✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – March 01, 2023: Wednesday

“Recognising the many wonders and miracles the Lord has worked in our lives!”

(Based on Jonah 3:1-10 and Lk 11:29-32 – Wednesday of the 1st Week in Lent)

Remember the school-going days…
… when there was the (usually considered as) “terrorizing” subject called as Mathematics?

One of the questions that would frequent in a Mathematics question paper, would be questions of the type: “Prove that…”

Sme examples of these theorems or statements “to be proven” would be…

“Prove that” the sum of two even integers is even.
“Prove that” the square root of two, is an irrational number.

Such examples of proof require a precision in the logic and methodology, so as to arrive at the proper conclusion of the facts.

The Gospel of the Day presents a similar question of “prove that” nature.

The Examiners posing the question: The people in the crowd
The student facing the question: Jesus
The statement to be proved: Prove that You, Jesus, are the Messiah, the Son of God.
The nature of proof required: Through signs and miracles.

This student, Jesus has faced such similar tests many times before.

Many times in His life, He has been worked up by many to prove His status…
Many times in His life, He has been demanded things to prove His authority…

He is an experienced student!

On the Mount of the Temptations… (Lk 4: 1-13)
Satan demanded Jesus to “prove that” He was the Son of God…
… by working a miracle
… by bowing to Him
… by jumping down

While at ministry…
… the Pharisees and teachers of the Law asked Jesus to “prove that” He had the authority to forgive sins. (Lk 5:21)
… the disciples of John asked Jesus to “prove that” He was indeed the One who was to come or whether they should look for another (Lk 7:19)
… some in the crowd asked Jesus “to prove that” He worked wonders and even drove out demons by His own power, by asking for a sign from heaven (Lk 11:16)

The Student, Jesus, has already faced many such “to prove that” situations!

Today’s Gospel once again puts the Student, Jesus to the test “to prove that” He is the Messiah by a demand for signs!

Am I also a person who is guilty of making Jesus a student, by putting Him “to the test” by asking Him “to prove” many things in life…?

In times of sicknesses and pains…
… maybe I demand signs from the Lord to “prove that” He is indeed a Healing God.

In times of financial difficulties…
… maybe I demand signs from the Lord to “prove that” He is indeed a Provider God.

In times of mental tensions and worries…
… maybe I demand signs from the Lord to “prove that” He is indeed a Caring God.

In times of spiritual aridity and emptiness…
… maybe I demand signs from the Lord to “prove that” He is indeed a Living God.

Of course, from a human perspective. – owing to our limitations and weakness – we do sometimes ask some signs or miracles or some wonders.

But these demands for sign and miracles should not become THE criteria for proving God’s Existence or even His Presence…
These demands for some external manifestations and wonders should not become THE yardstick for proving the might and power of God…

We should not be holding God at ransom, by demanding signs

We rather need to look back into our lives, and see the various moments and the times when…
… He has caressed us with His affection
… He has nurtured us with His love
… He has filled us with His presence

The Lord gives to the people in the crowd, the signs and examples of the people of Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba.

The people of Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba…
… were gentiles
… were not the chosen people
… were not people who had a first-hand experience of God.

Yet, when they heard the preaching of Jonah and saw the glory of Solomon…
… they believed!

They did not demand miracles…
They did not demand signs…
… yet, they believed!

The Lord through today’s Gospel makes us to realize the worth and the value of the many wonders and the signs He has already worked in our lives.

We sometimes might tend to take God’s blessings “for granted”

We sometimes might tend to not consider God’s graces as “something big”

We sometimes might tend to not able to even see something “special” in God’s favours .

Today is a chance for us to have a retrospective into our lives…
… and recognising the many, maybe tiny and small, wonders and miracles the Lord has worked in our lives.

None can say, “I have no miracles in my life!”

From our birth, to our upbringing, our education, our formation, our works, our surroundings, our people etc…
… at every step, we have many miracles and signs of God!

The hand of the Lord is very much at large in our lives.

We don’t need to become a people which poses God with “prove that” type questions!

Let us see…
Let us realize..
… and let us thank!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

This presence of Christ in the minister is not to be understood as if the latter were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, even sin.
The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way.
While this guarantee extends to the sacraments, so that even the minister’s sin cannot impede the fruit of grace…
… in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel

… and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church. (CCC # 1550)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – February 28, 2023: Tuesday

“With greater trust and confidence, throwing ourselves, into the loving arms of our Heavenly Father!

(Based on Isa 55:10-11 and Mt 6:7-15 – Tuesday of the 1st Week in Lent)

In the centre of London stands an iconic building – St Paul’s Cathedral.

This majestic structure is built in the shape of a cross…
… with a large dome crowning the intersection of its arms.

At 111.3 metres high, it is one of the largest cathedral domes in the world.

Climbing up 259 steps inside the dome, one reaches the “Whispering Gallery”.

