Sunday, September 25, 2016

Daily Reflections, 26-30 September

26 September, Monday
Readings: Job 1:6-22; Lk 9:46-50
Memoria: Sts. Cosmas and Damian

An argument among the disciples of Jesus regarding who is great among them; Jesus knowing the inner thoughts of them solved the problem in a very simple way. Jesus takes a little child which is simple, humble and dependent and keeping by his side says, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.” Jesus wants to teach the values of the kingdom and they are totally different than the worldly values and they are beyond human understanding.

This gospel passage is a lesson to each one of us. We all have an evil tendencies and aspirations to thirst and hunger for power and dominate over the others; we want to be greater than the other; we wish to be recognized, be praised and so on! Crazy we are! What are all the wars that we are witnessing throughout the world? They are merely the tragic expressions of wanting and desiring to be more powerful than others? We never think of the other as fellow human, as brother and sister! The most vulnerable people in our society are the victims of these proud aspirations of those want to be powerful, and greater than others. Let us remember that everyone is a child of God and pray for the peace among the people in the world.

27 September, Tuesday
Readings: Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23; Lk 9:51-56

Jesus knows the Father’s will for him absolutely and also the times and the moments in which everything must be done. He knows that the time to take up the cross is approaching and takes the firm decision to move towards Jerusalem. On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus faces rejection from the Samaritan village. This rejection foreshadows the rejection he is going to face in Jerusalem. James and John react to this rejection and said to Jesus, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But Jesus rebuked them. They went on to another village. Samaritans are said to be the historically enemies of the Jews. Jesus is not for violence. He would win over people with love, mercy and compassion. We have to be the disciples of fragile of our times; let us not react to the situations we face in everyday of our life. Let us witness the gospel values and the person of Jesus, especially in times of difficulties, and misunderstandings. Let us show our love and mercy in those situations. Let us put on the attitude of Jesus!

28 September, Wednesday
Readings: Job 9:1-12, 14-16
Memoria: St. Wenceslaus, St. Lawrence Ruiz &Comp / World Tourism Day

As Jesus was going towards Jerusalem, many people wanted to follow him. One said, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” And to another who wants to follow Jesus but wants first to go and bury his father, Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God; and yet to another who wants follow Jesus but first say farewell to those at him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

To be a disciple of Jesus means to share with him his fate, his condition of life, which is certainly not very attractive at first sight, supposed uncertainty and poverty, that is, in a word, sacrifice and renunciation. But the end is not the sacrifice itself. In fact, many times we find in the Gospel promises of happiness and bliss that Jesus makes to those who decide to follow him. But already on earth, being with Jesus involves the complete certainty of being on the right path. But those who work with Jesus to build his kingdom often encountered difficulties. Just as the third man in the Gospel today. How, in the vineyard of the Lord, they have set their hand to the plow and immediately pulled back, abandoning their vocation... There are many who continue to sacrifice for the kingdom of God, to work seriously to defend Jesus. Every man and every nation is called to follow Christ unconditionally, whatever the price of sacrifice... Am I ready to follow Jesus unconditionally?

29 September, Thursday
Readings: Dan 7:9-10, 13-14 or Rev 12:7-12; Jn 1:47-51
Feast: Sts. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, the Archangels

Today is the feast of the archangels. The Angels are mysterious creatures, and in mysterious form speaks Daniel in the famous prophecy about the Son of Man. Daniel does not name the angels.They are really mysterious beings. They are presented as men from the suave and sweet face, not as terrible beings and frightening, but they are the manifestation of the power and holiness of God, to help us to worship with dignity.

They are called archangels because of the mission entrusted to them. Michael means “who is like God?” is our protector; Gabriel means “the power of God” is the messenger of good news and Raphael means “God heals” is the healing angel and is our guide. In the Gospel, we see that the Angels are at the service of the Son of man. Jesus said to Nathaniel, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” Jesus alludes both to the vision of Daniel and the vision of Jacob, who in his sleep sees angels ascending and descending on the place where you lie down and that gives the sense of God’s presence in all places of the earth.

