jul 01 (Mt 8:18-22)

We are living in an age of an insistent inclination to the “Instant”….

We seek for…

>> Instant Coffees…

>> Instant Food…

>> Instant Juices…

>> Instant Pleasures…

>> Instant Solutions to problems…

>> Instant end to difficulties…

And sadly…even an inclination for Instant Christianity!

Christianity sometimes gets reduced to…

… Going to Church once in a while especially on a Sunday or a Feast day

… Saying a few prayers time to time

… Reading a few verses from the Bible.. etc…

>>> And then expecting Instant blessings and favours!

But is this all that Christ intended with Christianity?

>> What does it mean to be a Follower of Christ?

There are various categories or classifications in the job sector.

>> Some do a full time job

>> Some do it part time

>> Some do it on a contract basis

>> Some do it to achieve a target.

Am I a Christian, as a full timer…?

>> Or have I reduced it to a part time affair, or in terms of some contract or promises, or in order to achieve some wants and desires?

The Gospel of the Day is a call to re-look at some of the motives and intentions in our following of Christ.

The Gospel of the Day begins with the verse:

Mt 8:18 – “When He saw the crowd press around Him, Jesus gave orders to cross to the other shore”

The preceding verses in Chapter 8 of the Gospel of St Matthew present Jesus performing many miracles and healings…

… and a “Crowd” being attracted to the Lord.

Where there is a miraculous event, a crowd gathers….

But the Lord, wished to sift this Crowd.

>> He says, ” Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His Head” (Mt 8: 20)

Jesus does away with any promise of security and comfort

>> He discourages people from following Him for having a better material life!

It was not that He didn’t want many people…

… but He wished to purify their motives & make them authentic in their following Him!

He sifts and sieves and strains the “Crowd”…to get together the “Disciples”.

Where there is a miraculous event, a crowd gathers…

>> But when there is an exhortation in being committed to that miraculous event…

… the crowd is filtered…and only the Disciples remain back!

The Lord is asking us today…

Are we just a part of the CROWD…?

… or are we ready to be filtered, and be a DISCIPLE?

It is easy to be part of a Crowd….

>> We can enjoy the occasional miracles

>> We can relish hearing the Word of God

But it is not easy to be a Disciple…

>> The experience of external miracles would be few

>> The Word of God would not just be heard, but also be expected to be lived and practised in life!

>> There would be no guarantee of any security in life

>> Many of the personal desires would have to be left behind…

To be a Disciple is hard…

… undoubtedly painful…and certainly, demanding

>> But to be a Disciple is also joyful…

… undoubtedly satisfying…and certainly, exciting!!

The Crowd is Casual…

… the Disciple is Dedicated!

The Crowd is Dichotomous…

… the Disciple is Committed!

What are we going to choose?

To be part of the “Crowd” ?…  an Instant and easy-going Christianity?

… or to be a “Disciple” – an Ever-faithful and committed Christianity?

Your answer please?…

… Instantly!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “It is not those who commit the least faults who are the most holy…

… but those who have the greatest courage

… the greatest generosity

… the greatest love

… who make the boldest efforts to overcome themselves

… and are not immediately apprehensive about tripping!”

——————————–

Jun 30 (Lk 9:51-62)

Saints inspire us greatly.

>> Their example of bold courage and resolute faith, becomes a catalyst in our life of faith, too.

One such example is in the life of St Jane de Chantal.

>> She is the foundress of the Congregation of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary.

St Jane Francis de Chantal, had an extremely distressing difficulty to overcome, when she discovered that God was asking her to start a new religious congregation, together with St Francis de Sales.

Jane, a young French noble woman, had married the Baron of Chantal when she was 20 years old.

>> Deeply in love, they established an estate that was the envy of many people

>> Their enthusiastic marital joy was a product of their love for each other and their love for Christ.

However, she was widowed when she was only 28…

… losing her husband in a hunting accident.

From then on, she dedicated herself more and more to following Christ.

>> She had become indispensable to her elderly father and father-in-law.

But God was calling her to a different mission.

When she announced her departure, a storm broke.

>> Her friends and family wept and pleaded with her not to go.

>> Villagers lined the streets in tears.

