REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 15, 2021: Tuesday

“Daring to ‘receive into our homes’ those who, though deserve to be punished, but still are worthy of the Mercy of the Lord!”

(Based on 2 Cor 8:1-9 and Mt 5:43-48 – Tuesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

The Year 1989 saw the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Germany.

This wall was the barrier that divided the nation from 1961 to 1989.

After the collapse of the Berlin Wall, there would have been, perhaps, no person in all of East Germany, who was more despised …
… than the former Communist dictator Erich Honecker.

Being the secretary of the Communist Party, Erich Honecker was the prime organiser of the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and, in this function, bore responsibility for the “order to fire” along the inner German border.

However, after the collapse of the wall, Honecker had been stripped of all his offices.

Kicked out of his villa, the new government refused him and his family, new housing.

The family of the Honeckers were rendered homeless and destitute.

It was at this stage, Pastor Uwe Holmer, Director of a Christian Help Centre decided to take a bold step:
Feeling that it would be wrong to give them a room, in the Help Centre, which was meant for even needier people…
… Uwe Holmer decided to take the family of the Honeckers into their own home!

Holmer’s children had suffered the wrath of the rule of the Honechars..

8 of his children had been turned down for higher education, due to their discriminatory policies.

But now, Holmer – filled with God’s Mercy – decided to care and accept their personal enemy – and perhaps one of the most hated men in Germany!

Many people turned against Holmer for his decision
Many felt angered in having given refuge to an enemy

But Holmer, the Christian, was convinced of what he was doing…

It was indeed an unnatural move…
It was undoubtedly an unconventional step…
.. But it was so much Christ-like!

He put into practise what Jesus had taught on the Sermon of the Mount, as we see in today’s Gospel:
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Mt 5:44)

It is said that some books/thoughts are to be just tasted…

Some are to be just swallowed…
While some others are to be chewed and digested!

Well… here is a teaching that is certainly not too easy to digest:
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you!

Sometimes when we hear the word ENEMY…

Our thoughts go to some enemy of the nation or some social criminal…
Or perhaps, some of us, may think of some person who has harmed us deeply or cheated us, and has turned to be an enemy…

But if we analyze our lives closer… we may observe that we all have many enemies in our lives..

An ‘enemy’, is defined by the Oxford Dictionary, as “a person or thing, hostile or opposed to something; that harms or weakens someone/something”

A little closer look into our lives will probably make us to discover that…

Perhaps, many people fall into this definition of being an “enemy”…
… Many in our family or our community
… Many in our friends circle
… Many in our workplaces
… Many in the society

We get so easily offended when our egos our hurt..

We feel a sense of resentment when we are not treated as we feel we ought to be…
We experience bitterness when other people do not fall in line with the way we think…
… there are often so many tussles and mental games…
… and we have so often grudges against all these people!

All these are our “enemies”!

This list of enemies in our life…though apparently unnoticed, is perhaps deeper….

But, today the Lord says: “Love those enemies…and pray for them”!

Humanly speaking, of course, it seems only a theoretical advice – seemingly impractical!

But the Lord wants us to be perfect!

We also know one thing…
… If this was not possible, the Lord would have never said it!

The Life of Jesus Himself was a proof for it…
… Lovingly inviting even all those who hated and detested Him, to experience His Love
… Constantly reaching out with the call of repentance, to those who wronged Him
… Giving His life for all of us, who offend and hurt Him

The call of the Gospel “to love our enemies” is a high demand…

It is indeed a huge challenge…

Yet, with the grace of the Lord…
… Let’s pick up this challenge of the Lord…and seek towards perfection!

St John Paul II says, “Don’t fear to be the saints of the Third Millennia!”

Let’s not remain in idealistic talks and thoughts…
… rather, lets translate the words and challenges of the Lord, in our practical and daily life.

May we identify the “enemies” in our life…
… and seek Divine Assistance and the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, St Joseph and the Saints.

May we dare to “receive into our homes” those who, though deserve to be punished…
… but still are worthy of the Mercy of the Lord!

“Misericordes Sicut Pater” – “Be merciful, like the Heavenly Father” (Lk 6:36)

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
JESUS CHRIST – BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY

What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ…
… and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.
“God sent forth his Son”, but to prepare a body for him, He wanted the free co-operation of a creature.
For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee…
… “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary”
The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother….

… so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life (Cf. CCC # 487-488)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 14, 2021: Monday

“Being bold in one’s convictions and opposing evil, so as to be an icon of the lofty, supreme and mighty spirituality of Jesus!”

(Based on 2 Cor 6:1-10 and Mt 5:38-42 – Monday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

India honours Mahatma Gandhi as the Father of the nation.

The New Testament made a great impression on him, especially the Sermon on the Mount, which went straight to his heart.

He would say to one of his disciples:
“The gentle figure of Christ…
… so patient, so kind, so loving, so full of forgiveness that He taught His followers not to retaliate when abused or struck, but to turn the other cheek…

I thought it was a beautiful example of the perfect man…!”

“The message of Jesus as I understand it,” said Gandhi, “is contained in the Sermon on the Mount unadulterated and taken as a whole…

The Gospel of the Day presents this lofty teaching of Jesus on non-retaliation and the power of forgiving love.

It is significant to read that in this Passage of the Sermon of the Mount, Jesus is instructing some of the core personal tasks that has to be taken up by each individual Christian.

The Sermon on the Mount makes a personal obligation on each Christian

It is worth meditating and reflecting on each line of this Great Sermon, and examining to what extent am I living this lofty and powerful teaching of the Lord in my life.

One of the highly debatable and confusing teachings of Jesus is contained in today’s Gospel reading.

Jesus says, “Do not resist the one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the one cheek, turn to him the other also” (Mt 5: 39)

This verse could easily raise a lot of doubts and questions…

Did Jesus mean that Christian should be passive to evil?
Did Jesus teach that we should suffer unnecessarily in the face of social evils?
Did Jesus teach passivity and being lethargic when one encounters wickedness and evil?

The one direct answer to all such doubts is seen in the light of the life of Jesus Himself…

He was always actively against evil and sinful activities
He was a constant opponent to oppression, condemnation and human wickedness

Then what would have Jesus meant by those strong phrases of “resist evil… and turning one’s cheeks?”

There could be, speaking in general terms, three responses to evil:

  1. Opposing with violence
  2. Bearing everything passively
  3. A courageous non-violence

The first two responses are also popularly called as Fight or Flight
…either FIGHT against the evil… or take FLIGHT from the evil situations

FIGHT: oppose with evil and violence
FLIGHT: run away from the situation or passively be submissive

But the way of Jesus is a higher one…
… a much higher and bolder one: the way of ACTIVE NON-VIOLENCE.