The speciality of this gallery is:
When one stands on one side of the circular gallery, and whispers…
… these soft tones of sound can be heard, on the other side – even 30 metres away.

The sound bounces back many times on the smooth walls of the dome…
… and the whisper can be heard even at a far distance.

What is said, even in the lowest of tones, can be heard, on the opposite side of the dome.

In the spiritual realm, the entire space is like this “whispering gallery”…
… even the lowest of tones, are heard by our Loving God.

No matter how low we whisper, He hears!
No matter how silent be our prayer, He hears!

Are we able to have such a trust and confidence in our prayer life?

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful initiation by Jesus to help us to know, grow and deepen our understanding of God as being a Loving and Caring Father…
… as the One Who listens to our every prayer – including the ones whispered in the lowest of tones!

Today’s Gospel passage begins with Jesus issuing a warning on the danger of making prayer a mere “lip-service”
“In praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do….” (Mt 6:7)

What was Jesus meaning by the clause “heaping up empty phrases as the Gentiles…”?

One of the notable Gentile groups at the time of Jesus, were the Romans, under whose occupation the Jews were living.

It’s noteworthy to see some of the aspects of the ancient pagan Roman prayer:

All sacrifices and offerings required an accompanying prayer to be effective.

It was declared that “a sacrifice without prayer was thought to be useless and not a proper consultation of the gods.”

Prayer – the spoken word was considered the single most potent religious action.

And knowledge of the correct verbal formulas were the key to efficacy.

An accurate naming was vital for tapping into the desired powers of the deity invoked.

Hence public religious ritual had to be enacted by specialists and professionals faultlessly…
… even a small a mistake would require that the action, or even the entire festival, be repeated all over!

(A historian named Livy reports of an occasion when the presiding magistrate at the Latin festival forgot to include the “Roman people” among the list of beneficiaries in his prayer…
… the festival had to be started all over!)

The Greek word used for “empty phrases” is “battalagesete”.

It means to stammer, babble, talk gibberish, or to repeat the same things over and over mindlessly!

With this in background, Jesus emphatically declares that prayer is not about “heaping empty phrases”.

In this context, it also good to provide the Catholic understanding and logic of some of the prayers, which are perhaps considered as repetitive (eg: The Rosary, Novenas, Litanies.. etc)

Are all these standard prayers mere “heaping up of empty phrases…?”


The Bible teaches us many examples of repetitive prayers…

The angels continually – day and night – sing “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Rev 4:8)
Psalm 136 repeats the words “for his steadfast love endures forever” nearly 26 times in 26 verses!
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane prayed in the “same words” three times (Mk 14: 32-39)
Jesus, in fact, also commends the fact of continually praying, through the example of the widow and the unjust judge (Lk 18: 1-14)

Thus, it is seen that the Bible has many examples of repetitive prayer.

Therefore, the repetitive Catholic Prayers like the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Novenas, Litanies etc… are scripturally well-supported

When prayed with honesty and devotion, they become means to allow the heart…
… to praise God and understand His mighty works
… to grow in His love and come to a deeper awareness of His Providence
… and pray with Mother Mary and the Saints and intercede to them for our intentions

Prayer is not rattling off a few external words and feel satisfied in having done that…
… It is opening up, in dependence, the interiority of our hearts, to the One Who knows all!

Prayer is not going through a series of stipulated and organised system of words…
… It is allowing the heart to “mean what is said”, and to cause the lips express what the heart feels!

It is to this effect that Jesus says “Your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him” (Mt 6:8)…
… and teaches us the beautiful prayer – “The Our Father!”

Jesus presents the beautiful understanding of God being a Loving and Caring Father…
… The Father, in heaven, Whose Name we acknowledge to be most Holy and Worthy
… The Father, Whose Kingdom becomes the target to Which we ought to aspire
… The Father, Whose Will is to become the compass and blueprint of our life
… The Father, Whose providence nourishes us with daily bread for our sustenance and well-being
… The Father, Who extends His Immense Mercy to us, which we receive only if we forgive in turn
… The Father, Who strengthens us in our moments of trials and temptations
… The Father, Who rescues us from all evil by tenderly holding us in the palm of His Hand

Yes, Jesus wants us to understand and experience God as a Loving and Tender Father.

Let us realize that in the spiritual realm, the entire space is like a “whispering gallery”…
… and even the lowest of tones, are heard by our Loving God.

No matter how low we whisper, He hears!
No matter how silent be our prayer, He hears!

Let this be our trust and confidence in our prayer life…
… and thus throw ourselves, into the loving arms of our Heavenly Father!

God Bless! Live Jesus

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers.

In the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father. (CCC # 1549)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Feb 27, 2023: Monday

“Running with the torch of holiness and service to one another burning brightly!”

