REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 24, 2021: Sunday

“’In Spite Of’ the many challenges and difficulties, let us sculpt our lives – with the Grace of God – as a beautiful masterpiece!”

(Based on Jer 31:7-9, Heb 5:1-6 and Mk 10:46-52 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B)

An incident is told of a sculptor, who, while creating a statue suffered a medical accident…
… and lost his right hand – his main hand of work

The sculptor was however, very much determined to finish the statue

His resilience led him to learn how to chisel with his left hand.

This masterpiece – this great work of excellence and determination – was named as “IN SPITE OF”
… in honour of the fact that despite the great challenges – “in spite of” many problems – the sculptor did not give up!

Are there challenges and difficulties in our life that are causing us to give up in life?

“In Spite Of” these difficulties, can we still face life with courage and determination?

The Gospel of the Day is a challenging invitation to have such an experience of overcoming struggles…
… and to have an experience with the Lord, that can become the launching-pad to nurture a life-long relationship with the Divine!

The Gospel presents the experience of the Divine by a blind person, who overcame every challenge…
… and “in spite of” the difficulties, would relish happiness and delight in the Lord.

Blind Bartimaeus experienced the Divine healing power and gave vent to his deep joy in the Lord by ‘following Him on the way’.

Jesus was passing through the land of Jericho.

As he was leaving Jericho, with His disciples, the news reached the ears of Bartimaeus.

He was blind

We do not know how long was he so
We do not know what was the reason for being so

But we know one thing… that he would have heard about the wonders and fame of Jesus.

And the very mention that “Jesus of Nazareth” was passing that way, made him to spring into pleading for mercy.

Just as the steps of the lover sounds sweet to the Beloved…
Just as the strains of music sound sweet to the singer…

So, the mention of the name, “Jesus” sounded healing and wholeness for Blind Bartimaeus!

With his might and strength, he cried, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy” (Mk 10:47)

The crowd tried to dissuade him.
The people surrounding made efforts to silence him.
But nothing of this could prevent this determined person to cry out to his God!

This persevering and passionate pleading of Bartimaeus was amply rewarded.

Jesus called him, and said to him, “Go your way, your faith has saved you!” (Mk 10: 52a)

This tremendous healing experience, fanned to flame the sparks of Divine Love within blind Bartimaeus!

He immediately received his sight and followed Jesus on the way (Mk 10: 52b)

This experience became a launching-pad to nurture a life-long relationship with the Divine!

We too are in need of a deeper experience of the Lord, in order to nurture and strengthen our spiritual life.

We sometimes remain blind to things of the spiritual dimension.

We sometimes rejected in our lack of progress in a holy living.

Yet, we are invited to cry out with full intensity, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Surely, this act of faith from our part, would meet with a lot of oppositions…
… we may hear voices telling us that it is useless to cry to God and rely on His power
… we may be told that it is illogical and unreasonable to be banking on Divine assistance

But like Blind Bartimaeus, are we willing to transgress and traverse all such negative voices, and drown them with a wave of mightier faith, crying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me?”

Unless we undergo such a healing experience, our faith will remain shallow and our spiritual following will remain dispirited.

This healing is not just of the physical nature; rather it could be healing of the mind, healing of the spirit or a social healing or an emotional healing.

We must also realise that the contrast is true…
A lack of experience of the Divine makes the spiritual journey a lethargic one…
…sometimes makes it even non-existent!

The greater the experience that one has of the Divine, the higher will be one’s enthusiasm and interest in spiritual matters.

The fact of being healed, will make me more passionate about the Divine Healer!

The fact of being cleansed, will make me more zealous about the Divine Sanctifier!

May our hearts be opened, in perseverance and passion, to seek the wonderful experience of the Divine!

