✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – March 23, 2023: Thursday

“Being true and faithful, rather than trying to be popular!”

(Based on Exod 32:7-14 and Jn 5:31-47 – Thursday of the 4th Week in Lent)

Written on the stone pavements of a street in a remote village are the following words:
“One of the evils of this modern day, is the scarcity of men and women in places of leadership who are willing to speak their convictions…
… at the risk of popularity!”

Christian life is a constant challenge between two aspects: Being Popular or being Right!

There is a constant challenge to stand against prospects of gaining false fame and phony popularity…
… by compromising on one’s Christian ideologies and values.

Can we be Christians…
… who value one’s integrity for Christ’s sake, than to compromise one’s principles and turn popular?
… who give priority to being honest for the Lord’s honour, than to dilute one’s ethics and gain cheap fame?

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus who stood firm and rock-solid, in his mission commitment, even in the face of opposition, indifference and apathy from the Jews.

The context of today’s Gospel Passage – Jn 5:31-47 – is the aftermath of the Healing of the Crippled Man by the pool of Bethesda, on the Sabbath Day (Jn 5:1-18)

This incident had sparked a rage of opposition against Jesus…

He was persecuted because the act of healing was done on the Sabbath (Jn 5: 16)
His defense caused the Jews to kill Him, because Jesus equated Himself with God (Jn 5:18)

There was a strong wave of antagonism and hostility, against Jesus…
… that was pressurizing Him to compromise His teachings
….that was coercing Him to dilute His principles

But Jesus stood firm and rock-solid, in his mission commitment, even in the face of opposition, indifference and apathy from the Jews.

He therefore presents before the Jews, witnesses which would testify to Him, to His Divinity.

He uses the language of a courtroom – “witnesses” – to prove His credibility as the Divine Person

Our Christian Life is a constant challenge…
… to let go of our values and principles
… to compromise on our efforts and mission works

We find in the Book of Exodus, how the people of Israel abandoned the ways of the Lord…
… and “made for themselves a molten calf… worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” (Cf. Exod 32:8)

So often, we also create “molten calves” of money, power, position, sinfulness…
… and worship and give our priority to them!

We are quick in forgetting the many blessings and mercies of God…
… and turn away from the commandments of God!

We need to imitate our Blessed Lord…
… Who was unwilling to let go of His Commitment and Dedication to the Mission

Let us seek the Grace to remain ever uncompromising in our Christian Life.
… to stand for God and His Kingdom
… to live to share His Love and Mercy

…. “one of the evils of this modern day, is the scarcity of men and women in places of leadership who are willing to speak their convictions…
… at the risk of popularity!”

Let us dare to show this “spirit of leadership” like Jesus our Master…
… by seeking to be true and faithful, rather than just be popular!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Since the Second Vatican Council the Latin Church has restored the diaconate “as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy,”…
… while the Churches of the East had always maintained it.
This permanent diaconate, which can be conferred on married men, constitutes an important enrichment for the Church’s mission.
Indeed it is appropriate and useful that men who carry out a truly diaconal ministry in the Church, whether in its liturgical and pastoral life or whether in its social and charitable works, should “be strengthened by the imposition of hands which has come down from the apostles.

They would be more closely bound to the altar and their ministry would be made more fruitful through the sacramental grace of the diaconate. (CCC # 1571)

EUREKA 17: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens!


A. What is it?
“Spiritual Combat” is a 17th century Catholic Spiritual Classic on Ascetic Theology

Fr Lorenzo Scupoli is considered to be its author.
St. Frances de Sales called the “Spiritual Combat” as the “Golden Book”. This “the favorite, the dear book” of the great master of spiritual life was carried by him for 18 years. The Saint read some pages of it every day, entrusted to its supernatural and human wisdom, the guidance of his soul, and recommended it to all under his direction.

B. What does it speak of?
“Spiritual Combat” is a practical manual of living. It is a personal “do-it-yourself” book that allows the reader to put the truths of Christian spiritual warfare into practice on a daily basis.

The purpose of the book is to lead the soul to the summit of spiritual perfection, by means of a constant, courageous struggle against our evil nature, which tends to keep us away from that goal.

The “Spiritual Combat” consists of 66 short chapters based on the maxim that in the spiritual life one must either “fight or die”.

It shows the Christian how to combat his passions and vices, especially impurity and sloth, in order to arrive at victory.

C. Pointers for Reflections

  1. “Spiritual Combat” analyses various human situations and advises how to cope with them, preserving a pure conscience and improving virtue.
    The whole human history has been the story of the combat with the powers of evil. In the midst of the battlefield, human beings have to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God’s grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.

The fundamental scripture at the heart of the “Spiritual Combat” is “None shall be crowned who has not fought well” (2 Tim 2:5)

  1. Battle One Passion, at a time!
    Don’t randomly practice virtues.

Instead, wage war against your worst passions and practice the opposite virtue.

