REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 01, 2021: Friday

“As a child, holding the hands of St Therese of Child Jesus – the Li’l Big Saint – to love deeper the Big Big God of Love!”

(Based on Isa 66:10-14 and Mt 18:1-4 – The Feast of St Therese of Child Jesus)

Here is a creative invitation letter….
“Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and earth, Sovereign Ruler of the World…
… and the Most Glorious Virgin Mary, Queen and Princess of the heavenly Court…
… wish to invite you to the wedding of their Divine Son Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to Mademoiselle Therese Martin…
… now Lady and Princess of the kingdoms brought as dowry by her Divine Spouse, namely, the Childhood of Jesus and His Passion, of nobility being the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.

Monsieur Louis Martin, proprietor and owner of the domains of suffering and humiliation…
… and Madame Martin, princess and lady of honour of the heavenly court…
… wish to invite you to the wedding of their daughter Therese to Jesus, the Word of God, second person of the Blessed Trinity…
… who, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, became man and was born of the Virgin Mary!

Being unable to invite you to assist at the nuptial blessing which was bestowed on them on the mountain of Carmel (the heavenly court being alone admitted there)…
… they beg you, nonetheless…
… to be present at the return from the wedding which will take place tomorrow, on the day of Eternity…
… to which Jesus, the Son of God, will come on the clouds of Heaven to judge the living and the dead.

(The hour being still uncertain, you are invited to hold yourselves in readiness and to watch.)”

  • This was the letter written by St Theresa of Child Jesus, in the days of preparation of her Final Commitment to Jesus, in the consecrated life.

A letter…
… highly simply, yet deeply concentrated in mysticism and spirituality
… highly childlike, yet reverberating with immense love and passion for the Lord

Today, as we celebrate the Feast of this Amazingly Passionate lover of the Lord – St Therese of Child Jesus (St Therese of Liseux)

She is a saint…
… little in structure and deeds, but gigantic in her love of the Lord!
… unnoticed and unseen, but tremendously revered and loved for her way of love!

We live in an age that relishes and appreciates insights related to growth, maturity, accountability and responsibility.

There is a love to hear “high” theology…
There is a craze to talk “systematic” thoughts…
There is an interest to discuss “complex” spiritualities…

Not that these are bad or not to be promoted…
… but these “mature” talks ought not to take one away from the basic aim of true spirituality: Love God and Loving Neighbour!

There is a tendency that these “advanced” talks get jammed with only peripheral talks & fails to translate into true action & deeds.

It is here, that our Little Saint of the Day invites us to find a new freshness and sparkle in Spirituality.

She is the Little Saint who dared to love the Big God!
She is the Big Saint who presents to us the Little Way!

This Little Way of the Big Li’l Saint resonates with the Gospel of the Day when Jesus invites and declares that unless one becomes like a little child, one cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

For a child, everything is big!

The toys that one plays..the food that one eats..the houses that one sees…
Even the ones who take care… And especially, the ones closes to the child..probably, the parents….are very big too!
… They mean everything for the Child.
… They signify the ultimate for the Child.

This is the child-likeness to which The Little Flower grew.

Her child-likeness has God as the Centre of her world…

God means everything for this Little Saint.
God signifies the ultimate for this Little Saint!

She saw herself as ‘a child’ but energized by God who directed her journey in faith.

Her child-likeness does not promote childishness or immaturity or passivity.

Her child-likeness encourages deeper trust and maturity and enthusiasm.

This spirituality of the Little Way sounds too simple… and too little…

But in fact and in practise, is a highly challenging one…

Is God the centre of my world…
… when I get drunk with a sinful and immoral life?
… when I get over dependant on my material riches?
… when I bank upon my own wisdom in my works?
… when I insist on doing my will, over the Will of God?

Little Therese of Child Jesus, the Little Saint is also the Big Saint of Love!

The Little lover of God invites us…
… to adorn all our words with love
… to embrace all our actions with love
… to beautify all our thoughts with love

It could be speaking with friends… interacting with fellow workers… discussing some business matters… enjoying with family members
It could be doing household works… handling massive finances… studying various subjects… performing some spiritual activites
It could be thinking some philosophical views… reflecting about some people… considering about some situations… imagining some circumstances… dreaming some visions
… Whatever be our words, or actions, or thoughts – LET THEM BE EMBELLISHED IN LOVE!

The Little Way… Sounds simple, but not so simple in practise, right?

Yet, there is much simplicity…cos God remains at the centre of every effort and attempt!

There is much sentimentality, no doubt.
There is much simplicity, no doubt.
But with or without all those feelings, the Little Way simply tells us to have God at the Centre of Everything…
… and do all in Love!

Love demands a fidelity in the countless mundane ‘little’ things of daily life

The Little Way doesn’t eliminate heroism, rather it’s brought within the reach of the poor.

The rains of love ought to shower every aspect of ordinary everyday life.

The Little Flower dares to throw “petals” at the Loving Lord…

These petals even considered “worthless petals” by the world – a little sacrifice, a gentle smile, a kind word, an appreciative action!

Sometimes, these “worthless petals” are nothing more than a faithful effort.

But this fact of “having tried”, a good will “to do good”… all these petals please the Lord!

Let us join the Little Saint to tread the Little Way.

She promised to “shower roses” on the way to those who dare…

As a child, let us hold the hands of this Li’l Big Saint to love deeper the Big Big God of Love…
… and be inspired by her words: “Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be.”

