November 1, 2020 – Solemnity of All Saints

“Responding to the call of the Lord – along with the galaxy of Saints who beckon and encourage each one of us – to tread the path of holiness!”

(Based on the Solemnity of All Saints)

The second half of the 20th century, saw a number of Christians facing suffering and persecution in Eastern Europe…
… under the influence of the Communist regime.

There was a heroic Bishop, who continued to work in this dreadful atmosphere…
… and continued to preach the Gospel.

He attributed his strength to be bold and zealous for the Lord…
… thanks to a beautiful vocation call he received, through the medium of his grandmother.

This Bishop had been orphaned at a young age and lived with his grandmother.

They stayed in the house of his uncle, who was the parish priest of a particular church.

Soon after the communists had taken power, they captured this parish priest and had him arrested..
… leaving the grandmother and the little son (the Bishop) alone.

After a week of captivating the parish priest, the offenders came to the church as well as the residence, to ransack any religious article, documents or images that could be found.

Finally, when they finished looting everything, as they left…
… the grandmother and the boy, stood at the entrance of the house.

One of the soldiers, with contempt and mockery asked the old lady, “Well, do you have any more religious articles or cross that we can take with us?”

The grandmother, with boldness and courage, looked into the face of the soldier and said:
“Well, I do have one.
But you cannot take that away from me!”

Saying so, she made the Sign of the Cross!

The soldiers were taken aback…
… but left, without saying a word.

The powerful witness by the grandmother, sparked the fire of Divine Vocation in the heart of that young boy…
… who went on to become a heroic Bishop – himself giving witness to the Lord, in the midst of persecutions!

Such are saintly lives, isn’t it?

They inspire…
They motivate…
They spur us on…
… to live Christian lives with boldness and courage!

Today, Holy Mother the Church is geared up to celebrate Her Saints – on this Solemnity of the All-Saints!

It’s a day of immense celebration of these Superheroes of God!

The Church invites us today to lift our gaze to heaven…
… and thank and praise God for the innumerable people who not only persevered in their faith while they lived on earth…
… but actually lived their lives in such a way that they built up Christ’s Kingdom in the world.

The saints are not superheroes in the worldly sense…

What sets them apart…
… is not their miraculous power
… is not their popularity and fame.

Rather, what makes them saints, is their faith and their discipleship and their service to others.

The word…SAINT…sometimes strikes an odd chord in our minds…
Saints are often considered to be people…
… beyond our reach and too holy for our lives
… for whom the path to sanctity was made easy and cozy.
… who are given a special boon from God to live a holy life.

But the truth perhaps, is quite contrary…
Saints are people…
… who are truly very close to us and lived in simple and ordinary life situations like us.
… who had to struggle through many hardships and trials in the path to holiness.
… who co-operated with the grace of God and remained faithful to their commitment and call

Every Christian is called to a life of Holiness and to be a Saint…

How is this possible in our lives…?

The Beatitudes proclaimed by Jesus, in today’s Gospel shows us the path… (Mt 5: 1-10)

Being a saint…
… by depending on God in all dimensions of our life and seeking His Kingdom above all
… by mourning over our sins and seeking to live a life in repentance.
… by living a life of firm gentleness and trusting patience in the midst of injustice and pain
… by becoming agents of justice and seekers of establishing truth
… by offering mercy to the needy and even to those who we feel, don’t deserve
… by preserving purity in our thoughts, words and deeds
… by striving for establishing peace and harmony even in conflicting situations
… by accepting suffering and becoming stronger in our struggle to establish God’s Kingdom

This Feast day is a chance for us to sneak into the personal diary of the saints…
… and to “steal” some tips for us to admire and imitate them…
The Saints’ Favourite Food: The Holy Eucharist
The Saints’ Favourite Dress: The Armour of Faith
The Saints’ Favourite Pastime: Doing anything with immense Love of God
The Saints’ Favourite Symbol: The Holy Cross
The Saints’ Favourite Moments: Every time they discovered more the depth of God’s Love
The Church has a marvellous number of saints who are canonized.

On this special day, we also take our time, to raise our hearts in gratitude, for the many other holy men and women, who sparkle with sanctity, but have not been officially declared so.

A few may be known to us, in our family or friends circle…

Most of them, will remain unknown and unfamiliar and unheard.
But in the Lord’s presence, they dazzle and shine, in holiness and purity.
This galaxy of Saints beckon and encourage each one of us today to tread this path of holiness.

As St Augustine says:
“Do you aspire to do great things?

Begin with the little ones”
… Doing our simple works with much love of God.
… Living our Christian life with much faithfulness
… Seeing the deep presence of God in all areas of our life.

Let us live a life…
… of self-sacrifice, renunciation and trust in God
… seeking to do God’s will at all times
… laced with the tender Love of God in all our activities.

Today, all the saints in heaven, with a loud chorus invite each one of us:
“Come, dear Child… Be a Saint!
Do not be afraid! We are with you!”

What is our response?

Happy Feast to all the Saints in Heaven… the Church Triumphant!

Happy Feast to all the faithful departed, being purged to be saints… the Church Suffering!
Happy Feast to all of us, striving to be saints, here on earth… the Church Militant!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “If we walk steadily and faithfully…

… God will lift us up to greater things!”

October 31, 2020 – 30th Week in Ordinary Time

“Being inspired by our Blessed Mother to single-mindedly live for God and reach out in service to His people, without seeking for any appreciation or applauds!”

(Based on Phil 1:18-26 and Lk 14:1,7-11 – Saturday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time)

Sir Isaac Newton is considered to be one of the greatest scientists of all time.

It was Newton who had discovered the Laws of Gravity which caused great advancements in the field of astronomical studies.

But there was another person, who had greatly helped Newton to climb this ladder of success…
… and of fame and popularity.

But he mostly remains unknown!

His name is Edmund Halley.

It was Halley who corrected some of the mathematical errors committed by Newton.
It was Halley who prepared geometrical figures to support his discoveries.
It was Halley who edited and supervised the publication of his great work, “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”
It was also Halley who financed its printing even though Newton was wealthier and easily could have afforded the printing costs

These acts are considered to be among the most selfless ones in the history of science.

But, Halley hardly received any prominence or recognition.

