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Monday, 20 August 2018

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - How would you define “kingdom of God”? What/How much are you willing to give to acquire the kingdom?


To read the texts click on the texts: Ezekiel 28:1-10; Mt 19:23-30

Immediately after the rich young man departs, the next words of Jesus are to his disciples. Matthew reformulates it as an “AMEN” saying. The word “Amen” occurs thirty-two times in Matthew. 

Beginning some of his pronouncements with “Amen” was a unique aspect of Jesus’ own authoritative speech. Amen is not a Greek word, but a transliteration of the Hebrew word “Amen” which is a responsive affirmation to something said previously. In this context, it is used to make the pronouncement of Jesus solemn. The pronouncement is about the impossibility of a rich person entering the kingdom of God. Jesus clearly reached for the most extreme illustration of impossibility, and the disciples got the point.

In response to Peter’s question, which must be seen as a continuation of the preceding dialogue (for taken by itself, Peter’s question seems purely selfish) Jesus affirms the eschatological reward for those who have not depended on their own goodness/talents/abilities/righteousness, but acknowledge their dependence on God’s free grace.

The point is not so much that God will prevent the rich from entering the kingdom, but that their riches will be an obstacle in their path.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - Ezekiel 28:1-10; Mt 19:23-30

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - Ezekiel 28:1-10; Mt 19:23-30


  1. Who is the prince wiser than?

  2. Joshua
    Daniel
    Moses

  3. What will the strangers draw against the wisdom of the prince?

  4. Their clubs
    Their swords
    Their shields

  5. What kind of death will the prince die?

  6. The death of the unrighteous
    The death of the circumcised
    The death of the uncircumcised

  7. Who does the Lord say will be last?

  8. Those how do not finish the race
    Those who do not start
    The first

  9. By whose hand will the prince die?

  10. His people
    Foreigners
    His family

  11. What has the prince gathered into his treasuries?

  12. Gold and silver
    Riches
    Platinum

  13. Which animal is mentioned in the Gospel text of today?

  14. Elephant
    Lion
    Camel

  15. To which prince did the Lord send Ezekiel?

  16. Sodom
    Sidon
    Trye

  17. Where will the prince be thrust?

  18. To Hades
    To the Pit
    To Hell

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

  20. We must not allow things to own us
    Riches must be used for others
    Pride goes before a fall

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, 19 August 2018

Audio Reflections of Monday, August 20, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Monday, August 20, 2018 click HERE

Monday, August 20, 2018 - What is the wealth that has so possessed you; so as to leave you unfree to say a total YES to Jesus? What will you do about it today?


To read the texts click on the texts: Ezekiel 24:15-24; Mt 19:16-22

The story found in Matthew has sometimes been called the one of “The Rich young ruler”. However, these words appear nowhere in the New Testament, and is a conglomerate of the figures in Mark (rich), Matthew (who alone adds “young”) and Luke (who alone adds “ruler”). 

Matthew alone gives us a picture of a youth, twice calling him “a young man”. He would thus be a person in his twenties. He addresses Jesus as “teacher’, which signals that he is an outsider (in Matthew, real disciples address Jesus as “Lord”). 
In his answer to the young man, Jesus is portrayed as an advocate of the Law rather than its opponent. In response to the second question of the young man, Jesus takes him further to “perfection”, which does not mean “to be blameless”, but rather to be “whole”, “undivided” in love.

However, the rich young man was not able to say YES to the call of Jesus not merely because he was a man of great wealth, but rather because instead of possessing wealth, he let wealth possess him. This “being possessed”, did not leave him free, and consequently, he was unable to make a free choice.

We are living in a world in which it is easy to get so taken up with material things that we lose sight of everything and everyone else. We can if are not careful make the acquisition of things an end in itself.

Monday, August 20, 2018 - Ezekiel 24:15-24; Mt 19:16-22

Monday, August 20, 2018 - Ezekiel 24:15-24; Mt 19:16-22


  1. Who does Ezekiel say will be a sign to the people?

  2. A rainbow in the sky
    A great flood
    Ezekiel

  3. Which is the last commandment that Jesus quotes to the man?

  4. You shall not kill
    Honour your father and mother
    You shall love your neighbour as yourself

  5. Why did the man go away from Jesus sad?

  6. Because Jesus ignored him
    Because he had great possessions
    Because Jesus did not answer his question

  7. What was Ezekiel asked to put on his feet?

  8. Shoes with laces
    Sandals
    Open toed shoes

  9. How many commandments does Jesus quote to the man?

  10. Ten
    Six
    Seven

  11. What does the Lord tell Ezekiel he will take away?

  12. His parents
    The delight of his eyes (His wife)
    His children

  13. What will the Lord say he will profane?

  14. The altar
    The sanctuary
    The statutes

  15. What kind of bread was Ezekiel not to eat?

  16. Stale bread
    The bread of mourners
    Unleavened bread

  17. When did Ezekiel's wife die?

  18. In the morning
    In the evening
    In the afternoon

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

  20. We can let our possessions possess us
    We can use things but must not let things use us
    Our riches can be a hindrance to following 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, 18 August 2018

