Christmas - Jesus is the light of the world

The Second World War lasted for about 6 years. It shattered the  peace, joy and hope of millions. Soldiers  began to experience the futility of war and longed for a dawn of peace. But peace seemed an utopia.  A blood chilling night of December 24. German soldiers  hid themselves in the cold bunkers watching for the movement of the enemy, the English soldiers who occupied the opposite dark bunkers.

4th Sunday of Advent

The foundation to establish peace is submission to the will of God..
Repeated prophecies about the coming of a Messiah abounds in the  sacred writings. But these prophesies were shrouded in obscurity. A clear picture  of the Messiah  is  given in about 700BC by  prophet Mica. We listened to his description  in the First reading.

3rd Sunday of Advent

  Zeph 3:14-18; Phil 4:1-7; Lk 3:10-18

Love for our neighbour turns us into precious grain for the  Lord

In today's Gospel  John the Baptist tells  his listeners that "His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his  threshing floor and to gather  the  wheat into his  barn, but the chaff he will  burn  in a  fire that will  never go out."

2nd Sunday of Advent

 Baruch 5:1-9; Philippians 1:4-6,8-11; Luke 3:1-6

In  539 BC   the streets of  Babylon echoed with a great  declaration from Cyrus, the king of Persia. It announced freedom to  Jews, allowing   Jews to return home. In 586 BC, Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed  the Kingdom of Judah and  took  away the Jews to Babylon as  captives.

First Sunday of Advent

Jeremiah 33:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2; Luke 21:25-28;34-36
The history of salvation has been  very dynamic. It  has moved forward with a promise and the consequent hope, and the fulfillment of the promise.

Christ the King

Dan 7:13-14; Rev 1:5-8; Jn 18:3-37

The contemporaries of Jesus grew up  hearing the stories of the cruelty of the ancient kings and rulers. Biblical Accounts give vivid descriptions of the cruelty of the Assyrians. In 722 BC Assyrian armies swept through the Near East . They became notorious for their cruelty.  There are caves in Palestine to this day where we can find etched into cave-walls depictions of Assyrian cruelty: men beheaded,

33rd Sunday in the Ordinary Time

  Dan 12:1-3; Heb 10:11-14,18 ; Mk13:24-32

In today's gospel, Jesus speaks about the displacement of celestial bodies at the end of the world, followed by the appearance of the Son of Man in glory to establish the Reign of God. The coming of the Son of Man, "in clouds with great power and glory," echoes a passage in the Daniel. Cosmic disturbances of the sun, moon and stars are images traditionally associated with the manifestations of God's judgment of Israel.

32nd Sunday in the Ordinary Time

1 Kings 17:10-16 ; Heb 9:24-28 ; Mk 12:38-44

In the temple of Jerusalem there were  thirteen collecting boxes. They were for the contributions for the sacrifices and daily expenses of the temple. Many people threw in quite considerable contributions. Then came a widow. She flung in two  mites. It was the smallest coin. Yet Jesus  said her tiny contribution was  greater than all the others for the others had  thrown in what they could spare, and the widow had flung in everything she had.

31st Sunday in the Ordinary Time

Deut 6:2-6 ; Heb 7:22-28 ; Mk 12:28-34.

The central message of today's readings is the most fundamental principle of all religions. It is to love God in loving others and to love others in loving God.

In history we find thousands of  people who have  manifested their  love for God even by sacrificing  their lives.

30th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

Jer 31:7-9 ; Heb 5:1-6 ; Mk 10:46-52

Today's Gospel describes Jesus' final journey to Jerusalem through Jericho, an ancient city, fifteen miles away from Jerusalem. Jericho was the first city conquered by the Israelites when they entered Palestine. It was a city of great wealth and remarkable beauty. Great numbers of merchants and Jewish priests

29th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

Is 53:10-11; Heb 4:14-16; Mk 10:35-45

Todays Gospel places before us two beautiful themes. The trust and confidence of  James and John, the sons of Zabedee, in the glory of Jesus and the teaching of Jesus to be practiced  in his kingdom to attain glory.

