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Saturday, 30 June 2018

Sunday, July 1, 2018 - Persevering Faith


To read the texts click on the texts: Wis1:13-15;2:23-24; 2 Cor 8:7,9,13-15; Mk 5:21-43

“Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die”. This statement of a wit brings out the fear that many have of death. However, the readings of today though they speak about death, regard death as something that is not to be feared if one believes in a God who is the giver and sustainer of life.

The first reading from the Book of Wisdom makes this point emphatically when it states that death cannot be part of God’s plan because God does not act only to see his work end in corruption. The purpose of creation is not death but life and the natural orientation of all created things is life. This is true especially of humans who alone are created in the image and likeness of God. Death thus is not natural and comes about when one stifles the life that God gives.

That God gives life and sustains it is brought out even more powerfully in the Gospel text of today. Mark uses here what is known as the “sandwich construction”. He introduces the incident about Jairus’ daughter being ill and even at the point of dearth but interrupts it with the cure of the woman with the flow of blood. He then continues the incident of Jairus’ daughter who is now dead, but whom Jesus raises. The reason for the sandwich construction here seems to be to heighten the suspense for the reader. Since Jairus’ daughter is at the “point of death”, Jesus must not tarry but hurry if she is to be saved. Yet, Jesus tarries because he knows that the basic orientation of the human is not death but life and that God’s power over death will prevail. Jesus tarries, confident in the knowledge that he can indeed raise even the dead. Jesus tarries because he knows that he is the giver of life. This gift of life is given not only to Jairus’ daughter but also to the woman with the flow of blood, who though not dead, had reached a stage when she was tempted to give up on life. She had reached the end of her tether and her last hope was the Lord. She was not disappointed. She received healing, she received life.

The Psalmist sings the words that the woman, Jairus and his daughter would have wanted to sing. They have indeed been rescued by the Lord. He has liberated them from all bondage. He has saved them from death.

What is responsible for this turn of events? Is it the power of God alone? Is it God acting of his own accord and solely according to his will? The answer is an emphatic “NO”. It is evident in both the first reading and Gospel that it is faith in God’s life giving and sustaining power and the action of God that is responsible. This is made even clearer in the Gospel when Jesus attributes the healing of the woman to her faith and exhorts Jairus not to fear but to believe.

The force of faith and the power of God become manifest in the life of Christians are narrated by the second reading of today. Indeed, thanks to the power of faith they were able to overcome ethnic and cultural barriers, and express their fraternal charity to others by the concrete action of reaching out to their material needs in imitation of Jesus. It is a faith that manifested itself not only in words but also in action.

The challenge of the readings of today may be summed up in the words “persevering faith”. This means that there may be numerous times when we are faced with death like situations. These are situations when like the woman in the gospel story we have done all that is required of us and there seems to be nothing more that we can do. These are situations when like Jairus we have nowhere to turn. It is at times like these when we may tend to give up and give in. However, like the woman and like Jairus we are called never to do this to ourselves because the God we believe in is a God of everything that is positive, a God who never gives up on us and a God of life. Since he is also a God who gives and does not hold anything back, we who are created in his image and likeness cannot live selfish self centred lives, but like Paul invites the Corinthians, we too are invited to live faith filled lives, faith which is shown in action.

Sunday, July 1, 2018 - Wis 1:13-15;2:23-24; 2 Cor 8:7,9,13-15; Mk 5:21-43

Sunday, July 1, 2018 - Wis 1:13-15;2:23-24; 2 Cor 8:7,9,13-15; Mk 5:21-43


  1. What was the name of the leader of the synagogue who cam to Jesus?

  2. Zechariah
    Jairus
    Obadiah

  3. What of Jesus did the woman touch?

  4. His cloak
    The fringe of his cloak
    His feet

  5. What is immortal according to Wisdom?

  6. Life
    Righteousnes
    Grace

  7. For how many years had the woman in the crowd suffered from haemorrhages?

  8. Thirty-eight
    Twelve
    Seven

  9. How does Wisdom say death entered the world?

  10. Because God did not want humans to live long
    Through the devil's envy
    Through limitation

  11. How old was Jairus' daughter?

  12. Sixteen years
    Twelve years
    Fourteen years

  13. Besides the girl's father and mother who else did Jesus take into the room where the girl lay?

  14. Peter, James and Andrew
    Peter, James and John
    Peter, James and Judas

  15. How many chapters does the first letter to the Corinthians contain?

  16. Fifteen
    Thirteen
    Sixteen

  17. Which book of the Old Testament does Paul quote in the reading of today?

  18. Genesis
    Exodus
    Numbers

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

  20. Faith means doing what we have to do and leaving the rest to God
    We need to believe before we can see
    Faith can achieve the impossible