Let us be courageous, with the Grace of God, to overcome all the challenges and difficulties that are causing us to give up in life…
… and “In Spite Of” these difficulties, let us sculpt our lives as a beautiful masterpiece!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD
The People of God is marked by characteristics that clearly distinguish it from all other religious, ethnic, political, or cultural groups found in history:

It is the People of God: God is not the property of any one people. But he acquired a people for himself from those who previously were not a people: “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.”
One becomes a member of this people not by a physical birth, but by being “born anew,” a birth “of water and the Spirit,” that is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism.
This People has for its Head Jesus the Christ (the anointed, the Messiah). Because the same anointing, the Holy Spirit, flows from the head into the body, this is “the messianic people.”
“The status of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple.”
“Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us.” This is the “new” law of the Holy Spirit.
Its mission is to be salt of the earth and light of the world. This people is “a most sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race.”

Its destiny, finally, “is the Kingdom of God which has been begun by God himself on earth and which must be further extended until it has been brought to perfection by him at the end of time!” (CCC #782)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 23, 2021: Saturday

“Responding positively to God, and making the ‘drama’ of our lives a beautiful and a witnessing one!”

(Based on Rom 8:1-11 and Lk 13:1-9 – Saturday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

Good dramas produce a great visual treat and also leaves a lasting impression on the mind.

One of the characteristics of a good drama is the way it concludes…
The conclusion should make the audience to identify with some characters of the story and leave a personal touch for every viewer.

One of the best dramatist who has a special niche for such effective conclusions is St Luke, the Evangelist!

St Luke in his Gospel presents many dramatic stories of Jesus, with a special style of conclusion…that leaves its readers to wonder and ponder…to think and act…!

St Luke, in the Gospel of the Day presents one such parable…the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree.

What is this conclusion style of St Luke that we are talking about?

It can be termed as a “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action!”

This “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action” has three elements in it…

  1. It is dramatic: It has some impressive and spectacular elements to wonder and ponder.
  2. It has a conclusion, full of suspense: The conclusion remains unknown and high curiosity is generated.
  3. It calls for action: The conclusion impels viewers to reflect on life and to do some action.

Such parables of “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action ” are a characteristic feature in St Luke’s Gospel:

The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10: 29-35)
The Good Samaritan left the man at the Inn and said he would come back to pay the extra denarii…

Did the Good Samaritan come back? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are the Good Samaritan?

The Incident of the Rich Young Fool (Lk 18: 18-23)
Jesus invited the man to sell his possessions, distribute it to the poor and then follow Him…

Did the young man do what Jesus told him to? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are the rich man?

The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15: 11-32)
The Father, at the end of the story, invites the elder brother to join in the celebration of the Prodigal son coming back…

Did the elder son join the celebration? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are the elder brother?

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk 16: 19-31)
The Rich Man pleads to Abraham concerning the future of his five brothers.

Did those five brothers meet with the same fate or did they live a better and virtuous life? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are one among the five brothers?

The Cleansing of the Ten Lepers (Lk 17: 11-19)
The Lord enquires the Samaritan leper about the nine other lepers who also had been healed.

Did any of those nine lepers come back to the Lord to thank Him? It’s unknown!
But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

What will you do, if you are one of the nine lepers?

The Parable in the Gospel – the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree – follows this style of “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action”.

The man who had the fig tree planted in his orchard, comes looking for fruit….
But finding no fruit, he gets disappointed and orders it to be cut off…
But the gardener pleads for another year to cultivate and fertilize it….

Did the Owner allow for another year?
Did the tree produce fruit after one year?
Did the tree continue to live or was it cut down?

All these answers are unknown!

But, now the onus is placed on the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

If I am the fig tree in the Parable and the God is the Owner, then we have some things to ponder on…

God who has planted me in His orchard, comes looking for fruit…
Do I produce the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5: 22-23)

If He doesn’t find the fruits, he gets disappointed and warns us….
We have been blessed with many graces and we are expected to live in response to those favours of the Lord. But if we don’t, it causes pain to God, who is our Loving Father.