  1. There are 7 Spiritual weapons that are prescribed
    (i) Distrust of Self (ii) Trust in God
    (iii) Spiritual Exercises (Practise of 1 virtue at a time)
    (iv) Prayer (v) Holy Eucharist (vi) Spiritual Communion
    (vii) Examination of Conscience

D. What virtues/points can we pick up from “Spiritual Combat” for this Season of Lent?

  1. Recognizing that we are Soldiers for Christ in this world
  2. Never being discouraged, even in the midst of immense hardships

E. Tips to practice these virtues

  1. Being optimistic and trusting in God, even when things don’t seem to be going “our way”
  2. Filling our hearts with the “Spirit of Joy” by invoking a short prayer, especially in moments of tension and anxiety: Jesus, I trust in You!

May this Lent and the familiarity with the Catholic Classic “Spiritual Combat” help us to grow in our acclamation: “Eureka – I have found the Lord”

CLICK TO READ the Full Text of “Spiritual Combat” at:

God Bless! Live Jesus!

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – March 22, 2023: Wednesday

“Realising that it is only by ‘the Power of the Master that we can create the beautiful paintings’ of God’s Love and Mercy in this world”

(Based on Is 49:8-15 and Jn 5:17-30 – Wednesday of the 4th Week in Lent)

After the death of a great painter a young Italian boy went to the painting studio and asked for the great artist’s brush.

The boy tried the brush…
but found he could not paint any better with it than with his own.

It was then he realized…
… the power of painting, was not in the brush

It was in the Master!

The boy lacked the master’s power.

It was the power of the Master that created the beautiful paintings.

Jesus, displayed immense strength and courage…
… as a result of His Powerful Union with His Father!

This Power led Him to create “beautiful paintings” of Mercy and Love in the world.

The Gospel of the Day is an amazing revelation by Jesus on His relationship with the Father.

This passage has its background in the healing that Jesus performed on a Sabbath day, of a man who had been ill for a very long time – thirty-eight years (Jn 5: 1-16).

When the Jews found out from the healed person, that it was Jesus who had done this work, they were extremely furious.

Their objection was that…
… Jesus had done this miracle on a Sabbath
… Jesus had made the person to perform a work – of carrying the mat – on the Sabbath day.

They, therefore, began to persecute Jesus (Jn 5: 16).

But Jesus brought out a fair logic in defending Himself, “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work” (Jn 5:17)

  • Jesus equates Himself to the Father….
  • Jesus establishes Himself as the Son of God…

And He draws the point, that just as, on the Sabbath Day, His Father….
… creates and sustains, so is He renewing and bringing life to the world!
… supplies life and maintains, so is He nourishing and refreshing the world!

  • Jesus, as the Son has every right and privilege to engage in life-saving works, just as His Father
  • Jesus, as the Son has every justification and claim to do life-redeeming works, just as His Father

As followers of Jesus, we are to be the extension of His life-saving and redeeming works in the world…
… Am I willing to become a person, filled the power of the Lord, in order to bring healing to the world, by my deeds of kindness and goodness?
… Am I willing to become an extension of the Lord, imbued with His spirit, in order to spread His love and mercy to our broken and struggling world?

As followers of Jesus, we need to have the proper and true understanding of the Sabbath…

The Sabbath is a day of solemn rest, holy to the Lord…
… Do I give it to the Lord, entirely, engaging only in deeds that help me come closer to Him?

The Sabbath is a memorial of Israel’s liberation from bondage in Egypt
… Do I remind myself of being a person to be liberated from the bondage of sin, and seeking to grow in holiness?

The Sabbath is sign of the irrevocable covenant between God and human beings…
… Do I renew the spirit of this pledge and promise to the Lord with salvific deeds of love?

Let us deepen our relationship and grow in our efforts to be more in union with the Lord…
… the One who guides the world, the One who sustains each of us and the One who fills life in all!

Jesus, displayed immense strength and courage…
… as a result of His Powerful Union with His Father!

This Power led Him to create “beautiful paintings” of Mercy and Love in the world.

Let us also realize that it is only by “the Power of the Master that we can create the ‘beautiful paintings’ of God’s Love and Mercy in this world”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Deacons share in Christ’s mission and grace in a special way.
The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them with an imprint (“character”) which cannot be removed and which configures them to Christ, who made himself the “deacon” or servant of all.
Among other tasks, it is the task of deacons to assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries
… above all the Eucharist, in the distribution of Holy Communion
…. in assisting at and blessing marriages
… in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching
… in presiding over funerals

… and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity. (CCC # 1570)

EUREKA 16: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens!


A. What is it?
“Spe Salvi” is an Encyclical by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI promulgated on November 30, 2007,

“Spe Salvi” is a Latin title which means “Saved in Hope” and is the second Encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI.

B. What does it speak of?
Spe Salvi” speaks about the Theological Virtue of Hope.

The central thesis of this Encyclical is that Christian hope utterly transforms human life.
The Pope reminds us that we can have hope because we have a great goal: our salvation.
We can’t take our salvation for granted because it depends on our cooperation with grace.