When her last goodbye had been said, her fifteen-year-old son, whom she had provided for and was leaving in the care of his grandfather…

… threw himself around her neck and begged her to stay!

By her tears, Jane reminded him that it was God who was calling her…

… and she stepped towards the door.

Her son, however, rushed ahead and threw his body on the ground in the doorway, still begging her not to leave.

>> In fact, he told her: “Since I am too weak to stop you, you will have to step over your only son to abandon him!”

But Jane knew what God was asking of her.

>> The bishop had approved her plans

>> Her son was also well-provided for (she would also be visiting him regularly)

So, although with a deep pain, shedding tears, the courageous mother…

… stepped over her son and went out the door…

.. and went out of the threshold!

>> She would go on to found 65 new convents…

… and spark a spiritual revival all throughout Europe!

She made a bold decision, filled with conviction and faith!

A bold decision that has the elements of conviction and faith, is a necessity for a renewal and a revolution!

The Gospel of Day takes pride in presenting a determined Jesus, who has made a choice-for-life in moving towards the mission of His life.

“When the days for His being taken up were fulfilled, He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51)

The Gospel of St Luke presents the whole ministry of Jesus as a linear journey…

… a movement from Galilee to Jerusalem.

>> All the events and actions of Jesus are oriented towards Jerusalem.

The verse – Luke 9:51 – signifies a mega shift in the earthly ministry of Jesus.

Jesus leaves the northern area of Israel called as Galilee and moves ahead to the southern area of Israel called as Judea.

Just as the Israelites had the Exodus Event, which marked the beginning of their salvation as a nation…

… Jesus too will have the Exodus Event which culminates in Jerusalem, which will mark the beginning of the salvation of the whole world!

This verse – Luke 9:51 – marks the beginning of the Exodus Event in the life of Jesus.

The verse reads, “… He RESOLUTELY determined to journey to Jerusalem”

The Greek word used for “resolutely” is Sterizo.

“Sterizo” is a strong word…

… which means to strengthen and to establish

… which means to stand firm with one’s decision.

Jesus makes this strong resolution – “Sterizo”…

… to embrace the vision and plan of God.

… to be obedient to the Will of His Father.

Jerusalem was the place where Jesus was to suffer and die.

>> He was fully determined to go and would not be dissuaded

>> He went cheerfully and courageously though He knew the things that would befall Him.

The Road to Jerusalem was to be marched “resolutely” by Jesus!

All of us walk the Road to Jerusalem…

>> Life with its hard challenges and unexpected troubles is a Road to Jerusalem

>> Life with its spiritual difficulties and luring temptations is a Road to Jerusalem

>> Life with its doses of unforgiveness and bad temperaments is a Road to Jerusalem

>> Life with its continual showers of unpleasantness and irritations is a Road to Jerusalem

>> Life with its allurements to bad habits and hard-to-give up pleasures is a Road to Jerusalem

But unless we make a strong resolute decision to walk through this “Road to Jerusalem”, salvation and victory and happiness can never be ours!

When Jesus decided to go ahead with resoluteness in His decision, He met with rejection!

“…they would not welcome Him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem” (Lk9:53)

The Jews and the Samaritans were much at loggerheads with each other.

>> As we see in Jn 4:20, the great controversy between the Jews and the Samaritans was about the place of worship – whether it was Jerusalem or whether it was Mount Gerizim.

So bitter was the altercation between them that the Jews would have no dealings with the Samaritans, nor they with them (Jn. 4:9).

This is the reality of the world.

>> When one makes a determined decision for life, one is faced with many challenges.

>> When one makes a strong resolution for life, one is faced with many oppositions.

Like the disciples James and John, very often, the answer to this rejection is sought in the form of vengeance and violence and wrath.

>> It is the easier way.

>> It is the more simple way.

… But it is a destructive way!

Jesus answers this rejection with a better and a powerful weapon: self-sacrifice.

>> “The Son of Man came not to destroy, but to save”…

… with a call to repentance.

>> It is the hard way.

>> It is the tough way.

… But it is a saving way!

The answer to life’s problems is not in reacting, but in being pro-active!

Jesus in the Gospel today invites each one of us to have a resolute determination in walking the Road to Jerusalem.