James and John, the sons of Zabedee, approached Jesus with a request: "Master, allow us to sit one at

28th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

Wis 7:7-11 ; Heb 4:12-13 Mk 10:17-30

There is an old story  about an 18th century man who was moving overseas. His life's savings of gold and silver coins were carried in a big money belt he wore around his waist. The ship hit an iceberg and started to go down. It was sinking so fast that many people had to jump in the water and swim to the lifeboats already launched. The man jumped in, but

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gen 2:18-24; Heb 2:9-11; Mk 10:2-16

Marriage has been a mystery  through out human history. From the time immemorial philosphers have  reflected on this mystery, poets have sung  about it, and religious men have glorified it. They realized that marriage is a union of man and woman in physical, mental, religious and   social  realms.

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wis 2:12,17-20; Jm 3:16-4:3; Mk 9:30-37 

Haroun-al-Raschid (Aaron the Just) was the greatest of all the caliphs of Bagdad. In a wonderful book, called "The Arabian Nights," there are many interesting stories about him.

One day the caliph, Haroun-al-Raschid, made a great feast. The feast was held in the grandest room of the palace. The walls and ceiling glittered with gold and precious gems. The table was decorated with

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 50:5-9; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35

We are  all familiar with the term identity crisis. It is a modern phenomenon that man tries to find his own identity. Manny today ask the question  who they are?
In today's Gospel Jesus confronts his disciples with a very difficult question. The opinion of people about him, and their  personal opinion  about him. It is of the most dramatic interest to see where

23rd Sunday in the ordinary Time

Is 35:4-7;  James 2:1-5; Mark 7:31-37

"The Country of the Blind" is a Short story written by H.G Wells. While attempting to summit the unconquered crest of Parascotopetl, a fictitious mountain in Ecudor, a mountaineer named Nunez slips and falls down the far side of the mountain. At the end of his descent, down a snow-slope in the mountain's shadow, he finds a valley, cut off from the rest of the world on all sides by steep precipices.
It was an unusual village with windowless houses and a network of paths, all bordered by

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Deut 4:1-2,6-8; Jm 1:17-18,21-22,27; Mk 7:1-8,14-15,21-23

For  the Jews the holiest part of the Bible was  the "Pentateuch" or the first Five books, which they thought  had been personally written by Moses, and which they reverently called the "Law." The Pentateuch contained  Sacred Laws  such as  the "Ten Commandments" and  customary laws  to guide them  in every day life, such as  laws regarding marriage and family, laws concerning inheritance,

21st Sunday in the Ordinary Time

Jos 24:1-2,15-18; Eph 5:21-32; John 6:60-69

In today's first reading we see the challenge that Joshua set before his people. He assembled all the people at Shechem and threw a challenge before them: to follow Yahweh or to choose the gods they liked. Shechem has been a holy place for the Israelites since ancient times. It was at Shechem that God had appeared to

20th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

Prov 9:1-6; Eph 5:15-20; Jn 6:51-58

The desire of man to  feel and experience God is as old as man himself. Only a few individuals had that opportunity. Moses met God on mount Horeb. Then people saw that God was within him. The prophets encountered God, and people experienced the presence God. The saints saw God, and lived in his
August 15 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Today, we are celebrating the Feast of the "Assumption of Mary." The origin of the Catholic belief in the Assumption of Mary goes back to many centuries. It was defined as a  Catholic Doctrine  by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950. The proclamation of the Church states that, revealed by God, the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her

19th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

1King 19:4-8 :Eph 4:30 – 5:2 ; Jn 6:41-51.

