REFLECTION CAPSULE – November 01, 2021: Monday

“Making a choice to preserve purity, even at the cost of one’s life, and persevering in our faith, to live as a Saint!”

(Based on the Solemnity of All Saints)

The forests of northern Europe and Asia are home to a little animal called the Ermine.

It is characterized by its snow-white fur

Some countries have the state robes of the judges lined with this fur…
… the white fur being a symbol of honour and purity.

The Ermine would do anything to protect and safeguard its fur.

Fur hunters however, take undue advantage of this weakness of the Ermine.

They don’t keep a snare to catch the ermine

Instead the smear filth on the entrance and the interior of its house – usually in a cleft of a rock, or the hollow of a tree.

The dogs are then left behind the ermine…
… Frightened, the ermine runs towards its home, the only place of refuge.

However, it finds the entrance dirty and unclean.

It is unwilling to spoil the pure white fur coat.
And so, the ermine makes a choice…

To give in to the hungry and fierce dogs…
… than to spoil the purity of the white fur!

A choice is made – to preserve purity, even at the cost of one’s life!

Every Christian is expected to do the same…
… preserve the purity of one’s holiness, even at the cost of one’s life.

Today – on the Solemnity of the All-Saints – the Church invites us today to lift our gaze to heaven…
… and thank and praise God for the innumerable people who preserved purity, at the cost of their life!

On this Solemnity of All Saints, we celebrate and thank the Lord, for the perseverance in their faith…
… and the manner in which all Holy Men and Women of God, built up Christ’s Kingdom in the world.

Saints are not superheroes in the worldly sense…

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

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

The word – SAINT – sometimes strikes an odd chord in our minds…

Saints are often considered to be people…
… beyond our reach and too holy for our lives
… for whom the path to sanctity was made easy and cosy
… who are given a special boon from God to live a holy life

But the truth perhaps, is quite contrary…
Saints are people…
… who are truly very close to us and lived in simple and ordinary life situations like us.
… who had to struggle through many hardships and trials in the path to holiness.

… who co-operated with the grace of God and remained faithful to their commitment and call

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

How is this possible in our lives…?

The Beatitudes proclaimed by Jesus, in today’s Gospel shows us the path… (Mt 5: 1-10)
Being a saint…
… by depending on God in all dimensions of our life and seeking His Kingdom above all
… by mourning over our sins and seeking to live a life in repentance.
… by living a life of firm gentleness and trusting patience in the midst of injustice and pain
… by becoming agents of justice and seekers of establishing truth
… by offering mercy to the needy and even to those who we feel, don’t deserve
… by preserving purity in our thoughts, words and deeds
… by striving for establishing peace and harmony even in conflicting situations
… by accepting suffering and becoming stronger in our struggle to establish God’s Kingdom

This Feast day is a chance for us to sneak into the personal diary of the saints…
… and to “steal” some tips for us to admire and imitate them…

The Saints’ Favourite Food: The Holy Eucharist
The Saints’ Favourite Dress: The Armour of Faith
The Saints’ Favourite Pastime: Doing anything with immense Love of God
The Saints’ Favourite Symbol: The Holy Cross
The Saints’ Favourite Moments: Every time they discovered more the depth of God’s Love

The Church has a marvellous number of saints who are canonized.

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

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

Most of them, will remain unknown and unfamiliar and unheard.

But in the Lord’s presence, they dazzle and shine, in holiness and purity.

This galaxy of Saints beckon and encourage each one of us today to tread this path of holiness.

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

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

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

Like the ermine, in the world, we are faced to make a choice…

To die to the hungry and fierce world…
… than to spoil the purity of holiness!

Yes, we need to make a choice – constantly, at every moment…

A choice to preserve purity, even at the cost of one’s life!

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

What is our response?

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

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

“What the soul is to the human body, the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, which is the Church.”
“To this Spirit of Christ, as an invisible principle, is to be ascribed the fact that all the parts of the body are joined one with the other and with their exalted head; for the whole Spirit of Christ is in the head, the whole Spirit is in the body, and the whole Spirit is in each of the members.”

The Holy Spirit makes the Church “the temple of the living God” (CCC # 797)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 31, 2021: Sunday

“Living under the banner of the two fundamental commands of Christian life – Love of God and Love of neighbour!”