As we thank the Lord for the gift of all the blessings in the month of September, let us offer the new month of October into His Safe and Caring Hands…

… especially seeking the help of our Blessed Mother by praying the Rosary daily, in this Month of the Rosary – October!

Let’s “live Love to give Love!”

Let’s “live Jesus to give Jesus!”

Happy Feast of the Beautiful Little Flower!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

God is Love” and love is his first gift, containing all others.
“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Because we are dead or at least wounded through sin, the first effect of the gift of love is the forgiveness of our sins.

The communion of the Holy Spirit in the Church restores to the baptized the divine likeness lost through sin. (Cf. CCC # 733-734)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 30, 2021: Thursday

“Rising above our concerns, to find the Treasure of True Joy and the Wealth of Genuine happiness in God!”

(Based on Neh 8:1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12 and Lk 10:1-12 – Thursday of the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

A theology professor was once asked in a class, “Father, do you think that Jesus ever laughed?”

The professor was amused at the question:
“Of course, I don’t think that the Gospel directly gives us an instance which mentions that Jesus laughed.

There are surely, many moments of joy which Jesus engaged in
There are also so many precious words that our Lord uttered which exudes joy – especially the Beatitudes”!

And then, with a sense of deep devotion, the professor continued: “And finally, I do want to say…
… More than being concerned if Jesus ever laughed in life

I am proud to say, that my Lord has blessed me with so much of love and care…
… that I can laugh!”

Each one of us are invited to reflect on the many wonders that our Blessed Lord has done in our life – wonders that make us laugh and feel happy…
… and thus radiate joy and peace by our lives!

The Gospel of the Day is the incident of Jesus sending His Disciples on a mission journey…
… with an expectation that they “be messengers of peace”

“Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house’” (Lk 10:5)

Being a ‘messenger of peace’ required that the disciples be joyful and cheerful people…

They were to preach the Good News primarily by their life…
… And this life ought to have been a reflection of joy and peace!

The Lord also warns that there could be a possibility of being rejected (Cf. Lk 10:10)

However, the disciples were not to get discouraged or be bogged down by those experiences

We too are invited to be “messengers of peace”

And preach the Good News primarily by our life…
… making our life a reflection of joy and peace!

However, very often, we lose our sense of joy and plunge into disturbances, when encountered by the troubles of life.

Queries on why there is no joy or happiness may perhaps evoke some of the following replies:

“You don’t know the struggles what I’m going through.”
“How can you expect me to be cheerful when my marriage and family is falling apart?”
“God seems miles away from me, and you want me to cheer up?”
“My kids drive me nuts.”
“I’ve got cancer. How can I rejoice?”
“People have mistreated me and I’m not going to be happy until I get even.”
“If I had more money, I’d be happy.”
“The fears of the pandemic are still looming large. How do you still expect me to be hopeful?”

Do I identify myself with some of the above replies…..?

If yes, then we are challenged to rise above these our concerns…
… and to find the Treasure of True Joy
… and the Wealth of Genuine happiness in God!

The Lord has indeed blessed us with many moments of protection and encouragement

Let these wonders help us to radiate joy in our life
And to say with devotion and joy: “I am proud to say, that my Lord has blessed me with so much of love and care…
… that I can laugh!”

Today we seek the intercession of St Jerome
(St Jerome who was very well-versed in Scripture, is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin – the translation that became known as the Vulgate – and his commentaries on the Scriptures.

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ” are the famous words of exhortation of St Jerome, the doctor of the Church)

May his words, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest.

‘Til your good is better and your better is best”
… be an inspiration for all of us

Today – September 30th – is also the Founder’s Day of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales (MSFS) – the death anniversary of the Venerable Servant of God, Fr Peter Marie Mermier (Sep 30, 1862)

We are invited to be inspired by the words of Ven. Fr Peter Marie Mermier

“The most virtuous (people) avoid sin and great faults…
… but they are careless in the practice of virtue.”

“It is not enough to avoid evil but it is necessary to do good
… The love of God is efficacious.
There is nothing as strong and as active as love. It is a devouring fire!”

And with respect to prayer…

“The ministry of a priest without prayer, is a barren ministry, without any effect, even harmful; it is a ministry of death!
… instead of enlightening, it blinds;
… instead of healing, it kills!
But the ministry of the one who prays, is a ministry of life!”

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ’s Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a Divine Person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance. On that day, the Holy Trinity is fully revealed.
Since that day, the Kingdom announced by Christ has been open to those who believe in him: in the humility of the flesh and in faith, they already share in the communion of the Holy Trinity.
By his coming, which never ceases, the Holy Spirit causes the world to enter into the “last days,” the time of the Church, the Kingdom already inherited though not yet consummated.

“We have seen the true Light, we have received the Heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith: we adore the indivisible Trinity, Who has saved us!” (Cf. CCC # 731-732)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 29, 2021: Wednesday

Seeking the help and intercession of the Three Archangels – St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael – to grow in our love for the Lord!”

(Based on the Feast of the Archangels St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael)

The Church professes and proclaims Her faith in God which is encapsulated in the Nicene Creed.

The Nicene Creed begins with the proclamation, “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE.”

The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith!

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Three Archangels – St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael.