In history we find many famous people who made certain predictions which were proved wrong shortly after that. Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube, said about  rockets: "To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land alive,

18th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

Ex.16:2-4, 12-15; Eph 4:17, 20-24; John 6:24-35

Once there was a young  hermit who lived as an ascetic in a forest.  He owned nothing except a pair of loincloths.  One morning, to his great disappointment, he found that mice had destroyed one of the loincloths.  He brought a cat to kill the mice and then a cow  to give milk to the cat.  Later, as the cows multiplied, he hired a girl from the nearby village to look after the cows and to sell the extra milk in the village.  Finally, his ever-growing material needs prompted him to end his religious life, marry the girl and settle down as a farmer in the village.  This little story illustrates how easily the never-ceasing hunger for material things can take over our spiritual life.

Jesus fed the people with  the loves of bread and  fish he had  miraculously multiplied. The next morning, it did not take long for the crowd to realize that Jesus had disappeared. As such, they set out to Capernaum where Jesus and His disciples were known to resort. When they found Jesus on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"

But Jesus' response to their question was different. Jesus said, "Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves." Jesus knew that the people had not perceived the true meaning of the signs. The people had only considered the material aspect of the miracle, having failed to reflect on its significance. Jesus continued, "Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." This  echoes the words that are found in the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. "Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant..." [Is. 55:2-3] The Jewish people were very familiar with these words. Yet, the difficulty that Jesus was experiencing was the worldly mindedness of the people. While Jesus spoke of spiritual food that will not perish, the people asked what they must do to perform the works of God. Obviously, they were not tuned in. They were spiritually blind. They were very worldly minded, lacking spiritual mindedness.

Material things do not necessarily bring you happiness. That is a fact of life. It is a hard fact to understand sometimes, especially in a society that tries very hard to teach you otherwise.

Buddhism is a religion based on seeking enlightenment, and not desiring material or tangible things. They believe that suffering is caused by desire. The principle is, we desire, we suffer because we do not own the thing we desire, and once we own the thing, we desire something else, so the suffering continues. There are too many desires in the world, and a human will never be truly happy.

It is very common to get into a mode where you think, "If only I had object X, my life would be perfect and I would be happy." You  really want something: a new TV, a new car, a special pair of shoes, whatever. Then you buy it and you love  having it for a few days. But over time you get bored or it wears out. You can see this pattern repeated constantly in your own life. For example, your parents and grandparents likely spent thousands and thousands of dollars on toys for you as you were growing up: Dump trucks and Barbie dolls and video games and electric cars and on and on and on. All of those toys got boring or broken or outgrown eventually. They brought happiness for a moment or a week, but over time they became worthless and your desire turned to a new object.

Christianity isn't centred around not wanting possessions; however they believe that we are all a possession of god. In Acts, 4, the bible states clearly that "neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common" Therefore Christian view shows that all humans are equal, and no matter what we own, God sees us the same.

This kind of behaviour isn't only seen in humans. Two dogs might be eating out of their bowls, and one of them goes to eat out of the other bowl, simply because they have a default assumption that everyone else is getting the "better deal".

Jesus was asking His listeners to change their hearts and minds in order to see God in a new light. Instead of asking for bread for their stomachs as their ancestors did when Moses led them out of Egypt they should ask for the Bread of Life, the Bread Jesus was going to give them, His Body and Blood. 


17th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

2K 4:42-44 ; Eph 4:1-6; Jn 6:1-15

There were times when Jesus  desired to withdraw from the crowds. When the disciples returned from their first mission Jesus withdrew  with them into privacy. Jesus went up into the hill behind the plain and he was sitting there  with his disciples. Then the crowd  began to appear. At the sight of the crowd Jesus' sympathy was kindled. They were hungry and tired, and they must be fed. No one asked  Jesus to provide  the crowd with food.  It was Jesus  who first expressed his concern about the people's need for food.