It’s easy to pick up shortcuts and easy roads to find success in life.

>> But it takes a resolute decision to walk the hard way…

A bold decision that has the elements of conviction and faith, is a necessity for a renewal and a revolution!

>> The grace of God will strengthen and boost us in this hard path…

The Holy Bible is a witness to this great saga of great people who have walked this hard path…including Jesus.

>> Many of the saints have also strongly marched the hard and harsh way of the Cross…including St Jane de Chantal.

… May we seek to imitate them!

… May we be inspired by them!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “How foolish are those who waste time and thought in desiring to be martyred in the Indies…

… but do not apply themselves to the duties of their state in life.”

——————————–

Jun 30 (Lk 9:51-62)

Saints inspire us greatly.

>> Their example of bold courage and resolute faith, becomes a catalyst in our life of faith, too.

One such example is in the life of St Jane de Chantal.

>> She is the foundress of the Congregation of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary.

St Jane Francis de Chantal, had an extremely distressing difficulty to overcome, when she discovered that God was asking her to start a new religious congregation, together with St Francis de Sales.

Jane, a young French noble woman, had married the Baron of Chantal when she was 20 years old.

>> Deeply in love, they established an estate that was the envy of many people

>> Their enthusiastic marital joy was a product of their love for each other and their love for Christ.

However, she was widowed when she was only 28…

… losing her husband in a hunting accident.

From then on, she dedicated herself more and more to following Christ.

>> She had become indispensable to her elderly father and father-in-law.

But God was calling her to a different mission.

When she announced her departure, a storm broke.

>> Her friends and family wept and pleaded with her not to go.

>> Villagers lined the streets in tears.

When her last goodbye had been said, her fifteen-year-old son, whom she had provided for and was leaving in the care of his grandfather…

… threw himself around her neck and begged her to stay!

By her tears, Jane reminded him that it was God who was calling her…

… and she stepped towards the door.

Her son, however, rushed ahead and threw his body on the ground in the doorway, still begging her not to leave.

>> In fact, he told her: “Since I am too weak to stop you, you will have to step over your only son to abandon him!”

But Jane knew what God was asking of her.

>> The bishop had approved her plans

>> Her son was also well-provided for (she would also be visiting him regularly)

So, although with a deep pain, shedding tears, the courageous mother…

… stepped over her son and went out the door…

.. and went out of the threshold!

>> She would go on to found 65 new convents…

… and spark a spiritual revival all throughout Europe!

She made a bold decision, filled with conviction and faith!

A bold decision that has the elements of conviction and faith, is a necessity for a renewal and a revolution!

The Gospel of Day takes pride in presenting a determined Jesus, who has made a choice-for-life in moving towards the mission of His life.

“When the days for His being taken up were fulfilled, He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51)

The Gospel of St Luke presents the whole ministry of Jesus as a linear journey…

… a movement from Galilee to Jerusalem.

>> All the events and actions of Jesus are oriented towards Jerusalem.

The verse – Luke 9:51 – signifies a mega shift in the earthly ministry of Jesus.

Jesus leaves the northern area of Israel called as Galilee and moves ahead to the southern area of Israel called as Judea.

Just as the Israelites had the Exodus Event, which marked the beginning of their salvation as a nation…

… Jesus too will have the Exodus Event which culminates in Jerusalem, which will mark the beginning of the salvation of the whole world!

This verse – Luke 9:51 – marks the beginning of the Exodus Event in the life of Jesus.

The verse reads, “… He RESOLUTELY determined to journey to Jerusalem”

The Greek word used for “resolutely” is Sterizo.

“Sterizo” is a strong word…

… which means to strengthen and to establish

… which means to stand firm with one’s decision.

Jesus makes this strong resolution – “Sterizo”…

… to embrace the vision and plan of God.

… to be obedient to the Will of His Father.

Jerusalem was the place where Jesus was to suffer and die.

>> He was fully determined to go and would not be dissuaded

>> He went cheerfully and courageously though He knew the things that would befall Him.

The Road to Jerusalem was to be marched “resolutely” by Jesus!