The Greek word that is used by St Mathew, for “resist” is “antisthemi”

‘Antisthemi’ is not a passive or a weak term.

It was a classical Greek ‘military’ term.

It means…
… to take a stand against, to oppose or to resist
… to establish one’s position publicly by conspicuously “holding one’s ground,”.
… It means refusing to be moved (” being pushed back”)

This clearly shows that “to resist evil” is not merely a passive act of submission…
… rather is a firm, courageous and bold action of holding onto one’s convictions of truth and opposing every reaction to subdue truth.

This is further illustrated in the example that Jesus gives, “of turning one’s cheek, when hit on the right cheek”

In the culture of Jesus, the left hand was commonly used for unclean tasks, and only the right hand was considered appropriate for such actions as striking another person.

Now, its common sense to note, that if one hits with the right hand, it would hit the other person only on the “left” cheek.

Therefore, if the person is hit on the “right” cheek, as in the example of Jesus, it could quite probably mean, that one was hit with a “back-hand”.

What is the significance of a back-handed slap?
A backhanded slap, had a greater message than merely hurting or causing pain…

Instead, it meant to be an act of “severe” humiliation… of “terrible” insult!

A backhand slap, in the time of Jesus, was the usual way of admonishing inferiors:

Masters backhanded slaves; husbands, wives; parents, children; men, women; Romans, Jews.

What is the response that Jesus suggests for such an act of dreadful humiliation?
Not Fight… Not Flight.

Rather, a strong and bravely opposing act of courage: “turn the other cheek as well!”

It is a calculated response intended to invite the aggressor to consider his or her actions.
This bold action of turning one’s cheek robs the oppressor of the power to humiliate.

It is as if the oppressed person is saying,
“Try again if you want, buddy!
Your first blow failed to achieve its intended effect.
I deny you any power to humiliate me!”

This was how our Blessed Lord who gave this supremely lofty teaching demonstrated in His life… by dying on the Cross!

The Cross was a powerful opposition to evil and sin.

The One who died on the Cross did not die a passive death…
Rather, He boldly preached against every act of oppression and mightily spoke against every form of discrimination!

As Christians, we need to be bold and courageous to “resist” every evil and sinful deed.
In Christ, we have a teaching that is not passive, but is “extremely” active and powerful.

To merely FIGHT or simply make a FLIGHT in the face of oppressions, is cheap and ordinary…
In fact, it is “no spirituality”.

But to “be bold in one’s convictions” and “to oppose” evil, even to the point of giving up one’s life, is a lofty, supreme and mighty spirituality.

Jesus embodied this spirituality.
Many great men and women in history have been inspired by it and lived it.

As Christians, the followers of the Bold Jesus, are we ready to embrace this “powerful” spirituality?

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
JESUS – CONCEIVED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Annunciation to Mary inaugurates “the fullness of time – the time of the fulfilment of God’s promises and preparations.”
Mary was invited to conceive him in whom the “whole fullness of deity” would dwell “bodily”
The divine response to her question, “How can this be, since I know not man?” was given by the power of the Spirit: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.”
The mission of the Holy Spirit is always conjoined and ordered to that of the Son.
The Holy Spirit, “the Lord, the giver of Life”, is sent to sanctify the womb of the Virgin Mary and divinely fecundate it…
… causing her to conceive the eternal Son of the Father in a humanity drawn from her own.

The Father’s only Son, conceived as man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, is “Christ”- anointed by the Holy Spirit, from the beginning of his human existence, though the manifestation of this fact takes place only progressively: to the shepherds, to the magi, to John the Baptist, to the disciples. >> Thus the whole life of Jesus Christ will make manifest “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.” (Cf. CCC # 484-486)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 13, 2021: Sunday

“Gazing at the ‘large canvas of miracles’ that we experience every moment of our lives and singing the splendour of God, Who is in total charge!”

(Based on Ezek 17:22-24, 2 Cor 5:6-10 and Mk 4:26-34 – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

A family was visiting an art museum.

As they went around with much amazement, excitement and wonder, they came to a famous painting titled “Wheatfield under clouded sky”

This painting was by Vincent Willem van Gogh – a Dutch painter – who posthumously became one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art.

He had created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, include those of landscapes, still lives, portraits and self-portraits

As the children gazed in admiration at this classical painting, the mother of the family, exclaimed:
“If this work of art, that portrays the beauty of nature, makes us acclaim so much…
… how much more is the Beauty, Power and Goodness of the God Who has created all of this nature!”

And with a great sense of gratitude and appreciation to the Awesomeness of God, she went on to say:
“God writes with a pen that never blots…
… speaks with a tongue that never slips
… and acts with a hand that never fails!”

Yes, our God is an awesome God!

And the entire world – all of nature – beautifully sings forth the glory and splendour of God, Who is in total charge!

The Gospel of Day is a beautiful narration of Jesus, using an example from nature, to teach about the Glory and Splendour of God.

All through His teaching ministry, Jesus used different examples, metaphors and symbols to explain about the Kingdom of God.

Today, Jesus speaks about a man who scatters seeds on the land.

Without his awareness there is a growth.
“…and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how” (Mk 4:27)

One of the most tender ideas that this parable presents is that there are many things in life that are not understood and yet, it turns out to be beautiful!

The seed that grows, unnoticed and unseen, is a sign of the Kingdom of God.

The seed takes root.

The seed sprouts.

The seed grows.
But HOW this takes place, is unknown and unseen…

The effect of the growth is seen, but the process of the growth is unknown!

The result of the progress is observed, but the manner of the progress is hidden!

In John 3:8, we read, “The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes… so it is with everyone born of the Spirit”

The movement of the Spirit of God is gentle and mild!

The growth of God’s Kingdom is hidden and concealed!

This points to the tremendous fact that God is in total charge and control!
…that God is in perfect sovereignty and power!
…that God is in total dominion and management!

We are sometimes people prone to a lot of strategies and planning.

When things don’t turn out the way we have planned, we get worried and anxious.
When situations don’t fall in line with what we envisaged, we get tensed and upset!

But, today God tells… I am in total control!

When my life seems to be in a complete mess and nothing is understood by us…

God says, “I am in total control”

When circumstances around me go haywire and I lose control of things…

God says, “I am in total control”

When conditions are highly worse and it seems to be the end of the world for me…

God says, “I am in total control”

St Paul beautifully reminds us: “So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord…
… for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him!” (2 Cor 5:6-9)

This is not to say that we need to have a passive and lethargic attitude to life.

This is not to say that we need to have a casual and a lazy mentality in life.
This is not even to say that we should not have plans and strategies in our life

But this is a great reminder to know and realise that God is the Ultimate Master!

