✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 15, 2022: Thursday

“Being inspired by the Compassionate Mother, who is ever with us in our every sorrow, as she helps us, to follow Her Crucified Son and Our Strengthening Saviour, Jesus!”

(Based on the Feast of the Mother of Sorrows)

A prayer meeting was on.

The participants were reciting the Rosary of the Seven Dolours (the seven sorrows of our Blessed Mother Mary).

It came to the fifth sorrow, which is “Jesus dies on the Cross”.

However, the one who was leading the prayer, by mistake said, “Mary dies on the Cross”.

A few participants, who heard this mistake, burst out into laughter, at the mistake!

But in hindsight, if we consider that statement, there is so much of truth and meaning in it – “Mary dies on the Cross!”

While on earth, there was no one who was closer to our Blessed Lord than His Own Beloved Mother.
He received His body from Her.
With Him, She rejoiced!
With Him, She suffered!
And finally, in those deepest agonizing moments on the Cross…
… there was none who suffered more than Her!

Every pain of Her Little Child, was experienced by the Blessed Mother

Mary was the Woman Who was most happy at the birth of the Lord
Mary was also the Woman Who was most sorrowful at the death of the Lord!

Today, Holy Mother the Church keeps the memorial of Mary, the Sorrowful Mother of Jesus.

This feast is dedicated to the spiritual martyrdom of our Blessed Mother.

The title “Our Lady of Sorrows” focuses on Mother Mary’s intense suffering during the Passion and Death of Jesus…
… and invites us to meditate especially through the Seven Sorrowful and Dolorous Moments in the life of our Blessed Mother.

  1. The Prophecy of Simeon
  2. The flight into Egypt
  3. The Loss of Jesus in the Temple
  4. Mary meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary
  5. Jesus dies on the Cross
  6. Mary receives the Dead Body of Jesus in Her arms
  7. The Body of Jesus is placed in the Tomb

Suffering is an immense and an intense reality of our lives.

Many times, sufferings hit our lives when…
… we least expect it
… we are least prepared for it

Such moments of pain and agony…when encountered without any faith….
… can cause us to lose any meaning in life and renders our life to be shorn of hope
… can cause us to question God and His goodness and strips our faith of its strength
… can cause us to have recourse to “unbecoming” means to relieve ourselves from pain

However, such moments of suffering and difficulties…. when faced with deep faith and trust…
… will become occasions of God’s overflowing grace filling our lives and making us stronger
… will become occasions for us to depend deeper on our Creator and to feel His power more strongly
… will become occasions for us to realise the value of life, and become more compassionate towards others

In the midst of the pains and struggles that surround us, we need to ask ourselves…
… have we been able to increase our faith and trust in the Lord, and know the God is very much with us, even in this unexplained time of suffering?
… or has our faith wavered, and is our life cluttered with many uncertainties and questions of hopelessness?

Our Blessed Mother Mary – the Mother of Sorrows and the Mother of Compassion – teaches us many important and vital lessons for life

She had every reason to complain and fight against God…
She had every reason to protest and abandon God and His Will…
She had every reason to murmur and let go of the plan of God for Her…

But, the “Yes” that She pronounced at the Annunciation was echoed all through Her life… at every step
… be it in times of joy and calmness
… be it in times of sadness and calamity

The “Yes” She said was the Final Profession She made…
… just as the Religious make on the Day of their Profession
… just as the Priests make on the Day of their Ordination
… just as the Married make to each other and to God, on their Day of Wedding
… just as the Baptised make to the Lord and seek to live, from the time of Baptism

It was a binding for life…
It was a commitment to, with conviction…
It was to be lived in sincerity, with dedication…

The Feast of the Mother of Sorrows is a beautiful reminder and reflection on “Two Hearts that were united to each other, burning with love” – the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Blessed Mother Mary!

These two Hearts underwent immense pain and suffering…
… yet, rejoiced in Love!

We are invited to live a life…
free from sin
filled with love
firm in conviction
fashioned in grace
… like our Beloved and Blessed Mother Mary!

Mamma Mary invites all of us to live a life of joy, even when the clouds of sorrow paint the skies of our lives.

Her Seven Special Moments of Joy…

  1. The Annunciation
  2. The Nativity of Jesus
  3. The Adoration of the Magi
  4. The Resurrection of Christ
  5. The Ascension of Christ to Heaven
  6. The Pentecost or Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles
  7. The Coronation of the Virgin in Heaven
    … are a reminder to know that God reigns over every situation in life, and we need to “wave the Flag of Joy in our lives always!”

May we be filled with the courage and grace to truly make it our prayer:
“Holy Mother, pierce me through
In my heart, each wound renew
Of my Saviour Crucified!”

Wish you a Happy Feast of our Compassionate Mother, who is ever with us in our every sorrow…
… as she helps us, to follow Her Crucified Son and Our Strengthening Saviour, Jesus!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – Thanksgiving and praise to the Father

The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished by Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for the work of creation.
In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and the Resurrection of Christ.

Through Christ the Church can offer the sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for all that God has made good, beautiful, and just in creation and in humanity. (CCC #1359)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 14, 2022: Wednesday

“Reflecting deeper on the Cross of our Blessed Lord, and preserving, nurturing and beautifying our lives – which is truly a ‘treasure in clay’ – in holiness and love!”

(Based on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross)

Venerable Fulton J Sheen is undoubtedly one of the greatest proponents of Catholicism of the 20th century.

