Sunday, 24 June 2018

Audio Reflections of Monday, June 25, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Monday, June 25, 2018 click HERE

Monday, June 25, 2018 - 2 Kings 17:5-8,13-15,18; Mt 7:1-5

Monday, Hune 25, 2018 - 2 Kings 17,5-8.13-15.18; Mt 7,1-5

  1. What must we not see in our brother's or sister's eye?

  2. A log
    A speck
    A stick

  3. Which king reigned in Samaria over Israel?

  4. King Ahaz
    King Hoshea
    King Ahab

  5. From which land had the Lord first brought the Israelites out?

  6. The land of Sodom
    The land of Egypt
    The land of Gomorrah

  7. What must we take out of our own eye to see clearly?

  8. The speck
    The log
    Dust particles

  9. For how many year did King Hoshea reign?

  10. Seven

  11. Which tribe alone was left after the Lord removed Israel?

  12. Benjamin

  13. Which king came up against King Hoshea?

  14. King So
    King Shalmaneser
    King Ahaz

  15. For how many years did the king of Assyria besiege Samaria?

  16. Five

  17. By who did the Lord warn Israel and Judah?

  18. By kings and queens
    By messages and messengers
    By prophets and seers

  19. What is the message of the readings of today?

  20. Judgement is God's prerogative
    If we do no judge we will not be judged
    Judging others is pride

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Monday, July 25, 2018 - Do you know that when you point a finger at someone there are three fingers pointing back at you?

To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Kings 17:5-8,13-15,18; Mt 7:1-5

The absolute prohibition of judgement found in 7:1 is unparalleled in Jewish tradition. When the individual comes to stand before God for judgement, he/she will be judged according to the measure that he/she has used for others. Those who have been merciful will receive mercy. One must be aware that one is not in any superior position, which gives one the right to judge others. If one is aware of one’s own weakness and frailty then one will be careful of pointing out the faults of others.

Judging others comes too easily to some and often we judge only by externals. It is important to realise that it is possible that we might not be aware of all the reasons why a person behaves in a particular manner and so mistaken in our judgement. If we can give the benefit of the doubt to the person concerned and find reasons for his/her behaviour we will have done well.

Sunday, June 24, 2018 - The Birth of St. John the Baptist - Will you speak God’s word to at least one person today?

To read the texts click on the texts: Isa 49:1-6; Acts 13:22-26; Lk 1:57-66,80

The Birth of Saint John the Baptist is celebrated on June 24 each year. The reason for this is the mention in the Gospel of Luke that Elizabeth was in her sixth month when the Announcement was made to Mary (Lk 1:36) about the birth of Jesus. Thus if Christmas is celebrated on December 25 each year, John the Baptist who was the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah had to have been born six months before Jesus.

According to some, John is born when the days are longest (June 24), and from his birth on they grow steadily shorter. Jesus is born when the days are shortest (December 25), and from his birth on they grow steadily longer. John speaks truly when he says of Jesus, "He must increase, but I must decrease." (Jn 3:30).

The Gospel text of today is from the Gospel of Luke. Luke does not give us too many details about the birth of John, and he narrates it with a short sentence. He focuses more on the events that follow the birth and, through them, show that God’s word spoken through the angel, Gabriel, is being fulfilled. Elizabeth does bear a son and the people rejoice at the birth because of the great mercy shown by God.

Circumcision of the child on the eight day was in accord with Gen 17:9-14 where God makes circumcision on the eight day a sign of the covenant with Abraham. It was the father who normally named the child and, in doing so, recognized the child as his own. Sometimes, the child was named after the father, especially if the father was a person who was highly esteemed. Objections were raised to the name “John” (“God had been gracious”), chosen by Elizabeth. That the people made signs to Zechariah to ask him what he wanted to name the child indicates that, besides being dumb, he was also deaf. The moment Zechariah writes the name “John” on a writing tablet, Zechariah regains his speech. Once again, God’s word comes to pass. The fear and amazement with which the people respond to these happenings is an indication that they experienced God’s awesome power. The question that the people ask, about what the child would turn out to be, is answered in summary form by Luke when he ends this narrative by stating that “the hand of the Lord was with him.”

God’s word is a word of power and will come to pass, no matter how many obstacles we may put in its way. It is a word that enhances and builds up, a word that gives life. To be sure, we may not always be able to understand and accept it for what it is, but in the final analysis, it is always a word that is for our good and for his glory.