“Spe Salvi” is divided in 8 sections:
(i) Faith is Hope: The solid basis for our Hope is our “Faith in God”.

Because we know God, we can have hope and rest secure in the knowledge that as Christians, we “have a future.”

(ii) The concept of faith-based hope in the New Testament and the early Church: Mentions that the encounter with Christ is not something abstract, but can change our lives. That is what attracted people to it in the beginning of the Church.

(iii) Eternal life – what is it? : “Eternal life” is the ultimate goal, which gives sense to our whole life.

(iv) Is Christian hope individualistic? : The role of Hope is vital, for Faith can be interpreted (wrongly) in a merely “informative sense”, whereas genuine Hope always goes beyond the “informative to the performative”.

(v) The transformation of Christian faith-hope in the modern age: Faith…enables us to experience the reality of God’s Kingdom in this present life.

This experience becomes the final proof to us that what we hope for is real and true.

(vi) The true shape of Christian hope: Man’s great, true hope that holds firm in spite of all disappointments can only be God—God Who has loved us and Who continues to love us ‘to the end,’ until all ‘is accomplished.’ “

(vii) ‘Settings’ for learning and practising hope: The pope identifies four “settings” for learning and practising hope. (a) Prayer (b) Deeds of Service (c) Suffering (d) Judgment of God

(viii) Mary, Star of Hope: This is a long prayer to our Lady, invoking her intercession.

C. Pointers for Reflections

  1. “Spe Salvi” is a reminder of the Great Virtue of Hope
    The Three Theological virtues are Faith, Love and Hope

Of these, often, Hope is often given a “backseat” and sometimes, even taken for granted
This Encyclical calls us to consciously grow in this Theological Virtue, especially in this world, which is often “tending towards hopelessness and fatalism”

  1. “Spe Salvi” demonstrates a variety of examples and illustrations from other Christian authors, books and other philosophical thinkers/writers
    Pope Benedict XVI displays his class by giving reference to a number of authors and books – including a funeral oration by St. Ambrose, theologians like Henri de Lubac, mystics such as Augustine of Hippo, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Benedict of Nursia, philosophers such as Francis Bacon, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, Max Horkheimer, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Plato along with other authors and thinkers like Vladimir Lenin, Theodor W. Adorno, Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan.

This reminds all Christians of that famous quote: “Every Christian must have a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other.”

D. What virtues/points can we pick up from “Spe Salvi” for this Season of Lent?

  1. Being a person of hope
  2. Having a deeper thirst for knowledge

E. Tips to practice these virtues

  1. Being optimist and cheerful in all the situations of life – and especially when things go wrong, to have “hope” that God is always doing everything for our good. (Rom 8:28)
  2. Keeping ourselves updated on the happenings of the world, and seeking to find “Christian solutions” to these day-to-day challenges

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

CLICK TO READ the full text of “Spe Salvi” at:

God Bless! Live Jesus!

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – March 21, 2023: Tuesday

“Delaying no more, in drawing closer to the Streams of Graces and Healing!”

(Based on Ezek 47:1-9, 12 and Jn 5:1-16 – Tuesday of the 4th Week in Lent)

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

The words in this banner, read thus:

Those people who expect salvation at the eleventh hour…
… often die at 10:30!

Postponement in spiritual matters, is indeed a perilous matter!

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

Life often takes us through paralyzing and crippling situations

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

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

The Gospel passage is a beautiful presentation of this aspect: On how to have our heads raised up, in hope and trust, despite many crushing and crippling causes in life.

Jesus is in Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. As he passed through the town, he came near a pool, named Bethzatha.

Jesus encounters a person there, who has been ill for a very long period… thirty eight years! (Jn 5:5)

We are not exactly told what illness was it…

Probably a paralyzing illness…
… a cripple of the legs
… or even a combination of many other sicknesses.

But one thing is known: this sickness made the person to not walk!

The sickness had immobilized him.

But more than his physical body, it seems, that the sickness had crippled also his mind:

His way of thinking seemed jammed in having hope in life…
His outlook to life seemed blurred to see optimism and hope…
His perspective of people seemed to distort his confidence and trust…

When Jesus questions the man, “Do you want to be well?” the man answers not with a positive affirmation or an optimistic assertion.

Instead he begins to get into a complaining and a pitiable mode, “Sir, I have no one…” (Jn 5: 7)

A ray of hope was offered to him…
… but instead the man continued to see only the dark clouds.
A glimpse of joy was revealed to him…
… but instead the man persisted on the sad aspects alone.

The long period of sickness had blotted his vision and faded his hopes.

But the Lord – the ever-challenging God – does not allow the man to remain in this unfortunate and “look-on-me-with-sympathy-please” mode…

Instead, Jesus charges him, “Rise, take up your mat and walk” (Jn 5:8)

And immediately the man became well, took up his mat and walked!