He is, of course, known for the discovering a comet named the “Halley’s Comet”
… which appears briefly once every 76 years!

And even that recognition was accorded only after his death!

Halley is stated to have said that he didn’t care who received credit for discoveries…

His single mission in life was to advance the cause of science…
… and he did it!

To do an act of goodness and charity, without…

Wanting appreciation…
Seeking recognition…
Desiring applauds…
… though, a mighty challenge, is at the same time, a Christian demand!

The Gospel of the Day is a call from Jesus to examine our attitude towards others…
… and grow in this tremendous dimension of the Virtue of Humility!

We are in the 14th Chapter of St Luke.

Jesus has been invited for a dinner to the house of a leading Pharisee on a Sabbath Day.

He has just cured a person with dropsy…
… a disease wherein water gets retained in the body

He also tried to cure persons with hypocrisy…
… a disease wherein duplicity gets retained in the mind!

And now He seeks to cure the attitude of the people who have a false understanding of giving.

Jesus says:
“When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends, or your brothers and relatives and wealthy neighbours. For surely they will invite you in return and you will be repaid” (Lk 14:12)

Much of our giving is based purely on the (hidden) aspect of receiving back…

Much of our sharing is based purely on an (unconscious) agenda of getting back…

We share our time with friends…
… often expecting that they too will accompany us in our times of hardships and difficulties!

We work hard for our families…
… often expecting that they too will be with us in our moments of struggle & not leave us lonely!

We render service to many people who are in need…
… often expecting that they too will render us assistance in our difficulties!

We pray to God & make a lot of sacrifices…
… often expecting that He’ll meet all our expectations, in the way & time, we want!

We love many saints…
… often expecting that they’ll make faster intercession on our behalf and get our works done quickly.

We have, perhaps, become very business oriented:

I give, and expect returns…
I share, and expect a bonus…

But the Lord, in today’s Gospel comes down heavily on such an attitude.

“When you give, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind…because they cannot repay you” (Lk 14:13)

We are exhorted to give to those…
… who may never be able to repay back.

We are challenged to help those…
… who may never have a chance to return back the favour.

The Lord who said these words, shows us an example in the highest manner possible….

In the Holy Eucharist!

The Holy Eucharist is the best example and model…of such kind of a giving..

A giving without expecting back!
A sharing without seeking back!

The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the poor…
… we who are poor in our morals and purity
… we who are poor in our commitment and dedication

The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the Crippled…
… crippled with our many sins and faults
… crippled with the guilt of many past failures

The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the Lame…
… lame in our longing and thirst for the Divine
… lame in our acts of self-giving and self-sacrifice

The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the Blind…
… blind to the cries of those around us
…blind to see our habits which needs repentance & improvement

Jesus, who gives Himself entirely in the Holy Eucharist today challenges us to do the same:
“I give myself to you as food and nourishment…
… even though many people fail to thank me!

Can you also give yourselves to nourish the lives of others…
… even if they fail to acknowledge?”

“I give myself to you in joy, happiness and peace…
… even though many despise and mock me!

Can you also become a source of joy to others…
… even if they back-bite and spread calumny?”

“I give myself to you as a healing for sin and guilt…
… even though many hate and desecrate me!
Can you also become a healing touch to the other…
… even if it means dying slowly to yourself slowly die in the process?”

Yes, as Christians, we have to grow in humility…

Our single mission in life ought to be, the advancement of the Kingdom of God…
… and we ought to pray and work for this virtue!

St Paul gloriously tells to join in his chorus: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain!” (Phil 1:21)

The onus is on us…

May we seek the grace and make the efforts…
… to do acts of goodness and charity, without…

Wanting appreciation…
Seeking recognition…
Desiring applauds…
… which, though, a mighty challenge, is at the same time, a Christian demand!

On this last day of the month of October – the month of the Rosary – let us thank the Lord for the gift of our Blessed Mother…

And praying the Rosary – which is a journey through the Life of Jesus, holding the Hands of our Mamma…
… let us be inspired by our Blessed Mother to single-mindedly live for God and reach out in service to His people, without seeking for any appreciation or applauds!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “When we discover that our lute is out of tune
we must neither break the strings…

… nor throw the instrument aside!”

October 30, 2020 – 30th Week in Ordinary Time

“Receiving the touch of the Lord, in order to be safe, from being drowned in the troubled waters of life!”

(Based on Phil 1: 1-11 and Lk 14:1-6 – Friday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time)

For our reflection today, we shall make a verse by verse analysis of the Gospel Passage…

The passage under consideration is the Healing of the man with dropsy on the Sabbath Day.
Let us carefully reflect on this amazingly dramatic incident…

The passage begins with the statement, “On a Sabbath, Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees…” (Lk 14:1a)

Here was an invitation of a high and elite nature…

A leading Pharisee of the Jewish society had called Jesus to his home.

He was joined by many other scholars of the Law and the Pharisees.

Maybe it was a show of one’s status and pride and dignity as a great Pharisee…

Maybe it was another chance for the critics of Jesus to find something to crib about him…

“…and the people there were observing Him carefully…” (Lk 14:1b)

To be invited for a dinner was something nice and pleasant…

But to be invited to become an object of observation and scanning was bad enough.

“The people were observing Him carefully” suggested a suspicious action…

It was as if, some thieves were waiting eagerly to strike on their target…
It was as if, some fierce lions, were stealthily preparing to pounce upon their prey…

And then comes the bait “In front of him, there was a man suffering from dropsy” (Lk 14:2)

What’s dropsy?

Dropsy was a condition in which there was an unnatural collection of serous (pale yellow and transparent) fluid in any cavity of the body.

Dropsy was water retention in the body.

Dropsy itself was not a disease, but a symptom of a disease.

It could be a number of things – complications of the liver or kidney or the heart or all three!

In the Jewish understanding, someone who had this condition of dropsy, was seen as a great sinner, even related to being a sexual sinner.

This sickness was a pointer to the man’s condition of being highly unclean!

But to bring back our attention to the Gospel…
Was this not a setting of a dinner?
Was not Jesus called for a meal…
… and that too, a dinner with the elite and leading religious people…
…and that too, on a Sabbath day?!

Then what was a man with dropsy, a serious condition of uncleanness, doing there?