One of the greatest tragedies  of our  time is  the fact that millions of people are reduced to starvation throughout the  world.  In the Asian, African and Latin American countries, well over 500 million people are living in what the World Bank has called "absolute poverty". Every year 15 million children die of hunger. For the price of one missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for 5 years. 100 million deaths could be prevented for the price of ten Stealth bombers, or what the world spends on its military in two days! The Indian subcontinent has nearly half the world's hungry people. Africa and the rest of Asia together have approximately 40%, and the remaining hungry people are found in Latin America and other parts of the world. Nearly one in four people, 1.3 billion - a majority of humanity - live on less than $1 per day, while the world's 358 billionaires have assets exceeding the combined annual incomes of countries with 45 percent of the world's people.
God has arranged  the world in such a way, that ever person may have the food he or she needs. God  continues to work thousands and millions of miracles in nature  to provide  food for his children: the power to sprout  which a seed contains, the way a grain grows and  the way nature takes care of the  crops. Food in the world should suffice to feed God's children but it will never suffice to fill the  greed of  men. One of the  reasons for world hunger is priorities. Those of us who live in an industrialized society place a high priority on comfort and convenience. Our standard of living places a significant strain on the world economy. Certainly this is something Christians must consider in terms of their own economic lifestyle. At a time when people are not getting enough to eat, we are living a lifestyle far beyond what many could even imagine. We have a great challenge before us. We must not only consider what we can do to feed the hungry, but we must also consider what we should do to limit our indulgent lifestyle.
With the failure of the potato crop in 1845, Ireland was sent into a downward spiral of starvation, poverty, disease and death. Subsequent annual crop failures brought even more suffering. As the Great Hunger progressed, more and more Irish were made destitute and homeless, without any means of obtaining food. The truly sad truth about the Great Hunger is that the British continued to ship food from Ireland while millions of Irish starved.

In March of 1849, over six hundred starving people made their way into the town of Louisburgh in search of food through outdoor relief or a ticket that would admit them to the workhouse. They met with the Receiving Officer at the Louisburgh workhouse. He told them he had no authority to grant them food or a ticket, but they could appeal to two of the Board of Guardians, Colonel Hograve and Mr. Lecky, who were meeting the next day at Delphi Lodge, located twelve miles south of Louisburgh.
The crowd spent the night in Louisburg. Weakened from their trip, many of the 600 men, women and children who slept in the streets that night died. The next day, five hundred of those that remained trudged through the mud and rain along a goat track in the direction of Delphi Lodge, crossing the Glankeen River at flood stage and through the mountain pass. Still more died of exhaustion along the way. They arrived wet and cold at Delphi Lodge the next afternoon.
The Board of Guardian members were at lunch when the people arrived and amazingly, they could not be disturbed. The starving crowd was told to wait. A few more died of exhaustion while waiting. When they had finished their meal the crowd was advised to return to Louisburgh. Disappointed, the group headed back to Louisburgh over the same bleak and dangerous path they had just taken. It is unknown how many of this group of starving people met their death in the waters of Doolough. Some call them the dead victims of the Great Hunger; others refer to them as martyrs.
Hunger and poverty are the consequences of the selfishness of people. So the solution to this devastating problems lies with man alone.
One day, a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"
"It was great, Dad."
"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.
"Oh yeah," said the son.
"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.
The son answered, "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden, and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden, and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on, and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them."
The boy's father was speechless.
Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."
There stood the little boy before Jesus. He had not much to offer but in what he had Jesus found  the materials for  a miracle. Jesus needs what we can bring him. It may not be much but  he needs it. It may well be that the world is denied miracle after miracle and triumph after triumph because we will not bring to Jesus  what we have. He wants us to make good use of all his gifts. And the generosity of the boy contains a lesson for us. Today Jesus' message to us is "Go and do the same thing."

16th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

 Jer 23:1-6; Eph 2:13-18; Mark 6:30-34

Jesus sent out his disciples with the mission of bringing God's message to the people. When they came  back from their mission they  reported to Jesus all that they had done.  The demanding crowds were  so insistent that they had no time even to eat; so Jesus took them  to a lonely place that they might have peace and rest for a while.

Today's passage  places before us the rhythm of the Christian life. Go out from the presence of God, into the presence of men, and return from the presence of men to the presence of God. It is like the  rhythm of sleep and work.  We cannot work unless we have our time of rest; and sleep will not  embrace anyone who has not worked until he is tired.