Sunday, June 24, 2018 - St. John the Baptist - Isa 49:1-6; Acts 13:22-26; Lk 1:57-66,80

Monday, June 25, 2018 - Isa 49:1-6; Acts 13:22-26; Lk 1:57-66,80

  1. Where does the Lord want his salvation to reach?

  2. All of Israel
    The end of the earth
    All of Jerusalem

  3. Who was John the Baptist's mother?

  4. Salome

  5. Whom did the Lord want Isaiah to bring back?

  6. Jacob

  7. Whose son was David?

  8. Obed's

  9. Whom did the Lord remover before he made David king?

  10. Solomon

  11. Who was John the Baptist's father?

  12. Zephaniah

  13. When does Isaiah say God called him?

  14. In his youth
    Before he was born
    When he was a child

  15. On which day did they come to circumcise John?

  16. Sixth

  17. How did John's father name him?

  18. He spoke and said "His name is John"
    He asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’
    He asked his wife what name to give the child

  19. What is the message of the readings of today?

  20. John was true to his vocation as a pointer to Jesus
    John knew exactly where his authority ended
    Like John we too are called to point to Jesus

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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Sunday, June 24, 2018 - Believing even in the storm that Jesus is with us

To read the texts click on the texts: Job 38:1,8-11; 2 Cor5:14-17; Mk 4:35-41

A Sunday school teacher was trying to get her class to dramatize the story of the Stilling of the Storm. She explained to the children how they should dramatize the roles the disciples, the wind, and even the boat itself. Next she asked each child which character they wanted to be in the play. Each child in turn spoke up. One wanted to be Jesus, another wanted to be Peer, and others wanted to be the disciples. The teacher was taken aback when she came to a small stammering girl at the back of the class, who said, “I would like to be the cushion holding up the head of Jesus.”

While at first we might wonder at the choice of this “passive” role, a deeper reflection will enable us to see that there is a profound wisdom in the choice that this girl made. In the story of the calming of the storm, which is the Gospel text of today, the cushion beside Jesus comes out best. The disciples are agitated, the waves are violent, and the boat is being tossed about. It is Jesus and with him, the cushion on which he rests, that is most serene, calm, and at peace. The reason why Jesus is serene and calm is because he has supreme authority over all of creation including the sea.

This supreme authority of God over all of his creation and especially the sea is brought out magnificently in the first reading of today with the series of questions that God asks Job. The answer to the question about who is really in control might seem obvious to us: God alone. However, it is not as obvious to Job. The reason for this is that everything in Job’s life seems to be going awry. It is not easy for him to understand how God is in control when a lot of things in his life are totally beyond control. He cannot make sense of what is happening to him. He can find no rational explanation for it. In such a situation, how is Job expected to believe that God is still in control? In such a situation, how can Job know that it is God “who shut in the sea with doors” and “prescribed bounds for it”? How can Job be expected to believe that God is still the master of the sea with the ability to stop the waves?

These are also the questions in the minds and hearts of the disciples of Jesus who are in their boat on the Sea of Galilee. The storm rages and threatens. The waters lash the boat. Their lives are in danger. Will Jesus be able to save them? Can he stop the waves? Does he have control over the sea? If he does, why is he asleep? Why does he not do something?

When things in our lives go awry, when nothing seems to go the way we plan, when the road ahead is steep and the going is difficult, and when the boats of our lives are being rocked by the waves of uncertainty and insecurity, then it is not easy to continue to believe that God is on our side. It is not easy to trust and to hope. It is not easy to have faith. We, too, continue to ask questions. Sometimes, like the disciples, we even accuse God and Jesus of lack of concern over our plight. We accuse God of not caring enough about us.

Job was able to realize, much later, that God was always in control. Just so, the disciples come to realize that, though Jesus appears to be asleep, apparently doing nothing, he is in fact very active and doing everything. Though he does not seem to them to be concerned over their plight, the truth is that he is very much concerned. The difference, however, is that whereas the disciples given in to agitation, anxiety and fear, Jesus does not.
This concern of the Lord for the whole of humanity was shown in the most perfect of ways on the Cross. This is what Paul speaks about in the second reading of today. Christ’s death is the transformative event for all of life. Nothing is the same after that. The first radical change brought about by the death of Christ is that now those who believe will live no longer for themselves but for others, in and through Christ. However, this is not all. The death of Christ is an event that encompasses and transforms the whole universe.