All of us walk the Road to Jerusalem…

>> Life with its hard challenges and unexpected troubles is a Road to Jerusalem

>> Life with its spiritual difficulties and luring temptations is a Road to Jerusalem

>> Life with its doses of unforgiveness and bad temperaments is a Road to Jerusalem

>> Life with its continual showers of unpleasantness and irritations is a Road to Jerusalem

>> Life with its allurements to bad habits and hard-to-give up pleasures is a Road to Jerusalem

But unless we make a strong resolute decision to walk through this “Road to Jerusalem”, salvation and victory and happiness can never be ours!

When Jesus decided to go ahead with resoluteness in His decision, He met with rejection!

“…they would not welcome Him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem” (Lk9:53)

The Jews and the Samaritans were much at loggerheads with each other.

>> As we see in Jn 4:20, the great controversy between the Jews and the Samaritans was about the place of worship – whether it was Jerusalem or whether it was Mount Gerizim.

So bitter was the altercation between them that the Jews would have no dealings with the Samaritans, nor they with them (Jn. 4:9).

This is the reality of the world.

>> When one makes a determined decision for life, one is faced with many challenges.

>> When one makes a strong resolution for life, one is faced with many oppositions.

Like the disciples James and John, very often, the answer to this rejection is sought in the form of vengeance and violence and wrath.

>> It is the easier way.

>> It is the more simple way.

… But it is a destructive way!

Jesus answers this rejection with a better and a powerful weapon: self-sacrifice.

>> “The Son of Man came not to destroy, but to save”…

… with a call to repentance.

>> It is the hard way.

>> It is the tough way.

… But it is a saving way!

The answer to life’s problems is not in reacting, but in being pro-active!

Jesus in the Gospel today invites each one of us to have a resolute determination in walking the Road to Jerusalem.

It’s easy to pick up shortcuts and easy roads to find success in life.

>> But it takes a resolute decision to walk the hard way…

A bold decision that has the elements of conviction and faith, is a necessity for a renewal and a revolution!

>> The grace of God will strengthen and boost us in this hard path…

The Holy Bible is a witness to this great saga of great people who have walked this hard path…including Jesus.

>> Many of the saints have also strongly marched the hard and harsh way of the Cross…including St Jane de Chantal.

… May we seek to imitate them!

… May we be inspired by them!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “How foolish are those who waste time and thought in desiring to be martyred in the Indies…

… but do not apply themselves to the duties of their state in life.”

——————————–

Jun 29 (Feast of Sts Peter and Paul and Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mother Mary)

It is said that World History is a victorious story written by the winners, through the lives of proud emperors, famous rulers, triumphant troops…

… but Salvation History is written by God, through the lives of humble saints, repentant sinners and passionate lovers of the Lord!

God is an amazing script writer!

>> His Divine Wisdom, beautifully pens lives.

But often, we fail to understand this script >> Failures, disappointments, tragedies…

… are mostly, considered by us, as the end of our lives….

Today, Holy Mother, the Church invites our attention to Two Persons – St Peter and St Paul…

… who faced failures, disappointments and tragedies

>> But remarkably, through the Divine Plan, their lives were scripted to a classic story….

St Peter was overwhelmed by the Great Fishermen of Hearts

>> All through the life of Jesus, we see St Peter, varying between many emotions: over-zealous, impatient, bold, courageous, simple, daring

St Paul was overpowered by the tremendous power of the Risen Lord

>> All through his life, we see St Paul zealous and passionate, fervent and ardent, bold and courageous.

God, the Great Script writer, knew exactly well, these two personalities…

… Their life is a paradox.

Both had their moments of rejecting, persecuting, betraying and doubting the Lord…

Both had their moments of a “turning point” –  St Peter’s call to be a Fisher of People & the Lord  once again accepting him, in love, after Resurrection… St Paul on his way to Damascus, being prevailed over by the Majestic Power of the Risen Lord!

Both had their moments of being misunderstood and facing tough moments from the people, especially, the close people, with whom, they lived with, and to whom they ministered.

Both had their moments of sharing in the Cross of Christ, in His Chalice of Suffering and in the Baptism of a Holy Death!

Today, both are honoured & venerated as Stalwarts of our Faith & the Pillars of the Church.

Peter who had been Simon; Paul who had been Saul.

Peter the fisherman, the small-town Galilean Jew; Paul the Pharisee, the scholar of the Law.

