February 10, 2020 – 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Year 2

“Finding contentment in having the Presence of the Lord as the greatest richness of one’s life!”

(Based on 1 Kgs 8:1-13 and Mk 6:53-56)

A pious religious traveller once found a precious stone…

… a precious jewel.

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

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

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

The traveller departed quickly, overjoyed with his new possession.

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

He returned the stone to him and made a request:

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

… more precious than this stone.

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

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

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

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

… but rather, an internal glow!

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

The passage begins with the statement of Jesus crossing over…

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

This place – Gennesaret – is an interesting place.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>> However fertile the land…

… there were still many who were badly ailing!

>> However fruitful the land…

… there were still many who were painfully ill!

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

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


… All that Glitters is not gold

Indeed, we need to understand…

… a book should never be judged by its cover

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

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

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

>> They had their riches…

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

>> They had their resources…

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

Our own lives may sometimes represent the Land of Gennesaret…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Am I willing to respond thus to the Lord…

… in sincerity, in openness, in docility?

Am I willing to bend myself to the Lord…

… in humility, in meekness, in submissiveness?

The people of Israel solemnly welcomed the Ark of the Lord into their midst (1 Kgs 8:1-13)…

… and allowed the Glory of the Lord to dwell among them.

The Lord was teaching them to understand the importance of His Presence in their lives!

>> And it’s only with Him that they could enjoy being a “garden of riches!”

Let us make our life a true “Gennesaret”…

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

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

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

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

May our lives…

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

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!


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

…and pour oil into them (2 Kgs 4:3-4

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


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