The presence of the Lord vanished away the man’s doubts and lame excuses…
The mighty word of the Lord purged away the man’s feelings of looking at life negatively…

The man who had the tendency to probably “procrastinate – delay and postpone”…
… now becomes “proactive!”

The man became proactive…
… casting away his attitude of complaining to become a person of courage
… dropping off his crippling attitude of “none-to-help” and picking up the mat of power and grace

Problems beset each of us in this world.
Difficulties surround all of us, at various times and situations

But, the one who is “proactive” in life, is able to get over these “paralyzing” factors of life!

Jesus gives us this courage and the hope to “not postpone or delay” matters connected to our spiritual life

Such a pro-active action is spurred by the mighty love and mercy of the Lord.
Such a pro-active move is an approach, impelled by a tremendous faith and hope in the Lord.

You and I, very often may find ourselves in crippling situations of life.

We may keep on lying down
We may keep on being a “complaint-box”
We may keep on postponing our good and only blame people and situations


We may raise up our heads to see the Lord challenging us to walk
We may garner strength and courage and be bold to pick up our mats of suffering
We may imbue ourselves with the Lord’s power to never let anything cripple our minds

We are invited to draw Power and Strength from the living streams of God’s Grace, offered to us, in the Sacraments…
…and in particular, in this time of immense struggle and challenge, through various acts of devotion especially the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Devotional Reading of the Bible, Chaplet of the Divine Mercy etc.

Through Prophet Ezekiel, we are reminded and encouraged to understand that where the Waters of God’s Grace flows, there is life and healing:
“And wherever the river goes, every living creature which swarms will live, and there will be very many fish; for this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh…
… so everything will live where the river goes.

And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month…
… because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” (Ezek 47:9, 12)

Let us delay no more, in drawing closer to these Streams of Graces and Healing!

Yes, Postponement in spiritual matters, is indeed a perilous matter!

Let’s remember: Those people who expect salvation at the eleventh hour…
… often die at 10:30!

Shall we be ready, “to rise, take up our mats, and walk?”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

“At a lower level of the hierarchy are to be found deacons, who receive the imposition of hands ‘not unto the priesthood, but unto the ministry.”‘

At an ordination to the diaconate only the bishop lays hands on the candidate, thus signifying the deacon’s special attachment to the bishop in the tasks of his “diakonia. (CCC # 1569)

EUREKA 15: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens!


A. What is it?
“Ecclesia de Eucharistia” is an Encyclical by Pope St John Paul II

It was published on April 17, 2003
“Ecclesia de Eucharistia” is a Latin phrase for “The Church from the Eucharist”

B. What does it speak of?
“Ecclesia de Eucharistia” offers a deeper reflection on the mystery of the Eucharist in its relationship with the Church.

The goal of this encyclical was to “rekindle”, at the beginning of the Third Millennium, our “amazement” at the mystery that is the Eucharist

“Ecclesia de Eucharistia” is divided into 5 Chapters:
(i) The Mystery of Faith: It explains the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist which, through the ministry of the priest, makes sacramentally present at each Mass the body “given up” and the blood “poured out” by Christ for the world’s salvation.

The celebration of the Eucharist is not a repetition of Christ’s Passover. It is the one sacrifice of the Cross, which is re-presented until the end of time.

(ii) “The Eucharist Builds the Church”: When the faithful approach the sacred banquet, not only do they receive Christ, but they in turn are received by Him.

The Church is united to Her Lord Who, veiled by the Eucharistic species, dwells within Her and builds Her up.

(iii) “The Apostolicity of the Eucharist and of the Church”: ust as the full reality of Church does not exist without apostolic succession, so there is no true Eucharist without the Bishop. The priest who celebrates the Eucharist acts in the person of Christ the Head.

(iv) “The Eucharist and Ecclesial Communion”: Faithful to the teaching of the Apostles, united in the discipline of the sacraments, she must also manifest in a visible manner her invisible unity.

(v) “The Dignity of the Eucharistic Celebration”: The celebration of the Holy Mass is marked by outward signs aimed at emphasizing the joy which assembles the community around the Incomparable Gift of the Eucharist.

(vi) “At the School of Mary, ‘Woman of the Eucharist’”: Reflects on the analogy between the Mother of God, who by bearing the Body of Jesus in Her Womb became the first “tabernacle”, and the Church who in Her heart, preserves and offers to the world, Christ’s Body and Blood.

The Eucharist is given to believers so that their life may become a continuous Magnificat in honor of the Most Holy Trinity.

C. Pointers for Reflections

  1. “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” strongly promotes Eucharistic devotion outside of the Mass as a Source of Grace for deepening our own Faith as well as increasing Communion within the Universal Church

“The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass, we are enabled to make contact with the very Wellspring of Grace.
A Christian community desirous of contemplating the Face of Christ… cannot fail also to develop this aspect of Eucharistic worship, which prolongs and increases the fruits of our Communion in the Body and Blood of the Lord

  1. The Encyclical clarifies and sheds light on the allegation that the Catholic Church is attempting to “re-crucify Jesus” every time Mass is celebrated.