There are no accidents… no “by chance” happenings…
… for a Christian.

Everything finds its place, in the Permissive Will of the Lord!

Do I trust in Him to lead through the dark moments into light?

Do I believe in Him to lead through the depressing moments into joy?

Do I have faith in Him to lead through the confusing moments to clarity?

Prophet Ezekiel declares the glorious sovereignty of God:
“All the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord. I bring low the high tree, I make high the low tree; I dry up the green tree make the dry tree flourish. I the Lord have spoken; I will accomplish it.” (Ezek 17:24)

Let us enjoy the silent working of the Spirit within us…
….and be part of the..
… unseen, yet dynamic..
… silent, yet spectacular…
growth of the Kingdom of God!

As we gaze at the “large canvas of miracles” that we experience every day, every moment of our life…
… let us joyfully exclaim the Awesomeness of God and His Splendour, by confessing:
“God writes with a pen that never blots…
… speaks with a tongue that never slips
… and acts with a hand that never fails!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
THE HEART OF THE INCARNATE WORD

Jesus knew and loved us each and all during His life, His agony and His Passion…
… and gave himself up for each one of us: “The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me.”
He has loved us all with a human heart.
For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation…
… “is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that Love…

… with which the Divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings without exception” (Cf. CCC # 478)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 12, 2021: Saturday

“Consecrating our lives to the Maternal Care of our Blessed Mother Mary and finding consolation and comfort in Her Immaculate Heart!”

(Based on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother)

There is a well-known incident in the life of St Francis de Sales…

During the period from December 1586 to January 1587, St Francis underwent a terrible crisis, a temptation, a trial.

There were several causes:

  1. His natural tendency to anxiety
  2. The problem of predestination (a Calvinist position which says that God has determined the eternal destiny of every human being. He has chosen some to eternal life and foreordained others to everlasting punishment) keenly discussed in theological circles in those days.
  3. A mystical dimension to the trial: an unselfish, pure love of God and total surrender to Him, in which lay the answer to his problems as he was being tempted to despair of his salvation.

One day in January 1587, St Francis went into the church of St. Etienne des Grès.

He went to the chapel of our Lady and knelt down in front of the statue.

He was inspired to make an unconditional surrender of his salvation to God, using the words:
“O God, Just Judge and Merciful Father, at least in this life will I love You…
… if it is not given to me to love You in life everlasting”.

Then he saw there a card with the prayer – The Memorare:
“Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary…”

He took it and earnestly prayed it.

He was instantly healed.

The temptation vanished.

Strength and confidence returned to him.

He consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and decided to dedicate his life to God with a vow of chastity.

The Gentleman Saint, St Francis de Sales found consolation and encouragement by dwelling on the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother Mary, and consecrated himself to Her maternal care.

Today, on the Feast Day of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we too are invited to admire and venerate the deep love and affection of our Blessed Mother…
… and to seek Her help and intercession to lead a life in closer union with the Lord.

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Blessed Mary is celebrated on the following day of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of the Lord.

Jesus in a vision to Lucia (one of the Fatima visionaries) said: “I want My Church to…put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.”

Lucia would also say: ““The work of our redemption began at the moment when the Word descended from Heaven in order to assume a human body in the womb of Mary.
From that moment, and for the next nine months, the Blood of Christ was the Blood of Mary, taken from Her Immaculate Heart; the Heart of Christ was beating in unison with the Heart of Mary!”

Both these devotions are intricately linked.

The Catechism of the Church says:
“Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it.” (CCC # 964)

“This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death”. (CCC #1172)

Saint Alphonsus Ligouri tells us, “After the love which we Jesus Christ, we must give the chief place in our heart to the love of His Mother Mary.”

It was in 1942, in the context of the devastating Second World War, that Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

St Luke gives a glimpse into this Blessed Heart of our Mother, when he testifies that “… Jesus’ Mother kept all these things in Her Heart” (Lk 2: 51b)

What does the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother teach us?

  1. The Immaculate Heart of Mary teaches us that “everything in life is not understood”.
    Mother Mary had to face a lot of hardships and struggles in life

Right from the moment of the Annunciation
… to the misunderstandings about her marital life
… the hardships at the time of the birth of Her Child
… the grievances and tribulations in the events post-birth and care of the Child
… the loss of Her Spouse, Joseph
… the misunderstandings that Her Little Babe had to face in His ministry
… the cruel death meted out to Her Beloved Child

With all these great troubles of life, we still find that Mother Mary remained trustful and obedient.

  1. The Immaculate Heart of Mary teaches us that “sorrow and pain are an integral part of everyone’s life”
    The Heart of our Blessed Mother faced a lot of pain and agonies…
    … sacrificing of a promising life ahead, for the sake of giving birth to God’s Child
    … facing crisis in the family and possibilities of misunderstanding with her to-be-husband Joseph
    … uncertainty during and after the birth of the Child
    … living life as a widow and alone with Her Son away in a risky mission
    … undergoing the deepest pain of seeing One’s Own Child facing a harrowing death
  2. The Immaculate Heart of Mary teaches us that “being focused on doing God’s Will brings the greatest joy and happiness”
    The Heart of our Blessed Mother was ever focused on doing God’s Will.

Just as Her Son would tell later on in life, “My food is to do the Will of the One who sent me” (Jn 4:34), Mary also would sustain Her life on doing the Will of the Father at all times.

This would therefore turn out to be the source of strength and joy, even in the midst of the deep pain that Her Heart underwent.

The Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother is a model and example and inspiration for all of us too….
a. Do I realise that “not everything in life can be understood”; yet life is still worth living and making it beautiful for others and for God?

b. Do I accept that “pains and problems” are part and parcel of life; yet, holding on to the Father’s Hands will assure us of a spiritual joy and heavenly peace?

c. Do I seek to constantly seek and do God’s Will in my life, and be committed and faithful to the tasks that are entrusted to me, as part of my vocation?

Saint Louis de Montfort beautifully reminds us: “If you put all the love of the mothers into one heart it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.”

May we consecrate our lives to the Maternal Care of our Blessed Mother Mary and find consolation and comfort in Her Immaculate Heart!

Let the words of St Francis de Sales inspire us greatly: “Honour, revere and respect the Blessed Virgin Mary with a very special love; she is the Mother of our Sovereign Lord, and so we are Her children.
Let us think of Her with all the love and confidence of affectionate children
Let us desire Her love, and strive with true filial hearts to imitate Her Graces!”

