Thursday, 24 January 2019

Friday, January 25, 2019 - Conversion of St. Paul - Saul changed his name to Paul after his conversion. What will you do as a result of having met Jesus Christ?


To read the texts click on the texts: Acts 22:3-16; Mk 16:15-18

Paul’s entire life can be explained in terms of one experience—his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus. In that instant he saw what he could become through grace and not law. It was a revelation to him that no matter how low a person may have fallen; God’s grace could always lift him/her up. It was also a revelation of the heights of mysticism one could reach if one opened oneself to God’s unlimited and unconditional grace.

The story of Paul’s conversion is narrated twice in the Acts of the Apostles (Chapters 9 and 22) and Paul himself makes reference to it in some of his letters (Gal 1:13-14; 1 Cor 9:1-2; 15:3-8).

The conversion of Saul to Paul was the conversion and transformation of a person who lived out the letter of the law, but forgot its spirit. However, once he allowed God’s grace to enter his heart, all that mattered to him was Christ and through Christ divine, gratuitous love. From the moment of his transformation, the focus of his preaching was that salvation was FOR ALL and that no amount of merit could save, because salvation was a free gift of God.

The first reading for the Feast speaks of his conversion and the Gospel text is from the longer ending of Mark and is an apt description of Paul’s power and actions after his transformation. He did indeed proclaim the Gospel to all creation and today invites us to do the same.
His Gospel may be summarised in one sentence, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor 5:19)

Friday, January 25, 2019 - Acts 23:3-16; Mk 16:15-18

Friday, January 25, 2019 - Acts 23:3-16; Mk 16:15-18


  1. How many chapters does the Acts of the Apostles contain?

  2. Twenty-six
    Twenty-eight
    Twenty-seven

  3. What are we celebrating today?

  4. The Conversion of St. Paul
    The Change of name of Saul
    The birthday of St. Paul

  5. At what time did Paul witness the light from heaven?

  6. Early morning
    Around noon
    In the evening

  7. Where was Paul born?

  8. In Galilee
    In Tarsus
    In Jerusalem

  9. To whom is the gospel to be preached?

  10. The whole creation
    The whole of Jerusalem
    The whole of Galilee

  11. Who was Paul's teacher

  12. The Holy Spirit
    Gama′li-el
    God

  13. Which group did Paul belong to?

  14. Pharisees
    Herodians
    Sad′ducees

  15. Where was Paul journeying to capture and bind Christians?

  16. Damascus
    Galilee
    Samaria

  17. Who helped Paul recover his sight?

  18. An angel
    Anani′as
    Michael

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

  20. Faith can move mountains
    Faith is required for any healing
    Faith means to believe without seeing

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, 23 January 2019

Audio Reflections of Thursday, January 24, 2019

To hear the Audio Reflections of Thursday, January 24, 2019 click HERE

Thursday, January 24, 2019 - If you were to choose one word to describe your relationship with Jesus what word would you choose?

To read the texts click on the texts: Heb 7:25-8:6; Mk 3:7-12

Mark gives in these verses a summary account of the themes that have appeared from the beginning of the Gospel. Jesus' popularity increases and he cannot appear in public without being pressured by great multitudes seeking to he healed. Jesus' reputation has spread even to those towns where he did not go personally. The use of the term multitude here and the mention of the names of places as far as the region around Tyre and Sidon are an indication that Jesus’ authority is much greater than that of John the Baptist to whom in Mark people came from only the Judean countryside and Jerusalem (1:5). These multitudes are not necessarily disciples, and could have come to see Jesus out of curiosity or even to receive healing.

Mark once again has the command to silence, which is where Jesus commands the demons not to make him known. While some interpret this command as belonging to the rite of exorcism, others see it as Mark's desire to reject the testimony of the demons as evidence for Jesus' identity.

It is possible that we relate to God or Jesus as we would relate to the local grocer and go to him only when we need something. The text of today challenges us to review our relationship with Jesus and ask ourselves what he really means to us.

Thursday, January 24, 2019 - Heb 7:25-8:6; Mk 3:7-12

Thursday, January 24, 2019 - Heb 7:25-8:6; Mk 3:7-12


  1. What did the word of oath do?

  2. Appointed a High Priest
    Appointed a son who has been made perfect
    Appointed a Chief Priest

  3. What did the unclean spirits cry when they beheld Jesus?

  4. "Have mercy on us"
    “You are the Son of God.”
    "Do not cast us out"

  5. On what is the new covenant enacted?

  6. Better promises
    God's law
    God's rightesousness

  7. What did Jesus ask his disciples to have ready for him?

  8. His clothes
    His food
    A boat

  9. Where did Jesus withdraw with his disciples?

  10. To the land
    To the sea
    To his home

  11. Where is our high priest seated?

  12. At the left hand of the throne
    At the right hand of the throne
    At the centre of the throne

  13. When did the word of oath come?

  14. Before the law
    Later than the law
    At the same time as the law

  15. Who was instructed to make the tent?

  16. Abraham
    Moses
    Jacob

  17. How many chapters does the Gospel of Matthew contain?

  18. Twenty-six
    Twenty-seven
    Twenty-eight

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

  20. Jesus has come to make all people whole
    Jesus in Universal Saviour
    Jesus is lord of lords

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, 22 January 2019

Audio Reflections of Wednesday, January 23, 2019

To hear the Audio Reflections of Wednesday, January 23, 2019 click HERE

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - Is there a synchrony between your words and your actions?