The plot of the drama seems to be thickening…

The setup seems to be getting clear…

The Pharisees have invited Jesus for a meal, yes…but probably with a hidden and a mean agenda:
Drop a man with dropsy in front of Jesus… and observe what he does!

They knew Jesus had the power to heal… but they also knew that it would lead to violation of the Sabbath!

They knew Jesus would feel compassion on the man…but they also knew that it would give them a chance to go up in arms!

They wanted Jesus to violate the Sabbath to give proof that He was not from God!

The Rabbinical rule was that one could only be doctored if one was going to die immediately on the Sabbath.

But if death is not imminent, wait till the Sabbath is over.

But Jesus had time & again proved, that he had no regard for that lack of compassion or for the folly of that legalism.

In Lk 6:6-11, Jesus healed a withered man, on the Sabbath…
In Lk 13: 10-17, Jesus healed a woman, crippled for eighteen years, on the Sabbath…

So, He asks the guests gathered around, “Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath or not?” (Lk 14:3)

Jesus knew their answer.
Jesus knew their perspective of things.
Yet He wanted them to tell.

“… but they kept silent” (Lk 14:4a)…

They knew the answer too.
They knew it was unlawful.
Still they did not tell Him.

Sheer hypocrisy!
Absolute malicious trapping!
Horrifying trick of deception!

And then Jesus does something astonishing…
“… he took the man, and after he had healed him, dismissed him” (Lk 14:4b)

The Greek word used for “took” is a very very strong verb….”Epilombano”
“Epilombano” literally means to lay hold of or to seize upon anything with the hands

It is the same word used in…
… Lk 23:26, when the soldiers seized Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross
… Acts 16:19 to say that Paul and Silas were seized and dragged by their persecutors..)

The cruel silence of the crowd provokes Jesus, to strongly seize the afflicted man!

He doesn’t work the miracle in hiding or quietly or from a distance!

Rather, with much force, He just grabs the man, seizes him, crushes him in His arms…
… as if to squeeze the fluid out and give him a new heart, a new liver, and a new self and creates in the man a whole new set of internal organs.

And finally Jesus justifies His action with another thundering question, “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath?” (Lk 14:6)

A beautiful picture indeed…

Jesus asks them, “None of you would have allowed your son or ox to drown in the waters, isn’t it?

Then why don’t you see, that I have also saved from drowning… this man with dropsy, drowning in his own fluid!?

Another total silence by the onlookers!

Am I also silent now?

There is much to learn from this dramatic incident, isn’t it?

May this dramatic Gospel incident, become…
… a wonderful inspiration, for us… who need the touch of the Lord, from being drowned in the troubled waters of life!
… a hard warning, for us… who malign other’s lives by seeking to find ways and means to trap them in the works of goodness!
… a tremendous booster, for us… who often get bogged down by troubles of life & instead to be bold to the hard & gritty challenges of life!

Let the prayer of St Paul become a reality in our lives: “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent…
… and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God!” (Phil 1: 9-11)

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Comets appear to be larger than stars and more
fanfare is generally made of them. Yet, they are not comparable to stars either in size or in quality and only seem more spectacular because they are closer.

So, too, most people generally esteem the virtues which are, so to speak, closer, more tangible & more material!”

October 29, 2020 – 30th Week in Ordinary Time

“Finding rest, shelter and protection under the wings of the Lord, our Mother Hen!”

(Based on Eph 6:10-20 and Lk 13:31-35 – Thursday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time)

As children, we have often heard short stories…

One of the famous stories we have heard is about the Fox and the Hen.

The Fox tries his level best to kill the hen and it almost succeeds, until, the hen, by its cleverness, escapes through the clutches of the fox!

The fox is described with dominative and oppressive characters.

The hen is described with a defenceless and subjugated character.

Yet, the hen with its cleverness and adeptness manages to escape through its grasp.

The Gospel of the day presents such similar images of the Hen and the Fox to deliver a powerful message for our spiritual lives.

The passage begins with some Pharisees giving a warning to Jesus to leave that place since Herod wanted to kill Him.

Firstly, we encounter an unusual image of the Pharisees…

Usually, they are a group who present a very opposing and critical attitude.

The thought of a Pharisee, usually, brings an image of people who are knowledgeable, yet judgemental and disapproving in their behaviour.

But here is a welcome distinction…

These Pharisees display a concern towards Jesus and warn Him of the dangers posed by King Herod.

Why did these Pharisees do so?
…In malice, to further trap Jesus?
…In jealousy, to keep Jesus away from the crowds?
…In concern, to help in His mission?

We can’t say for sure.

We can’t ascertain what really their motive behind warning Jesus was.

But it does allows us space to think that all people cannot be judged as wrong all the time!

At least an inkling of goodness exists in all, even in the midst of thick evil!

The answer of the Lord to the warning is a strong one…”Go and tell that fox…!” (Lk 13:32)

The image of the fox appears….King Herod.

Why does Jesus call King Herod as a fox?

The fox was an unclean animal for a Jew.

More than the slyness of the animal, Jesus was perhaps referring more to its uncleanness.

Herod always had issues with respect to being a clean and credible Jew…
After the death of his father, King Herod the Great (the one who had killed the many innocent male children at the birth of Jesus), this Herod Antipas had been put in power by Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor, in 4 BC.

History tells that in 17 AD, to honour his Roman rulers, he build a grand new capital city named Tiberius, after the current emperor, only to discover that it was built on top of an old Jewish cemetery.

No pious Jew ever entered it, and was occupied exclusively by the pagans.

Herod also had his moral issues…

He divorced his first wife, in order to marry Herodias, the wife of his brother, Philip.
John the Baptist had been a persistent critic of Herod for this dubious marriage.

Herod had John killed because he had promised his daughter anything she wanted if she danced for him, and John’s head on a platter is what she wanted.

True, that King Herod Antipas was a powerful man and a person of great influence.
… But Jesus, the King of Kings and the God of all, fears him not and calls him “a fox!”

When one is filled with the mighty Spirit of God, no earthly forces can cause fright or scare!
When one fully trusts in the strength of God, no worldly might can cause anxiety or dread!
When one is committed to one’s convictions and missions, no power can deter away from it!

