October 25, 2020 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Adopting the attitude of ‘loving others’ so that measure of our Love for God is visibly seen!”

(Based on Exod 22:21-27, 1 Thess 1:5b-10 and Mt 22:34-40 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

One of the important equipment aboard a ship is a boiler.

This marine boiler is “a closed vessel, in which water or other liquid is heated and steam is generated.

This steam is superheated, under pressure or vacuum, for use, external to itself.”

In an engine-room of the ship, it is highly difficult to look into the great boiler and see how much water it contains.

But thankfully, beside this great boiler, is a tiny glass-tube.

This serves as the gauge (= an instrument that measures and gives a visual display of the amount, level, or contents of something)

When the tube is full, the boiler is full.

When the tube is empty, the boiler is also empty

The level of water in the little tube is an indicator of the level of the water in the great boiler.

This illustration very practically demonstrates the kind of correspondence that exists between the one’s level of loving one’s neighbour and loving God.

The level of the love towards one’s neighbour is an indicator of the level of one’s love towards God.

Love of God and Love of neighbour are two sides of the same coin.

Such are the expressions, sentiments and teachings that are derived from the Gospel of the Day, when Jesus responds on the query, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (Mt 22: 36)

The Gospel passage opens with the verse, “When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together” (Mt 22: 24)

Let us dwell on a couple of interesting viewpoints on this often overlooked, yet a “worth-reflecting” verse…

  1. The verse says that the Sadducees had been silenced

The Greek used for “silenced” is the word “Phimoo”.

“Phimoo” means a muzzle.
A muzzle is device or a guard, usually made with straps of wire, fitted over the mouth of an animal to prevent it from biting or eating or opening its mouth.

The Sadducees had approached Jesus, as we read in the previous verses (Mt 22: 22-33) to encounter Him on the subject of the Resurrection of the Dead.

They had sought to grill Jesus…
They had desired to put Jesus to the shame…

But the tables had been overturned!

The Sadducees found themselves “silenced” – muzzled and gagged!

They were made silent not out of their choice…

They wished to talk, but somehow they were made to be quiet!
They wanted to fight out, but the answer of the Lord totally muted them!

They wanted to humiliate Jesus with their human wisdom…
… but Divine Wisdom, tracked their evil intentions, and they were made totally silent!

Do we make the mistake to challenge God’s Wisdom and Will by trying to distort them by our own evil manipulations?

Do we try to boast and be proud by taking offence at God’s Word and making attempts to rig and distort His Word?

The result will be that sooner or later, we would be pushed into silence…
… and made to realise that nothing can be greater than God and His Wisdom!

  1. The verse also says that the Pharisees “came together”
    The silencing of the Sadducees would have delighted the Pharisees.

These two groups were at loggerheads with each other, on some theological issues especially the Resurrection of the Dead, which the Sadducees did not approve.

However, on the other hand, the Pharisees would have also felt the rising presence of a greater Enemy – Jesus!

And so, with a wicked mentality, “they come together”…

not to seek a genuine clarification
not to grow more in Divine Wisdom
… but with a clear ulterior motive – of testing Jesus by somehow trapping Him in His words and teachings!

In our lives, do we also engage ourselves in this “Pharisaic style of coming together?”…
… to discuss plans and strategies on putting down other persons or scheming against them?
… to ‘examine the conscience of other persons’ and making them the subject of slander, mockery and enjoying vile pleasures?

It’s in this background that the Scholar of the Law approaches Jesus with this question to test Him, “Which commandment in the Law is the greatest?” (Mt 22: 36)

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

He was a Scholar of the Law.

Some translations would put it as “a Lawyer”.

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

Jesus, aware of all this background…
… the wicked conspiracy that was brewing against Him
… the plot of testing that was hanging in the air

Responds with something immensely marvellous and spectacular:
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind… You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Mt 22: 37, 39)

Here was a gem of an answer…

The air was filled with “hateful” thoughts and “wicked planning”
… but Jesus dares to answer with the sublime answer of “Love!”

The Lord was being targeted badly with stones of “hatred, jealousy, aversion and hostility”
… but He powerfully showers back the flowers of “love, tenderness and commitment!”

And that is the essence of the Greatest Commandment that Jesus put forth – Love of God and Love of Neighbour.

Life sometimes hits very hard at us – in the form of we not being accepted by others, in being ridiculed or criticized or slandered by others and in finding ourselves as the subject of hatred and injustice.
… Can we still dare to “love them”?

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

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

Love surely has, without any doubt, the dimensions of being ‘a tender feeling’ and ‘an expressive emotion’.

But beyond that, Love is…
… a commitment
… a dedication
… and a decision

that one makes to be faithful – to a person or a duty or a situation!

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

God Yahweh reminds us that He is the Anawim God – the God Who stands for the poor: “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you do afflict them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry” (Exod 22:21-23)

And therefore we have a duty to be other-centered:

It is when we adopt this attitude of “loving others” that the measure of our Love for God is visibly seen.

The level of the love towards one’s neighbour is an indicator of the level of one’s love towards God…
… just like the level of water in the little tube, is an indicator of the level of the water in the great boiler in a ship.

Let the words of St Louis, a just and a righteous King who ruled France in the 13th century, be an inspiration for us: “Fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth.”

“Have a tender pitiful heart for the poor, and for all those whom you believe to be in misery of heart or body, and, according to your ability, comfort and aid them with some alms”
“Love all good, and hate all evil, in whomsoever it may be.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “When we see a soul that has raptures in prayer without ecstasy in life…

… these raptures are exceedingly doubtful and dangerous!”

October 24, 2020 – 29th Week in Ordinary Time

“In Faith and Love, trusting that the Lord – Our Mother Eagle, will always care for us – to Be His, forever!”

(Based on Eph 4:7-16 and Lk 13:1-9 – Saturday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

It’s interesting to know the making of an Eagle’s nest!

When a mother eagle builds her nest, she starts with thorns, broken branches, sharp rocks, and a number of other items that seem entirely unsuitable for the house.

But then she lines the nest with a thick padding of wool, feathers, and fur from animals she has killed, making it soft and comfortable for the eggs.

