✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – January 01, 2023: Sunday

“Holding the hands of our Blessed Mamma Mary, the Mother of God and marching forward joyfully and fervently on the path of Faith and Love in this New Year 2023”

(Based on the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God – New Year’s Day)

A medical thermometer, also known as the clinical thermometer, is used to measure the temperature of the body.

This device helps us to check the heat in the body

When the heat goes up, and the thermometer level indicates so, we say that we have fever.

When the heat goes low, and the thermometer level indicates so, we say we have gone cold.
When the heat remains average, and the thermometer level indicates so, we say that we are normal.

The thermometer helps us to examine and check our physical health and vigour.

Our spiritual life also needs such kind of a thermometer to check our spiritual health!

The heat levels, however, give a different indication, unlike the physical bodies.

When we are filled with God’s power and enthusiastic, the thermometer shows a high level.
When we are cast down with problems, the thermometer shows a low level.
When we are just pulling on with life, the thermometer shows a lukewarm level.

What is the level on our Spiritual Thermometer at this point of time?

We are on the first day of the New Year… and on the 8th day after Christmas – the Octave Day.

We notice that the hustle and bustle of Christmas, the celebrations and merriment of the

Festival are waning down…
The Crib and the Christmas Tree and the brightly shining stars have faded away
The large number of people in Church for Christmas have reduced to a slender one today
The joy and devout mood of the faithful which was on high, has slowly reduced

Is the message of Christmas slowly being left behind…?

But the Church still dynamically and emphatically keeps up the True Spirit of Christmas.

This Octave Day of Christmas fittingly celebrated as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is
a reminder to this fact
… that Christmas is not a one-day event; rather a celebration for life.
… that spiritual exercises and movements can’t be limited; rather need to overflow every day

The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is a dogma of the Church and Devotion to Mary is one of the great treasures of the Church.

However, often, there are many doubts arising and controversies created over Mary, being considered and called as the Mother of God.

But the logic is pretty simple and easy to understand actually

Premise 1: Mary is the Mother of Jesus

Premise 2: Jesus is fully God and fully Man

Conclusion: Mary is the Mother of Jesus, fully God and fully Man.

And therefore, Mary is the Mother of God!

In honouring Mamma Mary with this title, we acknowledge, and give glory to Jesus, fully God and fully Man. In addressing Mamma Mary with this identity, we proclaim and declare the divinity and humanity of Jesus emphatically.

Thus, the title – Mary, Mother of God
– is an excellent proclamation of our basic aspect of faith – Jesus is both God and Man!

The Motherhood of Blessed Mamma has many implications for us…

  1. We are assured of Maternal protection and care in our journey towards the Lord when we face crises, problems and difficulties.
  2. We are challenged to respond to God’s inspirations, just as She said “Yes” to God’s call to be a partner in the salvation of the world.
  3. We are invited to be faithful and committed in being united with Jesus, in the face of any hardships and troubles that come our way.
  4. We are exhorted to be committed and focussed on Jesus and Him alone and to make His Life as the aim, the goal and the foundation of our life.

On this first day of the New Year 2023, the Lord invites us to check and examine our Spiritual Health on the Spiritual Thermometer.

Am I fervent and zealous in my commitment and consecration?
Am I passionate and ardent in my Love for Jesus, my Lord?
Am I charitable and caring in my dealings with my brothers and sisters?

Blessed Mamma, the Mother of God invites us to hold Her hands…
… and march forward joyfully and fervently on the Path of Faith and Love.

Wish you a Very Happy Feast of Blessed Mamma!

Wish you a Blessed and Holy New Year 2023!

God Bless! Let us always… Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

We also call these spiritual goods of the communion of saints the Church’s treasury, which is “not the sum total of the material goods which have accumulated during the course of the centuries.
On the contrary the ‘treasury of the Church’ is the infinite value, which can never be exhausted, which Christ’s merits have before God.
They were offered so that the whole of mankind could be set free from sin and attain communion with the Father.

In Christ, the Redeemer himself, the satisfactions and merits of his Redemption exist and find their efficacy. (CCC #1476)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Dec 31, 2022: Saturday

“Readying to usher in the New Year, with Jesus, the Word taking complete flesh in us!”

(Based on 1 Jn 2:12-17 and Lk 2:36-40 – Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas)

Let’s play a game together.

(I know, it will be a bit impractical to play… yet, let’s give it a try)
As they say, “there is no harm in trying to achieve something worthwhile in life!”

The name of the game is “Guess the Word!”

Ok… Ready?

Here we go… All that you need to do is to “Guess which word I am thinking now…!”

Yeah, you read it right… Just guess the Word that I am thinking of… now!

Did I hear someone say “God?”

Well… You are wrong!

“New Year?”

… Wrong again!

Hmmm… “Resolution?”… “Cross?”… “Celebration?”… “Chocolate?”… “Christmas?”

Sorry… but they are wrong

Another try? … Ok

“Selfie?”… “Food”… “Suffering?”… “Mass?”… “Books?”… “Flower?”… “Sleeping?”
… or some other words?

Well… sad to say… all your guesses turned out to be wrong!

The right answer
… the word that I am thinking of now is “Pencil!”

Did anyone get it right?

I doubt…

If you ask me, why was I thinking of a “pencil”
… I will say, “Well, just simply! No reason”

It would have taken you a very long time to guess that word…
… and probably, you would even have never guessed that word!

Not that it was too difficult or something abstract…

But simply because there is almost no other way you can think the Word that I have in mind, unless I myself tell it to you!

The point of this game is… “The Word that was thought” will be known only if it is “revealed!”
… Is it not?