This leads Jesus to give another image…
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how many times, I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings…“

The image of a mother Hen appears…Jesus Christ

It is one of the most overtly feminine references to God in all of scripture.

Jesus will be the mother hen who stands between the chicks and those who mean to harm.
She has no pointed fangs or rippling muscles.

But all she has, is her willingness to shield her babies with her own body.

If the fox wants them, he will have to kill her first.

This is the image that Jesus for Himself… a Hen.

It lays bare God’s vulnerability.

Here is the contrast…
King Herod, presented as a Fox…powerful, rude, forceful

Jesus, presented as a mother Hen…protective, sacrificial, shielding

This mother Hen, Jesus, invites each of us, His chicks, to find shelter under His wings.
Am I willing to take shelter under the wings of Jesus, the mother Hen?

St Paul exhorts us to remain firm and strong in the Lord and to put on the armour of the Lord:
“… be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil!” (Eph 6:10-11)

The Gospel has a sad note: When the mother hen tried to gather her chicks underneath her wings, “they were unwilling” (Lk 13:34b)

The chicks are unwilling to remain under the shade of the hen’s wings…

Maybe they wanted more freedom…
Maybe they just wanted to have their own way of living life…
Maybe they did not find the mother hen too exciting, whereas the active fox attracted them…

We too are sometimes so…

We fail to come under the shade of God’s wings…
We become unwilling.

The story of the fox and the hen continues…

Do I get attracted more to the energetic and tempting fox…

Or do I find rest, shelter and protection under the wings of the mother hen?

The choice is before us…

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “”We must not fear fear!”

October 28, 2020 – Feast of St Simon and St Jude

“May the life and intercession of St Simon and St Jude – two hidden, yet Great Apostles of the Lord – impel us to love God and His people, and spread the Gospel of God to many more!”

(Based on the Feast of Apostles – St Simon and St Jude)

A garden of flowers delights most people!

A garden consists of a variety of flowers, with varied colours, sizes, shapes.
Some flowers tend to capture our attention more…some escape the gaze of our eyes.

However, this in no way, reduces or increases their relevance and importance.

Each flower has its own specialty.
Each flower has its own attraction.

Jesus in His garden of ministry, chose twelve apostles.

Some apostles tend to capture our attention more…some escape the gaze of our eyes.

However, this in no way, reduces or increases their relevance and importance.

Each apostle has his own specialty
Each apostle has his own attraction.

Today Holy Mother the Church celebrates the feast of two apostles: St Jude and St Simon.

These are apostles, who in most probability escape the gaze of our eyes.

These two saints are usually known as the “unknown apostles”.
Yet, they have their own greatness before God and their own importance to inspire us in our lives!

The scarcity of their appearance in the New Testament is so vivid that except in the list of the names of the apostles…
… the name of Simon never appears elsewhere whereas the name of Jude makes only a single appearance in the discourse of Jesus after the last supper (Jn 14: 22).

In the Gospel of Matthew & Mark, the apostle Simon is given the title of a Canaanean, while Luke mentions him as “Zealot”.

This apostle Simon must have belonged to the Zealot Party.

The Zealot Party was a first-century political movement among Judean Jews who sought to overthrow the occupying Roman government.

According to the Jewish historian Josephus, four main Jewish groups existed at the time of Christ – the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes and the Zealots.

The Zealots were known for their aggression and violent behaviour.

They advocated that no one, but Yahweh alone should rule over Israel and hence, obedience to the Roman government should be refused.

The selection of Simon, the Zealot as an Apostle, is a great insight into the workings of Jesus, in His Kingdom Ministry…
The Lord accepts us with our hard instincts.

The Lord takes into account our various mentalities and mindsets.

In His Divine Love, He squashes all such factors and patterns us into people fit for His Kingdom.

He doesn’t reject us in our over-zeal.
He doesn’t cast us away because of our impulses.

All that He expects is an openness to follow Him fully and allow ourselves to be moulded!

The Apostle Jude is given another title by St Matthew and St Mark: Thaddeus.

Thaddeus means “the courageous heart”

St Jude is one of the most popular saints in our world today, considering the fact that he is often called as “The Miraculous Saint”.

St Jude is the one whose aid is often sought when all hope is lost, especially in grave illness & life-&-death situations.

There is a story that since his name is identical with Judas Iscariot, who had betrayed Jesus, St Jude would hardly be interceded too, except in the most desperate situations!

And hence, perhaps, he got identified as the ‘Patron in Helpless Causes!’

St Bridget of Sweden & St Bernard had visions from God asking each to accept St Jude as ‘Patron Saint of the Impossible’.

The Apostle Jude teaches us a few insights for our spiritual growth:

  1. Like the name – Jude Thaddeus – we are invited too, to have a “heart full of courage”.
    The Kingdom of God requires brave soldiers and people of immense valour.

The Lord needs followers who are imbued with the might of His Holy Spirit and who boldly proclaim the Gospel and witness its values by their lives.
No situation of discouragement or setbacks will hinder the march of a “Courageous Heart”!

  1. St Jude, as the Patron of Desperate Cases, inspires us to have a deeper faith and trust in the Providence and Mercy of God.

The Lord is all-knowing.

He wills what is best for us.

However, in our human frailty, we often tend to lose our hope and become highly desperate.

But this Saint teaches to grow deeper in our faith & know that “behind every dark cloud is a silver lining of the sun… (Son!)”!

  1. St Jude also teaches the powerful role of Intercessory Prayer.
    We are all created in the Image and Likeness of God, and each of us have a bounden duty to the other…
    … to take care, to love each other and to pray for one another.

When we pray for others and bring others to the presence of God, we help them in their difficulties and join with them in solidarity and compassion.

There are many hidden flowers in a garden.

Yet, each one has its own beauty and fragrance and value.

These two apostles – St Simon and St Jude – are fairly hidden in the Gospels, and yet we can learn and be inspired much by them.

May the life and intercession of these two hidden, yet Great Apostles of the Lord…
… impel us further, to love God and His people…
… and spread the Gospel of God to many more!

Happy Feast of the Apostles St Jude and St Simon.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Devotion is simply a spiritual activity and liveliness by means of which Divine Love works in us…
… and causes us to work briskly and lovingly.