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

Friday, 29 June 2018

Audio reflections of Saturday, June 30, 2018

To hear the Audio reflections of Saturday, June 30, 2018 click HERE

Saturday, June 30, 2018 - Does Jesus Christ have faith in you?


To read the texts click on the texts: Lam 2:2,10-14,18-19; Mt 8:5-17

The text of today contains the healing of the Centurion’s servant and the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law. 

The healing of the Centurion’s servant is also found in Luke (7:1-10) and John but with variations. While in Luke the centurion never makes an appearance personally. In Matthew he addresses Jesus as “Lord”, which is an address only believers use in Matthew. The response of Jesus to the Centurion’s need is seen by some as a question rather than a statement, “I should come and heal him?” This is in keeping with Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus who is sent as Messiah only for the lost sheep of Israel (10:5-6) and not for Gentiles. 

The Centurion is not deterred by Jesus’ question, and responds with faith. The healing takes place from a distance. The focus, however, is not on the miracle but on the faith of the centurion and through his faith the faith of “unbelievers”. The centurion does not claim to have faith. It is Jesus who testifies to his faith.

We can get deterred and lose our focus when things do not go the way we want them to. At these times we may blame our family, our neighbours and even God. The Centurion’s attitude is a lesson to us never to get deterred from what we have to do and continue to keep our sights fixed on what we want to achieve confident that our perseverance will pay rich dividends.

Saturday, June 30, 2018 - Lam 2:2,10-14,18-19; Mt 8:5-17

Saturday, June 30, 2018 - Lam 2:2,10-14,18-19; Mt 8:5-17


  1. What have the prophets seen for Jerusalem and Zion?

  2. False and deceptive visions
    True and trustworthy visions
    Great and lofty visions

  3. Where did Jesus enter when the centurion came to him?

  4. Jerusalem
    Galilee
    Capernaum

  5. How many Chapters does the book of Lamentations contain?

  6. Fifteen
    Five
    Twenty-five

  7. What has the Lord destroyed without mercy?

  8. The strongholds of Judah
    The dwellings of Jacob
    The ramparts of Jerusalem

  9. Who of the centurion was paralysed?

  10. Son
    Servant
    Slave

  11. Who sits on the ground in silence?

  12. The priests of Baal
    The elders of Zion
    The young girls of Jerusalem

  13. With whom will those who come from the east and west eat in the kingdom?

  14. Abraham and Isaac and Noah
    Abraham and Isaac and Jacob
    Abraham and Isaac and Moses

  15. How did Jesus heal Peter's Mother-in-law?

  16. He rebuked the fever
    He touched her hand
    He told her to get up

  17. Which prophet does Matthew quote in the reading of today?

  18. Elijah
    Elisha
    Isaiah

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

  20. Faith means to believe even before we see
    It is not easy to have the faith that Jesus demands
    Faith can work miracles

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

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Friday, June 29, 2018 - Acts 12:1-11; 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18; Mt 16:13-19

Friday, June 29, 2018 - Saints Peter and Paul - Acts 12:1-11; 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18; Mt 16:13-19


  1. In which district did Jesus ask his disciples about his identity?

  2. Narareth
    Caesarea Philippi
    Tyre and Sidon

  3. How many letters of Paul to Timothy are in the Old Testament?

  4. None
    One
    Two

  5. Who was Simon Peter's father?

  6. Joshua
    Jonah
    John

  7. Which of the disciples answered Jesus' question?

  8. The beloved disciple
    Simon Peter
    Andrew

  9. How many squads of guards were place to guard Peter?

  10. Two
    Six
    Four

  11. Who appeared to Peter when he was in prison?

  12. An angel
    Jesus
    His companions

  13. What answer did Peter give to Jesus' question about his identity?

  14. You are the Messiah
    You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God
    You are the Messiah of God

  15. Whom did Herod have killed with the sword?

  16. James
    John
    Peter

  17. Whom did Herod arrest?

  18. James
    Peter
    John

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

  20. Peter and Paul revealed Jesus through their deeds
    Peter and Paul were true to their vocation
    Peter and Paul and the pillars of the Church

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

Audio reflections of Friday, June 29, 2018 the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

To hear the Audio reflections of Friday, June 29, 2018 the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul click HERE

Friday, June 29, 2018 - Saints Peter and Paul - Will you witness to Jesus like Peter and Paul did? How?