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mamma!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, may we rest in You!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
CHRIST’S TRUE BODY

Since the Word became flesh in assuming a true humanity, Christ’s body was finite.
Therefore the human face of Jesus can be portrayed; at the seventh ecumenical council (Nicaea II in 787) the Church recognized its representation in holy images to be legitimate.
At the same time the Church has always acknowledged that in the body of Jesus “we see our God made visible…
… and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see.”
The individual characteristics of Christ’s body express the divine person of God’s Son.
He has made the features of his human body his own, to the point that they can be venerated when portrayed in a holy image…

… for the believer “who venerates the icon is venerating in it the person of the one depicted” (Cf. CCC # 476-477)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 11, 2021: Friday

Responding to the invitation of the Lord, Who displays His Sacred Heart: ‘This Heart of Mine… is just for you! Can you also give me your life…and tell me, ‘LORD, JUST FOR YOU!’”

(Based on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus)

A youngster who was pretty desperate in life – contemplating even of terminating his life – exasperated and lost, was passing along the streets, when he heard the Church bells ringing for the Angelus at noon time.

Something in him, made him to go inside the Church.

As he went in, he saw a large statue of Jesus…
… with the Sacred Heart of Jesus prominently displayed

And underneath the statue were written words…
… beautiful words that would bring him much consolation, hope and joy

So much so, that he would take a resolution to amend his life and to live with greater hope and joy!

The words were as follows:
“As you look into My Heart… remember always, these words:

There is an Eye that never sleeps, even beneath the wing of night
… just for you!

There is a Ear that never shuts, even when sink the beams of light
… just for you!

There is an Arm that never tires, even when human strength gives way
… just for you!

There is a Love that never fails, even when earthly loves decay
… just for you!

And… there is a Heart that never stops beating, even when trials of life lash you hard
… just for you!

This Heart of Mine… is just for you!

Can you also give me your life…?
… and tell me, “LORD, JUST FOR YOU!”

Today on this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we contemplate in adoration and meditation on the Heart of our Blessed Lord – pierced and broken and shared – in love for each one of us…
… as He tells us, “This Heart of Mine… is just for you!”

Love, by its nature, gives away…

The Sacred Heart of our Blessed Lord – which is deep-rooted in Mercy and Compassion – bears wounds and patches that are symbolic of His Passionate Love for all of us!

In the year 1673, Our Blessed Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary and made her to rest her head upon His Heart; and during which He revealed to her the wonders of His love.

He revealed to her, His Sacred Heart…
… and requested her to establish the Feast of the Sacred Heart – the Friday after the Corpus Christi, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ- in order to make reparation for sins which offend His Sacred Heart.

In her vision, she saw His wounded heart, on fire with love, saying, “Behold this Heart which has loved men so much and has received such little love in return.”

It was on June 11, 1899 Pope Leo XIII solemnly consecrated the whole humankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Gospel of the day presents the account of how the Heart of our Blessed Lord was pierced with a lance, on Mount Calvary.
“But one soldier thrust his lance into His side, and immediately blood and water flowed out” (Jn 19: 34)

The Catholic tradition identifies the water as the symbol of Baptism and the Blood as the symbol of the Holy Eucharist.

The Water symbolizes purification.
The Blood symbolizes atonement.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is today one of the most recognizable symbols of the Christian faith.

The picture consists of the Heart, with the wound of the lance in its side, a crown of thorns about it, a cross above it and flames surrounding it.

This Sacred Heart of Jesus represents not only His physical heart…
… but His love for all humankind.

This Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of the Lord teaches us many things…

a. It teaches us the immense love that the Lord possesses for each one of us, personally.

Have I experienced the tremendous love that the Lord has for me?

I may feel myself low.
I may consider myself to be not very good.
I may think that my life is just not worth living.
I may deem that my past has ruined my life very badly.
I may judge that situations around me can never be changed.

Even with all these things, am I convinced that “Jesus loves me”, still… and that He will take me through, by the power of His love?

b. It teaches us the pain and the agony that the Lord still undergoes as a result of our sin and the sins of the world

Do I realize that a sinful life brings tears to the Lord and causes more wounds to the Precious Heart of the Lord?

There is nothing which pains the Lord more than sin.
It was for our salvation that He shed even the last drop of His blood.
He not just wants but insists and demands and commands us to live in holiness.

Do I give heed to this “passionate and sincere” call of the Lord to live our lives in sanctity and in accordance to God’s Will in my life?

c. It teaches us the need to be part of the process of redemption that Christ has won for us and to be shareholders in His mission of bringing God’s love to all

Do I become aware that Christ is calling me to be part of His redemptive work of salvation?

Christ still suffers and undergoes pains.
From the Cross, He cried, “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28)
He desires that people who have known and experienced His love become effective agents of bringing His love to others.
By a life of sacrifices (tiny or great…little or huge), by simple acts of love, compassion and mercy and by greater participation in the Sacramental Life of the Church, the love of the Sacred Heart can be brought to many more people.

Am I willing to take up this responsibility that the Lord is handing on to us?

The Heart of the Lord is pierced, broken and shared for each one of us.

In the Holy Eucharist, we have the privilege to receive this greatest treasure.

In turn, we are to break our hearts and share it with others, to bring the love and compassion of the Lord to the world.

May this Solemnity of the Precious Symbol of True Love stir the flames of God’s Love in our hearts and inspire us to set ablaze the world on fire, with His Love and Compassion!

Sacred Heart of Jesus, may we ever remain close to You!

With St Francis de Sales, the Doctor of Love, let us pray:
“May Thy Heart dwell always in our hearts!

May Thy Blood ever flow in the veins of our souls!

O sun of our hearts, Thou givest life to all things by the rays of Thy Goodness!

I will not go until Thy Heart has strengthened me, O Lord Jesus!

May the heart of Jesus be the king of my heart!”

Blessed be God. Amen.”

As we gaze at the Sacred Heart, we are reminded
“This Heart of Mine… is just for you!

Can you also give me your life…?
… and tell me, “LORD, JUST FOR YOU!”

Happy Feast of the Most Blessed Heart of the Lord!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
Christ’s Human Will

At the sixth ecumenical council, Constantinople III in 681, the Church confessed that Christ possesses two wills and two natural operations, divine and human.
They are not opposed to each other…
… but co-operate in such a way that the Word made flesh willed humanly in obedience to his Father all that he had decided divinely with the Father and the Holy Spirit for our salvation.

Christ’s Human Will “does not resist or oppose but rather submits to His Divine and Almighty Will!” (Cf. CCC # 475)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 10, 2021: Thursday

“Making efforts to be people, who not simply ‘react;’ instead, in patience and gentleness, seek to ‘respond!’”

(Based on 2 Cor 3:15-4:1,3-6 and Mt 5:20-26 – Thursday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

Sinbad the Sailor is a fictional character.

His tales are mostly voyage stories – fantastic adventure stories through the seas of Africa and South Asia.