By the time the growing birds reach flying age, the comfort of the nest and the luxury of free meals make them quite reluctant to leave.

That’s when the mother eagle begins “stirring up the nest.”

With her strong talons, she begins pulling up the thick carpet of fur and feathers, bringing the sharp rocks and branches to the surface.

As more of the bedding gets plucked up, the nest becomes more uncomfortable for the young eagles.

Eventually, this and other urgings prompt the growing eagles to leave their once-comfortable abode and move on to more mature behaviour.

Our life is often such!

We take for granted comfortable situations, merciful acts and providential events.

But when something unpleasant happens, we are unable to digest them

When something “bad” happens, we look for people to be blamed and scapegoats to be accused!

And most of the time, the Scapegoat turns out to be “God”!

God is blamed…
… for all negative situations that come up suddenly
… for all uneventful happenings and calamities
… for all tragic moments in personal and societal life

This time of the pandemic, has been in particular, a time of many such questions and doubts arising in our hearts.

The Gospel of the Day opens our eyes to consider the “Jesus” way of looking and understanding such “uneventful” mishaps and “tragic” calamities.

Humanity is a daily witness to calamities, catastrophes, adversities and disasters.

Tragedies occur in the life of every human being.

Every now and then, we hear of many reports of unpredictable or unimaginable misfortunes occurring in the lives of people….tsunamis, floods, earthquakes….or bomb blasts, mass killings etc… In our own personal lives too, we experience a lot of painful moments…
…. very often, unexpectedly.

In the face of all these horrors… we are faced with many doubts and questions….

Why do these things happen to the innocent?
Why doesn’t the Good and Loving God do anything about all this?

Sometimes, we even take on a critical and judgmental attitude and say, “Probably, God is punishing all these people for their sins or their misdeeds”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus also is presented with a couple of human tragedies and made to react on them.

The first tragedy is about the Galileans who suffered at the hands of Pilate (Lk 13: 1-3)
The second is about the people who dies when the tower of Siloam fell on them (Lk 13: 4)

The first one is about a disaster brought about because of the cruel deeds of human beings

The second because of the misfortunes in nature.

In both these cases, however, the people who died, were mere subjects to death…

They had an unfortunate death, without perhaps really being guilty.

And so the natural reaction of the people of the times was that, the people who died would have been greater sins, and they are being punished by God.”

“These people deserved death because of their sins” was the popular slogan of those times.

Perhaps, when faced with calamities, we too often take upon this judgmental attitude,

But here Jesus points out the great reality…
These calamities and disasters are not to be another occasion for us to pass judgments

Rather, they become golden opportunities for us to make a self-reflection on our lives.

Like the tree which is given one more year – to be dug around, to be given manure and to produce… these tragedies and events in life, present us with more time to examine, how do we live our lives.

Do we take our lives for granted?

Perhaps, we have a tendency to often think there is plenty of time in life.

And complacency creeps into our life.

But these tragedies point to us the fact, that after all human life is very short.

And in this short-lived life, we need to make the best use of God’s graces to repent and to lead a Holy life.

In Rev 22.7, Jesus says “Behold, I am coming soon”
As Christians, we believe in the Coming of the Lord.

No one knows the hour
No one knows the day

But, being prepared, being vigilant always, is a must, is a necessity.

As St Paul tells us, “we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…” (Eph 4:15)

Human tragedies and personal misfortunes are to be understood as God’s manifestations of Love for us, to have our lives set clearly on our priorities for God and His Kingdom

They are not to evoke fear or elements of judging

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

One of the practical tip that we could easily practice is our Daily Examination of Conscience.

When we daily examine our conscience, and make efforts to amend our lives with true repentance, we are able to live the graces that are showered on us.

Also, a meaningful Regular Confession helps us not only to be forgiven of our sins, but also gives grace to lead a more holy and unblemished life.

The Lord invites us today, to wake up from our slumber of taking life easy and cool

He disturbs us in our comfortable and cosy life…
… and challenges us to make real repentance and lead a genuinely holy life.

Disasters, tragedies and misfortunes will keep happening.

But they are also a reminder for us to be eternally vigilant and keep guard over the sanctity of our lives.

In moments of the “stirring of our nest” in life, let’s not panic or be disturbed…

Rather, in Faith and Love, let’s trust that the Lord – Our Mother Eagle – will always care for us…
… and wants us to seek Him… to Be His, forever!

Today we also seek the intercession of St Antony Mary Claret, the founder of the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CMF – Claretians) and be inspired by his words:
“Love is the most necessary of all virtues.

Love in the person who preaches the word of God is like fire in a musket.

If a person were to throw a bullet with his hands, he would hardly make a dent in anything…
… but if the person takes the same bullet and ignites some gunpowder behind it, it can kill.

It is much the same with the word of God.

If it is spoken by someone who is filled with the fire of charity- the fire of love of God and neighbour- it will work wonders!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Let the world turn upside down, let everything be in darkness, in smoke, in uproar…

… God is with us!”

October 23, 2020 – 29th Week in Ordinary Time

“Seeing the signs of the times, recognizing God’s power and marching joyfully in Him!”

(Based on Eph 4:1-6 and Lk 12:54-59 – Friday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

Our world is seeing immense technological advances.

Such developments have greatly helped humanity…
… to avoid many possible natural disasters
… to be forewarned against future calamities
… to minimize the damages caused by nature’s fury

Such amazing technological advances by human beings is an example of how we are learning to explore the deeper aspects of the mysteries in nature and the universe.

Human beings are truly marching miles in reading the signs in nature and the universe.

In the midst of all these great achievements, we are posed with some probing questions…
…are we falling short in reading the signs with respect to humanity’s moral degradation?
…are we failing to read the signs of the times with respect to humanity’s spiritual decline?
…are we missing out reading the signs regarding the reign of God in our lives?

The Gospel of the Day is a reminder and a wake-up call, by Jesus to this dimension of our lives. Jesus says: “You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” (Lk 12:56)

From ages past, human beings have been gaining expertise on interpreting the signs and indications given in nature…

Spotting of some dark clouds, to predict heavy rains…
A red sky at dusk, indicating a clearer sky the following day…
Strange movements of animals and birds, to predict earthquakes or other calamities…

Jesus uses this example in nature to expose the hollowness and duplicity of the people of His time.