Archangels are one of the nine choirs of angels. (cf. Eph 1:21, Col 1:16)

In ascending order, the choirs or classes are 1) Angels, 2) Archangels, 3) Principalities, 4) Powers, 5) Virtues, 6) Dominations, 7) Thrones, 8) Cherubim, and 9) Seraphim.

The Feast of the Three Archangels – St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael is an opportunity to learn more about them and to grow in deeper devotion and fondness for them.


The name of the archangel Michael means, in Hebrew, “Who is like unto God?”

St Michael is known as “the prince of the heavenly host.”

He is usually pictured as a strong warrior, dressed in armour.

St Michael makes an appearance in the Bible on four occasions:

In Dan 10:13 and in Dan 12:1, he appears as the special guardian of the people of Israel.
In Jude 9, he appears in a dispute with the Devil.
In Rev 12:7-9, he fights against Satan and his evil forces.

What does St Michael teach us?

St Michael teaches us…
… to depend on the power of God in our battle against the forces of Satan
… to guard ourselves against the disguises and snares of evil forces.
… to become a guard and protector of our fellow brothers and sisters.


The name of the archangel Gabriel means, in Hebrew, “God is my strength”
St Gabriel is known as a “messenger of God”
He is usually pictured announcing something and sometimes with a lily or a sceptre.

St Gabriel makes an appearance three times in the Bible:

In Dan 8:15–26 and 9:21–27, he appears to Daniel to explain his visions
In Lk 1:11-38, he appears to Zechariah and Mary to deliver the good news from God

What does St Gabriel teach us?

St Gabriel invites us…
… to listen to God’s voice and inspirations through various sources.
… to find courage in situations of fear, by trusting in God’s Providence.
… to be open to surprises and wonders the Lord works in our lives.


The name of the archangel Raphael means, in Hebrew, “God has healed?”

St Raphael is known as “a wonderful helper and fellow traveller”
He is usually pictured walking with a young boy, sometimes carrying a staff.

St Raphael makes many appearance in the Book of Tobit in the Bible:
St Raphael appears disguised in human form as the travelling companion of Tobias, the son of Tobit.

What does St Raphael teach us?

St Raphael inspires us…
… to discover God as the healing balm in our afflictions and hardships.
… to walk boldly with God in all the terrains and valleys and paths of life.
… to trust in God in seemingly hopeless and impossible hurdles of life.

Let the celebration of this Feast of the Three Archangels – St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael – help us to grow in our love for our Blessed Lord!

The Lord wants us to grow in holiness.
The Lord wants us to be protected in His care.
The Lord wants to be fearless in being His beloved Child.

May the Archangels help us in this our journey of life.

Happy Feast of the Holy Archangels!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
Only when the hour has arrived for His glorification does Jesus promise the coming of the Holy Spirit, since His Death and Resurrection will fulfil the promise made to the fathers.

The Spirit of truth, the other Paraclete, will be given by the Father in answer to Jesus’ prayer; He will be sent by the Father in Jesus’ Name; and Jesus will send Him from the Father’s Side, since He comes from the Father.
The Holy Spirit will come and we shall know Him; He will be with us for ever; He will remain with us.
The Spirit will teach us everything, remind us of all that Christ said to us and bear witness to Him. >> The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and will glorify Christ.
He will prove the world wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment.
At last Jesus’ hour arrives: He commends His Spirit into the Father’s Hands, at the very moment when by His death He conquers death, so that, “raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,” He might immediately give the Holy Spirit by “breathing” on His disciples.

From this hour onward, the mission of Christ and the Spirit becomes the mission of the Church: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you!” (Cf. CCC # 729-730)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 28, 2021: Tuesday

“Seeking to be the followers of the Zealous and Passionate Lord, and be determined to have our every decision, in the spiritual realm, to be actually materialised!”

(Based on Zech 8:20-23 and Lk 9:51-56 – Tuesday of the 26th in Ordinary Time)

A classic riddle, known to most of us, goes thus….

There were 5 frogs sitting on a fence, at the edge of the river.

3 of them, decided to jump.
How many are left on the fence?

Well, the answer (without any twists or catch…) is simple…
…. 5

Why 5?

Simply, because, of the 5 frogs, the 3 of them only DECIDED to jump!

It is not mentioned whether they actually jumped!

Every decision need not have to be actually materialised!

It is not necessary that every decision is really actualised!

This aspect is very true and often found in our lives, isn’t it?

Many of us at the start of the new year, would have “decided” many resolutions…
… How many of us are fulfilling them? (Hopefully, some of us, at least remember what were they!)

At the end of a good retreat, perhaps many of us “decided” to cultivate some good spiritual practices…
… How many of are able to still say that, “yes, I am faithfully following them?”

Having made a meaningful confession, we would have “decided” to part ways with some sinful habits…
… How many of us are zealously resistant in yielding to those former ways?

We constantly find ourselves, at a loss in translating…
… our decisions into practise
… our determinations into realistic actions.

This is where, we need to look up to our Blessed Lord, Who not just “decided and was determined”…
… but also lived them – with zeal and passion!

The Gospel of the Day is this crucial moment in the life of Jesus, as described in the Gospel of Luke…
… when “he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem” (Lk 9: 51)

Jerusalem is an important dimension in the theology of the Gospel of St Luke.