To read the texts click on the texts: Heb 7:1-3,15-17; Mk 3:1-6
The Gospel text of today concerns a Sabbath controversy. Though Mark does not specify at the beginning of this episode who it was that was watching Jesus for a reason to accuse him, at the end of the episode they are named as Pharisees and Herodians. While Pharisees had no political authority at the time of Jesus, they were influential. Herodians were a group of wealthy people who were partisans of Herod Antipas.

It is important to note that Jesus does nothing to break the Sabbath rest, but his question is the reason for the hostility. The response to Jesus' question is silence which here may be interpreted as an indication of the hostility of his opponents and of their intention to destroy him.

Anyone who truly cares about the law will agree with Jesus and rejoice that a man has been made whole again. Though the man in this case is not in any way near death, Jesus adds to the second part of his question the words "to save life or to kill?" This seems to be Mark's way of anticipating the intentions of Jesus' opponents. The point he seems to be making is that they object to someone being made whole on the Sabbath because they are concerned about the law, yet on the same Sabbath, they will not hesitate to plot the destruction of someone else. The contrast between their words and their deeds is strongly brought out.

Often in our lives there is a dichotomy between what we say and what we do. Our actions do not always match our words. There are also times when we say one thing and do another. The call of the text of today is to be as consistent as we possibly can. One way of doing this is to avoid judging others too easily. Another way would be to avoid promising what we know we will not be able to deliver and to think carefully before we speak and commit. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - Heb 7:1-3,15-17; Mk 3:1-6

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - Heb 7:1-3,15-17; Mk 3:1-6


  1. What day was it when Jesus healed the man?

  2. A feast day
    The sabbath
    A Sunday

  3. From which Psal is this verse “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchiz′edek” taken?

  4. Ps 109
    Ps 110
    Ps 111

  5. How many chapters does the letter to the Hebrews contain?

  6. Fourteen
    Thirteen
    Twelve

  7. Where did Jesus enter in today's Gospel reading?

  8. A synagogue
    A temple
    His own home

  9. With whom did the Pharisees plot to destroy Jesus?

  10. The scribes
    The Herodians
    The Chief priests

  11. Whom did Melchiz′edek meet and bless?

  12. Isaac
    Jacob
    Abraham

  13. What was the ailment of the man whom Jesus encountered?

  14. He was blind
    He had a withered arm
    He had a withered foot

  15. Of which place was Melchiz′edek king?

  16. Jerusalem
    Salem
    Rome

  17. What did Abraham give to Melchiz′edek?

  18. All his possessions
    A tenth part of everything
    Ten Camels

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

  20. Human need is above any rule
    Rules are subservient to human need
    Rules are not important as reaching out in love

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, 21 January 2019

Audio Reflections of Tuesday, January 22, 2019

To hear the Audio Reflections of Tuesday, January 22, 2019 click HERE

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - How often in your life have rules and regulations become more important than love? What will you do about it today?

To read the texts click on the texts: Heb 6:10-20; Mk 2:23-28
Today’s text is a pronouncement story. In such a story, the saying of Jesus is of central importance. In this story, it appears at the end where after Jesus pronounces that it was the Sabbath (rules and regulations) that was made for the human person and not the other way around, he identifies The Son of Man as Lord even of the Sabbath.

The Gospel of Mark does not explicate what the Pharisees are complaining about. They surely could not be complaining that the disciples of Jesus were stealing because they were plucking ears of corn, since Deut. 23:25 permitted a person to pluck ears of grain when he/she went into a neighbour’s field. Luke 6:1 seems to indicate that the objection of the Pharisees was that the disciples of Jesus were rubbing the heads of grain they had plucked in their hands which could be considered as threshing and therefore work, which was prohibited on the Sabbath (Exod 34:21). 

As he often does in his responses, Jesus takes the objectors beyond the immediate objection to a higher level. Here, he focuses not just on the question of work on the Sabbath or the incident that is questioned, but beyond: to the Sabbath itself. The Sabbath is at the service of the human person and not the human person at the service of the Sabbath. In other words, human needs take precedence over any rules and regulations. This must be the primary focus.