Jesus came in the world to usher in the Kingdom of God.

He came to announce to the world that God is not some distant entity but rather is very seriously interested to be close to their lives.

To this end of announcing the Kingdom of God… Jesus performed a number of signs…

He taught the Scriptures and the Laws with a greater freshness and stronger authority.
He healed the blind, the deaf and the dumb to make them witness His power.
He raised up the dead and powerfully demonstrated the saving power of God.
He restored the crippled and cast out demons to show them God’s might.
He forgave sinners and accepted the outcast to display God’s deep mercy and compassion.
He searched for the lost and invited the oppressed to experience the depth of God’s love.
He performed many miracles in nature to show God’s supremacy over the whole creation.

But many of the people failed to see beyond these signs…

All these miracles & manifestations of the Lord were very often looked upon with much suspicion & sometimes, even contempt!

Jesus pities such an attitude!

The people could interpret so easily the signs in nature…
… but they failed to interpret the signs of the Kingdom of God!

They failed to understand the call of God, in the wonders done by Him.

The people could easily predict certain things by seeing the climate…
… but they refused to hear God’s inviting voice, in the marvels performed by Him.

The remained stubborn to the invitation of the Lord towards change of sinful attitudes

The people could easily tell certain events of the future by observing their surroundings…
… but they adamantly declined to turn to Him in repentance, by seeing His deeds.

They purposely chose to be stuck to their “tunneled” minds and failing to accept God’s mercy

This is a danger that any one of us could also have in our own personal lives…

God sustains our daily life with much care…but we fail to give praise for His wonders.

We take for granted all these daily blessings.

God protects us from various calamities…but we fail to admit His providence.

We take for granted His shielding hand.

God infuses our lives with many inspirations…but we fail to give heed to His voice.

We take for granted all His tender invitations.

Personal sins are God’s ways of calling us to experience His Mercy and Justice.

Delays in prayers are God’s ways of asking us to Trust in Him more deeply.
Accidents and calamities are God’s ways of calling us to trust in His Providence.
Unexpected failures and pains are God’s ways of making us to Share in His Sufferings.
Happy and a satisfied life is God’s ways of inviting us to Thank and Praise Him more.
Failure to overcome our bad tendencies is God’s ways of calling to us to a Life of Humility
Despair in life and hopelessness is God’s way of appealing us to grow much more in Faith.

Signs from God, may sometimes be liked…sometimes be disliked.

St Augustine said, ‘If you believe what you like in the Gospels but reject what you don’t like, it’s not the Gospel you believe, but yourself’

In trust and faith, let us walk with the Lord, knowing that all things “work for good, for those who love Him” (Rom 8:28)

Let St Paul’s exhortation to the Church at Ephesus be a message for us too:
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!” (Eph 4:1-3)

Human beings have come a long way in technological advancements & seeking to conquer the outer space & powers of nature…

But we still have a long way to understand the mighty works being performed by God in our personal & communitarian lives.

Let us see the signs… Let us recognize God’s power… Let us march joyfully in Him!

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

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “God allows great trials and temptations
only to those…
… whom God wishes to raise to pure and excellent love!”

October 22, 2020 – 29th Week in Ordinary Time

“Choosing the path of suffering and self-sacrifice in our journey with the Lord!”

(Based on Eph 3:14-21 and Lk 12:49-53 – Feast of Pope St John Paul II – Thursday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

One of the common questions that is usually asked to kids is:
”What do you want to become when you grow big?”

And the answers we get are sometimes common, sometimes interesting, sometimes even weird…

“I want to be a doctor”,
“I want to be an engineer“,
“I want to be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs”,
”I want to fly to Mars”…

But suppose, if the same question were to be put forward to another Kid…

This Kid would have given perhaps the strangest and the shocking answers of all:
“When I grow big, I want to Die!
I am living my life, so that I can die!”

Guess who is this Kid?

Well…no marks for guessing who it is..

It is Jesus!

Death was the goal of His life!

The Gospel of the Day presents this burning and intense desire of the Lord, “There is a baptism with which I must be baptized and how great is my anguish, until it is accomplished” (Lk 12: 50)

Christ came into the world to save the world.

And this salvation was possible for Him, only through the way of suffering.

This is the Baptism to which Christ refers to….

A Baptism of suffering.
A Baptism of obedience.
A Baptism of self-sacrifice.

This way of the Lord is not easy.

It causes division and separation, even in families.

How does this division happen?
When one stands for the values and the person of Christ, the world mocks and fools.

When one holds on to one’s faith and convictions in Christ, there is immense shame inflicted.

A member in the family stands for Church values and principles, whereas others in the house oppose.

A division is created among them, in the Name of Christ!

A student in the class stands for honesty and truthfulness and refuses to join in copying and malpractices during the examination.

A division is created among them, in the Name of Christ!

A friend stands for his convictions and refuses to join his peers in some bad habits or activities which are unbecoming.

A division is created among them, in the Name of Christ!

A person counters accepting bribes at work or opposes doing some manipulation in the place of work to gain some extra finances.

A division is created among them, in the Name of Christ!

Christianity indeed is the strangest of all religions…

Usually religions advocate a way of life which calls for comfort and relaxation.

Christianity disturbs one’s life from comfort to become a people who comfort others.

Usually religions promote happiness of life by following some rituals and ceremonies.

Christianity challenges one to uproot one’s sinful roots and discover true peace and joy.

Christ is indeed the strangest of all religious figures…

All religious figures have their greatness in just their teachings and exhortations.

Christ stands unparalleled in making His life itself as the greatest message and teaching.

All religious figures ride on popularity wave of external manifestations and wonders.

Christ stands out in becoming a single icon of absolute self-sacrifice and victimhood!

All religious figures propose a variety of tips for living and paths of attaining immortality

Christ alone became the way itself to be walked and the truth itself to be followed!

Its sometimes easy to follow other ways of life…because they are comfortable and secure.

Its always hard to follow the way of Christ…because He always challenges in our coziness.

The Lord invites us to be bold in accepting the Crosses of our life & to share with Him, in the Baptism of suffering & pain.

