For God loves a cheerful giver…

Wednesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A; 21st June 2017.

Brethren: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

There’s always this interior battle on where to draw the line in regards to generosity. “Who should I be generous to?” “How generous am I even to be to this person?” “Does this person I’m even offering help to really deserve such generosity?” In a world where it’s difficult to differentiate between the poor and those who fake being poor, these questions may rise up in our minds. But today St. Paul reminds us of a clear fact: even in the face of our unworthy attitude and sins, Our Lord God still provides for you and blesses us without questioning; amidst our fallen nature, He was generous enough to give us His Son who died for our sins; Our Saviour Jesus Christ was generous enough towards giving us His Precious Body and Blood which nourishes our souls and washes us away from every guilt. And these, was given out of Love.

We are never compelled to give, neither are we encouraged to count our giving as a great thing to be debated over as the present world makes it. Just as our Lord Jesus Christ gave his Life up for us freely, as true followers of his, we are called to give to those around us, without expectations and without self glorification. 

What is that which we have that is truly ours? Our life? God owns it together with the air we breathe to sustain it. Our house, food, clothing, social position? We are only privileged to have these, not by our merits but by God’s grace. And all these have been given to us so that we can be fruitful with them and glorify God our Father through giving. By giving alms to the needy, we imitate Him who has always been generous towards us. 

Today, God supplies us, the sowers with seed which we can use to multiply our resources and increase the harvest of our righteousness. Let’s be enriched by being generous in a great way, for through this we will reap thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 6:10-11). Like the psalmist said, “Blessed the man who fears the Lord. Open-handed, he gives to the poor, his justice stands firm for ever. His might shall be exalted in glory” (Psalm 112:9). May our love for God be reflected in our generosity and self giving to those around us for our God loves a cheerful giver. 

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Who Do You Behold? 

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A; 15th January 2017

At that time: John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world! This is of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.”

John 1:29-31

In today’s gospel, John the Baptist proclaims an essential truth to the people: ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!’. He bears witness to the Son of God-to He who the prophet Isaiah called ‘the light of the world, that salvation may reach to the end of the earth’ (Isaiah 49:6).

We are challenged to do the same: like Paul, to be an apostle of Jesus, to be saints and call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; to be witnesses to our Saviour (1 Corinthians 1:1-3). We don’t have to know Him 100 percent, we won’t be able to fathom an indepth knowledge of Him if our minds were open to such. But by the grace God gives us and through the Holy Spirit, we can know Him enough. Pray that the Holy Spirit opens our hearts and minds to the reality of Jesus Christ. He is God made man, yet that humble servant, Israel in whom God is glorified, He is the light of all nations and the key to our salvation. Above all, He is the One who takes away the sins of the world

Jesus comes to us today. ‘Who do you behold?’ Be a witness to Christ this week, not just in words, but in actions. Like the psalmist, let us go to Him and say, “See I have come, Lord, to do your will.”(Psalm 40:7)

Blessed Are…

Monday of the 10th week in Ordinary Time; 6th June 2016
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“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,  for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven…”
(Mathhew 5:3-11)

  Here are the beatitudes: the rules and regulations every Christian ought to abide in, the pathway to our heavenly reward if followed. Christ uses these beatitudes to call us to embrace a life of holiness, a life worthy of the meaning of being ‘Christian’. However we can only live to God’s expectations and practice these virtues only if we go to Him.
His disciples came to him… and he taught them…
(Mathew 5: 1, 2)
Unless we are wholly rooted in God can we realize the virtues embodied in the beatitudes. We must recognize our dependence on God and go to Him to taught us to live as his Son our Lord Jesus Christ lived. Only then shall we rejoice and be glad. Only then said our reward be great in heaven.

Let Thy Hearts Be Sacred…

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; 3rd June, 2016

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“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it and when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me for I have found the sheep which was lost.'”
(Luke 15:4-6)

A wonderful parable being told by our Lord Jesus Christ today. There are two sides of the story we are to fully grasp the lesson to be learnt however: the side of the lost sheep and the side of the shepherd.

