REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 01, 2021: Wednesday

“Showing forth that we are Children of our Heavenly Father and soldiers of the Kingdom of God by our altruistic words and deeds!”

(Based on Col 1:1-8 and Lk 4:38-44 – Wednesday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time)

Altruism is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others.

Altruism is selflessness – the opposite of selfishness.

It consists of sacrificing something for someone with no expectation of any compensation or benefits, either direct or indirect.

The Gospel of the Day presents the Altruistic Ideal – Jesus – engaged in number of works…
… of healing
… of rebuking the evil spirits
… of bringing consolation and joy to the people.

In Luke 4:18, Jesus announced His Mission Programme of “…bringing good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, new sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed…”

In accordance with this manifesto, Jesus sets forward to announce the Kingdom of God through His mighty deeds and works.

The Lord unveils the Compassionate Face of the Father and reveals His Benevolent Heart to the needy and the deprived.

He cures Simon’s mother-in-law of her fever and restores her to good health and wellbeing… (Lk 4:39)

Am I today in need of a touch of the Lord…
… which casts away forces that makes weak and fragile?
… which takes away the fever of tiredness and fatigue of spiritual life?
… which restores me back in serving and assisting others in my life?

At sunset, He laid His hands on many with sicknesses and diseases and cured them all… (Lk 4:40)

In the sunset of darkness and pain in my life…
…. Do I go to the Lord to receive the Light of Hope and Healing?

In the sunset of emptiness in my spiritual life…
… Do I go to the Lord to receive the Light of Faith and Revival?

In the sunset of frustrations and despair…
… Do I go to the Lord to receive the Light of Encouragement and Support?

In the sunset of sadness and lukewarmness…
… Do I go to the Lord to receive the Light of Joy and Revitalization?

He also rebuked many demons and commanded them to let go of many possessed people… (Lk 4: 41)

Am I tormented by the demons of evil forces and satanic powers… ?
… The power of the Lord is here to deliver!

Am I tormented by the demons of bad, unhealthy addictions…?
… The power of the Lord is here to overcome

Am I tormented by the demons of filthy words and dirty thoughts…?
… The power of the Lord is here to liberate!

Am I tormented by the demons of peer pressure and societal strains…?
… The power of the Lord is here to set free!

The Lord at the end of today’s Gospel passage expresses His intentions of going to other towns to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God!

The zeal and enthusiasm of the Lord to reach out the Gospel to many others is really amazing….
Do I imitate the Lord…
…. in being zealous to reach out God’s goodness and kindness to many other people?
… in being fervent to let ignorant people to know the saving message of the Gospel?

The Gospel of the Day invites us to take note of the Altruistic Spirit of Jesus…

The Altruism of Jesus challenges us…
…. to reach out to many sick and suffering and troubled and weak-hearted and afflicted people with the Love and Compassion and Healing and Mercy of the Lord!
… to go beyond our zones of comfort and help the lonely and the depressed and the unwanted and the rejected and the discriminated with the Acceptance and Restoration of the Lord!

Jesus was possessed by a deep love of His Father…

It made Him to be Altruistic in reaching out to others.

Jesus was filled with a deep fervour for the Kingdom…

It made Him to be Altruistic in saving and healing others.

Today, You and I, are invited and challenged to imitate and follow Jesus, the Ideal Altruist!

As we start the new month of September, let us offer ourselves totally to the Care and Providence of our Blessed Lord!

Let us show forth that we are Children of our Heavenly Father and soldiers of the Kingdom of God, not only through our words…
… but much more by our Altruistic words and deeds!

St Gregory the Great would say, “He is not wise to me who is wise in words only, but he who is wise in deeds.”

Let us grow in selfless deeds and noble tasks and self-sacrificing actions!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”
“God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!”‘
This knowledge of faith is possible only in the Holy Spirit: to be in touch with Christ, we must first have been touched by the Holy Spirit.
He comes to meet us and kindles faith in us.
By virtue of our Baptism, the first Sacrament of the Faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and personally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to us in the Son.
_Baptism gives us the grace of new birth in God the Father, through His Son, in the Holy Spirit.
For those who bear God’s Spirit are led to the Word, that is, to the Son, and the Son presents them to the Father…
… and the Father confers incorruptibility on them.
It is impossible to see God’s Son without the Spirit, and no one can approach the Father without the Son…

… for the knowledge of the Father is the Son, and the knowledge of God’s Son is obtained through the Holy Spirit! (Cf. CCC # 683)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 31, 2021: Tuesday

“Shining forth, in brightness and holiness, radiating the Authoritative Presence of Christ to all!

(Based on 1 Thess 5:1-6, 9-11 and Lk 4:31-37 – Tuesday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time)

Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose into prominence during the French Revolution.

In a short span of time, he had gained prominent control of the Continental Europe.

Once, while discussing and planning his strategies, with his staff officers, he spread a large map of the world on the table before him.

Then he put his finger on a kingdom which was coloured red and told them, “If it were not for this red spot, I could conquer the whole world!”

That red spot was the British Isles.
(The British Isles were identified with the colour ‘red’ derived from its prominence in their flag.

They were the only force, which Napolean felt, was preventing his plans to capture the entire world)

Probably, in the similar manner, Satan, while discussing and planning his strategies, would spread the large map of the universe.

Then, he would put his finger on a place which was coloured red and told them:
“If it were not for this red spot, I could conquer the whole universe!”

That red spot is the Blood of our Blessed Saviour, shed on the Cross at Calvary!

Yes, Satan trembles at the glorious presence of our Blessed Lord.

Evil cannot stand Holiness!
Wickedness cannot tolerate Goodness!

The Gospel of the Day presents this expression and dread of the evil one, who is unable to bear the presence of the Divine Saviour.

The Gospel Passage is the incident of the curing of the demoniac (Lk 4: 31-37).

