May 3 (Feast of the Apostles – St Philip and St James, Jn 14:6-14)

A story is told of a lady who was very much zealous in telling about Jesus Christ to the world.

This lady was blind and illiterate…

… and yet found different ways to spread the Gospel.

One day, she went to a Missionary Priest and asked for a copy of the Bible in French.

When she got it, she asked the missionary to underline John 3:16, in red, and mark the page, so that she could find it.

(Jn 3:16 = “For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Son…that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have Eternal Life!”)

The missionary wanted to see what she would do with this Bible that was marked with red…

… and so he followed her.

The lady went in the late afternoon to a school…

… and made her way to the entrance.

As the school children came out, she would stop one of them and ask if he knew how to read French.

If the boy would say “Yes” she would ask him to read the verse that was marked in red.

Then she would ask, “Do you know what this means?”…

… and then go on to tell him more about Jesus Christ and living a Life in the Lord!

The missionary priest would later testify that this lady led nearly a couple of dozen boys to become missionaries of the Lord!

As followers of Christ, each of us are bound to tell the world about the Precious Life of “Living in God!”

How well are we doing our Duty of Proclaiming God to the world?

>> Am I a Faithful Apostle?

Today Holy Mother the Church celebrates the Feast of two Apostles St Philip and St James…

>> They lived a faithful and courageous life as followers of Jesus…

… and made Jesus more known to the world by their faithful life!

The Apostle St Philip was a native of Bethsaida, on Lake Gennesaret. 

>> He was among the first disciples of Jesus (Jn 1:43)

(a) At the miraculous feeding of the multitude, it was to Philip that Jesus asked, “Where shall we buy bread that these may eat?” to which Philip replied, “Two hundred denarii worth food will not be enough for them to have a little” (Jn 6:5)

(b)  When through Greeks came to meet Jesus, it was Philip whom they met and it was he who reported to Andrew and they both went to Jesus (Jn 12: 21-22)

(c) It was Philip who told Jesus, in the Upper Room, “Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us” (Jn 14: 8)

The Apostle St James is called as the Younger or the Less, because he was the second of that name who was an apostle of Jesus – distinguishing him from James the Greater, the son of Zebedee

>> St James the Less was also called as James the Just and is sometimes also called as the “Brother of the Lord”

(a) He is the author of one of the Epistles in the New Testament

(b) He was also ordained as the Bishop of Jerusalem.

The Gospel of the Day (Jn 14: 6-14) presents Jesus declaring Himself as “The Way, the Truth and The Life” (Jn 14: 6)

>> These two Apostles, St Philip and St James by their life, gave a faithful witness to Jesus – “The Way, The Truth and The Life!”

We are called and challenged, by these Apostles to do the same as well…

Being ready…

>> to embrace Jesus as The Way…

… seeking to follow only His paths and doing His Will

… being bold to stand firm in the face of hardships, while walking on the Way

Being ready…

>> to embrace Jesus as The Truth…

… wanting to let go a life of dishonesty and hypocrisy in our actions of life

… determined in the conviction to live for Christ and His virtues in day-to-day life

Being ready…

>> to embrace Jesus as The Life…

… willing to utilize all our talents, gifts, resources in life for the glory of God and His Kingdom

… being brave to let go off anything which prevents us from living a life for the Lord

The Apostles St Philip and St James…

… were greatly purified in their following of the Lord, through various persecutions and hardships

>> And finally, gave their life in martyrdom to the Lord and His Kingdom!

When there is determination and passion for God, we look for ways and means, to preach about God and His Love to the world!

>> No blindness can prevent us from showing people “the vision of Divine Life”

>> No illiteracy can stop us from declaring to people “the Word of Life!”

Let us wait at the “entrances of people’s life” and…

… point the “the red and passionate Love of the Lord” to the world!

Wish you a Happy Feast of the Apostles – St Philip and St James!

>> May we too, seek and work to be His True Apostles and thus live to be a Saint!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying not, “What a lovely sermon,” but…

… “I will do something!”

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May 2 (Jn 3:31-36)

A few days back we celebrated the Easter Vigil.

The Easter Vigil is called as the mother of all vigils.

>> In the liturgy of the Easter Vigil, a Paschal Candle is prepared.