We still have much to grow.

What are we growing ourselves into?

Christ is the example for us.

He chose suffering and self-sacrifice as His path to glory.

His way is the way of suffering.
His way is the way of pain.
His way is the way of the Cross.

… His way is also the way of joy!
… His way is also the way to glory!
… His way is also the way of healing!

And now He beckons each one of us too…

Shall we also join Him in His intense desire for Baptism?

We seek today the intercession of Pope St John Paul II, arguably the most-popular and loved Pope of our times.

His convincing life, uncompromising teaching and courageous words are a challenge and inspiration to all of us…
… “What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And, without the love of Jesus, everything is useless.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Reputation is rarely proportioned to virtue!”

October 21, 2020 – 29th Week in Ordinary Time

“Being armed and ever-ready to serve in the Kingdom, with a sense of responsibility and commitment!”

(Based on Eph 3:2-12 and Lk 12:39-48 – Wednesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

An incident is reported that took place a few years ago.

A former astronaut took over as head of a major airline company.
He was extremely ambitious to make his company the best airline service provider.

Once, when this new president was making an inspection of a particular department, he came across an employee…
… resting his feet on the desk, while the telephone was ringing continuously.

“Are you not going to pick up the phone?” queried the boss, with a sense of displeasure.

“That’s not my department!” answered the employee indifferently!

He had not recognised his new boss.

“I work in the maintenance section!” he replied.

“Huh!” quipped the president, “Not anymore!”

The casual attitude and the laid-back and easy-going approach of the employee cost him his job.

The new boss would not tolerate any people, who failed to show a sense of responsibility and commitment…
… which are essential and undeniable qualities in the pursuit of perfection and excellence!

What about us?
Is our Christian life characterised by responsibility and commitment?

Or do we have a casual attitude and a laid-back and easy-going approach?

The Gospel of the Day presents to us a strong reminder by the Lord to take our Christian life seriously…
… with its undeniable duties and its unavoidable sense of responsibility.

Jesus speaks of the coming of the Son of Man at an unexpected time…
… just as the coming of a thief is unknown to the master of a house (Lk 12: 39-40)

What are some of the characteristics of the coming of a thief to the house?

  1. It happens in the quiet of the night….
    … so that no one becomes aware and the setting is perfectly safe

There is a sense of ‘anonymity’

  1. It takes place when none of the people in the house are expecting it…
    … thus leaving them completely startled and unprepared

There is the element of ‘total surprise’

  1. It happens in areas where there is emptiness or lesser security measures
    … thus creating greater potency to danger and sharper damage

There is a factor of ‘missed opportunity to take care’

These then are the “loopholes” in our spiritual life, that can cause us to be off-guard…
… when the Lord appears in His Second Coming (just as the coming of the thief in the night)…

A sense of ‘anonymity’
An element of ‘total surprise’
A factor of ‘missed opportunity to take care’

Do we remain “anonymous” to the Lord…
… by remaining ignorant of His teachings and commandments – even though He addresses very often through the Bible and the Church?
… by failing to give heed to the repeated reminders by the Lord through various advices from our caring one, and the guidance we receive through sermons, reflections, messages and life-situations?

Do we get caught with “total surprise” at the Will of God in our lives…
… failing to see the providential hand of God in the struggles and hardships that we undergo?
… entering into a sense of despair and discouragement when things don’t happen the way we plan?

Do we become victims of “missing opportunities to take care”…
… by failing to do the many good works which we can perform, but fail, owing to our slackness?
… by taking the stance of being indifferent in situations of injustice and discriminations?

The Lord clearly warns even in the Book of Revelation…
… “If therefore you shall not watch, I will come to you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you.” (Rev 3:1-3)

Though this passage may cause a sense of fear and insecurity, we also need to consider, the converse…
… that if we are prepared and alert
… that if we are ready and vigilant

then the “coming of the Lord” becomes a joyful waiting and an expectant hope!

Nothing fears the one who is prepared, to meet the Lord!

St Paul encourages us through these words: “But you brothers, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you as a thief!” (1 Thess 5: 2-4)

When we are in the Light of Christ…
… by a constant life of vigilant prayer
… by a faithful life of sacraments
… by a committed life to the Church

No darkness can overpower us; No fear of thieves can cause panic!

As Christians, each one us are entrusted the duty of being faithful “employees” of the Kingdom of God!

Are we going to “rest our feet on the desk”…
… with a casual attitude and a laid-back and easy-going approach…?

Or shall we be “armed and ever-ready to serve”…
… with a sense of responsibility and commitment…?

Be ready…

Our Boss – The Lord – may come anytime….!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “As long as we are determined to take no pleasure in temptations…

… we can never offend God!”

October 20, 2020 – 29th Week in Ordinary Time

“In our moments of failure and weaknesses, having the courage to approach the Throne of God’s Mercy and asking Him to light our lives!”

(Based on Eph 2:12-22 and Lk 12:36-38 – Tuesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

Little Jane heard a sermon in church on “Let your light shine!”

She remembered the verse; however, did not understand the text much, until her mother explained: “It means, to be good, obedient and cheerful”

That evening, after coming back from playing with her friends – where she had been a little naughty and mischievous – Jane came back to her mother and said:
“Ma, sorry I have blown myself out!

Can you light me again?”

Every Christian is called to become a beacon of light in the darkness and to be a shining star in the ambience of every night.

Is the Light of Christ shining in me?

The Gospel of the Day too shares this aspect and reminds the aspect of being watchful for the Coming of the Lord, by keeping the Light of Christ alight!

Jesus said to His disciples, “Be ready, dressed for service, AND KEEP YOUR LAMPS LIT…” (Lk 12: 35)

To keep our lamps lit – is the reminder and challenge of the Gospel today.

At our Baptism, we all have received the Light of Christ.

This light, is not just to be preserved…
… but is to be nurtured and fostered daily.

But we live in a world when there are many a winds seeking to put off this light in us.
… we live in a world, where there is a strong engulfing of the darkness, trying to devour the light in us.

What are the different winds that are seeking to put off the Light of Christ in us?