The preceding passage (Lk 4: 1-30) described the dramatic inauguration of the public ministry of Jesus in His home-town, Nazareth.
… Initially, there was a lot of amazement, wonder and awe that was expressed by the people
… But when the Lord, began to explicate His Mission, especially of being a Saviour of all the nations, there was a change in attitude of the people

The shift from a “goody-goody” expectation of the Messiah to a “challenging” presence, caused them discomfort…
… and they began to express their anger and infuriation, by seeking to even kill the Lord

But the Spirit-filled Jesus had no stopping…

Nothing could stop Him from continuing His Mission and the Duty entrusted to Him

And so, the Gospel says, “He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And He was teaching on the Sabbath” (Lk 4: 31)

As the quote goes, “This is the kind of stuff, champions are made of!”

He was…
… determined in His dedication
… committed to His cause
… purposeful in His programme

Can we also imitate our Blessed Lord in this unswerving fidelity…

Oppositions may rock our life…
Crises may strangle our hopes…
But can I still continue to hold on to being Faithful to the Gospel and to the ways of the Lord?

This requires the tremendous infilling and a constant seeking and doing of God’s Will in our lives.

It was this purposiveness that enabled Jesus to be a person of authority and evoke astonishment and amazement from His hearers: “They were astonished at His teaching, for His Word was with authority” (Lk 31b-32)

Therefore, when the man who was possessed by the evil spirit, encountered Jesus, “he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Ah! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?” (Lk 4: 34)

Yes, Satan trembles at the glorious presence of our Blessed Lord.

As followers of our Blessed Lord, we too are called upon to become “people of authority and holiness”

Do I seek to grow deeper in my relationship with the Lord…
… so that my Spirit-filled presence will cause the demons of “filthiness, lust, corruption and injustice” to tremble and be cast away?

Do I make efforts to co-operate still more with the Grace of the Lord…
… so that my life-in-Jesus, will cause the demons of “wickedness, indifference, hatred and pride” to shiver and be chased away?

St Paul reminds us, “let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober” (1 Thess 5:6)

There is a beautiful hymn, known to many of us, “Are you washed, in the blood of the Lamb?”

When we are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb, we have the power to stand before the forces of evil
When we are purified by the cleansing might of the blood of Christ, we have the grace to challenge the pressures of Satan

May our lives, washed in the Blood of our Blessed Lord, be a “red spot” which would distort every wicked plan of Satan to conquer this world…
… and may we shine forth, in brightness and holiness, radiating the Authoritative Presence of Christ to all!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgement of the Last Day in his preaching.
Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light.
Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God’s grace as nothing be condemned.
Our attitude to our neighbour will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love.
Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgement on the works and hearts of men belongs to Him as the Redeemer of the world.
He “acquired” this right by his cross. The Father has given “all judgement to the Son”.
Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life He has in Himself.

By rejecting Grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one’s works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love! (Cf. CCC # 678-679)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 30, 2021: Monday

“Living as a ‘powerful dynamite’ of God’s Compassionate Love and Mercy!”

(Based on 1 Thess 4:13-18 and Lk 4:16-30 – Monday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time)

The Dynamite was one of the most powerful invention known to humans at that time.

It was invented by Alfred Nobel.

When Nobel had invented it, he asked his friend – a Greek scholar – for a word in Greek, for ‘explosive power’.

The Greek word that was given was ‘dunamis’ – an explosive power!

By itself, a dynamite is fairly stable.

But once combined with an ‘igniter’ it becomes extremely powerful.
(An igniter is something like a firecracker placed inside a stick of TNT to set it off)

It is interesting that the “Power” of the Holy Spirit also has the same Greek word, “dunamis!”

As Christians, at our Baptism and in the further Sacraments, we have received this “dunamis” – Power!

We all have the potential within us to be a “Dynamite” – of God’s Love, Mercy and Power!

But the question is…

Do I give witness to this mighty power of the Holy Spirit- ‘dunamis’ – in my life…?
… Or have I been rendered powerless and ineffective, lacking the force of an ‘igniter’?

The Gospel of the Day is a powerful display of the Power of the Holy Spirit, by Jesus, as He inaugurates His public ministry at Nazareth.

The public ministry of our Blessed Lord begins with the reading and proclamation of the prophetic words:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me…” (Lk 4:18)

The Jewish world had been eagerly waiting and longing for the coming of the Messiah.

But Divine Irony had it that when the Messiah did arrive, it was not with a mighty bang, but with a sweet gentleness and calm!

He came from a place, that was perhaps, least expected – Nazareth

He announced His coming to the public not with any grand show or spectacle – but by just declaring the Word of God with authority

But this humble beginning, that Divine Wisdom planned it so beautifully, would slowly unleash its mighty power – its “dunamis!”

The mighty words and proclamation by Jesus caused an immediate stir and buzz among the people who listened to Him.

The Gospel would testify to this fact, in the words: “And all spoke highly of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His mouth” (Lk 4:22)

However, as the Spirit of God continued to display its mighty power, in the Person of Jesus, there also arose the spirit of division and opposition.

The “all-hailing” and “all -praising” crowd, on realizing the demands placed by the Word of God…
… got converted to “being enraged” and “being infuriated”!

So much was the antagonism that had brewed up that “all in the synagogue were filled with wrath, and they rose to put Him out of the city…” (Lk 4: 28-29)

This then is the “mighty dynamite of God’s Mighty Spirit”:

A Power that arrests the attention of all and causes amazement and wonder…
… yet, a Power that also mightily challenges and confronts!

Each of us, as Christians, possessing the Mighty Power of the Holy Spirit are called to a “Spiritual Dynamite”…
… One which arrests the attention of the people by our witnessing and faithful life
… One which causes people to make an introspection into their lives to turn towards God, even if it results in persecutions

Our Blessed Lord, with the mighty power of the Anointing of the Holy Spirit, became a life-transforming and a society-challenging Dynamite!

The unflinching focus and the faithful commitment was His Igniter
The deep desire to fulfil His Father’s Will was His Igniter
The intense love for His people was His Igniter.

Am I, as a Christian, failing to be a powerful witness and give a mighty testimony to the Gospel?

Can I reinforce the ‘igniters’ of…

being focused and faithfully committed
having a deep desire to seek and do God’s Will
cultivating an intense love and compassion for His people
… so that my life can be a “powerful dynamite” of God’s Compassionate Love and Mercy?