There are times in our lives when we treat rules as ends in themselves. One reason why we do this is because we have an image of God as a policeman who will catch and punish us if we do not follow the rules, as we ought to.

 Another reason could be that we expect that God will be gracious to us and bless us if we are faithful in following the rules. It is possible that sometimes we are so focussed on following the rules that we believe God has set for us that we might lose sight of human persons whose needs we must respond to first.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - Heb 6:10-20; Mk 2:23-28

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - Heb 6:10-20; Mk 2:23-28


  1. By whom does Hebrews say God swore when he made a promise?

  2. By the hair of his head
    By himself
    By his footstool

  3. Who was high priest when David went into the house of God?

  4. Caiphas
    Abi′athar
    Annas

  5. Who is the forerunner on our behalf?

  6. Paul
    Peter
    Jesus

  7. On what day was Jesus going through the grainfields?

  8. On the Sabbath
    On the feast of Yom Kippur
    On the feast of the Tabernacles

  9. Which patriarch does Hebrews mention?

  10. Isaac
    Abraham
    Jacob

  11. Who complained to Jesus about his disciples?

  12. The Pharisees
    The people
    The Scribes

  13. What bread did David eat in the house of God?

  14. Fresh bread
    The bread of presence
    Stale bread

  15. Who does Jesus say is lord of the Sabbath?

  16. The Son of God
    The Son of Man
    Jesus

  17. After the order of which priest has Jesus become high priest?

  18. Zadok
    Melchiz′edek
    Aaron

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

  20. Rules are made for order
    Rules can never become ends in themselves
    The rule must serve

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, 20 January 2019

Audio Reflections of Monday, January 21, 2019

To hear the Audio Reflections of Monday, January 21, 2019 click HERE

Monday, January 21, 2019 - How often have your actions been motivated out of fear rather than love? Will you perform at least one action from love today?


To read the texts click on the texts: Heb 5:1-10; Mk 2:18-22

The text of today is a controversy story, and concerns one of the three important traditions of the Jews: fasting, the other two being alms giving and prayer. The question of the people compares the behaviour of Jesus’ disciples with that of John’s disciples and the Pharisees. The latter fast whereas the disciples of Jesus do not. The law required that people fast only on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:1-34; 23:26-32; Num 29:7-11), though there were other reasons why a person might fast including as a personal expression of sorrow or repentance (1 Kgs 21:27; 2 Samuel 3:35). The Pharisees were said to fast twice a week (Lk 18:12). Since the people considered Jesus as a prophet or religious teacher, they would have expected his disciples to fast as other sects did. 

In his response to the people, Jesus clarifies that with his coming the new age has dawned, which is an age of freedom. He does this first by using the analogy of the bridegroom, and states that those who fast at the wedding are seriously insulting the host or bridegroom. However, even though there is the element of celebration in the analogy of the bridegroom, there is also a sombre note, which speaks of the bridegroom being taken away, and seems to refer to the death of Jesus, which will be an appropriate time to fast. 

The unshrunk cloth and the new wine refer to this new age, whereas the old cloak and the old wine skins refer to the old age. The two are incompatible. An attempt to patch an old garment using a new or unshrunk cloth will result in a worse tear; just as to put new wine into old skins will result in a great loss. The conclusion of the saying of Jesus emphasises that the presence of Jesus brings newness and to understand him one will need to give up the old categories that one has.

If we can talk of a rule or regulation that Jesus gave his disciples, it would only be the rule of love. All the actions of Jesus’ disciples must be motivated by love. This means that one may or may not fast, but that one will always and every time only love.