Angels of God are therefore at the service of the Son of man, Jesus of Nazareth; our worship is not directed to the angels, but to God and the Son of God. The Angels are servants of God that he, in his immense goodness, brings to our service and help us to have a deeper sense of his holiness and majesty and simultaneously a sense of great confidence, because these beings are terrible in our service, are our friends. Let us ask the Lord to make us really understand the holiness and majesty, because we prostrate with increasing reverence in his presence, before his Angels.

30 September, Friday
Readings: Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5; Lk 10:13-16
Memoria: St. Jerome Priest and Doctor of the Church

Let us thank God for the great and the best gift of Holy Scripture: the gift of his love, ancient but ever new gift that we must explore it in faith. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us precisely that our treasure is ancient and at the same time modern. And every age is invited to descend into this inexhaustible mine and dig and go deep to find new treasures. The current way of studying Scripture helps us to discover new aspects, which help us to better appreciate the variety and richness. Thus it continually renews the taste and interest in the study of the Bible.

We know that Scripture is studied only in good faith. The Holy Scriptures writes Paul to Timothy can instruct for salvation, obtained through faith in Christ Jesus. The study of Scripture is made by faith, which guides. To have faith we must first understand a bit of Scripture, because if you do not understand anything of salvation, it is not possible, so come to believe, it is necessary to do some study. But on the other hand to deepen the Scripture one needs faith, belief and understanding. If someone has the sense of spiritual things deeply, understands the Bible even if one has no culture, because faith illuminates the eyes of his heart and this illumination is more precious than all the resources of science, which can shed light on secondary issues, but not they reach the center, which is the ‘right’ of the faith.

We must not despise the arduous study of the scientists, because their efforts are necessary to penetrate the faith in all areas of life and all ages. But God revealed the treasures of Scripture not only prudent, but also to those who are less gifted, through faith, divine light. We are therefore grateful to the Lord for this treasure that we all use, and help to develop it together with scholars, because science helps to understand the Scriptures, but even more it helps to holiness.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Daily Reflections from 19-25 September 2016

19 September, Monday
Readings: Prov 3:27-34; Lk 8:16-18

Light is a simple and wonderful word; each of us have wonderful memories of light in our day today lives. We all need light and we appreciate more light and illumination! God is light and illumines our hearts and souls; we all have received the ray of God’s light into our hearts at baptism. We have to be very careful that this light received at Baptism may not decrease and go off. We have to revive and keep it always at the centre of our lives. We must protect it and keep it turned on so that it can enlighten us, guide us in our choices and decisions and in our actions. We must protect it so that our life itself is light to everyone whom we meet, who like us seek Christ, who is the true source of light.

The Disciples of Christ have to live in the light of his truth and love and become light-bearers of Christ so that others may see the truth of the Gospel. “No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed.” Jesus wants his disciples to be wise, intelligent and capable of great discernment. He wants that they enrich others by giving them the gift of knowledge, wisdom, intelligence and the light. The Gospel is the only true wisdom and the only true light. Let us be light to others!

20 September, Tuesday
Readings: Prov 21:1-6, 10-13; Lk 8:19-21
Memoria: Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang & Comps, Martyrs

The Spirit blows where it wills; the spirit led the Church of God through a generous handful of lay people in Korean soil, who began the evangelization until the missionaries came there. The first seed of the Catholic faith was led by a Korean layman in 1784 on his return to his country from Beijing. During the persecutions in the mid-nineteenth century, 103 members of the young Christian community were martyred. Among them are Taegon Andrew Kim, the first Korean priest and the lay apostle Paul Chong Hasang. Among the other martyrs were bishops, priests and most part the lay faithful. All suffered for the sake of faith in Christ. In his pastoral visit to that distant land, Pope John Paul II, on May 6, 1984, joined the Korean martyrs in the calendar of saints. Their memory is celebrated today, because a group of them was martyred in this month on 20 or 21 September.