Do I waste away God’s graces in my life and disappoint the expectations of my Father in Heaven?

But the gardener pleads for another year to cultivate and fertilize it…
The Lord doesn’t give up on us. He seeks to give us another chance…

Am I willing to accept to have the ground around me cultivated and weed out the unbecoming things like sinful tendencies and bad habits in and around me?
Am I willing to be fertilized & be nourished by His Word & His Body and Blood in the Eucharist & thus gain strength to produce fruits?

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree has a “Dramatic Concluding Suspense for Action”.

Our lives too often resemble this Barren Fig Tree…

The questions are posed before us…

The answers are to be answered by us.

And the onus is now placed on we, the readers and a thought is left with You and Me…

Let us also understand that human tragedies and personal misfortunes are to be understood as God’s manifestations of Love for us – to have our lives set clearly on our priorities for God and His Kingdom

They are not to evoke fear or elements of judging

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

Let us respond positively & with God, the director, make the drama of our lives a beautiful and a witnessing one!

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

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH – PEOPLE OF GOD

“At all times and in every race, anyone who fears God and does what is right has been acceptable to him.
He has, however, willed to make men holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge him and serve him in holiness.
He therefore chose the Israelite race to be his own people and established a covenant with it.

He gradually instructed this people…. All these things, however, happened as a preparation for and figure of that new and perfect covenant which was to be ratified in Christ… the New Covenant in his blood; he called together a race made up of Jews and Gentiles which would be one, not according to the flesh, but in the Spirit.” (CCC #781)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 22, 2021: Friday

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

(Based on Rom 7:18-25 and Lk 12:54-59 – Friday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

Our world is seeing immense technological advances.

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

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

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

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

The Gospel of the Day is a reminder and a wake-up call, by Jesus to this dimension of our lives. Jesus says: “You superficial people! You understand the signs of the earth & sky, but you don’t understand the present times!” (Lk 12:56)

From ages past, human beings have been gaining expertise on interpreting the signs and indications given in nature…
• Spotting of some dark clouds, to predict heavy rains…
• A red sky at dusk, indicating a clearer sky the following day…
• Strange movements of animals and birds, to predict earthquakes or other calamities…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus pities such an attitude!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We take for granted all these daily blessings.

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

We take for granted His shielding hand.

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

We take for granted all His tender invitations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH – PEOPLE OF GOD

“At all times and in every race, anyone who fears God and does what is right has been acceptable to Him.
He has, however, willed to make men holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge him and serve him in holiness.
He therefore chose the Israelite race to be his own people and established a covenant with it. He gradually instructed this people.

All these things, however, happened as a preparation for and figure of that new and perfect covenant which was to be ratified in Christ… the New Covenant in his blood; he called together a race made up of Jews and Gentiles which would be one, not according to the flesh, but in the Spirit. (Cf. CCC # 781)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 21, 2021: Thursday

“Joining with the Lord in His intense desire for the Baptism of self-giving and self-sacrifice!”

(Based on Rom 6:19-13 and Lk 12:49-53 – Thursday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

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

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

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

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

This Kid would have given perhaps the strangest and the shocking answers of all:

“When I grow big, I want to Die!

I am living my life, so that I can die!”

Guess who is this Kid?

Well…no marks for guessing who it is..

It is Jesus!

Death was the goal of His life!

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

Christ came into the world to save the world.

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

This is the Baptism to which Christ refers to….

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

This way of the Lord is not easy.

It causes division and separation, even in families.

How does this division happen?

When one stands for the values and the person of Christ, the world mocks and fools.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christianity indeed is the strangest of all religions…

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

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

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

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

Christ is indeed the strangest of all religious figures…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We still have much to grow.

What are we growing ourselves into?

Christ is the example for us.

