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Friday, September 30, 2016

Saturday, October 8, 2016 - How would you define “God’s Word” today? Do you put this “Word” into practice in your life? How?

To read the texts click on the texts: Gal 3:22-29; Lk 11:27-28

The words, “While he was saying this” connect what follows to what has gone on before. Jesus has just challenged his listeners to fill their lives with the kingdom of God, and now a woman in the crowd blesses the mother of Jesus, because of the beauty she sees in Jesus. While Jesus does not deny that his mother is indeed blessed, he uses this opportunity to extend the blessing to anyone who like his mother will hear the Word of God and put it into practice in their lives.


If the woman in the crowd was able to bless the womb that bore Jesus, it was because she could see and experience the goodness in Jesus. This goodness was manifested not only in what he said but in what he did and was therefore visible in his person. If we like Jesus hear the word of God and act on it, then others will pronounce the same blessing on us.

Saturday, October 1, 2016 - St. Therese of the Child Jesus - The Little Flower

To read the texts click on the texts: Isa 66:10-14; 1 Cor 13:4-13; Mt 18:1-4

St. Therese of the Child Jesus is one of my most favourite saints. I admire and am inspired by her for a number of reasons, but one of the most important reasons is her response to life. She had more challenges than most of us will ever have, yet her response was always positive no matter what the challenge she faced. In this regard she teaches us how we too must be able to see the hand of God in everything that happens to us.

She was born in 1873 and died very young at the age of 24 (1897). At the age of 14, she had an experience that transformed her life. She decided to give her whole life to God and entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux. Though she was often sick and plagued with doubts, she remained faithful and received the ability to find God in all things and all things in God. Her focus was not on doing great things but on doing all that she did with unconditional love. She would do even the most ordinary tasks with extraordinary love.

The Gospel text for the feast  is taken from Matthew’s “Community Discourse” (18:1-35). It is the fourth of the long discourses in Matthew. Some see the discourse as divided clearly into two parts (18:1-14 and 18:15-35), with various indications, which point to such a division. Some of these indications are as follows: Both sections end with a parable (18:12-13 and 18:23-34), after the parable is a concluding statement of Jesus, which begins with the word “So” (18:14.35), there is also in the sayings, a reference to the heavenly Father and the saying is about the subject of the preceding section (“little ones” and “brother/sister”).

The discourse begins with a question about the disciples regarding greatness. In his response, Jesus makes clear that being in the kingdom or coming into it, is not a matter of one’s talents or qualities, but “becoming like a child”. In first-century Judaism, children were often regarded as inferior and were treated as property rather than as persons. The point Jesus makes here is that one must acknowledge dependence on the Father. The reception of a child is an indication that one has accepted the values of the kingdom and one is no longer concerned about being greatest.


This was the attitude of St. Therese to life and she lived as a child of God all through her life. She inspires and invites us to the same.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Audio Reflections of Friday, September 30, 2016

To hear the Audio Reflections of Friday, September 30, 2016 click HERE

Friday, September 30, 2016 - If you were a resident of Chorazin, Bethsiada or Capernaum, what would you do after hearing these words of Jesus?

To rad the texts click on the texts:Job 38:1,12-21; 40:3-5; Lk 10:13-16

Immediately after the Mission Discourse to the seventy-two (10:1-12), Luke has added the sayings on the woes against Chorazin , Bethsaida and Capernaum (10:13-15). The reason why the woe is pronounced on them is because they did not repent even after seeing the deeds of power that were wrought in their towns. The people of even Tyre and Sidon, which were condemned in Isaiah 23:1-18, would have repented if the same deeds had been done in their towns. Therefore the judgement on Chorazin and Bethsaida will be all the more severe. 

In Luke, Jesus had done a number of deeds of power in Capernaum (4:23,31-41), and still there was no repentance in the hearts of the people. Capernaum will not be exalted, but will be brought down to Hades. The last verse of this section (10:16) confers on the disciples the authority of Jesus himself. The authority of the disciples who are sent by Jesus is the same as the authority of Jesus himself.


Miracles take place every day if only we open our eyes to see. When a child is born, when a tree comes out in flower, when it rains, when a bird sings, when a person reaches out selflessly with a kind word or deed, miracles happen. We need to stop looking for miracles only in the spectacular and extraordinary and realise that they happen at every moment of every day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Audio Reflections of Thursday, September 29, 2016, the feast of the Archangels click

To hear the Audio Reflections of Thursday, September 29, 2016, the feast of the Archangels click HERE

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - STS. MICHAEL, GABRIEL AND RAPHAEL - How often do you realise that God dwells IN you?

To read the texts click on the texts: Dan 7:9-10,13-14; Rev12:7-12; Jn 1:47-51

The three Archangels Michael (Who is as God? or Who is like God?), Gabriel (Strength of God) and Raphael (God heals) are the only angels named in Sacred Scripture. However, ancient apocryphal literature mentions others beside these three, but the names are spurious.