(Based on Lev 19:1-2, 11-18 and Mt 25:31-46 – Monday of the 1st Week in Lent)

Ancient Greeks had a great fascination for light.

In those ancient days of the Greek society, a relay race used to be held called as “Lampadedromia”. (LAMPA-DEDRO-MIA)

This race consisted of the runners holding a torch in their hand, and passing it on the next runner…
… until the final member of the team, crossed the finishing line.

The prize was not awarded to the team that just ran fastest…

It was awarded to the first team, that reached the finishing line…
… with the torch still lit!

There is a big message in this, for all of us Christians…

By our Baptism, we are all given the Torch of Christ…
… and run towards the finishing line!

However, many of us are, perhaps, only busy with the running

Many of us, perhaps, fail to even check, if the light is burning…!

The final Day of Judgment would be a time, when it would be checked…
… if we finish our races, with the lamp still burning!

Are we running with the Flame still burning…?

The Gospel of the Day presents the scene of the Last Judgment…

The passage presents the Son of Man seated in His Majestic and Awesome Glory and all the nations awaiting His judgment. (Mt 25: 31-32)

The sheep, placed on the right side, are the chosen ones to enjoy the bliss of the Kingdom.

The goats, placed on the left side, are the condemned ones to suffer the fire of punishment.

This Passage is one of the very strong and dramatic portions of the Bible…
… that also powerfully shows the Sovereignty and Singularity of Jesus as the One True God and the Only King of the World.

This passage should be a mighty reminder as well as a booster for us to proclaim and declare – without any compromise and wavering – that Jesus is the One and Only True God!

In a pluralistic and heterogeneous world…
In a world which can confuse and cloud our faith…

This Bible Passage comes as a strong reminder for us to say, without any hesitation: “Jesus is Lord!” (Rom 10:9)

Another important aspect to be observed in this passage of the scene of the Last Judgment is the manner in which the Lord looks at human actions.

The Bible says, “Humans look on the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7)

One of the common question that both the groups, the sheep as well the goats, posed was: “When did we know…”

The sheep were taken by surprise, at the occasions which the Lord found them doing good…

They remained unaware of those situations, though they did the good in God’s sight.
They remained unaware of those occasions, though they did the needful in God’s sight.

The goats are taken by surprise, at the occasions, which the Lord found them missing to do good…

They remained unaware of those situations, where they failed to do the good in God’s sight.
They remained unaware of those occasions, where they missed to do the needful in God’s sight.

We may not realize the occasions of doing good…

We may not realize the occasions of having missed doing good…

We may externally engage in many good works…
… but it may fail to find approval in the Lord’s sight.

This calls for…
… cultivation of an inner disposition to do good.
… building of an inner character to be charitable.

From the abundance of kindness within, kindhearted conduct emerges…

The book of Leviticus strongly exhorts the need to grow in holiness with the Lord and to live this holiness in our dealings with one another:
“… You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God am holy…
… You shall love your neighbour as yourself…” (Lev 19:1, 18)

Let this season of Lent…
… be an occasion to grow in cultivating love deep within.
… be a time of forming a character of goodness and kindness.

The Day of Judgement is certainly going to be a glorious one…

In this race here on earth – like the “Lampadedromia”…
… let us strive earnestly to finish our races, with the lamp still burning (2 Tim 4:7)

Are we running with the Flame still burning…?

Or do we need to do something, in order to make sure, the Torch of Christ remains lit?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – Two participations in the one priesthood of Christ – In the person of Christ the Head

It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. >> Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi).

Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ. (CCC # 1548)

EUREKA 03: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens! – Evangelii Gaudium


A. What is it?

“Evangelii Gaudium” is an Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis in the year 2013
The name “Evangelii Gaudium” stands for “Joy of the Gospel” – the principal theme being the “need for a joyful proclamation of the Gospel to the entire world.”
This Exhortation was written in response to the Bishops Synod held in March 2013, with a focus on “New Evangelization”

B. What does it speak of?

The Exhortation is divided into 5 major chapters:

I. The Church’s Missionary Transformation: It calls for renewal and rethinking the way every person and every institution – from the Pope and the Roman Curia down to the parish and its parishioners – live their faith.

II. Amid the Crisis of Communal Commitment: Some challenges of today’s world are discussed: economic matters, modern culture, new religious movements and moral relativism. It also presents two errors commonly faced by Christians: (a) the “attraction of Gnosticism” – a faith, whose only interest is a certain set of ideas and bits of information (b) “self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagianism” – a feeling of being superior to others, with ‘a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism’, because they observe certain rules.

III. The Proclamation of the Gospel: Christian life is to be based on knowing and experiencing God’s love, mercy and salvation offered to all through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The document also presents a long section about the importance of homilies at Holy Mass – an opportunity, given for priests, each week, to encourage Catholics to live the faith.

IV. The Social Dimension of Evangelization: “Evangelii Gaudium” says that the heart of the Christian moral message is love for one another, which must motivate Christians to share the Gospel, help the poor and work for social justice.