(Based on Deut 6:2-6, Heb 7:23-28 and Mk 12:28-34 – 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B)

“Papa, do you love Jesus?” asked a little child to her father.

The father was an extremely irreligious man – even hating and condemning all religious practices.

So, with a sense of irritation, the father replied, “Jesus is dead, my dear, long, long ago. He was crucified, and that was the end of Him.”

“But Jesus rose again, and did what no other man could do”, continued the innocent child, “and if Jesus was not living now, we could not be living either, as He gives us life and everything else, Papa.”

But the father questioned back, “But how can I love whom I have never seen, my child? Tell me that, my dear!”

The child, at first didn’t know what to reply.

The father was extremely happy that his question had puzzled the daughter and hoped that now she would stop the topic.

But the little girl put forth another question, “Papa, how old was I when Mamma died?”

“Hmm…six months, my child”, replied the father.

“Then I can say”, said the child, “that I never saw her, for I don’t remember her at all.

But you have always tried to make me love Mummy, by telling me how good and kind she was; and I do love her!”

And then with a deeper sense of affection, she continued, “Even though I don’t remember having seen her, I still do love her, Papa!”

By this time the tears were running down the father’s cheeks.

He kissed his beloved child and said:
“God has spoken to me by you, my dear!
I realize I do need to love God, even though I have not seen Him!

And now you must pray for me, and ask God to give me a new heart, with which I shall love Jesus.”

(Undoubtedly, the prayer of the innocent child was soon answered!)

What about me….
Do I love God?

Do I really love God?

Even though sometimes I am not able to experience His presence…
Even though at times, I go through the hardships and grinds of life…


The Gospel of the Day is a mighty invitation and reminder by the Lord, to Love God with our “ALL”…
… All our heart
… All our soul
… All our mind
… All our strength

The passage begins with a member of the scribe, approaching Jesus with a question:
“Which is the greatest of all commandments?”(Mk 12: 28)

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

He was a scribe

Some translations would put it as “a Lawyer”
The Gospel of St Matthew describes him as a “Scholar of the Law” (Mt 22: 35)

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

Just prior to the questioning by this scribe, Jesus had silenced six groups of people…

  1. The Chief Priests 2. The Scribes 3. The Elders
    “As Jesus was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes and the elders approached Him, and said….” (Mk 11:27)
  2. The Pharisees 5. The Herodians
    “They sent some Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech” (Mk 12:13)
  3. The Sadducees
    “Some Sadducees who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus….” (Mk 12: 18)

Most of them had approached and questioned Jesus…
… not to know or learn more about the Law, but to question Him and trap Him!
… not with genuineness in their heart, but with malice and viciousness!

However, Jesus, aware of all this background…

the wicked conspiracy that was brewing against Him
the plot of testing that was hanging in the air
… responds with something immensely marvellous and spectacular:
“The Lord our God, is Lord alone. Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength”(Mk 12:29- 30) and
“Love your neighbour as yourself” (Mk 12: 31)

Here was a classic answer…

The background in which the question was put forth quite “hateful” and “repulsive”
… but Jesus dares to answer with the sublime answer of “Love!”

The Lord was being targeted badly with stones of “hatred, jealousy, aversion and hostility”
… but He gently, but firmly showers back the flowers of “Love, Tenderness and Commitment!”

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

Undoubtedly, Love has the dimension of being a tender feeling and an expressive emotion.
But beyond that, Love is…

A Commitment
A Dedication
A Decision
…. that one makes to be faithful – to a person or a duty or a situation!

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

Life sometimes can be quite harsh to us – making us feel totally lost out, abandoned even by God and even causing us to question the presence and existence of a Just and Loving God…
… But, can we still dare to “love God?”

Life sometimes hits very hard at us – in the form of others not accepting us, others ridiculing, criticizing us and we finding ourselves as the subject of hatred and injustice.
… But, can we still dare to “love our neighbours”?

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

When one’s life is truly centred on love for God, one also begins to express this love to one’s neighbours, in concrete and certain acts of love

When one’s life is drawn into real service for humankind, one slowly but surely has to realise that the source of these charitable deeds is God and thereby one is to draw closer to the Lord.

May our life be a constant check to see if we are living under the banner of these two fundamental commands of Christian life – Love of God and Love of neighbour!

And thus, in the depths of our hearts…

even with all the troubles, problems and uncertainties clouding our lives
even if we are unable to see the power of God leading us
… we can still whisper and even shout: “I REALLY LOVE YOU, MY GOD!