The priest marks the candle, in the shape of the Cross, Alpha and Omega – the first and the last Greek letters and the present Year, 2019

He uses the following words:

… Christ yesterday and today (on the vertical arm of the cross)

… the Beginning and the End (horizontal arm of the cross)

… the Alpha (alpha above the cross)

… and the Omega (omega below the cross)

… All time belongs to him (numeral 2 in upper left corner of cross)

… and all the ages (numeral 0 in upper right corner of cross)

… To him be glory and power (numeral 1 in lower left corner)

… through every age and for ever. Amen (numeral 9 in lower right corner)

These words declare the Supreme authority and Heavenly glory of Jesus, the Son of God.

However, it can happen so, that at times, in our life…

… such fundamental factors of faith are taken for granted…

… such basic truths of our spiritual life are presumed as known…

Therefore,  it is sometimes good take a pause in our spiritual life, and ask ourselves, this fundamental question,

•      ” Am I really trusting and believing in Jesus, as the True Son of God, the One who is all-powerful and Holy”?

•      “Is my faith and spirituality truly built on the great foundation, that the Lord is the ultimate beginning (Alpha) and the end (Omega) of everything?”

The Gospel of the day is an invitation to make this examination of the basics of our faith and spirituality and to renew our belief and trust in the Lord.

The Gospel passage begins with the verse, “The One who comes from heaven is above all” (Jn 3: 31)

This verse refers to the Divine origin of the Lord.

At the Annunciation, Angel Gabriel had announced to Mother Mary that Her child “will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Lk 1: 32)

This Divinity of the Lord was affirmed by Him through the various works of wonders and great deeds…

… of healing many in afflictions and sicknesses

… of accepting many of the rejected and unwanted

… of strengthening many of the oppressed and the abused

… of preaching many on the need for repentance and striving to enter the Kingdom

•      His personality shone with Divinity….

•      His character radiated with Holiness…

He sought to become the Way-revealer, the Truth-instiller and the Life-giver.

He is the One “Whom the Father loves” and “to Whom the Father has given everything” (Jn 3:35)

•      Have we given our lives entirely to Him, who is above all things?

•      Have we entrusted ourselves entirely to Him, who has been entrusted everything by the Father?

At the Holy Mass, one of the most beautiful prayers is called as the “Doxology”.

In this, we render all the praise to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit.

>> “Through Him, With Him, In Him…. O God Almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is Yours, forever and ever, Amen!”

It would be good, to make this prayer of the Doxology, our own, in our works and activities.

•      This could be a conscious way of acknowledging the Divinity of the Lord in all our activities.

•      This could be a meaningful way of saying that the Lord reigns in all our works and deeds.

Let us revive our hearts to firmly install the Lord as the True Alpha(the beginning) and the True Omega (the end) of all our activities… and our life itself!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Walk always near to God, for the gentleness of His Shadow…

… is more healthy than the brightness of the sun!”

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May 1 (Mt 13:54-58 and Feast of St Joseph, the Worker)

A young salesman became discouraged because he had been rejected by many of the customers that he approached.

He asked a more experienced salesman for some advice.

>> “Why is it that every time I make a call on someone I get rejected?”

“I just don’t understand that,” answered the older salesman…

… “I’ve been hit on the head, called dirty names, and thrown out the door, but I’ve never been rejected!

Remember, my son…  Rejection isn’t what happens to us…

… but how we interpret what happens to us!”

How do we interpret the various situations of disappointments that we come across in life?

>> Do we get depressed and discouraged…

… or can we still be hopeful and know that “every rejection is one more step closer to true success!?”

Rejection and dejection, are sure companions in the life of a Christian, who is uncompromising and unwavering in one’s faith.

>> Despite these aspects, are we ready to hold on to Doing the Will of God, and be His Faithful Followers?

Our Blessed Lord Himself underwent rejection and dejection in life.

>> Yet He would cling on to Doing the Will of God!

The Gospel of the Day narrates this painful incident of “rejection and dejection” that our Blessed Lord encountered in His life, at the hands of His own country people (Mt 13: 54-58)

It is interesting to note, how the people of the hometown seek to justify their rejection of Jesus, by rationalizing their attitude…

>> Using 6 questions ( 6= A Biblical symbolic number which often stands for imperfection!)…

… the people of the hometown, reveal their blocked minds and closed hearts.

When one’s heart is rooted in unbelief and is closed to the truth…

… things of the Divine appear to be hostile!

And so the Lord would declare: “A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country or his own house!” (Mt 13: 57)

Thus, Jesus becomes the “Sign of Contradiction!”

… the Prince of Peace, begins to be seen as a cause of division and despise

… the Healer of Souls, begins to be seen as a cause of disagreement and discord!