We today seek the intercession of St Euphrasia, the saint from India, who was canonized a few years back (Nov 23, 2014), and be inspired by her words:
“May your heart be an altar, from which the bright flame of unending thanksgiving ascends to heaven”

May this Saint’s deep love for Christ and the Church inspire us to make our Christian lives, a “dynamite” of Christ’s love and mercy!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that Messianic hope…
… which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgement.
The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.
The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.
The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.

God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgement after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world. (Cf. CCC # 676-677)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 29, 2021: Sunday

“Putting the Gospel into true effect, so that our lives may shine brightly, not just externally, but more importantly, from His grace that flows from within!”

(Based on Deut 4:1-2, 6-8, Jas 1:17-18, 21-22, 27 and Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Here is a simple anecdote known to many of us (perhaps in different versions)…

There was soap manufacturer, who professed atheism.

He however had a wonderful friend who was a devout God-believing person – going around different places, preaching the Gospel.

Once, during an evening walk, the soap manufacturer said, “Look around at the evil and wickedness that is prevalent in our world today.

People killing each other, mercilessly.

Women and children subjected to horrific abuses.
Peace and harmony fearing to walk openly, afraid that they would be mangled and devoured by the forces of injustice!

The Gospel that you preach has just not done much good.

Wickedness is so much in the air and seems to be ever increasing!”

The God-fearing friend made no reply to these hard-hitting comments…
… until they passed by a little child, who was playing in the mud.

The child had dirtied himself badly.

Discovering his chance, the devout friend said, “Look around at the dirt and the uncleanness that is prevalent everywhere.

The soap that you manufacture has just not done much good.

Dirt and uncleanliness is so much around and seems to be ever increasing!”

“Oh, but that’s not fair to say!” said the soap manufacturer, “soap is useful only when it is applied!”

“Exactly”, said the preacher-friend, “so it is with the Gospel that I preach!

It is effective, when put to use!”

Has the Gospel of the Lord become effective and meaningful in our lives…?
… or is it remaining unused, and causing us to remain dirtied in sin and unclean in lifestyle?

The Gospel of the Day is a wake-up call to discover the Power of God’s Word to cleanse our lives and to abandon our mentality of ‘just being content’ in having the Gospel as a mere “decorative and ornamental” value in our lives.

The Gospel passage begins on a “complaint note” with the Pharisees and some Scribes, finding fault with the Disciples of Jesus, who ate with hands defiled. (Mk 7:2)

Firstly, isn’t it pretty ironical, that the Pharisees and Scribes, who were judicious in their keeping of the Law, failed to recognize Jesus, the Author of the Law Himself?!

Jesus was growing in popularity as the Mighty Healer, the Great Preacher and a Powerful Transformative Force.

But the Pharisees and the Scribes, somehow, failed to discover these Divine elements in Him.

Every time they saw Jesus, they would look for something to find fault in Him
Every time they heard Jesus, they would sneak a chance to find a loophole in His teachings
Every time, they encountered Jesus, they would fastidiously seek to put Him to the test and grill Him

This “Pharisaic and Scribal” tendency is not to be directly condemned or rashly judged…
… They were a group, trying to make sure that Jesus was not any of those false prophets (who were plenty in those days) and wanted to corrupt their pure religion
… They were also wanting to test and prove the authenticity of “the one who came from Nazareth” and His claims to be the Messiah

However, beyond these “innocent intentions” of the Pharisees and Scribes, it is to be also noted, that this “law-protecting” and “law-fanatic” group of Scribes and Pharisees had also slipped into grave dangerous zones…

They were critical…
… but they also drenched themselves in total scepticism and gave no room for any openness to the truth or to God’s Spirit talking to them!

They were strict followers of the Law…
… but they had also failed to authenticate their zealous following, with a life of mercy, justice and love, which was the aim and goal of the Law!

They declared themselves as being faithful to God’s Law …
… but they had also precipitated this Divine Law into hundreds of man-made stipulations and cruelly insisted on its following, without being aware that God’s basic purposes for the Law were being abandoned and trampled upon!

And so our Blessed Lord, makes a scathing attack and strongly exhorts them to move from a mere “decorative and ornamental” understanding of the Law…
… towards a radically “transformative and life-changing” practice of the Law.

They insisted only on the strict ritualistic washing of vessels and cups and pots..
.,.. But Jesus exhorts them to first cleanse the sinful vessels of their mind and the adulterous pots of their hearts

They insisted only on the austere cleansing of their hands..
… But Jesus exhorts them to first wash the defiled fingers of their duplicity and the dirtied palms of their pride

The attack on the Pharisaic and Scribal attack is also a lesson and reminder for us to examine our attitudes in life and to make the necessary changes…

Have I adopted a “decorative and ornamental” understanding of being a Christian, and just be happy to be “called as a Christian”, enjoying some of the privileges and comforts that come along with it…
… or do I allow God’s Gospel to powerfully effect changes in me?

Am I just satisfied with “external cleanliness” – either in just being neat and tidy or in looking glamorous and fashionable or in being constantly bothered only with my external looks…
… or do I take steps to cleanse my heart of all sinful tendencies and to allow the rivers of God’s grace to wash away my inner defilements?

Sin is a deep reality of our lives…
… whether we like it or not… we accept it or not.

Am I satisfied with just remaining a Christian and “appearing” to be a Follower of Christ, with some basic Church obligations fulfilled…
… or do I truly open my heart to allow God’s spirit to “heal me from within” of all my evil tendencies and social negligence?

May our Blessed Lord give us the blessing to “put His Gospel into true effect”, so that our lives may shine brightly, not just externally, but more importantly, from His grace that flows from within.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.
The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth, will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth.

The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh (Cf. CCC # 673-674)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 28, 2021: Saturday

“Making this PRESENT LIFE, a PLEASENT GIFT to the GREAT GIVER, by seeking His Grace and cooperating with our hard works and determination!

(Based on 1 Thess 4:9-12 and Mt 25:14-30 – Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Week)

Jesus was a classic story-teller.

He loved telling stories and parables.