Monday, January 21, 2019 - Heb 5:1-10; Mk 2:18-22

Monday, January 21, 2019 - Heb 5:1-10; Mk 2:18-22


  1. Where must new wine be put?

  2. Into old wine skins
    Into new wine skins
    Into special wine skins

  3. Who asked Jesus why his disciples were not fasting?

  4. The Pharisees
    The scribes
    The people

  5. Which other Old Testament Priest besides Aaron is mentioned in the reading of today?

  6. Zadok
    Melchiz′edek
    Caiphas

  7. How did Jesus offer up prayers and supplications?

  8. With loud cries and tears
    With a soft voice
    With no emotion at all

  9. In which Psalm do we find the words, “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchiz′edek"

  10. Ps 111
    Ps 110
    Ps 112

  11. Which priest does Hebrews say was called by God like Jesus?

  12. Moses
    Aaron
    Abraham

  13. In which Psalm do we find the words, “Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee”?

  14. Ps 2
    Ps 8
    Ps 3

  15. On what is a piece of unshrunk cloth not sewn?

  16. A new garment
    An old garment
    A faded garment

  17. When does Jesus say his disciples will fast?

  18. When they feel the need
    When the bridegroom is taken away
    When they have no food

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

  20. Rules are never meant to be ends in themselves
    The rules must serve us
    We cannot be slaves to rules

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, 19 January 2019

Sunday, January 20, 2019 - New life in abundance


To read the texts click on the texts: Is 62:1-5;1 Cor 12:4-11; Jn 2:1-11

While Year A is known as the year of Matthew, since the Gospel readings during this year are taken mainly from the Gospel of Matthew, Year B is known as the Gospel of Mark, for the same reason. Year C, in which we are now, is the year of Luke. However, in all three years, the second Sunday in Ordinary time takes the reading from the Gospel of John. In year A, the text deals with the identification of Jesus by John. In year B, the text discusses the first disciples who follow Jesus and remain with him and, in this year, the text concerns the wedding feast at Cana and the turning of water into wine.

John’s placement of the story of the miracle at Cana, at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, gives it an added significance. This is so because it is the first public act Jesus performs in John’s Gospel. Thus, it serves as the inaugural event of the ministry of Jesus. It also serves as a forerunner of things to come. Numerous themes are highlighted in this miracle, like Jesus’ hour, his glory, the sign pointing to a deeper reality, and the faith of his disciples in him. All these serve to indicate how the miracle must be interpreted.

Some have interpreted the miracle as Jesus’ rejection of the waters of purification and hence, a symbol of Jesus’ rejection of Judaism. Others have interpreted it as the replacement of the old with the new. However, neither of these interpretations seems to fit the context. They seem to read into the text what is not actually there. The jars standing there are empty and so, there can be no question of rejection or replacement. They are filled with water on the instruction of Jesus and, filled “to the brim”. It is in these details that the interpretation must be sought. Therefore, two points are being made. The first is that the old vessels are filled with a wondrous new gift. The second is that this gift is not given in measure but given abundantly. With the coming of Jesus, gifts, like that of new wine, will be given in abundance.

That this is the better interpretation is confirmed by the scene of the intervention of Jesus’ mother and his response to her, in which he makes mention of his “hour”. Jesus’ response to Mary, while seemingly harsh, is not really so, It must be seen more as a form of disengagement. Jesus’ hour, the hour set by the Father, has not yet arrived. Thus, even his mother does not have claim over him and what he is to accomplish. This is determined by his Father, and by his Father alone. No human, no matter how close he/she might be to Jesus, can hasten it. Mary understands this and this is why her instruction to the stewards is “Do whatever he tells you”. Mary will leave Jesus free to act. Accordingly, Jesus acts freely at this “hour” and through this act, gives a glimpse of what he will accomplish when the hour set by the Father actually arrives. Here, he merely converts water into wine, which John refers to as a sign. It is a sign because it points to greater things that are to come. It points to a time when he will convert his body and blood into a living sacrifice of praise. He has come to bring abundance to his people; he has come to vindicate then; he has come to save them.

This is also the theme of the first reading of today in which Isaiah speaks of the people’s vindication and salvation because of the coming of the Lord. This vindication will be public and will be seen and witnessed by all, much like the miracle at Cana. Forsakenness and desolation are things of the past. Now, the new and the novel have come and will remain. No longer will the negative hold and sway over the people. This is because God brings, with his coming, all which is positive.

This vindication and salvation will remain at the theoretical level if it is not translated into action. Paul, in the second reading of today, shows how this must be. Two ways are indicated. The first is the recognition of the individual’s gifts, of which there is a wide variety. Each is blessed with a special talent and gift and, each of these is unique. There is no greater or lesser; there is no good or better. They are different and so, need not be compared. The second is that the gifts of the individual are not for him/her alone. The gifts of the individual are for the sake of the community since they have as their source and origin, one Lord. If the gifts are used for one’s own glorification and praise, they are of no consequence whatsoever. However, if they are used in humility, and for the sake of the community, then they become gifts of the one Spirit and of the one Lord.

Sunday, January 20, 2019 - Isa 62:1-5; 1 Cor 12:4-11; Jn 2:1-11

Sunday, January 20, 2019 - Isa 62:1-5; 1 Cor 12:4-11; Jn 2:1-11


  1. What will Zion no longer be termed?

  2. Forsaken
    Barren
    Unyielding

  3. Which of the signs was the turning of water into wine?

  4. The first
    The second
    The third

  5. Who told Jesus the wine has run out?

  6. His disciples
    The bridegroom
    His mother

  7. How many signs (miracles) does John narrate in his Gospel?

  8. Six
    Seven
    Eight

  9. In which place does John say there was a wedding?

  10. Capernaum
    Cana
    Canan

  11. What had the land been called earlier?

  12. Desolate
    Barren
    Unyielding

  13. How many stone jars had been placed?

  14. Six
    Seven
    Five

  15. For whose sake will the Lord not keep silent?

  16. Zion's
    Capernaum's
    Samaria's

  17. What will the land be called after vindication by God?

  18. Married
    Fertile
    Yielding

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

  20. "The water saw its master and blushed into sparkling wine"
    Jesus can turn the water of our lives into wine
    Nothing is impossible with 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.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Audio Reflections of Saturday, January 19, 2019

To hear the Audio Reflections of Saturday, January 19, 2019 click HERE

Saturday, January 19, 2019 - When you look at an egg will you see the eagle? Has your stereotypical way of looking prevented you from seeing people as they are?