To read the texts click on the texts:Acts 12:1-11; 2Tm 4:6-8, 17-18; Mt 16:13-19

There is an old story about the death of St. Peter in Rome during the persecution of Nero. Peter heard about Nero's plan to burn the city and blame the Christians. He figured as the one who presided over the church in the city he would be arrested and put to death. So he did the sensible thing - Peter was always a sensible man - he got out of town, and at night. The Appian Way was dark for a while as Peter snuck down it. However, as the night wore on the sky was illuminated by the flames rising from the city. Peter hurried on and eventually was far enough away from the city that it was dark again. Then he saw someone coming in the opposite direction, someone who even at night seemed familiar. It was the Lord himself. What was he doing out at night and walking towards Rome? “Where are you going, Lord?” Peter asked him. “To Rome”, Jesus replied, “to be crucified again in your place”. Peter turned around and returned to Rome and according to tradition was crucified there.

Though this story does not agree with what is narrated in the first reading of today from the Acts of the Apostles, in which we are told that Peter was imprisoned, it does agree with what the Gospels narrate about Peter’s denials, and brings out an important facet of the meaning of the feast: Jesus did not choose strong, brave and courageous individuals to continue the work that he had begun. He chose weak, frail and cowardly humans. He chose individuals who would falter and fail. This is the Peter who confessed Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” and to whom the Jesus handed over the “keys” of the Church, knowing full well that there would be times when the lofty confession would turn into a base denial.

Paul’s conversion story is narrated twice in the Acts of the Apostles and Paul himself speaks of it in some of his letters. His commission as an apostle of Christ began with a divine revelation of the identity of the Lord Jesus. He reports the events surrounding his recognition of Jesus as the Lord of glory and his appointment as apostle to the gentiles. Felled to the ground by a brilliant light from heaven and hearing a reproachful voice addressing him by name his first need was to know who it was who broke into his life with such awe-inspiring power. Just as Jesus told Peter that he would assign to him the charge of leading his Church once the Peter recognized his master's true identity, so also Paul's task was given to him only after Jesus revealed himself as the glorified Lord.

The apostles' mission thus grew out of their loving knowledge of the person of Jesus, the Son of the living God. Their work, indeed their whole life, was to follow from this surpassing knowledge of Christ which became the basis of all their dealing with others. They were given to the whole Church to teach us not only what Christ revealed and taught but also how to live as he himself had put into practice the things willed by the Father.
Today we marvel at the transformation of these previously weak human leaders. Peter’s newfound passionate commitment to his Lord and to the fledgling church resulted in his imprisonment. Paul too was jailed. He did not see this as failure, but as the destiny that was his in consequence of his commitment to the Gospel. He had fought the good fight, he had run the race, and he had kept the faith. He faced death, and he knew it. That was the price they had to pay for their commitment and fidelity to the Lord.

Their personalities were very different, their approaches to spreading the Faith were very different, and their relationships with Christ were very different. Although the two were both Apostles, there were moments of disagreement and conflict between them. And yet, they are bound together on this single feast, as they were bound together by the one Faith, confessing the one Lord, shedding their blood for him and his mission of peace, justice and love.

Within the recent past, the church has been tossed to and fro in storms of controversy. Not one storm, but many storms, and not in one country, but in many countries. It has been the target of fierce persecution from without, and it has also allowed evil to corrupt it from within. Whether in circumstances of harassment or scandal, the lives of many have been diminished, their confidence undermined and their faith tested.

Without minimizing the suffering in our current situations, we should remember that dire trials are really not new to the church. From its very beginning it has faced opposition. The first reading for today’s feast describes one such situation.