The parables of Jesus are quite simple and often with humble imagery.

Probably the most touching and best parable of Jesus?
… The Parable of the Prodigal Son!

Probably the most challenging parable of Jesus for our society?
…The Parable of the Good Samaritan!

Probably the most hopeful parable of Jesus for the lost ones?
…The Parable of the Good Shepherd!

Probably the most comforting parable of Jesus for the helpless ones?
…The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus!

Probably the most merciful and generous parable of Jesus?
… The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard!

And, Probably the most practical and feasible parable of Jesus?
…The Parable of the Talents!

Of course, we may have our own opinions and differences and overlapping with respect to this list.

But many of us will surely agree that the Parable of the Talents is a very practical and do-able parable of Jesus…
… and invites us to shake off our slumber and laziness
… and awake to a life of responsibility and accountability!

The Gospel of the Day, Mt 25:14-30 presents before us this simple-to-understand and practical-to-follow Parable of the Lord: the Parable of the Talents!

Readers are drawn to this Parable because it is simple, clear and easy to understand.

And its lessons are hard to miss!!

This parable tells what to do while we live in this world and the need to be responsible and dutiful.

The Parable introduces the fact that the servants were judged by the way, they managed the master’s resources.

We learn a very crucial truth from this: All that we have belongs to God!

… Belongs to GOD!

We own nothing…
We hold no space…
We possess no one…
… All belongs to GOD!

He made them…
… He gave them to us

And One Day… He will take them from us again.
Even our life itself is a gift from God!

If only our world and our generation were to grow more and more in this truth…!

How often we hold on to our possessions…
… and go bonkers in preserving and safeguarding them!

How often we seek twisted and distorted ways…
… to acquire more wealth and capture vital status and ranks!

How often we resort to disgraceful and shameful means…
… to win over positions and powers and authority!

How often we play dirty games and indulge in dreadful activities…
… to put down people and go up in dominance!

Another aspect we see the word used in the parable – “talents”.

Usually, when we hear the word “talents” in English, we tend to think of some natural abilities, like…
… playing the piano
… or being good at some sports
… or being skilled in painting or knowing how to handle computers etc…

In the time of Jesus, however…
… the ‘talent’ was referred to a huge amount of money.

One talent would represent approximately 16½ years of salary for a labourer.

To give a man two talents would equal around 33 years of salary….
To give a man five talents would be like giving him 80 years of salary to invest…

That’s indeed a huge amount, isn’t it?

Imagine, how rich would the Owner himself have been!

But what was the criteria in giving different people a particular amount of money?

Each one according to one’s ability
And who made this determination to allocate the amount of money?

The Master himself, according to His wish!

Here’s another truth: God is not obligated to treat us, like he treats anyone else.

He can give us more or He can give us less than others.

Some have more money and talent and opportunity and strength and health and relationships than others.
Others have less money and talent and opportunity and strength and health and relationships!

It’s not about being unlucky.

It’s not about our ill-fate.

The Master…
… has total sovereignty and freedom with what and how much HE wants to give to His people!

This leaves us with a choice:

  1. We can either crib and gripe and grumble and complain about our situation and make excuses and just sit idle!
  2. We can accept the given situation we are in and start from where we are and do what we the best!

The dynamics of comparison is useless…
… the Tactic of Hard Work is amazing!

The strategy of complaining is ineffective…
… the Scheme of Determination is superb!

The policy of grumpiness is futile…
… the Approach of Gratefulness is incredible!

The Parable of the Talents is a very Practical Parable that the Lord has offered us!

Yesterday is past…
… tomorrow is the Future.

But Today is a GIFT…
… that’s why, it is called as The PRESENT!

Let’s make this PRESENT, a PLEASENT GIFT to the GREAT GIVER…
… by seeking His Grace and cooperating with our hard works and determination!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Since the Ascension, Christ’s coming in glory has been imminent
This eschatological coming could be accomplished at any moment, even if both it and the final trial that will precede it are “delayed”.
The glorious Messiah’s coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by “all Israel”, for “a hardening has come upon part of Israel” in their “unbelief” toward Jesus.

The “full inclusion” of the Jews in the Messiah’s salvation, in the wake of “the full number of the Gentiles”, will enable the People of God to achieve “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”, in which “God may be all in all” (Cf. CCC # 673-674)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 27, 2021: Friday

“Being inspired by St Monica to live authentic and sincere Christian lives, keeping aflame the flame of hope and love!”

(Based on 1 Thess 4:1-8 and Mt 25:1-13 – Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Week)

The entrance of a particular church once had a large banner that had large, bold letters printed on it.

The words in this banner read thus: Those people who expect salvation at the eleventh hour…
… often die at 10:30!

Postponement in spiritual matters is indeed a perilous matter!

Procrastination – the tendency to postpone/delay – is an inclination that is to be avoided in our spiritual journey.

Life often takes us through paralyzing and crippling situations

And this may cause us to often “delay or postpone.”

But the Gospel of the Day is a powerful reminder of how we ought to not postpone…
… rather be “proactive” in our spiritual life.

The Gospel presents the Parable of the ten virgins, with a strong warning to “make use of every opportunity that life offers” and “to be ever-prepared” in receiving the coming of the Lord.

The parable of the Ten Virgins has its setting in a Jewish Wedding.

In the time of our Blessed Lord, the wedding was probably one of the greatest events in a typical Palestinian village or an Israeli town.

This was a time of great social celebration!

All got together…
… friends, relatives, villagers..

It was a time of great festivity, abounding happiness and overflowing celebrations.

A Jewish marriage consisted of three parts or elements:

  1. Engagement

It was sort of an official contract between the two fathers, who would be giving their son and daughter to each other.

  1. Betrothal

This second element consisted of the friends and family members coming together and the couple making vows and promises that were binding.

This phase onwards, they would be officially considered as husband and wife.

  1. Marriage
    The time after Betrothal lasted up to a year, which was for the bridegroom to prepare a place for his bride – either an addition to his father’s house or to have his own

It was to be his concrete expression of showing his love to her – preparing a home for her and preparing his heart and life for her!