… the Comforter of Hearts, begins to be seen as a cause of disturbance and distress

Anyone who seeks to follow Jesus – the “Sign of Contradiction” – the Epitome of Truth and Honesty…

… is sure to face the same experience!

Every true Christian, because of one’s convictions in the Eternal Values of Uncompromising Truth and Desire to do the Will of God, is sure to face…

… rejection from the people, because one’s ways challenge the lethargic lifestyle of others!

… dejection from the society, because one’s way of living poses a threat the corruption around!

But despite this “rejection and dejection”, can we still continue to hold on the Lord, the “Sign of Contradiction!”?

Life often hurls the “bricks of rejection” at us…

>> We can either be hurt by them…

… or be strengthened and buckle ourselves up with greater courage

>> We can either blame all those situations and curse life…

… or we can be thankful for those moments, which provides us a chance for “more blessings!”

Yes, we need to remember always:

>> Rejection isn’t what happens to us…

… but how we interpret what happens to us!”

Let us not get depressed and discouraged by the various situations of disappointments that we come across in life…

… instead let us be hopeful, and know that “every rejection is one more step closer to true success!”

St Joseph the Carpenter, Georges de La Tour, 1645, Louvre, Paris

Today is the First of May.

>> The Church commemorates St Joseph, the Worker.

We look up to St Joseph, the Worker, who was able to fulfil the duties entrusted to him, with a sense of immense trust and faith in the Lord.

As St. Alphonsus Liguori says, “We should, indeed, honour St. Joseph, since the Son of God Himself was graciously pleased to honour him by calling him father.

>> If the King of kings was pleased to raise Joseph to so high a dignity, it is right and obligatory on our part to endeavour to honour him as much as we can!”

Let us seek the intercession of St Joseph, who was able to fulfill the duties entrusted to him, with a sense of immense trust and faith in the Lord…

… in order to seek for the higher and heavenly longings of life!

Happy Feast of St Joseph, the Just Worker in God’s Plan of Redemption.

>> Glorious Blessings of Jesus, his Precious Child – the Way, the Truth and the Life

>> Heavenly Intercessions of Mary – his loving Spouse and our affectionately protecting Mother

*God Bless! Live Jesus!”

Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS

Bengaluru, India

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*Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS)* – ” In the trouble and distress which afflicts us, we confidently have recourse to thee, St Joseph.

Deign to take under your charitable charge this important and difficult matter, cause of our worries.

>> Make its happy outcome be for God’s Glory…

… and for the good of His devoted servants.

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Apr 30 (Jn 3:7-15)

“Compatibility” is a term that is increasingly becoming a common word in our everyday vocabulary, thanks to the widespread usage of computers and mobiles.

Compatibility refers to the a state in which two things are able to exist or occur together without problems or conflict.

>> It is the capacity for two systems to work together, without having to be altered to do so.

Eg. A computer which has a Windows 98 Operating System (the very old version) will not be able to support many of the latest programs and softwares…

>> It is because of a “compatibility” issue.

Eg. A mobile, like the old Nokia 1100, without an Android-base, will not be able to have many of the new applications like WhatsApp or Viber etc…

>>  It is because of a “compatibility” issue.

This compatibility issue can also appear in our spiritual life…

>> When we are not in proper terms with God, we fail to understand many of His plans for us.

>> When we are not in line with God’s Will, we lose out on grasping many of His  aspirations for us

And that is why the Lord will tell, in today’s Gospel, “If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?” (Jn 3: 12)

Christ talking with Nicodemus, Crijn Hendricksz Volmarijn, 1645, Rotterdam

The conversation between Nicodemus, in the darkness of the night and Jesus, the Light of the world continues…

The Lord speaks of the need “to be born anew” and of how the movement of the Spirit cannot be judged, but its effects can be perceived and felt (Jn 3:7)

But Nicodemus fails to understand these words of the Lord…

In his ignorance and unawareness, he puts forward a genuine doubt, “How can this be?” ( Jn3:9)

Nicodemus was unable to grasp the meaning of the words of the Lord.

>> He looked lost.

>> He seemed confused.

>> He appeared bewildered.

>> His thoughts were not “compatible”  with the thoughts of the Lord.

>> His understanding was not “compatible” with the wisdom spoken by the Lord.

And so Jesus says that one would fail to understand heavenly things, if one fails to even understand the earthly things.

How often is our life also, not “compatible” with the requirements of Jesus, and His Gospel!