And just as charity leads us to a general practice of all God’s Commandments…

… so devotion leads us to practise them readily and diligently!”

October 27, 2020 – 30th Week in Ordinary Time

“Allowing God to take charge of our lives and offering all to His Hand, so that small things grow large and small gifts expand!”

(Based on Eph 5:21-33 and Lk 13:18-21 – Tuesday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time)

A young Christian businessman who had established himself well in his area of work, was once interviewed by a journalist…
… and asked for the secret of his quick success.

“Well”, said the young businessman, “I attribute all my success to my Lord!
From my college days, I have sought to give God the first place in my life.

And He has always led me!

There is a simple formula that I always hold on to…
The formula goes thus:
‘Where God’s in charge,
Little things grow large!
And in God’s Hand,
Small gifts expand!”

So true, isn’t it?

If we allow the Hand of God to work even in the small things that we do…
… we will surely experience the bountifulness of His Grace working miraculously!

The Gospel of the Day is a recounting of this Great Truth of our life, when Jesus expounds the “Miracle of God’s Hand in the littleness of our life” with the help of two examples:

  1. The Mustard Seed

“… a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his garden…
… and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches!” (Lk 13: 19)

  1. Leaven

“… like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened!” (Lk 13:21)

One of the beautiful lessons that the Lord teaches from these two metaphors of daily life is that: Our little works done for God, should never cause us to feel discouraged in life!

The little mustard seed and the little leaven…
… were not really expected to do great things
… were not quite symbols of greatness or majesty

Yet, the Lord – in His Divine Wisdom – uses these “little aspects of life” to project His Mighty Story of the Kingdom!

As St Paul says: “God chose the foolish of the world, to shame the wise…
… and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong..” (1 Cor 1: 27)

This is the truth we come across in the Mighty Story of the Kingdom, as we scan through the pages of the Bible…
… even in the Life of Jesus!

Jesus was born into a small Family from Nazareth in the smallest of villages (Bethlehem).
His Ministry started in one of the smallest places – Galilee.

Galilee was an insignificant portion of an obscure part of the Roman world.

He went no further than Jerusalem with His message

In the time of the Roman Empire, Jerusalem was not considered a cultural centre.
… Rome, Athens and Alexandria featured more prominently on the political and cultural radar.
In fact, for the Romans, Jerusalem was a city of fanatic Jews – to be best controlled by an army of troops and easily-swaying kings like Herod and his family!

Yet, Jesus has become the greatest influencer in Human History!

“Where God’s in charge,
Little things grow large!
And in God’s Hand,
Small gifts expand!”

Life doesn’t always give us great opportunities to perform big acts of charity and kindness.

But our life is filled with immense chances…
… to “sow tiny mustard seeds”
… and to “mix little leaven”…

Do we make the best use of such chances:

  1. To sow the “tiny mustard seeds”…

Of Gentleness… in the rough terrains of pride and haughty lives
Of Love… in the field of broken relationships and strained associations
Of Mercy… in the territories of hateful feelings and unforgiving hearts

  1. To “mix the little leaven”…

Of undiluted Christian convictions… in the dough of easy-going-life and relativistic mentality
Of contagious passion… with the flour of lethargic and lazy attitudes to life
Of credible life witness… in the mixture of scandalous trends and discouraging religiosity

Servant of God, Fr Peter Mermier (the Founder of the MSFS – Missionaries of St Francis de Sales) says:
“We do a lot in doing a little, if we do it for God, when and as He wishes!”

God doesn’t mind much the size of our works…
… but at the amount of love we add to it!

God doesn’t look at the fanfare in our acts of service…
… but at the volume of selflessness we add to it!

St Paul tells us: “… Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body, and is Himself its Saviour…” (Eph 5:23)

Of course, the world may not appreciate such “simple and little works”!

But let the “tiny mustard seed” and the “little leaven” remind us:

Our little works done for God, should never cause us to feel discouraged in life!

“Where God’s in charge,
Little things grow large!
And in God’s Hand,
Small gifts expand!”

(P.S: Psst… Did you add an “extra bit of God’s Love” while reading this reflection…?)

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “One kind word wins more willing service…

… than a hundred harsh orders or stern reproofs!”

October 26, 2020 – 30th Week in Ordinary Time

“Responding to the invitation of the Lord of all Liberation and Wholeness to experience His Healing Touch!”

(Based on Eph 4:32-5:8 and Lk 13:10-17 – Monday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time)

There is a simple little poem, which goes thus:

“A horse can’t pull, while kicking,
This fact we merely mention.
And he can’t kick, while pulling,
Which is our chief contention!

Let’s therefore, imitate the good horse
And lead a life that’s fitting;
Just pull an honest load, and then
There’ll be no time for kicking!”

These few lines of the poem explain in clear terms…
… on how the aspect of criticism and bad-mouthing is a result of a lack of focus and proper attitude!

Are we sometimes people who fail to have such “horse-sense”?

This lack of a “horse-sense” can lead to the…
… habit of spitting out unpleasant words at others, without the least concern.
… practise of spitting out harsh and judgmental words, with minimal mercy.
… tendency to spitting out critical words to put down people in humiliation.

The Gospel of the Day brings a classical example of a person who failed to have this “horse-sense”.

The context of the Gospel passage is that of Jesus healing a woman who had been crippled for eighteen on a Sabbath Day.

However, after the healing, the leader of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had cured on a Sabbath.

He told, “There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the Sabbath day” (Lk 13:14)

This leader of the synagogue, was displaying the lack of a “horse-sense”.

Here was something noble and good being done…

But he fails to see the goodness and instead shouts at the people for not keeping the laws.

Here was something miraculous and godly being performed…

But he closes himself to the Kingdom of God and focuses on the need to obey human rules.

His lack of “horse-sense” seemed badly exposed!

Jesus, the Lord of healing and restoration, encountered the woman who had been crippled for many years…

She was bent.
She was in pain probably.
She was also very much dispirited too.

Jesus saw her need…
… but the leader of the synagogue saw her as a nuisance.

Jesus understood her pain…
… but the leader of the synagogue chose to inflict shame on the people.

This is the trouble very often: One concentrates only on the negative aspects of persons and situations!