The first reading today speaks of the ‘house of God’, and the Gospel speaks of Jesus’ family. It is easy to see the relationship as in Scripture the word ‘home’ can mean either a building or a family. For example, when the Bible speaks of the ‘House of David’ may mean his home, but more often it is the family, he descended from David. He who hears my words is my brother and mother ... Well, if we listen to the Word of God and put it into practice, we become his brothers, even his mother - that is, we form his family, we are God’s ‘house’ that is, we are at the same time his family and his temple, that place where he lives.

21 September, Wednesday
Readings: Eph 4:1-7, 11-13
Feast: Mathew, Apostle, Evangelist

In today’s Gospel, the evangelist and the disciple of Jesus, Matthew himself tells his own call from Jesus. St. Jerome noted that only he, in his Gospel, shows himself with his name: Matthew; the other evangelists, telling the same episode, they call him Levi, his middle name, probably less known. Matthew insists the contrary: he is recognized as a tax collector called by Jesus, one of those dishonest tax collectors and despised as collaborators of the occupying Romans. Matthew presents himself as a publican forgiven and called, and so makes us understand the Apostle’s vocation. First of all he recognizes God’s mercy. In the writings of the Church Fathers often we speak of the Apostles as the ‘princes’; but Matthew does not look like a prince, but as a forgiven sinner. Mathew was person who has a deep sense of God’s mercy, not in the abstract, but by itself, and is prepared for a genuine apostolate. True Apostle, as St. Paul says, is full of humility, meekness, patience, having experienced for himself the divine patience, meekness and humility; the humility of God who bends down to sinners, calls them, raises them patiently.

Let us ask the Lord to have this deep feeling of our smallness and of God’s great mercy; we are forgiven sinners. Although we have never committed serious sins, we have to say as St. Augustine that God has forgiven us in advance the sins that by his grace we have not committed. Augustine praised the mercy of God who had forgiven the sins that by his fault he had committed and those who out of sheer grace of the Lord had avoided. So we can all thank the Lord for His infinite mercy and recognize our poverty of forgiven sinners, exulting with joy at the divine goodness.   

22 September, Thursday
Readings: Eccl 1:2-11; Lk 9:7-9

Herod, the Tetrarch of Galilee had heard about all that was going on and was puzzled. He was anxious to see Jesus. Herod had contradictory thoughts on identity and mission of Christ. The appearance of Christ in his life upsets him and diverts. He does not understand and would rather know the truth. He knows, feels that the truth is near it, but he is not able to grasp it. If it was John the Baptist, put to death by him, who is now risen, Herod could not avoid his own condemnation. If it were, however, of Elijah, the location of Herod would not be still better: Elijah was a prophet of God and his words must be considered as words of God. If, finally, was another of the ancient prophets come in the person of Jesus, Herod once again finds itself in a delicate situation, because, in any case, should be accountable for his actions in the name of truth. The interest of Herod against Christ is awakened and driven by curiosity, but also by the fear for discovering the responsibility in the assassination of John the Baptist.

The irruption of Christ into our lives also causes us fundamental questions. His life and, above all, his teaching, laws, principles, moral requirements cannot leave anyone indifferent and insensitive. Christ challenges us and pushes us to seek our truth. It incites us to a strict examination of conscience about our position and our behaviour in front of him and his teaching. We cannot remain passive and silent. Before formulating an answer, we must know if we are to remain part of a purely intellectual curiosity, theoretical, or whether we want to go deeper into things trying to find out, behind the legislator-philosopher, the Son of God came among us to bring the good news, the promoter of a New Covenant, also the builder of the kingdom of God, based on the stone of love. Are we able to follow this path?

23 September, Friday
Readings: Eccl 3:1-11; Lk 9:18-22
Memoria: St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Saint Pio was born in Pietrelcina near Benevento in Italy in the year1887. He entered the Capuchin Friars Minor, and was promoted to the priesthood; he exercised his priestly ministry with the greatest dedication especially in the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo in Puglia. He served in prayer and humility of God’s people through spiritual direction, the reconciliation of penitents (Confessions) and special care for the sick and the poor. Fully configured to Christ Crucified, he completed his earthly journey on September 23, 1968.