One of the tales narrates of how Sinbad and his sailors landed on an island.

On arriving, they saw coconuts, high up on the trees; which could very well quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger.

But these coconuts were far beyond their reach.

However, they noticed a large number of monkeys on the branches of the trees.

Soon enough, Sinbad and his men, began to throw stones and sticks up at the apes.

This enraged the monkeys and they began to seize the coconuts…
… and hurl them down at the men on the ground.

This was exactly what Sinbad and his men wanted!

They got the monkeys so angry…
… that they gave in to satisfy the needs of those who made them angry!

This is exactly what anger does…
… we play ourselves, into the hands of those who cause us to lose our temper!

We end up “reacting”…
… than “responding”!

The Gospel of the day is a teaching by Jesus on this very important concern of Christian Life: Anger.

Killing is considered to be a serious evil in every society and every way of life

Killing in its basic form is usually considered only in the sense of the physical body.

But the Lord today presents a higher perspective in the understanding of killing…
“You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill’; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment’. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to the judgment….” (Mt 5: 21)

The Lord expands the understanding of killing beyond the physical body…

A person engages in killing… if, by anger…
… the social standing of the other person is upset
… the emotional state of the other person is wounded
… the spiritual balance of the other person is disturbed

We could understand anger from various perspectives…

  1. Anger as Quick temper
    Prov 15:18 says, “An ill-tempered man stirs up strife…”

It is said that speak when one is angry, one makes the best speech that would be regretted much!

Quick temper sometimes…
…. forms part of our temperament
… comes even unknowingly
… is instigated by other’s actions

Yet, in all this, one ought to…
… rise quickly from remaining in the state of anger.
… become conscious of the occasions which can excite anger
… see that the temper is not fed or nurtured or intensified

  1. Anger which leads to stubbornness
    Eph 4:26: “…. do not let the sun to set on your anger”

Sometimes, the anger within is allowed to grow so much…
…that we get habituated to getting angry for even tiny and trivial matters
…that we lose our peace of mind, and sometimes even become indifferent
…that we choose not to budge from our position or viewpoint and remain adamant

Yet, we need to make efforts…
… to try to overcome our ego and self mentality and seek to make amends with the person
… to lower oneself in humility (even if we are right) and ease the situation of annoyance

Anger needs to be sanctified…channelled in the proper way!

One may feel a ‘just’ anger at….
… the immense corruption in the world and even in religious circles
… the forces of evil that seem to root away even faint traces of hope
… the indifferent and unchanging attitudes and temperaments of people which is sickening.

Yet… even these ought to get channelled properly
… even these ought to be routed in the right manner

Yes… even our just anger needs to be sanctified and purified in the burning furnace of God’s Love.

Anger is indeed a major tendency that is a cause of distress for many of us.
Anger is indeed a prime inclination that is a root of sin for many of us.

There are moments, when anger captures us and we throw ourselves into people…
… throw words which are not appropriate
… throw emotions that would cause shame and guilt later
… throw actions and deeds that would cause pain and injury

Let us make genuine, practical and realistic efforts in the fight to sanctify and purify our anger.

Undoubtedly…
… it is painstaking
… it requires deeper attempts
… it requires committed determination!

But the Lord assures His Grace to help us and His Love to encourage us!

Let us make efforts to be people, who not simply “react”…
… instead, in patience and gentleness, seek to “respond!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:

This truly human knowledge of God’s Son expressed the divine life of his person.
“The human nature of God’s Son, not by itself but by its union with the Word, knew and showed forth in itself everything that pertains to God.”
Such is first of all the case with the intimate and immediate knowledge that the Son of God made man has of his Father.
The Son in his human knowledge also showed the divine penetration he had into the secret thoughts of human hearts.
By its union to the divine wisdom in the person of the Word incarnate, Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal.

What he admitted to not knowing in this area, he elsewhere declared himself not sent to reveal (Cf. CCC # 473-474)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 09, 2021: Wednesday

“Making efforts to growing into Convinced and Certain and Confident Christians!”

(Based on 2 Cor 3:4-11 and Mt 5:17-19 – Wednesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

A university student was seen with a large “K” printed on his T- shirt.

When someone asked him what the “K” stood for, he said, “Confused.”
“But,” the questioner replied, “you don’t spell “confused” with a “K!”

The student answered, “Well, you don’t know how confused I am!”

The confused state of mind led to be boy to display a totally confused and puzzled look!

How often is this true in our own lives as a Christian…

We fail to have certain convictions in our faith… and the resultant life that is displayed outside, is one of confusion or uncertainty.
We fail to be sure of what our life of faith is…and as a result, we fail to bring people to experience God’s love and instead, sometimes even lead others astray.

The Gospel of the Day is a peek into the conviction that Jesus had in His life of preaching and mission and a challenge for us to become persons who become fervent and convinced in teaching the commandments of the Kingdom of God.

The Gospel is a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount.

Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfil” (Mt 5: 17)

One of the distinguishing features in the preaching and teaching ministry of Jesus was His deep conviction and certainty.

Jesus did not speak as if He was blabbering on some unknown topic.

Jesus did not mutter words as if He was whiling away time to talk on a strange issue.

Instead, Jesus was thoroughly convinced of what He spoke and taught.

It was this deep-seated conviction that made Him to say that He had “come not to abolish the law or the prophets”.

The message of Jesus contained newness and freshness.

However, it was not a preaching that was entirely new

It was a teaching that was born in deep certainty and delivered with utmost conviction.

He was the fullness of the teachings of all the Law.

He was the fulfilment of the prophecies of all the Prophets.

This gave it a fresh crispiness.

This gave it a refreshing perspective.

Do we also possess a similar conviction and certainty in our Life of Faith, just as Jesus displayed?

The Lord demands such a requirement.

Hence, He would say, that “whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so, will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 5: 19)

Our Christian lives are sometimes marked by an unwanted uncertainty and confusing convictions.

We know a little bit about our faith… but not deep enough.
We know a little bit concerning our teachings… but not in its depth.
We know a little bit about the virtues we are to live… but not fully convinced of it.

As a result of this ‘unsure’ attitude and ‘confused’ mentality, we are unable to
… (1) live a true and honest Christian lives
… (2) witness and teach others our genuine faith

May we not remain confused Christians; rather experience the love and mercy of the Lord…
… and make efforts to growing into Convinced and Certain and Confident Christians!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
CHRIST’S SOUL AND HIS HUMAN KNOWLEDGE

Apollinarius of Laodicaea asserted that in Christ the divine Word had replaced the soul or spirit. Against this error the Church confessed that the eternal Son also assumed a rational, human soul.
This human soul that the Son of God assumed is endowed with a true human knowledge.
As such, this knowledge could not in itself be unlimited…
… it was exercised in the historical conditions of his existence in space and time.
This is why the Son of God could, when He became man, “increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man”…
… and would even have to inquire for himself about what one in the human condition can learn only from experience.