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

Let us regularly pray the Rosary – which is a journey through the Life of Jesus, holding the Hands of our Mamma…
… and be inspired by our Blessed Mother to Love God above all, and reach out in service to His people!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

The unity of Christ and the Church, head and members of one Body, also implies the distinction of the two within a personal relationship.
This aspect is often expressed by the image of bridegroom and bride.
The theme of Christ as Bridegroom of the Church was prepared for by the prophets and announced by John the Baptist.
The Lord referred to Himself as the “bridegroom.”
The Apostles speaks of the whole Church and of each of the faithful, members of his Body, as a bride “betrothed” to Christ the Lord so as to become but one spirit with him.
The Church is the spotless bride of the spotless Lamb.
“Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her, that he might sanctify her.”

He has joined her with Himself in an everlasting covenant and never stops caring for her as for His own body (CCC # 796)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 30, 2021: Saturday

“Single-mindedly living for God and reach out in service to His people, without seeking for any appreciation or applauds!”

(Based on Rom 11:1-2, 11-12, 25-29 and Lk 14:1, 7-11 – Saturday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time)

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

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

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

But he mostly remains unknown!

His name is Edmund Halley.

It was Halley…
… who corrected some of the mathematical errors committed by Newton.
… who prepared geometrical figures to support his discoveries.
… who edited and supervised the publication of his great work, “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”

It was also Halley who financed its printing even though Newton was wealthier and easily could have afforded the printing costs

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

But, Halley hardly received any prominence or recognition.

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

And even that recognition was accorded only after his death!

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

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

To do an act of goodness and charity, without…
Wanting appreciation…
Seeking recognition…
Desiring applauds…
… though, a mighty challenge, is at the same time, a Christian demand!

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

We are in the 14th Chapter of St Luke.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have, perhaps, become very business oriented:
I give, and expect returns…
I share, and expect a bonus…

But the Lord, in today’s Gospel comes down heavily on such an attitude.
“When you give, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind…because they cannot repay you” (Lk 14:13)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our single mission in life ought to be, the advancement of the Kingdom of God…
… and we ought to pray and work for this virtue!
St Paul gloriously tells to join in his chorus: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain!” (Phil 1:21)

The onus is on us…

May we seek the grace and make the efforts…
… to do acts of goodness and charity, without…
Wanting appreciation…
Seeking recognition…
Desiring applauds…
… which, though, a mighty challenge, is at the same time, a Christian demand!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
Christ provides for our growth: to make us grow toward him, our Head, He provides in His Body, the Church, the gifts and assistance by which we help one another along the way of salvation.

Christ and his Church thus together make up the “whole Christ” (Christus totus).
The Church is one with Christ.

A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: “About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter!” (CCC # 794-795)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 29, 2021: Friday

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

(Based on Rom 9:1-5 and Lk 14:1-6 – Friday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time)

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

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

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

Here was an invitation of a high and elite nature…

A leading Pharisee of the Jewish society had called Jesus to his home.
He was joined by many other scholars of the Law and the Pharisees.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s dropsy?

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

Dropsy was water retention in the body.

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

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

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

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

But to bring back our attention to the Gospel…

Was this not a setting of a dinner?

Was not Jesus called for a meal…
… and that too, a dinner with the elite and leading religious people…
… and that too, on a Sabbath day?!

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

The plot of the drama seems to be thickening…

The setup seems to be getting clear…

The Pharisees have invited Jesus for a meal, yes…but probably with a hidden and a mean agenda:

Drop a man with dropsy in front of Jesus… and observe what he does!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus knew their answer.
Jesus knew their perspective of things.

Yet He wanted them to tell.

“… but they kept silent” (Lk 14:4a)…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A beautiful picture indeed…

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

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

Another total silence by the onlookers!

Am I also silent now?

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

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Christ “is the head of the body, the Church.”
He is the principle of creation and redemption.
Raised to the Father’s glory, “in everything He (is) preeminent,” especially in the Church, through whom he extends his reign over all things.
Christ unites us with His Passover: all his members must strive to resemble Him, “until Christ be formed” in them.

“For this reason we… are taken up into the mysteries of His life… associated with His sufferings as the body with its head, suffering with Him, that with Him we may be glorified!” (CCC # 792-793)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 28, 2021: Thursday

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

(Based on the Feast of the Apostles St Simon and St Jude – Thursday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time)

A garden of flowers delights most people!