V. Spirit-filled Evangelizers: Spirit-filled Evangelizers are those who are “fearlessly open to the working of the Holy Spirit” and who have “the courage to proclaim the newness of the Gospel with boldness – in every time and place – even when it meets with opposition”. The Exhortation presents Mother Mary as the model of faith and fidelity, and also as a strong Woman and Mother who shared many of the joys and sorrows facing people today and, therefore, understands the challenges they face.

C. Pointers for Reflections

  1. A call is given for establishing and renewing a personal encounter with the Lord

Many times as “Cradle Catholics” we fail to nurture a “Personal Relationship” with the Lord. Our faith remains stuck to old-practices that we have been doing “from childhood”.
A personal relationship with God alone can help us to live in Joy and Peace

  1. All Christians are called to be actively participating in Evangelization

The one who has experienced the Love of God, cannot but preach and evangelize. “A true missionary, who never ceases to be a disciple, knows that Jesus walks with him, speaks to him, breathes with him, works with him. Mother Mary is the Model Missionary “Who draws near to us and accompanies us throughout life, opening our hearts to faith by Her Maternal Love.

D. What virtues/points can we pick up from the “Evangelii Gaudium” for this Season of Lent?

  1. The Virtue of Joy in our day-to-day Christian Living, by building a “Personal Relationship with God”
  2. Willingness to be open to the Holy Spirit at all times like Mother Mary, and being a Missionary Disciple in any situation of our life

E. Tips to practice these virtues

  1. Cultivating the spirit of “praise and thanks” in every situation – not only joyful – but also in depressing and threatening moments of life.
  2. Seeking the help of Blessed Mother Mary and imitating her by “treasuring the Word of God in the heart” and thus bearing fruit.

May this Lent and the familiarity with “Evangelii Gaudium” help us to grow in our acclamation: “Eureka – I have found the Lord”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Click the following link to read the full text of EVANGELII GAUDIUM:


✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Feb 26, 2023: Sunday

“Not allowing any space to sin, and thus preventing any eventuality of we ‘being chopped’ of our life in the Lord!”

(Based on Gen 2:7-9; 3:1-7, Rom 5:12-19 and Mt 4:1-11 – 1st Sunday of Lent, Cycle A)

Once, the trees of the forest formed an association in order to rebel against the ‘axe’, which had caused much harm to all of their folk.

The trees – The redwood, the teak, the cedar, the oak, the cypress, the Sequoias, the banyan and many others – convoked a meeting…
… and decided that none of them would allow the axe to have wood for its helve (= handle of the axe).
But the axe attended the meeting…
… and pleaded to speak just for a couple of minutes.

The request was granted and the axe spoke:
“I can very well understand the difficulties that all of you have faced, as a result of my nature.

And I will definitely not stand in the way of your decision.

But I just have this one suggestion:
“Each of you – be it the redwood or teak or cypress or banyan or any other…
… You look so majestic and splendorous.

People look at you, and raise their minds to the Creator for such marvellous creations.

Will you want your beauty and brilliance to be blocked by the small bushes and trivial creepers that grow in front of you and around you?

So just allow me, to be given some wood only for this purpose…
… that I may cut down those irritating and disturbing plants and creepers

And thus your grandeur can be beheld without any block!”

This proposal seemed very viable and practical for those majestic trees…
… and thus beguiled…

They allowed to give wood to the “axe” – for the ‘good and harmless’ proposal.

Do we need to continue to hear the story further?

Well, you guessed it right…

The moment the axe was furnished with wood for its handle…
… it chopped down all the trees – sparing none!

Thus the wisdom of the ages comes to highlight: “Watch for the beginnings of evil…”

St Francis de Sales says:
“We must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation…
… for the enemy is more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold, when he knocks.”

The Gospel of the Day, on this first Sunday of Lent, is an account, from the Gospel of St Mathew, of how Jesus resisted temptations…
… and emerged victorious by the power of the Spirit, to proclaim the Gospel of God!

The Gospel passage begins with the verse:
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil” (Mt 4: 1)

In Jesus, we encounter a God…
… Who has a very human face – sharing in sufferings, partaking in miseries and participating in hardships.
… Who understands us, in our weak moments, consoles us in our painful situations and who empathizes with us in our trials and temptations.

Jesus knows what it is like to struggle with temptations and enticements…

Because He Himself was tempted!

Jesus knows what it is like to ward off the beasts of our vices and evil tendencies…

Because He Himself was among wild beasts!

Yet, in all His trials, He emerged victorious and triumphant!

The reason?

He had a tremendous infilling of the Holy Spirit!
He had a indomitable resolve of being faithful and true to His mission and commitment!