In his autobiography titled, “Treasure in Clay,” Bishop Sheen gives a beautiful and heart-rending illustration of the Cross – the Crucifix:
“In the Crown of Thorns, I see my pride…
… my grasping for earthly toys, in the Pierced Hands,
… my flight from shepherding care, in the Pierced Feet
… my wasted love, in the Wounded Heart
… and my prurient desires, in the Flesh hanging from Him like Purple Rags!”

… on the Most Holy Cross, we have the autobiography of all our lives!

On this Great and Blessed Feast of the Exaltation of the Most Holy Cross, we turn our gaze towards the Cross on which our Blessed Lord redeemed us…
… as we gratefully thank Him for His Awesome Sacrificial Love
… and pledge to live a life in expectation of this Great Sacrifice of our Crucified Lord!

In the Gospel (Jn 3: 13-17), Jesus tells to Nicodemus, “… as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life” (Jn 3: 14)

Centuries before Jesus was crucified, Divinity in its Immense Wisdom was already preparing for the plan of salvation!

Having been powerfully freed from the slavery in Egypt, the people of Israel were travelling to the Promised Land through the wilderness.

This difficult journey caused the people to lose their patience, and they murmured against God and His servant, Moses on the lack of comforts!

The result of this sin was the plague of poisonous serpents that caused suffering and death to them. (Num 21: 4-9)

However at the intercession of Moses, God had him lift up a bronze serpent on a pole, so that all who looked it would be healed!

This was the foreshadowing of the Cross of Christ!

(This method of Interpreting the Bible is also called “Biblical Typology”

“Biblical Typology” refers to a person, place or event in the Old Testament that has its own proper significance…
… but also prefigures a person, place or event, later in the New Testament

In the words of St Augustine: “The New Testament is hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament is made manifest in the New!”)

Like the people of Israel, our life is a journey through the wilderness.

Sometimes there is a lack of comfort.
Sometimes there is an inflation of hardships
Sometimes there is an increase in uncertainty.
… And we begin to complain, grumble… falling into many sinful ways and habits!

But Divine Love, wanting to have us back to Him, provides us the means to be rescued from the deadly effects of such sins…
… The Holy Cross is the Symbol of this redemption and salvation that is won for us, by Christ!

Are we ready to take refuge in the shadows of this Holy Cross…
… and affirming our sincere acceptance of Christ in our lives, do we live a holy life, worthy of our salvation?

St John of the Cross would say, “The road is narrow. He who wishes to travel it more easily, must cast off all things…
… and use the Cross as his cane.

In other words, he must be truly resolved to suffer willingly for the love of God in all things.”

Usually the heart is considered to be the great symbol of Love…

But, from a Christian perspective, probably, the Holy Cross is a greater and a more meaningful symbol of the Immense Love of God for each one of us.

The Cross demands sacrifice…
The Cross demands a self-emptying nature…
The Cross demands a complete commitment…
… And this is indeed the true nature of Love – sacrificial, self-emptying and committed! (Phil 2: 6-11)

As we honour and venerate the Holy Cross, may we hear the words of our Crucified Lord, tenderly whispering to us, with deep love and affection:
“You are mine, forever…
… and you belong to Me and to Me alone!

Hold on to My Cross, always!”

Two thieves on either sides, died with Christ on the Cross

One mocked Jesus…
… the other sought Jesus

One took pride in himself…
… the other humbled himself

One lost a golden opportunity…
… the other, won the Prized Paradise!

The Cross – with Jesus hanging – beckons to each one of one of us today

We have a choice…
… like both the thieves

What choice are we going to make?

Let us reflect deeper on the autobiography of our lives, written on the Cross of our Blessed Lord…
… and thus preserve, nurture and beautify our lives – which is truly a “treasure in clay” – in holiness and love!

In the words of Ven. Fulton Sheen:
“The ideal is to reach a point in practice, where, like Our Lord on the Cross, we witness to God even amidst abandonment and the agony of a crucifixion!”

Wish you a very Happy Feast of the Holy Cross!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – The Sacramental Sacrifice thanksgiving, Memorial, Presence

We must therefore consider the Eucharist as:

  • thanksgiving and praise to the Father;
  • the sacrificial memorial of Christ and his Body;

– the presence of Christ by the power of his word and of his Spirit. (CCC #1358)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 13, 2022: Tuesday

“Making a journey from a ‘dead lifeless existence’ to a ‘dynamically passionate living!’”

(Based on 1 Cor 12:12-14, 27-31a and Lk 7:11-17 – Tuesday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

“Alice in Wonderland” is a popular 1865 novel.

It tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar creatures which are also anthropomorphic (having human characteristics).

One of the conversations, in this book, between Alice and a cat goes thus…

Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here”?
Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to”

Alice: “I don’t much care where”….”So long as I get somewhere.”
Cat: “Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go!”

Many times, like Alice we are such…
… we don’t really know where are going
… we are not aware of the destination towards which are we moving

As a result, we fail to realise the importance of the “Journey” that we make.

The Gospel of the Day is an invitation to examine our “life as a journey”…
… and to come to a greater awareness, of how the Lord, Who is “The Way”, needs to become “our Road, our Direction as well as our Destination!”

Life is a constant journey.

Our lives are filled with all sorts of journeys…

Short and long journeys…
Journeys in our minds and hearts…
Journeys towards God and away from God..
… Journeys that are as trivial as a trip to a shop..
… or as life-changing, as a trip to the hospital to witness the miracle of birth!

Our lives are made up of many such journeys: journeys that shape and mould us into who we are today.

Our earthly life, too, is a journey that begins at birth and ends with death.

