Sep 30 (Lk 9:46-50)

“O Master, grant that I may never seek!

>> So much to be consoled, as to console,

>> To be understood, as to understand

To be loved, as to love with all my soul…”

This chorus from the Hymn of Peace, “Make me a channel” is known to most of us.

However, in our daily life, the chorus we sing is perhaps quite the opposite…

“O Master, help that I may always seek for more…

>> So much to be comforted, but not to comfort others…

>> To make sure that I am well understood, even if I misunderstand others…

To receive an abundance of love, even if others are ignored in the process!”

Very much, true isn’t it?

>> We love to give…

… but expect to be returned back in equal or more terms.

>> We love to donate…

… but expect to be acknowledged & given due consideration.

>> We love to offer…

… but expect to get back something more in return.

The “I” factor often dominates many of our thoughts, our words and actions

>> We are people, who tend to have our self desires to be in the forefront!

Such a generally-found characteristic…

>> Desiring to be great

>> Wanting to have the first place

… is on display in the Gospel of the Day.

This passage Lk 9:46-50 is the last glimpse of the ministry of Jesus in Galilee.

>> From Lk 9: 51, Jesus would begin another journey: To Jerusalem – where He would be finally exalted!

The Gospel passage begins with the verse:

” An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest.” (Lk 9: 46)

Just a couple of verses before, Jesus had instructed the disciples very strongly using the words:

“Let these words SINK into your ears…” (Lk 9:44)

Thus saying, Jesus had spoken of how He would be handed over to men.

>> It was the prediction of His Passion.

The words “sink into your ears” was a strong exhortation by the Lord…

… to understand that the way to be exalted is only by being humiliated on the Cross!

… to realise that the pathway to glory is always laid low in the valley of struggles and hardships!

Humility is the key virtue to be a member of the Kingdom of God!

>> None can be a disciple of Christ without being humble

>> It would be impossible to call oneself a Christian if one is unwilling to let go of self-desires

But the disciples failed to grasp this fundamental truth.

The recounting of the Passion prediction by Jesus, probably brought in them thoughts…

… about how their Master would reign as the King!

… about how each of them would probably get an important ministerial berth!

It was this “building of castles in the air” that was the background for the Disciples to argue “who is the greatest among them” (Lk 9: 46)

>> Jesus’ message of the Cross was neatly avoided…

… and only the Crown was given prominence!

>> Jesus’ warnings about being ready for the Way of the Cross was sidelined…

… and only the dream of a ‘bed of roses’ was discussed!

Hence, the Lord uses the opportunity to remind His close ones on the need to “grow in humility”…

… with the example of a child (Lk 9: 47)

The Gospel says, “Jesus, realised the intention of their hearts…” (Lk 9: 47)

The Lord knows the hearts of all…

… He knows our hearts as well

>> And so, He looks deep into us, and invites to examine our motives and attitudes…

… Am I a person willing to humble myself?

… or am I a person, swelling in pride?

This aspect of pride could be perhaps manifested in us, subtly, in many ways…

… maybe in my words, the word “I” often appears – thus projecting myself more over others!

… maybe in my actions, I do things to show others – thus wanting self-attention and praise!

… maybe in my thoughts, I often think of my desires – thus disregarding the needs of others!

The tendency to self-project oneself is seen in many of us

>> But the Lord, who Himself lowered and humbled Himself…

… challenges us time and again, “He who wishes to follow me, must deny oneself, take up one’s cross and follow me!” (Lk 9:23)

The process of doing away with pride and growing in humility…

… is a slow and painful process!

The key to root out vices, is by building up virtues!

There is a need to grow in acts of humility…

… encouraging and appreciating others

… willing to do the “less flashy and glamorous” roles

… realising that the source of all what I do and achieve, is ultimately the Lord

Let us give heed to the call of the Lord…

… seeking to grow, by humbling oneself!

May we truly pray and live…

… that we may never seek…

>>To be consoled, as to console!

>> To be understood, as to understand!

>> To be loved, as to love with all our souls!

Today, in a special manner, let us be inspired by some of the quotes of Servant of God, Fr Peter Marie Mermier – the Founder of the MSFS Congregation (Missionaries of St Francis de Sales)…

… And seek his intercession and prayers for a faithful Christian Life

1. “The most virtuous (people) avoid sin and great faults…

… but they are careless in the practice of virtue!”

2. “It is not enough to avoid evil but it is necessary to do good!”

3. “The love of God is efficacious…

… there is nothing as strong and as active as love. It is a devouring fire!”