A. The wind of “losing the focus from God”
i. King David
King David was a shining light to the people of his kingdom, as long as he followed the teachings and had his focus on God.

But when he allowed his focus to shift from God, he sinned.
He allowed himself to focus on the object of his pleasure by sinning with the wife of Uriah.

The wind of “losing the focus from God” blew strong to put off the light in him….

ii. Samson
Samson was a shining light of power and might, as long as he was faithful to God and had his focus on God.

But when he allowed his focus to shift from God, he sinned.
He allowed himself to focus on the object of his delight by revealing the secret to Delilah

The wind of “losing the focus from God” blew strong to put off the light in him….

iii. Peter
Peter was a shining light to his disciples as a person of faith, as long as he followed the instructions of his Master to walk on the waters.

But when he allowed his focus to shift from the Lord, he began to sink.
He allowed himself to focus on the object of his fear and self-panic.

The wind of “losing the focus from God” blew strong to put off the light in him….

B. The wind of “being focused on one’s own selfish interests”
i. Saul
Saul was adorned to be the first king of Israel; however, as his reign continued, his own selfish motives began to creep in his kingship.

When he “began to be more self-centered”, he began to lose the approval of God.

The wind of “being focused on one’s own selfish interests” blew strong to put off the light in him?

ii. The Pharisees and Scribes
The Pharisees and Scribes during the time of Jesus, insisted much on their selfish agenda in the imposition and following of the Laws.

When they “began to be more self-centered”, they began to lose the favour of God.

The wind of “being focused on one’s own selfish interests” blew strong to put off the light in them…

iii. Judas
Judas was chosen to be one of the Twelve in the mission of the Lord; but as time grew, he continued to feed his greed for money and wealth

When he “began to be more self-centered”, he began to lose the esteem of God.

The wind of “being focused on one’s own selfish interests” blew strong to put off the light in him…

  1. The wind of “false principles and ideologies”
    i. People of Israel
    The people of Israel had been blessed with the commandments of God. They, however, were dismayed at the delay of Moses on Mt Sinai, and instead got enamoured and attracted to false gods and especially to the deity of mammon and wealth.

When they “began to abandon the True Teaching and attached themselves to false beliefs”, they angered God and brought upon themselves the wrath of the Lord.

The wind of “false principles and ideologies” blew strong to put off the light in them…

ii. People of Galatians 1:6
St Paul accuses the people of Galatia, that were abandoning the Gospel which they first heard, and instead were being attracted to the pleasurable and false teachings of the false prophets.

When they “began to abandon the True Teaching and attached themselves to false beliefs”, they strayed away from the path of salvation.

The wind of “false principles and ideologies” blew strong to put off the light in them…

Let’s examine our own lives…

Am I allowing the wind of “losing the focus from God” to put off the light in us?
Am I allowing the wind of “being focused on one’s own selfish interests” to put off the light in us?
Am I allowing the wind of “false principles and ideologies” to put off the light in us?

As the saying goes, “We can’t prevent birds from flying over our heads, but we can certainly prevent them from laying a nest on our heads!”

We cannot prevent these winds to rage and hit our lives…
… but we can certainly prevent them from blowing off the Light of Christ in us!

This strength comes from our determination, perseverance & commitment…

And above all, being united with Jesus, the Source of Light…
… in daily prayer
… frequent sacraments
… constant nourishment with the Word
… and faithfulness to our daily duties of our vocation and life!

St Paul reminds us of the greatness of God’s Presence in our lives and of our vocation:
“So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit!” (Eph 2:19-22)

In our moments of failure and weaknesses, let us also have the courage to approach the Throne of God’s Mercy saying: “Lord, sorry I have blown myself out!

Can you light me again?”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “The truly loving heart loves God’s good pleasure
not in consolations only…

… but also in afflictions!”

October 19, 2020 – 29th Week in Ordinary Time

“Depending less and less on material aspects of life, so that we can grow more and more close to the Lord!”

(Based on Eph 2:1-10 and Lk 12:13-21 – Monday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

Many things in life follow the principle of “Inverse Proportionality”

The Principle of Inverse Proportionality can be explained that when the value of one unit increases, there is a decrease in the value of another unit…

The time taken for a journey is inversely proportional to the speed of travel…
… Higher the speed of travel, lesser is the time taken for the journey

The brightness of light that is seen is inversely proportional to the distance from the source of light
… The more the distance between the source, the lesser will be the brightness of the light that is seen

This principle of Inverse Proportionality can be also applied to spiritual entities…..

The greatness of a person is inversely proportional to one’s level of pride
… The greater the person, lesser is the pride of that person

The sanctity of a person is inversely proportional to the occasions of sins one indulges.
… The more holier the person, the lesser will be the occasion of sins one falls into

This principle is also seen strongly in today’s Gospel Reading…

The closeness of a person to God is inversely proportional to one’s dependence on material things
… The closer the person is to God, the further one will be from material things and pleasures

The distance from the Kingdom is inversely proportional to the amount of worldly riches one possesses
… The closer one is to the worldly riches, the farther one will be from the Kingdom of God

In the Gospel of the day, we see the clear illustration of this fact through the story of the Rich Fool.

Jesus says: “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” (Lk 12: 15)

“Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself, but is not rich in what matters to God.” (Lk 12: 21)

What makes this Principle of Inverse Proportionality to work in terms of Richness and the Kingdom?

Worldly possessions takes one’s heart away from possessing God as the Greatest Treasure…
Money and Richness causes one’s mind to not depend on God and on His Providence and Intervention…
Prosperity and Affluence makes one’s soul to stray away from the Hand of God and His Love and Care…

It is a reality and happening in our world today that….

On one side, the money in one’s hand is more…
… but the amount of happiness and peace is less

On one side, the wealth of the world is increasing…
… but the poor in the world are in no way decreasing

On one side, the capacity of buying is much high…
… but the actual acquiring of real satisfaction is too low

Are things all too negative?

Is the situation too grim and bad?
Is there not a way out of this crazy maze?

“For humans it is impossible…but for God, all things are possible!” (Mt 19: 26)

There is a BIG lesson in that verse for our world today…

All too often, human beings…
… have asserted supremacy and power in conquering the world…
… have claimed superiority and dominance over all realms of living…
… have boasted proud statements and haughty actions in claiming to be all powerful…

The power and capacity of human beings, certainly is much, but it is still with a limit.