Jesus asks his disciples, ‘Who I am?” Different and conflicting voices speak of Jesus: the voice of Herod and rumours and gossips of the people, the false allegations of the scribes and Pharisees…etc. In a moment of intimacy and prayer, in a secluded place, away from the voices and noises of the worlds, the Lord asked this question: “Who am I according to people?” Jesus told them: “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 13:11), and so expect a different answer, and in fact gets to the mouth of Peter, who responds for all the company of disciples: “The Christ of God.” Jesus, in turn, says, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this, but My Father who is in heaven.” Understanding the full truth of Christ, not the fruit of the blood and flesh, is a gift from God through faith. Such a gift we should also ask constantly for us.

24 September, Saturday
Readings: Eccl 11:9-12:8; Lk 9:43-45

Today’s two readings remind us of the two aspects of the mystery of Christ; the Church celebrates the holy Eucharist and to which we all share. In the Gospel we find the aspect of suffering: “The Son of man is going to be delivered into the power of men.” It is an aspect very difficult thing to accept, because it is contrary to human dreams. We too often are far apart, just like the disciples, from the thoughts of Jesus; a distance is made of self-sufficiency, well-rooted traditions, of unshakable convictions. It also happens to us, “they did not understand.” Sometimes, for us too it is very difficult to accept the aspect of Jesus’ suffering, especially the cruel suffering and death on the cross.

It is not the question of not understanding the words. The problem is that we do not understand the substance or the core of the mission of Jesus and his Gospel: that is, that salvation comes by his death for the redemption of all. But how can we accept a defeated Messiah? It is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. Yet it is from the cross that flows salvation. The disciples are also saddened by not having understood.

25 September, Sunday
Readings: Am 6:1, 4-7; 1 Tim 6:11-16; Lk 16:19-31
XXVI Sunday in Ordinary Time

Through the parable of ‘The Rich man and Lazarus’, Jesus calls us to reflect on the irreparable eternity of hell. It is a hard speech, but comes from the lips of Jesus. The rich man has not practiced charity and so suffers irreparably in the life after. The rich man knew the law and the prophecies of divine justice but never cared for, perhaps thought that he would make an exception. We also are warned through this parable of Jesus that we cannot bypass the law of Christ and just rely on a ‘mercy’ that cannot find a concrete expression in our charity. While we are here living on this earth, we have time to do good and thereby gain eternal happiness; if not so, then it will be too late.

Jesus also gives meaning to the suffering of Lazarus that earthly injustice will be largely compensated in the life to come. We have a duty to make known to all, beginning with the people we love, about the logic of divine justice: and this is the most exquisite form of charity.

It is not the question of wealth or poverty but of relationships with God and one another. As Christians, and as the Disciples of Christ, we always need to relate ourselves to the poor here on earth. The rich man never cared for the poor dying at his door. He lacked the relationship with the poor in his daily liturgy. It is here itself, the rich man created hell for himself!

The separation between the poor and the rich is absolute. On the one hand there is the fragile and unconscious bliss of the rich; the other the silent humiliation of Lazarus. The final judgment shows that this will be overturned rather than scare the fate of hell; it is a jolt to the conscience of today before the horror of history, to do everything possible, before it is too late. The judgment that God speaks in Christ is that we are converted, mending any separation, accepting the call to a single table.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Daily Reflections for 12-18 September 2016

12 September, Monday
Readings: 1 Cor 11:17-26, 33; Lk 7:1-10
Feast: Holy Name of Mary

Today we have the story of Centurion who approached Jesus for the healing of one of his household slave. Centurion was very prestigious man and not a Jew; but the Jewish elders say to Jesus that he deserves this help of healing, because he loves Jewish people and in fact he has built a synagogue. The centurion instead says that he is not worthy. It shows the humility of the centurion. He is a man of profound faith; he turns towards God in his helplessness and need. He firmly believes in the Word of Jesus, saying “Speak the word, and let my servant be healed.” And his prayer to Jesus is for the love of the other; so, he is great man of charity. Jesus himself was surprised of centurion’s faith and said, “Not even in Israel have I found such faith.”