All the events in the life of Jesus are oriented towards this city – the city of His ancestor David

The whole Gospel begins and ends in Jerusalem…
… begins in the Jerusalem Temple (Zechariah meeting Angel – Lk 1: 5ff)
… ends in the Jerusalem Temple (Apostles continually in the Temple – Lk 24:53)

The infancy story of Jesus in the Gospel, also begins and ends in Jerusalem…
… begins in the Jerusalem Temple (Zechariah meeting Angel – Lk 1: 5ff)
… ends with Joseph and Mary finding Jesus in the Temple ( Lk 2:42-52)


The Temptations of Jesus in this Gospel (unlike in St Matthew) ends in Jerusalem (Lk 4: 9-13)

The whole public ministry of Jesus, in this Gospel, is a “journey towards Jerusalem”…
… culminating in His passion, death and resurrection!

Why is ‘Jerusalem’ so central to St Luke?

One of the reasons, was because, this Gospel was primarily written for the Gentile Christians (non-Jews).

(Historically, it was a time of persecution, with the Jerusalem Temple being destroyed)

Jerusalem was the centre of the Jewish religion!

God had promised many blessings to the Jewish nation.

But now, even the centre of the religion – Jerusalem – had been under persecution!

What message where the Gentile Christians drawing from this “unfortunate” incident of Jerusalem being captured?

Has God forgotten His promises to the people of Israel?
Were the people of Israel abandoned by the Lord Yahweh?

It is in this context, that St Luke places “Jerusalem” at the centre of his message.

And tells the people…
… that God has not abandoned His people
… that God’s ways though not understood, are always for our good!

And thus, we see Jesus marching, with “determination and decisiveness” towards Jerusalem!

His “determination and decisiveness” was not merely in words…
… instead, was lived out with zeal and passion!

The message of the Gospel is powerful and vivid before us….

Just like the city of “Jerusalem”, we may often find ourselves to feel…
… that my life is full of suffering and struggles
… that my life has no future or is hopeless
… that I am abandoned by everyone, even perhaps by God, in my difficult moments

But the Lord, invites and challenges us, to move…
… with “determination and decisiveness” towards this “Jerusalem” of our life!

Jesus did not shy away from the hard way of life…
… and He expects, all of us, His followers to also imitate Him!

It’s easy to take decisions….
… but we need to translate them into concrete expressions!

Let us seek to be the followers of the Zealous and Passionate Lord….
… and be determined to have our every decision, in the spiritual realm, to be actually materialised!

God bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

The entire mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit, in the fullness of time, is contained in this: that the Son is the one anointed by the Father’s Spirit since his Incarnation – Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah.
Everything in the second chapter of the Creed is to be read in this light.
Christ’s whole work is in fact a joint mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus does not reveal the Holy Spirit fully, until He Himself has been glorified through his Death and Resurrection.
Nevertheless, little by little He alludes to him even in His teaching of the multitudes, as when He reveals that His own flesh will be food for the life of the world.
He also alludes to the Spirit in speaking to Nicodemus, to the Samaritan woman, and to those who take part in the feast of Tabernacles.

To His disciples, He speaks openly of the Spirit in connection with prayer, and with the witness they will have to bear. (Cf. CCC # 727-728)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 27, 2021: Monday

“Giving heed to the call of the Lord and seeking to grow, by humbling oneself!”

(Based on Zech 8:1-8 and Lk 9:46-50 – Monday of the 26th in Ordinary Time)

“O Master, grant that I may never seek!

So much to be consoled, as to console,
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love with all my soul…”

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

However, in our daily life, the chorus we sing is perhaps quite the opposite…
“O Master, help that I may always seek for more…

So much to be comforted, but not to comfort others…
To make sure that I am well understood, even if I misunderstand others…
To receive an abundance of love, even if others are ignored in the process!”

Very much, true isn’t it?

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

We love to donate…
… but expect to be acknowledged & given due consideration.

We love to offer…
… but expect to get back something more in return.

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

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

Such a generally-found characteristic…

Desiring to be great
Wanting to have the first place
… is on display in the Gospel of the Day.

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

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

The Gospel passage begins with the verse:
“An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest.” (Lk 9: 46)

Just a couple of verses before, Jesus had instructed the disciples very strongly using the words:
“Let these words SINK into your ears…” (Lk 9:44)

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

It was the prediction of His Passion.

The words “sink into your ears” was a strong exhortation by the Lord…
… to understand that the way to be exalted is only by being humiliated on the Cross!
… to realise that the pathway to glory is always laid low in the valley of struggles and hardships!

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

None can be a disciple of Christ without being humble
It would be impossible to call oneself a Christian if one is unwilling to let go of self-desires

But the disciples failed to grasp this fundamental truth.

The recounting of the Passion prediction by Jesus, probably brought in them thoughts…
… about how their Master would reign as the King!
… about how each of them would probably get an important ministerial berth!

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

Jesus’ message of the Cross was neatly avoided…
… and only the Crown was given prominence!

Jesus’ warnings about being ready for the Way of the Cross was sidelined…
… and only the dream of a ‘bed of roses’ was discussed!

Hence, the Lord uses the opportunity to remind His close ones on the need to “grow in humility”…
… with the example of a child (Lk 9: 47)

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

The Lord knows the hearts of all…
… He knows our hearts as well

And so, He looks deep into us, and invites to examine our motives and attitudes…
… Am I a person willing to humble myself?
… or am I a person, swelling in pride?