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

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

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

Jesus in His garden of ministry, chose twelve apostles.

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

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

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

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

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

These two saints are usually known as the “unknown apostles”.

Yet, they have their own greatness before God and their own importance to inspire us in our lives!

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

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

This apostle Simon must have belonged to the Zealot Party.

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

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

The Zealots were known for their aggression and violent behaviour.

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

The selection of Simon, the Zealot as an Apostle, is a great insight into the workings of Jesus, in His Kingdom Ministry…

The Lord accepts us with our hard instincts.

The Lord takes into account our various mentalities and mindsets.
In His Divine Love, He squashes all external factors, and fashions us into people fit for His Kingdom.

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

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

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

Thaddeus means “the courageous heart”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord is all-knowing.

He wills what is best for us.

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

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

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

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

There are many hidden flowers in a garden.

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

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

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

Happy Feast of the Apostles St Jude and St Simon.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Believers who respond to God’s word and become members of Christ’s Body, become intimately united with him:
“In that body the life of Christ is communicated to those who believe, and who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ in his Passion and glorification.”
This is especially true of Baptism, which unites us to Christ’s death and Resurrection, and the Eucharist, by which “really sharing in the body of the Lord… we are taken up into communion with him and with one another.”
The body’s unity does not do away with the diversity of its members:
“In the building up of Christ’s Body there is engaged a diversity of members and functions. There is only one Spirit who, according to his own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives his different gifts for the welfare of the Church.”
The unity of the Mystical Body produces and stimulates charity among the faithful:
“From this it follows that if one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with him, and if one member is honoured, all the members together rejoice.”
Finally, the unity of the Mystical Body triumphs over all human divisions:

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (CCC # 790-791)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 27, 2021: Wednesday

“Responding to the invitation of the Lord to experience life with Him, in eternity, saying: ‘Plus Ultra – More Beyond’”

(Based on Rom 8:26-30 and Lk 13:22-30 – Wednesday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time)

It is said that Hercules, the Greek mythological figure constructed two pillars near the Straits of Gibraltar…
… to mark the edge of the then known world.

These pillars had a warning on them: “Ne plus ultra – No More Beyond”.

This was a warning to sailors and navigators to go no farther!

Till the 1400s, this belief was so strong…
… that “Ne Plus ultra” was written on the edge of the maps
… that Spain even adopted that phrase as their national motto.

But in 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail into the unfamiliar areas of the world…

Unknown waters were explored
New lands were discovered

After his death in 1506 in Valladolid, Spain, a memorial was built in honour of Columbus.

A peculiar yet very interesting feature of this memorial is the statue of a lion, destroying one of those Latin words

The word being torn away by the lion is “ne”

Thus, the motto is made to read: “Plus Ultra – More Beyond!”
And this indeed is the truth of human life: There certainly is “More Beyond”

“More Beyond” this present materialistic life
“More Beyond” the transitory nature of this earthly life

Human beings, by nature, are inquisitive and curious.

There is a tendency to seek to know many things.

One of the prime aspects among all such seeking are the questions concerning the life after this life.

What will happen after I die?
Where will I go after my death?
Is there such thing called as a heaven or hell?
Will God really punish or will He lavish the license of heaven to all?

Such eschatological questions often disturb our minds & we become a bit perplexed over an uncertain future.

The Gospel of the Day presents such an eschatological question being posed to Jesus:
“Lord, will only a few be saved?” (Lk 13:23)

Jesus, has a very unique way of dealing with questions and doubts.

When we scan through some of such incidents, wherein Jesus has been asked a question or a doubt, we often find that He either doesn’t give a straight answer or sometimes even doesn’t give any answer…

A lawyer comes to Jesus and asks, “Who is my neighbour?” (Lk 10:29)
… Jesus doesn’t give a direct answer; instead responds with the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Some people tell Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the sacrifices, and expected Jesus to make some comments (Lk 13:1)
… Jesus doesn’t explicit a clear teaching; instead responds with the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree.

In today’s Gospel incident too, Jesus is asked about how many will be saved.

But Jesus chooses to respond with the Illustration of the Narrow Door.

Why does Jesus do so?

Why does He not respond directly to such questions, and instead answer in some other form?