Archangel Michael is invoked for protection against evil and regarded as a Champion of God’s people. Gabriel is mentioned four times in the Bible. Of these the most significant are in the New Testament when he makes the announcement of the birth of john the Baptist and Jesus to Zechariah and Mary respectively. Raphael is mentioned in the Book of Tobit and is the one who heals Tobias’ blindness. Raphael is not mentioned in the New Testament, but is invoked for healing and acts of mercy.

The choice of the Gospel reading from John is because of the mention of angels in the last verse of the text. Though having an opinion about where the Messiah would come from, Nathanael remains open to another revelation. Though skeptical, he is willing to be convinced. Jesus addresses Nathanael as an “Israelite” which signifies his faithfulness to the law and is used here in a positive sense. He is without guile because though he has questions and even doubts, he is open and receptive and willing to learn. Jesus’ intimate knowledge of Nathanael and the revelation that he makes to him leads to a transformation in Nathanael and he comes to faith. He responds to Jesus with a confession and though he begins with Rabbi, he moves on to recognizing Jesus as Son of God and King of Israel.

However, Jesus responds by pointing out to Nathanael that this is only the beginning of the revelation that Jesus makes. If he continues to remain open he will experience even greater things. By means of a double “Amen”, Jesus points out to Nathanael and to others there that he will be the bridge between heaven and earth. Through the phrase “you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (Jn 1:51) which combines images from the descent of the Son of Man as narrated by Daniel (7:13) and the ladder of Jacob’s dream in Genesis (28:12), Jesus states that Jacob’s ladder is replaced by the Son of Man. He will be that place and person in whom the earthly and divine encounter each other. He as Son of man will make God known. The Son of Man becomes the place where the earthly and the heavenly, divine and human, temporal and eternal meet.


When looked at from this angle, the feast of the Archangels seeming to be saying to us that our God is not merely in the heavens. Our God is not merely a God who has created the world and left it to its own design. Rather our God is a God who is intimately connected to the world and present to and in it. Our God is a God who is concerned about our world and ever willing to lend a hand whenever any one of us requires it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Audio reflections of Wednesday, September 28, 2016

To hear the Audio reflections of Wednesday, September 28, 2016 click HERE

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - What is preventing you from following Jesus unconditionally? What will you do about it today?

To read the texts click on the texts:Job 9:1-13,14-16; Lk 9:57-62

While part of this text is found also in Matthew, the latter part (9:60b-62) is exclusive to Luke. It concerns the would-be followers of Jesus, and Jesus’ warnings about what discipleship will entail.

To the first would-be follower who promises to follow Jesus wherever he goes, Jesus responds by stating clearly that unlike even the foxes that at least have holes, he does not have anywhere he can call his own. If the would-be follower is ready for this insecurity, he may follow.

The second person is called to follow by Jesus, but responds by asking for permission to bury his father. This was a duty that was binding on all devout Jews. Jesus’ response is harsh and demands that the disciple be primarily concerned about the kingdom.

The third would-be follower puts conditions to his following namely that he wants to say farewell to his family. However, here too the response of Jesus is clear. Looking back while ploughing leads to a crooked furrow.


While it is not necessary to give up the state of life one has chosen in order to follow Jesus, what is to be understood is that following will necessarily mean changing one’s style of life. It will mean a move from selfishness to selflessness, from acquiring material possessions to sharing them with others and from anything negative to everything that is positive.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Audio Reflections of Tuesday, September 27, 2016

To hear the Audio Reflections of Tuesday, September 27, 2016 click HERE

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - Don’t try to teach a pig to sing. It is waste of your time and irritates the pig.

To read the texts click on the texts:Job 3:1-3,11-17,20-23; Lk 9:51-56

The section of the Gospel of Luke beginning from 9:51 and ending at 19:28 is known as the Travel Narrative or Journey to Jerusalem. Beginning today and on all weekdays till Advent, (except on feast days) we will be reading from this section of Luke’s Gospel. It is therefore important to have an understanding of what this section means. Luke begins this travel narrative by telling us that when the days drew near for Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. Jesus’ arrival at Jerusalem in 19:28 marks the end of this section. One important reason for this section where Luke diverts from Mark, is so that Luke can add here material from his own special source and also material from the source known as “Q” which he and Matthew have in common. In this section we will also find many parables, sayings meal scenes, controversies and warnings, through which the Lucan Jesus explicates his way of life.

In the text of today, we will read of the opposition that Jesus encounters already at the beginning of his journey. A Samaritan village refuses to welcome him. This rejection of Jesus at the beginning of his ministry coincides with the rejection at the beginning of his ministry in Nazareth (4:16-30). This foreshadows the rejection that Jesus will face in Jerusalem. In response to the rejection, James and John want to react and destroy the whole village. Jesus’ rebuke of James and John is an indication that he will not use violence in his ministry, but will win people only through love. The last verse of this text where we are told that they went on to another village also makes clear that Jesus will not force his teaching on anyone who does not want to listen to it.


Sometimes we are faced with opposition with regard to an idea that we may put forward or a suggestion that we may offer. When we identify with that idea or suggestion and feel rejected when it is rejected, then we might be tempted like James and John to react. The attitude of Jesus invites us to detach ourselves from all that we propose, so that we can continue to stay calm and collected.