>> Our thought-pattern often fails to be “compatible” with the teachings of the Church….

>> Our relationship with others, often fails to be “compatible” with the command of love of all…

>> Our personal following of Jesus, often fails to be “compatible” with our dual mind of seeking also the pleasures of this world….

A great deal of “incompatibility” is often experienced by us, in the spiritual realm.

>> Let us seek to “update” our lives with the love and power of the Holy Spirit.

>> Let us pledge to “upgrade” our lifestyles with the convictions and truths of the Holy Gospel.

Let us move from a state of “How can this be?” to a state of “Indeed, it is so!” with the power of the Holy Spirit.

>> Let us thirst for Him.

>> Let us long for Him.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Hold your heart fully open before God…

… Let us go joyfully into His Presence.

>> He loves us, He cares for us, He is all ours!

Let us belong entirely to Him alone.

>> Let us love Him, cherish Him!

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Apr 29 (Jn 3:1-8)

A businessman , once, wanted to sell his huge old castle along with his property.

The massive building had, however, been empty for months and needed many repairs.

Uninhabited for many years, and been prone to many thieves, vandals and natural calamites, there was a lot of damage to the building.

Doors had been damaged…

Windows had been smashed…

The interiors were badly damaged…

As he showed a prospective buyer the building and the property, this businessman took pains to explain that he would replace the broken windows…

… bring in the engineering crew to correct any structural damage and clean out the garbage.

But the one who came to buy had other plans…

“Forget about the repairs,” the buyer said without giving heed to what the businessman was saying.

“When I buy this place, I’m going to build something completely different.

>> I am not interested in the building; I only want the entire site!”

The businessman was worried about the many repairs he had to do before he undertook the deal.

But the one who came to buy was interested more in the land, the site itself, than the building and the minor repair works.

Something similar happens when we seek to hand over the property of our lives to God…

We, get perplexed and worried over the many little aspects…

But the Lord is interested in our entire life…

· He demands a total transformation.

· He requires a complete conversion.

This is what the Gospel of the Day also points to – “No one can enter the Kingdom of God, without being born of the water and the spirit” (Jn 3:5)

Jesus is in conversation with Nicodemus.

Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews.

Visit of Nicodemus to Jesus, John La Farge, 1880, Simthsonian American Art Museum,

The Gospel is particular to point out that “he came to Jesus at night” (Jn 3:2)

Nicodemus finds three mentions in the Gospel of St John..

· One, in this meeting with the Lord. (Jn 3: 1ff)

· The second, in a discussion with the chief priests and Pharisees who were discussing on the origins of Jesus, the Messiah (Jn 7: 45-52)

· The third, at the burial of Jesus, along with Joseph of Arimathea (Jn 19: 38-41)

In all these three occasions.. we find an element of darkness that is associated….

· It was in the darkness of a night when Nicodemus first came to meet Jesus…

· Second, Nicodemus was engaged in a discussion of darkness that made plans to eliminate Jesus ..

· Third, Nicodemus comes to bury the body of Jesus in the darkness of nature and human folly…

Darkness would seek to get associated with Nicodemus every time…

But Jesus, the light of the world , invited Nicodemus to move to the light… “Whoever lives the truth, comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God” (Jn 3:21)

Jesus invites Nicodemus to experience and live the Truth…

… that one needs to be born from above to see the Kingdom of God

… that one needs to be born of the water and the spirit to enter the Kingdom of God

The same invitation is rendered to each one of us…

We too may be often finding ourselves in the “darkness”…

But Jesus, the Light of the world invites us to embrace Him wholly, and to undergo a complete transformation.

What is needed is to let the Spirit of God to work in ways that He wants

· We need to have complete openness to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit..

· We need to have a total docility to the promptings of the Holy Spirit…

We need to allow the Spirit of God, “the Wind to blow where it wills… ” (Jn 3: 8)

The Lord seeks the complete property of our lives.

We may be worried of the complications in which a transformation is possible..

>> We may be thinking how can me, with so many complications in life, have a true conversion…

But the One who comes to occupy our lives has other plans…

He says “When I occupy your life, I’m going to build something completely different.

>> I am not interested in the externals; I only want the entire soul… the entire life!”

Are we ready and willing to give ourselves entirely to the Lord… to the Spirit of God and allow Him to “make us anew and renewed”?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “God is in you, as the Heart of your heart…

…and the Spirit of your spirit!”