This corresponded to the reality of his voluntary emptying of himself, taking “the form of a slave!” (Cf. CCC # 471-472)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 08, 2021: Tuesday

“Having courage to be the ‘salt of the earth and light of the world!’”

(Based on 2 Cor 1:18-22 and Mt 5:13-16 – Tuesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

Here is a lovely story of a humble little monk named Telemachus living out in the farming regions of Asia.

Telemachus had no great ambitions in life.

He loved his little garden, and tilled it through the changing seasons.

But one day in the year 391, he felt a sense of urgency, a call of God’s direction in his life – to Rome.

Rome was the heart and soul of the mighty empire.

The feelings of such a call frightened him, but he went anyway, praying along the way for God’s direction.

When he finally got to the city it was in an uproar! The armies of Rome had just come home from the battlefield in victory, and the crowds were turning out for a great celebration.

They flowed through the streets like a tidal wave…
… and Telemachus was caught in their frenzy and carried into the Colloseum.

He had never seen a gladiator contest before, but now his heart sickened.

Down in the arena men hacked at each other with swords and clubs.

The crowds roared at the sight of blood, and urged their favourites on to death.

Telemachus couldn’t stand it.
He knew this wasn’t the way God wanted people to live or to die.

So little Telemachus worked his way through the crowds to the wall down by the arena. “In the name of Christ, forbear!” he shouted.

Nobody heard him, so he crawled up onto the wall and shouted again: “In the name of Christ, forbear!”

This time the few who heard him only laughed. But Telemachus was not to be ignored.

He jumped into the arena, and ran through the sands toward the gladiators. “In the name of Christ, forbear!”

The crowds laughed at the silly little man, and threw stones at him.

Telemachus, however, was on a mission.

He threw himself between two gladiators to stop their fighting. “In the name of Christ, forbear!” he cried.

They hacked him apart!
They cut his body from shoulder to stomach…
… and he fell onto the sand with blood running out of his life.

The gladiators were stunned, and stopped to watch him die.

Then the crowds fell back in silence, and, for a moment, no one in the Colloseum moved.

The site of the dead man, and the reaction of the crowd, led the emperor and his guests to silently stand, turn and leave the Colloseum.

After a few minutes, the Gladiators put their swords down and they too left.

All that remained in that giant stadium was the scrawny lifeless body of the young man.

History claims that this was the very last gladiator game at the coliseum.

The memory of that man screaming to the crowd, and the image of the blood thirsty lust of the crowd had changed the hearts and the minds of the Romans in that instant.

Within an hour, the emperor issued an edict forbidding any future games of war within the Roman Empire.

There was no more killing in the Colloseum.
There were no more gladiator matches in Rome.
All because one man, stood up… and said “In the Name of Jesus, forbear!!”

He, as a true Christian, became, the salt of the earth and light of the world.

This is the call of the Gospel of the Day.

Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth” (Mt 5: 13)
“You are the light of the world” (Mt 5: 14)

In ancient Greece, salt was considered so valuable it was called, “theon” – divine.

The Romans believed that nothing was of more value than salt except the Sun. Roman soldiers were even paid in salt.
An ancient Near Eastern custom still practiced among some Arabs today is that a pact of friendship is sealed with a gift of salt.

This call of the Gospel has gained significant importance and urgency in our world today.

We live in times and generation when the need to be a “salt” and “light” has gained tremendous urgency…

The world is losing a taste for things of everlasting value and instead relishes more of transient materials.

Can I be a “salt” in such situations giving the taste of eternity and goodness…
… to revive lives and to orient them towards the real joys of life?

The world is fast degrading and losing values in various areas like moral life, social situations, cultural integrity and religious fervour.

Can I be a “light”, casting away the darkness of ignorance…
… and shedding new illumination and radiance for the revival of sanctified lives?

The world today, and even the Church, sometimes, has her members sadly deeply getting corrupted and there are strong strands of infection and contamination affecting various core dimensions.

Can I be a “salt” which rubs in consciousness for transformation and change…
… and be a healing agent to prick the conscience of people to lead an integral life?

The world and even the Church, sometimes, is easy on closing the eye to the evils that are constantly rising, and fails to be a powerful voice for justice and peace

Can I be a “light” which casts its powerful rays on the dark shades of wickedness…
… and expose the inhuman elements of the society, helping towards a harmonious and pleasant world?

“Salt” and “light” are symbols of purity.

To be the “salt” and “light” in the world, demands a high level of perfection and holiness in our lives.

St Paul reminds us that “it is God Who establishes us… in Christ and has anointed us by putting His seal on us and giving us His Spirit in our hearts as a first instalment!” (2 Cor 1:21-22)

Today let us specially seek the intercession of St Marian Therese, the Indian Saint on her feast day…
…. and may we be willing to rise up to the challenge of being the “salt of the earth” and “light to the world”…
… even if it requires giving up many of our comfort areas of life
… so that our Christian values can be preserved and the love of God may shine forth to the world!

In the dangerous “colloseums of our world” when the Gospel Virtues are often ripped apart…
… let us have the courage, with the Mighty Grace of God, to declare: “In the name of Christ, forbear!”

And thus the “salt of the earth and light of the world!”

God bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
HOW IS THE SON OF GOD, MAN?

Because “human nature was assumed, not absorbed”, in the mysterious union of the Incarnation, the Church was led over the course of centuries to confess the full reality of Christ’s human soul…
… with its operations of intellect and will, and of his human body.
In parallel fashion, she had to recall on each occasion that Christ’s human nature belongs, as his own, to the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it.
Everything that Christ is and does in this nature derives from “one of the Trinity”.
The Son of God therefore communicates to his humanity his own personal mode of existence in the Trinity. In his soul as in his body, Christ thus expresses humanly the divine ways of the Trinity: “The Son of God… worked with human hands
… He thought with a human mind.
… He acted with a human will
… and with a human heart he loved.

Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin. (Cf. CCC # 470)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 07, 2021: Monday

“Adopting Divine Attitudes in life and mapping our lives in accordance with the Beatitudes!”

(Based on 2 Cor 1:1-7 and Mt 5:1-12 – Monday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

This popular story is told of a trucker who went into a drive-in restaurant along the highway.

He had ordered a large meal and was beginning to enjoy it…
… when four guys on motorcycles – looking rough and toughs – came in.

These people – local ruffians – roughed up the trucker…
… devoured on the meal that he had ordered and finished it.

The trucker did not talk back to them.

He simply paid his bill and left.