And these reasons of Jesus, are also the techniques for us to overcome the allures of temptations…

Can I grow continually in the infilling of the Holy Spirit?
Can I learn, despite any hardships, to constantly seek and do only God’s Will?
Can I cultivate the steadfastness to be singly focussed on the mission of His Kingdom?

We live in a world which is often, like a wilderness…
… dry in spiritual fervour… heated up with material desires…arid in religious enthusiasm

We live in a world where there are often, many wild beasts…
… ferociously corrupt and unhealthy practices
… menacingly abusive evil lifestyles

We need to resist the temptations arising from such situations…
… and stand firm in our focus and commitment to the Lord and His Kingdom.

The account of the ‘First Sin’ in Genesis 3:1-7 clearly gives us the pattern that is followed in every temptation to sin:

  1. A sin is proposed
  2. The person is either pleased or displeased with the proposal
  3. The person either consents or refuses

We see the same pattern being followed in all the three temptations of Jesus (Mt 4:3-10)

And we have the same pattern followed in all our temptations as well – whether we are aware or not.

Our Blessed Lord in His beautiful prayer “The Our Father” taught us the remedy to resist temptation…
“and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil..”

Yes, the easiest recourse to overcome temptation is: “To Pray”

St Francis de Sales says:
“As soon as you feel yourself tempted, follow what little children would do when they see a wolf or a bear…
… they run at once to their parent’s arms or atleast call out to them for help and assistance”

It is a deeper and purposeful focus on Jesus Crucified that would come to our aid in our moments of temptations.

We also need to, especially, in our ‘smaller’ temptations, which like bees and flies may constantly seek to disturb…
… make sure that we don’t fall into anxiety or worry
… and instead, perform the contrary virtues


For vainglory thoughts, think of the triviality of this earthly life
For anger, perform deeds of charity and forgiveness
For pride, do acts of humility
For lust, dwell on the purity of the Lord)

The Lord today exhorts us to not get caught up in the snares of temptation…
… instead be victorious and triumphant by the Grace and Power of Him – our Saviour, Model and Master!

Let us not allow any “wood” to be given to the “axe” of sin…
… and thus prevent any eventuality of we “being chopped ” of our life in the Lord!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – Two participations in the one priesthood of Christ – In the person of Christ the Head . . .

In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth.

This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis. (CCC # 1547)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Feb 25, 2023: Saturday

“Encountering Jesus, and allowing the sour and tangy areas of our life to turn sweet and pleasant!”

(Based on Is 58:9b-14 and Lk 5:27-32 – Saturday after Ash Wednesday)

One of the fruits that is growing in popularity is the “miracle fruit!”

Native to Africa’s Gold Coast, this miracle berry (scientific name: Synsepalum dulcificum) has been an integral part of the daily menu of the tribes in Ghana and Nigeria

This fruit is now available in many parts of the world.

What is the speciality of this fruit?

Why is it called as Miracle Fruit?

When this fruit is eaten…
… it causes sour foods that are consumed consequently to taste sweet
(The fruit consists of a taste modifier called miraculin, which binds to the taste buds, causing sour foods to taste sweet)

… a juicy, tangy lime will taste sweet!
… a succulent, sour gooseberry will be felt as sweetened!

Interesting, isn’t it?


When we encounter Jesus and consume His Presence…
… like the “effect caused by the miracle fruit,” the sour and tangy areas of our life, will turn to sweetness and pleasantness!

The Gospel of the Day presents an encounter…

Of Levi… who was willing to have an experience of Jesus, the “Miracle Fruit” and thus experience sweetness in life
Of Pharisees and Scribes… who refused to partake of Jesus, the “Miracle Fruit” and thus remained sour in their attitudes

As Jesus went out, He met a person named Levi, who was sitting at the tax booth.

Levi, a tax collector – collected taxes for customs or tolls on imports, exports, and merchants who came to buy or sell in Israel.

These Jewish tax collectors were disdained by the Jews.
They were considered traitors because they worked for the despised Roman rulers.

It is this “despised” person that Jesus calls: “Follow me.” (Lk 5:27)

The name “Levi” means “joined”

True to his name, Levi “joined” the ministry of Jesus… and became His disciple
True to his name, Levi “joined” Himself to following Christ… leaving his former ways!

Subsequently, in the great banquet hosted at his house, Jesus was joined by a “large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting at the table” (Lk 5:29)

The sight of Jesus – supposedly a Teacher and Prophet – irked the Pharisees and their Scribes, making them to ask: “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” (Lk 5:30)

The Pharisees and their Scribes refused to accept the “welcoming and merciful” embrace of the Lord

They chose to close themselves to the “saving and redeeming” works of the Lord
As a result, they failed to experience the “Sweetness of the Lord!”

Levi, was willing to have a taste of “Jesus, the Miracle Fruit”
… and thus, his life was filled with sweetness and pleasantness!