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

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

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

And now He beckons each one of us too…

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

”What do you want to become when you grow big?”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH AS A SACRAMENT

As sacrament, the Church is Christ’s instrument.
“She is taken up by him also as the instrument for the salvation of all,” “the universal sacrament of salvation,” by which Christ is “at once manifesting and actualizing the mystery of God’s love for men.”

The Church “is the visible plan of God’s love for humanity,” because God desires “that the whole human race may become one People of God, form one Body of Christ, and be built up into one temple of the Holy Spirit.” (Cf. CCC # 776)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 20, 2021: Wednesday

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

(Based on Rom 6:12-18 and Lk 12:39-48 – Wednesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

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

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

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

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

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

He had not recognised his new boss.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It happens in the quiet of the night….
… so that no one becomes aware and the setting is perfectly safe
There is a sense of ‘anonymity’

It takes place when none of the people in the house are expecting it…
… thus leaving them completely startled and unprepared
There is the element of ‘total surprise’

It happens in areas where there is emptiness or lesser security measures
… thus creating greater potency to danger and sharper damage
There is a factor of ‘missed opportunity to take care’

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

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

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

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

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

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

Though this passage may cause a sense of fear and insecurity, we also need to consider, the converse…
… that if we are prepared and alert
… that if we are ready and vigilant
then the “coming of the Lord” becomes a joyful waiting and an expectant hope!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be ready…

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!


📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
CHURCH – THE UNIVERSAL SACRAMENT OF SALVATION

“The Church, in Christ, is like a sacrament – a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men.”
The Church’s first purpose is to be the sacrament of the inner union of men with God.
Because men’s communion with one another is rooted in that union with God, the Church is also the sacrament of the unity of the human race.
In her, this unity is already begun, since she gathers men “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues”…

… at the same time, the Church is the “sign and instrument” of the full realization of the unity yet to come. (Cf. CCC # 775)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 19, 2021: Tuesday

“Approaching the Throne of God’s Mercy and allowing His Light to shine through our life!”

(Based on Rom 5:12, 15b, 17-19 and Lk 12:35-38 – Tuesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

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

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

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

Can you light me again?”

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

Is the Light of Christ shining in me?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s examine our lives…

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

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

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

This strength comes from our determination, perseverance & commitment…

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

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

Can you light me again?”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
CHURCH – THE UNIVERSAL SACRAMENT OF SALVATION

The Greek word ‘mysterion’ was translated into Latin by two terms: “mystenum and sacramentum.”
In later usage, the term sacramentum emphasizes the visible sign of the hidden reality of salvation which was indicated by the term “mystenum.”
In this sense, Christ himself is the mystery of salvation: “For there is no other mystery of God, except Christ.”
The saving work of his holy and sanctifying humanity is the sacrament of salvation, which is revealed and active in the Church’s sacraments (which the Eastern Churches also call “the holy mysteries”).
The seven sacraments are the signs and instruments by which the Holy Spirit spreads the grace of Christ the head throughout the Church which is his Body.

The Church, then, both contains and communicates the invisible grace she signifies. It is in this analogical sense, that the Church is called a “sacrament.” (Cf. CCC # 770-771)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 18, 2021: Monday

“Growing in our love for the Word, by reading and reflecting daily and living the Word, in all our daily activities of life!”

(Based on the Feast of St Luke, the Evangelist)

A poor woman had lost her husband and was going through a great deal of agony and distress.

One day, her neighbour brought her a small, worn-out pamphlet.

She gave it to the sorrowful woman and told her:
“I found this lying on the street. Somebody must have dropped it.
I read it.

There is a wonderful story of a Man Who helps those who are unhappy.
I thought of you. It might do you help!”

The sorrowful woman took it.

She not only read it, but also had her life transformed by it!

The pamphlet was a copy of the Gospel of St Luke!

This Gospel with its powerful themes of consolation and comfort had brought peace and relief to the woman in sorrow.

Today, on this Feast day of the Evangelist St Luke, let us meditate on this beautiful gift which he has penned – the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke.