Peter always conscious of the Faith’s Old Testament roots; Paul who found in Christ, “all things new.”

Peter who had lived and walked with Jesus; Paul who encountered the Risen Jesus.

Peter crucified on an inverted Cross; Paul martyred by the Sword.

>> Two very different persons.

>> Two different temperaments.

But ONE in their Zeal, Passion, Love, Mission, Enthusiasm, Fervour…All for the Lord!

These saints have much to teach us…and much to be imitated…

Is the story of our life, suffering from a bad-script, at the moment?

>> There is Hope….in the Lord!

Are there areas in our life, where there is persecution?

>> There is Salvation…in the Lord!

Are there moments in our life when we feel betrayed or cheated?

>> There is Love…in the Lord!

Are there situations of rejection and loneliness in our life?

>> There is Acceptance…in the Lord!

Are there times of doubt or tears or pain in the depth of our heart?

>>There is Healing…in the Lord!

The Lord, the Mighty Rock..promised and declared St Peter to be the Rock!

>> The Lord, the Good News…promised and declared St Paul to be the Evangelizer!

Today He invites us to imitate & follow the example of these Humble yet Great Saints of the Church.

Let us grow in Obedience, in Love and in Dependence….like St Peter

>> Let us grow in Passion, in Courage and in Openness….like St Paul!

Today we also thank the Lord for the Heart of our Blessed Mother… the Immaculate Heart of Mary

… the Mother of the Most Perfect Child in the world

… the Mother, Who herself was Immaculate and Stainless!

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, follows immediately after the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Love seeks unity…

… and Jesus and Mary – Son and Mother – were deeply united in love!

>> The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary…

… in their lives, they were One

… in their sorrow, they were One

… and in their love, they were One!

In celebrating the Immaculate (a word which means “unstained) Heart of Mother Mary, we focus our meditation on Her Single-heartedness.

In Mt 6:24, we read: “No one can serve two masters!”.

Sin divides our heart…we no longer remain immaculate….

>> But Mamma Mary, remained focused all through Her life, in doing God’s Will…and remained Immaculate!

The Immaculate Heart of Mary today invites us to have our minds and hearts, focused on God… “The One who has called you, is faithful”! (1 Thess 5:24)

Like our Immaculate Mother, let us also seek to proclaim:

“Fiat Lord- Let Thy will be done, Lord”…

…. in all moments and situations of our lives!

The last recorded words of Mamma Mary in the Bible are…”Do whatever He tells You!” (Jn 2: 5)

>> Our loving Mother, steaches us the Gospel in these 5 words

Let us give heed to Her… just as she pondered His Word and lived a Perfect Christian Life

>> Let us also strive to be Immaculate and Holy.

Happy Feast of St Peter and St Paul, the Pillars of the Church to all of us, the Seekers of their Intercession and Zeal!

>> Feastday wishes of the Beautifully Immaculate Heart of our Precious Mamma, united to the Sacred Heart of Her Divine Child….

… and to all of us, Her Little Children and Followers of Her Son!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Most Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, I (full name), most unworthy though I am to be thy servant, yet touched by Thy motherly care for me and longing to serve thee, do, in the presence of my Guardian Angel and all the court of Heaven, choose thee this day to be my queen, my advocate, and my mother, and I firmly purpose to serve Thee evermore myself and to do what I can that all may render faithful service to Thee.

Therefore, most devoted Mother, through the Precious Blood thy Son poured out for me, I beg thee and beseech Thee, deign to take me among thy clients and receive me as Thy servant forever.

Aid me in my every action, and beg for me the grace never, by word or deed or thought, to be displeasing in thy sight and that of thy most holy Son!”

——————————–

Jun 28 (Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus)

Here is a simple story, familiar to many of us…

A young man displayed his heart, one day.

It was a sight to behold – without a single flaw.

>> “The most beautiful heart in town” he proclaimed and attracted the crowds to admire it.

Then an aged man joined the big crowd.

“Why, my heart is beautiful too”, he said quietly.

All eyes turned to see his heart…

It was beating strongly, but had a number of scars, patches, deep gouges and several jagged edges.

The people stared at that heart!