Sunday, August 19, 2018 - Will you make a choice FOR the Lord?


To read the texts click on the texts: Prov 9:1-6;   Eph 5:15-20;   Jn 6:51-58


In a debate class, the teacher presented hypothetical situations to encourage his students to talk and argue for their position. One case was: “If you were in a sinking boat with your mother and your sister, whom would you save?” In another case, the situation was modified such that a man had his wife and daughter with him.  Whom would he save? The condition was that only one could be saved. One had to make a choice.

The word “choice” summarizes all three readings of today. In the first reading of today, wisdom invites all who are listening, and especially the unlearned, to choose the meat and wine that she has to offer in order that they have life of both body and spirit. This is in contrast to what folly offers namely, stolen water and pilfered bread which lead to death. It might seem obvious to make the choice for wisdom and life rather than for folly and death. However, the invitations issued by wisdom and folly are identical.  One needs the gift of discernment in order to make the correct choice.

This gift of discernment is what the author of the letter to the Ephesians invites them to have. It will help them to choose wise conduct over foolish conduct and to choose to do the will of God rather than continue in ignorance. Accordingly, the presence of true wisdom should be obvious in the life of the believer who, by virtue of that wisdom, will not fritter away his/her energies in careless, thoughtless living. Rather, the grace-filled disciple of Jesus lives each day empowered by a full and thoroughgoing faith. The process of integrating faith with life is one which begins in prayer and finds its fullest expression in prayer, particularly in Eucharistic, liturgical prayer.

In the Gospel text of today, Jesus invited those who had their fill of the physical bread that he provided them, to realize that there was much more to life than merely satisfying physical hunger.  Jesus invited them to choose to partake of the bread that he alone could give: the true bread that indeed comes from heaven. This they would do if they made the deliberate choice to eat his body and drink his blood. This scandalized and shocked his listeners.  They could not accept that Jesus himself could be the sacrifice and so offer them his flesh and blood. They questioned, they quarreled, and they refused to make the choice for him.

Though on the rational level it seems clear that any person will choose wisdom over folly, meat and wine over stolen water and pilfered bread, and life over death, this does not always happen. Often, the choice we make is for untruth over truth, for darkness over light, and for death over life. This is because, at first glance, untruth, darkness, and death seem so much more desirable and easy to choose. It is because we think that the choice of truth, light, and life will mean that we have to make changes in our life styles that we are not prepared to make. It is because we mistakenly think that the stolen water and pilfered bread can bring us the happiness that we seek, which seems so elusive.

Even as we struggle with the choice that we have to make, Jesus invites us, beckons us, even challenges us to make the choice for him and for his kingdom. This is because to eat his flesh and to drink his blood is to become totally identified with his very person, with his deepest thoughts, with his vision of life, with his values, and with his mission to build the Kingdom of God. The flesh and blood of Jesus is, above all, that part of him which he totally surrendered in his suffering and death. He is inviting us to be with him, sharing totally and unconditionally his mission and destiny. To opt for Jesus means to make a choice for all that is positive and enhancing, for all that leads to life in all its fullness. It is to make a choice for selflessness over selfishness, for sharing rather than hoarding, for giving rather than receiving, for light rather than darkness, and for life rather than death. It is to opt for a life that is not closed in on itself but is lived in the full knowledge that, since one is loved unconditionally, one can only love in return.

To eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood means being filled with his spirit. This is a spirit of generosity, a spirit of freedom, and a spirit that will give thanks to the Father always, and for everything, in the name of Jesus Christ

Sunday, August 19, 2018 - Prov 9:1-6; Eph 5:15-20; Jn 6:51-58

Sunday, August 19, 2018 - Prov 9:1-6; Eph 5:15-20; Jn 6:51-58


  1. Whom does Wisdom send to call?

  2. Her brothers
    Her servant girls
    Her sisters

  3. What does Wisdom invite the simple to eat and drink?

  4. Bread and water
    Bread and wine
    Bread and cola

  5. What does Wisdom ask to lay aside?

  6. Wealth
    Riches
    Immaturity

  7. Who does Jesus say has sent him?

  8. The Holy Spirit
    The Living Father
    He has come himself

  9. How many pillars has Wisdom hewn?

  10. Five
    Seven
    Three

  11. In what does Wisdom invite the simple minded to walk?

  12. On the footpath
    The narrow path
    The way of insight

  13. How many Chapters does the book of Proverbs contain?

  14. Thirty-six
    Thirty-one
    Thirty

  15. What was the consequence of the bread with the ancestors ate?

  16. They died
    They felt hungry again
    It was unpalatable

  17. In whose name must the Ephesians give thanks to the Father?

  18. The Holy Spirit
    Jesus Christ
    Mother Mary

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

  20. Jesus is the bread that satisfies all hunger
    Jesus is the true bread from heaven
    Jesus chose the symbol because he wanted to be available for all

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, 17 August 2018

Audio Reflections of Saturday, August 18, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Saturday, August 18, 2018 click HERE

Saturday, August 18, 2018 - Humility is a funny thing. Once you think you’ve got it you’ve lost it. What do you think of this statement?


To read the texts click on texts: Ezekiel 18:1-10,13,30-32; Mt 19:13-15

The text of today is on the one level about Jesus’ attitude to children, but is more importantly and on a deeper level about the kingdom. While in Mark and Luke the children were being brought to Jesus that he might “touch” them (Mk 10:13; Lk 18:15), in Matthew the children are brought that he “might lay his hands on them and pray” (19:13). 

These two acts are the typical acts of blessing by a revered teacher and Matthew intends to show that Jesus is regarded as such by the people. Jesus goes further than the blessing to make a pronouncement about who will inherit the kingdom, and he identifies not just the children but also “such as these”. This means that anyone no matter of what chronological age will inherit the kingdom if he/she receives it without presumption and self-justification.

As Christians we are blessed in that all that we receive from God is not through any effort on our part but is given gratis. We have only to receive. Even this, however, is difficult because sometimes we mistakenly think that it is our effort that brings us what we have.

Saturday, August 18, 2018 - Ezekiel 18:1-10,13,30-32; Mt 19:13-15

Saturday, August 18, 2018 - Ezekiel 18:1-10,13,30-32; Mt 19:13-15


  1. With what must the righteous person cover the naked?

  2. A shirt
    A garment
    Simple clothes

  3. How did Jesus bless the children?

  4. He laid his hands on them
    He spoke words of consolation
    He made the sign of the Cross

  5. Who has eaten sour grapes?

  6. The children
    The Parents
    The People

  7. Whose teeth are set on edge?

  8. The Parent's
    The children's
    The Prophets

  9. How did the disciples respond to those who brought children to Jesus?

  10. They welcomed them
    They spoke sternly to them
    They allowed them freely

  11. How will the Lord judge Israel?

  12. According to the Law of Moses
    According to their ways
    According to the Ten Commandments

  13. What does the Lord say will be the ruin of Israel if they refuse to turn?

  14. Their guilty conscience
    Their iniquity
    Their laws

  15. Besides a new heart what does the Lord want Israel to have?

  16. New clothes
    A new spirit
    New laws

  17. How many chapters does the book of Ezekiel contain?

  18. Forty-nine
    Forty-eight
    Fifty

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

  20. To be like a child means to acknowledge dependence on God
    Age is no barrier for entry to the kingdom
    The Kingdom is for all not a select few

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, 16 August 2018

Audio Reflections of Friday, August 17, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Friday, August 17, 2018 click HERE

Friday, August 17, 2018 - Do you usually take the “easy way” or the “right way”?


To read the texts click on the texts: Ezekiel 16:1-15,60,63; Mt 19:3-12

The context of today’s reading is immediately after Jesus has finished instructing his disciples (19:1-2) in the “Community Discourse” (18:1-35). The text is found also in Mark 10:1-12, but Matthew has made some changes to suit his purpose. In Matthew, Jesus begins his response to the Pharisees question about the legality of divorce by going back to Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 (in Mark the quotations from Genesis come later). In Matthew, the Pharisees respond to Jesus’ quotation by citing Deut. 24:1, which allowed divorce, and this prompts Jesus to move to the situational application. 