The Pharisees and their Scribes refused to experience “Jesus, the Miracle Fruit”
… and thus, they continued to remain sour and tangy – as expressed in their words and actions!

There are many times…
… when we remain sour in our words – hurting people by our unjust criticism and judgmental comments

We need to taste “Jesus, the Miracle Fruit” so that our lives gives forth the sweetness of acceptance and appreciation!

There are often occasions …
… when we remain tangy in our actions and deeds – refusing to reach out in help and being stagnant in our selfishness

We need to taste “Jesus, the Miracle Fruit” so that our lives gives forth the pleasantness of charity and care!

The effect of the miracle fruit lasts only for an hour

The effect of “Jesus, the Miracle Fruit” however is much lasting
… and in fact, can be everlasting, if we remain faithful and sincere in following the Lord!

Let us encounter Jesus and consume His Presence…
… so that, like the “effect caused by the miracle fruit,” the sour and tangy areas of our life, will turn to sweetness and pleasantness!

Like Levi, let us “join” ourselves to the Will of the Lord, by following Him, faithfully!

Are we ready to taste the “Miracle Fruit?”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – Two participations in the one priesthood of Christ

The ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests, and the common priesthood of all the faithful participate, “each in its own proper way, in the one priesthood of Christ.”
While being “ordered one to another,” they differ essentially.
In what sense? While the common priesthood of the faithful is exercised by the unfolding of baptismal grace –a life of faith, hope, and charity, a life according to the Spirit–, the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood.
It is directed at the unfolding of the baptismal grace of all Christians.

The ministerial priesthood is a means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church. For this reason it is transmitted by its own sacrament, the sacrament of Holy Orders. (CCC # 1547)

EUREKA 02: Discovering Catholic Treasury – Humanae Vitae


A. What is it?

Humanae vitae is an encyclical issued by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968 (We are nearing the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of this Encyclical)

“Humanae Vitae” means “Of Human Life”

The Encyclical is subtitled as “Regulation of Birth”
In the wake of the sexual revolution of the 1960s, Humanae Vitae was presented to the world, and today it is considered as a “Prophetic Literature”.
This is especially in the light of how, over the next decades, there has been an increase in the sexualization of culture, increased legalized abortion, the growing tensions in marital relations, and thus has led to deep wounds to the concept of family life.

The Encyclical clearly affirms that the Church “does not… evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical.” And so, like Christ, the Church “is destined to be a ‘sign of contradiction.'”

B. What does it speak of?

Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae re-affirmed the Church’s prohibition of artificial contraception, gave the approval on natural family-planning (NFP) methods, and upheld the Church’s teaching on conjugal love and responsible parenthood.
Drawing from Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition, the Encyclical exhorts how God Himself has designed the nature of married love – it is “total, faithful and exclusive”. The marriage act has both unitive and procreative aspects- which cannot be separated (Thus, artificial contraception is immoral).
Every marriage act is a participation in the Divine Act of “giving life”. Hence, it belongs in the context of committed love (sealed by marriage) and openness to life.
The Encyclical very powerfully demonstrates that Human life came from God, belongs to God, and goes back to God (“You are not your own” – 1 Cor 6:19). This is in direct opposition to the modern-day dictum: “This is my life, my body, my choice!”

C. Pointers for Reflections

  1. The Encyclical re-affirms the Church’s uncompromising stance with respect to morals and faith – upholding Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition.

As a Christian, am I ready to be a “sign of contradiction” in standing for the Gospel Virtues, even if it means, facing isolation and rejection, unpopularity and being branded as “traditional and old-fashioned”?

  1. Humanae Vitae stands in direct contradiction to the “easy and free” trends of looking at sex, marriage and family life.

Am I aware of the “Preciousness of my body” and how, all what I do with my body, ought to be “life-giving” and giving sole glory to God? Any contrary that I do, is a sin, and so I need to let go any “habits or tendencies” that is harmful to the body, which is “… a Temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 3:16),

D. What virtues/points can we pick up from the “Humanae Vitae” for this Season of Lent?

  1. Become aware that Life belongs to God and that Love is Sacred
  2. Growing in the conviction that I need to be uncompromising to the Teachings of the Church, despite the “comfortable trends” around us

E. Tips to practice these virtues

  1. Pray to be faithful to the Virtue of Chastity and to always do actions that “promote and nurture life”
  2. Read Articles 2331-2400 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) to get a better understanding of the Church’s position on sexuality.

May this Lent and the familiarity with “Humanae Vitae” help us to grow in our acclamation: “Eureka – I have found the Lord”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

(Click the following link to read the full text of “HUMANAE VITAE”: https://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Feb 24, 2023: Friday

“With ‘compassion,’ opening our eyes to the real purpose meaning of our fasting and our acts of penance!”

(Based on Isa 58:1-9a and Mk 9:14-15 – Friday after Ash Wednesday)

Two wives were sharing their experiences about their husbands.