This aspect of pride could be perhaps manifested in us, subtly, in many ways…
… maybe in my words, the word “I” often appears – thus projecting myself more over others!
… maybe in my actions, I do things to show others – thus wanting self-attention and praise!
… maybe in my thoughts, I often think of my desires – thus disregarding the needs of others!

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

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

The process of doing away with pride and growing in humility…
… is a slow and painful process!

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

There is a need to grow in acts of humility…
… encouraging and appreciating others
… willing to do the “less flashy and glamorous” roles
… realising that the source of all what I do and achieve, is ultimately the Lord

St Francis de Sales says, “Certainly all virtues are very dear to God…
… but humility pleases Him above all the others!”

Let us give heed to the call of the Lord…
… seeking to grow, by humbling oneself!

May we truly pray and live…
… that we may never seek…

To be consoled, as to console!
To be understood, as to understand!
To be loved, as to love with all our souls!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

In Mary, the Holy Spirit fulfils the plan of the Father’s loving goodness.
With and through the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and gives birth to the Son of God. By the Holy Spirit’s power and her faith, her virginity became uniquely fruitful.
In Mary, the Holy Spirit manifests the Son of the Father, now become the Son of the Virgin.
She is the burning bush of the definitive theophany.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, she makes the Word visible in the humility of His Flesh.
It is to the poor and the first representatives of the gentiles that she makes Him known.
Finally, through Mary, the Holy Spirit begins to bring men, the objects of God’s merciful love, into communion with Christ.
The humble are always the first to accept him: shepherds, magi, Simeon and Anna, the bride and groom at Cana, and the first disciples.
At the end of this mission of the Spirit, Mary became the Woman, the new Eve (“mother of the living”), the mother of the “whole Christ.”

As such, she was present with the Twelve, who “with one accord devoted themselves to prayer,” at the dawn of the “end time” which the Spirit was to inaugurate on the morning of Pentecost with the manifestation of the Church. (Cf. CCC # 723-726)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 26, 2021: Sunday

“Plucking out sin at the very first instance of its appearance, and cooperating with the Grace of God to live in holiness!”

(Based on Num 11:25-29, Jas 5:1-6 and Mk 9:38-43,45,47-48 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

A catechism class teacher was explaining about the reality of sin, to her 5th Standard (Grade) students.

She said: “Children, how does a worm get inside an apple?”

The question interested the students, and they keenly listened to the teacher, as she continued:
“Perhaps you think the worm burrows in from the outside?


Scientists have discovered that the worm comes from the inside.”

One of the students then asked: “But, how does the worm get in there?”

The teacher with a smile said, “Simple!
An insect lays an egg in the apple blossom (bud).

Sometime later, the worm hatches in the heart of the apple…
… then eats his way out.”

She then continued: “Children, remember….
… Sin, like this worm, begins in the heart and works out through the person’s thoughts, words and actions.

That’s why make sure you root out sin at its very beginning…
… and pluck it out, at the very first instance of its appearance!”

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus making a strong exhortation on the dangers posed by sin…
… and the intense need to overcome anything that comes in the way of holiness.

Jesus says, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off…

If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off…
If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it off…” (Mk 9: 43-47)

These are very strong and powerful words of our Blessed Lord.

Our Lord came to the World as a Saviour – to redeem the world from sin.

It is sin that causes separation of human beings from God.

Therefore the Lord clearly asks to us make choices and radical decisions to let go of anything that can cause us to sin or move away from His Holy Will.

We need to examine our lives and check…

… My hands:

Do I engage in activities which are uncharitable and which causes pains and hurts to others?
Do I fail to extend my hand to those in need and those whose lives can be bettered by my helping hand?

… My feet:

Do I stray away into paths of immorality, injustice and indifference?
Do I fail to direct my ways on the path of righteous living, holy conduct and true worship?

… My eyes:

Do I direct my eyes into things which are unbecoming of my way of life and with an intention to fulfil my sinful inner cravings?
Do I move away from seeing the suffering and miseries in the world and become closed to discover the spark of Divinity in the other?

Jesus wishes that our Christian lives, not become a scandal or a stumbling block to the other…
… Rather, He desires that we be honest to our calling as a Christian
… and walk firmly and with courage, in the path of perfection with Him and towards Him!

Are there sins in our life that are occupying large areas in our hearts?

Are there tendencies that are causing us to move away from a life of holiness?

The Lord says, “Have the courage to root them out completely!”

To cut off from sin…
… will surely be difficult
… will indeed be hard

But if we are ready to cooperate with the Grace of the Lord, then our Blessed Saviour will root them out completely from our hearts!

What is needed is our “readiness to pluck out sin completely!”

As the Psalmist prayed, we need to echo the phrase: “Create in me a clean heart, O God!”

Let’s understand that “sin, like a worm, begins in the heart and works out through the person’s thoughts, words and actions.

Lets make sure that we root it out at its very beginning…
… and pluck it out, at the very first instance of its appearance!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time.
For the first time in the plan of salvation and because His Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where His Son and His Spirit could dwell among men.
In this sense, the Church’s Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary.
Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom.”
In her, the “wonders of God” that the Spirit was to fulfil in Christ and the Church began to be manifested
The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by His Grace.
It was fitting that the mother of him in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” should herself be “full of Grace.”
She was, by sheer Grace, conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most capable of welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty.
It was quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the “Daughter of Zion: Rejoice.”