>> How could he claim to have a “beautiful” heart, they wondered!

The young man remarked, “You must be joking. My heart is perfect, whereas yours is a mess of scars and patches!”

“Well”, said the old man, “The heart’s worth is measured by love!”

>> “In giving love, you tear out a piece of your heart – that leaves a gouge – which is patched when you receive love.

If you give more than you receive, then the gouges remain.

>> They can be painful – but that is the risk you take…”

The young man realized the worth of love.

Inspired by the true symbol of the heart, the young man, ripped of a piece of his heart, and offered it, with trembling hands to the old wise man.

>> Then he patched the gauged with the large piece that the old man gave him!

As the crowd watched in amazement, the two embraced each other!

Love, by its nature, gives away…

>> The heart, which is deep-rooted in love, thus bears wounds and patches.

Today on this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we contemplate in adoration and meditation on the Heart of our Blessed Lord – pierced and broken and shared – in love for each one of us.

In the year 1673, Our Blessed Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary and made her to rest her head upon His Heart; and during which He revealed to her the wonders of His love.

He revealed to her, His Sacred Heart…

… and requested her to establish the Feast of the Sacred Heart – the Friday after the Corpus Christi, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ-  in order to make reparation for sins which offend His Sacred Heart.

In her vision, she saw His wounded heart, on fire with love, saying, “Behold this Heart which has loved men so much and has received such little love in return.”

It was on June 11, 1899 Pope Leo XIII solemnly consecrated the whole humankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Gospel of the day presents the account of how the Heart of our Blessed Lord was pierced with a lance, on Mount Calvary.

“But one soldier thrust his lance into His side, and immediately blood and water flowed out” (Jn 19: 34)

The Catholic tradition identifies the water as the symbol of Baptism and the Blood as the symbol of the Holy Eucharist.

·      The Water symbolizes purification.

·      The Blood symbolizes atonement.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is today one of the most recognizable symbols of the Christian faith.

·      The picture consists of the Heart, with the wound of the lance in its side, a crown of thorns about it, a cross above it and flames surrounding it.

This Sacred Heart of Jesus represents not simply His physical heart but His love for all humankind.

This Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of the Lord teaches us many things…

a.      It teaches us the immense love that the Lord possesses for each one of us, personally.

Have I experienced the tremendous love that the Lord has for me?

>> I may feel myself low.

>> I may consider myself to be not very good.

>> I may think that my life is just not worth living.

>> I may deem that my past has ruined my life very badly.

>> I may judge that situations around me can never be changed.

Even with all these things, am I convinced that “Jesus loves me”, still… and that He will take me through, by the power of His love?

b.      It teaches us the pain and the agony that the Lord still undergoes as a result of our sin and the sins of the world

Do I realize that a sinful life brings tears to the Lord and causes more wounds to the Precious Heart of the Lord?

>> There is nothing which pains the Lord more than sin.

>> It was for our salvation that He shed even the last drop of His blood.

>> He not just wants but insists and demands and commands us to live in holiness.

Do I give heed to this “passionate and sincere” call of the Lord to live our lives in sanctity and in accordance to God’s Will in my life?

c.       It teaches us the need to be part of the process of redemption that Christ has won for us and to be shareholders in His mission of bringing God’s love to all

Do I become aware that Christ is calling me to be part of His redemptive work of salvation?

Christ still suffers and undergoes pains.

>> From the Cross, He cried, “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28)

He desires that people who have known and experienced His love become effective agents of bringing His love to others.

>> By a life of sacrifices (tiny or great…little or huge), by simple acts of love, compassion and mercy and by greater participation in the Sacramental Life of the Church, the love of the Sacred Heart can be brought to many more people.

Am I willing to take up this responsibility that the Lord is handing on to us?

The Heart of the Lord is pierced, broken and shared for each one of us.

In the Holy Eucharist, we have the privilege to receive this greatest treasure.

>> In turn, we are to break our hearts and share it with others, to bring the love and compassion of the Lord to the world.

May this Solemnity of the Precious Symbol of True Love stir the flames of God’s Love in our hearts and inspire us to set ablaze the world on fire, with His Love and Compassion!

Sacred Heart of Jesus, may we ever remain close to You!