The union of husband and wife is the creation of God and must be regarded as such (in Mark, they respond in this manner after a question from Jesus about what Moses commanded them). Matthew omits 10:12 of Mark, which reflects the Gentile provision for a woman’s initiating a divorce, since this is not applicable from his Jewish perspective. Matthew adds an exception clause; “except for unchastity” as he did earlier in 5:32, and in doing so makes the teaching of Jesus, a situational application rather than a legalistic code.

19:10-12 is exclusive to Matthew, and in them Jesus responds to the comment of the disciples that it is better not to marry. Those “who are made eunuchs by men” seems to refer to the pagan practice of literal castration as a religious practice, and this is rejected by Jesus. Those “who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom” seems to refer to those who choose to remain celibate in order to concentrate more fully on the kingdom, rather than get weighed down by family cares.

No matter what state of life one chooses, one must remain faithful to one’s commitment in that state of life. The grass seems greener on the other side, but only till we go to the other side.

Friday, August 17, 2018 - Ezekiel 16:1-15,60,63; Mt 19:3-12

Friday, August 17, 2018 - Ezekiel 16:1-15,60,63; Mt 19:3-12


  1. What did the Lord put on Jerusalem's head?

  2. A crown
    A Tiara
    A shawl

  3. What did the Lord put on Jerusalem's arm?

  4. Bracelets
    Chains
    Neclace

  5. Of what were Jerusalem's sandals made?

  6. Canvas
    Leather
    Rubber

  7. Who was Jerusalem's father?

  8. A Canaanite
    An Amorite
    A Hittite

  9. With what did God anoint Jerusalem?

  10. Water
    Wine
    Oil

  11. Who came to Jesus to test him?

  12. Herodians
    Scribes
    Pharisees

  13. To whom was Ezekiel asked to make known the abominations?

  14. Jerusalem
    Sodom
    Samaria

  15. Like what did God want Jerusalem to grow?

  16. Like a plant in a field
    Like a tree on a hill
    Like an oak tree

  17. Who was Jerusalem's mother?

  18. A Canaanite
    A Hittite
    An Amorite

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

  20. We must be faithful with our choice of life
    Love has to be unconditional if it is true love
    The bond between husband and wife is sacred

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, 15 August 2018

Audio Reflections of Thursday, August 16, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Thursday, August 16, 2018 click HERE

Thursday, August 16, 2018 - What would be your position if God kept a grudge against you for every sin you committed? Will you give up all your un-forgiveness today?


To read the texts click on the texts: Ezekiel 12:1-12; Mt 18:21 –19:1

The text of today is the conclusion to Matthew’s “Community Discourse” (18:1-35). It begins with a question from Peter about the number of times one is expected to forgive. While Peter proposes seven times, Jesus’ response far exceeds that proposal. The number seventy-seven can be understood in this way or even as four hundred ninety (seventy times seven). The point is not so much about numbers but about forgiveness from the heart. If one has to count the number of times one is forgiving, it means that one is not really forgiving at all. 

The story that follows in 18:23-35 about the king who forgave his servant a debt of ten thousand talents (a talent was more than fifteen years wages of a labourer) and that same servant who would not forgive another servant who owed him a mere hundred denarii (a denarius was the usual day’s wage for a labourer). The point that the parable makes is that the one who was forgiven has not accepted the forgiveness. If he had, he would have been able to forgive in turn.

We expect to be forgiven by other when we do them harm after we have said sorry, and sometimes if they do not forgive us, we get upset with them even more. We need to apply the same yardstick to ourselves when others ask for forgiveness from us.

Thursday, August 16, 2018 - Ezekiel 12:1-12; Mt 18:21 – 19:1

Thursday, August 16, 2018 - Ezekiel 12:1-12; Mt 18:21 – 19:1


  1. About whom was the oracle of the Lord God?

  2. The prince of peace
    The prince in Jerusalem
    The prince of the nether world

  3. What was Ezekiel asked to prepare for himself?

  4. A good meal
    An exile's baggage
    A bed to sleep on

  5. In what kind of house was Ezekiel living?

  6. A house of cedar
    A rebellious house
    A house of gold

  7. How much did the first servant owe his king?

  8. One thousand denarii
    Ten thousand talents
    One hundred denarii

  9. How many times did Peter want to forgive?

  10. Seventy-seven
    Seven
    Ten

  11. How much did the second servant owe the first servant?

  12. One hundred denarii
    Ten thousand denarii
    One thousand denarii

  13. From which discourse of Matthew is today's text taken?

  14. The Mission discourse
    The Community discourse
    The Parable discourse

  15. How was Ezekiel to lift the baggage?

  16. In a cart
    On his shoulder
    In a chariot

  17. Where did Jesus go after he left Galilee?

  18. To his hometown
    To the region of Judea
    To Peter's house

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

  20. To forgive is good for health
    Forgiveness is a grace from God
    To forgive is divine

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, 14 August 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - The Assumption of our Blessed Mother and India's Independence Day