To read the texts click on the texts: Heb 4:12-16; Mk 2:13-17

If in 2:1-12 through the incident of the healing of the paralytic, Mark portrayed Jesus as one who had the authority to forgive sin, in the text of today, he shows Jesus as reaching out to tax collectors and sinners. 

There are two episodes, which are connected. The first is the Call of Levi and the second is the dinner in Levi’s house during which Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners.

In Matthew 9:9, the tax collector who is called is named Matthew, but in Mark (and Luke 5:27) he is called Levi. However, the name Levi does not appear in any list of twelve whereas Matthew appears in all the lists. The tax collector at the time of Jesus was a person whose duty it was to collect tax or duty on goods crossing the border. They were accused of charging more than the required amount and so were considered as thieves and seen as dishonest. This is the kind of person called by Jesus to discipleship. The structure of the call of Levi is similar to that of the first four disciples in Mark (1:16-20). Here too, it has five parts, Jesus passes by, sees Levi at his work, calls to him, Levi leaves his work and follows Jesus. 

Immediately after the call and following, Jesus goes to Levi’s house for a meal during which many tax collectors and sinners sit at table with him. This leads the scribes of the Pharisees to complain probably that Jesus was not observing the higher standard of holiness that would be expected of him. 

Jesus responds to this objection in two parts. In the first part, he states what many regard is a common proverb of the time (“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick”). In the second part  (“I have come not to call the righteous but sinners”), Jesus states explicitly the reason for his coming: to call sinners. The force of this mission statement of Jesus will be understood better when we realise that the righteous referred to those who were zealous for the law and tried to live it out as completely as they could, whereas sinners meant those who deliberately flouted/flaunted the law and paid no heed to it. Jesus has come to seek those who everyone considers evil.

Many of us tend to look down on those who may not come up to our expectations or behave the way we want them to. We may also often judge others by what we see and be too quick to do that. The challenge for each of us is to realise that our way of looking may be a stereotypical way of looking and that we may be looking with a prejudiced view.

Saturday, January 19, 2019 - Heb 4:12-16; Mk 2:13-17


Saturday, January 19, 2019 - Heb 4:12-16; Mk 2:13-17


  1. In which Gospel is Levi named as one of the Twelve?

  2. Mark
    Luke
    None

  3. Who does Jesus say needs the physician?

  4. Those who are well
    Those who are sick
    Everyone

  5. What is the name of the tax collector in Matthew?

  6. Levi
    Zacchaeus
    Matthew

  7. What was the tax collector doing when Jesus called him?

  8. He was counting money
    He was sitting at his tax office
    He was waiting for Jesus

  9. Who does Hebrews say is the great High Priest?

  10. Paul the apostle
    Peter the disciple
    Jesus Christ

  11. What was Levi's father's name?

  12. Joseph
    Zacchaeus
    Alphaeus

  13. What is the word of God sharper than?

  14. A spear
    A sickle
    A two edged sword

  15. What is the name of the tax collector called in Mark and Luke?

  16. Levi
    Matthew
    Zacchaeus

  17. Whom did Jesus say he has come to call?

  18. The Righteous
    Those who are open
    Sinners

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

  20. We must avoid stereotyping
    All are called to be saints
    There is a dormant saint in everyone of us

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, 17 January 2019

Audio Reflections of Friday, January 18, 2019

To hear the Audio Reflections of Friday, January 18, 2019 click HERE

Friday, January 18, 2019 - Is there an area in my life in which I suffer from paralysis? Do I believe that Jesus can heal me?


To read the texts click on the texts: Heb 4:1-5,11;  Mk 2:1-12
The text of today is a pronouncement story, which also contains a miracle. A pronouncement story is one in which the saying of Jesus is the central point. Some pronouncement stories contain miracles, whereas others do not (2:23-27). 

In the story of today, it seems that Mark has converted an original miracle story in which a paralytic is healed into a pronouncement story (by inserting the dialogue between Jesus and the scribes after the words, “said to the paralytic” found in 2:5a, and repeating them in 2:10b), to bring out the point that Jesus has the authority like God to forgive sin. In his challenge to the scribes, Jesus is able to prove that he has this authority to forgive, because he has been able to heal the man completely. Mark might also be indicating that Jesus wanted total healing for the man rather than just physical healing. The response of the crowds is of amazement.