Despite its trials, however, the church has survived and even flourished. This is not due to the strength and holiness of its members. Though Jesus told Peter that the church would be built upon him, the church’s real foundation was and continues to be Jesus Christ its Lord. He is the one who commissioned Peter; he is the one who assures the church of protection. He is the one who stood by Paul and gave him strength to bring the Gospel to the broader world. The church may have been built on Peter the former denier and spread by Paul the former persecutor, but it is the church of Jesus Christ, and it will endure because of his promise.

Today we celebrate the fidelity of Peter and Paul, sinners like us all. Initially, they were both found wanting. When they eventually repented, they were forgiven by God in Christ. Though they were victims of persecution, their commitment to Christ and to the church made them heroes. Their victory is evidence that the gates of hell shall not prevail. Their victory is evidence that we shall indeed overcome.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Audio Reflections of Thursday, June 28, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Thursday, June 27, 2018 click HERE

Thursday, June 28, 2018 Do your actions speak louder than your words?


To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Kings 24:8-17; Mt 7:21-29

While the Sermon on the Mount began with Jesus calling his disciples to him and sitting down like a Rabbi to begin to teach them (5:1-2), it ends with Jesus addressing the crowds as a prophet (7:29). 

The last part of the Sermon, which forms our text for today, is about action rather than words. Prophesying in the Lord’s name will be of no help if one is not willing TO DO the will of God. The examples of the one who built his/her house on rock and the one who built his/her house on sand reiterate this point. The Sermon calls everyone to action.

If the foundation of our lives is strong, then what we build on it will also be strong. If we have a strong sense of values and know what our priorities are in life, we can continue to be focussed on what we have to do.

Thursday, June 28, 2019 - 2 Kings 24:8-17; Mt 7:21-29

Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 2 Kings 24:8-17; Mt 7:21-29


  1. How many captives did Nebuchadnezzar carry?

  2. One thousand
    Ten thousand
    Eight thousand

  3. Who does Jesus say will enter the kingdom?

  4. The one who calls him Lord
    The one who worships him
    The one who does God's will

  5. On what does the wise person his/her house?

  6. Sand
    Rock
    The beach

  7. Of which place was Nebuchadnezzar king?

  8. Israel
    Samaria
    Babylon

  9. Who was Jehoiachin's mother?

  10. Jedidah
    Nehushta
    Noadiah

  11. Whom did Nebuchadnezzar make king in Jehoiachin's place?

  12. Mattaniah
    Josiah
    Mannaseh

  13. In which year of his reign was Jehoiachin taken prisoner?

  14. Tenth
    Eighth
    Eighteenth

  15. How old was Jehoiachin when he began to reign?

  16. Sixteen
    Eighteen
    Twenty-one

  17. What relation was Mattaniah to Jehoiachin?

  18. Brother
    Father
    Uncle

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

  20. Actions speak louder than words
    Lip worship alone is not enough
    Faith must show itself in deeds

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

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Audio Reflections of Wednesday, June 27, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Wednesday, June 27, 2018 click HERE

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - Is your being good? What will you do to make it better?


To read the the texts click on the texts: 2 Kings 22:8-13; 23:1-3; Mt 7:15-20

The text of today is from the latter part of the Sermon on the Mount. In it Jesus asks his listeners to focus on the internal i.e. the heart from which everything else flows. If the heart is pure than everything that a person does or says will also be pure. The external is only an expression of the internal. A person's actions or words flow from what is in his/her heart.

Our actions do not often coincide with our words, because we do not always mean what we say. Sometimes we say one thing and do another. There is a dichotomy between our words and actions. We are called to synchronise the two.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 2 Kings 22:8-13; 23:1-3; Mt 7:15-20

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 2 Kings 22:8-13; 23:1-3; Mt 7:15-20


  1. Where did the king stand when he made a covenant with the Lord?

  2. He stood in his bedroom
    He stood by the pillar
    He stood by the tabernacle

  3. Which elders were gathered before the king?

  4. From Judah and Jerusalem
    From Assyria and Samaria
    From Galilee and Bethlehem

  5. What was the name of the high priest?

  6. Shaphan
    Hilkiah
    Achbor

  7. How do false prophets come?

  8. In sheep's clothing
    In wolf's clothing
    In disguise

  9. What was the name of the king's servant?

  10. Achbor
    Ahikam
    Asaiah

  11. What is the end of a tree that does not bear good fruit?

  12. It is pruned
    It is thrown into the fire
    It is tended to

  13. Which fruits does Jesus mention in the Gospel text of today?

  14. Grapes and apples
    Grapes and figs
    Apples and pears

  15. What was the name of the king's secretary?

  16. Achbor
    Shaphan
    Ahikam

  17. What did the king do when he heard the words of the book of the law?

  18. He tore his clothes
    He fasted
    he sat down in sack cloth and ashes

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

  20. If the being is good, the doing will also be good
    The external is a reflection of the internal
    We must focus more on being than doing

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

Monday, 25 June 2018

Audio Reflections of Tuesday, June 26, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Tuesday, June 26, 2018 click HERE

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - How will you show that you have chosen the narrow gate?