To read the texts click on the texts: Rev 11:19; 12:1-6,10; 1 Cor 15:20-26; Lk 1:39-56

Today we celebrate two significant and related events. These are The Assumption of our Blessed Mother and Independence Day in India. Both are celebrated on the same date: August 15.
The reason why these events are related is because they are both about Freedom. Independence is celebrated as freedom from foreign rule and domination to self rule and governance and the Assumption may be seen as a freedom from this limited and incomplete life to the bliss of eternal and perpetual life.

The verses which make up the Gospel text of today are commonly known as “The Magnificat” or Mary’s hymn of praise. It seems to have been modeled on the prayer of Samuel’s mother, Hannah, in 1 Sam 2:1-10 and contains many Old Testament concepts and phrases. It communicates a picture of Mary as someone quite steeped in scripture. It reveals God primarily as a God of the poor. God is the one who will vindicate the poor by removing the rich and mighty from their positions and raising the lowly.

The hymn may be seen to be divided into four parts. The first part consists of praise to God for what he has done in and for Mary; the second part speaks of God’s power, holiness and mercy; the third part shows God acting as a Sovereign in reversing social conditions in favor of the poor and downtrodden; and the fourth and final part recalls God’s mercy and promises to Israel.

The hymn speaks of the effects of the Lord’s coming for all of God’s people. It begins on a note of salvation as Mary acknowledges her dependence on God. It was the grace of God that sustained and brought her to the position in which she finds herself. She has not achieved anything on her own, it is all a gift of God and thus, Mary acknowledges her humble state, referring to herself as God’s servant. She is to be called “blessed’ because God, in his mercy and goodness, had raised her to this level.

God has shown this mercy and goodness to the poor by showing the strength of his arm, by scattering the proud, and deposing the powerful. The poor, on the other hand, have been raised, and the hungry have been filled. God remembers not only those of old but also the present generation. He is a God not only of the past, but also a God of the present, the now.

The stress on God as a God primarily of the poor stands out in Mary’s hymn of praise. In a world where the rich seem to be getting richer and the poor, poorer, one wonders whether the Magnificat is a hymn that can make sense to the poor, to those of low degree. Yet, it is important to remember that God’s ways are not our ways and so, the poor must, in confidence, sing this song as their song. The confidence with which Mary sings this song runs through the entire hymn. She uses past tense to denote God’s future actions, thus expressing that God will indeed accomplish his will, and the poor will be vindicated. What is important for the poor to realize is that they, like Mary, need to continue to open themselves to all that God wants to do in them. They need to continue to acknowledge their dependence on God by doing all that is required of them and then, leaving the rest in his capable and strong hands.

Even as we do celebrate these events, we need to ask ourselves serious questions both as Indians and Christians. Can we be really free when in Assam a woman is raped and dehumanized in full public view? Can we be really free when officials stand by and watch and even participate in these dastardly acts? Can we be free when female foeticide is so high in our country and where in many places the girl child is seen as a liability and burden rather than a blessing? Can we be really free when we are so intent on destroying our natural resources for selfish ends and then have to wonder whether we will have enough rain to see us through the year? Can we call ourselves Christians when we will not do anything about these atrocities and continue with our lives as if it does not concern us?
Are we really free? Are we truly Christian?

Let the celebrations of Independence Day and the Assumption of our Blessed Mother be wake-up calls for us to rouse ourselves from our slumber and do something tangible to right the wrongs.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - The Assumption of Mary

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - The Assumption -Rev 11:19; 12:1-6,10; 1 Cor 15:20-26; Lk 1:39-56


  1. For how many days was the woman nourished in the wilderness?

  2. 1620
    1260
    2160

  3. Whose house did Mary enter in the Judean country?

  4. Judah's
    Zechariah's
    Joseph's

  5. How many heads did the dragon have?

  6. Twelve
    Seven
    Four

  7. What was seen within God's temple?

  8. A golden door
    The ark of the covenant
    A bronze door

  9. For how long did Mary remain with Elizabeth?

  10. About two months
    About three months
    About four months

  11. How was the woman clothed?

  12. With the moon
    With the sun
    With purple clothing

  13. How many horns did the dragon have?

  14. Seven
    Ten
    Four

  15. How many stars were in the woman's crown?

  16. Ten
    Twelve
    Seven

  17. Who according to Paul is the last enemy to be destroyed?

  18. Beelzebul
    Satan
    Death

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

  20. Mary is our consolation
    Mary was graced by God because she dared to say Yes
    All Mary received from God was through her son

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, 13 August 2018

Audio Reflections of Tuesday, August 14, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Tuesday, August 14, 2018 click HERE

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - Has your behaviour resulted in anyone being scandalised? What will you do about it today?