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Apr 28 (Feast of the Mercy Sunday)

The winter of 1931…in the land of Poland.

>> It was the Convent of the Sisters of our Lady of Mercy.

Sister Faustina was having another apparition of Jesus…

And this was to be a very special day…

She saw Jesus dressed in a white garment.

He held one Hand raised in blessing and the other hand touched his garment at the heart-level.

>> From that point in his garment, two bright rays of light emanated – one red and the other pale.

Jesus then spoke to her, “The two rays denote Blood and Water.

>> The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous.

>> The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls.

These two rays issued forth, from the very depths of My tender mercy, when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross”

He then said to her, “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You.

>> I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapter and then throughout the world.

I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish.

I also promise victory over enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory”

These private revelations to Saint Faustina led to the spreading of the devotion of the Divine Mercy of Jesus.

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Divine Mercy of Jesus – commemorating His deep love for us in His Passion, Death and Resurrection and celebrating His immense compassion and longing for each and every soul.

The Gospel of the Day is another Resurrection account of the Risen Lord to His Apostles..

Thomas was not with the group on the previous occasion that the Lord appeared to His chosen ones.

>> And so when the Lord makes His appearance, He specially calls out on Thomas, to experience and believe in His Risen Body:

“Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving but believe” (Jn 20:27)

Jesus came to the world to “save and seek the lost” (Lk 19:10)

Thomas, the Apostle was lost…

… was lost in doubts over the reports and talks about the Resurrection of the Lord

… was lost within himself on whether he could trust the words of his companions, who often had wavered, even in the past, over many matters

… was lost in missing out a chance to encounter His Master, since he had stayed away from the community.

But the Good Shepherd now comes in search of this “lost” sheep..

And this sheep, submits to the mercy and compassion of the Shepherd…

“My Lord and my God” (Jn 20:28) were the confessing words of Thomas to Jesus, His Master.

>> The Lord displays His wonderful mercy to Thomas, the “lost” sheep, who was willing to be found.

>> The Lord manifests His compassionate mercy, to Thomas, His “chosen” one, who was ready to humble himself before the Lord.

This then is the great lesson that we can learn ….

The Lord is willing to be found, by those who seek Him

>> The Lord is waiting to be experienced, by those who want Him

>> The Lord is wanting to be encountered, by those who long for Him

The Mercy Sunday is a wonderful invitation to plunge ourselves in the ocean of the Lord’s mercy and compassion.

Thomas sought to touch the Lord… but the Lord Himself touched his heart!

>> We seek the Lord…

… but the Lord seeks much more to come into our lives.

>> We long for the Lord…

… but the Lord longs much more strongly for our souls.

>> We search for the Lord…

… but the Lord searches much more to embrace us in love.

This Feast of the Mercy Sunday also is a beautiful reminder and invitation to experience the Love and Mercy of the Lord, in the two Treasures that Holy Mother the Church constantly offers – the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The Image of the Divine Mercy primarily points out to two Sacraments…

>> The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous – The Sacrament of Baptism

>> The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls – The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist

In the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist… the mercy of Lord waits on us…

… to receive Him more frequently

… to live Him more in our lives

… to honour Him more often

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the mercy of the Lord longs for us…

… to accept His offer of life and blessings

… to receive us back, with all our sins washed away

… to go back to His embrace of sanctity by living a holy life

The priests of the Lord are reminded, on this day, of this powerful duty and task that they need to faithfully ensure… towards the celebration of the Holy Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

>> These are the two powerful channels through which the mercy of the Lord flows and the priests alone are chosen and entrusted to handle these Sacraments of grace and mercy!

It’s indeed the greatest privilege…

… and the same time, the most sacred duty and function for a Priest.

Therefore…

>> Priests have a bounden task, to be always willing to administer these sacraments…

>> Priests have a bounden duty, to be always open to allow God’s mercy to flow through them

Let this Feast of the Mercy Sunday be a day to re-consecrate ourselves to the Mercy of the Lord.

… Let this Feast of the Mercy Sunday be a day to re-commit ourselves to showing mercy and compassion to all the people in our lives.

With love in our hearts, let us cry out, “My Lord and my God” and with hope in the mercies of God, let us sing, “Jesus, I trust in You!”

>> Let us seek to live as Missionaries of Mercy!

May our Blessed Mamma, the Compassionate Mother of Mercy, always intercede for us!

Happy Feast of the Mercy of God!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “My past no longer concerns me. It belongs to Divine Mercy.