At the end of the time that he needed to get it prepared, he would go to take her and bring her to his place – and they would thereafter, live together.

This third phase, therefore was the fulfilment of the eager longing of the bridegroom and bride, in being together for the rest of their life!

The Wedding set-up that is mentioned in today’s Gospel is this scene of the third phase of the wedding.

This is the climax of the wedding festivity where the bridegroom goes to get his bride.

This was done in a grand procession through the village – usually the longest route possible – so that all in the village could be part of this festivity.

The Ten Virgins (or bridesmaids) who are mentioned in the Gospel Passage, had the role of performing one of the acts of entertainment.

They would have to perform a wedding dance – “torch dance” around the bride and the groom, holding torches.
It would symbolize the light of their love, wishing them a luminous future.

Then the wedding party would go into the house, and the celebration would last for seven long days!

In the parable, it is mentioned that “since the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep” (Mt 25: 5)

It was only when the call that the Bridegroom had arrived was given, that Five of the Virgins realised, that “they brought no oil with them” (Mt 25: 3)

It’s so ironical that the wedding which was such a well-prepared and a long-awaited event, had these five virgins who were so unprepared and so unequipped for the grand moment!

The story of these five virgins who were unprepared (whom our Blessed Lord calls as ‘foolish”) could well be our own stories too…

How often are we too unprepared and unequipped…
… missing out on opportunities.

The Lord gives ample opportunities to get back our life on track, through various Biblical inspirations, talks, retreats, literatures etc.
… There are so many occasions that are provided for us to grow in our virtues, to learn deeper the mysteries of heaven and to illumine ourselves with holy knowledge
… We also get so many chances to build our relationship with one another, to grow in appreciation and praise of other and to discover and nurture the goodness in others

Do we make good use of all such opportunities or do we squander them away?

We celebrate today the Feast of St Monica, that exemplary mother-saint, who was ever-vigilant in interceding for her child, to get back to the ways of the Lord.

She becomes an example for us to be always be focused on the Lord, be ready for His Graces always, and to wait in patience and hope!

St. Monica’s local bishop would often console her, saying:
“God’s time will come. It is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.”

Her prayers, authentic Christian witness, and love for her husband and son ultimately triumphed.

Her prayers bore fruit in St Augustine, the Great Doctor of the Church

May her intercession and example inspire us to live authentic and sincere Christian lives, realizing not to postpone our cooperation for salvation to the eleventh hour…
… instead, may we always keep ready “our lamps” to shine bright for the Lord with the “oil of gladness and love!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Before His Ascension Christ affirmed that the hour had not yet come for the glorious establishment of the messianic kingdom awaited by Israel, which, according to the prophets, was to bring all men the definitive order of justice, love and peace.
According to the LORD, the present time is the time of the Spirit and of witness, but also a time still marked by “distress” and the trial of evil which does not spare the Church…
… and ushers in the struggles of the last days.

It is a time of waiting and watching (Cf. CCC # 672)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 26, 2021: Thursday

“Taking care that my life is neat & clean enough, so that the Lord may find me worthily waiting and He may dine with me!”

(Based on 1 Thess 3:7-13 and Mt 24:42-51 – Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Week)

Let’s get into some visual imagination to help today’s reflection process…

Imagine a Person comes into the room of your heart, this evening.

He is charming…

He is there with a purpose…
He is imposing with His charisma…

As this Fascinating Person approaches the door of your room, ready to step-in, some flash thoughts pass through your mind…

“The magazines and the books on my table…

Do I need to hide them or keep them away, so that He doesn’t feel shocked at the kind of materials I read?

The wallpaper on my laptop and mobile, and the pictures that are pasted in my room and stored in my phone…

Do I need to change them or dispose them off, so that He doesn’t realise the ‘visual food’ that is often fed to my mind?

The music that is blaring in my room, and to which I tap my feet…

Do I need to put it off and plunge the room into a silent mode, so that He doesn’t feel offended by the ‘audio junk’ that I dance to?

The websites that I browse through, the chats that I engage in and the jokes that I think of…

Do I need to forcefully shut-down my system or delete all the unnecessary files, so that He doesn’t come to know the ‘e-waste’ that I bombard my life with?”

Well, the time is too short…’cos He is fast approaching me!

Have I made a mess of my life…
… filling it with filth or unwanted aspects of life…?
… missing out on opportunities to do good or render service…?
… engaging in activities that are just not worth being exposed to…?

The Charismatic Person is all set to enter my room…
Have I made myself worthy and prepared, to allow Him to enter…?

Well, no prizes for guessing who this Mysterious Person is, that we are imagining about…
… Yes, JESUS – the Lord and Saviour, and the Judge who is coming into this world!

Is my heart ready to receive Him?

The Gospel of the Day is a powerful preaching by Jesus on the need to remain ready for His second coming.

Chapter 24 of the Gospel of St Matthew…
… begins with Jesus addressing His disciples on the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple(Mt 24: 1ff)
… and continues, with Jesus further explaining the forthcoming persecutions and calamities that were to befall

With this background, Jesus speaks of the need to be “watchful” at all times (Mt 24: 42) and explicates it, with the help of the Parable of the Unfaithful Servant (Mt 24: 45-51)

One of the important realities of human life is “unexpectedness”

“Unexpectedness” strikes at many turns of life…
… an unexpected sickness or disease which pushes people into the pit of anxiety and worry
… an unexpected misunderstanding which damages and crushes our relationship with one another
… an unexpected financial crisis which drowns individuals or families into the sea of hopelessness

This “unexpectedness” can also strike our spiritual life!
And this is the danger, that to which the Lord raises our attention towards, by means of the parable of the Unfaithful Servant.

In the parable, the servant was entrusted with the duties of the household, while his master was away.

But when the worm of wickedness crept into the mind of the servant, he said, “My Master is delayed” (Mt 24: 48)

This is very much possible and practically happening in many of our lives.

As Christians, our Blessed Lord, the Great Master has entrusted many responsibilities and duties, to us, His servants.