It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within Her the Eternal Son. (Cf. CCC # 721-722)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 25, 2021: Saturday

“Asking the Grace to remain ever faithful to the Lord and to be loyal to His Love and His Kingdom”

(Based on Zech 2:1-5, 10-11a and Lk 9:43-45 – Saturday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time)

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

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

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

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

Therefore, among the conspirators who finally assassinated the Roman leader on March 15, 44 was Brutus as well.
Caesar had not only trusted him, but also favoured Brutus as his own son.

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

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

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

… A question which cuts across the marrows of the bones and the pierces the depths of the heart, to express disgust and contempt of the deadly human vice of betrayal!
… A question which cuts across civilizations and generations, to show forth the abhorrence and the detestation of the wicked trait of disloyalty!

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

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

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

This betrayal had to be faced on different levels..
… an act of betrayal through a kiss by Judas Iscariot
… acts of denial by Peter, His close disciple
… acts of abandonment by His other disciples
… acts of rejection by the chief priests and elders
… acts of passivity by the people for whom He had served

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

Is the Lord, calling us by name, asking us, “Et tu, ? “You too, _?”

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

Do I betray the Lord with my words of unpleasantness, judgmental nature and destructively critical?
Do I betray the Lord by being unkind, unforgiving and harbouring grudge by my actions?
Do I betray the Lord by causing harm to others and being insincere in my works?

Let us ask the Grace to remain ever faithful to the Lord and be loyal to His Love and His Kingdom.

Like St Philip Neri, may we too pray:
“Watch me, O Lord, this day; for, abandoned to myself, I shall surely betray thee.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

John the Baptist is “more than a prophet.”
In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets.
John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah.
He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the “voice” of the Consoler who is coming.
As the Spirit of truth will also do, John “came to bear witness to the light.”
In John’s sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfils the longing of the angels.
“He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. and I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God… Behold, the Lamb of God.”

Finally, with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to man of “the Divine likeness,” prefiguring what he would achieve with and in Christ. John’s baptism was for repentance; baptism in water and the Spirit will be a new birth (Cf. CCC # 719-720)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 24, 2021: Friday

“Turning towards the Lord, like the sunflower that follows every movement of the sun, and walking with joy, and radiating his Love!”

(Based on Hag 1:15b-2:9 and Lk 9:18-22 – Friday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time)

Nature teaches and inspires us!

One of the beautiful lessons we learn from nature is from one of the most amazing flowers – The Sunflower!

The Sunflowers literally ‘follows the sun’!
(Technically, it is called “heliotropism” i.e. ‘sun turning’)

They turn to the sun, following it all day…
… from its rising in the east to its setting in the west!

It is even found that on a cloudy day…
… if any glimpse of the sun appears, the sunflower finds and follows it!

The sunflower is a beautiful symbol of our spiritual journey…
… of how, we need to constantly ‘look to the Lord’, the Sun of our Life!
… of how, we need to always ‘follow the Lord’, the Sun of our existence!

This “looking to the Lord” and “following the Lord” finds its practical expression…
… in a life of prayer!

The Gospel of the Day presents before us with St Luke’s version of the familiar passage, of Jesus asking His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?”…
… beginning with “Jesus praying in solitude…”(Lk 9:18)

The Gospel of Luke is also known as the Gospel of Prayer.

He highlights the aspect of Jesus spending time in prayer….

At the time of His Baptism, Jesus prays (Lk 3:21)

At the time after a ministry of healing, Jesus goes to pray (Lk 5:16)

At the choosing of the Twelve, Jesus spends the night in prayer (Lk 6:12)

At the time of the Transfiguration on the mountain, Jesus was praying (Lk 9:28)

At the request of His disciples, Jesus teaches them the ideal and the model prayer (Lk 11:1)

At the garden of Gethsemane, before being led to His passion and sufferings, Jesus prayed (Lk 22:41)

At the final breath, in the agony and pain of His imminent death on the Cross, Jesus makes a prayer (Lk 23:46)

The ‘Praying Master’ through the ‘Gospel of Prayer’ exhorts us to some crucial and practical aspects of our life:

Do I spend special time in prayer…
… before important and critical times and decisions of our life?

Do I enjoy spending time in prayer…
… and seeking to grow in my relationship with God, our Father?

Do I cling to God in intense and deep prayer…
… in our time of suffering and pains?

Do I make prayer a way of life and rhythmic…
… with every moment of my day?

It is only when we build a strong rock-solid foundation of prayer that we can be bold in witnessing our faith!

The world may have varied responses to the question, “Who do people say that I am?”

Many saw only the zeal and fiery exhortations on repentance…
… and identified Him with John the Baptist

Many saw only His mighty acts and deeds…
… and considered Him as Elijah

Many saw only His authoritative power in preaching…
…and considered Him a Prophet

But they failed to see Jesus truly as the One He really was – The SON OF GOD!

It is only when we are in prayer that we can know the Lord more…and deeper!

The understanding of the Real Jesus can be experienced only through our moments of prayer.

How is our life of prayer?
… Personal
… In the Family/Community

Personally, we must make it a point to spend at least sometime, daily, in prayer

As a family/community also, we must make a priority, daily, to come together in the presence of the Lord!

Personally, we will have a lot of activities and feelings to keep us away; but we must still be faithful to our time of prayer

As a family/community also, there would come many things to give us excuses; but we must still be insistent on having our time of prayer together!

Yes, the Lord encounters each one of us today personally and puts forward the same question,
“Who do YOU say that I am?”