Today, we are called to understand, accept and acknowledge this limit…
… this constraint!
… this boundary!

When we make an effort to share our riches with others…
… God is able to bolster our spiritual blessings!

When we learn to be detached from our attachments to money…
… God is able to attach Himself to our lives!

When we seek to grow less dependent on our wealth…
… God is able to be the One on whom we can rely totally!

When we try to give up our materialistic thinking…
… God is able to fill our inner desires and longings of the soul!

It may be hard for us to let go of our dependence on material wealth

But God will strengthen us!

Let’s follow the words of Holy Father Pope Francis:
“So often we today can find our faith challenged by the world & in countless ways, we are asked to compromise our faith, to water down the radical demands of the Gospel & to conform to the spirit of this age…

Let us totally depend on the Richness of God’s Grace as St Paul reminds us: “But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…
… and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
… that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus!” (Eph 2:4-7)

The Principle of Inverse Proportionality is a reality in our spiritual lives…

Let’s depend less and less on the power of money…
… so we can grow more and more close to the Lord!

Let’s give minimal control to the power of richness…
… so that we can give maximum control to the Lord!


Less and less of me…
… and More and More of You, O Lord!

Let us today seek the intercession of St Paul of the Cross – the founder of the Congregation of the Passionists – who was known to have the ability to reduce hardened criminals and tough soldiers to tears with his gift of speech.

Let his words inspire us:

“The passion of Jesus is a sea of sorrows, but it is also an ocean of love. Ask the Lord to teach you to fish in this ocean. Dive into its depths. No matter how deep you go, you will never reach the bottom.”
“The Cross is the way to Paradise, but only when it is borne willingly!”
“Let us throw ourselves into the ocean of His goodness, where every failing will be cancelled and anxiety turned into love.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Riches can prick us with a thousand troubles
in getting them…

… as many cares in preserving them, more anxieties in spending them, and with grief in losing them!”

October 18, 2020 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Rekindling the fire and zeal of being a Missionary of Jesus, our King and Leader!”

(Based on Isaiah 45:1, 4-6, 1 Thess 1:1-5 and Mt 22:15-21 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

A familiar incident is told of a particular dog.

One fine afternoon, as the whole locality was silent, the dog began barking….Bow wow….bow wow…

Hearing this dog bark, on went the dogs in the neighbouring house…bow wow….

The resonant barking of these two dogs, was enough to excite the other dogs in the other houses…
… and even on the streets…

The whole neighbourhood became a pandemonium of barking and woofing.

But in a while… the dogs on the street waned down… probably getting tired…

So did the dogs in the neighbouring houses…

But the first dog, who began it all, was still strong and vocal in its barking…bow wow…

All other dogs, had more or less quietened…but this dog continued…


This dog had seen a dangerous and poisonous snake, lurking close to the house…

And so it barked….and never stopped…because it had a reason!

The other dogs also had barked, not with a reason, but simply because they heard one barking.

But the first dog? Had a reason!

It had a reason…a purpose…and a goal, which made it to raise its voice and be excited.

When one has a clear purpose and a goal in life, one remains excited and enthusiastic about it, and pursues the aims with a great determination and enthusiasm.

Have I discovered the true sense of purpose and aim in my life as a Christian and do I pursue in that path, with much enthusiasm and excitement?

Today, Holy Mother, the Church celebrates Mission Sunday.

Every Mission Sunday is an occasion to re-discover & re-kindle the purpose in one’s life as a Follower of Christ.

The Gospel of the Day helps us to rejuvenate our spirit of following Christ, who Himself was convinced of His Mission in life.

We have today the incident of a group of people, seeking to trap the Lord with a query on whether or not to pay taxes to Caesar. (Mt 22: 15-21)

The query on “should taxes be paid to Caesar or not” was asked by two groups: the Pharisees and the Herodians.

It is interesting to note that forces with evil and crooked intentions often work in tandem.
These two groups, normally opposed to each other, join hands, to oppose Christ.

The Pharisees resented and opposed the payment of tax to Caesar…
…because they considered Israel as a sovereign state under God’s rule and therefore should not pay taxes to another king.

The Herodians, on the other hand, accepted and supported the payment of tax to Caesar…
…because they belonged to the political party of Herod, the king of Galilee, who owed his power to the Romans.

Saying a NO would bring Christ before the Roman government for treason.

Saying a YES would bring Christ before the Jewish authorities for blasphemy.

The forces of evil had posed a severe danger to the Mission of Christ.
The answer by Christ would be very vital and important to the continuity of His Mission.

But the Missionary Jesus… Who was convinced of His purpose and aim in life, had the best answer…
“Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God!” (Mt 22:21)

He did not deny paying to Caesar.

But He neither advocated it.

He rather, raised the level to one’s relationship with God, who is the sole authority of life & the giver of all things and goods.

The answer baffled and amazed the ones who had come to interrogate Him.

The Mission had not only been saved… the Mission received a greater boost.

The Lord was convinced of His Mission in life.

He was convinced that He belonged to His Father and that all authority comes from Him.
He was totally sure that His purpose and aim in life was not earthly, but of the divine realm.
He was fully certain of His mission in life, to live a life dedicated to His Heavenly Father.

We too, in our Christian lives, will often face such situations of dilemma and trouble…

In a world getting addicted to consumerism, materialism, relativism and sensationalism, the challenges to live our Mission, as an Authentic Christian is especially great indeed.

Situations may force us to give in to abandon faith, and follow only what reason teaches…

Situations may make us to give up our values and follow the vain standards of the world…
Situations may cause us to dilute the Church teachings to accommodate our wants and pleasures…
Situations may incite us to loosen our hold on true traditions to pave way for a “modern” lifestyle…

The challenges to our Mission as a Christian and as a Catholic are much.

But like our Lord Jesus, the First Missionary and our Leader in Missions, we ought to stay convinced and remain enthusiastic to spread the Mission of the Lord.
The Prophetic words through Isaiah are an inspirational reminder to us all: “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I gird you, though you do not know me, that men may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other!”