But often times, we tend to live in the comfort of telling ourselves that “My Master is delayed” or that “My Master is not watching me”

This feeling of the “Lord not being around me” makes us to somehow get into activities and engage in pastimes that are not worthy of our lives…

We let our moral lives be loosened..
We allow our prayer lives to be haywire…
We permit our sacramental life to be lethargic…
We enable our social life to be without the power of the Lord…

But the consequences of such “letting loose” can be disastrous, as the parable teaches us.

What is needed therefore….
… is a constant vigilance and a relentless perseverance in being faithful
… is an unfailing performance of our duties and being on the guard at all times

St Paul reminds us of the Faithfulness of the Lord, through his letter to the Church at Corinth: “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord!” (1 Cor 1:9)

The Lord is knocking at the door of our hearts (Rev 3:20)

Is my life neat and clean enough to allow the Lord to enter in…?
… or do I need to make suitable alterations and necessary repentance so that the Lord may find me worthily waiting and He may dine with me?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Since the Ascension, God’s plan has entered into its fulfilment.
We are already at “the last hour”.
“Already the final age of the world is with us, and the renewal of the world is irrevocably under way; it is even now anticipated in a certain real way, for the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real but imperfect.”
Christ’s kingdom already manifests its presence through the miraculous signs that attend its proclamation by the Church.
Though already present in his Church, Christ’s reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled “with power and great glory” by the King’s return to earth.
This reign is still under attack by the evil powers, even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ’s Passover.
Until everything is subject to him, “until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in Her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God.”

That is why Christians pray, above all in the Eucharist, to hasten Christ’s return by saying to him: “Maranatha! Our Lord, come!” (Cf. CCC # 670-671)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 25, 2021: Wednesday

“Beautifying our life not just with an outer show, but with an inner glow!”

(Based on 1 Thess 2:9-13 and Mt 23:27-32 – Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Week)

Here is an incident (though perhaps a little silly one) from a short film, which captures a great essence of an aspect of our society…

A college girl, is giving her Viva (oral) examinations.

When the professor asks her a particular question, she goes into a deep thinking-recollecting mode.

The professor gives one or two clues to help the girl to help her answer it.

But she still fails to get the answer.

Seeing her desperation, the professor, noticing also a tear or two in her eyes, out of compassion says, “Do not be too worried! Please don’t cry!”

The girl, who had come to the exam with heavy make-up, quickly composed herself and said:
“No Sir! Don’t worry, I will not cry!

After all, I can’t allow my tears to spoil this heavy make-up, that I have applied, with much difficulty and care!!”

Well, this incident might sound a bit funny or slightly bent towards exaggeration..
… but it still does capture an important trend that is constantly on the rise in our societies today: A Cosmetic-Culture!

This Cosmetic-Culture is not merely to be considered in connection to the cosmetics or items of make-up.

It is in fact an increasing trend that seeks to make inroads into every aspect of our life…
… social, political, economic
… or even religious!

Cosmetic-Culture could be described as a “tendency to project entities/things with an external beauty and with a greater visual appeal, without necessarily ensuring the actual quality from within!”

The presence of Cosmetic-Culture can be seen in various strands of our living…

Socially (in communities, families, nations etc), there is a lot of discrimination on the basis of colour, language, caste etc…
…but the “cosmetic-culture” presents the society in such a way, that everything seems to be fine and all are living in unity and happiness!

Politically, there is a great deal of hidden agenda, back-biting and differences in ideologies among the political parties or groups…
… but the “cosmetic-culture” covers-up the ‘evil intents’, causing many of such “opposing” parties to join hands and to be seen as being united, for their own selfish interests!

Economically, there are enormous cases of poverty on the rise, in different parts of the world and people missing out on even the basic essentials etc…
… but the “cosmetic-culture” puts a mask on all such “stark realities” and gives an impression as if there is only growth, development and prosperity!

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus sharply lashing out at the “Cosmetic-Culture” existing in our religious practices, with a clarion call to do away with such “hypocritical” trends and tendencies!

Continuing His prophetic denunciation of the practices of the religious leaders of His times, Jesus comes down heavily on the Pharisees and Scribes by comparing then to “white-washed tombs”

“Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like white-washed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness!” (Mt 23: 27)

Tombs of Palestine, in the time of Jesus, were painted with a lime paste or whitewash, at the start of the year.

There was a two-fold purpose to this:

  1. It would helps in easy identification of the tomb, so that it could be avoided
  2. It would help in the beautification of the tomb, so that it could be admired

Jesus likens the Pharisees and the Scribes to these white-washed tombs…

Just as the white-washed tombs would clearly hide the decayed stuff within…
… these religious leaders, by the external shows of piety, would hide their decayed character of deceit, falsehood, duplicity and fraud!

Just as the white-washed tombs would look wonderful on the outside, but would be full of filth and disgust inside…
… these religious leaders, would impress all with their strict ritualistic-practices, but would be full of dishonesty, falsity and deviousness!

They had probably mastered the art of being “Cosmetically-Cultured” – projecting themselves with an external beauty and with a greater visual appeal but without ensuring the actual quality from within!

This then is the danger to which we are exposed to…
… Is my spiritual and religious life also “Cosmetically-Cultured?”

I may be known to be exemplary in my prayers and a role-model in my strict following of Christian practices…
… but is it just a “cosmetic” to hide my inner vices and to cover-up my sinful tendencies?

I may be appearing to be a very a charitable person in extending a lot of material help in many causes…
… but is it just a “cosmetic” to conceal my hidden agenda or a means to boost my ego and inflate my pride?

I may be considered as a very social person – always jovial, cracking “many” jokes and being a “happening” person…
… but is it just a “cosmetic” to mask my inner-wounds and pains, to veil my own complexes or to trigger opportunities to gratify some of my desires?

Our generation is gravely exposed to this “Cosmetic-Culture” and perhaps many of us, knowingly or unknowingly, become proponents of the same.

A generation which focusses only on the peripherals of life and fails to give consideration to the core and inner dimensions is bound to doom!

A quotation by a modern-day American politician goes thus:
“If you look at great human civilizations, from the Roman Empire to the Soviet Union…
… you will see that most do not fail simply due to external threats…
… but because of internal weakness, corruption, or a failure to manifest the values and ideals they espouse!”