Now let’s take this concept of “Guessing the Word” to the Divine Realm…

Human Beings at every point of time in every civilization, every culture, have sought to know and establish a link and relationship with the Divine
… to know what is the mind of the Divine
… to guess what is the plan of the Almighty
… to discern what is the thought of the Supernatural

Some philosophers sought to crack this code by drawing out many theories

Some sages and prophets spent time in deep contemplation and wrote many literature

Some noble thinkers dedicated their entire lives to put forward doctrines and teachings

Some of these we call it as religions.
Some as way of life.
Some as philosophies of life.

But none of them were able to know and discern the Divine clearly.

It was just as we played the “guessing the word” game…

Many guesses were attempted… some were close… yet, none were fully right!

The Word in the mind of the Divine would be known only if it is revealed!

And that spectacular instant of revelation is what we call as Incarnation of the Word!

The Divine Historic Moment when the Almighty revealed His Word is called Incarnation!

We read in today’s Gospel reading… John 1: 14, “And the Word became flesh!”

The Word in the mind of God took human form in Jesus!

Jesus is the visible, the revealed and the manifested Word of God!
Jesus is the Son of God… Jesus is God, the Son!
Jesus is the Word made flesh… Jesus is God in human flesh!

What is the impact of this most unique and most spectacular event of history… Incarnation?

Humanity which had strayed has found another chance to be re-united.

Human beings steeped in sin were provided with an opportunity to be redeemed.
Humanity is empowered not with abstract human teachings, but by the Divine Person

This is what makes Christianity different from all other ways of life or religions

This is what makes Christianity unique among all other philosophies of life

It is utter absurdity for philosophers, for the Infinite to become finite

It is purely mythical for the naturalist, for the Transcendent to be understood
It is totally unscientific for the rationalist, for Fullness to be reduced to limitedness

But This is The Truth.
This is the Reality.

In Incarnation, the God of Love was now wrapped in human flesh.
… the Almightiness of God moved in a human arm.
… the Love of God now beat in a human heart.
… the Wisdom of God now spoke from human lips.
… the Mercy of God reached forth from human hands.

You and I are the beneficiaries of knowing the answer of this game “Guessing the Word” which humanity was engaged with the Divine, for centuries!

Jesus is that answer!

And Jesus can be the answer to all the problems and difficulties of our lives.

Have we allowed Him – Jesus, the Word – to take flesh in ourselves?

Have we permitted Him – Jesus the Word – to have an impact in our lifestyle?
Have we consented to Him – Jesus, the Word – to become the totality of our lives?

We are on the last day of this year 2022
… and at the threshold of yet another New Year.

As we thank the Lord for the gift of this year…
… with its ups and downs
… with its learnings and experiences
… with its joyful events and sad moments

Let us also realize that…
… There can be no spectacular resolve
… There can be no greater discovery
… There can be no better resolution
… There can be no higher decision
… than to allow JESUS, THE WORD to take firm and absolute control of our lives!

Are we ready to usher in the New Year 2023, with Jesus, the Word taking complete flesh in us?

Yes, He is The Only Way… The Only Truth… >> The Only Life – JESUS, THE WORD REVEALED AND MADE FLESH!

Thank You, Lord, for the Year 2022 that has gone by.

We seek to be Holier and “belonging to You more” in this New Year 2023!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

In the communion of saints, “a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth.
Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things.”
In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others.

Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin. (CCC #1475)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Dec 30, 2022: Friday

“Being inspired by the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, to make our families a ‘haven of love and care!'”

(Based on the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph)

A classic and popular story – source unidentified – is told about a
kid narrating a story of how his mother, once, after a long, hard
day at work…
… had placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned
biscuits in front of dad.

Yet all that the dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at the
mom and ask how the child’s day was at school!

He even went on to smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and
eat every bite!

Later, the child heard mom apologizing for burning the biscuit.

But Dad, without any fuss – in fact, with a great sense of
calmness – replied: “Honey, I love burnt biscuits!”

Later that night, when the child went to kiss Daddy good night,
he asked, if he really liked biscuits burned.

Daddy wrapped the child in his arms and said: “Your Mamma
put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired.
And besides – a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!”

Family life presents so many opportunities for doing good…
… reaching out in love with generous positive works
… protecting one another by avoiding unnecessary negativities

Do we make efforts to make our families “havens of love and

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Family of Nazareth

  • Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Family Life is indeed, very dear to God’s Heart

The Old Testament and the New Testament provide several
instances of salvation occurring in the context of a family.

When Jesus, the Eternal Word became flesh (Cf. Jn 1:14), He
was born in a Family.

The Holy Family of Nazareth, as the beautiful model and example
to every family to nurture care, teach us important lessons:

  1. Discern and do God’s Will – this is the vital rule

At every stage of life, Mary and Joseph sought to do the Will
of God and fulfilled it with utmost sincerity

  1. Take the lead and strengthen each other, especially in a crisis

In their tough situations, Mary and Joseph proactively listened
to God and took the initiative to steer the family out of danger

  1. Avoid judging each other; support with mutual understanding

Tense situations became moments of prayer instead of blame
Troubled circumstances gave an opportunity to cling to each

  1. Joyfully fulfil one’s responsibilities, without complaint or blame

Each member of the Holy Family assumed total responsibility
and undertook every duty that had been entrusted to them

  1. Find strength in prayer and in God’s Word

In every crunch situation, they turned to God and made the
Word of the Lord their guiding principle of life!

It is said that “where God guides, God provides.”  