The lost sheep: We have all felt lost sometime during our spiritual journey in life (and if you haven’t, I guess you’re one of the ninety-nine, Well done!). When we fall away from God’s faithful due to our sins, when we make ourselves believe we can get that lasting joy and happiness we seek in the world and its pleasures- those moments are the moments we identify with the lost sheep.

The shepherd: We are shepherds of some sort living in a self-absorbed world. Not everyone who had a hundred sheep who leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one which got missing. Isn’t that crazy? “That’s way too stressful!”, we’ll tell ourselves, “What if the sheep enjoys its lost state? What if a pack of big bad wolves come for the remaining ninety-nine, wouldn’t that be a greater loss? What’s one compared to ninety-nine anyways?” And thus this is how we let our lost brethren stray away from the faith they once believed in, we watch them drift away from God because we wouldn’t want to discomfort ourselves in searching for the lost and moreover we still have ninety-nine righteous brothers and sisters in Christ.

But God speaks to we the lost sheep today through the prophet Ezekiel:

“I myself will search for my sheep, and I will seek them out… I will rescue them from all the places where they have scattered… I will seek the lost and I will bring back the strayed and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak…”
(Ezekiel 34:11-16)

And Christ speaks to we the shepherds:

“Just so I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
(Luke 15:7)

It’s high time we let God in. It’s high time we stopped on the lost path we find ourselves in and pray to God that He come find and rescue us. We ought to imitate the good shepherd who goes all the way to find the lost sheep. We too could be means through which our lost brethren find their way back to God. We too can be a reflection of His love and compassion. So let’s make our hearts sacred. Let’s make it like Christ’s.

One Humble Self

Wednesday of the 2nd week in Ordinary Time, 20th January 2016

“Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
(Philippians 2:3-4)

Complete my joy by being of the same mind. Oneness. That’s what drives us as followers of Christ and as Catholics: having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Selflessness. Putting others before us, loving not for our selfish desires and pleasures but loving genuinely, having a love that calls us to serve our neighbours. Humility. That which makes us have the mind of our Saviour, that which makes us submissive to Christ will, the humility that makes us empty ourselves out for those around us, the humility that springs forth obedience, that in being humble we will be exalted one day.
   Oneness, Selflessness, Humility. Our Christian keywords for today. May we be given the grace not to just make them keywords in our lives but keys to opening the doors of salvation.

Heart, not Looks…

Tuesday of the 2nd Week of Ordinary Time; 19th January 2016

“…The Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

  It is said that as man proposes, God disposes. Today’s reading is the perfect example. Samuel invites the house of Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice in which he was to choose a new king of Israel. Looking at Eliab, he probably would have told himself: “He appears very tall, almost like Saul. Maybe he’s the one” or stared at Abinadab and said: “Well, this one looks strong. I guess he will fight to the last for his people” or on seeing Shammah: “Another good looking man, the people might love him”. Samuel was about letting his personal views and emotions cloud his judgement but had to realize that there was more to what meet the eyes.
   Many a times we let our emotions and reasoning affect the way we see things. We give rash judgement about people’s motives without giving thought to the possible reason behind such actions. We like to judge the book by the cover. We look on the outward appearance and feel we know what the inside should look like. We ought to stop doing such. Yes we can’t see the hearts of men but we can discern people’s actions & not just jump into conclusions most times. So let’s ask the Holy Spirit to come on us and give us the grace to discern beyond what meet the eyes so that we will not judge our brothers and sisters wrongly. Let’s see beyond the face and appearance of people. Let’s look on the heart.

Obedience, Not Sacrifice.

Monday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time, 18th January 2016

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination and stubbornness is as inquity and idolatry.”
(1 Samuel 5:22-23)

   Today Samuel confronts Saul who chose to follow his way and the way of his people disregarding God’s instructions. We are called to let go of those bad habits that push us away from God but we tend to feel we can have both, “we take back the spoils in our lives we ought to have destroyed” the moment we renounced sin. We fail to obey Him who wants the best for us. God doesn’t want some heroic sacrifice from you; all he asks is that you obey Him, there is no better pathway to gaining graces from God than through obedience.
   So what are you willing to sacrifice for God? Your obedience is a perfect sacrifice. How you you plan on walking in His ways today? Make your way blameless and let God show you His salvation: Live in obedience of Him.