One of the tendencies among many believers, including perhaps some of us, is that…
…we tend to miss the actual point, in the process of discussion.
…we fail to grasp the actual thing needed, in the course of many doubts.

We wonder about who all will be saved…

We wonder when this world will come to an end.
We wonder how many people will make to heaven
We wonder how many will get cast into hell.

These simple questions lead to complicated ones…

What about people who have never heard about God?
What about those souls in distant lands who never had a chance to know what is God?

These complicated questions further leads to some drastic conclusions (sadly!)…

What kind of God sends people to hell?!
If the God of the Bible is so cruel, then I don’t want to believe in Him!
I would better not believe in any God and rather live my life the way I want!

Well… this is the sad part!
It’s not that questionings or doubts are bad…or not that they are not encouraged…

But sometimes, such interrogations make us to miss the main point.

We get so entangled with doubts of the future, that we fail to prepare for the future.

We get so busy asking about eternal life, that we fail to live a life worthy of it!

But Jesus brings home to point…

What is needed utmost is an upright life…
… in faith and in repentance.

What is most needed is to live a life pleasing to God…
… and in seeking to do His Will.

This is the narrow way.

To live a life of faith, in the midst of challenges and crises, is hard!

To live in total repentance and brushing aside sin at every point of life, is hard!
To live a life seeking to live in tune with God’s Will, even if it is demanding, is hard!

This is the narrow way, to which the Lord invites us.

Let us not get too much webbed in the questions and doubts, and lose focus of what’s most needed…
… Faith, Repentance and Doing His Will.

Yes, we don’t live in a world which has a motto “Ne plus ultra – No More Beyond!”

Instead, Jesus, the Lion of Judah destroys that word “ne”…

And invites us to experience life with Him, in eternity, saying: “Plus Ultra – More Beyond”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

From the beginning, Jesus associated his disciples with his own life, revealed the mystery of the Kingdom to them, and gave them a share in his mission, joy, and sufferings.
Jesus spoke of a still more intimate communion between him and those who would follow him: “Abide in me, and I in you… I am the vine, you are the branches.”
And He proclaimed a mysterious and real communion between His Own Body and ours: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in Me, and I in Him.”
When his visible presence was taken from them, Jesus did not leave his disciples orphans. He promised to remain with them until the end of time; he sent them his Spirit.
As a result communion with Jesus has become, in a way, more intense: “By communicating his Spirit, Christ mystically constitutes as his body those brothers of his who are called together from every nation.”
The comparison of the Church with the body casts light on the intimate bond between Christ and his Church. Not only is she gathered around him; she is united in him, in his body.

Three aspects of the Church as the Body of Christ are to be more specifically noted: the unity of all her members with each other as a result of their union with Christ; Christ as head of the Body; and the Church as Bride of Christ. (CCC # 787-789)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 26, 2021: Tuesday

“Allowing the Hand of God to work even in the small things that we do, to experience the bountifulness of His Grace working miraculously!”

(Based on Rom 8:18-25 and Lk 13:18-21 – Tuesday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time)

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

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

And He has always led me!

There is a simple formula that I always hold on to…

The formula goes thus:
‘Where God’s in charge,
Little things grow large!
And in God’s Hand,
Small gifts expand!”

So true, isn’t it?

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

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

  1. The Mustard Seed
    “… a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his garden…
    … and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches!” (Lk 13: 19)
  2. Leaven
    “… like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened!” (Lk 13:21)

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus was born into a small Family from Nazareth in the smallest of villages (Bethlehem).

His Ministry started in one of the smallest places – Galilee.

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

He went no further than Jerusalem with His message

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

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

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

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

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

Do we make the best use of such chances: To sow the “tiny mustard seeds”…

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

To “mix the little leaven”…

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

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

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

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

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

But let the “tiny mustard seed” and the “little leaven” remind us:
Our little works done for God, should never cause us to feel discouraged in life!

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

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

The People of God shares in the royal office of Christ.
He exercises His kingship by drawing all men to himself through His Death and Resurrection.
Christ, King and Lord of the universe, made himself the servant of all, for He came “not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
For the Christian, “to reign is to serve Him,” particularly when serving “the poor and the suffering, in whom the Church recognizes the image of her poor and suffering Founder.”
The People of God fulfils its royal dignity by a life in keeping with its vocation to serve with Christ.
The sign of the cross makes kings of all those reborn in Christ and the anointing of the Holy Spirit consecrates them as priests…
… so that, apart from the particular service of our ministry, all spiritual and rational Christians are recognized as members of this royal race and sharers in Christ’s priestly office.
What, indeed, is as royal for a soul as to govern the body in obedience to God?