With each passing day, one moves a step closer to the eventual-reality of one’s earthly life: death!

The Gospel of the Day – the incident of the raising of the dead son of the widow in the city of Nain – presents several journeys in an atmosphere of death and life:

  1. The Journey of Jesus
    Jesus the Preacher and Healer was on mission journey.

His words influenced and inspired many people – the sinful, the broken and the hopeless!
His deeds healed and touched many people – the sick, the ailing and the bedridden.

Do I make a journey similar to the Lord in being a messenger of mercy and hope to the suffering world?
Do I make a journey in the ministry of the Lord by reaching out the Gospel of Joy to a depressed humanity?

  1. The Journey of the people accompanying Jesus
    There were many followers and people (Lk 7:11) who were attracted to the magnetic personality of the Lord and who after seeing the amazing miracle of the dead man raised, begin to glorify God with loud acclaims.

Many people were touched by the charm and miracles of the Lord.
Many people were overwhelmed by the grand deeds and mighty works of the Lord.

They make a journey, with Jesus – From a “Curious Following” to realizing the “Divine Presence” in their midst!

Do I make a journey to move from a ‘peripheral following’ of Jesus to a ‘deeper seeking of His Presence’?
Do I make a journey from mere ‘external praises’ to a ‘heart-involved acclamation’ of the Lord?

  1. The Journey of the crowd accompanying the dead man’s bier
    It was a time of sadness and grief for the people who accompanied the dead man’s bier. (Lk 7: 11b) Some of them would have been his relatives, some his friends, some his neighbours and some just unknown people.

But the reality of death, especially of a young man, hit all of them hard.

Death had cast its pale gloom on the minds of them all!

They however, make a journey with Jesus – from a ‘sad mourning’ over a death to ‘joyful applauses’ over a life!

Am I able to make a journey from dead and lifeless situations to lively and enthusiastic moments with the Lord?
Am I able to make a journey from gloom and sadness to splendid joy and happiness in the Lord?

  1. The Journey of the Widow
    The grieving mother is a widow (Lk 7: 12a) and since it is her only son who has died, she finds herself in dire straits:

She has no male to protect or provide for her.

To add injury to sorrow, she is faced with the reality that her family line has ended with the death of her son.

She too makes a journey with Jesus: From absolute hopelessness and despondency to a fresh lease of hope and life!

Do I journey with Jesus to have my situations of total despair be changed to thrilling moments?
Do I journey with Jesus to allow my life-threatening instants to be converted to blessed occasions?

  1. The Journey of the Dead Man
    Death is no respecter of persons – their status or age.

The dead man had to undergo this tragic reality at a younger stage of his life.

He would have been the only strong support of his family, after the death of his father. And now, the bread winner was reduced to absolute starvation!

He too, however makes a journey with Jesus: From the dungeons of death to the glorious castles of life!

Can I make a journey from a “quit-easily” style of life to a “committed” style of life?
Can I make a journey from “luck-dependant” lifestyle to a “God’s Providence-aware” lifestyle?

Life itself is a journey where each day is a step closer to the eventual-reality of one’s earthly life: death!

Let us beautify this journey by constantly travelling with Jesus and undergoing many transformations!

In this life, we have the Church which supports and replenishes us with her life-enriching and life-giving Sacraments – especially the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Let us adorn this journey with the jewels of the Holy Sacraments that our Church provides us with!

Let us not remain ignorant regarding the purpose or destination of our life journey…
… Let us come to a greater realisation that “The Lord is our Road, Our Direction and Our Destination!”

Let us make the journey from a “dead lifeless existence” to a “dynamically passionate living!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – The Sacramental Sacrifice thanksgiving, Memorial, Presence

We carry out this command of the Lord by celebrating the memorial of his sacrifice. In so doing, we offer to the Father what he has himself given us: the gifts of his creation, bread and wine which, by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the words of Christ, have become the body and blood of Christ.

Christ is thus really and mysteriously made present. (CCC #1357)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Sep 12, 2022: Monday

“Making our faith and our Christian living, worthy of an ovation from the King of kings!”

(Based on 1 Cor 11:17-33 and Lk 7:1-10 – Monday of the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

A standing ovation is a form of applause where members of a seated audience stand up while applauding…
… after extraordinary performances of particularly high acclaim.

Ovation comes from the Latin word “ovo”, which means “I rejoice”.

When a certain accomplishment causes great rejoicing and happiness, it is often, responded with an ovation

Sport superstars receive this ovation after a stupendous performance of sporting skills…
Musicians are accorded this ovation after a special rendition of their musical piece…
Orators and speakers are given this ovation after a marvellous speech or a talk…

The Gospel of the Day is a similar account of Jesus expressing His ovation for a person who showed tremendous faith.

When the faith and trust becomes so intense, even Jesus gives a special sign of appreciation!

We have today the incident of the healing of the Centurion’s servant.
Jesus lavishes His appreciations and admirations for a wonderful display of faith.

Here is the story an unusual faith found in an unusual man who displayed his faith in an unusual way.

  1. The Centurion was an unusual person…
    A Centurion was a person who worked for the Roman Empire and were Gentiles.

This Centurion however, was unusual, because of the fact, that he was very much concerned of his slave.

This was rare indeed!

In the Roman Empire, slaves had no rights.
They could be mistreated and even put to death.

It was said that “when your animals are old, you throw them out to die. You do the same with your slaves.”

So this is the unusual thing about this unusual Centurion – He cared very much about his slave!