The life of the Holy Family is a beautiful testimony of the
protective and providential care of the Lord.

Our families are also called to become gardens that are
nurtured and nourished by the protective showers of God’s Love!

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in its extensive exhortation
on families, teaches us: “The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and
for this reason, it can and should be called a domestic church.

It is a community of faith, hope, and charity.
It is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the
communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit…
… in the procreation and education of children, it reflects the
Father’s work of creation.
… it partakes of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ.
Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen
it in charity.
The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task.
(Cf. CCC, #2204-2205)

All of us, in families, are called to holiness – this is God’s Will!

Holiness is not easy, but it is made possible with God’s Grace!

Holiness in a family is deepened and enhanced through…
… faithful sacramental life with constant reconciliation
… sharing of meals and exchange of thoughts and feelings
… willingness to forego hurt feelings and celebrate differences
… regular prayer life along with reading the Bible and devotions
… openness to listen to one another and support in tough times

Family life presents so many opportunities for doing good…
… reaching out in love with generous positive works
… protecting one another by avoiding unnecessary negativities

Let us joyfully accept the “burnt biscuits of each other’s
weaknesses, failures, angry moments and hurtful feelings”

Let the beautiful example of the Holy Family of Nazareth
inspire all of us, to make our families a “haven of love and care!”

Happy Feast of the Holy Family!

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, we love You!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
In the Communion of Saints

The Christian who seeks to purify himself of his sin and to become holy with the help of God’s grace is not alone.
“The life of each of God’s children is joined in Christ and through Christ in a wonderful way to the life of all the other Christian brethren…

… in the supernatural unity of the Mystical Body of Christ, as in a single mystical person. (CCC #1474)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Dec 29, 2022: Thursday

“Being observant and alert to the Holy Spirit talking to us and moving in us!”

(Based on 1 Jn 2:3-11 and Lk 2:22-35 –The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas)

Mobile phones come with an option of keeping it in the ‘silent mode’.

It often happens, that when a phone is kept in the silent mode, one fails to notice a call.

But if one has been eagerly and excitedly waiting for someone’s call, it will be received, even if the phone is kept in the silent mode…


Great blessings from God often come to us silently and quietly.

But the one who is waiting eagerly and patiently excited, receives these blessings even in the silent mode of events…

Such was the case when the Lord was born…

The Messiah was promised long back… centuries ago.

Yet, when we go through the accounts of the Bible, it seems that most people were not ready to receive Him…

The Scribes and Scholars of the time never seem to have expected…
The rich and the powerful people of Bethlehem failed to have any notice of Him…

Hardly anyone knew when and where the Saviour – the Little Babe was born!

It seemed like a call on the mobile phone that is kept in the silent mode!

Silently, the Precious Gift was delivered…

Without and fuss or fanfare, the Marvellous Treasure was presented…

But there was also a tiny group of people, who were waiting for this Blessed Fortune…
There were some who were waiting eagerly and patiently excited…

Among this tiny set of persons was Simeon!

In some dramas, we see some characters who appear on the stage just once…
… speak a few crucial dialogues or perform some significant deeds
… and they disappear
… never to be seen again!

Simeon is one such figure…

We know nothing about his background, his hometown, his education, or even his occupation.

We assume that he was an old man, but even that is not explicitly mentioned.

He simply appears on the stage of salvation drama for a few moments…

After his part is over, he fades from the scene, never to be heard from again!

We however, do know… that Simeon was waiting eagerly for the Lord.

We could just imagine how Simeon would have gone through his days of waiting for the Saviour of the world…

Every time some couple walked in with child, Simeon would have asked, “Could this be the Promised Messiah?”…

Finally, when Mary and Joseph walked in with the child Jesus…
… Simeon sensed the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

However, looking at them, perhaps, a doubt would have arisen in his mind…
“Could the child of this simple and ordinary parents really be the Messiah?

The man seems to be some ordinary carpenter sort of…and the mother looks so ordinary a peasant girl.

Is it really possible that the Messiah, the Promised Saviour of the Universe, be having such simple and ordinary parents?”

And probably, the voice of the Holy Spirit would have boomed into the ears of Simeon…

Truly… there is the Messiah… the One promised by God!

“Human beings seek external appearances….but God chooses by His own Divine standards.

Doubt not… but go and meet Him, Who was promised for ages!
Believe firmly…and encounter the One who is the Salvation of the world!”

What about us?

Do we seek and listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our lives?

It could come through various formats…
… Inspirations… Thoughts… Circumstances…Other people… Commandments of the Church… Bible… Challenges in Life…etc…

Are we in patient waiting and constant vigilance to hear this voice of the Lord?

Sometimes we cast away inspirations and feelings as trivial and minor…
Sometimes we discard some people as just insignificant and unimportant…
Sometimes we pass of situations and circumstances as ordinary and common…
Sometimes we reject commandments and teachings as outdated and obsolete…

But the Lord…
… through the patient and ever-watchful Simeon, today, invites us to always be on the watch to listen to the promptings of the Spirit…

We sometimes miss important calls when our phones are kept in silent mode…

Let it not happen so with the movements of the Spirit…

Let us always be observant and alert…

The Spirit is talking… the Spirit is moving…

Are we listening?
Are we aware?

Ting ting…
… Is there a missed call or a message?

Check check….

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains.
While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace.

He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the “new man (CCC #1473)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Dec 28, 2022: Wednesday

“Let Christmas be an occasion for all of us to renew our commitment to the cause of justice and peace in the world, and make this earthly pilgrimage more meaningful!”