Happy Feast of the Most Blessed Heart of the Lord!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “May thy heart dwell always in our hearts!

>> May thy blood ever flow in the veins of our souls!

O sun of our hearts, thou givest life to all things by the rays of thy goodness!

I will not go until thy heart has strengthened me, O Lord Jesus!

May the heart of Jesus be the king of my heart!

Blessed be God. Amen.”

——————————–

Jun 27 (Mt 7:21-29)

In 1174, an Italian architect Bonnano Pisano began work on a bell tower for the Cathedral of the city of Pisa.

>> The tower was to be around 185 feet tall.

There was just one “little” problem:

The builders quickly discovered that the soil was much softer than they had anticipated…

>> And soon the whole structure had begun to tilt…

… and it continued to tilt…

… until finally the realized that nothing could be done to make the Leaning Tower of Pisa straight again!

(Quite interestingly, the word “Pisa” means “Marshy Land,” which gives some clue as to why the tower began to lean even before it was completed!)

The tower has stood for over 800 years but there are still problems!

What was the problem?

>> Was it bad design?

>> Poor workmanship?

>> An inferior grade of materials?

… No!!

The problem was what was underneath.

>> The sandy soil on which the city of Pisa was built was must not stable enough to support a monument of this size.

The problems all stem from a faulty foundation!

>> And the same holds good for our lives too!

Many problems in life emerge because of a very poor and shaky foundation…

>> One fails to do well in academic studies…

… if one has a poor foundation in the fundamentals of the subject.

>> One fails to be emotionally stable…

… if one has a poor foundation of not having received affection in the early years.

>> One fails to achieve expertise in a skill or an art…

…  if one has a poor foundation in the essentials and the basics.

The higher the aims and achievements, the greater must be the basics!

>> The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid!

This is a message and an exhortation that is delivered by Jesus in today’s Gospel reading.

We have been with the Lord, over the last few days, listening to His teaching named as the ‘Sermon on the Mount’, which is a call to perfect discipleship.

St Matthew’s Gospel, today, concludes this amazing teaching with the fundamental requirement of a True Disciple: “Listening & Obeying God’s Will in One’s life”.

Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the Will of My Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21)

                                                                                                                

Too often in life, we are surrounded by people, who misuse and abuse the forum of Religion, for their own selfish desires and gains…

>> Religion, in oft ways, is today, the platform for gaining cheap popularity and loathsome recognition and fame and fulfilling one’s personal agenda and goals!!

But the Lord, the powerful-challenger, comes down heavily on such an attitude : A liking to be Spiritual just on the External…

… but unwilling to perform deeds in accord with God’s Will…!

It’s all too easy…

… to just listen to the teachings of Jesus

… be in awe of them

… get mesmerized by them

… and proclaiming oneself to be a Servant and Follower of Jesus!

(There is a great crowd of people in this category!)

But when it comes to actual situations of fulfilling the Will of Jesus, in our lives…

… it’s a real pain and suffering!

( And no wonder, the number of people in this category, very often, is too little!)

The Lord, today….. invites us to examine the Foundation of our lives…

… Have we built our Lives on Shaky Sand?

… Or on The Resolute Rock?

Jesus speaks of the Parable of the Two Foundations: One on sand; the other on the rock.

>> The one who has built one’s life on a sandy foundation fails to stand firm in the storms of life

>> The one who has built one’s life on a rock foundation remains strong and stable in the storms of life.

The laying of every foundation requires a process of Excavation….a Digging!

Do we want to build a strong foundation?

…then we need to undergo the Procedure of Digging!

>> Can we dig deeper into our lives…

… and see what are the areas in which I need a healing and a touch of the Lord?

>> Can we dig deeper into our minds…

… and see what really are my motivations in life and what I really want in life?

>> Can we dig deeper into our hearts…

… and examine what are my desires and to what things I get attracted?

>> Can we dig deeper into our relationships…

… and check whether there is authenticity or are they just hollow?

This process of digging into the various areas of our life can be an experience of varied sorts…

>> We could have pain to dig out some of our evil tendencies and abandon them.

>> We could have uneasiness to dig out some of our luxurious likings and let go off them.

>> We could have agitation to dig out some of our unhealthy tendencies and discard them.