4. “The ministry of a priest without prayer, is a barren ministry, without any effect, even harmful; it is a ministry of death!

… instead of enlightening, it blinds;

… instead of healing, it kills!

>> But the ministry of the one who prays…

… is a ministry of life!”

Happy Founder’s Day to all the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales (MSFS)!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Certainly all virtues are very dear to God….

… but humility pleases Him above all the others!

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Sep 29 (Lk 16:19-31)

Schindler’s List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama film, which received 7 Oscar awards.

This movie is based in the true story of a Catholic businessman, Oskar Schindler, who lived in Poland during the 2nd world war.

After a life of initial notoriety, in which he made a lot of money, by betraying his own people…

… Schindler, later realized the horrors of the Nazi rule.

He began to use his wealth and influence…

… in order to save his fellow Jews from the holocaust.

By the end of the war, he was reduced to having very little money

>> But in the process, had managed to save hundreds of Jews from being killed.

The last scene of the movie depicts, Schindler being thanked by the people whom he had saved.

But suddenly, Schindler began to weep!

>> Looking around at the people who were rescued, he exclaimed: “I could have done so much more!”

Holding up his gold watch, he moaned, “This could have bought someone’s freedom!”

>> He wished that he could have started sooner in helping people, so that many more could have been rescued!

>> His self-centredness had caused failure in saving many more people!

It was an agonizing experience of the negative effects of “indifference in life” and the “sin of omission”!

We need to examine our life and check:

>> Am I a person who misses out on doing the good we can?

>> Do I fail to reach out the needy, even though I am able?

>> Has self-centredness became a way of life for me?

The Gospel of the Day is a powerful message to look deeper into these aspects of our life…

… and seek to be more other-centred and heaven-oriented!

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is set out as a play… a two-act play.

>> The plays takes place on two stages:

… the stage of this world

… and the stage of the other-world.

1. This parable could be perhaps called as a “parable of contrasts”!

The contrasts are plenty:

In the First Act (Lk 16: 19-22)….

>> A rich man – a poor man

>> The man is rich but unnamed – the man is poor but is named, Lazarus (meaning ‘God Helps’)

>> The rich man clothed in purple – Lazarus clothed fully with sores

>> The rich man caressed with fine linen – Lazarus licked by the dogs

>> The rich man feasted sumptuously – Lazarus desired to be fed by what fell from the table.

>> The rich man died and was buried – Lazarus died but was carried by the angels.

In the Second Act (Lk 16: 22-31)…

>> Lazarus is in Abraham’s bosom – the rich man is in Hades.

>> Lazarus receives good things – the rich man was in torment.

>> Lazarus was comforted – the rich man was in anguish

2. This parable could be perhaps also be called as a “parable of comfort and consolation”!

It’s a “parable of comfort and consolation” because….

… Lazarus, who had undergone great misery and suffering was blessed with the presence of joy of the Lord.

It gives comfort and consolation to us, who need to be strengthened in our moments of trials and hardships, knowing that the Lord will surely look with mercy on His needy ones.

>> “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5: 3)

3. This parable could be perhaps also be called as a “parable of challenge and confrontation”!

It’s a “parable of challenge and confrontation” because…

… the rich man, who had a luxurious life, was condemned to torments, and had to endure the flames of suffering.

It presents a great challenge and a confrontation before us, who need to realize that “indifference in life” and the “sin of omission” are extremely punishable.

> It tells that the attitude of closing one’s eyes to the pain and misery of the other is disastrous!

>>>> “He who shuts his ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in his own time of need.” (Prov. 21:13)

We live in a world of contrasts…

… the rich gaining much and the poor losing much day by day!

… the corrupt enjoying worldly success while the honest often helpless on the losing side!

… the powerful lording over all others while the simple of heart crushed in oppression and misery!

This “world of contrasts” needs a “Gospel of Comfort and Consolation”, and towards this, we are “challenged and confronted”…

>> Challenged to get rid of our attitudes of indifference and lethargy to help the needy ones.

>> Confronted to overcome our tendencies to remain satisfied in our comforts and close our eyes conveniently to the necessities of the other.

The ways of the world constantly allure us…

… to be “dressed in purple linen and fine clothes” (Lk 16:19) and to be self-centred: “Just go about with our business and don’t consider other’s needs”

… to be “dining sumptuously” (Lk 16:19) and to look to only one’s own comforts and needs: “Live and let live. I don’t need to care about others, when I have my own cares to be attended to!”