(Based on the Feast of the Holy Innocents & the 400th Death Anniversary of St Francis de Sales)

Christmas is one of the most – if not the most – popular Fest in the world!

This Fest is – besides the spiritual nourishment – greatly celebrated…
… with a lot of joy and merriment
… with the aspect of renewing relationships through get-togethers
… with a lot of decorations and festoons to amplify the exciting tone

But for a moment, when we think of the very First Christmas Night…
… we begin to understand that such was not exactly the mood back then!

There were many elements on that First Christmas Night which were very ordinary and some even, sad and scandalizing!
… the long and arduous travel of the “expectant Mother with Child” and the “uncertain father” towards Bethlehem
… the Holy Family failing to find a place in the inn (perhaps, refused to be given a place!)
… the birth of the Messiah, the Creator of the entire universe, in a manger – which was actually the place of feeding for the animals!
… the terrifying and indecisive flight into Egypt

As the famous Carol goes, it was in all probability more of a “Silent Night…!”

Another importantly sad and scandalizing event was that of the “Killing of the Innocents” under the age of two, at the order of King Herod (Mt 2: 16-18)

On this fourth Day of the Christmas Octave, Dec 28th, Holy Mother Church celebrates this Commemoration of The Holy Innocents.

The news that a new King of the Jews was born caused great ordeal for King Herod (Mt 2: 3)

He became all the more furious when he heard that the Magi had deceived him (Mt 2:16)

The easiest solution found was to kill all the males under the age of two.

To react negatively, in a situation of hardship, often seems to be the easiest way out.

But it is an extremely cheap and low way of going about

But Herod fell into this snare of “negative reaction” and had little babies killed.

These babies, too little and young to form a will and a desire to love, became martyrs of Blood. (Mt 2:16)

St Augustine would say, “They are the first buds of the Church killed by the frost of persecution;
.. they died not only for Christ, but in his stead!”

The number of children killed is uncertain. >> There are several views on the actual number of children who were killed.

The Byzantine Liturgy (Greek) says that Herod killed 14,000 boys

The Syrian Liturgy speaks of 64,000.
Another scholarly study suggests that Bethlehem was a tiny town, at the time of Jesus, with a population of maybe 300. The number of children below the age of two could be very less – maybe six or seven.

But the fact remains, that it was a tragedy gravely foul and grievously painful.

The death of the little children is a reminder that our earthly life is a pilgrimage…
… to be oriented for the eternal life in heaven

The dreadful massacre of the innocent children can easily cause a question to arise in us:

Why did God allow the helpless death of the children before their own parents?
Why did these little children have to be murdered, for saving the Divine Child?
Could not God have planned a noble way of saving Him?

Such questions can cause our faith to be disturbed or even be scandalized by the ways of God.

But it brings home an important truth: Our earthly life is a pilgrimage.

No one knows how long we will live
… some die in infancy, some in their old age
… some die prepared, some suddenly and tragically.

This is the reality that we find in the world – we like it or not, we accept or not.

It, therefore, is a call for us, to nurture life in the best way possible

Our own lives by living in holiness and fidelity to the Will of God
Preserving, nurturing and enhancing others – including the little infants in the wombs.

This commemoration of the Holy Innocents is a reminder to open our eyes to see the tragedies of the world and become courageous torch-bearers of justice.

This passage of King Herod and the Holy Innocents might sometimes seem to be like…
… “the unwarranted bone” in the tasty meal of Christmas
… or the “jarring note” in the melodious music of Christ’s Nativity.

We often like to live in “cozy and comfortable” situations – even if it means, closing our eyes to the stark and tragic realities of life.

But it is the obligation of every Christian to “get out of every comfort zone”…
… and enter into the “suffering sections” of the society, and give them hope and consolation

The “cry of the mothers of the innocent children”…
… Mt 2:18 – “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation”… is also a “Carol”, that is heard every Christmas

Yes, let us genuinely understand that Christmas – the birth of Christ, ought to not merely be a “festival of fun or frolic”…
… but also should lead us to hear the many “cries of innocents” today – the oppressed and the abused, the voiceless and the helpless, the sinful and the lonely etc.

Christmas is undoubtedly, one of the most – if not the most – popular Fest in the world!

But let not this Fest be drowned only in external celebrations and merriment

Rather, let it also be an occasion for all of us to renew our commitment to the cause of justice and peace in the world…
… and make this earthly pilgrimage more meaningful!

Today we also commemorate the 400th Death Anniversary of St Francis de Sales (SFS)

St Francis de Sales died on 28th December, 1622 – on the feast day of the Holy Innocents.

In St Francis de Sales, we have a Saint who passionately loved God and compassionately served God’s people.

Today, we are presented with his life, to imitate Christ in humility, gentleness, simplicity of life and joyful optimism.

St Francis de Sales was convinced, that nothing is greater than “seeking and doing” the Will of God.

He would in fact, say: “Do everything calmly and peacefully. Strive to see God in all things without exception, and consent to His Will joyously. Do everything for God, uniting yourself to Him in word and deed.”

Undoubtedly, in doing the Will of God, we will have to face moments of loneliness, as we will find ourselves…
… swimming against the currents of the world.

But in all such situations, the Lord assures us, with His five beautiful words: I WILL BE WITH YOU!

Let us seek the mighty intercession of the Gentleman Saint to “seek and do” God’s Will at all times and thus “to soar high in the skies of sanctity!”

Salutations to the Holy Innocents and Glory to the Divine Babe, Jesus!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains.
While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace.