St Paul reminds us through his letter to the Church at Thesselonica, that we are His beloved and called and chosen by Him… “beloved by God, that he has chosen you..” (1 Thess 1:4)

Each of us – in any way of life – is a Missionary…

We have a Mission to belong to the Lord and to Him completely.
We have a Mission to spread the Love of the Lord to the whole humanity.
We have a Mission to bring peace and harmony and wholeness for the entire humanity.
We have a Mission to orient our lives to the values of the Gospel and to travel heavenward.

Let’s rekindle the fire and zeal of being a Missionary of Jesus, our King and Leader!

Happy Mission Sunday!
God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “God requires a faithful fulfillment of the merest trifle given us to do…
… rather than the most ardent aspiration to things to which we are not called!”

October 17, 2020 – 28th Week in Ordinary Time

“Responding to the gentle and tender invitation of the Lord, to acknowledge Him in our lives!”

(Based on Eph 1:15-23 and Lk 12:8-12 – Saturday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time)

An African slaveholder had a poor black slave-boy who, having heard of the Christian missionaries and their preaching, had a desire to go and hear about Christ.

The boy crept away quietly one evening.

But he had to pass by his master’s window, and was seen by the slaveholder.

“Where are you going?” called the master.
The boy, trembling, answered, “Me go to hear the missionaries, Massa.”
(“Massa” is the word used for a master)

“Oh really? If ever you go there”, answered the master, “you shall have thirty-nine lashes and be put in irons.”

The boy answered, “Me tell Massa – me tell what you said, to the Great Massa.”

“What do you mean – tell the Great Massa?
Is there a Great Massa?” asked the man angrily.

“Me tell the Great Massa. He is the Lord of Heaven.

I tell Him that my massa was angry with me because I wanted to go and hear His Word.”

Greatly astonished (and a little afraid as well), the master said, “Go along and hear them, then.”

After the boy had gone, the master became restless and troubled. He had not thought that he himself had a Master (Massa) in Heaven, who knew all that he was doing.

He decided to follow the slave to the Christian service.

He stood in the rear of the little assembly, as he heard the Missionary asking the people from the scriptures: “The Lord is asking, Do you love Me?

Is there anyone here, who dares to confess his love for Christ?”

The black boy sprang forward…
… and holding up both hands, with tears pouring down his cheeks, he cried out earnestly:
“Yes, Massa, me do love You! Me love the Great Massa, with all my heart!”

The slaveholder went home still more astonished, but convinced of the power of the Gospel.

As a result he gave his heart to God and lived a consistent Christian life.

The bold and powerful witness of the little black boy brought about a conversion in the life of that man.

What about us?

Are we also bold and powerful, in giving witness to Christ and His Gospel Values in our modern society?

Like the little boy, do we also, by our life proclaim:
“Yes, Massa, me do love You! Me love the Great Massa, with all my heart!”

The Gospel of the Day is an exhortation by our Blessed Lord with a challenging tone, to be powerful and bold, in acknowledging His Presence.

Jesus says: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God;
But he who denies me before men, will be denied before the angels of God” (Lk 12: 8-9)

The Christian Life is a life seeking to profess and proclaim the Lord…
… by word and deed
… with lips and actions
… through happy moments and struggles of life!

Do we do that?

Or are we sometimes…
… shy?
… afraid?
… reluctant?
… uncertain?
… or even negated?

We could reflect on some aspects of our life, whereby we examine, how much we acknowledge the Lord in our life

  1. The Blessings of the Lord
    God has gifted each one of us with immense Graces and Blessings.

Do we acknowledge ‘the Blessings of the Lord’ in our Life?
… with a word of thanks and gratitude, everyday?
… by seeking to be, in turn, a blessing to others, by a life of service?

  1. The Providence of the Lord
    Providence refers to the Protective care of the Lord, at all times, in every situation.

When we look back into our life, we see how beautifully, God constantly leads us.

True, there are times when we have felt the “absence” of God or the Lord being “at a distance” from us, especially in situations of struggles and suffering

But, when look back later… we do find… “God had been joining all those ‘dots of loneliness’ and making a beautiful picture!”

Do we acknowledge ‘the Providence of the Lord’ in our life…
… by being more optimistic, knowing that our God will surely have His way, and make “rivers to flow, even in the deserts”?
… by not falling into anxiety or extreme worry; instead allowing ourselves to rest on His Caring Heart, knowing, that He is holding us tenderly in His Arms, as a Shepherd holds the tender lamb?

  1. The Love and Mercy of the Lord
    Each of our life is a beautiful saga of God’s Love and Mercy

We have been created in love… we have been initiated to Salvation in His Mercy

We have been constantly encouraged by His Love… we have been continually lifted by, by His Mercy

Do we acknowledge ‘the Love and Mercy of the Lord’ in our life…
… by seeking to always do His Will in our Life and letting go of our own ego and selfish desires?
… by turning to Him in repentance, when we go away from His Love?
… by infusing more love into every action that we do, and thus witnessing His Face of Mercy to all around us?

  1. The Authority of the Lord
    The Lord is the Supreme Authority of this entire universe.

It is His Power and Wisdom that sustains everything.

The presence of evil and sufferings around us, may sometimes, make us question His Power and Glory.

Sometimes, the presence of pains and miseries in our life, may also make us doubt His Power and Authority
This time of the pandemic, has been, in particular, disturbing the faithful hearts of many people!

But can we recognize, that God, in His infinite Goodness and Wisdom, works out everything for our good (Rom 8:28)

St Paul again reminds us, in his letter to the Ephesians, that “He has put all things under His feet and has made Him the head over all things for the church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph 1:22-23)

Do we acknowledge ‘the Authority of the Lord’ in our life…
… by offering our lives to His Supreme Wisdom, and marching forward with Hope, knowing that “the One Who has begun His Good Work in us, will bring it to completion” (Phil 1:6)
… by seeking His Permission in all the activities that we engage in, so that His Grace will inform us, in the best and right path?

  1. The Presence of the Lord
    The Presence of the Lord surrounds and encompasses us at every moment… at every step of our life.

This Presence is especially cherished and celebrated in the Sacraments that the Church offers.