We come across here for the first time a “Son on Man” saying, which is used for the second time in 2,28 and after that only from the Passion and resurrection predictions in Mark (8:31; 9:31; 10:33; 14:62). Characters in the Gospels never use this expression to describe Jesus or refer to him; rather Jesus uses it of himself. While the expression could be used to mean a human being, it seems that the evangelists intend the expression to refer to Jesus’ special status. Here, he has special authority and that to forgive sin.

Our own psychological paralysis is often connected with our lack of forgiveness and keeping feelings of bitterness, anger and the like in our hearts and minds. One of the keys to wholeness and good health is forgiveness. We must forgive because it is good for our health.

Friday, January 18, 2019 - Heb 4:1-5,11; Mk 2:1-12

Friday, January 18, 2019 - Heb 4:1-5,11; Mk 2:1-12


  1. How many men carried the paralytic?

  2. Six
    Three
    Four

  3. To which town did Jesus come in the Gospel text of today?

  4. Samaria
    Capernaum
    Nazareth

  5. Which group questioned about Jesus' forgiveness of sins?

  6. The Pharisees
    The scribes
    The Herodians

  7. In which book of the Bible is it said that God rested on the seventh day?

  8. Exodus
    Genesis
    Numbers

  9. How did the paralytic's friends bring him before Jesus?

  10. They pushed through the crowds
    They removed the roof above him
    They shouted from outside

  11. What was Jesus doing in Capernaum?

  12. He was preaching the word to the people
    He was resting at home
    He was visiting the house of his relatives

  13. Only one Gospel narrates the miracle of ten lepers. Which is it?

  14. Luke
    Mark
    Matthew

  15. How did Jesus show that he had authority to forgive sins?

  16. By asking his Father to speak from heaven
    Be healing the paralytic
    By challenging the scribes to a debate

  17. How many chapters does the letter to the Hebrews contain?

  18. Thirteen
    Sixteen
    Fourteen

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

  20. Faith is required for healing
    Jesus can forgive sins and heal
    Jesus takes away our sins

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, 16 January 2019

Audio Reflections of Thursday, January 17, 2019

To hear the Audio Reflections of Thursday, January 17, 2019 click HERE

Thursday, January 17, 2018 - Who are those whom you treat as lepers? Will you reach out to them with a kind word or touch today?


To read the texts click on the texts: Heb 3:7-14;  Mk 1:40-45
The healing of a leper, which is our text for today, is also found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, but both Matthew and Luke omit the emotional reactions of Jesus found in Mark. The term leprosy was used for any kind of skin disease, and those with such kind of diseases were considered as unclean and not allowed to be part of society. They had to live on the outskirts of the city, and had to make their presence known whenever they entered the city, so that others could avoid any kind of contact with them and so not get contaminated.

In this miracle, Jesus not only heals the leper, but also reaches out and touches him. This probably means that Jesus cannot be contaminated or made unclean by anything from outside. It could also indicate Jesus’ wanting to reach out to the leper in a personal manner and treat him as a full human being.

The prayer of the leper is a lesson for each one of us on the meaning of prayer. In his prayer the leper both acknowledges his dependence on Jesus through the words, “If you will” and also has faith in the ability of Jesus to heal through the words, “you can make me clean”. Prayer means to acknowledge our dependence on God and also to have faith that God can do what to us may seem impossible.

Thursday, January 17, 2019 - Heb 3:7-14; Mk 1:40-45

Thursday, January 17, 2019 - Heb 3:7-14; Mk 1:40-45


  1. To whom did Jesus ask the man to show himself?

  2. To the Scribes
    To the Pharisees
    To the Priest

  3. How did Jesus heal the man?

  4. He stretched out his hand and touched him
    He looked at him and loved him
    He exorcised the demon with a word

  5. Where did Jesus have to be because of his popularity?

  6. In the town
    In the country
    He had to hide in his home

  7. How did the man in the Gospel approach Jesus?

  8. Standing
    Kneeling
    Bowing

  9. Whom did Jesus say had commanded an offering for cleansing?

  10. Abraham
    Moses
    Isaac

  11. What was the ailment of the man who came to Jesus?

  12. He was a leper
    He was blind
    He was a deaf mute

  13. For how many years did the Israelites see God's work?

  14. Seventy
    Forty
    Fifty

  15. From which letter is the first reading of today taken?

  16. Corinthians
    Hebrews
    Ephesians

  17. How many chapters does the Gospel of Mark contain?

  18. Sixteen
    Fifteen
    Twenty-eight

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

  20. Jesus can heals all types of ailments
    Jesus has come to make the whole world clean
    In the Kingdom all are loved unconditionally

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, 15 January 2019

Audio Reflections of Wednesday, January 19, 2019

To hear the Audio Reflections of Wednesday, January 19, 2019 click HERE

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - Do you use the talents God have gifted you for service, or do you keep them to yourself? Do you appreciate good health, or do you more often than not complain that things are not as good, as you would like them to be? Is the content of your prayer connected with your life or is it removed from it?