St Jerome was of the opinion that, “among all the evangelists, St Luke was the most skilled writer of Greek.”

It is to St Luke that we owe some of the finest Gospel portraits…

The nostalgic infancy narratives of Jesus
… The Annunciation of Jesus (1: 26-38)
… The Birth of John the Baptist (1: 57-66)
… The visit of the shepherds at the Birth of Jesus (2: 15-20)
… The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (2: 22-38)
… The Loss of Jesus in the Temple (2: 41-52)

The distinguished and daring ministries of Jesus
… The Programmatic Speech in Nazareth, His hometown (4: 16-30)
… The raising of widow’s son at Nain (7: 11-17)
… The story of Martha and Mary of Bethany (10: 38-42)
… The Samaritan Leper (17: 11-19)
… The transformation of Zacchaeus (19: 1-10)
… The conversion of the good thief (23: 39-43)
… The encounter with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus (24: 13-35)

The illustrious and much-loved parables
… The Good Samaritan (10: 29-37)
… The Prodigal Son (15: 11-32)
… Rich Man and Lazarus (16: 19-31)
… The Persevering Widow (18: 1-8)
… The Publican and the Tax Collector (18: 9-14)

The marvellous brush of the Physician St Luke has some unique thrusts as well…
… which are also great reminders to us, in our spiritual lifestyle.

  1. A Gospel of Inclusive

St Luke’s Gospel has distinctive stories and incidents on how Jesus accepted and recognized the dignity of those, who were otherwise, left out in the society…
… the Samaritans
… the tax-collectors
… the public sinners
… the women

Am I a person who is willing to accept those who are rejected, abandoned and pushed-out of the society?
Do I exhibit “exclusivist” mentality by sticking on to only “my” culture, language, race, class etc and fail to celebrate differences?

  1. A Gospel of Prayer

St Luke’s Gospel presents greatly the aspect of the prayer, by presenting many instances…
… of Jesus praying
… of Jesus exhorting on prayer
… of many Temple scenes

Am I a person who enjoys the taste of prayer?
Do I fail to have a regular and consistent time to spend with the Lord and discover and implement the Father’s Will in my life?

  1. A Gospel of the Poor
    St Luke displays his special love for the poor…
    … through his many parables on the poor
    … and the denouncement of riches…

And thus exalts them as the “favoured ones of God” and restoring their dignity and honour

Do I make radical choices to grow in my “poverty” i.e. my total dependence on the Providence of God?
Do I share my gifts, my talents and my riches, with those in need and find joy in this sharing?

  1. A Gospel of the meal
    St Luke’s Gospel has an interesting presentation of Jesus as most of the time being “at meal or on the way to a meal”

There are nearly 19 references to food, with 13 of them being exclusive to this Gospel.

The meal is a reference to the communitarian dimension in spirituality!

Am I a person who cherishes the presence of the other and be willing to celebrate life?
Do I also become aware that the Lord constantly calls us to share in His Meal – the Holy Eucharist and make my life, in turn, a Eucharist to the other?

The Gospel of St Luke, along with many more themes is a wonderful reminder of the Love and Mercy of God…
… calling us to live in joy and service.

May this Feast Day of this Great Evangelist…
… help us to grow in our love for the Word, by reading and reflecting daily
… and challenge us to live the Word, in all our daily activities of life!

Happy Feast of St Luke, the Evangelist!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH – MYSTERY OF MEN’S UNION WITH GOD

In the Church this communion of men with God, in the “love [that] never ends,” is the purpose which governs everything in her that is a sacramental means, tied to this passing world.
“[The Church’s] structure is totally ordered to the holiness of Christ’s members.
And holiness is measured according to the ‘great mystery’ in which the Bride responds with the gift of love to the gift of the Bridegroom.”
Mary goes before us all in the holiness that is the Church’s mystery as “the bride without spot or wrinkle.”