Jesus lashes out at such an attitude!

He calls the leader of the synagogue a hypocrite, and draws his attention to the greater and important dimensions of life!

“This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years, ought she not have been set free on this Sabbath day from this bondage?” (Lk 13:16)

The man focused on the rule of Sabbath…
… Jesus focused on the Law of Love and Liberation.

The man saw the commandment violated…
… Jesus saw a life that had been violated and was in need of renewal.

The man burst out in anger and pride…
… Jesus blossomed out in Compassion and Humanness.

Do I display any such characteristics?

Failing to see the goodness in people…
… and instead speak only of their faults and mistakes

Failing to trust in God in hard situations…
… and instead only criticize and blame God

Getting wild with people for tiny faults…
… without considering their context and circumstances

Spreading calumny and rumours…
…. about the unpleasant aspects of others

The Lord of all Liberation and Wholeness today invites us to experience His Healing Touch.

Many of us are crippled and infirmed…

We need a healing.
We need a touch of the Lord.

A negative attitude in life can cause much damage to the people around us.

It can make our life unclean and miserable and cause people to avoid us.
It can make our families, our communities and our societies to be unliveable and unpleasant.

As St Paul exhorts us: “… be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God!” (Eph 4:32-5:2)

A strong decision needs to be made: to stop the usage of…
… bad words
… defamatory news
… harmful statements
… uncharitable remarks
… and to stop spitting cruel and heartless comments!

Let us be aware:
“A horse can’t pull, while kicking,
And he can’t kick, while pulling,

Let’s therefore, imitate the good horse
And lead a life that’s fitting;
Just pull an honest load, and then
There’ll be no time for kicking!”

May the intercession and words of St Peter of Alcantara – a contemporary of well-known 16th-century Spanish saints, Ignatius of Loyola and John of the Cross and confessor to Saint Teresa of Avila – the Saint of the Day, be an inspiration for us:
“Truly, matters in the world are in a bad state; but if you and I begin in earnest to reform ourselves, a really good beginning will have been made!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Let us be as precise and balanced as possible

in our words!”

October 25, 2020 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Adopting the attitude of ‘loving others’ so that measure of our Love for God is visibly seen!”

(Based on Exod 22:21-27, 1 Thess 1:5b-10 and Mt 22:34-40 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

One of the important equipment aboard a ship is a boiler.

This marine boiler is “a closed vessel, in which water or other liquid is heated and steam is generated.

This steam is superheated, under pressure or vacuum, for use, external to itself.”

In an engine-room of the ship, it is highly difficult to look into the great boiler and see how much water it contains.

But thankfully, beside this great boiler, is a tiny glass-tube.

This serves as the gauge (= an instrument that measures and gives a visual display of the amount, level, or contents of something)

When the tube is full, the boiler is full.

When the tube is empty, the boiler is also empty

The level of water in the little tube is an indicator of the level of the water in the great boiler.

This illustration very practically demonstrates the kind of correspondence that exists between the one’s level of loving one’s neighbour and loving God.

The level of the love towards one’s neighbour is an indicator of the level of one’s love towards God.

Love of God and Love of neighbour are two sides of the same coin.

Such are the expressions, sentiments and teachings that are derived from the Gospel of the Day, when Jesus responds on the query, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (Mt 22: 36)

The Gospel passage opens with the verse, “When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together” (Mt 22: 24)

Let us dwell on a couple of interesting viewpoints on this often overlooked, yet a “worth-reflecting” verse…

  1. The verse says that the Sadducees had been silenced

The Greek used for “silenced” is the word “Phimoo”.

“Phimoo” means a muzzle.
A muzzle is device or a guard, usually made with straps of wire, fitted over the mouth of an animal to prevent it from biting or eating or opening its mouth.

The Sadducees had approached Jesus, as we read in the previous verses (Mt 22: 22-33) to encounter Him on the subject of the Resurrection of the Dead.

They had sought to grill Jesus…
They had desired to put Jesus to the shame…

But the tables had been overturned!

The Sadducees found themselves “silenced” – muzzled and gagged!

They were made silent not out of their choice…

They wished to talk, but somehow they were made to be quiet!
They wanted to fight out, but the answer of the Lord totally muted them!

They wanted to humiliate Jesus with their human wisdom…
… but Divine Wisdom, tracked their evil intentions, and they were made totally silent!

Do we make the mistake to challenge God’s Wisdom and Will by trying to distort them by our own evil manipulations?

Do we try to boast and be proud by taking offence at God’s Word and making attempts to rig and distort His Word?

The result will be that sooner or later, we would be pushed into silence…
… and made to realise that nothing can be greater than God and His Wisdom!

  1. The verse also says that the Pharisees “came together”
    The silencing of the Sadducees would have delighted the Pharisees.

These two groups were at loggerheads with each other, on some theological issues especially the Resurrection of the Dead, which the Sadducees did not approve.

However, on the other hand, the Pharisees would have also felt the rising presence of a greater Enemy – Jesus!

And so, with a wicked mentality, “they come together”…

not to seek a genuine clarification
not to grow more in Divine Wisdom
… but with a clear ulterior motive – of testing Jesus by somehow trapping Him in His words and teachings!

In our lives, do we also engage ourselves in this “Pharisaic style of coming together?”…
… to discuss plans and strategies on putting down other persons or scheming against them?
… to ‘examine the conscience of other persons’ and making them the subject of slander, mockery and enjoying vile pleasures?

It’s in this background that the Scholar of the Law approaches Jesus with this question to test Him, “Which commandment in the Law is the greatest?” (Mt 22: 36)

This man, who questioned Jesus was no ordinary man or any ignorant person.

He was a Scholar of the Law.

Some translations would put it as “a Lawyer”.

He was an expert in the Mosaic Law.
… Like a Scribe, someone who studied the law, interpreted the law and taught the law!

Jesus, aware of all this background…
… the wicked conspiracy that was brewing against Him
… the plot of testing that was hanging in the air

Responds with something immensely marvellous and spectacular:
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind… You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Mt 22: 37, 39)

Here was a gem of an answer…

The air was filled with “hateful” thoughts and “wicked planning”
… but Jesus dares to answer with the sublime answer of “Love!”