But the Christian way of life is a challenge to this “rich man’s style of living”

>> There can be no excuse given to us…

… if we miss out on doing the good we can!

… if we fail to reach out the needy, even though we are able!

… if self-centredness has become a way of life for us!

Time is short…

… and our life is limited!

Let us begin today, with no further delay…

>> To do the good we can…

… in the best way we can!

… to all the people we are able!

… in every situation that is possible!

Let us seek to be more other-centred and heaven-oriented…

… and in this world of contrasts, make our life a ‘Good News of Comfort and Consolation’.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Holiness is found in a path opened to us in our daily lives…

… the duties of our daily lives are offered to us with unequal attractiveness!”

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Sep 28 (Lk 9:43-45)

“Julius Caesar” is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare.

>> It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history.

The life of Julius Caesar engrossingly proceeds with placing a great trust in his best friend Brutus.

Brutus, though his closest and most trusted friend, was albeit a misled man.

>> Therefore, among the conspirators who finally assassinated the Roman leader on March 15, 44 was Brutus as well.

Caesar had not only trusted him, but also favoured Brutus as his own son.

The Roman history tells that Caesar had first resisted the onslaught of his assassins.

>> But when he saw his beloved Brutus among them, with his dagger draw, the Roman Emperor ceased to struggle and withdraw every attempt of resistance.

He pulled the top part of his robe over the face and asked the infamous question, “Et tu, Brute?”

>> “You too, Brutus?”

… A question which cuts across the marrows of the bones and the pierces the depths of the heart, to express disgust and contempt of the deadly human vice of betrayal!

… A question which cuts across civilizations and generations, to show forth the abhorrence and the detestation of the wicked trait of disloyalty!

The Gospel of the Day presents a mighty warning by Jesus on the danger of we becoming betrayers to Him and His Love!

Jesus tells His disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands!” (Lk 9: 44)

Jesus gives a forewarning to His disciples on the sword of betrayal that would be his painful lot.

This betrayal had to be faced on different levels..

… an act of betrayal through a kiss by Judas Iscariot

… acts of denial by Peter, His close disciple

… acts of abandonment by His other disciples

… acts of rejection by the chief priests and elders

… acts of passivity by the people for whom He had served

Today our Lord poses the same question…. Am I betraying Him in my acts and deeds?

>> Is the Lord, calling us by name, asking us:

” Et tu, ……..?”.

“You too, ……..?”

>> Do I betray the Lord by failing to avoid occasions of sin and constantly moving away from doing His Will?

>> Do I betray the Lord with my words of unpleasantness, judgmental nature and destructively critical?

>> Do I betray the Lord by being unkind, unforgiving and harbouring grudge by my actions?

>> Do I betray the Lord by causing harm to others and being insincere in my works?

May we ask the grace to remain ever faithful to the Lord and be loyal to His Love and His Kingdom.

Like St Philip Neri, may we too pray:

“Watch me, O Lord, this day…

…. for, abandoned to myself, I shall surely betray thee.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.

>> Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections…

… but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew!”

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Sep 27 (Lk 9:18-22)

There is an interesting incident that is reported from the land of Africa.

When the early Africans converted to Christianity, they were extremely earnest and regular, especially in their personal devotions.

Each one of them, would choose a separate spot in the midst of a thicket.

>> In that personal spot, the person would pour out one’s heart to God.

>> It was a moment of deepening one’s relationship with the Lord

>> It was a place of personally strengthening one’s bond with the Saviour

As time passed by, these spots would become well-worn out.

>> The paths had been smoothed

As a result, if any of the converts failed to be regular in personal prayer, it was easily noticeable and clearly evident to the others!

Therefore, they would gently remind the one who was negligent, “Brother/Sister, the grass is growing on your path!!”

“The grass is growing on your path” – became a reminder for the one who was slipping down the path of devotion and prayer, to revive one’s spiritual fervour and zeal.

“Is there grass growing on our paths?”

… is a question that we need to constantly ask ourselves and execute the necessary steps in order to reinforce or to strengthen our personal prayer lives!

The Gospel of the Day present a wonderful depiction of our Blessed Lord – Jesus praying in solitude.

St Luke paints an inspiring image of our Lord when he says, “And it came to pass, as Jesus was praying alone…” (Lk 9: 18)

During His earthly ministry, Jesus had a very strong priority and choice: Finding time to be alone with His Beloved Father, in prayer.