He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the “new man.” (CCC #1472)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Dec 26, 2022: Monday

“Like St Stephen, being filled with a deep passion and courage that comes from the New Born King, so as to be a dynamic and enthusiastic soldiers for His Kingdom!”

(Based on the Feast of St Stephen, the first Martyr)

Stones were flying from different directions…

The atmosphere was very tense and highly apprehensive…

The people had become enraged and were very badly instigated…

St Stephen… the man filled with the power and spirit of God, however, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God. (Acts 7: 54-56)

And then a surprising thing happened….
He saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God!

Usually, we always read or say in our prayers that Jesus is sitting at God’s right hand…

But here, Jesus is seen standing!

Jesus is probably giving a standing ovation..
… to St. Stephen, the one who became his brave witness.

The mighty display of faith by St Stephen was worthy of a standing ovation by the Son of God!

The Majestic King was tremendously proud of His Faithful and Committed Soldier!

We are on the first day after Christmas…
Yesterday, we celebrated child Jesus in the crib…

We sung the “silent night” and “joy to the world”…

We remembered the angels praising “Glory to God in the Highest and Peace to people of good will”…
We exchanged a lot of smiles and shared much fun…

But suddenly today, there is a shift…

The atmosphere of fun and frolic has turned sombre and serious…

The carols of mirth and joy are substituted by cries for death and vengeance…
The shining gold vestments at Holy Mass are replaced with blood-red vestments…

The peace and joy of Bethlehem is contrasted by the tragedy and heartbreak at Jerusalem…

Yesterday we celebrated the birth of our eternal King.

Today we commemorate the triumphant suffering of His faithful soldier.

Yesterday our King left His place in the Virgin’s womb and was born in the world.

Today His soldier leaves the tabernacle of his body and goes triumphantly to heaven.

Yesterday a group of enthused and excited people visited and paid homage to our King.

Today, a group of proud and ferociously evil mob execute His soldier!

Why does the Church celebrate this tradition of commemorating the gruesome stoning to death of St Stephen, soon after the celebration of the tender Babe?

The Church’s long tradition of celebrating the memorial of St. Stephen soon after the celebration of the Nativity of Christ, does not serve to demote Christmas…
… but to continue & manifest more clearly an important meaning of the Christmas celebration.

Christmas essentially means becoming a true disciple of Christ…

And a true disciple ought to tread the way of the cross – “If any want to be my disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” (Lk 9: 23)

Christ the Master, Himself walked this path of trials and difficulties.

The signs of suffering and pain were foreshadowed very much already in the Crib of Christ…

The manger where the babe was laid, foreshadowed the Cross on which He was to be laid.
The swaddling clothes of the babe, foreshadowed the shroud which will cover Him in His tomb.
The lack of room in the inn, foreshadowed the lack of room for Him to be buried after His death.

Christmas is the celebration of Life that was pledged to be given up in death, in order to win back life – life in its fullness!

Christmas becomes a true reality when Jesus is born in our hearts…

When Jesus comes to dwell in our hearts, that heart cannot remain without effect.
There is a contagious enthusiasm.
There is a great transformation.
There is a tremendous zeal.

And this birth of Jesus took place in the heart of St Stephen.

He underwent a Real Christmas.

He experienced the joy of having Christ born in His life.

And this fact that Christ was born within, led Him to be a dynamic and bold soldier of His King!

Nothing could stop Him from being a witness…

The experience of Christmas in His life had made St Stephen…
… to be a bold soldier.
… to stand firm for the truth.
… to bear the pain of stoning
… to shed His blood for His Lord

Have we also experienced Christmas in a way that transforms and makes us authentic disciples?

Have we also celebrated Christmas which makes us to pledge every breath and cell of our life to the Lord?

Have we also enjoyed Christmas in order to find immense power and strength in being a true and authentic Christian?

The blood of St Stephen sings the beautiful carols of Jesus who was born in his life!

Are we ready to discover still further, the true and genuine meaning of Christmas in our life?

Jesus, the King of kings and the Lord of lords gave a wonderful standing ovation…
… seeing the spectacular display of faith and courage of His Beloved soldier, St Stephen.

Let us also be filled a deep passion and courage that comes from the New Born King and be His Dynamic and Enthusiastic Soldier for His Kingdom!

Happy Feast of St Stephen, the First Martyr of the New Born King of kings!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence.
Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin.
On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory.

This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. (CCC #1471)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Dec 25, 2022: Sunday

“Making our hearts a ‘place of party’ to
celebrate God’s love and mercy!”

(Based on the Solemnity of Christmas – the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Cycle A)

Tony Campolo, an American author in his book, “The Kingdom
of God is a party” narrates a heart-touching experience…

One, very early morning, Tony sat in a cafe.

As he was drinking coffee at the counter, a group of
prostitutes walked in and took up the stools around him.

One of the girls, Agnes, lamented the fact that not only was it
her birthday tomorrow but that she never had a birthday party
in life.

Tony thought it would be a great idea to surprise Agnes
with a birthday party!

He got the necessary information from the café owner that the
girls came in every morning around 3:30 am.

They both agreed to set up the place for a party – a surprise
birthday party for Agnes!

Word somehow got out on the street, so that by 3:15 the next
morning the place was packed with prostitutes, the cafe owner
and his wife, and Tony.

When Agnes walked in she saw…
… banners and balloons; the Café Owner holding a birthday
… and everyone screaming out “Happy Birthday!”

Agnes was overwhelmed with deep emotions!

She was stunned and shaken
Her friend grabbed her arm to steady her
Tears poured down her face as the crowd continued to sing
“Happy Birthday to you….”