To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Kings19:9-11,14-21,31-36; Mt 7:6,12-14
The first verse of today (7:5) introduces a new subject: holiness. The point that seems to be made here is that holy things have their place and should not be profaned. 

Mt 7:12 has often been termed, as the Golden rule, which the Matthean Jesus states, is a summary of the law and prophets. Here it is stated positively. One must treat others in the same way that one expects to be treated. This also means that one must take the initiative in doing the loving thing that does not wait to respond to the action of another. 

In the final two verses of this pericope (7:13-14) the point being made is that it is the narrow gate that leads to life and salvation and the broad or wide gate to damnation. One must make a choice for one or the other.

We wish that people would be kind and understanding with us but we are seldom kind and understanding towards them. Often the behaviour that we find revolting in others is the behaviour we ourselves are guilty of. When we criticise others for being too harsh, we need to ask whether we have not been harsh ourselves.

The words that you use to complete this sentence will give you a fairly good idea of how you treat others: People are usually ……………………

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 2 Kings 19:9-11,14-21,31-36; Mt 7:6,12-14

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 2 Kings 19:9-11,14-21,31-36; Mt 7:6,12-14


  1. What was the name of the king of Assyria?

  2. Almos
    Tirhakah
    Sennacherib

  3. How many were struck down in the camp of the Assyrians at night?

  4. 184000
    185000
    186000

  5. To what does the wide gate lead?

  6. Joy
    Destruction
    Peace

  7. To whom did the king of Assyria send a message?

  8. King Hezekiah of Judah
    King Tirhakah of Ethiopia
    King Almos of Arpad

  9. Which prophet was son of Amoz?

  10. Amos
    Isaiah
    Ezekiel

  11. Where does Hezekiah say the Lord of Israel is enthroned?

  12. Above the seraphim
    Above the altar
    Above the cherubim

  13. Where did the king of Assyria go to live after his defeat?

  14. Jerusalem
    Nineveh
    Samaria

  15. To what does the narrow gate lead?

  16. Grace
    Peace
    Life

  17. Who must not be given what is holy?

  18. Swine
    Dogs
    Animals

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

  20. It is not always easy to choose the narrow gate
    To choose the narrow gate requires the grace of God
    We are challenged to choose the narrow gate

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

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
    Nine
    Six

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

  12. Benjamin
    Judah
    Levi

  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
    Three
    Four

  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

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

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
    Elizabeth
    Mary

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

  6. Jacob
    Joseph
    Moses

  7. Whose son was David?

  8. Obed's
    Jesse's
    Boaz's

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

  10. Solomon
    Saul
    Absolom

  11. Who was John the Baptist's father?

  12. Zephaniah
    Zechariah
    Zerubabbel

  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
    Eighth
    Seventh

  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

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

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
    Evening
    Afternoon

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

  6. Proud
    Humble
    Angry

  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
    Achievement

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

  12. Forty-five
    Forty-two
    Forty-four

  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
    Three
    One

  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

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

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
    Solomon
    Joash

  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
    Zechariah
    Joash

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

  10. Lily
    Rose
    Daffodils

  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
    Joash
    Jotham

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

  16. Twenty-nine
    Thirty-six
    Thirty-four

  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 errolsj@gmail.com. Suggestions are always welcome.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Audio Reflections of Friday, June 22, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Friday, June 22, 2018 click HERE

Friday, June 22, 2018 - If you were given the chance to take just ONE THING with you when you die, what would it be?


To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Kings 11:1-4,9-18,20; Mt 6:19-23

The section that begins in 6:19 concerns knowing where one’s priorities lie. Treasure stored on earth is of not much use because it is temporary and passing and gathers rust. It can also be stolen. Heavenly treasure in contrast is permanent and eternal. A person’s attention will be concentrated on where his/her treasure is. Thus instead of concentrating on the temporary it is better to concentrate on the eternal, the impermanent. 