  1. The centurion showed an unusual faith…
    The Centurion came to Jesus asking and pleading for help.
    But when Jesus said that He would come to his house and heal him, the centurion was quick to answer him, “I am not worthy to have you under my roof” ( Mt 8:8)

The spirit of a military man is clearly exhibited by the centurion…
A soldier’s way of thinking is extremely logical and to the point: When an order is given, instant obedience is expected.
“My commanding power goes beyond the realms of space…
… my presence or absence is no excuse for my soldiers to disobey”

The Centurion fully believed that Jesus was a mighty commander with all powers subjected to Him.
And so a word was enough for the healing to take place…
An expression of approval was good enough for the miracle to happen…

  1. The Centurion received an unusual response
    This tremendous expression of faith was enough for Jesus to admire and appreciate Him.

Jesus was astonished by this wonderful demonstration of confidence and belief: “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel, have I found such faith” (Mt 8: 10)

We have seen many instances of people praising and appreciating the works and wonders of Jesus.

But, this is one of those rare occasions, when Jesus publicly acknowledges and asserts the glorious faith of the one seeking for help.

The Lord gives a wonderful ovation and applause for this wonderful presentation of faith.

This Gospel is a wonderful challenge for each of us to examine our life of faith…

In a situation when we are surrounded by sicknesses of negativity and discouragement,

Can we also boldly say, “Only say a word, Lord… and I will be healed!”

In a situation when life-threatening moments of crushing-failures and despair encircle us,

Can we also boldly say, “Only say a word, Lord… and I will be healed!”

In a situation when we get depressed by the various day to day problems of life,

Can we also boldly say, “Only say a word, Lord… and I will be healed!”

As a famous saying goes, “It is easy to praise the Lord…

But it really is a challenge to receive praises from the Lord!”

When we stand firm in our faith in God, we receive ovations and appreciations from Him
When we have confidence in our love for God, we receive ovations and admiration from Him
When we remain strong in our Hope in God, we receive ovations and approval from Him.

The trust and confidence of the Centurion was blessed with a verbal ovation by the Saviour of the World!

Shall we also make our faith and our Christian living, worthy of an ovation from the King of kings?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – The Sacramental Sacrifice Thanksgiving, Memorial, Presence

If from the beginning Christians have celebrated the Eucharist and in a form whose substance has not changed despite the great diversity of times and liturgies…

… it is because we know ourselves to be bound by the command the Lord gave on the eve of his Passion: “Do this in remembrance of me.” (CCC #1356)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Sep 11, 2022: Sunday

“Living joyfully by having a recognition and acknowledgement of the presence of Jesus in our hearts!”

(Based on Exod 32:7-14, 1 Tim 1:12-17 and Lk 15:1-32 – 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C)

Little Nancy was a very happy child.

She was happy going to the Church and saying her daily prayers.

She would often tell, “I am so happy because Jesus is with me and I want to share His love to many others.”

This 6 year old girl would also try to help others, in the little way, she could, whenever possible.

Seeing her joyful student, the English teacher in school, once remarked about her:
“Joy in her,” she said, “is the flag that is flown from the castle of the heart, when the King is in residence there!”

The teacher recognized and acknowledged, that the joy in the little girl…
… was because of the presence of Jesus in her heart!

Joy abounds… in heaven and in one’s heart…
… when one is in closer communion with the Compassionate and Merciful Lord.

The Gospel of the Day is an invitation to a life of discovering God’s love and living a life in repentance and thus sharing in the joy that heaven celebrates!

“There is much rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine who need no repentance” (Lk 15:7)

The Fifteenth Chapter of St Luke is an amazing revelation of God’s tremendous love, mercy and longing for each one of us.
We have the Parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Lost Son.

In all the three parables, lost ones are found
In all the three parables, there is great celebration at the end.
In all the three parables, an emphasis is laid on hope for the lost.

This chapter is a contradiction of many human thought-patterns and an affirmation of many Divine thought-patterns…

There is a contradiction of the human thought-pattern of thinking of things in terms of monetary rate and financial gain…
… there is an affirmation of the Divine thought-pattern of acknowledging the deeper value and worth of objects and people
There is a contradiction of the human thought-pattern of giving up on things that are lost and not being bothered about it…
… there is an affirmation of the Divine thought-pattern of desperately going after the lost and being in painful agony until found!

We are invited to shed the selfish human thought-pattern and embrace the selfless Divine thought-pattern.

For our reflection, let us delve deeper into these three parables: The Parable of the lost sheep, the Parable of the lost coin and the Parable of the lost sons.

A shepherd had a hundred sheep.

During the count as he gathers the sheep at day’s end, the shepherd notices that one is missing.
The sheep needs to be found; otherwise it may be permanently lost or attacked by hungry predators.
The Shepherd takes the risk of leaving the rest behind, and goes out in search of the lost one.

The second parable parallels the first….
Here a silver coin has been lost.

It’s probably a drachma, which equals a denarius–a day’s wage for the average worker.
The coin needs to be found; else a day’s wage would be lost and would to the already existing financial burden.
The woman takes the hard trouble and effort, to sweep the house, in search of the lost coin.

In both the cases…

The search yields successful results…the lost sheep and the lost coin is found.
The success leads to a great celebration… the shepherd and the woman rejoice and party

The third parable is about two sons who go away from the father
… the first one (younger son) – who lavishly spends away the father’s generosity!
… the second one (elder son) – who refuses to accept the offer of the father’s merciful love!

In all the three parables – there is a celebration that follows the finding of the lost one(s)…
… and the cost of the celebration far exceeds the actual price of the thing lost (person)!

Why such a sentimentality?