May we, “like the sunflower, that follows every movement of the sun,” turn towards the Lord…
… and walk, with joy, looking to Him, and radiating his Love!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”
John was “filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb” by Christ Himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to His people.
John is “Elijah (who) must come.”
The fire of the Spirit dwells in him and makes him the forerunner of the coming Lord.

In John, the precursor, the Holy Spirit completes the work of “[making] ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Cf. CCC # 717-718)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 23, 2021: Thursday

“Having the courage to unload every burden of guilt, by walking on the path of goodness!”

(Based on Hag 1:1-8 and Lk 9:7-9 – Thursday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time)

An incident is narrated of a man who brought a package of supplies from a trading shop.

On reaching home, to his surprise, he found a silver coin inside the package.

Something troubled him.

He came back the next morning to the trader and handed him back the silver coin.

The trader was amused and surprised and asked him: “That’s interesting to see that you have returned back the silver coin!”

The customer replied: “Well, I got a good man and a bad man in my heart!

The good man said, It is not yours’; the bad man said, ‘Nobody will know’. The good man said, ‘Take it back’; the bad man said, Never mind’.”

And so thinking, I went to bed…
… but the good man and the bad man talked the whole night and troubled me.

Next morning, I decided…
… to unload the burden of my guilt, by returning to the path of goodness!”

The conscience of the man caused him disturbance, because of the fault that he was supposedly in…
… and made him to yield to its goodness!

Each of us, at every moment, have our conscience speaking to us…

Do we listen and give heed?
Or do we silence the voice of the conscience and allow our guilt to rotten up our minds, and dirty our actions?

The Gospel of the Day presents the intense ordeal faced by King Herod who failed to give consideration to the voice of conscience…

And instead had his mind corrupted and his actions dirtied…
… by falling into the trap of guilt and shame.

King Herod had exercised his authority and sinfulness by beheading John the Baptist. (Mt 14:1-12; Mk 6:14-27).

The demon of guilt and shame of that inhuman murder kept bothering him.

In this scattered state of mind, King Herod hears about the deeds and wonders of another man, Jesus.

His guilt-filled and confused mind is unable to grasp the identity of this new man who works marvels and so he asks: “I had John beheaded; WHO IS THIS MAN about whom I hear such wonders?”(Lk 9:9)

The king harassed by sin and shame failed to grapple the mystery of the Son of God, the King of kings!

Herod’s question is perhaps, one the most important question ever asked or answered:

Being confused about Who Jesus is, was not new trend, especially in the Gospel of St Luke.

In Lk 5:21, at the healing of the paralytic, the Scribes and Pharisees begin to ask, “WHO IS THIS who speaks blasphemy?”

In Lk 7:19, the disciples of John the Baptist question Him, “ARE YOU THE ONE WHO IS TO COME, or should we look for another?”

In Lk 7:49, after the pardon of the sinful woman who washed His feet, the others, who were invited for the meal commented, “WHO IS THIS who even forgives sins?”

In Lk 8:25, after witnessed the calming of the sea and the storms, the disciples inquire, “WHO then IS THIS, who commands even the winds and the sea, and they obey Him?”

In Lk 9:20, Jesus Himself asks His disciples, “WHO do you say AM I?”

In Lk 20:2, the chief priests and scribes question Jesus, “By what AUTHORITY ARE YOU doing these things? Or who is the one WHO GAVE YOU AUTHORITY?”

In Lk 22:70, the council of elders and the chief priests and the scribes question Jesus, “ARE YOU then THE SON OF GOD?”

The persona of Jesus surpasses great minds and cannot be arrested by hardened hearts!

The character of Jesus baffles proud mentalities and cannot be captured by cynical spirits!

King Herod was greatly disturbed with a guilty conscience and a sinful heart.

He felt greatly challenged and threatened by Jesus, Who was being considered as a King.

The sinful and corrupt Kingdom of Herod was faced with an opposition from…
… the pure and holy Kingdom of God!

We need to examine our lives and conscience and check…

Am I, like King Herod, filled with fear and doubts because of my sinful conscience and guilty mind?

Am I eager, like King Herod to see some miracles of Jesus, just to satisfy my curiosity, but not for repentance?
Am I hesitant to encounter the Lord, because that could mean having a transformation and renewal of my life?

Yes, each of us, at every moment, have our conscience speaking to us…

Do we listen and give heed?
Or do we silence the voice of the conscience and allow our guilt to rotten up our minds and dirty our actions?

Purified by the Sacraments…
… strengthened by God’s Word…
… empowered in prayer…

Let us become persons who have our conscience always pure and always give heed to the voice of the Lord, “Be Holy, as I am Holy!”

We celebrate today the Feast of a modern saint…
… an exemplary and prayerful priest: St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

He inspires us today to closely follow to Lord…
through the paths of prayer, penitence and penance.
… even if it means suffering and undergoing pain for Jesus’ sake…
… even when we find ourselves rejected and misunderstood

He would say, “In all the events of life, you must recognize the Divine will.
Adore and bless it, especially in the things which are the hardest for you.

The more you are afflicted, the more you ought to rejoice…
… because in the fire of tribulation the soul will become pure gold, worthy to be placed and to shine in the heavenly palace.”

And also, “Even if the world were to capsize…
… if everything were to become dark, hazy, tumultuous…
… God would still be with us!

Prayer is the best weapon we possess. It is the key that opens the heart of God!”