And what is as priestly as to dedicate a pure conscience to the Lord and to offer the spotless offerings of devotion on the altar of the heart? (CCC # 786)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 25, 2021: Monday

“Adopting a Spirit-filled, a Service-minded and a Strength-giving Personality!”

(Based on Rom 8:12-17 and Lk 13:10-17 – Monday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time)

One of the major topics that is dealt in psychology is that of Personality.

One of the personality that is often encountered is what is known as a Split Personality.

A person with a split personality has two or more distinct identity and alternates from one character to another.

But there is perhaps another personality which is not analysed or studied much…but is often stumbled upon…

It could be called as a “SPIT” personality!

(Yes, you read it right. It’s spelt S-P-I-T… not SPLIT!)

This SPIT personality is a subtle yet very common phenomenon that is observed, including perhaps, in many of us…

(Of course, this term “Spit personality” is primarily derived from the bad habit of people spitting on the streets…and making the whole surrounding quite ugly and filthy!)

The Spit Personality that we are talking of, refers…
… to the habit of spitting out unpleasant words at others, without the least concern.
… to the practise of spitting out harsh and judgmental words, with minimal mercy.
… to the tendency to spitting out critical words to put down people in humiliation.

The Gospel of the Day brings a classical example of a person having this SPIT Personality.

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

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

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

This leader of the synagogue, displays the SPIT Personality.

Here was something noble and good being done…

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

Here was something miraculous and godly being performed…

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

His Spit Personality was badly unleashed!

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

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

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

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

This is the trouble with a Spit Personality: One concentrates only on the negative aspects of persons and situations!

Jesus lashes out at such an attitude!

He calls the leader of the synagogue a hypocrite, and draws his attention to the greater and important dimensions of life!
“This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years, ought she not have been set free on this Sabbath day from this bondage?” (Lk 13:16)

The man focused on the rule of Sabbath…
… Jesus focused on the rule of love and liberation.

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

The man burst out in anger and pride…
… Jesus blossomed out in compassion and humanness.

The Spit personality can be highly dreadful and inhuman.

Do I display any such characteristics?

If I fail to see the goodness in people, and speak only of their faults and mistakes…
… I may be having a Spit Personality!

If I fail to trust in God in hard situations, and only criticize and blame God…
… I may be having a Spit Personality!

If I get wild with people for tiny faults without considering their background & context…
… I may be having a Spit Personality!

If I spread calumny and gossiping rumours about the misdeeds of others…
… I may be having a Spit Personality!

If I fail to go beyond rigid and inhuman regulations in order to promote well-being and goodness…
… I may be having a Spit Personality!

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

Many of us are crippled and infirmed with this Spit Personality…

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

The Spit Personality in us, can cause much damage to the people around us.

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

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

Let us let go of the Spit Personality and adopt…
… a Spirit-filled Personality instead!
… a Service-minded Personality instead!
… a Strength-giving Personality instead!

May we seek to be cleansed… May we seek to be pure!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Jesus Christ is the One whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as Priest, Prophet, and King.
The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them.
On entering the People of God through faith and Baptism, one receives a share in this people’s unique, priestly vocation: “Christ the Lord, high priest taken from among men, has made this new people ‘a kingdom of priests to God, his Father.’
The baptized, by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood.”

“The holy People of God shares also in Christ’s prophetic office,” above all in the supernatural sense of faith that belongs to the whole People, lay and clergy, when it “unfailingly adheres to this faith… once for all delivered to the saints,” and when it deepens its understanding and becomes Christ’s witness in the midst of this world. (CCC #783-785)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 24, 2021: Sunday

“’In Spite Of’ the many challenges and difficulties, let us sculpt our lives – with the Grace of God – as a beautiful masterpiece!”

(Based on Jer 31:7-9, Heb 5:1-6 and Mk 10:46-52 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B)

An incident is told of a sculptor, who, while creating a statue suffered a medical accident…
… and lost his right hand – his main hand of work

The sculptor was however, very much determined to finish the statue

His resilience led him to learn how to chisel with his left hand.