This passage very clearly warns us against the danger of too constant activity. No man can work without rest; and no man can live his Christian life without  giving time to be with God. Dallas Willard says that practicing silence and solitude is the most important spiritual discipline for people today. In our busy, noisy world we need to "unhook" and get away to be alone with our Lord.

Jesus began his public ministry with 40 days of withdrawal into the desert wilderness to fast and pray in silence and solitude. He was alone, hungry, hot and thirsty, surrounded by wild animals, and tested by Satan. But the truth of Jesus' fast is that the Father, the Scriptures, and ministering angels strengthened Jesus! His time alone with God and quietly focused only on him empowered him to resist Satan's temptations (which came at the end of the 40 days) and it focused and prepared him for his public ministry. Interspersed throughout Jesus' ministry of preaching, and healing,  we see him withdraw from the crowds again and again – often getting up very early to do so – in order to be quiet and alone with the Father (e.g., Mark 1:35, 3:13, 6:31, 46).

Jesus' rhythm of life is the secret to how he got renewed in his Father's love and empowered by the Spirit for his life and ministry. In quiet prayer he listened to the Father and received discernment for many things.

Michael Faraday, an early pioneer of electromagnetic current, once addressed a convocation of scientists. For an hour, he held the audience spellbound with his lecture on the nature of the magnet. After he had finished, he received a thundering ovation. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, stood to congratulate him. The applause thundered again. Just as quickly, a deadened silence pervaded the audience. Faraday had left. It was the hour of a midweek prayer service in a little church of which he was a member. Do we have a similar commitment One of the reasons we gather for worship each week is for the refreshment of our spirits, the recharging of our spiritual; batteries. We need to shut the world out and focus our attention on God's presence in our lives. Jesus knew the value of getting away to a quiet place.

John the Baptist is another one in the Bible who practiced solitude with God. He was quite a figure. Imagine a man who lives in the wilderness with wild animals, dresses in hairy camel skin tied on by a thick leather belt, and exists on a diet of locusts and wild honey! That's John the Baptist. His message was as austere as his desert surroundings: "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2, NASB).

John lived in the desert with his disciples and hundreds of people came to him there to be baptized and taught. Jesus said John the Baptist was the greatest of all the prophets , but John sought no glory for himself. Instead his life ambition and great joy was to prepare the way for people to go to Jesus. Like John the Baptist, the Desert Fathers of the early church made solitude in the desert their way of life. They lived in the Egyptian desert in private huts where they weaved baskets to earn a living and while they weaved they prayed and meditated on Scripture. They fasted often and practiced other ascetic disciplines (some of the monks did so in extreme and odd ways that have been given undo attention). Regularly they met individually with their Abba for spiritual direction and as a community for worship.

The ultimate test of the value of silence and solitude is if they empower us to love others – if we've truly been with the God of love and his love has purified us and put us at peace then we'll love others. So we need to realize that silence isn't something only for when we're alone; it's also about learning to control our tongue in our relationships.

"The fruit of solitude," explains Richard Foster, "is increased sensitivity and compassion for others."

The crowd saw Jesus and his men going away. But some people walked round  and were there before Jesus and his disciples arrived. They earnestly sought the company of men of God. More than ever today men crave to be in the company of   men of God, to experience the holiness of God. Today we are entrusted with this mission – to  impart the experience of the holiness of God to our contemporaries. For that  we require to  do two things. First of all find time to be with God, secondly  Find time to be with men. Hence, the rhythm of Christian  life is the   alternative meeting with God in the secret place and serving  men in the market place.


15th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

Amos 7:12-15; Eph 1:3-14 ; Mk 6:7-13

Today's gospel, tells the story of Jesus' commissioning of the twelve apostles to preach the "good news". Jesus gave clear instructions to his disciples for their first mission. They should be walking illustrations of God's love and providence in action. They were  instructed by Jesus not to take any supplies for the road, but must trust God for  everything.