The Lord was being targeted badly with stones of “hatred, jealousy, aversion and hostility”
… but He powerfully showers back the flowers of “love, tenderness and commitment!”

And that is the essence of the Greatest Commandment that Jesus put forth – Love of God and Love of Neighbour.

Life sometimes hits very hard at us – in the form of we not being accepted by others, in being ridiculed or criticized or slandered by others and in finding ourselves as the subject of hatred and injustice.
… Can we still dare to “love them”?

Life sometimes is very unfair to us, we feel – by not rewarding us with the prizes that we consider, we deserve, in answer to the hard-work we put in… or by not allowing us to enjoy the joys of life and instead being bombarded with tensions and worries
… Can we still go out of the way and live a life “in love and for love”?

Love, as Jesus defines, is not simply about feelings and emotions, as is the popular and the ‘commercial’ understanding.

Love surely has, without any doubt, the dimensions of being ‘a tender feeling’ and ‘an expressive emotion’.

But beyond that, Love is…
… a commitment
… a dedication
… and a decision

that one makes to be faithful – to a person or a duty or a situation!

“Agape” is the Love to which we are called…
… a self-giving love
… a self-sacrificing love
… an other-centered love

God Yahweh reminds us that He is the Anawim God – the God Who stands for the poor: “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you do afflict them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry” (Exod 22:21-23)

And therefore we have a duty to be other-centered:

It is when we adopt this attitude of “loving others” that the measure of our Love for God is visibly seen.

The level of the love towards one’s neighbour is an indicator of the level of one’s love towards God…
… just like the level of water in the little tube, is an indicator of the level of the water in the great boiler in a ship.

Let the words of St Louis, a just and a righteous King who ruled France in the 13th century, be an inspiration for us: “Fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth.”

“Have a tender pitiful heart for the poor, and for all those whom you believe to be in misery of heart or body, and, according to your ability, comfort and aid them with some alms”
“Love all good, and hate all evil, in whomsoever it may be.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “When we see a soul that has raptures in prayer without ecstasy in life…

… these raptures are exceedingly doubtful and dangerous!”

October 24, 2020 – 29th Week in Ordinary Time

“In Faith and Love, trusting that the Lord – Our Mother Eagle, will always care for us – to Be His, forever!”

(Based on Eph 4:7-16 and Lk 13:1-9 – Saturday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

It’s interesting to know the making of an Eagle’s nest!

When a mother eagle builds her nest, she starts with thorns, broken branches, sharp rocks, and a number of other items that seem entirely unsuitable for the house.

But then she lines the nest with a thick padding of wool, feathers, and fur from animals she has killed, making it soft and comfortable for the eggs.

By the time the growing birds reach flying age, the comfort of the nest and the luxury of free meals make them quite reluctant to leave.

That’s when the mother eagle begins “stirring up the nest.”

With her strong talons, she begins pulling up the thick carpet of fur and feathers, bringing the sharp rocks and branches to the surface.

As more of the bedding gets plucked up, the nest becomes more uncomfortable for the young eagles.

Eventually, this and other urgings prompt the growing eagles to leave their once-comfortable abode and move on to more mature behaviour.

Our life is often such!

We take for granted comfortable situations, merciful acts and providential events.

But when something unpleasant happens, we are unable to digest them

When something “bad” happens, we look for people to be blamed and scapegoats to be accused!

And most of the time, the Scapegoat turns out to be “God”!

God is blamed…
… for all negative situations that come up suddenly
… for all uneventful happenings and calamities
… for all tragic moments in personal and societal life

This time of the pandemic, has been in particular, a time of many such questions and doubts arising in our hearts.

The Gospel of the Day opens our eyes to consider the “Jesus” way of looking and understanding such “uneventful” mishaps and “tragic” calamities.

Humanity is a daily witness to calamities, catastrophes, adversities and disasters.

Tragedies occur in the life of every human being.

Every now and then, we hear of many reports of unpredictable or unimaginable misfortunes occurring in the lives of people….tsunamis, floods, earthquakes….or bomb blasts, mass killings etc… In our own personal lives too, we experience a lot of painful moments…
…. very often, unexpectedly.

In the face of all these horrors… we are faced with many doubts and questions….

Why do these things happen to the innocent?
Why doesn’t the Good and Loving God do anything about all this?

Sometimes, we even take on a critical and judgmental attitude and say, “Probably, God is punishing all these people for their sins or their misdeeds”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus also is presented with a couple of human tragedies and made to react on them.

The first tragedy is about the Galileans who suffered at the hands of Pilate (Lk 13: 1-3)
The second is about the people who dies when the tower of Siloam fell on them (Lk 13: 4)

The first one is about a disaster brought about because of the cruel deeds of human beings

The second because of the misfortunes in nature.

In both these cases, however, the people who died, were mere subjects to death…

They had an unfortunate death, without perhaps really being guilty.

And so the natural reaction of the people of the times was that, the people who died would have been greater sins, and they are being punished by God.”

“These people deserved death because of their sins” was the popular slogan of those times.

Perhaps, when faced with calamities, we too often take upon this judgmental attitude,

But here Jesus points out the great reality…
These calamities and disasters are not to be another occasion for us to pass judgments

Rather, they become golden opportunities for us to make a self-reflection on our lives.

Like the tree which is given one more year – to be dug around, to be given manure and to produce… these tragedies and events in life, present us with more time to examine, how do we live our lives.

Do we take our lives for granted?

Perhaps, we have a tendency to often think there is plenty of time in life.

And complacency creeps into our life.

But these tragedies point to us the fact, that after all human life is very short.

And in this short-lived life, we need to make the best use of God’s graces to repent and to lead a Holy life.

In Rev 22.7, Jesus says “Behold, I am coming soon”
As Christians, we believe in the Coming of the Lord.

No one knows the hour
No one knows the day

But, being prepared, being vigilant always, is a must, is a necessity.

As St Paul tells us, “we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…” (Eph 4:15)

Human tragedies and personal misfortunes are to be understood as God’s manifestations of Love for us, to have our lives set clearly on our priorities for God and His Kingdom

They are not to evoke fear or elements of judging

Rather, should prompt us to take life more seriously, and to make Real Repentance and live a Holier lives.

One of the practical tip that we could easily practice is our Daily Examination of Conscience.