To read the texts click on the texts: Ezekiel 2:8 – 3:4; Mt 18:1-5,10,12-14

The text of today is taken from what is termed by some as 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. Unlike in Mark 9:33, there is no dispute among the disciples about who is the greatest. 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. Since God does not give up on anyone, Christians must also be prepared to accept those who may have strayed. Not only must they be valued, but they must also be sought out like God himself seeks them. The focus in Matthew’s parable is on the sheep that has gone astray. This means that the straying members of the community ought to be the focus also of the community.

While to be a Christian one has to make an individual commitment, one cannot forget that Christianity is also and even primarily a communitarian religion. This means that each is responsible for the other. I am indeed my brother or sister’s keeper.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - Ezekiel 2:8 – 3:4; Mt 18:1-5,10,12-14

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - Ezekiel 2:8 – 3:4; Mt 18:1-5,10,12-14


  1. Whom did Jesus put before the disciples to explain greatness in the kingdom?

  2. His mother
    Simon Peter
    A child

  3. How many of the shepherd's sheep have gone astray?

  4. Three
    All
    One

  5. To whom was Ezekiel asked to speak the words of the Lord?

  6. The House of Jerusalem
    The House of Israel
    The House of Samaria

  7. What was Ezekiel ordered to eat?

  8. Meat
    Bread
    A Scroll

  9. How did the scroll taste in Ezekiel's mouth?

  10. Bitter as herbs
    Sweet as honey
    Insipid

  11. How many sheep does the shepherd have?

  12. Ninety-nine
    One hundred
    Ten

  13. What was in the hand that was stretched out to Ezekiel?

  14. A sheet of paper
    A written scroll
    A papyrus plant

  15. Where does the shepherd leave the ninety-nine sheep when he goes in search of the one lost?

  16. With another shepherd
    On the mountains
    With his family members

  17. What was written on the scroll which Ezekiel was given?

  18. Words of hope and consolation
    Words of lamentation and mourning and woe
    Words of warning and threats

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

  20. God cares for each one of us
    God loves unconditinally
    God wants all to be saved

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, 12 August 2018

Audio Reflections of Monday, August 13, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Monday, August 13, 2018 click HERE

Monday, August 13, 2018 - Is your “freedom” an end in itself? Does it sometimes result in the “bondage” of others?


To read the texts click on the texts: Ezekiel 1:2-5,24-28; Mt 17:22-27
The text of today contains the second Passion and Resurrection Prediction in the Gospel of Matthew. In this one, however, it is clearer that God will deliver up the Son of Man., but it is human hands into which he will be delivered. God will also vindicate Son of Man. 

Since Matthew tries to avoid scenes in Mark, which speak of the disciples’ inability to understand, here too, the response of the disciples is to be “greatly distressed”.

The pericope about the “Temple Tax” (17:24-27), which follows, is exclusive to Matthew. The point being made is about freedom and concern for others. Just as the Son of Man gives his life for others and freely, so too the members of his community live lives of freedom but concern for others and not wanting to be a cause for their stumbling will result in a foregoing of that freedom.

There are times when we do things more to avoid scandal than because they are important and need to be done.

Monday, August 13, 2018 - Ezekiel 1:2-5,24-28; Mt 17:22-27

Monday, August 13, 2018 - Ezekiel 1:2-5,24-28; Mt 17:22-27


  1. What tax did the collectors ask Peter about?

  2. The head tax
    The temple tax
    The poll tax

  3. How many living creatures did Ezekiel see?

  4. Five
    Seven
    Four

  5. How many chapters does the book of Ezekiel contain?

  6. Forty-eight
    Forty-nine
    Fifty

  7. On which day did Jesus say he would be raised?

  8. First
    Fourth
    Third

  9. In which year of King Jehoiachin's exile did the word of the Lord come to Ezekiel?

  10. Third
    Fifth
    Sixth

  11. Who was Ezekiel's father?

  12. Jehoiachin
    Buzi
    Shealtiel

  13. On which day of the month did the word of the Lord come to Ezekiel?

  14. Fourth
    Fifth
    Sixth

  15. In which land was the river Chebar?

  16. Samaria
    Chaldeans
    Sodom

  17. In which place was Peter asked about the tax?

  18. Galilee
    Capernaum
    Nazareth

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

  20. Freedom is not an end in itself
    Sometimes we have to compromise to avoid greater evil
    When in doubt we must do the most loving thing