It was a Rabbinic law  that when a man entered the  Temple courts  he must put off his staff and shoes and money girdle. In short all ordinary things were  to be set aside on entering the  sacred place. He wanted his disciples to consider the simple homes  they enter as sacred as  the Temple courts.

Hospitality was a sacred duty in the East. When a stranger  entered a village, it was not his duty to  search for hospitality; but it was the duty of the village to offer it.  Jesus told his disciples if hospitality was denied they must shake off the dust of that place from their  feet when they left. The mark of  Christian disciple is not be utter simplicity, complete trust, and the generosity which is always to give and never to demand. Accepting the mission the  disciples travelled all over.

To the people they brought the king's message. The king's message was "Repent". To repent means to change one's mind and then to fit one's actions to this change. There is a beautiful scene in the novel Quo Vadis. Vincius the young Roman,  fell in love with a girl who  was a Christian. Because he was not a Christian she would have nothing to do with him. He followed her to the secret night  gathering of the little group of Christians, and there unknown to an one he listens to the  service. He head Peter preach. As he listened something happened to him. He  felt that if he wished to follow that teaching, he would have to place on a burning pile all this thoughts, habits and character; burn them into ashes and then fill himself  with a life  altogether different and an entirely new soul. That is repentance. The change is not  necessarily from robbery, theft, murder, adultery  and such glaring sins. Such changes are comparatively easy. But the change most often required is from a life that  is completely selfish, instinctively demanding, totally inconsiderate, and egocentric. A change from self centred life to God centred life.

Repentance always involves some change in values, and a willingness to leave behind values and attitudes that may be inconsistent with living in a relationship with God. There are also times when restitution may be necessary.  Festo Kivengere (former Anglican Archbishop of Kigezi, Uganda, and leader of the African Enterprise evangelistic team,  in Decision magazine.) Told a story about his uncle. He said, "My uncle, the chief, was sitting in court one day with his courtiers around him when a man came and bowed in the African way. He was rich in cattle and was well known as a man who sought God through the spirits of dead relatives. He had come with eight cows which he left some twenty yards away.
'I have come for a purpose, sir,' the man said.
'What are those cows for?' asked the chief.
'Sir, they are yours.'
'What do you mean they are mine?'
'They are yours. When I was looking after your cattle, I stole four and now they are eight, and I am bringing them.'
'Who arrested you?'
'Jesus arrested me, sir, and here are your cows.'
There was no laughter, only a shocked silence. My uncle could see this man was at peace with himself and rejoicing.
'You can put me in prison or beat me up,' the man said, 'but I am liberated. Jesus came my way and I am a free human being.'
'Well, if God has done that for you, who am I to put you in prison? You go home.'
A few days later, having heard the news, I went to see my uncle. I said to him, 'Uncle, I hear you got eight free cows!'
'Yes, it's true,' he said.
'You must be happy.'
'Forget it! Since that man came, I can't sleep. If I want the peace he has, I would have to return a hundred cows!'"

Repentance implies a change from the  undesirable habits. Abstinence alone isn't enough to hold us when it comes to dropping an old habit. We need to find a new focus that's more enticing, more compelling than the old habit, to shift interest and energy to a new way of living.

Secondly, the Apostles  brought  to the people the king's mercy. Not only did they bring their shattering demand upon men; they  brought  help and healing. Jesus tried to lift his people not only from moral wreckage, but also from  physical pain and suffering. This remains the  task of the church today.

Finally, the passages tell us that  preachers of the Gospel must be listened to because they  are God's messengers. It is immaterial where God's messenger comes from: what matters is that it is God who sends them. So, no other consideration should prevent us from accepting their message.
Remember the words of Jesus to his disciples:
"Anyone who welcomes  you welcomes me:
and those who welcome me
welcome the one who sent me(Mt 10:40).