Why so much of economic waste?

The only logic behind it is: the experience of Joy.

The shepherd feels tremendously happy in getting back his lost sheep
The woman feels tremendously happy in getting back her lost coin
The father feels tremendously happy in getting back his lost son

And this spurs them to forget all economics, and mathematics and tally and calculations…
Joy surpasses them all.

Joy overcomes them all.
Joy overtakes them all!

Joy is the flag that is flown from the castle of the heart, when the King is in residence there!

Jesus compares this same joy in heaven at the repentance of a sinner!

Am I similar to a lost sheep…

Lost in the thickets of materialistic living…?
Lost in the valleys of doubts and rejections and failures…?
Lost in the bushes of excessive pride, prestige and power…?
Lost in the wilderness of hopelessness and meaninglessness in life…?

Am I similar to a lost coin…

Lost in the corners of abuses and misunderstandings and false judgements…?
Lost in the darkness of bad luck and unfair treatment by life…?
Lost in the dust of corruption and malicious situations…?
Lost in the shadows of addictions and bad habits…?

Am I similar to the lost son(s)…

Lost in the lures of the ‘apparent pleasures and niceties’ of life…?
Lost in the “stinking sty” of feeling lonely and abandoned…?
Lost in the pride of stubbornness and jealousy, and failure to accept God’s Mercy…?

The Lord assures His Merciful Love for all of us
We ought to…
… hear His voice and respond.
… allow ourselves to be found.
… let Him take us on His shoulders.
… permit Him to take us in His hands.

God comes looking for us.

We are the ones for whom God spends hours and hours, walking miles and probing all areas, in search!
We are the ones for whom God spends hours and hours, on hands and knees, sweeping and searching for!
We are the ones for whom God runs to embrace in His arms, and constantly pleads to accept His Merciful care!

And when God finds us, He calls together all the saints in heaven, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my treasured sheep, my precious coin, my beloved child – who was once lost.”

Are we – You & I – ready to give heaven a reason to celebrate, by repenting of our sins & living a life, in accord with God’s Holy Will?

It is only this recognition and acknowledgement of the presence of Jesus in our hearts
… that makes us joyful!

Yes, Joy abounds… in heaven and in one’s heart…
… when one is in closer communion with the Compassionate and Merciful Lord!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – The movement of the celebration

In the communion, preceded by the Lord’s Prayer and the Breaking of the Bread, the faithful receive “the Bread of Heaven” and “the Cup of Salvation,” the Body and Blood of Christ who offered Himself “for the life of the world”

Because this bread and wine have been made Eucharist (“Eucharisted” – according to an ancient expression),” we call this food Eucharist, and no one may take part in It unless he believes that what we teach is true, has received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and lives in keeping with what Christ taught. (CCC #1355)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Sep 10, 2022: Saturday

“Giving heed to the ‘disciplining call’ of the Lord, and reforming our lives so that our love for the Lord may show forth in true obedience and sincere submission!”

(Based on 1 Cor 10:14-22 and Lk 6:43-49 – Saturday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

It is said that “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment”.

Discipline, in general, is based on four F’s:

The Book of Proverbs 13: 24 says, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them”.

Disciplining a person, with the principles of firmness, fondness, frankness and fairness, is an act of charity and an expression of genuine love.

The Gospel of the Day presents a verse of disciplining by the Lord – the One Who deeply yearns that we always walk in the right path and in the ways of perfection.

Jesus says, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, and not do what I tell you?” (Lk 6: 46)

The test of true love consists in a faithful obedience to the one who is loved.

The spouses may exchange gestures of love and affection…
… but do they also exhibit true love by caring for each other, respecting each other’s opinion and accepting one another as they are?

Children may say that they truly love and care for their parents…
… but do they also exhibit it in action, by being obedient to them and taking practical heed of their advices?

Students may express their concern and acknowledgement for their teachers…
… but do they also display it in their life, by faithful abiding to what is expected of them as students?

To say “I love you”, but failing to show it forth in actions of obedience, is mere farcical!

There is therefore, a great need to examine – in honesty and sincerity – when we say “I love you” to the Lord.

Our Blessed Lord raises a tone of pleading when He asks, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, and not do what I tell you?”

It has tones similar to…
… a parent who tells the child, “Why do you say, you like me, when you constantly disobey me and fail to give heed to my words?”
… a teacher who tells the student, “Why do you say, I want to be a good student, when you fail to make efforts to learn and do your
works, in the proper time and in the right manner?”
… an elderly person who advises a young person, “Why do you say, I wish to lead a happy life, but still continue to walk in the paths of immorality, dishonesty and lethargy?”

The Lord is deeply interested in the well-being of our lives…
.. but somehow, we fail to understand this aspect, and continue to live a life, as per our own wishes and fancies!

And therefore, the Lord raises the rod of discipline, and makes it very clear – a stern warning – with the parable of the Two Foundations.

Unless you live a life, founded on the rock of obedience, the “house” of your life will not stand!
If you seek to base your life on the “sands” of disobedience, be assured, that soon it will have a tragic collapse!

The Lord is FIRM, FOND, FRANK and FAIR with us, in His Love for us!

Let us respond to this Love with greater discipline and faithfulness

Let us give heed to the “disciplining call” of the Lord, and reform our lives…
… so that our love for the Lord may show forth in true obedience and sincere submission!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – The movement of the celebration

In the anamnesis that follows, the Church calls to mind the Passion, resurrection, and glorious return of Christ Jesus; she presents to the Father the offering of His Son which reconciles us with him.