It was a party that was hard to believe…
… a party that celebrated Love – inviting all to know that God
wants everyone to come to His Heart of Love!
… a party that celebrated Mercy – acceptance of human beings
as images of the Loving God!

Am I willing to make my heart a “place of party” to celebrate
love and mercy…
… by accepting the unwanted, the rejected and the lonely?
… by sharing the precious gifts of God’s Mercy and Love to all?

Christmas is the beautiful feast of God becoming man, and
hosting “a Divine Party – celebrating His Love and Mercy!”

Christmas is the holy and happy day when we celebrate the
coming of God’s Son into the world – the incarnation of God
(Cf. Jn 1:14)…
… celebrating His intense and saving love for us (Cf. Jn 3:16)

St Mathew presents the narration of the Birth of Christ with
the account of the genealogy of Christ (Cf. Mt 1:1-17)

This is one of the passages of the Bible that many of us tend to
skim through or altogether skip it!

The very long list of hard-to-pronounce names; the
mention of some dubious personalities; the lack of awareness
of the lives of many of those persons…
… all of these may cause us to “omit the reading and reflection”
of the Genealogy!

But St Matthew very purposely introduces us to the Person
of Jesus Christ – the Saviour of the world – by spelling out His

This is his way of saying, “What I’m going to tell you is
something that has actually occurred in history – in time and

And this brings to us an important and distinguishing
characteristic of Christianity: the core of Christianity is not a
set of teachings, but it is about what God has done for us – our
redemption from sins!  

This is expressed in the very meaning of the name Jesus:
JESUS means “God saves!”
(The name JESUS, is the shortest and simplest prayer that we
can make – as we call on the salvific power of God [Cf. Rom

Christmas, therefore, comes with the strong message that
“every external act of festivity ought to be accompanied by an internal surrender of one’s life to Christ, our Saviour!”

The decorations that we do, find authentic meaning, when
we allow Christ’s Love to glitter our life!
The sweets, cakes and other food that we prepare, have
real value, when we allow our faith in Christ to nourish and
nurture us!
The stars we put up and the carols we sing, find true
importance, when we allow Christ’s Mercy to radiate and
harmonise us!

That is why, the greatest and the truest act in the celebration of
Christmas is accepting Jesus as the Saviour of our lives!

All other external expressions ought to flow forth or lead
towards this sole requirement: Jesus is to be born in our hearts!

We are also called to reflect on some other essential messages
of the Solemnity of Christmas

  1. Christmas is the beautiful saga of God humbling Himself,
    and as the Good Shepherd (Cf. Jn 10:11) going to any extent to
    win us back to him

Birth in the manger demonstrates the abasement of the
Baby Jesus, lying on the manger is also a prefiguration
of Jesus dying on the Cross, fulfilling the act of humiliation
signified in Incarnation! (Cf. Phil 2:6-8)

  1. Christmas is the amazing story of hope and courage

Joseph and Mary displayed tremendous hope and courage
as they join hands with the Will of God (despite the many challenges and obstacles that came their way)!
Zechariah and Elizabeth exhibited much hope and courage,
as they held fast in faithfulness, to experience the miraculous
birth of John, the precursor of Jesus
The shepherds and the wise men showed much hope and
courage, as they boldly trusted in the signs given to them,
which culminated in their offering of service and worship.

  1. Christmas rings in the good news that “the one who trusts
    in God” will always be blessed! (Cf. Ps 146:5)

Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, Elizabeth, the shepherds, the wise
men – everyone experienced tremendous blessings because
they “chose to trust in God!”

Life often takes us through crossroads and dangerous curves

Are we ready to make a choice – of trusting in the Lord…
… and thus experiencing His mighty blessings!

Christmas is indeed history – HIS story
… the fantastic story of Him Who loves us immensely
… the fabulous event of Him Who is born for us – for our

This Christmas, let us make our hearts a “place of party” to
celebrate love and mercy…
… by accepting the unwanted, the rejected and the lonely!
… by sharing the precious gifts of God’s Mercy and Love to all!

With much faith and joy, let us celebrate God’s intense and saving
love for us!

Merry Christmas to you all!

God Bless! Let’s always… Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance.
What is an indulgence?
“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven
… which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church

… which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.” (CCC #1471)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Dec 23, 2022: Friday

“Listening to our Lord Who speaks to us, even in the silence of our life!”

(Based on Mal 3:1-4, 23-24 and Lk 1:57-66 – Friday of the 4th Week in Advent)


For some people, Silence causes an awkward feeling in this our noisy world.

For some people, Silence creates an uncomfortable feeling.

For some, not so much.
For others, definitely yes.
For many of us, silence is rare.

And when silence is rare, silence can be uncomfortable.

A moment of silence when we listen to our favourite song causes a little irritation.
A pause of silence by an eloquent preacher causes people to focus back the attention.

Silence sometimes is much louder than any noise or sound
… Right?

The Gospel of the day takes us through a fascinating journey of Silence.

God who breaks His silence by blessing His People with a Prophet.

A father whose silence is broken by his faithful response to an amazing Divine intervention.
A Child who sets free the silence of a Mother who had been shamed in society.

The Birth of John the Baptist is a beautiful drama through the medium of Silence.

  1. God who breaks His silence

The Bible is a witness to many people feeling God taking a moment of silence.

In 1 Sam 3.1: “Now the young man Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.”
In 1 Sam 28: “And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or Urim, or by prophets.”
In Amos 8.11: “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord God, ‘when I will send a famine on the land – not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.'”