God is our Father. He knows what we need. His heart is pleased when we express to him our needs. But God expects us to have filial relational attitude towards him and have absolute trust in him. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” We need to learn to be merciful in day today our lives so that we may obtain God’s mercy. Let us increase our devotion to the Holy Eucharist wherein we say the words, “Lord! I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”

13 September, Tuesday
Readings: 1 Cor 12:12-14, 27-31; Lk 7:11-17
Memoria: John Chrysostom

Today we remember gratefully St. John Chrysostom (349-407). As a priest in Antioch and as a bishop in Constantinople, he was a faithful proclaimer of the Word of God. He dedicated himself to evangelization, catechesis, and liturgy, charitable and missionary activities. His preaching in the areas of morality and social aspects brought him tough opposition and as a consequence he was exiled (404-407), where he died. To his credit, he has various commentaries on the books of the Scripture and especially on the Pauline letters.

God visits his people, always accompanied by new life. The Lord comes to us to manifest all his omnipotence of love, kindness, mercy and compassion; even the dead be raised at his coming. In today’s gospel we have the incident where Jesus raises the dead young man and son of a widow in a town called Nain (for a similar story in the O.T., read 1 Kings 17:17-24). Raising the dead man is the great result of the compassion of God the Father who manifests and reveals Himself. A disciple of Jesus, who loves, manifests the presence of God among his people. Jesus teaches us that if our light of love is bigger, the more the world will see God in his servants (disciples). Through our works, let us manifest God and open the hearts of faith in Him. The Word along with our Works will help us grown in light.

14 September, Wednesday
Readings: Num 21:4-9; Phil 2:6-11; Jn 3:13-17
Feast: Exaltation of the Cross

Exaltation of the Holy Cross introduces us to an aspect of his heart that only God himself could reveal to us: the wound caused by sin, and ingratitude of man becomes a source not only of an overabundance of love, but also a new creation in the glory. Through the folly of the Cross, the scandal of suffering can become wisdom and promise of glory to Jesus can be shared by all those who wished to follow him. Death, disease, the multiple wounds that man receives in the flesh and in the heart, becomes an opportunity to take more intensely the life from God himself.
With this feast, the Church invites us to receive this divine wisdom which Mary fully lived at the Cross: the suffering of the world, madness and scandal, becomes, in the blood of Christ, cry of love and the seed of glory for each of us.           

15 September, Thursday
Readings: Heb 5:7-9; Jn 19:25-27
Memoria: Our Lady of Sorrows

Today the world has so much in need of mercy and compassion. The feast of our Lady of Sorrows gives us a true compassion and profound lesson. Mary suffers for Jesus, but also suffers with him and the passion of Christ is the participation in all human pain.

The liturgy makes us read in Hebrews the feelings of the Lord in his passion: “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications; with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death.” The passion of Jesus is imprinted in the heart of the mother, these loud cries and tears have made suffer, the wish that he was saved from death must have been in her even stronger than in Jesus, because a mother wants the child be saved. At the same time Mary has joined the mercy of Jesus, as he was submissive to the will of the Father.

For this the compassion of Mary is true: because he really took upon himself the pain of the Son and accepted the Father’s will with him, in an obedience that gives the true victory over suffering.
Our compassion very often is superficial compassion; it is not full of faith as that of Mary. We easily see, in the suffering of others, the will of God and it is right, but do not really suffer with those who suffer.

We ask Our Lady to join us in these two feelings that form the true compassion: the desire that those who suffer bring back victory over their suffering and they are released and along a deep submission to the will of God, which is always the will of love.

16 September, Friday
Readings: 1 Cor 15:12-20; Lk 8:1-3

Women played an important role in Jesus’ life; mother Mary and other women had an effect in his life and ministry. Christ has enjoyed the friendship with some of them like Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus. In today’s gospel passage, the evangelist Luke mentions some of the women who were accompanying Jesus and benefited from him: “The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.”