>> My future does not yet concern me. It belongs to Divine Providence.

What concerns me and what challenges me is today, which belongs to God’s grace…

… and to the devotion of my heart and my good will.”

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Apr 27 (Easter Saturday- Mk 16:9-15)

One of the common kids’ stories that is known to many of us is that of Jesus, after His ascension, going back to the heavens.

There was a lot of excitement in heaven, in having Jesus back to the heavenly realms.

>> The many little angels gathered around the Lord and asked His experience of being on the earth.

Then one of the angel put forward this question to Jesus,

“Dear Lord, you have done such a lot of good on the earth. You have sown the seeds of the Kingdom in the hearts of so many people.

But I have a genuine doubt… To continue this your good work, you have appointed only 12 persons. And most of those 12 are not very skilled or very able-bodied.

>> How do you think, you mission will continue?

>> How do you think this miniscule number of personnel can continue to spread Your Word?

>> Do you have any backup plans, in case, they fail?”

The Lord looked at the angel, with a deep pensive look… then with a gentle and hopeful smile, He said,

“Yes, I know that they are only a few.

I know that they are not very talented or highly capable.

>> I even don’t have any other backup plan.

But there is one thing I know…

I will be with them…

>> And above all, I trust them!”

These words echoed in the heavens… “I will be with them… and above all, I trust them”!

The Lord indeed trusts in His chosen ones to continue His mission on the earth.

The Gospel of the Day recounts the mandate given to the Apostles by Jesus, the Master, to spread His Gospel to the entire nations: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation” ( Mk 16:15)

We are on the last day of the Easter Octave – the eighth day.

Over the last seven days, we have meditated on the various Resurrection accounts from the various Gospel narratives.

>> The encounter of the Empty Tomb by the women and Peter and John (Jn 20:1-9)

>> The encounter by the women, of the Risen Lord on their way back from the tomb (Mt 28: 8-15)

>> The encounter by Mary of Magdalene with the Risen Lord calling her by name (Jn 20: 11-18)

>> The encounter of the two disciples with the Risen Lord at the breaking of bread (Lk 24: 13-35)

>> The encounter of the Apostles with the Risen Lord appearing in the closed room (Lk 24: 35-48)

>> The encounter of the Apostles with the Risen Lord by the Sea of Tiberias (Jn 21: 1-14)

Today, in the Gospel of St Mark, we have a sort of summary of the many Resurrection narratives, closing with the mission mandate of the Lord, to “go into all the world” and reach out the saving Word of the Lord.

In all these various Resurrection narratives that are mentioned in today’s Gospel…

… one common element is noticed: There is a mention of an unbelief or uncertainty of the disciples.

>> When Mary Magdalene had the appearance of the Lord and reported this to the disciples…

… “but when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it” (Mk 16:11)

>> When the two disciples on the way to Emmaus spoke of the Risen Lord’s appearance to them, “they did not believe them either” (Mk 16: 13)

But later the Lord appeared to the disciples themselves and “rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed…” (Mk 16: 14)

The disciples found it hard to accept and believe in the Resurrection of the Lord.

>> They had been rebuked often by the Lord, during His earthly ministry.

>> Now they are again chided for their lack of faith, even after His Resurrection.

Despite this less intensity in their belief, the Risen Lord entrusts them with His mission of proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom.

>> Despite this little passion in their faith, the Risen Lord hands over to them His task of preaching the Word of God to all the nations.

> That’s the trust of the Lord in His disciples.

>> That’s the faith of the Lord in His chosen ones

It’s His conviction that “I will be with them… and above all, I trust them”!

Like the disciples, we too may and will have our moments of…

… variations in faith…

… slackening in trust…

… and slipping in hope!

In all this, let us be assured that the Lord who has entrusted His task to us, will continue to trust in us, and assures His presence with us.

We are weak… we are fragile…

>> The Lord knows these aspects in us, much better than we ourselves..

He knew all this, even of the Apostles.

>> Yet, He wholly trusted them.

And He wholly trusts us too….

Let us place our hands in the hands of the Lord… and take up His task of being the Proclaimers and Witnesses of His Resurrection to the world…

… always being assured that the Lord promises, “I will be with you… and above all, I trust You!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Consider how needful it was that the kind Savior should go and visit His disciples.

>> Their faith, their hope, their charity were all wavering.

Our Savior came to strengthen them: “It is I, Myself, My dear disciples, see my hands and my feet, and the wound in my side.”

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