This is why the “Marian” dimension of the Church precedes the “Petrine” (Cf. CCC # 773)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – October 17, 2021 – Sunday

“Refining our Image of Christ, and with boldness and courage, singing from the depths of our hearts:
‘I have decided to follow Jesus!’”

(Based on Isa 53:10-11, Heb 4:14-16 and Mk 10:35-45 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B)

“I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS”

This is a popular Christian hymn.

This hymn has its origin from North East India – the lyrics based on the last words of a man in Garo, Assam.

It is said that a group of missionaries in this region were spreading the message of love, peace and hope in Jesus Christ.

Naturally, they were not welcomed, and encountered much opposition.

One particular family – consisting of a man, his wife, and two children – were greatly passionate in their following of Christ…
… and their faith proved contagious, as many villagers began to follow Christ.

With much enrage, the village chief summoned all the villagers.

He then called this particular family to renounce their faith in public or face execution.

Moved by the Holy Spirit, the man said: “I have decided to follow Jesus.”

Infuriated at the refusal of the man, the chief ordered his archers to arrow down the two children.

As both boys lay twitching on the floor, the chief asked:
“Will you deny your faith? You have lost both your children. You will lose your wife too.”

But the man replied: “Though no one joins me, still I will follow.”

It’s these bold and courageous words that would later be harmonized to a hymn:
I have decided to follow Jesus (3), No turning back, no turning back.
Tho’ none go with me, still I will follow (3), No turning back, no turning back.
My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus (3), No turning back, no turning back.
The world behind me, the cross before me (3), No turning back, no turning back.

How about us?

Do we have the courage and the boldness to witness Christ…
… and are we ready to “follow Him, though none be with us?”

The Gospel of the Day presents two of the members of the Group of Jesus, who, having a lower understanding of the Person of Christ, fail to “Follow Christ”…
… and are exhorted by the Lord to refine their thought-pattern and encouraged to “Follow Him” with greater clarity and deeper passion.

The passage begins with James and John, the sons of Zebedee – two among the twelve chosen ones – placing this request to Jesus: “Teacher, we want you to do for us, whatever we ask” (Mk 10: 35)

This question gives us a glimpse of what was the Image of Jesus that was being perceived by the Disciples.
… Seeing the many miracles and wonders being performed by the Lord made them feel that Jesus, being a powerful person, could grant any of their heart’s desire
… Seeing the bold and uncompromising preaching and attitude of the Lord made them feel that Jesus, was to be a great Political Messiah
… seeing the challenging and clear-cut understanding of the Lord with respect to the Law and practices of the religion, made them feel that Jesus was a Great Religious Leader.

This was the case not only with James and John, but also the other disciples.

That is the reason, after this incident, though the other ten felt indignant at the two (Mk 10:41), Jesus would address this issue commonly to all

Even other times, the disciples themselves had been involved in talks of discussing about “who is the greatest among them” (Lk 22:24, Lk 9:46)

Jesus, however, makes it very clear to them, that they had still not been clear in their understanding of Who He was…
… Jesus said to them: “You do not know what you are asking!” (Mk 10:38a)

The Lord drives home the point directly:
If you are looking at me as Someone Who only fulfils your material and earthly desires…
… then you need to elevate your thought pattern

“Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and everything else will be given unto you!” (Mt 6:33)

If you are expecting me as Someone Who wants to establish a political kingdom and bringing only social changes…
…then you need to realize that My Mission is greater

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to bring glad tidings to the poor…” (Lk 4:18)

If you are feeling that I am Someone Who only wants to clear up the religious clogs that have been burdening the people…
… then you need to understand that I have a Bigger Duty

“I have come down from Heaven, not to do My Own Will, but the Will of the One Who sent Me…
… For this is the Will of Father that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him, may have Eternal Life” (Jn 6:38, 40)