In the intercessions, the Church indicates that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the whole Church in heaven and on earth, the living and the dead, and in communion with the pastors of the Church, the Pope, the diocesan bishop, his presbyterium and his deacons, and all the bishops of the whole world together with their Churches. (CCC #1354)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 09, 2022: Friday

“Reviewing our lives and being willing to ring in positive transformations!”

(Based on 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22b-27 and Lk 6:39-42 – Friday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

In a particular town, there lived a cobbler, who was unable to make a living by his trade.

Driven to despair by his poverty, he accommodated himself in another far-away town, and began to practise medicine.

He sold a drug which he claimed to be an antidote for all sorts of poisons.

Towards this end, he also created a great popularity campaign through advertisements and boastful proclamations.

Unfortunately, in a short period of time, the cobbler himself happened to fall sick to a serious illness.

The ruler of the town sought this as a nice chance to test his medicine’s capability and the man’s genuineness.

For this, the ruler called for a cup, and filling it with water, pretended to mix poison with the cobbler’s antidote…
… commanding him to drink, with a promise of a handsome reward.

The sick cobbler, overcome with much fear and trembling, confessed that he had no knowledge of medicine!

The ruler then called the people of the town and addressed them:
“Oh how foolish are you!

You have not hesitated to entrust your heads to a man, whom no one could employ to even make shoes for their feet!”

Often times, perhaps, it so happens that we too…
… get fooled in life
… get led by people who are incapable
… get ourselves to be a slave to things which are unbecoming

We become blind… and perhaps, we also lead others to stumble!

Our Blessed Lord in today’s Gospel invites us to deep examination of the quality of our lives and our credibility in being a leader.

Jesus says, “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?” (Lk 6:39)

This verse is a reference to two sets of people: one, the guide.. second, the one who is led.

We could find ourselves in either of these categories or sometimes even both.

We could be a guide or one who is guided or both – a guide as well as one who is guided.

In any of the cases, one needs to examine one’s quality of life.

Am I shrouded in the darkness of being in ignorance and apathy…

disinterested to learn and be willing to know more…?
causing others to be misled and creating confusions and misunderstandings…?

Am I a person who is sunk into the dark abyss of being prejudiced and unforgiving….

unwilling to be open to the truth and adamant in considering to even review or re-examine my own viewpoints…?
blinded to accept differences and failing to cherish diversity and thus constantly being at loggerheads with others…?

Am I constantly veiled under the dark shades of being unjustly critical and judgemental…

full of pride and being unable to let go of my own selfish interests and self-centred wants…?
enamoured by a pleasure in looking for opportunities and means to put down others or find faults with others…?

Our Blessed Lord invites us to make an honest review of our lives and to be constantly willing to ring in positive transformations.

Let us seek to put into the practise the beautiful saying:
“If you use the head with which you reprove others to reprove yourself, there will be fewer faults;

If you use the heart with which you forgive yourself to forgive others, there will be perfect friendship”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – The movement of the celebration

In the epiclesis, the Church asks the Father to send his Holy Spirit (or the power of his blessing) on the bread and wine, so that by his power they may become the body and blood of Jesus Christ and so that those who take part in the Eucharist may be one body and one spirit (some liturgical traditions put the epiclesis after the anamnesis).

In the institution narrative, the power of the words and the action of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, make sacramentally present under the species of bread and wine Christ’s body and blood, His sacrifice offered on the cross once for all (CCC #1353)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 08, 2022: Thursday

“Being fervent and zealous to lead a holier life – pleasing to God – as we pray, ‘Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with You!’”

(Based on the Feast of the Nativity of our Blessed Mother Mary)

A priest went to visit a violent criminal who was condemned to death…
… hoping to prepare his soul to die well.

But the man wouldn’t even talk to him.

The priest pleaded and begged him to get reconciled with God…
… but the man’s heart was extremely closed!

Finally, as a last resort, the priest entrusted himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary and then said to the
criminal, “Before I leave, will you grant me one little favour?”

The man, with an intention to get rid of the bothersome priest, said he would

“Let us then,” the priest responded, “Say one Hail Mary”

So, together they began to pray that simple prayer…
… “Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with You…”

But they hadn’t even got through the first sentence when the criminal turned pale…
… and his voice started to shake.

The priest to continued the Hail Mary…
… and as he finished tears started to flow from the man’s face, and he fell on his knees at the
priest’s feet.

As soon as the prayer was done, the man asked to make confession.

He then confessed his sins with a great sense of repentance!

The words, “Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you…”
… had ignited the spark of repentance in him!

Yes, that’s the power of the intercession of Mother Mary!

She is the refuge of sinners

Her life of Faithfulness to God’s Grace, is an inspiration to all of us…
… to live an Immaculate and Holy Life!

Today we celebrate the Birthday of the Most Beloved, the Most Loving and the Most Lovable Mother of all – Blessed Mother Mary!

For our Reflection, we shall expand the beautiful name of MARY – in the following manner – to help in having a truer appreciation, a genuine devotion and a deeper love for Her:

  1. Mary – is the Model for every Christian
    Her life becomes a wonderful example to every person who wishes to follow our Blessed Lord.

She remains the perfect Model of being attentive to the voice of God, being actively response to His call and being faithfully committed to every task entrusted to Her

  1. Mary is the Apostle-par-excellence
    As an Apostle of Her Son and Saviour, She always remained in His presence – either physically or in Her thoughts or through Her constant longing for Him

She is the Beloved Apostle who had offered Her whole body, mind and soul to the glory of God and fulfilling His every plan

  1. Mary is the Revolutionary who dared to do God’s Will
    Her Yes to the Plan of God, at the Annunciation and Her continual Yes to His Will, even in the moments of the most extreme suffering had the tenacity and the passion of a True Revolutionary.