To read the texts click on the texts: Heb 2:14-18; Mk 1:29-39

The text of today is made up of three parts. In the first part (1:29-31), we are told of the healing of Simon’s Mother-in-law. This miracle story follows the pattern of the typical healing stories of the Synoptic Gospels in which three clear parts can be distinguished. These are the narration of the case, the cure (in the larger majority of the healing miracles of Jesus it is merely with a word and/or the act of lifting the person up) and the confirmation that the person has indeed been cured. Here, after her healing she begins to wait on Jesus and his disciples. While on the one hand this detail communicates that she was healed completely and can now serve, on the other hand, Mark may also have intended to communicate to his readers, that healing is for service.

In the second part of today’s text (1:32-34), numerous sick are brought to Jesus, who heals them all. There is also at the end of this section the command to silence, which is connected to the Messianic Secret in the Gospel of Mark where Jesus does not allow demons to tell others who he is, because he did not want to be misunderstood simply as a wonder working Messiah.

In the third and final part of today’s reading (1:35-39), we are given an insight into a very personal aspect of the life of Jesus; his prayer. In this context, the content of Jesus’ prayer seems to be discernment on whether he must stay or move. While it would have been easier to stay because of the approval he receives here, as is evident from the comment of his disciples that he was being sought after, Jesus opts to move because that is what he sees as his Father’s will, and Mark makes abundantly clear on numerous occasions in his Gospel that nothing and no one can come between Jesus and his Father’s will.

The talents that we have and the gifts that we possess have been given to us in trust. We have therefore to use them to enhance life and continue to be co-creators with God in his work of building the new heaven and new earth.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - Heb 2:14-18; Mk 1:29-39

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - Heb 2:14-18; Mk 1:29-39


  1. What was the ailment of Simon's Mother-in-law?

  2. She was possessed by an unclean spirit
    She was blind
    She had a fever

  3. How many chapters does the Gospel of Mark contain?

  4. Fifteen
    Sixteen
    Twenty-eight

  5. Which patriarch is mentioned in the first reading of today?

  6. Jacob
    Abraham
    Isaac

  7. Whose house did Jesus enter after he left the Synagogue?

  8. Simon and James
    James and John
    Simon and Andrew

  9. Where did Jesus go before dawn?

  10. To meet his mother
    To pray
    To preach and heal

  11. Throughout which place did Jesus go preaching and healing?

  12. Jerusalem
    Galilee
    Sidon

  13. Who does Hebrews say has the power of death?

  14. Angels
    The Son of man
    The devil

  15. Why is Jesus able to help those who are tempted?

  16. Because he himself has been tempted
    Because he is powerful
    Because he is Son of God

  17. At what time of the day did they bring the sick to Jesus?

  18. Morning
    Afternoon
    Sundown

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

  20. Jesus can heal all our ailments
    Jesus has come to make us whole
    We have only to believe and do what we have to do.

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, 14 January 2019

Audio Reflections of Tuesday, January 15, 2018

To hear the Audio Reflections of Tuesday, January 15, 2018 click HERE

Tuesday, January 15, 2018 - How often is there a dichotomy between your words and your actions? Will you try to synchronise them today?


To read the texts click on the texts: Heb 2:5-12; Mk 1:21-28

The first miracle in the Gospel of Mark is an exorcism and is the text for today. At the beginning of this pericope we are informed that Jesus taught in the synagogue with authority and the crowds were astounded at his teaching. Mark then immediately narrates the exorcism story to give a practical example of the teaching of Jesus. The demon "knows" who Jesus is and also that with his coming Satan’s reign is ended. Jesus has indeed come to cast Satan out.

The exorcism indicates what it means that the kingdom has indeed drawn near. This is the first time in the Gospel of Mark that we come across what is commonly known as “the command to silence”, which is a technique that Mark uses in his Gospel in which Jesus commands sometimes demons (1:25, 34), sometimes those he has healed (1:44) and sometimes the family members of the one healed (5:43) not to make known his identity or that he has been the one who has healed them. While many interpretations have been offered as to why Mark has used this technique, the one which has found wide acceptance is that the Marcan Jesus did not want people to mistake him for merely an exorcist or miracle worker, but wanted them to realise that he was the Christ who would suffer, die on the cross and be raised.

In this case he is able to exorcise the demon by a mere word, which the crowd interpret as a "new teaching".