The Mass makes present the Sacrifice of the Cross; it does not add to that sacrifice nor does it multiply it.
What is repeated is its memorial celebration, its “commemorative representation” (memorialis demonstratio), which makes Christ’s One, Definitive Redemptive Sacrifice always present in time.

D. What virtues/points can we pick up from “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” for this Season of Lent?

  1. Trying to spend more time in Eucharistic Adoration
  2. Learning more about the Teaching on the Holy Eucharist, and trying to explain to those who don’t understand/misunderstand the Holy Mass

E. Tips to practice these virtues

  1. Set apart a fixed day/time (depending on the situation and context of one’s life – either once a day/once a week/once a month)…
    … to spend time with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

If possible, do so, along with the entire family/community

  1. Read at least the First Chapter of “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” (From articles 1-20)…
    … in order, to get more clarity on the Church’s understanding of the Holy Eucharist

May this Lent and the familiarity with the Encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” help us to grow in our acclamation: “Eureka – I have found the Lord”

The Full Text of “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” can be found at:

God Bless! Live Jesus!

✝ REFLECTION CAPSULES – March 20, 2023: Monday

“May St Joseph, the model of obedience, help us to choose ‘obedientia et pax – obedience and peace’ as a motto for our lives”

(Based on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

St Pope John XXIII is one of the most popular Pope of the 20th century.

He was the one who convoked the historical Vatican Council II, which paved the way for “throwing open the windows of the church, to let the fresh air of the Spirit blow through.”

When he was chosen as pope, John XXIII announced that his motto would be “obedientia et pax,” which is Latin for “obedience and peace.”

This was because St Joseph was his favourite saint.

The new Pope sought to follow the path of St Joseph, a model of obedience, because he believed…
… that “obedience to God, to His commandments, His will, and His inspirations, is the highway to true interior peace.”

Today we celebrate the Feast of this great model of Obedience – St Joseph.

Traditionally, the feast is celebrated on March 19th.

But when it falls on a Sunday, the feast is either anticipated or postponed by one day
(It depends on each Regional Episcopal Conference)

What lessons does St Joseph, the Patron of the Universal Church teach us?

  1. St Joseph was ever attentive and obedient to the voice of God
    One of the standout qualities that we observe in St Joseph is his prompt obedience to the voice of God

He listened to the Angel…
… in moments of dilemma, and obediently took Mary as his wife (Mt 1:20-24)
… in moments of danger, and obediently took the Mother and Child to Egypt (Mt 1:13-15)
… in moments of doubt, and obediently settled the Holy Family in Nazareth (Mt 1: 20, 22b)

St Joseph was able to let go of his personal choices and his desired comforts and give top priority to do what God wanted him to do.

St Joseph teaches us that “holiness consists in doing what God wants – when and where He wants.”

  1. St Joseph teaches us the love for Jesus and Mary
    Ever since he recognised the plan of God in his life, St Joseph displayed unflinched commitment and love to Jesus and Mary

He had many occasions of choices to let go of them…
… to leave Mary when she was found with Child, even before the marriage
… to leave his pregnant Wife when they found no place in the inn
… to abandon the Child and Mother when a life-danger against them was sensed

But, nothing could deter St Joseph from leaving or abandoning them. He knew that in God’s plan, They belonged to him, and he would safeguard them – treasuring Them close to his heart.

Our faith has blessed us with love for Jesus and Mother Mary.

St Joseph invites us to also have “Jesus and Mary close to our hearts.”

  1. Humility is a virtue radiated by St Joseph
    St Joseph had to face many moments of humiliation, disappointment and uncertainty.

But in his humility, he remained true to God in all those moments

Life sometimes drags us into situations of sadness and even shame.

Many times we let go of God’s Hands, saying that “He is not fair” or “He doesn’t understand me”!

St Joseph teaches us that “there is much value in humbling oneself, before the mighty power of the Almighty.”

  1. St Joseph was content to be the “silent worker” in the awesome work of Salvation
    St Joseph, was honoured to be sharing the most intimate physical presence with the two holiest persons of this world – Jesus, the Son of God and Mary, the Immaculate Mother.

And yet, he contented himself to be the “silent hard-worker”.

He is a mighty challenge to our world, where seeking for honour, position, fame and reputation become cheap motives, in doing works of charity or even, sadly to say, in ministries of the Church.

St Joseph exhorts us to become “a yeast, that works silent wonders, in the history of salvation.”

  1. St Joseph is the model of chastity
    Mary is the New Ark of Covenant, bearing Divinity in Her.

St Jerome, says that St Joseph, the son of David, shared his royal ancestor’s fear of coming into overly close contact with the Tabernacle of the Lord: “Who am I,” asked King David, “that the Ark of the Lord should come to me?” (2 Sam. 6:9)

That is why, St Joseph is often depicted with a White Lily in his hand, to depict purity and holiness

Chastity is the virtue that moderates the desire for sexual pleasure according to the principles of faith and right reason.