When we daily examine our conscience, and make efforts to amend our lives with true repentance, we are able to live the graces that are showered on us.

Also, a meaningful Regular Confession helps us not only to be forgiven of our sins, but also gives grace to lead a more holy and unblemished life.

The Lord invites us today, to wake up from our slumber of taking life easy and cool

He disturbs us in our comfortable and cosy life…
… and challenges us to make real repentance and lead a genuinely holy life.

Disasters, tragedies and misfortunes will keep happening.

But they are also a reminder for us to be eternally vigilant and keep guard over the sanctity of our lives.

In moments of the “stirring of our nest” in life, let’s not panic or be disturbed…

Rather, in Faith and Love, let’s trust that the Lord – Our Mother Eagle – will always care for us…
… and wants us to seek Him… to Be His, forever!

Today we also seek the intercession of St Antony Mary Claret, the founder of the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CMF – Claretians) and be inspired by his words:
“Love is the most necessary of all virtues.

Love in the person who preaches the word of God is like fire in a musket.

If a person were to throw a bullet with his hands, he would hardly make a dent in anything…
… but if the person takes the same bullet and ignites some gunpowder behind it, it can kill.

It is much the same with the word of God.

If it is spoken by someone who is filled with the fire of charity- the fire of love of God and neighbour- it will work wonders!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Let the world turn upside down, let everything be in darkness, in smoke, in uproar…

… God is with us!”

October 23, 2020 – 29th Week in Ordinary Time

“Seeing the signs of the times, recognizing God’s power and marching joyfully in Him!”

(Based on Eph 4:1-6 and Lk 12:54-59 – Friday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

Our world is seeing immense technological advances.

Such developments have greatly helped humanity…
… to avoid many possible natural disasters
… to be forewarned against future calamities
… to minimize the damages caused by nature’s fury

Such amazing technological advances by human beings is an example of how we are learning to explore the deeper aspects of the mysteries in nature and the universe.

Human beings are truly marching miles in reading the signs in nature and the universe.

In the midst of all these great achievements, we are posed with some probing questions…
…are we falling short in reading the signs with respect to humanity’s moral degradation?
…are we failing to read the signs of the times with respect to humanity’s spiritual decline?
…are we missing out reading the signs regarding the reign of God in our lives?

The Gospel of the Day is a reminder and a wake-up call, by Jesus to this dimension of our lives. Jesus says: “You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” (Lk 12:56)

From ages past, human beings have been gaining expertise on interpreting the signs and indications given in nature…

Spotting of some dark clouds, to predict heavy rains…
A red sky at dusk, indicating a clearer sky the following day…
Strange movements of animals and birds, to predict earthquakes or other calamities…

Jesus uses this example in nature to expose the hollowness and duplicity of the people of His time.

Jesus came in the world to usher in the Kingdom of God.

He came to announce to the world that God is not some distant entity but rather is very seriously interested to be close to their lives.

To this end of announcing the Kingdom of God… Jesus performed a number of signs…

He taught the Scriptures and the Laws with a greater freshness and stronger authority.
He healed the blind, the deaf and the dumb to make them witness His power.
He raised up the dead and powerfully demonstrated the saving power of God.
He restored the crippled and cast out demons to show them God’s might.
He forgave sinners and accepted the outcast to display God’s deep mercy and compassion.
He searched for the lost and invited the oppressed to experience the depth of God’s love.
He performed many miracles in nature to show God’s supremacy over the whole creation.

But many of the people failed to see beyond these signs…

All these miracles & manifestations of the Lord were very often looked upon with much suspicion & sometimes, even contempt!

Jesus pities such an attitude!

The people could interpret so easily the signs in nature…
… but they failed to interpret the signs of the Kingdom of God!

They failed to understand the call of God, in the wonders done by Him.

The people could easily predict certain things by seeing the climate…
… but they refused to hear God’s inviting voice, in the marvels performed by Him.

The remained stubborn to the invitation of the Lord towards change of sinful attitudes

The people could easily tell certain events of the future by observing their surroundings…
… but they adamantly declined to turn to Him in repentance, by seeing His deeds.

They purposely chose to be stuck to their “tunneled” minds and failing to accept God’s mercy

This is a danger that any one of us could also have in our own personal lives…

God sustains our daily life with much care…but we fail to give praise for His wonders.

We take for granted all these daily blessings.

God protects us from various calamities…but we fail to admit His providence.

We take for granted His shielding hand.

God infuses our lives with many inspirations…but we fail to give heed to His voice.

We take for granted all His tender invitations.

Personal sins are God’s ways of calling us to experience His Mercy and Justice.

Delays in prayers are God’s ways of asking us to Trust in Him more deeply.
Accidents and calamities are God’s ways of calling us to trust in His Providence.
Unexpected failures and pains are God’s ways of making us to Share in His Sufferings.
Happy and a satisfied life is God’s ways of inviting us to Thank and Praise Him more.
Failure to overcome our bad tendencies is God’s ways of calling to us to a Life of Humility
Despair in life and hopelessness is God’s way of appealing us to grow much more in Faith.

Signs from God, may sometimes be liked…sometimes be disliked.

St Augustine said, ‘If you believe what you like in the Gospels but reject what you don’t like, it’s not the Gospel you believe, but yourself’

In trust and faith, let us walk with the Lord, knowing that all things “work for good, for those who love Him” (Rom 8:28)

Let St Paul’s exhortation to the Church at Ephesus be a message for us too:
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!” (Eph 4:1-3)

Human beings have come a long way in technological advancements & seeking to conquer the outer space & powers of nature…

But we still have a long way to understand the mighty works being performed by God in our personal & communitarian lives.

Let us see the signs… Let us recognize God’s power… Let us march joyfully in Him!

May the words of the Saint of the Day – St John of Capistrano, who is called as the “Soldier Saint” – the patron of lawyers and judges, inspire us:
“Those who are called to the table of the Lord must glow with the brightness that comes from the good example of a praiseworthy and blameless life.

They must completely remove from their lives the filth and uncleanness of vice.
The brightness of their wisdom must make them like the Light of the world that brings light to others!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “God allows great trials and temptations
only to those…
… whom God wishes to raise to pure and excellent love!”