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, 11 August 2018

Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 1 Kgs 19:4-8;Eph 4:30-5:2; Jn 6:41-51

Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 1 Kgs 19:4-8;Eph 4:30-5:2; Jn 6:41-51


  1. Who are the Ephesians asked not to grieve?

  2. Their family members
    The Holy Spirit
    The neighbours

  3. For how many days did Elijah go after he ate the cake and drank the water?

  4. Seven days and seven nights
    Forty days and forty nights
    Three days and three nights

  5. What metaphor does Jesus use in the Gospel of today?

  6. Light of the world
    Bread of life
    Living water

  7. Whom are the Ephesians asked to imitate?

  8. Paul
    God
    Peter

  9. To which mountain did Elijah go?

  10. Sinai
    Tabor
    Horeb

  11. Under which tree did Elijah lie down?

  12. Broom
    Sycamore
    Oak

  13. What did the ancestors of the Jews eat in the desert?

  14. Meat
    Manna
    Bread

  15. Who touched Elijah when he was asleep?

  16. His companion
    An angel
    His enemy

  17. Whose son did the Jews say Jesus was?

  18. Mary's
    God's
    Joseph's

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

  20. Jesus is the bread of life which satisfies all hunger
    Jesus is the true bread from heaven
    When we receive Jesus we must also become bread for others

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, August 12, 2018 - Do not set limits on God's magnanimity!


To read the texts click on the texts: 1 Kgs19:4-8;Eph 4:30-5:2; Jn 6:41-51

The behaviour of many of us is not very different from that of Elijah, in the first reading of today, or of the people who encounter Jesus in the Gospel text of today. Like Elijah, many of us are wont to give in too easily to despondency, discouragement, and despair. We give up, we give in, and we accept defeat when the road ahead gets tough and the going steep. When trials come our way, we prefer to regard them as hindrances and obstacles rather than as opportunities.

One of the reasons why this happens is because we do not trust ourselves and God enough. We set limits on what God can and cannot do. We decide in advance the form that his manifestation will take and, when this does not happen, we conclude that he is not present.

In the first reading, Elijah, who has had difficulty with Queen Jezebel, flees from her presence and goes to Beersheba, the southernmost town in the land that was under Judah’s control. Thus, he was well beyond the reach of Jezebel Though the Lord had shown his power and might when Elijah challenged the priests of Baal and prevailed over them, Elijah still loses hope. He has had enough. Now, he wants to give up, he wants to cave in, he wants to die. Even in Elijah’s consternation and hopelessness, God does not give up on him. God believes in Elijah and invites him to believe in himself. The bread that Elijah is given by the angel sustains him and enables him to continue on his way along the path that he has chosen. Elijah is assured that it is this bread that will give him the strength that he requires to persevere in what God wants him to do. Elijah accepts the bread and is able to go on.

This bread, however, pales in comparison to the bread that Jesus gives to anyone who is willing to believe. However, the people in the Gospel text of today were not willing to do so. They had made up their minds that God could not come to them in the ordinary and mundane form of bread. They had decided that God would only come in glory, power, and might and, that when he came, he would rule and not serve. They were confident that God could come only in the spectacular, the extraordinary, and the miraculous.

This is why they simply cannot believe that Jesus could be the Messiah. Since they thought they “knew” where Jesus came from, they thought they “knew” that he could not be the Messiah. They began to grumble and resist his claims. They, too, like Elijah, set limits on what God could do. However, unlike Elijah, who later listened to the angel of the Lord and partook of the bread, the crowd who listened to Jesus did not relent and so remained in their unbelief. They were unable to eat the bread that would indeed give life.

This is what the author of the letter to the Ephesians means when he exhorts his readers, in the second reading of today, not to grieve the Holy Spirit. The sin against the Holy Spirit is not to believe that Jesus has been sent by God for the salvation of the world. It is to disbelieve and refuse to accept the fact that Jesus has been offered up to God, that he even offered himself up, so that others might have life in all its fullness. Since believers have been transformed into Christ, they must live that new life. At the same time, they must be actively engaged in strengthening what they already are.