The first wife shared:
“My husband is a very good man.

But the only trouble is he does not understand my weaknesses.

He comes home every evening and bombards me with a barrage of questions:

‘Did you do what I told you?’
‘Did you waste any time today?’
‘Did you complete all the works on your to-do-list?’

He always demands. He always expects.

As much as I try, I cannot satisfy him.

The worst thing is, he is always right!
I cannot meet his expectation, because I am not able to!”

The second wife shared:
“My husband is a very good man. And the advantage is, he understands my weaknesses.

He comes home very evening and engages in dialogue-questions with me:

‘Hope you had a good day today’
‘I wish that you got some rest today’
‘I hope you did not strain yourself much, completing all the works’

He always understands. He always encourages.

As much as I put in the effort, he appreciates me.

The best thing is, he is always right!
I can meet his expectation, because he makes me able!”

Do we want to know the name of the two husbands?

The name of the first husband is… Mr Rigid!

And the name of the second is… Mr. Compassionate!

What about us?

How are we in our Christian lives…?

Mr Rigid?
Mr Compassion?

The Gospel of the Day presents this contrasting attitude of human tendencies in the Person of Jesus and the Pharisees…
… over the stagnant practice of an important devotion: Fasting!

The disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus with an important query: “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?” (Lk 9:14)

The Mosaic Law commanded only one day of fasting – the day of Atonement.

The Book of Leviticus prescribes this fast: “On the tenth day of the seventh month…you are to enter into a solemn fast and refrain from all work, because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. In the presence of God you will be made clean of all your sins. It is a Sabbath of all Sabbaths. You must fast. It is a perpetual ordinance” (Lev 16:29-31)

But it is to be noted that the Pharisees and apparently, the disciples of John had also adopted another tradition: that of fasting two days a week.

This was considered to be a very pious and pride action among this group.

In Luke 18:12, we find the Pharisee who boasts of fasting twice a week, as he makes his prayer, in contempt of the tax collector.

It is to this fasting, that the disciples of John refer to, when they counter Jesus with the question: “Why don’t your disciples fast?”

But Jesus opens their eyes to see the rigidity in their thought and practice.

The practice of fasting was…
… for atonement of one’s sins.
… a time of mourning in seeking for the restoration of Israel.
… a period of waiting for the Messiah who would redeem their nation.

But somehow all these basic aspects of fasting were forgotten and apparently, lost.

Their practice of fasting had grown stagnant.
Their mindset in skipping meals had become sluggish.
They failed to realize the reason and meaning for their fasting.

The Lord declares Himself as the Bridegroom, who has come to restore the glory of Israel. (Mt 9:15)

The time of mourning is over.
The period of fasting is no longer.

It’s time to rejoice with Him, who is the Bridegroom and Saviour – Jesus!

Yes, when one loses sight of the original purpose, the actions become mere lifeless customs.

When one fails to know the actual motive, the conduct becomes a mere obsolete ritual.

A custom, devoid of its purpose and real intention is dead and decayed.

A tradition, conducted without the true motivation is irrelevant and trivial.

The Season of Lent calls for us to make extra sacrifices, especially through the form of fasting.

What is my attitude to fasting and penance?

Has it become rigid…
… devoid of its original purpose of sanctification and growing in closeness to God?

Has it become stagnant…
… becoming a mere yearly custom and tradition with no effect on one’s life?

Am I ready to undertake the powerful style of fasting as presented in Isaiah 58: 6-7

A fasting…
… to lose the bonds of wickedness and to undo the thongs of the yoke
… to let the oppressed go free and to share the bread with the hungry
… to bring homeless poor into the house and to cover the naked

Our fasting, penances and sacrifices are to be joyful…
… because we have Jesus, the bridegroom with us.

His presence with us, is a matter of joy
… yet we fast and do penance, to share joyfully in His suffering and pain.

His presence with us, is an occasion of rejoicing…
… yet we make sacrifices and discipline ourselves, to find deeper meaning in His Cross.

His presence with us, is a period of celebration…
… yet we have self-control and abstain oneself, to be united closer to His redeeming action.

Let us not get “rigid”.

Instead, with “compassion,” let us open our eyes to the real purpose meaning of our fasting and our acts of penance.

Yes, let us examine:
How are we in our Christian lives…?

Mr Rigid?
Mr Compassion?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – Two participations in the one priesthood of Christ

Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church “a kingdom, priests for his God and Father.”
The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ’s mission as priest, prophet, and king.

Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are “consecrated to be… a holy priesthood.” (CCC #1546)

EUREKA: Discovering Catholic Treasury – “Catechism of the Catholic Church”

“Catechism of the Catholic Church”

A. What is it?

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (CCC) is a summary of the Doctrines of the Catholic Church.
It was promulgated by Pope St John Paul II in 1992.
In 1985, at a Synod (=assembly) of Bishops in Rome convened to celebrate the Twentieth Anniversary of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, a proposal to develop a Universal Catechism for the Catholic Church was accepted.
The outcome was the Catechism of the Catholic Church
There are 2865 articles in total in the CCC

B. What does it speak of?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is arranged in four parts, also called as the “Four Pillars” of the Catechism:

  1. The Creed (Profession of Faith)
  2. The Sacraments (Celebration of the Christian Mystery in Sacred Liturgy)
  3. The Commandments (Life in Christ in the Church)
  4. The Prayers (with an emphasis on The Our Father)

The CCC conveys the essential and fundamental content of Catholic faith and morals in a summarized way.

C. Pointers for Reflections

  1. Do I seek to grow in my clarity and conviction of “what I believe”?
  2. Do I make efforts to love the Church and be proud of this precious treasure of Faith that is gifted to me?

D. What virtue/point can we pick up from the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” for this Season of Lent?

  1. Renewing our Faith

The CCC is, in the words of Pope St John Paul II, a “sure norm for teaching the faith”
The Catechism is an excellent resource for us to “know and grow” in our faith

  1. Affirming our love for the Church

The CCC is a “a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion..”
The reading and studying of the Catechism is a sign of our love and loyalty to the Church – Who is our Mother, taking care of our Spiritual Life.

E. Tips to practice this virtue

  1. Read articles in the ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’, in order to “know and grow” in our faith in this Lenten Season
  2. Say a short prayer for the Church and her leaders, to grow in the zeal for the missions and revival of faith

May this Lent help us to grow in our acclamation: “Eureka – I have found the Lord”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

EUREKA: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens!


In 1867 on a farm in South Africa, 15-year-old Erasmus Jacobs saw a stone – shining brightly in the sun.

The shining rock was reported to a neighbor, who wanted to buy it from the family.

Not knowing its value, Erasmus’ mother told the neighbor, “You can keep the stone, if you want it.”

Eventually, a mineralogist determined the stone to be a 21.25 carat diamond and worth a great sum.

It became known as the “Eureka Diamond.”

Soon the fields near the soared in value and led to led to the “Kimberley Diamond Rush”

This also marked the beginning of the Mineral Revolution.

Underneath the land was one of the richest diamond deposits ever discovered.

“Discovering the Diamonds” was a EUREKA experience.

EUREKA is a Greek Word for “I found it!”

Archimedes, the mathematician and philosopher, (c.250 BC) had his EUREKA moment in a bathtub, when he saw the solution to the question his king had raised…
… and ran into the street naked shouting “Eureka,” (“I have found it”)!

The Bible testifies to people having a “Eureka” Experience

Moses at the Burning Bush, Discovered God (EUREKA), and His life would thereafter be transformed!
Jeremiah would have his mouth touched and would Discover God (EUREKA) to be the strength of His life!
Peter would Discover God (EUREKA) by the Sea of Galilee, and he would be made a “fisher of men”!
Paul would be thrown down, to Discover God (EUREKA), for Whom he would passionately work, all his life!

God calls all of us to have a EUREKA experience – DISCOVERING GOD!

The Catholic Church is a Mighty Treasury of such experiences of EUREKA – Discovering God!

These experiences have been particularly enshrined in the Catholic Literature…
… Apostolic Exhortations (Papal documents to with respect to faith and morals)
… Encyclicals (= a ‘circular’ letter sent by the Pope to all the Faithful, with a pastoral concern on a topic)
… Classic writings and books by various saints and holy people

Such Catholic Literature has always been available…
… through the centuries
… across the ages

But we do find that many of us, have failed to “Discover” the existence and beauty of such a magnanimous Treasure.

Time and again we have lots of doubts of faith, of our existence etc…

We run helter-skelter, in panic and desperation and looking for answers

But we often fail to realize, that the answer and solution to many of our “existential problems and questions” are to be found in the Writings and Teachings of the Church!

We have only been ignorant to seek!
We have only… “failed to discover!”

This Season of Lent, we shall make an attempt to very briefly get introduced a selected set of such Priceless Treasure of Catholic Literature.

This series is titled as “EUREKA: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens!”

Every day of this Lenten Season, we shall briefly familiarize ourselves with one Catholic Literature…
… learn a little about its historical context
… outline the major thrusts of the content
… and pick up a couple of Lenten Learnings for practise

This little attempt is an endevour for each one of us ‘to discover the Priceless Treasure’ that is enshrined in the CATHOLIC CHURCH.

So, let’s offer this undertaking into the safe intercession of Blessed Mary, our Beloved Mother and St Joseph, the Patron of the Universal Church, and seek the help of all the Angels and Saints…
… so that, this Season of Lent, we may more and more “Discover the Catholic Treasury” and thus Experiencing God, we may shout “EUREKA!”

Welcome to all of you to “EUREKA: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!