This was especially pointed out by St Luke whose Gospel is called as the “Gospel of Prayer”

>> At the Baptism: “After all people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying…” (Lk 3: 21)

>> After many healings: ” … He would withdraw to deserted places to pray” (Lk 5:16)

>> Before choosing the Twelve: “In those days, He departed to the mountains to pray…” (Lk 6: 12)

>> At Transfiguration: “… Jesus took Peter, John and James and went up the mountain to pray…” (Lk 9: 28)

Many are such occasions that St Luke points to drive home the message that Jesus cherished, loved and made time for Personal Prayer.

Is my life rooted in Prayer?

>> This is a fundamental question that we need to constantly pose to ourselves and be moved by the answers that we get to it.

We complain very often that we don’t find time for prayer..

.. being busy with a number of assignments, duty demands, work schedules!

We tend to say that prayer doesn’t interest us…

… unable to enjoy sometime alone and to be quiet and recollected in the Awesome and Still Presence of the Lord!

We find ample number of excuses to cancel out “prayer” from our timetable of life…

… giving a reason that “God will anyway wait for us” whereas our moments of enjoyment and fun may not come too often!

But our Blessed Lord today invites to seek and cherish “prayer” in our lives.

>> We are called to have a “taste for prayer”!

Spending time with a person whom one loves is certainly not a painful task or an unnecessary task or deed required an extra effort.

>> One loves to be with the person who is loved…

….. to spend quiet moments

….. to speak out one’s heart

….. to expose one’s inner emotions

And this “being with” Our Blessed Lord is “Prayer”!

Let us make efforts to reserve and preserve, at least a few minutes, in personal prayer, to grow in our union with the Lord.

It is only these precious moments of prayer…

… that will help us to deepen our conviction to say that Jesus is the “Messiah of God” (Lk 9: 20)

… that will take us through, with our Crucified Lord (Lk 9: 22), in our moments of struggles and hardships.

“Is there grass growing on our paths…?”

>> the grass of laziness and lethargy

>> the grass of disinterest and indifference

>> the grass of meaninglessness and hopelessness

.. then we need to make smooth these paths  by reviving and reinvigorating our prayer lives!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Prayer, united with the Divine Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, has an indescribable force…

… therefore by this means celestial favors united to the Beloved abound in the soul!”

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Sep 26 (Lk 9:7-9)

Fred Bock was one of the most renowned, recognized and respected Christian music composers, arrange, studio musician, organist, pianist, choral director and music publisher.

One of his famous write-ups (read and known to many of us) titled “One Solitary Life” goes thus…

“Born in an obscure village, He was the child of a peasant woman.

He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty years old, and then for three years He travelled around the county, stopping long enough to talk and to listen to people, and help where He could. He never wrote a book,

>> He never had a hit record, He never went to college

>> He never ran for public office

>> He never had a family or owned a house.

>> He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness.

>> He had no credentials but Himself.

But when He was only thirty-three years old, the tide of public opinion turned against Him, and His friends rejected Him.

> When He was arrested, very few wanted anything to do with Him.

After the trial, He was executed by the state along with admitted thieves.

> Only because a generous friend offered his own cemetery plot was there any place to bury Him.

This all happened nineteen centuries ago, and yet today HE is the leading figure of the human race, and the ultimate example of Love.

Now it is no exaggeration to say that all the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that have ever set sail, all the rulers that have ever ruled, all the kings that have ever reigned on this earth…

… all put together have not affected the life of man on earth like One Solitary Life!”

Undoubtedly, we know on whom is this write- up on…… Jesus, of Nazareth!

>> A Man who was hidden in the shadows of ignorance… yet enjoys the title of being the Most Famous Person in the World!

>> A Man who sought fame from His works… yet enjoys the privilege of being the Most Impressive Person in the World!

Do we know Him?

Do we REALLY know Him?

… or do we, like King Herod, in the Gospel of the Day, end up asking, ” Who then is this about Whom I hear such things?” (Lk 9:9)

When we scan through the pages of the Gospel of St Luke from Chapters 4-9, we find that Jesus was acquiring new heights of fame, popularity and public acclaim.

His words and teachings were…

… ringing in the bells of transformation

… challenging the integrity of the religious leaders and civil authorities

… providing a cushion of hope and encouragement to the lost and the marginalised

His acts of wonders and powers were…

… instilling excitement in the lives of people

… causing the people to have reminiscences of the great prophets of old

As a result the people began to discuss and to say, “John has been raised from the dead; Elijah has appeared; one of the ancient prophets has arisen” (Lk 9:8)

Such rumours, reports and recounts caused a lot of worry for King Herod.