This is why believers will look at themselves, at others, and at the universe in a new way. The old ways of looking, the doubt, uncertainty, anxiety, insecurity, the lack of faith and, above all, fear, is replaced by the new way. This new way is a way of confidence, surety, faith, and love. No matter how rough the sea, no matter how high the waves, no matter how much the boat is rocked and, no matter how dangerous the way ahead might seem, those who believe in Christ know that he is in the boat and, with a word, he will calm the storm.

Sunday, June 24, 2018 - Job 38:1, 8-11; 2 Cor5:14-17; Mk 4:35-41

Sunday, June 24, 2018 - Job 38:1, 8-11; 2 Cor 5:14-17; Mk 4:35-41

  1. How does God say he shut in the seas?

  2. With bars
    With doors
    With windows

  3. What time of the day was it when Jesus told his disciples to go to the other side?

  4. Morning

  5. What kind of waves does God say will be stopped?

  6. Proud

  7. How does Paul say Christ was once known?

  8. As Lord and Master
    From a divine point of view
    From a human point of view

  9. What does Paul say urges us on?

  10. Ambition
    The love of Christ

  11. How many chapters does the book of Job contain?

  12. Forty-five

  13. What was Jesus doing in the boat?

  14. He was wide awake
    He was eating
    He was asleep

  15. How did the Lord answer Job?

  16. From the clouds
    Out of the whirlwind
    From where he stood

  17. How many letters did Paul write to the Community at Corinth?

  18. Two

  19. What is the message of the readings of today?

  20. We must believe in God's goodness even in the storms
    Even if we do not feel the presence of Jesus, he is with us in our boats
    God can calm even the stormiest storms

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Friday, 22 June 2018

Audio Reflections of Saturday, June 23, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Saturday, June 23, 2018 click HERE

Saturday, June 23, 2018 - How often do I try to be in two places at the same time or at two times in the same place?

To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Chronicles 24:17-25; Mt 6:24-34

The text of today begins by stating a general rule that undivided attention can be given to one person alone at a time. If there is more than one, then the disciple’s loyalty is certainly split. One must decide whether one will allow oneself to be controlled by wealth and the things of this world, or whether one will realise that they cannot bring true happiness. 

The prohibition, “Do not worry” dominates the rest of this pericope and is used six times in it. The call to look at nature (the birds of the air and the lilies of the field) is a call to learn how God in his providence provides for them. This does not mean that human beings do not have to work for their living, rather it means that even after working as hard as they can, humans must realise the life is much more than simply work and earning a living. It has also to do with being.

There are indeed many distractions in life, which sometimes can take us away from where we ought to look and focus. While planning is good and desirable, what is undesirable is useless worry or anxiety. When we stir the sugar in our coffee or tea every morning we are already thinking of drinking it. When we are drinking our coffee or tea, we are already thinking of washing the cup. When we are washing our cup, we are already thinking or drying it When we are drying it, we are already thinking of placing it on the rack and when we are placing it on the rack we are already thinking of what we have to do next. We have not stirred the sugar, nor have we have drunk the coffee, nor have we washed it nor placed it on the rack. If one takes one moment of one day at a time and gives of one’s best to that moment, life will be well lived.

Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 2 Chronicles 24:17-25; Mt 6:24-34

Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 2 Chronicles 24:17-25; Mt 6:24-34

  1. Whic king was not arrayed like the lilies?

  2. David

  3. Which army came up against Joash?

  4. The army of Aram
    The army of Damascus
    The army of Syria

  5. Who finally killed King Joash?

  6. His servants
    His soldiers
    His family

  7. Whom did the spirit of God take possession of?

  8. Jehoiada

  9. Which flower does Jesus mention in the Gospel text of today?

  10. Lily

  11. To whom did the army send the booty?

  12. The king of Judah
    The king of Syria
    The king of Damascus

  13. Which king did the officials from Judah come to after Jehoiada's death?

  14. Joshua

  15. How many chapters does the first book of Chronicles have?

  16. Twenty-nine

  17. How was the prophet Zechariah killed?

  18. He was hung
    He was stoned to death
    He was crucified

  19. What is the message of the readings of today?

  20. We have to know when enough is enough
    Worrying does not help at all
    We must do what we have to do and leave the rest to God

Thanks for taking the Quiz. I hope it makes the word of God more relevant. Let me know on Suggestions are always welcome.