This masterpiece – this great work of excellence and determination – was named as “IN SPITE OF”
… in honour of the fact that despite the great challenges – “in spite of” many problems – the sculptor did not give up!

Are there challenges and difficulties in our life that are causing us to give up in life?

“In Spite Of” these difficulties, can we still face life with courage and determination?

The Gospel of the Day is a challenging invitation to have such an experience of overcoming struggles…
… and to have an experience with the Lord, that can become the launching-pad to nurture a life-long relationship with the Divine!

The Gospel presents the experience of the Divine by a blind person, who overcame every challenge…
… and “in spite of” the difficulties, would relish happiness and delight in the Lord.

Blind Bartimaeus experienced the Divine healing power and gave vent to his deep joy in the Lord by ‘following Him on the way’.

Jesus was passing through the land of Jericho.

As he was leaving Jericho, with His disciples, the news reached the ears of Bartimaeus.

He was blind

We do not know how long was he so
We do not know what was the reason for being so

But we know one thing… that he would have heard about the wonders and fame of Jesus.

And the very mention that “Jesus of Nazareth” was passing that way, made him to spring into pleading for mercy.

Just as the steps of the lover sounds sweet to the Beloved…
Just as the strains of music sound sweet to the singer…

So, the mention of the name, “Jesus” sounded healing and wholeness for Blind Bartimaeus!

With his might and strength, he cried, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy” (Mk 10:47)

The crowd tried to dissuade him.
The people surrounding made efforts to silence him.
But nothing of this could prevent this determined person to cry out to his God!

This persevering and passionate pleading of Bartimaeus was amply rewarded.

Jesus called him, and said to him, “Go your way, your faith has saved you!” (Mk 10: 52a)

This tremendous healing experience, fanned to flame the sparks of Divine Love within blind Bartimaeus!

He immediately received his sight and followed Jesus on the way (Mk 10: 52b)

This experience became a launching-pad to nurture a life-long relationship with the Divine!

We too are in need of a deeper experience of the Lord, in order to nurture and strengthen our spiritual life.

We sometimes remain blind to things of the spiritual dimension.

We sometimes rejected in our lack of progress in a holy living.

Yet, we are invited to cry out with full intensity, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Surely, this act of faith from our part, would meet with a lot of oppositions…
… we may hear voices telling us that it is useless to cry to God and rely on His power
… we may be told that it is illogical and unreasonable to be banking on Divine assistance

But like Blind Bartimaeus, are we willing to transgress and traverse all such negative voices, and drown them with a wave of mightier faith, crying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me?”

Unless we undergo such a healing experience, our faith will remain shallow and our spiritual following will remain dispirited.

This healing is not just of the physical nature; rather it could be healing of the mind, healing of the spirit or a social healing or an emotional healing.

We must also realise that the contrast is true…
A lack of experience of the Divine makes the spiritual journey a lethargic one…
…sometimes makes it even non-existent!

The greater the experience that one has of the Divine, the higher will be one’s enthusiasm and interest in spiritual matters.

The fact of being healed, will make me more passionate about the Divine Healer!

The fact of being cleansed, will make me more zealous about the Divine Sanctifier!

May our hearts be opened, in perseverance and passion, to seek the wonderful experience of the Divine!

Let us be courageous, with the Grace of God, to overcome all the challenges and difficulties that are causing us to give up in life…
… and “In Spite Of” these difficulties, let us sculpt our lives as a beautiful masterpiece!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
The People of God is marked by characteristics that clearly distinguish it from all other religious, ethnic, political, or cultural groups found in history:

It is the People of God: God is not the property of any one people. But he acquired a people for himself from those who previously were not a people: “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.”
One becomes a member of this people not by a physical birth, but by being “born anew,” a birth “of water and the Spirit,” that is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism.
This People has for its Head Jesus the Christ (the anointed, the Messiah). Because the same anointing, the Holy Spirit, flows from the head into the body, this is “the messianic people.”
“The status of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple.”
“Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us.” This is the “new” law of the Holy Spirit.
Its mission is to be salt of the earth and light of the world. This people is “a most sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race.”

Its destiny, finally, “is the Kingdom of God which has been begun by God himself on earth and which must be further extended until it has been brought to perfection by him at the end of time!” (CCC #782)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 23, 2021: Saturday

“Responding positively to God, and making the ‘drama’ of our lives a beautiful and a witnessing one!”