In married people, chastity moderates the desire in conformity with their state of life
In unmarried people who wish to marry, the desire is moderated by abstention or unless they get married
In those who resolve not to marry, the desire is sacrificed entirely.

St Joseph teaches us to “preserve the purity of life, and thus be a witness of the Kingdom of God.”

  1. St Joseph was prefigured in Joseph of the Old Testament
    In the Old Testament, we read Joseph, the son of Jacob, had stored up, in Egypt, grain to provide bread for the preservation of the People of Israel (Gen 42)

In the New Testament, St Joseph, safeguarded, in Egypt, the Bread of Life, for the salvation of the People of God. (Mt 1: 14)

St Joseph shows us the way “to be a protector and safeguard to the needy and the distressed.”

  1. St Joseph is a model leader

True to being a Father, St Joseph displayed many leadership qualities, which needs to be imitated by us, in our practical life
Defender of the community/team members: St Joseph preserved Mother Mary from idle talks of gossip and malicious speculation
Protection of those in care: St Joseph did not give up in the face of hostile situations, when it was time for the Birth of the Child
Needful and prompt action: St Joseph acted quickly and promptly, in response to situations of danger and of need.

St Joseph teaches us “to shoulder up responsibilities, depending solely on the Power and Grace of God”

The solemnity of St Joseph comes us a reminder to us to learn many things from the life of this Great Saint.

Let us constantly seek the help of St Joseph, and recognize his loving and fatherly protection in our lives.

May St Joseph, the model of obedience, help us to choose “obedientia et pax – obedience and peace” as a motto for our lives, so that we may realise…
… that “obedience to God, to His commandments, His will, and His inspirations, is the highway to true interior peace.”

Happy Feast of St Joseph!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

“Because it is joined with the episcopal order the office of priests shares in the authority by which Christ himself builds up and sanctifies and rules his Body.
Hence the priesthood of priests, while presupposing the sacraments of initiation, is nevertheless conferred by its own particular sacrament.

Through that sacrament priests by the anointing of the Holy Spirit are signed with a special character and so are configured to Christ the priest in such a way that they are able to act in the person of Christ the head.” (CCC #1563)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – March 19, 2023: Sunday

“Allowing ourselves to be led into the light and thus ‘feeling blessed’ in encountering Jesus, the Sun!”

(Based on 1 Sam 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a, Eph 5:8-14 and Jn 9:1-41 – 4th Sunday in Lent)

Plato was a Greek philosopher, who along with Aristotle, is considered to have laid the foundations of Western Philosophy.

In his work, “Republic”, he writes about the famous “Allegory of the Cave.”

The allegory begins with an imagination of a cave, where people have been imprisoned from birth.

These prisoners are chained so that their legs and necks are fixed, forcing them to gaze at the wall in front of them and not look around at the cave, each other, or themselves.

Behind the prisoners is a fire, and between the fire and the prisoners is a raised walkway with a low wall…
… behind which people walk carrying objects or puppets “of men and other living things”.

The prisoners are only able to see the shadows cast upon the cave wall in front of them.

The sounds of the people talking echo off the walls, and the prisoners believe these sounds come from the shadows.
For the prisoners, the shadows are reality, because they have never seen anything else.

They do not realize that what they see are shadows of objects in front of a fire, much less that these objects are inspired by real things outside the cave.

The allegory then invites us to suppose that one prisoner is freed.

This “freed” prisoner would look around and see the fire.
The light would hurt his eyes and make it difficult for him to see the objects casting the shadows.

He would escape from this struggle by turning away to the things which he was able to look at…
… and these he would believe to be clearer than what was being shown to him.

Now suppose that someone should drag him…the steep way up, into the light of the sun.
The prisoner would be angry and in pain.

However, slowly, his eyes would adjust to the light of the sun.

First he sees only the shadows.
Gradually he sees the reflections of people and things in water and then later see the people and things themselves.
Eventually, he is able to look at the stars and moon at night until finally he can look upon the sun itself.

He would make an Upward movement – towards faith and trust!

The allegory goes on to say that the freed prisoner “would feel blessed for the change”, and pity the other prisoners…
… and would want to bring his fellow cave dwellers out of the cave and into the sunlight.

The returning prisoner, whose eyes have become accustomed to the sunlight, would be blind when he re-enters the cave…
… just as he was when he was first exposed to the sun.

The prisoners, inside however, would infer from the returning man’s blindness, that the journey out of the cave had harmed him and that they should not undertake a similar journey.

These chained prisoners would be “filled with anger and antagonism” and resist the truth!

In fact, if they, were able, would even reach out and kill anyone who attempted to take them out of the cave.

They would make a Downward movement – towards scepticism and unbelief!

This allegory very beautifully speaks of a similar situation in the Gospel of the Day…
… a man – who was imprisoned by blindness – “feeling blessed” in having encountered Jesus, the Sun
… other men – who remained chained in ignorance and darkness – “filled with anger and antagonism” – resisting the Truth!