14th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

Ez 2:2-5; 2Cor 12:7-10; Mk 6:1-6

Today’s readings introduce Jesus as a prophet and explain how prophets and other messengers from God inevitably suffer rejection. Most of the famous men have experienced rejection not once, but many times. Colonel Sanders is the founder of KFC. He started his dream at 65 years old! He got a social security check for only $105 and was mad. Instead of complaining he did something about it. He thought restaurant owners would love his fried chicken recipe, use it, sales would increase, and

13th Sunday in the Ordinary Time

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

On 20th June (2012) a 4-year-old little girl, Mahi slipped into a borewell. Mahi was stuck at a level of 60 feet (20 meters).
The operation — launched soon after Mahi fell into the bore-well on Wednesday night during her birthday celebrations and was prolonged by almost 85 hours as the rescue team  pulled her out.
The efforts to save  Mahi were televised  live by National News Channels with people across the country  performing religious

Solemnity of the birth of St. John the Baptist

Is 49: 1-6; Acts 13: 22-26; Lk 1: 57-66, 80

From the very origin of man, he has experienced  certain unusual natural phenomenon  that preceded some remarkable events of history. William Shakespeare gives a vid description of it in his play “Julius Caesar.” The night before  Julius Caesar was murdered, three times she called out in her sleep about Caesar’s murder. Many strange things happened   in the city earlier that night: dead men walked, ghosts wandered the city, a lioness gave birth in the street, and lightning shattered the skies. She believed that these signs portend true danger, she said; Caesar could not afford to ignore them. Meanwhile a servant entered, reporting that

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ez 17:22-24; 2Cor 5:6-10; Mk 4:26-34

The nature is full of mysteries, and man stands helpless before them.

The 'Taos Hum' is a low-pitched sound heard in numerous places worldwide, especially in the USA, UK, and Northern Europe. It is usually heard only in quiet environments, and is often described as sounding like a distant diesel engine. Since it has proven indetectable by microphones or VLF antennae, its source and nature is still a mystery.

Corpus Christi

The Pelican is  excessively  dedicated to its  young one. The pelican collects small fish and stores in the pouch at its neck. In the process of feeding them  the bird  presses the pouch against its neck. There is a reddish tinge at its breast plumage and redness   at the tip of its beak.  All these specialties of the pelican  have given rise to a legend of the Pelican feeding its  young with its own blood.

Trinity Sunday

One day St Augustine of Hippo  was walking along the sea shore and reflecting on the doctrine of the Trinity. He suddenly saw a little child all alone on the shore. The child made a hole in the sand, ran to the sea with a little cup, filled her cup, came and poured it into the hole she had made in the sand. Back and forth she went to the sea, filled her cup and

Feast of Pentecost

 One of the  popular plays of  William Shakespeare   is "The Merchant of Veniece." Antonio, a successful merchant of Venice got into trouble because of his generosity. His friend Bassanio  requested him  to lend  him some money. Antonio agreed, but, as all of his assets were tied up at sea they went to Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. Shylock agreed to lend them 3000 ducats, but only if

Feast of Ascension of Jesus

There is an interesting Zen story.

Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung. The other monk asked him, "Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know its nature is

6th Sunday in Easter Time

Acts 10: 25-26, 34-35, 44-48 ;  1 Jn 4: 7-10 ;  Jn 15: 9-17

In 1941, the German Army began to round up Jewish people in Lithuania. Thousands of Jews were murdered. But one German soldier objected to their murder. He was Sergeant Anton Schmid. Through his assistance, the lives of at least 250 Jews were spared. He managed to hide them, find food, and supply them with forged papers. Schmid himself was arrested in early

5th Sunday of Easter

 Acts 9: 26-31 ;  1 Jn 3: 18-24 ;  Jn 15: 1-8

The Nightingale and the Rose" by Oscar Wilde is  a touching short story. The first character  is a boy. This boy is sad because a girl promised to dance with him on condition that he brought her red roses, but he did not find any red rose; there were white roses and yellow roses.