The silence of the Lord was very much profound…

And then after Prophet Malachi, there was again a great silence…

For nearly 400 hundred years, there was no prophetic writing.
These are called “The Silent Years”…

But with John the Baptist, the silence of the Lord was broken…

This speaking of the Lord could be compared to a lover eagerly waiting for her partner to talk to her after a long time…

The silence was very long
… the silence was a bit painful too..

But once the silence is broken, there is great thrill and happiness…

God, the Lover, renews His soothing and comforting talks with His People and ushers in the time to invite them to His love and affection

  1. A father whose silence is broken
    The birth of John the Baptist also lead to the breaking of the silence of his father, Zechariah.

When the angel Gabriel had appeared to Zechariah, he did not believe the message of the Angel of God and as a result, was rendered speechless (Lk 1: 20)

The silence of Zechariah could also be symbolic of the silence of God….

Just as John the Baptist signalled the breaking of God’s silence, Zechariah, his father too had “his tongue loosened and spoke, blessing God” (Lk 1: 64)

The silence was broken with a shower of praises and glorification of God.

The silence was banished with a shout of genuine worship and honour of God

  1. A Child who sets free the silence of a Mother

The Birth of John the Baptist also led to people praising his mother, Elizabeth, who for long had been barren and had been in disgrace. (Lk 1: 25, 58)

She had suffered much disgrace in silence.
She had underwent much agony in silence.
She had gone through much humiliation in silence.

But now there was every reason to break the silence and rejoice with gladness!

Is my life going through a period of Silence with God?

Is my life in a silent mode because of many disturbing factors and crippling issues?
Is my life passing through a desert of silence as a result of storms of troubles and nights of calamities?

We are invited to look into the incident of the Birth of John the Baptist and find hope!

We are invited to meditate on the Birth of John the Baptist and discover optimism!

The Lord speaks to us in the Silence of our Life.

There is much treasure hidden in the silent moments of our living.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (Jn 1:1)

Through the breaking of His silence through John the Baptist, God is preparing us to receive His personal Word, His Son.

At times God seems silent…
But He is never distant.

He is near.
He is close.
He is personal.

And He speaks through His Word made flesh – “Jesus!”


Listen to Him!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

It must be recalled that . . . this reconciliation with God leads, as it were, to other reconciliations, which repair the other breaches caused by sin.
The forgiven penitent is reconciled with himself in his inmost being, where he regains his innermost truth.

He is reconciled with his brethren whom he has in some way offended and wounded. He is reconciled with the Church.

He is reconciled with all creation. (CCC #1469)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Dec 22, 2022: Thursday

“With Mother Mary, seeking to joyfully proclaim our BIG GOD through the Magnificat – ‘My soul proclaims the glory of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour’”

(Based on 1 Sam 1:24-28 and Lk 1:46-56 – Thursday of the 4th Week in Advent)

One of the things that, some of us did as children, as we grew up, was to measure our height against a wall.

We know how this method works…

We stand next to a wall and make a pencil mark of our height.

A few weeks or months later, we come back to this place and measure how much we have grown.

Why did we do this?

In order to see how much we have grown…

In order to check how much more we would wish to grow…
In order to know, “How big have we become!”

Today, we need to make a similar “height check” with respect to our God.

“How big is God in my life?”

The way we answer this question will determine how we live as a Christian.

The Gospel of the Day is a great expression of how Mother Mary considered the “height” of God in Her life.

She realized the mighty presence of the Lord in Her lowly life.

She understood the huge favour of the Lord bestowed in Her humble nature.

And so, with much acclaim and exclamation, Mary cries out, “My soul proclaims the glory of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour” (Lk 1: 46-47)

The Angel Gabriel had announced to Mary that she been chosen to be the Mother of the Son of God.

The angel also declared that her cousin, Elizabeth had conceived in her old age.

In Her deep concern, humility and spirit of service, Mary makes a visit to Elizabeth.

Elizabeth called Mary as Blessed ‘for believing what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled’ (Lk 1: 45)

It’s in this context, that Mary exclaims the Magnificat.

The image of Mother Mary in this hymn of the Magnificat is that of a powerful and courageous lady.

And these are evident in Her words of the Magnificat…

He has shown the strength of His arm, He has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, for He has remembered His promise of mercy (Lk 1: 48-54)

These are not words of mere pious sentimentality or tender words of affection…

These are words which express immense bravery and courage!

The mighty works and wonders of the Lord had made Mother Mary to declare…
… Courage in a God who overpowers the proud and the haughty
… Faith in a God who takes decisive action on behalf of God’s people.
… Hope in a God who vindicates the righteous and condemns the wicked.
… Love in a God who liberates the oppressed, the powerless, the poor and hungry.
… Trust in a God who casts away the self-asserting rich and accept the dependable poor.

Mother Mary declared Her strong assertion and powerful claim in a MIGHTY God!

How Big and Mighty and Strong is God in our life?

Do we believe in the mighty strength of God even in seemingly impossible situations of life?
Do we trust in the awesome majesty of God even when the boat of our lives hits rock bottom?
Do we rely in the colossal power of God even when earthquakes of life wreck havoc in life?

The way we live is a direct consequence of the size of God in our lives!

If we have a view of a Shrunken God…
… then we will live in constant anxiety of the world.

If we have a view of an Insignificant God…
… then we will live in immorality and casualness

If we have a view of a Tiny God…
…then we will live in lethargy, disinterest and indifference.

When we make God small in our lives…
… we offer prayers without faith, worship without awe, service without joy and undergo suffering without hope.

When we make God big in our lives…
… we live a life of daring faith, fearless obedience, zealous worship and passionate evangelization.