Chapter 9 of the Gospel of St John is a story of “blindness” encountering Light- with contrasting effects:

A man who is “born blind”, touched by the Light of the World, experiences healing
Other people “remain blind”, by opposing the Light of the World, emitting hostility.

We thus see, in this long yet beautiful passage contrasting movements:
An Upward movement – towards faith and trust – of the man who was born blind
A Downward movement – towards scepticism and unbelief – of the people who clung to prejudices

  1. The Upward movement – towards faith and trust – of the man who was born blind
    Jesus declares that the blindness of the man was an occasion for “the glory of God to be revealed” (Jn 9: 3)

This revelation of the Glory of God comes about with Jesus doing a unique action…
… “spitting on the ground, making clay with the saliva and smearing the clay in the eyes” of the man born blind (Jn:6)

This action of the Son would remind us of the action done by His Father, who at the beginning of creation, would reveal His Glory, by “forming man out of the clay of the ground, and blowing in his nostrils, the breath of life!” (Gen2:7)

This act of the revelation of God would trigger the upward movement- of faith and trust- of the blind man…
a. Initially he on being asked about Jesus, he would say, “I don’t know” (Jn 9:12)
b. Then, he would say how Jesus is “a prophet” (Jn 9: 17)
c. Then, he would get defensive about Jesus and say that “if He is not from God, He would not be able to do anything” (Jn 9: 33)
d. Finally, after realising that Jesus is the Son of God, he would worship Him and say, “I do believe, Lord!” (Jn 9: 38)

  1. A Downward movement – towards scepticism and unbelief – of the people who clung to prejudices

An act of goodness always gathers detractors and critics…
… and Jesus, the Perfection of Goodness greatly experienced it.

a. Initially, the Pharisees pointed to the violation of the Sabbath Law, to prove that He is not from God: “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath” (Jn 9: 16)
b. Then, they would question the parents of the man, because they thought, he had not been blind from birth: “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How does he now see?” (Jn 9: 19)
c. Then, they would defend their arguments basing on their loyalty to the authenticity of Moses, the law-giver: “We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this One is from” (Jn 9: 29)
d. Finally, they would engage into a direct dispute with the Lord Himself: “Surely, we are not also blind, are we?” (Jn 9: 40)

Jesus perfectly sums up…

The Upward Movement- towards faith and trust
The Downward Movement – towards scepticism and unbelief…
… by saying: ” I came into this world, for judgment, so that those who DO NOT SEE MIGHT SEE… and those WHO DO SEE MIGHT BECOME BLIND” (Jn 9: 39)

We need to ask ourselves:
“What is the direction of my Spiritual Life…
… is it having an Upward Movement, towards Faith and trust?
… or is it having a Downward Movement, towards, Scepticism and Unbelief?”

St Paul says, that we need to “live as children of Light, for Light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth” (Eph 5:8-9)

We need to also remind ourselves of the mind of the Lord, as revealed in 1st Book of Samuel:
“The Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart!”(1 Sam 16:7)

The Lord, in our every day of life, uses a number of occasions – pleasant and unpleasant situations – to “reveal His glory”

Do we remain open to His Light in order to have an upward movement into deeper faith and trust?
… or do we get closed in darkness and thus make a downward movement into deeper scepticism and unbelief?

As in the “Allegory of the Cave”…
… let us not remain chained in ignorance and darkness – “filled with anger and antagonism” – resisting the Truth

Instead, allow ourselves to be led into the light and thus “feel blessed” in having encountered Jesus, the Sun!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

“All priests, who are constituted in the order of priesthood by the sacrament of Order, are bound together by an intimate sacramental brotherhood, but in a special way they form one priestly body in the diocese to which they are attached under their own bishop.”

The unity of the Presbyterium finds liturgical expression in the custom of the presbyters’ imposing hands, after the bishop, during the rite of ordination. (CCC # 1568)

EUREKA 14: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens!


A. What is it?
“Dignitatis Humanae” is the Declaration of the Second Vatican Council on the Declaration on Religious Freedom.

“Dignitatis Humanae” – the Latin title – means “the Dignity of the Human Person”
This declaration was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on December 7, 1965.

B. What does it speak of?
“Dignitatis Humanae” speaks of the Church’s support for the protection of religious liberty.

The main aspects of “Dignitatis Humanae” are:
(i) The fundamental right to religious liberty: All persons have a right to religious liberty, a right with its foundation in the essential dignity of each human being.

All persons must be free to seek the truth without coercion, but are also morally obligated to embrace the Truth of the Catholic faith once they recognize it.

(ii) The responsibility of the state: The government is to protect the rights and equality of all citizens as part of its essential role in promoting the public good

(iii) Religious freedom and Christianity: Christians are called to an even more conscientious respect for religious freedom. Man’s response to God in faith must be free – no person is to be forced to embrace Christianity.

God’s own call to serve him binds persons in conscience but is not compulsion.