If one does not perceive correctly, one’s whole orientation will be incorrect and one will live a life of futility, concentrating on what is really not essential.

Sometimes we lose focus in our lives and waste so much time on trifles. We are so concentrated on gathering up for tomorrow and the next day, that the present day passes us by and we find that we have live it unaware. An occasional examination of our priorities is required to bring back our focus on what is really necessary.

Friday, June 22, 2018 - 2 Kings 11:1-4,9-18,20; Mt 6:19-23


Friday, June 22, 2018 - 2 Kings 11:1-4,9-18,20; Mt 6:19-23


  1. Where must the disciple of Jesus store up treasure?

  2. In the safe
    On earth
    In heaven

  3. Who was Ahaziah's son?

  4. Jehu
    Joshua
    Joash

  5. Whose spears and shields did the priest give to the captains?

  6. Solomon's
    David's
    Jonathan's

  7. Who was Ahaziah's mother?

  8. Jehosheba
    Athaliah
    Aliah

  9. For how many years was the son of Ahaziah's son hidden in the house of the Lord?

  10. Twelve years
    Six years
    Seven years

  11. Which priest of Baal was killed before the altars?

  12. Jehoiada
    Mattan
    Joram

  13. Who anointed Joash as king?

  14. Jehoiada
    Joram
    Samuel

  15. Who was king Joram's daughter?

  16. Athaliah
    Jehosheba
    Jezebel

  17. In which year did Jehoiada summon the captains of the Carites?

  18. Thirteenth
    Seventh
    Eighth

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

  20. Treasure on earth is temporary and passing
    Detachment from things is required to follow Jesus
    We must not be too concerned about earthly treasure

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

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Audio Reflections of Thursday, June 30, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Thursday, June 30, 2018 click HERE

Thursday, June 21, 2018 - St. Aloysius Gonzaga SJ - When was the last time you performed an action with no expectation of reward? Will you perform such an action today?


To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Cor 9:6-11; Mt 6:1-6,16-18

Aloysius de Gonzaga was born in Castiglione, Italy in 1568. His father wanted him to join military service, but by the age of nine Aloysius had decided on a religious life, and made a vow of perpetual virginity.

A kidney disease prevented St. Aloysius from a full social life for a while, so he spent his time in prayer and reading the lives of the saints. Although he was appointed a page in Spain, Gonzaga kept up his many devotions and austerities, and was quite resolved to become a Jesuit. His family eventually moved back to Italy, where he taught catechism to the poor. When he was 18, he joined the Jesuits, after finally breaking down his father, who had refused his entrance into the order. He served in an hospital during the plague of 1587 in Milan, and died from it at the age of 23, in 1591, after receiving the anointing from Robert Bellarmine.

He was canonised in 1726 and is regarded as the patron Saint of youth.

The text chosen for today is from part of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. It concerns three pious practices that were prevalent at the time of Jesus: almsgiving, prayer and fasting. These are used as examples of what true and false righteousness means. In each case, after mention of the pious practice, the Matthean Jesus explicates how it must not be done and why, and then goes on to explain how it must be done and why. In each case there is a contrast between public and secret and between external and internal.

Jesus uses hyperbolic language when he speaks of how almsgiving must not be done and uses similar hyperbole when he states how it must be done. Almsgiving must not be ostentatious but in humility and secret. When speaking of prayer, a distinction is made between prayer which is done for show and prayer which stems from the heart. The former makes itself an end in itself, the latter regards prayer as a mean to reach God. Finally, in the third pious practice, fasting, a distinction is made between fasting that is done to impress others and fasting that is motivated by an inner conviction. If one is convinced from within, then one will want it to be as inconspicuous as possible.

The reason for the choice of this Gospel text is because Aloysius understood completely the words of Jesus. His motivation to do good came from within. His desire to serve the poor and the sick was without expectation of reward. The austerities he practiced were for the sole reason of ‘feeling with others’. His reaching out to the plague ridden of his time was because it was a need and he was willing to do all that he could to cater to that need. Indeed, Aloysius internalised every pious practice, because of which his righteousness was pleasing in the eyes of God.