Jesus makes His Image very clear to the disciples: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to Serve and to give His Life as a Ransom for many” (Mk 10:45)

This ‘key-verse’, presents the Four Dominant Images of Jesus in the Gospel of St Mark:
… Son of Man (Jesus – the SON)
… but to Serve (Jesus – the SERVANT)
… give His Live (Jesus – the SACRIFICE)
… as a Ransom for many (Jesus – the SAVIOUR)

Prophet Isaiah prophesied this Image of Christ in his writings:
“He grew up like a sapling before Him (SON)… through His Suffering (SACRIFICE), my servant shall justify many (SERVANT), and their guilt He shall bear (SAVIOUR)” (Is 53: 2,11b)

What about us?

What is our Image of Jesus…
… and what are the requests with which we approach Jesus?

Are they merely materialistic and earthly desires?

Many times, like the disciples…
… we tend to be self-seeking and world-bound in our desires
… we look for gains and prominence, as a reward for being a Christian

If so, then the Lord says, we need to…
… elevate our thought patterns
… realize that His Mission in us, is greater
… and understand that He has a Bigger Duty in our life.

He knows that we are sometimes selfish… jealous… power-seekers

But let’s realize and take hope in the fact, that it’s for all of us, who are with these weaknesses, that Jesus primarily came to the world:
“I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners!” (Mk 2:17)

The disciples asked for position and power…
… Jesus said: “I will give you much higher – MY SERVICE”

The disciples asked for prominence and greatness …
… Jesus said: “I will give you much bigger – MY LIFE”

Let us refine our Image of Christ, and with boldness and courage, sing from the depths of our hearts:
“I have decided to follow Jesus, No turning back, no turning back!
Tho’ none go with me, still I will follow, No turning back, no turning back!
My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus, No turning back, no turning back!
The world behind me, the cross before me, No turning back, no turning back!”

October 17 is also celebrated as the International Day of Eradication of Poverty.

As followers of Christ, let us…
… renew our commitment for the poor
… share our resources with the needy
… support the cause for equal opportunities for all
… and fight for social justice

Let our “praying lips” strengthen us to also have “healing hearts and helping hands!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH – MYSTERY OF MEN’S UNION WITH GOD

It is in the Church that Christ fulfils and reveals his own mystery as the purpose of God’s plan: “to unite all things in him.”
St. Paul calls the nuptial union of Christ and the Church “a great mystery.”
Because she is united to Christ as to her bridegroom, she becomes a mystery in her turn.

Contemplating this mystery in her, Paul exclaims: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (CCC #772)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 16, 2021: Saturday

“Joyfully and courageously proclaiming the Lord to others and bringing many more to experience the Love of Christ!

(Based on Rom 4:13, 16-18 and Lk 12:8-12 – Saturday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time)

One day as a woman was crossing a street in a busy city railway station, an old man stopped her and said, “Excuse me, Ma’am, but I want to thank you.”

“Thank me?” she exclaimed.

“Yes’m. I used to be a ticket collector, and whenever you went by, you always gave me a cheerful smile and a good morning.

I knew that smile must have come from inside somewhere.”

He continued: “Then one morning I saw a little Bible in your hand.
I realised the source of your joy!

And so I bought one too…
… and I found Jesus!”

The joyful witness of the woman, brought about a conversion in the life of that ticket collector.

What about us?

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

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

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

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

Do we do that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is His Power and Wisdom that sustains everything.

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

Sometimes, the presence of pains and miseries in our life, may also make us doubt His Power and Authority

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is when we grow in these “areas of acknowledgement” that we can joyfully and courageously proclaim the Lord to others…
… and thus bring many more to experience the Love of Christ!

Today is the Feast day of St Margaret Mary, the champion promoter of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Through her intercession, let us entrust ourselves wholly to the Love and Mercy of the Sacred Heart!