C. Pointers for Reflections

  1. “Dignitatis Humanae” affirms that “the one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church

This statement is also bound to the fact that “all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and his Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it.”

  1. Human dignity has only one source and only one guarantee – We are made in the Image and Likeness of God.

The Declaration states that it was Christianity that led to the developing and uniquely stressing the idea of the individual person with an eternal destiny.

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

  1. Deepening our love for the Church and drawing more people to the True Faith
  2. Growing in our understanding of our own self – that we are in the glorious Image and Likeness of God – and so, each one of us are very good

E. Tips to practice these virtues

  1. Live the teachings of the Church in day-to-day life, and especially practise the basics of Catholic Living – Regular Holy Mass, Confessions, Bible Reading, Examination of Conscience, Recitation of the Holy Rosary, and Praying together in the Family
  2. Identify one’s strengths and blessings that God has given, and spend every day at least 10 minutes, to thank the Lord!

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

(The Full Text of “Dignitatis Humanae” can be found at:

God Bless! Live Jesus!

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – March 18, 2023: Saturday

“Casting away pride and embracing humility and dependence on God!”

(Based on Hos 6:1-6 and Lk 18:9-14 – Saturday of the 3rd Week in Lent)

In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia.

Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below.

This news of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the real cause of the accident.
… it wasn’t a technology problem like radar malfunction
… it wasn’t a climate-related issue like thick fog.

The real cause was human stubbornness and pride!

Each captain was well aware of the other ship’s presence nearby.

Both could have steered clear…
… but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other.
Each was too proud to yield first.

By the time they came to their senses, it was too late!

This is what stubbornness and pride can do…
… harm lives
… break hearts
… destroy reputations

The Gospel of the Day exhorts a strong message on this deadly vice of “being full of ourselves”
… in a single word – “Pride”.

Chapter 18 of the Gospel of St Luke begins with two parables, that teach on the aspect of Prayer.

The parable of the Widow who was persistent (Lk 18: 1-8)
The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Lk 18: 9-14)

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector have interesting comparisons with respect to the various gestures and actions that they take:

Both go up to the Temple area to pray…

The Pharisee took up his position…
… the tax collector stood off at a distance
The Pharisee spoke the prayer to himself…
… the tax collector would not even raise his eyes to heaven
The Pharisee spoke of his personal glories…
… the tax collector acknowledged being a sinner, in need of mercy.

Though the Gospel doesn’t speak of it, it seems that both, the Pharisee and the tax collector had taken a mirror with themselves, when they went to pray….

A mirror… yeah!

But, the strange fact is that, both of them used the mirror in contrasting manners!

The Pharisee used the mirror and saw his many achievements and accomplishments…
… being unlike the rest of the sinful humanity like the greedy, dishonest or adulterous
… fasting twice a week
… pay tithes on his whole income

The tax collector, also used a mirror…but saw in it, his many failures and shortcomings…
… the moments when he had cheated others to have greater financial gains
… the times he had subjected himself to be a traitor by working against his own people
… the need to seek for God’s mercy acknowledging his sinfulness

Prayer is like a mirror…
… but it depends on one’s attitude and disposition what one sees

If one is filled with pride and self-conceit, one sees only one’s accomplishments…
… and thus pushes out God and replaces oneself as the source of all good works!
If one is truly humble and modest, one sees one’s weaknesses and limitations…
… and thus acknowledge the dependence on God and on His grace in life!

Prayer could be made into a time of reciting the litany of one’s great achievements…
…or prayer could be made into a moment of seeking God’s mercy and compassion.

Prayer could be made into an occasion to boast of oneself and put down others…
… or prayer could be made into a moment to see the glittering light of God guiding us.

What is our attitude and disposition?

Am I afflicted with the sickness of pride which makes me to flaunt only myself at the expense of the other?
Am I distressed with the disease of arrogance which makes me to see myself as the greatest person in the world, casting aside all people and even God?

There is something of “this” Pharisee, perhaps, in all of us which needs to be shun…
There is something of “this” tax collector, which needs to be cultivated…

This “this”…
… is the need to cast away pride and the need to embrace humility and dependence on God!

Let us be willing to “give way to the other”
… so that we can avoid collision of lives
… and thus prevent harming lives, breaking hearts and destroying reputations!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

“The priests, prudent co-operators of the episcopal college and its support and instrument, called to the service of the People of God, constitute, together with their bishop, a unique sacerdotal college (presbyterium) dedicated, it is true, to a variety of distinct duties.
In each local assembly of the faithful they represent, in a certain sense, the bishop, with whom they are associated in all trust and generosity; in part they take upon themselves his duties and solicitude and in their daily toils discharge them.”

Priests can exercise their ministry only in dependence on the bishop and in communion with him. >> The promise of obedience they make to the bishop at the moment of ordination and the kiss of peace from him at the end of the ordination liturgy mean that the bishop considers them his co-workers, his sons, his brothers and his friends, and that they in return owe him love and obedience. (CCC # 1567)