>> We could have discomfort to dig out some of our lazy inclinations in spiritual life and dispose them.

Perhaps some of us may we feel that we have already built up fine structures and can be proud to have a good career, a stable family life, a flourishing bank balance, an enjoyable lifestyle etc…

… but the Lord invites us to check the Strength of each of these structures…

>> Is my Family Life able to withstand the storms of misunderstandings, constant quarrels and breakdowns?

>> Is my Spiritual Life able to withstand the storms of doubts, fears, discouragements and persecutions?

>> Is my Professional Life able to withstand the storms of failures, disappointments and collapses?

>> Is my Social Life able to withstand the storms of rejection, humiliation and indifferences?

Fame, Money, Prestige, Pleasures, doing things just for the sake of it or out of force,…these are SANDS, on which the Structure of Life, will be instable & shaky!

>> Honesty, Truthfulness, Seeking to do God’s will at all times, suffering patiently for the sake of the good..these constitute THE ROCK, on which the Edifice of Life, will be stable and firm!

We need the Lord Himself as the Firm Foundation of all the structures in our life!

>> With Him, all storms can be withstood and all winds and gales can be endured!

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, is famous as a wonder of the world.

But, if not for the repair & renovation works, that was undertaken later…

…it would have long back, collapsed to the ground!

Let our lives not “lean” like this tower with a “Faulty Foundation”…

>> Rather, let it be secure and stable with “Jesus, the Firm Foundation”!

Let Jesus alone be the Firm Rock and the Grand Forte of our lives!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “A person who has not the fever of self-will, is contented everywhere and in all things…

… provided God be glorified.

>> He cares not in what capacity God employs him, provided he can do therein His Divine will.

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Jun 26 (Mt 7:15-20)

The world is fraught with a lot of dangers.

>> There are physical, social, emotional, environmental, intellectual, occupational dangers etc.

Most of the time, we are aware of these dangers, and we take means and measures, to be protected from them, and to keep ourselves free from harm.

But there is also an most important area – Spiritual Dangers – of which, many of us…

… either remain ignorant

… or don’t pay much attention

… or take it very lightly.

Today, the Gospel discusses one of the most powerful dangers, in Spiritual Life: DECEPTION!

The power of this danger lies in the fact that it is very “subtle”, very “tricky” and apparently appears to be highly “good”!

The Lord begins today’s Gospel with the word, BEWARE! (Mt 7:15)

Am I really on the watch, with respect to my spiritual life, or I am, exposing myself to the Deceptive techniques of Satan?

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

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

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

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

When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent…

… he begins to lick it, tasting the fresh, frozen blood.

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

So great becomes his craving for blood that the wolf is mysteriously unaware of the naked blade on his own tongue…

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

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

The Result?

>> A Dead wolf!

The Reason?

>> Deception!

All from the suicidal blade…

…caused by the great and cunning technique of Deception!

We have in the world, today…

>> Many religious philosophies

>> Varied spiritual methods

>> Attractive theological views

… which present Religion and Pathways to God in a very alluring, charming and pleasant way.

But let us give heed to the Cry of the Lord… BEWARE!

>> Let us not bleed away our precious spiritual life!

Are we a seeking a Life without the Cross and the Crucified Lord?

>> Are we fascinated to a Prosperity Gospel which glorifies richness & success & good social life…

… but  nothing on repentance, virtuous life & inner holiness?

Let us also BEWARE…

… of the books we read

… of the talks we engage in

… of the music & the songs we delight in

… of the jokes we indulge in

… of the habits we occupy ourselves with

Are they in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves?

>> We need to BEWARE!

Jesus said… ” By their fruits, you will know them..”! (Mt 7:16)

What are these fruits?

>> St Paul tells us in Gal 5:22: “The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!”

Let us always be on the watch…

… BEWARE!

Let us give great heed to the words of St Irenaeus, the 2nd century Church Father and Apologist:

“Error, indeed is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected.

>> But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced more true than truth itself.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “The declared enemies of God and His Church, heretics and schismatics, must be criticized as much as possible…

… as long as truth is not denied.

>> It is a work of charity to shout: ‘Here is the wolf!’ when it enters the flock or anywhere else.

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