A Nightingale understood the feeling of the Student.   started to fly until she saw a Rose-tree. She told

4th Sunday of Easter

Acts 4: 8-12 ;  1 Jn 3: 1-2 ;  Jn 10: 11-18

There is the story of a particular census taker who went to a poor home in the mountains of West Virginia to gather information. He asked the mother how many children she had. The woman began, "Well, there is Rosie, and Billy, and Lewella, Susie, Harry, and Jeffrey. There's Johnny, and Harvey, and our dog, Willie. The census taker interrupted her aid said:

3rd Sunday of Easter

 Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19;  1 Jn 2: 1-5 ; Lk 24: 35-48

There is a beautiful story concerning the love of Paul Tournier, one of the world's most beloved and respected Christian doctors, for his wife Nelly. Nelly used to talk about death after her first serious bout with coronary thrombosis while they were in Greece. She knew how gravely ill she was and that a second attack could leave her severely handicapped or could even be fatal. On the last day she said to him,

2nd Sunday of Easter

After the death of Jesus, for fear of the Jews the Apostles confined themselves to a closed room. They received the news of the resurrection of Jesus from many sources.  He  was seen by the women who visited the tomb. Peter saw the empty tomb. He appeared to the apostles themselves. But these testimonies did not give them  enough courage to come out and


Alexander  the great  went to Corinth, to see the great philosopher, Digenese of Sinope.  Alexander  was thrilled to meet  him. He wished to do him some favour. But Diogenes replied, "Give me a little of immortality."

Dear brothers and sisters man's search for immortality is as  old as man himself. In the Biblical accounts of creation we read that the serpent tempted Eve with the promise that if she  ate the fruit she would become like God.  And Eve could not resist that  offer. She disobeyed God's command with the desire to become like God.

The Epic poem from Mesopotamia, "Epic of Gilgamesh" describes the attempts of Gilgamesh to learn the secret of eternal life. He under took long and perilous journey to find the secrets of immortality. Finally he was told, "Gilgamesh, what you  seek, you will never find."

So it was concluded that  human  life comes to an end with death. Therefore it is  engraved on the tombstones, "Here lies Caesar" "Here lies David", "Here lies John".

But there is one  tomb in the world that is empty, and the tomb stone does not  bear  any engraving on it. That is the tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Aramathea. The occupant of the tomb has  overcome death and came to life again.

At dawn, when the women reached the tomb of Jesus two men stood by them in  flashing raiment and asked them "Why look among the dead for someone who is alive?"

The angels conveyed to them that Jesus has risen from the dead. And he no more to be searched among the  dead.

Shakespeare is dust, and will not come
To question from  his Avon tomb,
And Socrates and Shelley keep
An Attic and Italian Sleep,
They see not. But O Christians
May you not meet in spite of death,
A traveler from Nazareth?

The  accounts of Jesus' resurrection enkindled the spirit of Peter. Only Peter went out to experience it by himself. The story of his denial of his Master was not a thing that could  be kept silent; and yet he had the courage to face those who knew his shame.  He ran to the tomb. He bent down and saw the binding cloths. He went back  home amazed.  Peter realized the messianic prophecies and  the teachings of Jesus.
The Psalmist says, "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell: neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps. 16:10). In other words, though the Messiah had been buried, He would be resurrected according to the appointed time of God.  He would not be in burial forever but rather He was there to fulfill the Scriptures concerning His death. He must be resurrected from the dead to prove that the power of death could not overpower Him.
During the ministry  Jesus  did frequently inform His disciples about His death and resurrection. In fact Jesus made the comparison between His resurrection and the life of Jonah in the belly of the fish, similarly the Son of Man would be resurrected from the dead after three days (Matt 12:40).
Peter began to realize  the relation between these teachings and the reality of resurrection. Peter is now  confident of his faith. His sermon bears adequate  testimony to that fact. Peter declared, "You killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witness."
The words, "Jesus is alive!" were enough to  create a  great spiritual hunger in the disciples where emptiness existed because of his death. May these worlds  wipe out the darkness in us and enkindle our spirits.