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

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH

The Church is in history, but at the same time she transcends it.
It is only “with the eyes of faith” that one can see her in her visible reality and at the same time in her spiritual reality as bearer of Divine Life.
“The one mediator, Christ, established and ever sustains here on earth His Holy Church, the community of faith, hope, and charity, as a visible organization through which he communicates truth and grace to all men.”
The Church is at the same time:

  • a “society structured with hierarchical organs and the mystical body of Christ
  • the visible society and the spiritual community
  • the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches.”
    These dimensions together constitute “one complex reality which comes together from a human and a Divine element”

The Church is essentially both human and divine, visible but endowed with invisible realities, zealous in action and dedicated to contemplation, present in the world, but as a pilgrim. (Cf. CCC # 770-771)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 15, 2021: Friday

“Ensuring that we set our interior right so that our externals display the truth!”

(Based on Rom 4:1-8 and Lk 12:1-7 – Friday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time)

A group of people visiting a magnificent church, came across a large clock in the sacristy.

What attracted the visitors, more than the clock, was the caption written beneath the large clock!

It seems that the clock was habitually too fast or too slow.

And so, a good old-sacristan realising that it was beyond repair, decided to write a caption on the placard.

The caption read:
“Neither believe nor blame what my hands show!

The trouble lies deeper!
Therefore, even in life, ensure that you set your interior right, so that your externals display the truth!”

The hands of the clock displayed wrong timings…
… because the interior parts had some trouble!

So often are our external actions such in life!

We seem to be putting on a show outside…
… but the truth of the action can be known, only if the interior intention is true!
We seem to be good at displaying a clean image…
… but the sincerity of our deeds will be known, if we truly ensure purity from within!

We are into a reflection of this aspect of Hypocrisy yet again with Jesus’ insists on this evil tendency with a greater force & urgency.

Hypocrisy is a vice which is much hated by Jesus.

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

Hypocrisy is duplicity.

Hypocrisy is pretence.

It is trying to be someone, that one is not.

It is deceiving others by presenting a false self.
It is masking one’s real identity to show one to be someone else.

The word “hypocrisy” is a composite word in the Greek. It comes from the joining of two words:

Hupo is the Greek word for “under.” … Krino, is the Greek “to separate or judge.”
So Hupo + Krino = Hypocrisy means to “be under or stay under and separate or judge”!

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

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

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

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

Our Lord calls this vice of hypocrisy as a Yeast…

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

Why Yeast?
Yeast or Leaven is something that is used in baking.

Yeast has the great property of Influence…

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

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

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

Yeast starts slow, but grows very quickly…

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

Hypocrisy is such… though it starts slow, it spreads its influence speedily, like the yeast…
Hypocritical people appear subtle initially, but later it becomes almost a part of their nature!

How does Hypocrisy usually originate?

Usually from a Fear…

Fear of the people makes one to adopt a totally different disposition and character.
Fear of the situations makes one to adjust with a duplicate personality and behaviour.
Fear of one’s weaknesses makes one to alter the style of life and tamper with one’;s nature.

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

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

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

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

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

We all wear masks, and the time sometimes comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.

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

Let us “ensure that we set our interior right…
… so that our externals display the truth!”

Let the prayer of St Teresa of Avila, whose feast we celebrate today, become our own:
“Christ has no body now on earth but yours!
No hands but yours!
No feet but yours!

Yours are the eyes through which to look out Christ’s compassion to the world
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good;
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless men now!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH – PERFECTED IN GLORY

“The Church will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven,” at the time of Christ’s glorious return.
Until that day, “the Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world’s persecutions and God’s consolations.”
Here below she knows that she is in exile far from the Lord…
… and longs for the full coming of the Kingdom, when she will “be united in glory with her king.”
The Church, and through her the world, will not be perfected in glory without great trials.

Only then will “all the just from the time of Adam, ‘from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect,’ … be gathered together in the universal Church in the Father’s presence! (Cf. CCC # 769)