It requires the power, grace and strength in the Lord to become counter-witnesses to this “Cosmetic-Culture”

As Christians, our beauty in life ought to spring forth from an integrated life of faith!

The deeper that one is united with Christ…
… the lesser will be the dependence on “external shows” and greater will be the harmony and attractiveness of one’s life!

The stronger that one is in the faith in the Lord…
… the lesser will be the wanting to be “flashy on the outside” and greater will be the level of true charm and pleasantness!

May our Blessed Lord, help us in our efforts and desires “to beautify our life not just with an outer show, but with an inner glow!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Christ already reigns through the Church!
“Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.”
Christ’s Ascension into heaven signifies His participation, in His humanity, in God’s Power and Authority.
Jesus Christ is Lord: He possesses all power in heaven and on earth. He is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion”, for the Father “has put all things under His feet.”
Christ is Lord of the cosmos and of history.
In Him human history and indeed all creation are “set forth” and transcendently fulfilled.
As Lord, Christ is also head of the Church, which is his Body.
Taken up to heaven and glorified after He had thus fully accomplished His mission, Christ dwells on earth in His Church.

The redemption is the source of the authority that Christ, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, exercises over the Church. “The kingdom of Christ (is) already present in mystery”, “on earth, the seed and the beginning of the kingdom” (Cf. CCC # 668-669)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 24, 2021: Tuesday

Being inspired by St Bartholomew, and letting go our life into the Hands of the One who is aware of every moment of our life – our past, our present and our future!”

(Based on the Feast of St Bartholomew, the Apostle)

An elderly person sat under a mango tree in his garden in the noonday heat.

As he sat, he looked at the pumpkin vines that were growing nearby, and said to himself:
“How foolish God is!

Here he puts a big heavy pumpkin on to a weak vine branch and so can’t do anything, but simply lie on the ground!

And then He hangs these small little mangoes on a huge tree which can actually hold very heavy objects!

If I were God, I think I could do better than that!”

Just then, a bit of breeze came up…
… and knocked a loose mango off the tree.

It fell right on the man’s head…
… causing a little bump on his head!

This made him sadder… but wiser, and he quipped:
“Oh! Suppose if that had been a pumpkin! Gosh!!”

And he went on to say:
“Never again will I try to plan the world for God.

Instead I shall be thankful to Him, for He has done so well…
… He knows what’s best for me, every time!”

The knowledge and wisdom of God is indeed incomprehensible…
… In His Wisdom, He has created all things good
… By His Knowledge, He has fashioned all things for the best use

Are we ready to let go our life into the Hands of this Wise and Knowing God…
… the One who is aware of every moment of our life – our past, our present and our future?

Today we celebrate the Feast of St Bartholomew…
… who experienced this great Knowledge and Wisdom of the Lord in his encounter with Jesus

And surrendered his life, to follow the Master, till the end – faithfully!

When we compare the Gospels, we notice something interesting…

Bartholomew is not mentioned in the Gospel of John – but Nathanael is!

Nathanael is not mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels (Mathew, Mark and Luke) – but Bartholomew is!

In the Gospel of John, Nathanael is mentioned in connection with Philip

In the Synoptic Gospels, Bartholomew is mentioned in connection with Philip

Thus, based on these aspects along with the ancient tradition of the Church, Bartholomew and Nathanael are identified as the same person.

The Gospel of the Day (Jn 1:45-51) on this Feast Day is the call of Nathanael from the Gospel of St John.

The Gospel says that when Jesus saw Nathanael coming, He said of him:
“Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him” (Jn 1: 47)

On hearing this, Nathanael said to Jesus: “How do You know me?” (Jn 1: 48a)

This question – How do You know me?” – is indeed worth reflecting on.

From a peripheral look, we observe…
… This was probably the first time Jesus was meeting him, so Nathanael naturally was wondering how he was known.
… Nathanael also did not have a very high opinion regarding Nazareth, the place where Jesus came from and so would have wondered how a Person from there, knew him.

On a deeper level, we also observe…
… Nathanael was probably feeling within himself, “Does He really know who I am and what are the thoughts and desires of my heart?”
… He perhaps, was also wondering, “Would He also be knowing my past and perhaps even have an idea about my future?”

“How do You know me?” – the question by Nathanael to Jesus is a query asked by us too…
… perhaps in various forms..

  1. “How do you know my past?”

Do you really know, O Lord, my past…
… the struggling times that I have gone through?
… the bad childhood, perhaps, or the disturbing experiences as I grew up in life?
… the hurts and the wounds and the injuries that I still carry in my heart and causes me pain?

  1. “How do you know my present?”
    Do you really know, O Lord, my present…
    … the manner in which I am not accepted by others?
    … the ways in which success evades me, despite the hard efforts I put in?
    … the daily grinds of life to which I often have no solution and thus totally discouraged?
  2. “How do you know my future?”
    Do you really know, O Lord, my future…
    … the anxieties of my unclear future and the fear of which direction I need to go ahead?
    … the feeling of “I am lost” while taking decisions and unsure if I am walking the right path?
    … the tension I go through on what will happen to me and my loved ones in the days to come?

But the Lord, Who answered Nathanael…
… had the knowledge of his past… his present… and his future

  1. The Present: “Here IS a true Israelite. There IS no duplicity in him” (Jn 1: 47)
  2. The Past: “Before Philip called you, I SAW you under the fig tree” (Jn 1: 48b)
  3. The Future: “Amen, Amen, I say to you, you WILL see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (Jn 1: 51)

Turning His gaze on each one of us…
… with tenderness and love, the Lord tells us:
“I know you, My Child!
I know your past…your present… and your future”

This Lord, Who knows our everything – beyond the borders of time – invites us…
… to trust in Him more
… to be aware of His Providence guiding us always!
… to give ourselves entirely to Him in love and obedience!

Many times, we might feel things are not okay with us…
… we might even complain against God and have an attitude: “If I were God, I think I could do better than that!”