(Based on Rom 8:1-11 and Lk 13:1-9 – Saturday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

Good dramas produce a great visual treat and also leaves a lasting impression on the mind.

One of the characteristics of a good drama is the way it concludes…
The conclusion should make the audience to identify with some characters of the story and leave a personal touch for every viewer.

One of the best dramatist who has a special niche for such effective conclusions is St Luke, the Evangelist!

St Luke in his Gospel presents many dramatic stories of Jesus, with a special style of conclusion…that leaves its readers to wonder and ponder…to think and act…!

St Luke, in the Gospel of the Day presents one such parable…the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree.

What is this conclusion style of St Luke that we are talking about?

It can be termed as a “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action!”

This “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action” has three elements in it…

  1. It is dramatic: It has some impressive and spectacular elements to wonder and ponder.
  2. It has a conclusion, full of suspense: The conclusion remains unknown and high curiosity is generated.
  3. It calls for action: The conclusion impels viewers to reflect on life and to do some action.

Such parables of “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action ” are a characteristic feature in St Luke’s Gospel:

The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10: 29-35)
The Good Samaritan left the man at the Inn and said he would come back to pay the extra denarii…

Did the Good Samaritan come back? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are the Good Samaritan?

The Incident of the Rich Young Fool (Lk 18: 18-23)
Jesus invited the man to sell his possessions, distribute it to the poor and then follow Him…

Did the young man do what Jesus told him to? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are the rich man?

The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15: 11-32)
The Father, at the end of the story, invites the elder brother to join in the celebration of the Prodigal son coming back…

Did the elder son join the celebration? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are the elder brother?

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk 16: 19-31)
The Rich Man pleads to Abraham concerning the future of his five brothers.

Did those five brothers meet with the same fate or did they live a better and virtuous life? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are one among the five brothers?

The Cleansing of the Ten Lepers (Lk 17: 11-19)
The Lord enquires the Samaritan leper about the nine other lepers who also had been healed.

Did any of those nine lepers come back to the Lord to thank Him? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are one of the nine lepers?

The Parable in the Gospel – the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree – follows this style of “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action”.

The man who had the fig tree planted in his orchard, comes looking for fruit….
But finding no fruit, he gets disappointed and orders it to be cut off…
But the gardener pleads for another year to cultivate and fertilize it….

Did the Owner allow for another year?
Did the tree produce fruit after one year?
Did the tree continue to live or was it cut down?

All these answers are unknown!

But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

If I am the fig tree in the Parable and the God is the Owner, then we have some things to ponder on…

God who has planted me in His orchard, comes looking for fruit…
Do I produce the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5: 22-23)

If He doesn’t find the fruits, he gets disappointed and warns us….
We have been blessed with many graces and we are expected to live in response to those favours of the Lord. But if we don’t, it causes pain to God, who is our Loving Father.

Do I waste away God’s graces in my life and disappoint the expectations of my Father in Heaven?

But the gardener pleads for another year to cultivate and fertilize it…
The Lord doesn’t give up on us. He seeks to give us another chance…

Am I willing to accept to have the ground around me cultivated and weed out the unbecoming things like sinful tendencies and bad habits in and around me?
Am I willing to be fertilized & be nourished by His Word & His Body and Blood in the Eucharist & thus gain strength to produce fruits?

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree has a “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action”.

Our lives too often resemble this Barren Fig Tree…

The questions are posed before us…

The answers are to be answered by us.

And the onus is now placed on we, the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

Let us also understand that human tragedies and personal misfortunes are to be understood as God’s manifestations of Love for us – to have our lives set clearly on our priorities for God and His Kingdom

They are not to evoke fear or elements of judging

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

Let us respond positively & with God, the director, make the drama of our lives a beautiful and a witnessing one!

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

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

“At all times and in every race, anyone who fears God and does what is right has been acceptable to him.
He has, however, willed to make men holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge him and serve him in holiness.
He therefore chose the Israelite race to be his own people and established a covenant with it.

He gradually instructed this people…. All these things, however, happened as a preparation for and figure of that new and perfect covenant which was to be ratified in Christ… the New Covenant in his blood; he called together a race made up of Jews and Gentiles which would be one, not according to the flesh, but in the Spirit.” (CCC #781)