It is hard to follow God’s Will, especially in some moments of crisis
It requires extreme courage and unfailing commitment to be always walking in the path of God
She is the wonderful Revolutionary who dared to always seek and do God’s Will in Her life!

  1. Mary is the Yeast who silently fulfilled Her role in the plan of salvation
    In the Bible, the words of Mother Mary are fairly minimal; yet Her few words and above all, Her dedicated life speaks volumes of Her role in the Salvific Plan!

She is the unseen Yeast through whom the mighty Grace of God wonderfully worked to raise up the Author of Salvation!

Blessed Mother Mary is our wonderful and beautiful mother, who deserves our greatest affection and love, in a way that draws us more and more towards Her Son, Jesus.

May we be encouraged by the words of St Maximilian Kolbe:
“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”

Ven. Bishop Fulton J Sheen says:
“The less we think of Him, the less we think of Her.

The more we adore His divinity, the more we venerate Her motherhood.
The less we acknowledge His divinity, the less we have respect for Her!”

Our Blessed Mamma – the Beautiful Lady in blue and white – grace in holiness and immaculate in
love – holds our hands and tells us:
“My Little Child, I am with you!
I love you, and together, we shall walk in this exciting path of Holiness…
… towards My Son and Your Brother…
… towards Our Saviour Jesus!”

Yes, let us give heed to the loving call of our Blessed Mother

And be fervent and zealous to lead a holier life, pleasing to God…
… as we pray, “Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with You…!”

Let this Feast help us to deepen our love for Her Beloved Son and our Saviour, Jesus!
… and our love for each other in the family, our communities and in the Church!

A wonderful Birthday to our Blessed Mother!

We love you, Dearest Mamma!

Happy Feast day to all Her children!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – The movement of the celebration

The Anaphora: with the Eucharistic Prayer – the prayer of thanksgiving and consecration – we come to the heart and summit of the celebration:
In the preface, the Church gives thanks to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, for all his works: creation, redemption, and sanctification.

The whole community thus joins in the unending praise that the Church in heaven, the angels and all the saints, sing to the Thrice-Holy God. (CCC #1352)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 07, 2022: Wednesday

“Being ever faithful to all our duties as a follower of Christ, knowing that ‘our journey is assured to be in safe hands, by our offering to the Lord!’”

(Based on 1 Cor 7:25-31 and Lk 6:20-26 – Wednesday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

A highly rich and influential person was privileged to be one of the special guests to undertake a 21-day cruise on a Majestic Battleship.

This ship belonged to the former Emperor of the land, and had been modernized with immense facilities and luxurious features.

The man was highly impressed with the comforts that were provided on board.

Among the many things that made a pleasant impact on him was also the Sunday Morning Mass that was attended by all the sailors and attendants, who were not on duty.

It was more so, since the man himself was not so particular about the practise of faith.

At the conclusion of the celebration of the Mass, the man asked one of the sailors:
“Are you obliged to attend these Sunday Morning services?”

“It’s not exactly about obligation, Sir!” replied the sailor, “but our journey is assured to be in safe hands, by this our offering to the Lord!”

Those sailors and attendants had made a conscious and deliberate choice to practise their faith and to surrender themselves to the Higher Power for safety and protection.

Our lives are also similar to such cruises…
… sometimes going through calm and quiet waters
… sometimes struggling in disturbed and turbulent waters
… sometimes encountering dangerous storms and violent gales

Do we make a constant choice for the Lord and live ourselves in surrender to Him?

The Gospel of the Day is the beautiful teaching of the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Luke.

The beatitudes are assurances of blessing and joy to all those who make a conscious choice for the Lord and His Kingdom!

Jesus says, “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God” (Lk 6: 20)

One of the great messages in this verse is the Message of Hope!

The Greek word used for “poor” is “ptochos”

Ptochos means…
… reduced to beggary or asking for alms
… destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour
… helpless, powerless to accomplish an end

It’s interesting to note that this word “Ptochos” has its origin in the word “ptosso” which means “to crouch”
Therefore, the “poor” literally means, “one who is crouching” – a position where the knees are bent and the upper body is brought forward and down

It’s a position that is very often defied and despised, in the worldly standards, which emphasizes on being proud and haughty!
It’s a position that is very often made fun of and fooled, in the eyes of the world which glorifies pomp and external show!

Thus, when the Lord says, “Blessed are the poor,” it is a tremendous message of Hope…
… To those who find themselves at the peripheries of life
… To those lost in the miseries of life and find no hope – materially, spiritually, mentally, and socially

Of course, the word “poor” does not mean…
… that one simply becomes timid and passive or be simply submissive to any social evils without any resistance
… that one adopts an attitude of being “always hands folded” in surrender or “faces cast down” in defeat

“Poor” instead refers to the fact that one has God has one’s greatest strength and treasure

Being “poor in the Lord”, contradictory as it may sound, is the greatest richness that one can have.
Being “poor in the Lord” gives the greatest confidence to a person, who realises that being in God, one can never fail!

How true is the saying, “One who kneels before God, can stand before anyone!”

One who is dependent on God and His Grace…
One who is willing to challenge the society’s unjust norms with the mighty trust in God…
One who is aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses and yet offers oneself entirely to the power of God…

Such a one, in the eyes of the world may be “poor”… but is “Blessed” in the sight of God!