Let us measure the height and check the mark… “How BIG is our GOD?”

With Mother Mary, let us also seek to joyfully proclaim the BIG GOD through the Magnificat

“My soul proclaims the glory of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

In this sacrament, the sinner, placing himself before the merciful judgment of God, anticipates in a certain way the judgment to which he will be subjected at the end of his earthly life.
For it is now, in this life, that we are offered the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion that we can enter the Kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave sin.

In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner passes from death to life and “does not come into judgment.” (CCC #1470)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Dec 21, 2022: Wednesday

“Leaping for joy with the Power of the Holy Spirit, so that our joyful and happy lives, may attract and enthuse many people to embrace Jesus, the Lord of all Joy!”

(Based on Song 2:8-14 and Lk 1:39-45 – Wednesday of the 4th Week in Advent)

A story is said of a man in a mission land, who was extremely critical of religion and religious practices.

Once, this man went to a missionary who had been in the place for some years.

He told the missionary, “I want to hear about your religion”

The missionary was pleasantly surprised, and asked him: “Oh that’s great!

But how is it that you would like to hear of my religion.
I have heard of your dislike and aversion to religious practices”

To that, the man answered:
“Well, its very true, that I don’t cherish religion.

But ever since the day you came to our place, I have been observing you.
You are always cheerful and happy.

I have also heard a lot of laughter in your house and in the houses of my village people, who have embraced your faith”

The man continued, “And if you have anything that makes people so joyous, I too want it!”

Joy was the nectar that attracted the man to experience the sweetness of Christ and Christianity.

Am I a person who radiates happiness?
Am I a Christian whose life exudes with joy?

The Gospel of the Day is the delightful description of the joyful encounter between Elizabeth and Mother Mary and the “joyful leap” of John the Baptist, in his first meet with Jesus, the God of Joy!

The Gospel is the beautiful meeting of Two to-be-Mothers, with Two Special Children in their wombs…
… Elizabeth, with John who would be called as the Baptist
… Mary, with Jesus, who would be called as the Messiah

This wonderful encounter begins on a Divinely joyful note:
“When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb” (Lk 1:41)

This is an interesting word – “leaped”

The Greek word for “leaped” is “skirtao”

We find the usage of this word “skirtao” in different places in the Bible…

In Gen 25:22: Rebeccah’s twin children – Jacob and Esau – “struggled (skirtao)” within her
In Ps 114: 4, 6: The mountains “skipped (skirtao)” like rams in the presence of the Lord
In Mal 3:20: Those who fear the Lord’s name will “skip (skirtao)” like calves.
In Lk 6:23: The chosen ones should rejoice and “leap (skirtao)” for joy

When the mother, Elizabeth, heard the greeting of the Messiah’s Mother, the babe John, “leaped for joy”

Later in his ministry, John would testify to this fact, when he would say: “… the best man, who stands and listens for Him, rejoices greatly at the Bridegroom’s Voice” (Jn 3:29b)

There is great rejoicing, in Divine Presence is a powerful message that we receive.

The presence of the Mother of Jesus, delighted Her cousin, Elizabeth
The presence of Jesus, delighted His cousin, John.

As we gear up ourselves for the Season of Christmas, this ought to be a reflective question that we need to ponder and make amends, if lacking…
… Is our Christian life, one that “leaps for joy?”

Things around us may seem confusing and uncertain…
… just as it was for Mary who conceived of the Holy Spirit and Elizabeth in her old age

Yet, they were able to rejoice…
… because, their trust was in the Power of the Lord Who had blessed them

People may sometimes reject us, misunderstand us or even humiliate or be indifferent to us…
… just as it was for Mary who would face misunderstandings and Elizabeth who had undergone a lot of shame.

Yet, they were able to rejoice…
… because, their strength was in the favourable Love of the Lord, Who, they knew, had accepted and chosen them, for His cause

Life may sometimes make a fool of us by taking us through roads which are illogical, unreasonable and irrational…
… just as it was for Mary who had to tread unknown paths and Elizabeth who had to take on new responsibilities as a mother at an odd age

Yet, they were able to rejoice…
… because, their hope was in the faithful grace of God, in which they trusted and to Whom they had pledged their life in fidelity and loyalty.

Joy is to be the hallmark of every Christian.
As St Francis de Sales says, “A sad saint is a sorry saint!”

Our lives ought to be a “Gospel of Joy!”

As we get closer to the celebration of the Birth of the “Cause of our Joy”, we need to look into this dimension of Christian holiness: the aspect of Joy.

It is not simply a joy that is manifested…
… by some “plastic smile”
… or with some artificial activism
… or with any created humorous traits

Christian Joy is…
… a result of trusting deeply in the Providence of God
… a felt experience that manifests, effortlessly, in every aspect of life
… an honest expression of the inner peace and serenity – a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Yes, Joy is to be the nectar that attracts others to experience the sweetness of Christ and Christianity.

Let us always “leap for joy” with the Power of the Holy Spirit…
… and may our joyful and happy lives, attract and enthuse many people to embrace Jesus, the Lord of all Joy!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

This sacrament reconciles us with the Church. Sin damages or even breaks fraternal communion.
The sacrament of Penance repairs or restores it. In this sense it does not simply heal the one restored to ecclesial communion…
… but has also a revitalizing effect on the life of the Church which suffered from the sin of one of her members.
Re-established or strengthened in the communion of saints, the sinner is made stronger by the exchange of spiritual goods among all the living members of the Body of Christ…

… whether still on pilgrimage or already in the heavenly homeland. (CCC #1469)