Do we acknowledge ‘the Presence of the Lord” in our life…
… by turning our hearts, in conscious awareness, to the Presence of the Lord, in the midst of our work and activities?
… by longing for and meaningfully celebrating the Sacraments that the Church offers?

As a Christian, surely, it is not easy to profess and proclaim.

But the Lord invites each one of us, gently and tenderly, to acknowledge Him in our lives.

It is when we grow in these “areas of acknowledgement” that we can boldly and powerfully proclaim before anyone and everyone:
“Yes, Massa (Master), me do love You!
Me love the Great Massa, with all my heart!”

Today, let seek the intercession of St Ignatius of Antioch and be enthused by his heroic martyrdom (“he was cast as food to wild beasts.”)

May his words inspire and encourage us to be a powerful witness of the Lord

“I am the wheat of God, and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of God!”
“As for me, my charter is Jesus Christ, the inviolable charter is His cross and His death and resurrection, and faith through Him!”
“Pray as if God will take care of all; act as if all is up to you!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Charity never enters a heart without
bringing with it all the other virtues…

… empowering them and marshalling them as needed, just as a captain does his soldiers!”

October 16, 2020 – 28th Week in Ordinary Time

“Rejoicing and radiating the joy and happiness of being the precious children of our loving Father in heaven!”

(Based on Eph 1:14-20 and Lk 12:1-7 – Friday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time)

Some of us have been to a circus at some time or the other in our life.

One of the most important characters in a Circus is undoubtedly…the Clown.

The Clown has the ability to make people laugh and see the lighter side of life.

The Clown usually always appears with a smiling countenance.

This amusing and humorous appearance of the Clown is a result of the Mask that is worn.

But the clown perhaps has an important lesson for us all of us to learn…

The Clown says… “All people, in actuality, wear masks… only mine is seen outside!”

Very true perhaps, isn’t it?
“All people, in actuality, wear masks… only mine is seen outside!?

This mask that many of us wear is the Mask of Hypocrisy and Duplicity!

(Of course, with the onslaught of the pandemic, the “mask” has now become a compulsory aspect of our attire!

But the mask being referred to here in this reflection, is the ‘mentality mask’ – of hypocrisy and duplicity!)

We are into a reflection of this aspect of Hypocrisy yet again, in today’s Gospel, with Jesus’ insistence on this evil tendency with a greater force & urgency.

Hypocrisy is a vice which is much hated by Jesus.
Hypocrisy is a vice which Jesus constantly asks to weed out.
Hypocrisy is a vice which often lurks its head in our lives, knowingly or unknowingly.

Hypocrisy is duplicity.

Hypocrisy is pretence.
Hypocrisy is a facade.

It is…
… trying to be someone, that one is not.
… deceiving others by presenting a false self.
… masking one’s real identity to show one to be someone else.

The word “hypocrisy” is a composite word in the Greek.

It comes from the joining of two words…
… Hupo is the Greek word for “under”
… Krino, is the Greek word “to separate or judge.”
So Hupo + Krino = Hypocrisy means to “be under or stay under and separate or judge”!

This word was mainly used in Greek theatres and plays to describe those “actors who would speak their parts, behind a mask”!

Hypocrites in real life, extend this “acting” to their everyday life…

Hypocrites are people…
… who try to impress others, in order to hide their real lives!
… who act more spiritual and holy than they actually are!
… who behave to be too good before others, but a sham within!

Do I have any of such “hypocritic …acting” aspects in my life?

Our Lord calls this vice of hypocrisy as a Yeast…

Jesus speaks to His disciples, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy” (Lk 12: 1b)

Why Yeast?

Yeast or Leaven is something that is used in baking.

Yeast has the great property of Influence…
A little amount of yeast is enough to raise the dough or to leaven the batter.
It has a great characteristic of exercising a great amount of influence, though little in quantity!

Hypocrisy is such…
… though a little amount, it is highly Influential, like the yeast.

Hypocritical people are able to boast much about themselves and exert harmful controls!
Hypocritical people are able to make other people highly pessimistic and negative!
Hypocritical people are able to drain out the spirit and the enthusiasm in others!

Yeast starts slow, but grows very quickly…

Yeast starts its activity in a slow manner, but it spreads very quickly and rapidly.

It has the great characteristic of exercising its great influence in a timid manner, but rises very fast and swiftly.

Hypocrisy is such… though it starts slow, it spreads its influence speedily, like the yeast…

Hypocritical people appear subtle initially, but later it becomes almost a part of their nature!
Hypocritical people appear harmless initially, but later consume people by its strong effect!
Hypocritical people appear gentle initially, but later it becomes a dangerous influence!

How does Hypocrisy usually originate?

Usually from a Fear…

Fear of the people makes one to adopt a totally different disposition and character.

Fear of the situations makes one to adjust with a duplicate personality and behaviour.
Fear of one’s weaknesses makes one to alter the style of life and tamper with one’s nature.

That’s why the Lord, in today’s Gospel would strongly exhort, “Fear Not!”

When we banish the fear of many factors, we are able to be our real self.

When we cast away the fear of our material worries, we are able to live our true identity.

God is our Loving Father… a Caring Person…He wants us to grow in Holiness and Sanctity.

But He also knows that our double standards in life and our pretence and dual-facedness in many areas of our life, is a block to His Grace in us.

Let us pray with St Paul as he prayed for the Church at Ephesus, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened…
… that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe…” (Eph 1:17-19)

The Lord today invites us to peel away our mask of hypocrisy by casting away our fears, by throwing ourselves into the care of our Loving God, our Beloved Father in Heaven!

Let us not be a clown who has a plastic smile because of the mask…
… Rather become a people, who truly rejoice and radiate the joy and happiness of being the precious children of our loving Father in heaven!

Today we specially seek the intercession of Blessed Augustine Thevarparambil (popularly known as Kunjachan – ‘little priest’ in Malayalam) on his feast day.

May his deep zeal and commitment to missions, especially among the lower sections of the society be a strong antidote and inspiration for us to live an authentic and sincere Christian life!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Let us never make a show of wishing to be last

unless in our hearts we wish to truly be such!”