But those could be moments, when we are given a gentle reminder by the Lord…
… through perhaps, some difficulties or troubles in life…

Which ought to make us realize:
“Never again will I try to plan the world for God.
Instead I shall be thankful to Him, for He has done so well…
… He knows what’s best for me, every time!”

May St Bartholomew (Nathanael) intercede and inspire us:

To let go our life into the Hands of this Wise and Knowing God…
… the One who is aware of every moment of our life – our past, our present and our future!

Happy Feast Day to you!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Henceforth Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father: “By ‘the Father’s right hand’ we understand the glory and honour of Divinity, where He Who exists as Son of God before all ages, indeed as God, of one being with the Father…
… is seated bodily after He became incarnate and His flesh was glorified.”
Being seated at the Father’s right hand signifies the inauguration of the Messiah’s kingdom, the fulfilment of the prophet Daniel’s vision concerning the Son of man.

After this event the apostles became witnesses of the “kingdom [that] will have no end” (Cf. CCC # 663-664)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 23, 2021: Monday

“Seeking to grow in authenticity, genuineness and faithfulness!”

(Based on 1 Thess 1:2-5, 8-10 and Mt 23:13-22 – Monday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Year)

The role of the actor or an actress in a movie or a drama or an enactment is highly essential and crucial.

Sometimes, when seeing their performance, an actor or actress is incredibly believable in their role.

The actor or actress seems so authentic, genuine and real…
… that it’s hard to know that it’s all “make believe” and “just acting”

The Gospel of the Day has persons on the stage who have achieved a sort of perfection and expertise in the field of acting and making people believe by their subtle behaviours…

Lights… Camera… Action…!

Welcome to the Stage…
And presenting before you… the “Leading Lights” (or are they “Corrupt Deceivers”??)

The Pharisees and Teachers of the Law… models of “Acting” and “Deception” and “Fraud”…

And the Great Critic – Jesus – has a special name for them: “Hypocrites”!

Jesus during His ministry on the earth worked always with one kind of a sinner or another.

And it’s amazing to see the way He treated them all..

Sinners were considered with respect and dignity…

Prostitutes were given respect and worth…
Tax collectors were accorded value and importance…
Lepers were offered acceptance and favour…

He forgave people’s sins as He healed their broken and diseased bodies.

Jesus loved the sinners…
… He loved them so much that He wanted them to be always released from the clutches and slavery to Satan!


He hates sin with a great passion and rebuked it whenever He could!

This sin of Hypocrisy, was one of the sins…
… to which He had the most hatred
… to which He reserved His best condemning words
… to which He lashed out and which gained His greatest abuses

The English word, “hypocrite,” comes from the Greek word, “hypocresis” which is the Greek word for “actor.”

A good “hypocresis” is a good actor.
A good actor is good at playing a part, playing a role and a playing a character…

Jesus today vehemently and quite heatedly labels the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law as ‘Hypocrites’!

The sin of Hypocrisy is deadly!

We need to ask ourselves: Have I become a prey to this deadly and poisonous Sin?

I am hypocritical…

When I profess to be a Christian…
… but don’t even seek to live the Gospel values in my life!

When I say I love God above all…
… but don’t find even few moments to be with Him in prayer!

When I say I love others…
… but constantly hurt them with my words and fail to appreciate them and even fail to pray for them!

When I receive the Eucharist…
… but fail to even try to give my life in service for others!

When I recite many prayers…
… but do not seek to listen or do God’s Will in my life!

When I am a Priest/ Religious…
… but have failed to even try to give God the first place in my life!

When I am a Church member…
… but have failed to even try to learn and follow the commands and regulations of the Church!

The habit of hypocrisy is a lethal one…

Have I become a victim to this noxious and fatal Habit?

When we read this passage of the Gospel, we must also keep in mind one basic principle: Jesus is not making a blanket condemnation of the whole group of people…
… rather He criticizes and condemns the attitude and their mentality

Sin is hated…
… not the sinner!
Sin is to be thrown away…
… but the sinner is given a chance to repent!

The Pharisee is not hated…
… but Pharisaism is condemned!

The Lord is a tough task-master… He loves not to dilute His teachings and His policies.

Such condemning passages and harsh extracts of the Gospel may leave us with a feeling: “All these demands of the Lord seems all too difficult for me…”

“Who at all can live in perfection?”
“Is there any person who can claim not be living in duplicity?”
“I fail to find a good example in today’s world…
… and therefore, I think, this is neither practical nor feasible!”

But the Lord rushes to our rescue & tells: “What’s impossible for humans is possible for God!”

What is needed is a genuine attempt at perfection…
… a true longing to be free from duplicity
… a solid motivation to live a harmonious life

We may be “acting” in the stage of life: maybe knowingly, maybe unknowingly…

But today, the Lord wants us to examine our lives… and set things right

With deep love, He encourages and motivates us through St Paul and his companions:
“…We constantly pray for you; may our God make you worthy of His calling.

May He, by His power, fulfil your good purposes and your work prompted by faith!” (2 Thess 1:11-12)

Let us do away with the Habit of Hypocrisy…
… and genuinely seek to grow in Authenticity, Genuineness and Faithfulness!

We also seek the intercession of St Rose of Lima, whose feast we celebrate today.

She is the patroness of gardeners, florists and all the people who are ridiculed/misunderstood for their piety!

May her words inspire us: “Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

This final stage stays closely linked to the first, that is, to His descent from heaven in the Incarnation.
Only the One who “came from the Father” can return to the Father: Christ Jesus.
Left to its own natural powers, humanity does not have access to the “Father’s house”, to God’s life and happiness.
Only Christ can open to man such access that we, His members, might have confidence that we too shall go where He, our Head and our Source, has preceded us.
The lifting up of Jesus on the cross signifies and announces his lifting up by His Ascension into heaven, and indeed begins it.
Jesus Christ, the one priest of the new and eternal Covenant, “entered, not into a sanctuary made by human hands, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.”
There Christ permanently exercises His Priesthood, for He “always lives to make intercession” for “those who draw near to God through Him”.

As “High Priest of the good things to come,” He is the Centre and the Principal Actor of the Liturgy that honours the Father in Heaven (Cf. CCC # 661-662)