>> The flames of anxiety were scorching his mind…

>> The waves of guilt were drowning his heart…

And therefore, with a highly guilty conscience, in fear and trembling, King Herod puts forward his theory on the Dilemma of this Mysterious Divine Person, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about Whom I hear such things?” (Lk 9:9)

> The enigmatic personality of Jesus was casting clouds of fear and guilt over King Herod!

> The charismatic work of our Blessed Lord was plunging King Herod into the ocean of haunting and forgettable memories!

Yet, King Herod failed to establish a relationship with our Blessed Lord.

> His mind failed to move beyond the realms of wonder and amazement, to wanting a bonding with the Messiah!

> His heart failed to cut across the barriers of doubts and anxiety, to forge a yearning to receive a touch of the Saviour!

Is our life also sadly moving along the same lines, as that of King Herod…?

Is our life of sin and our life of not wanting to take the risk of trusting Him, just like King Herod, causing us to miss out on cherishing a relationship with our Blessed Lord?

To King Herod….

… Jesus only remained a mysterious and stupefying character

… Jesus only remained a person who disturbed his conscience

King Herod was unable to…

… accept Jesus as His Saviour

… accept Jesus as the Lord of his life

We also have surely heard a lot about this wonderful Divine Person named Jesus.

… But has He been able to capture our minds and hearts and do we co-operate with Him to be possessed by His love?

We also have had ample opportunities to grow in our spiritual life and to be receiving a number of teachings on His Divine Word

… But has the Word of God truly become the rule and the guiding principle of our life?

It’s nice to be attracted to the power of God… to praise His wonders… to be amazed at His awesome deeds.

But it’s just not enough to remain at this peripheral level.

Our Blessed Lord came…

… not to simply amaze, but to attend to our sins and failures

… not to simply charm, but to challenge our lethargic lives

He wishes that we truly embrace Him…

… as the Lord of our lives

… as our Personal Saviour and Master

Jesus who lived a “Solitary Life” has made a great impact on the world

>> May our personal life also give testimony to this fact and may we truly radiate the Mighty Presence of Jesus in our lives!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “From the heart kiss frequently the crosses that our Lord Jesus himself puts on your shoulders.

>> Don’t look to see if it is of precious wood or perfumed…

… they are more of a cross when they are made of the most despicable wood, the most rejected and dirty!”

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Sep 25 (Lk 9:1-6)

A young man worked in an umbrella factory.

>> It was one of the largest umbrella factories in that area.

One day, with a discouraged heart, he went to his Parish Priest and expressed, “Father, I will have to hunt another job”

The priest was surprised, as he knew that the boy was good at his work.

He enquired, “What is the matter? Do you have some issues with the company’s management?”

>> “No, it’s not that” came the reply.

“Does not your factory have enough orders to keep going all the time?” was the next query.

>> “No, it’s not that, Father” said the boy, “The factory actually has more orders than they can fill”

“Then what is the matter, my Son”, enquired the concerned priest.

“Well, they haven’t enough electricity to keep all the machines going at once.

>> And my machine has to remain idle for a greater part of the day, and I lose so much of time and pay.

The actual trouble with the factory is that, they have more machinery than power!”

>> The necessary equipments were available for production, but the required electricity was unavailable!

>> The needed machinery was at hand for manufacturing, but the mandatory power was unobtainable!

Does this sort of a tragedy hit our Christian lives as well?

… Am I possessing all the required resources to proclaim the Gospel message, but unfortunately failing to have the most essential aspect of God’s Power within me?

… Am I having all the necessary entities to give witness to Christ’s Teachings, but sadly, unable to be endowed with the most important element of God’s Spirit in me?

Is my Christian life being reduced to a state of “having more machinery, but less Power?”

The Gospel of Day is an exhortation by the Lord on the need to “be endowed with His authority and be filled with His power” in order to have a faithful and committed life…

… as His disciple and His Missionary.

Jesus sends the Twelve on a Mission.

The Gospel of Luke narrates this procedure beautifully with a 2-step strategy..

1. He empowers them from within:  “He summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority…” (Lk 9:1)

2. He exhorts them to be free from outside: He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey…” (Lk 9: 3)

Jesus wishes and makes sure that His disciples are “empowered from within”

>> This is an authority that makes them to be true ambassadors of the Kingdom of God

>> This is a power that causes them to be filled with the divine gifts to conquer evil forces

Jesus also wants and strongly exhorts that His disciples are “to be from from outside”

>> This is a detachment from worldly things and in turn, causes them to be truly dependant of God, the Highest Power

>> This is a freedom from possessions, attachments and links that makes one to be wearied, slackened in spirit and weighed down with anxieties

Each one of us, as Christians, are to be a disciple of the Lord and a Missionary of the Kingdom.