The tough guys were revelling and gloating.
Proudly they began to say, “He didn’t have the guts to say a single word or to lift a hand.

So much of a weakling he was, isn’t it
He didn’t to even raise a voice or didn’t know to retaliate!”

The waiter who seeing all that was happening, came along and added: “He didn’t probably know much of driving either probably!

He just backed his truck over four bikes in the parking lot!”

That’s often how human tendencies are, isn’t it?

The tendency to laud over others and to display one’s power and arrogance…
The tendency to give back in revenge and to seek for opportunities to avenge…

These are tendencies that as human beings we all have – in one form or the other – in one measure or the other

But as a Christian – a follower of Christ – we are challenged to move beyond such “human” (or rather, inhuman!) tendencies, and adopt Divine Attitudes in life.

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful charter of Divine Attributes – BE ATTITUDES – that are to be lived and practised in our day to day being and living!

The Eight Beatitudes – one of the most beautiful passages of the B.I.B.L.E. (sometimes expanded as being “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”!) – presents to us a ready reference on how to live as a True Follower of Christ.

The passage begins with the sentence, “Jesus went up to the mountain and SAT DOWN…and HE BEGAN TO TEACH them” (Mt 5:1)

In the Jewish Tradition, the Rabbi (teacher) would sit and teach.

The Hebrew word ‘Rabbi’ is derived from “rav”, which means ‘Great One’.

When St Matthew specifically mentions that “Jesus sat down and taught”, Jesus is presented as the Rabbi: The Great One – The Teacher – who speaks with great authority.

Jesus is the New Moses, who presents the “New Law- the law of Absolute Love!”

What is this teaching of such great authority?

It’s a teaching which calls for a reversal of the worldly values!
It’s a teaching that turns the worldly standards of greatness upside down!

The world holds in high esteem the aspects of power, prestige, richness and prosperity.

The yardstick of greatness of people is very often measured in terms of these external achievements.

But Jesus, the teacher-par-excellence, reverses this false notion of the world…
… And pronounces BLESSEDNESS to the poor, the mourning, the meek, the hungry and thirsty, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers and the persecuted ones!

High jumpers while competing with each other, keep raising the bar higher and higher, to achieve victory.

Similarly, the Beatitudes that are pronounced by Jesus raises the bar – the standards of Christian life are raised to a great proportion.

All the beatitudes, focus on one aspect: The need to lower oneself and instead to understand that “God alone suffices!”

Very often many questions pop up in our minds…
…. “Why is my life full of suffering, though I seek to live a genuine life?”
… “Why do the unjust prosper, and the people who pursue for justice fail to receive rewards?”
… “Why does success elude me whereas those who adopt wrong means bask in achievements?”

It’s hard to give a downright answer to such questions…
… but the Beatitudes gives us a glimpse into the mind of Jesus: That in all such occasions, our attitude ought to be, “God alone suffices!”.

“GOD ALONE SUFFICES” ought to be our mantra…
… when we find ourselves at the receiving end, even though after having worked hard, we don’t find the expected success
… when we are still subject to persecutions and hardships even though we live in honesty and truthfulness

Of course, this teaching is hard to follow… may even seem impractical…!

Yet, we are not alone…
… Jesus the teacher, Himself is our Model and Example… He walked the talk!

Hanging on the Cross, Jesus became the epitome of the Beatitudes that He Proclaimed

He is the One…
… Who was and is, the Poor, Mourning, Meek, Hungry and Thirsty,
… Who was and is, the Merciful, Clean of Heart, Peacemaker and the Persecuted One!

Today let us look to Jesus, the Teacher and the One who lived out the Beatitudes, and make our Christian life more meaningful!

As human beings we do have tendencies to laud over others or display power and arrogance or to give back in revenge or to seek for opportunities to avenge etc

But let this Teaching on the Beatitudes help us as a True Follower of Christ to move beyond such “inhuman” tendencies…
… and adopt Divine Attitudes in life.

In the words of Fulton Sheen, “It’s hard to be a Christian… but it’s harder not to be one!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
JESUS CHRIST – TRUE GOD AND TRUE MAN!

After the Council of Chalcedon, some made of Christ’s human nature a kind of personal subject. >> Against them, the fifth ecumenical council, at Constantinople in 553, confessed that “there is but one hypostasis [or person], which is our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Trinity.”
Thus everything in Christ’s human nature is to be attributed to his divine person as its proper subject, not only his miracles but also his sufferings and even his death:
“He who was crucified in the flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ, is true God, Lord of glory, and one of the Holy Trinity.”
The Church thus confesses that Jesus is inseparably true God and true man.

He is truly the Son of God who, without ceasing to be God and Lord, became a man and our brother: “What he was, he remained and what he was not, he assumed”, sings the Roman Liturgy (Cf. CCC # 468-469)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 06, 2021: Sunday

“Growing in the experience of ‘the greatest love story of all time that is contained in a Tiny White Host!’”

(Based on the Solemnity of Corpus Christ – the Body and Blood of Christ)

The initial years of the 20th Century saw communists seizing a Catholic parish and imprisoning the priest in his own rectory near the church. After being locked up in his own house, the priest looked out the window and was horrified to see the anti-Catholic militants enter the church.

Once inside, they went into the sanctuary, broke open the tabernacle and in an act of desecration, threw down the ciborium – scattering the Sacred Hosts on the floor.

The priest knew exactly how many Hosts had been in the ciborium: Thirty-two.

However, the communists either failed to notice, or did not pay any attention to a small girl who had been praying at the back of the Church.

She saw everything.

That night the girl returned, and slipping past the guard at the rectory, entered the Church where she made a Holy Hour.

After her Holy Hour, she went into the sanctuary, and kneeling down, bent over and received Jesus in the Holy Communion with her tongue (Since at that time, it was not permissible lay-people to touch the Sacred Host with their hands)

Each night, the girl returned to the church to make her Holy Hour and received Jesus in Holy Communion on her tongue, just as she did the first night.

On the thirty- second night, after having consumed the last Host, she accidentally made a noise that awoke the guard who was asleep at his post by the priest’s residence.

From his bedroom window, the priest could only watch in horror as the heartrending scene unfolded before his eyes!

The girl tried to run away…
…. But the guard chased her, grabbed her, and beat her to death with the butt of his rifle!

The little girl had a heroic martyrdom – all because of her tender and deep love for the Holy Eucharist!

It was this incident that would inspire Archbishop Fulton Sheen – one of the greatest 20th century proponents of the Catholic Church – to spend one hour each, daily, before the Holy Eucharist

The daring action of that little girl inspired the heart of another fervent soul, Fulton Sheen, who would go on to influence millions to love Jesus in the Holy Eucharist!