Let us seek the intercession of St Padre Pio, to always listen to our conscience…
… and have the courage to unload every burden of guilt, by walking on the path of goodness!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
The prophetic texts that directly concern the sending of the Holy Spirit are oracles by which God speaks to the heart of his people in the language of the promise, with the accents of “love and fidelity.”

St. Peter will proclaim their fulfilment on the morning of Pentecost.
According to these promises, at the “end time” the Lord’s Spirit will renew the hearts of men, engraving a new law in them. He will gather and reconcile the scattered and divided peoples; He will transform the first creation, and God will dwell there with men in peace.

The People of the “poor” – those who, humble and meek, rely solely on their God’s mysterious plans, who await the justice, not of men but of the Messiah – are in the end the great achievement of the Holy Spirit’s hidden mission during the time of the promises that prepare for Christ’s coming. >> It is this quality of heart, purified and enlightened by the Spirit, which is expressed in the Psalms. >> In these poor, the Spirit is making ready “a people prepared for the Lord.” (Cf. CCC # 715-716)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 22, 2021: Wednesday

“Shaking off the dust of the past, and walking clean with our Lord and Master!”

(Based on Ezra 9:5-9 and Lk 9:1-6 – Wednesday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time)

Thomas Edison, the famous scientist, once worked for months to find a filament that would burn for more than a few seconds, for his incandescent light bulb.

He tried over 700 filaments and each one was a failure.

One reporter interviewed Edison and said, “It must be frustrating to work so hard and see no results.”
Edison replied, “Oh, I have lots of results. I now know 700 things that won’t work!”

The person of true research and genuine interest finds meaning even in failures and is able to cast off minor disappointments and setbacks.

The Gospel of the Day enshrines a similar message in its verses…
“And where ever they don’t welcome you, shake off the dust from your feet…” (Lk 9:5)

Dust was symbolic…

Dust was used to denote the grave (Job 7:21)
To sit in dust denoted extreme affliction (Isaiah 47:1).
To lick the dust was a sign of abject submission (Psalms 72:9)
To sprinkle dust on the head was a sign of mourning (Joshua 7:6)
To throw dust at someone was a sign of abhorrence (2 Samuel 16:13; Acts 22:23)

To shake off the dust indicated that those who had rejected the Gospel were making themselves closer to face the just judgment of God.

The context of this phrase is when Jesus summoned His twelve apostles and sent them on a mission, giving them various instructions…

Jesus warned the twelve, that in their mission, they would encounter denial and not receive a proper welcome and reception in all the places.

This is a reality with the Kingdom of God and the Message of the Gospel…

Not all take in the teaching of the Kingdom and the Gospel…
Not all understand and accept the Kingdom and the Gospel…
Not all give a good response to the Kingdom and the Gospel…

The action of shaking off the dust also meant much for the messenger or the one who had preached the Gospel.

One of the greatest realities of our life is facing rejections, refusals and failures

This aspect creeps into our spiritual lives, our ministries and in our witnessing of Christ in the society…

We may face rejection when we try extend the peace of Christ to all those, with whom we are not in good terms.
We may face refusal when we take a bold decision to not partake in some unhealthy affairs of the world.

We may face failures when we stick on to the principles of honesty and integrity and truthfulness.

We may face let-downs when we refuse to be a partaker of sinful activities and evil practices and thoughts.

Jesus told the disciples that if they were not accepted, to “shake the dust off their feet…”

The “shaking off the dust” was a symbolic way of saying, “I don’t want anything of the city to remain on me.

“I don’t want their bitterness, their rejection, and their lack of faith to remain part of me.”

Jesus didn’t want their feeling of failure to bog his disciples down.

Instead, He told them to just shake it off and move on to the next village.

This was a mighty invitation by the Master to His disciples to not “get fixated to the fleeting pleasures and satisfactions that this world may offer…
… rather to have the Lord as the Greatest Consolation, Treasure and Joy of Life!”

The whole world may leave or reject you…
… but the Lord promises, “if you totally depend on Me, you have no need to fear or be anxious!”

Some of us, however, continue to carry the dust of our past failures and disappointments…

We fail to shake off the dust of our guilt and shame of the past sins we have committed…

We fail to shake off the dust of our hurts and pains in some of the broken and strained relationships…
We fail to shake off the dust of our collapses and catastrophes in our works or businesses or projects or plans…

Yes, we have been rejected. We have failed. We have been crushed. We have collapsed.

But the Lord, says, “Get up, shake off the dust, and go on.”

The Book of Proverbs reminds us: “Every word of God proves true;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him!” (Prov 30:5)

Every saint has faced a rejected and a failure…

The Lord, Himself, on the way of the Cross, fell…
But They never gave up…They never called it quits!

St Paul beautifully says, “This one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal…” (Phil 3:13)

Let us not spend our life sitting in the dust of devastation, crying over what went wrong.

Rather, let us shake off the dust, and walk clean, with our Lord and Master!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

The characteristics of the awaited Messiah begin to appear in the “Book of Emmanuel” (Isaiah)
The Messiah’s characteristics are revealed above all in the “Servant songs.”
These songs proclaim the meaning of Jesus’ Passion and show how He will pour out the Holy Spirit to give life to the many: not as an outsider, but by embracing our “form as slave.”

Taking our death upon Himself, He can communicate to us His own Spirit of life (Cf. CCC # 712-714)