Can I also give heed to the words and message of the Lord…

… to be “empowered from within”

… “to be free from outside”

1. We can be “empowered from within”…

… by spending quality time with the Lord-  in prayer – regularly, and renewing my zeal and commitment to Him

… by seeking to listen to His voice addressed to us in various situations and people and following His Will … by being obedient to His teachings and following the commandments and requirements of the Commandment of Love.

2. We can be “free from outside”…

… by letting go – gradually and radically – my self-centered interests and selfish desires

… by realizing my limits and growing in awareness of the majestic power of the Lord in my life

… by constantly reviewing my life to check whether I get entangled in worldly ways and unbecoming lifestyles.

May we constantly be on the watch to avoid our Christian lives being reduced to a state of “having more machinery, but less Power!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Every Christian needs a half-hour of prayer each day, except when he is busy…

… then he needs an hour!”

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Sep 24 (Lk 8:19-21)

We live in a generation where clicking photos and taking selfies have become quite popular!

>>  And when photos or selfies of a group are clicked, there is often a crowding together of many people to come inside the photo frame…

… to be seen visible in the photo that is clicked.

To jostle together to get inside a photo-view or a photo-frame, can be fun…

…. and sometimes real tough too.

Today, the Divine Master Jesus, is out to click a photo…to capture on frame all who belong to His Family…

>> There is a lot of jostling and shoving and pushing by people to sneak inside this photo frame.

But Jesus makes a clear demarcation: “Only those who hear the Word of God and do it are to be a part of this Family Photo frame”!

The Gospel of the Day depicts the incident where the mother and brothers of Jesus come to meet Him…

… and He declaring that His mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and do it in their lives”

Jesus loves to break new ground.

>> He loves to define new concepts.

>> He dares to look at things with innovation.

And here, Jesus revolutionizes and redefines the understanding of belonging to God’s Family.

In the Gospel of Luke 2:41-52, we have the incident of Jesus getting lost in the Temple of Jerusalem.

When Mother Mary questioned Him why He had done so, Jesus replies back: “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

Jesus shows His priority and importance with respect to relationships and familial ties.

Relationship in a human family is understood in terms of connectivity of blood.

>> Relationship in Jesus’ family is to be understood in terms of connectivity of hearts.

                                                                                                                                                                           

Relationship in a human family is defined by association with a particular lineage and ancestry.

>> Relationship in Jesus’ Family is defined by association with hearing and doing God’s Will.

The true family has God as its Father and whose children are those “who hear the word of God and act on it.”

>> The true family in the Kingdom of God, is not first determined by bonds of earthly kinship, but rather by the bonds of spiritual kinship!

The true family is the family of God, the church, the body of Christ.

>> The early church father, St. Cyprian of Carthage, said quite rightly, “You cannot have God as your Father, if you do not have the Church as your Mother.”

Too often in times past, Christians, especially, we Catholics, have taken great pride in our faith.

But today perhaps we need to examine the basis and validity of this our claim and pride…

>> Am I proud to be a Catholic merely because I have been born and brought up with a Catholic upbringing…

… or can I be proud I am a Catholic because I know and live its teachings and traditions in my life?

>> Am I proud to be a Catholic merely because I attend regularly Sunday masses and fulfill some church obligations…

… or can I be proud that I am a Catholic because I have a deep faith in the Sacraments especially in the Eucharist?

It’s great to be called a follower of Christ…and enjoy privileges and benefits as a Christian…

>> But it’s a challenge to live His teachings and principles in our life, and truly be called His follower!

It’s nice to be called as a follower of Christ and be known in the society as belonging to a “peaceful and nice” community…

>> But it’s a challenge to live the virtues of love and patience and follow God’s Will in our lives, and truly being a peaceful and nice Christian.

Yes, the Divine Master Jesus, is out to click a photo…to capture on frame all who belong to His Family…

>> Let us do God’s will so that we may be part of His Family Photo!

Say Cheese?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “We have to allow our minds to be pierced by the thorns of difficulties, and allow our hearts to be pierced by the lance of contradiction…

… to drink of the bitterness and swallow the vinegar, if this is God’s Will!”

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