How is our love for the Holy Eucharist?

Today we solemnly celebrate the Great Feast of the Corpus Christi – the Body and Blood of Jesus.

The Catechism of the Church teaches, “In the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained” (#1374).

On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus with His chosen disciples, celebrated the Passover Meal, taking the bread and wine, solemnly declaring, “This is my Body” (Mk 14: 22) and “This is my Blood” (Mk 14: 24)

The following day, Jesus would carry out this sacrifice of offering Himself for the expiation of the sins of the world, on Mount Calvary.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist is the perpetual continuation and adoration of the sacrifice of Calvary.

The Holy Mass is not another sacrifice.
The Holy Mass is not a repetition of the sacrifice of Calvary.
The Priest at the Holy Mass is not offering a different sacrifice.

Instead,

The Holy Mass is the same sacrifice of Jesus.
The Holy Mass is the perpetual continuation and adoration of the sacrifice of Calvary.
The Priest at the Holy Mass is Jesus Himself, the High Priest and Victim of the Sacrifice.

What is our understanding, love and commitment to the Holy Mass?

In the Holy Eucharist, we have the promise of the Emmanuel God, “I am with you always, till the end of the age” (Mt 28: 20) being fulfilled.

We live in times when…
… there is a lot of indifference growing
… there are several newer problems and crisis cropping up
… the anxiety and uncertainties caused by the pandemic are taking a toll on us

We live in a situation of faith where…
… there is a tendency to dilute many of the spiritual values
… there is a strong opposition to living holy and sanctified lives

In all such struggling moments and trying situations, we have an answer and solution in the Holy Eucharist.

The Eucharist is the story of a God who longs to dwell with us and in us.

The Eucharist is the saga of a God who is madly and passionately in love with us.

From the Cross, our Blessed Lord cried, “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28b)

Shall we not respond, with a positive affirmation, to this cry of the Lord?

It’s also good to quickly go through some “unnoticed” parts of the Holy Mass – and realize its significance, in order to understand and love the Holy Mass, more deeply and devoutly.

THE INTRODUCTORY RITE:
The Opening Prayer:

Called as the ‘Collect’, this prayer, gathers together all the intentions, and unites with the prayer of the High Priest, Jesus Himself.

An action to do: Use the moment of silent, to bring before the Lord all intentions and prayers

LITURGY OF THE WORD:
Signing ourselves on the forehead, lips and the chest

We seek His Help to cleanse our minds, lips & hearts, that we may worthily receive Jesus, the Word into our lives!

An Action to do: Use the moment, to truly have clean thoughts (mind), sincere words (lips) and honest feelings and deeds (heart)

THE OFFERTORY
a. The Offering of Bread and Wine

The Gifts, represent fruits of our labour. As the gifts, we pray, that we too be changed into His Body and Blood.

An Action to do: Use to moment, to offer our entire life to the Lord – just as we are – with all our situations, struggles, aspirations and hopes.

b. The mingling of a drop of water in the wine by the Priest

The water represents, our littleness, which is totally mingled with the wine, signifying, our intention to be one with the Divine Lord

An Action to do: Use the moment, to sincerely wanting to be united with the Lord and becoming more and more like Him!

c. The washing of the hands

The Priest – the representative of the People of God, cleanses himself and prepares, for the Most Holy Sacrifice of Calvary.

An Action to do: Use the moment, to repent of our sins and praying earnestly, never to fall into sin again!

THE PREFACE
a. Lift up your hearts
Our minds and hearts need to transcend our human worries, concerns and troubles, and be raised in heavenly contemplation

An Action to do: Use the moment, to ascend to the heights of glory, in order to recognise and be united to the Will of God in our lives.

b. Prayer:
The Church enlists (as per the Liturgical Season or the theme) the various ways in which the Lord has worked in human history. We (the Church Militant), seeking intercession for the Faithful Departed (the Church Suffering) join the beautiful choir of the saints and angels (the Church Triumphant) and angels, singing Holy Holy, Holy to the Most High God!

An Action to do: Use this moment of intense praise and Divine worship, to be longing to possess Heaven and to be filled with the radiance of this joy in this world.

THE COMMUNION RITE
Epiclesis

The portion where the power of the Holy Spirit is invoked, so that the gifts of bread and wine, may be transformed into Divine Species.

An Action to do: Use this moment, to pray for the infilling of the Holy Spirit, that His Power may overshadow us

THE CONSECRATION
A small piece of the host is mingled with the Sacred Wine

Signifying the unity of the Body and Blood of the Lord pointing symbolising Resurrection, and also the Unity of the Body of Christ, the Church.

An Action to do: Use this moment, to pray for the grace to share in His Resurrection and to love the Church and be thankful for our Catholic Faith

THE HOLY COMMUNION
A moment when heaven touches the earth…when the Divine lowers itself to embrace the fallen Humanity, to raise it up to Divine status…

An Action to do: Use this moment, to be totally absorbed in the mighty ocean of God’s Mercy and experiencing the consummation of His Divine Love!

THE RITE OF THE DISMISSAL
We are asked to be the Eucharist to one another – breaking ourselves, in service!

An Action to do: Use this moment to pledge to be a True Missionary, giving His Love to all – in the little way, that we can!

There is nothing more beautiful on this earth, than the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist – the Holy Mass!

As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says: “The Eucharist is our most precious treasure… it contains all the mystery of our Salvation!”

Let us truly “Experience and Enjoy the Eucharist!”

May we grow in the love of the Holy Eucharist, for, as Bishop Fulton Sheen says, “The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host”!

In this time of the pandemic, in case, due to restrictions, we are unable to physically receive the….
…. let us make this PRAYER OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION and experience the Merciful Love of the Eucharistic Lord:
“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You, Amen”

Wish you a very Happy Feast of the Holy Eucharist!

May our Blessed Mamma of the Holy Eucharist, help & intercede for us, to love the Lord more!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:

The Nestorian heresy regarded Christ as a human person joined to the divine person of God’s Son. Opposing this heresy, St. Cyril of Alexandria and the third ecumenical council, at Ephesus in 431, confessed “that the Word, uniting to himself in his person the flesh animated by a rational soul, became man.”
The Monophysites affirmed that the human nature had ceased to exist as such in Christ when the divine person of God’s Son assumed it.

Faced with this heresy, the fourth ecumenical council, at Chalcedon in 451, confessed: Following the holy Fathers, we unanimously teach and confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, composed of rational soul and body; consubstantial with the Father as to his divinity and consubstantial with us as to his humanity; “like us in all things but sin”. He was begotten from the Father before all ages as to his divinity and in these last days, for us and for our salvation, was born as to his humanity of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.” (Cf. CCC # 466-467)