Conversion, baptism, putting off the old and putting on the new, being sealed with the Spirit and freed from sin, are not merely past events. Rather, these events have introduced them into a new reality, the body of Christ, which is still in the process of growing. Like the body, the development of the whole depends upon, and contributes to, the well-being of individual members. These individual members today are each one of us who continue to believe in Jesus and live out his message of unconditional love. It is a message which will keep echoing when we do not set limits on the magnanimity and graciousness of God. It is a message which will resound when we realize that our God makes himself as easily available to us as bread. Though he could have chosen a different symbol by which he could have been available to the world, he chose the symbol of bread because he wanted to be available to all people everywhere and at every moment. He wanted to live in them and have them live in him.


Friday, 10 August 2018

Audio Reflections of Saturday, August 11, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Saturday, August 11, 2018 click HERE

Saturday, August 11, 2018 - On a scale of 1 to 10 where would you mark your faith? Why?


To read the texts click on the texts: Habakkuk 1:12 – 2:4; Mt 17:14-20

This miracle story of the healing of an epileptic boy is found also in Mark (9:14-29), but Matthew has shortened it considerably by omitting many of the details found in Mark. This also results in a change in the focus of the story. 

In Matthew, the exorcism proper is narrated so briefly that it is clear that the exorcism is subordinated to the pronouncement on faith. The inability of the disciples to exorcise is because of their little faith. The father of the boy addresses Jesus as “Lord” which is an indication that he is a believer and thus Matthew omits the dialogue between the father and Jesus in Mark 9:21-24, where the father expresses doubt in Jesus’ ability to cure his child.

Each of us has been given the power to heal and make whole. We can do this by a kind word or a loving gesture. However, on the one hand we are not convinced that we possess this power and so are loathe to use it, and on the other hand we think that a miracle is only something extra-ordinary or stupendous, and so we are not capable of it.

Saturday, August 11, 2018 - Habakkuk 1:12 – 2:4; Mt 17:14-20

Saturday, August 11, 2018 -Habakkuk 1:12 – 2:4; Mt 17:14-20


  1. On what was Habakkuk to write the vision?

  2. On tablets
    On Papyrus
    On paper

  3. Why could the disciples not cast the demon out?

  4. Because they did not address the demon directly
    Because of their little faith
    Because they did not ask Jesus' permission

  5. To whom does the enemy make offerings?

  6. His home
    His altar
    His siene

  7. What was wrong with the man's son who knelt before Jesus?

  8. He was on the point of death
    He was an epileptic
    He was dumb

  9. Whom does Habakkuk say the wicked swallow?

  10. Those more prayerful than they
    Those more righteous than they
    Those more generous than they

  11. How do the righteous live?

  12. By their deeds
    By faith
    By their prayers

  13. To whom does the enemy make sacrifices?

  14. To his money
    To his net
    To his riches

  15. What does Jesus say faith must be like?

  16. The size of a mustard shrub
    The size of a mustard tree
    The size of a mustard seed

  17. Who could not cure the boy?

  18. The other exorcists
    The disciples of Jesus
    The disciples of John

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

  20. Faith can move mountains
    Faith means believing even without seeing
    Faith means absolute trust that God does what is best

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Audio reflections of Friday, August 10, 2018

To hear the Audio reflections of Friday, August 10, 2018 click HERE

Friday, August 10, 2018 - “Your money or your life.” “You better take my life; I will need my money for my old age.”


To read the texts click on the texts: Nahum 2:1,3; 3:1-3,6-7; Mt 16:24-28

In Matthew, the sayings that form our text for today are addressed exclusively to the disciples unlike in Mark where they are addressed to the crowds. 

A disciple must be prepared to follow the Master and even to the cross if need be. This is the consequence of confessing Jesus as the Christ. The Son of Man has to suffer, but will also be vindicated by God. 

The pronouncement “some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom” (16:28) has been variously interpreted. Some think it refers to the event of the Transfiguration, others think it refers to the Resurrection and still others that it refers to Pentecost. However, it seems that Matthew’s community expected that the Parousia (the second coming of the Lord) would come soon, indeed before the death of some who belonged to the community, and so there are some who think that this pronouncement refers to the Second coming of the Lord.

Denial of self means to count the self as nothing. While this sounds nice to hear and sing in hymns, it requires grace from God if it is to be into practice. Jesus had to constantly overcome this temptation himself and challenges each of us through his words but also through the example that he gave on the cross.