By associating the teaching of Jesus with the first miracle and having the people regard the exorcism as a “new teaching”. Mark seems to want to indicate that there is no dichotomy between Jesus’ words and actions. They synchronise. Jesus does what he says and says what he does.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - Heb 2:5-12; Mk 1:21-28

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - Heb 2:5-12; Mk 1:21-28


  1. Where did Jesus' fame spread?

  2. The surrounding region of Galilee
    The surrounding region of Bethsaida
    The surrounding region of Judea

  3. For a little while whom was Jesus made lower than?

  4. Angels
    Prophets
    Kings

  5. Whom did Jesus not teach like?

  6. The Scribes
    The Pharisees
    The Sadducees

  7. How many chapters does the letter to the Hebrews contain?

  8. Twelve
    Thirteen
    Fourteen

  9. How does Hebrews say Jesus was made perfect?

  10. Through his strength
    Through his suffering
    Through his fortitude

  11. In which city is Jesus in the reading of today?

  12. Bethlehem
    Capernaum
    Samaria

  13. Whom did Jesus heal in today's reading?

  14. A deaf mute
    A lame man
    A man with an unclean spirit

  15. Which Psalm does Hebrews quote?

  16. Psalm 6
    Psalm 8
    Psalm 10

  17. Where does Jesus go on the Sabbath?

  18. To his home
    To his relatives home
    To the synagogue

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

  20. Jesus can exorcise all demons from our lives
    Jesus brings the kingdom of God
    Jesus means salvation

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, 13 January 2019

Audio Reflections of Monday, January 14, 2019

To hear the Audio Reflections of Monday, January 14, 2019 click HERE

Monday, January 14, 2019 - How will you as a disciple of Jesus make known his love to at least one person today?


To read the texts click on the texts: Heb 1:1-6; Mk 1:14-20
The first Chapter of the Gospel of Mark is about the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, which occurs near the Sea of Galilee and in Capernaum

A number of themes that will figure prominently in the Gospel appear already in the first Chapter. These are: Jesus reaching out to heal and make whole those who come to him for healing (1:29-34, 40-45), his exorcising those possessed by demons and commanding them to be silent about his identity (1:23-28), his being led in all things by the Spirit (1:8,10,12,23-28), the misunderstanding on the part of his disciples and people about who Jesus really is which plays a big part in the Gospel already finds some mention here (1:35-39).

It is also in the first Chapter that Jesus receives the invitation from God (through the voice from heaven 1:11) to be both beloved Son and slave. Jesus accepts this invitation as is evident in the angels attending to him though he is tempted by Satan (1:13) and in his proclamation of the good news of God, which is that the Kingdom of God has indeed, arrived (1:14-15).
The public ministry of Jesus begins after his baptism and his being led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Jesus comes to Galilee “after John was arrested” (1:14). This could be Mark’s way of removing John the Baptist from the scene who until this verse had held centre stage. It could also be a reminder that the fate of John the Baptist will also be the fate of Jesus. He too like John the Baptist will be “handed over” (9:31; 10:33; 14:21,41). Jesus comes “proclaiming the good news of God” which is an indication that he is on the side of God and has accepted the invitation issued to him at his Baptism. The content of this proclamation is that the arrival of Jesus and his ministry is bringing about the salvation promised by the prophets. The Kingdom of God has been inaugurated by the coming of Jesus. All that humans have to do now is to open their hearts to receive it in all its fullness.

The call of the first four disciples in the Gospel of Mark (1:16-20) follows immediately after the first public proclamation of Jesus (1:14-15). Two pairs of brothers are called, Peter and Andrew and James and John. These call stories have five parts. Jesus passes by (1:16.19), sees the brothers at their work (1:16,19), he calls to them (1:17,20), they leave their work (1:18, 20), and they follow Jesus (1:18,20). Though their lives would have been disrupted, they dare to follow and this is an indication that they recognise that the summons comes from God himself. Some interpret the “casting of a net” to identify the Evangelical aspect and “mending their nets” to identify the reconciling aspect of the ministry of the disciples.

The first public proclamation of Jesus is about God’s unconditional and magnanimous love for anyone who is open to receive this love. This love is given freely and without charge. In order to receive one does not have to “do” anything, but simply possess an open and generous heart. 

The call of the disciples seems to indicate that Jesus is aware that he will need humans to cooperate with him in this seemingly daunting task and thus chooses his first disciples. The good news includes disciples. It is not just about Jesus. It includes in the broadest sense the Church.

 The Church performs about as well as the disciples in Mark, but it is still part of the breaking in of God’s reign, or, can be. That is why Mark tells his story the way he does. This mission of Jesus continues even today and we are those who are called to be those disciples who will continue it and who are being called at every moment to make known top everyone we meet the unconditional and gratuitous love and mercy of God.