It takes courage to be a Christian who is committed!
It requires a conviction to be a follower of Christ who is passionate!

Let us be ever faithful to all our duties as a follower of Christ, not just in fulfilment as an obligation…
… but knowing that “our journey is assured to be in safe hands, by our offering to the Lord!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – The movement of the celebration

From the very beginning Christians have brought, along with the bread and wine for the Eucharist, gifts to share with those in need.
This custom of the collection, ever appropriate, is inspired by the example of Christ who became poor to make us rich: Those who are well off, and who are also willing, give as each chooses.

What is gathered is given to him who presides to assist orphans and widows, those whom illness or any other cause has deprived of resources, prisoners, immigrants and, in a word, all who are in need. (CCC #1351)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 06, 2022: Tuesday

“Responding to the Call of the Lord, Who trusts, invites and calls all of us!”

(Based on 1 Cor 6:1-11 and Lk 6:12-19- Tuesday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

There is “trial by jury” in the British legal system.

The jury consists of 12 individuals chosen at random from an appropriate panel.
>> Anyone who is on the electoral register aged between 18 and 70, and who has been ordinarily resident in the UK for five years since the age of 13…
… is qualified to serve on the jury.

In his essay “The Twelve Men”, dealing with this British jury system, G. K. Chesterton wrote:
“Whenever our civilization wants a library to be catalogued, or a solar system discovered, or any other trifle of this kind, it uses up its specialists.
>> But when it wishes anything done which is really serious, it collects twelve of the ordinary men standing around…

The same thing was done, if I remember right, by the Founder of Christianity!”

And it’s true, right?

Jesus did choose twelve people of ordinary standing and average repute as His Chosen Apostles.

The Gospel of the Day presents this account of this choosing of the Twelve by Jesus, the Master.
>> Twelve persons of varied character…
… invited to be part of the ‘One Kingdom Mission’.
>> Twelve persons of different backgrounds…
… invited to be part of the ‘One Jesus Culture’.
>> Twelve persons of dissimilar emotions…
… invited to be part of the ‘One Love Civilization’.

Let these twelve persons today teach us something simple yet profound for our Spiritual Lives:

1. Simon, called as Peter: The one known for his wavering temperaments yet faithful and simple in his attitude.
>> Assets that can be learnt: To be humble enough to accept our mistakes and correct them

2. Andrew: The one who left fishing and at the multiplication of loaves, brought the five loaves and two fish to Jesus
>> Assets that can be learnt: To bring simple things before God who can work great wonders

3. James: The one who was zealous and who accompanied the Lord at many crucial events of His life
>> Assets that can be learnt: To be zealous for the Kingdom of God and be ready to be in close company with Jesus

4. John: The one who was loyal and displayed tremendous love and faithfulness to His Master
>> Assets that can be learnt: To be faithful and loyal to the Crucified One even in the midst of all uncertainties.

5. Philip: The one, with a Greek name, who told another disciple about Jesus & als helped the Greeks to come to Jesus
>> Assets that can be learnt: To be a person who brings other people to the saving presence of Jesus

6. Bartholomew: The one who was shocked that Jesus was from the lowly Nazareth but was quick to trounce this feeling
>> Assets that can be learnt: To let go of prejudices and preconception about persons and situations

7. Matthew: The one who was given an opportunity to reform his way of life and was generous to let go of his possessions
>> Assets that can be learnt: To be free from material attachments in order to follow Christ freely and fully

8. Thomas: The one who was highly daring and also frank and straightforward in his Faith and his attitude
>> Assets that can be learnt: To be bold about one’s faith even if it means to seek a clarification from God

9. James, son of Alpheus: The one who gets hardly any mention except being called by Jesus and being with the others in the Upper Room after the Ascension of Jesus
>> Assets that can be learnt: To remain in the backdrop, in serving the Lord and being unfazed even if not popular

10. Simon, the Zealot: The one who is also hardly mentioned but is identified with having a great religious zeal
>> Assets that can be learnt: To curb one’s personal instincts and likings in order to suit the style and spirit of Jesus

11. Judas Thaddeus: The one who wrote the Beautiful letter of Jude and exhorts to be faithful to Christ even in hardships
>> Assets that can be learnt: To learn to be faithful and strong even when persecuted for being a Christian

12. Judas Iscariot: The one who gave up his love of Jesus for the sake of the love of money
>> Assets that can be learnt: To avoid the subtle trap of materialism and instead remain focused on Jesus always

Twelve persons of simple nature…
… teach us many secrets and virtues to be powerful witnesses of the Kingdom

Twelve persons of ordinary calibre…
… teach us to become the extension of the love and mission of Christ Jesus

The Jury or the Panel of Twelve Ordinary Persons, chosen by Jesus, have contributed their mite in spreading the Gospel and making this world to experience and recognize God’s tremendous love!
>> The Master now seeks the same of us too…

Though ordinary or simple or little or weak we are – just like the Apostles…
… He still trusts, invites and calls all of us…

Shall we say, Yes?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
>> Sometimes, in procession, the bread and wine are brought to the altar; they will be offered by the priest in the name of Christ in the Eucharistic sacrifice in which they will become his body and blood.
>> It is the very action of Christ at the Last Supper – “taking the bread and a cup.”
>> “The Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator, when she offers what comes forth from his creation with thanksgiving.”
>> The presentation of the offerings at the altar takes up the gesture of Melchizedek and commits the Creator’s gifts into the hands of Christ who, in his sacrifice, brings to perfection all human attempts to offer sacrifices. (CCC #1350)