Jesus has a different way to welcome and choose women: he accepted their valuable collaboration and included in his large family, and thus wants to emphasize that the favourites of the heart are those returning to the fold, sinners and sinners converted. History confirms that often the most ardent of love, gratitude and apostolic fervour, is Conversion; persons who after suffering the distance from the Lord, they then enjoyed an embrace of mercy and were seen covered with new dignity and allowed by the Heavenly Father to the festive banquet in the family home. It is the style of God, often so different from our human ways. The first women were then marked the history both in witnessing the heroic courage to follow Jesus to Calvary, while the apostles were fleeing, terrified by the events that threatened to involve them in person, either in the endless line of so many others, who have consecrated themselves totally and exclusively to the Lord.

17 September, Saturday
Readings: 1 Cor 15:35-37, 42-49; Lk 8:4-15

Today, we have the parable of the Sower for our reflection. This is striking parable because it is demanding. We have to reflect ourselves that what kind of soil we prepare ourselves, in which the word will produce fruits from the seed. Here we look at, admire and contemplate the will of God, who wants to sow in our hearts. The seed is abundant: “A sower went out to sow his seed.” The Son of God came among men to pour out God’s life and to sow abundantly. Let us realize and acknowledge the care of God, who sees our lives as a field to be fertilized. Our God is a demanding God because he is a generous God.

And his generosity still gets farther. God is the only one who can prepare the soil of our hearts because it is ready to accept his word. Of course, we must be vigilant to avoid the pitfalls of the tempter, to remove the stones and thorns, but only our trust, our confidence turn to God from whom comes all that is good. God wants to fertilize our lives. May he also prepare our hearts! We are poor in front of him and only the invocation addressed to him from the depths of our misery can ensure that we become “good soil”.

18 September, Sunday
Readings: Am 8:4-7; 1 Tim 2:1-8; Lk 16:1-13
XXIV Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s gospel, we have the parable of the Dishonest Manager followed by a series of warnings related to the parable that is about the use of money. The parable, of course does not appreciate the fact of dishonesty, but because it has the clarity and decision to take the only way to salvation. Jesus rebukes us to be away from the worldly evils, especially the danger of wealth and money in particular, of which the Gospel calls the mammon of the devil of iniquity. Jesus on his part has done everything that we might be saved, by sacrificing his life on the cross for us. He has taken our sin upon himself and offered his life for us.

Money is always a dangerous temptation! Too risky! The mind will become exhausted in calculations; Anxiety grows as grows the capital ... And then taxes! And the worry of how to evade them! “He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. One who honestly administers the riches of this world, he/she will be rewarded with a wealth in heaven which is imperishable and does not fail.”

As we reflect on this parable of dishonest manager, do we think that Jesus is praising dishonesty and encouraging corruption? No, not at all! Jesus is praising the manager for his shrewdness, nothing else!

That man, in an emergency situation, when everything was at stake his future, has shown two things: extreme decision and great cunning. He acted swiftly and intelligently (although not honestly) to be safe. This is the message that Jesus tells his disciples: not to secure the worldly wealth that lasts a few years, but the eternal future.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Daily Reflections 5-11 September

05 September, Monday
Readings: 1 Cor 5:1-8; Lk 6:6-11
Feast: St. Teresa of Kolkata

Again the question of Sabbath! The Scribes and the Pharisees were watching Jesus, to find an accusation against him, in the synagogue whether he would cure the man who was present there with the withered or paralyzed right hand. But, Jesus was aware of their inner thoughts and intentions! Jesus is love and the love does not want much rationalization. Knowing their inner evil thoughts, Jesus said to the man, “Come and stand here.” The man got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?” After looking around at all of them, he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored.

They were angry with Jesus and were discussing with one another what they might do to Jesus. But the people are in support of Jesus at this juncture of the life of Jesus. Do I strive to do good like Jesus, to save life and to bring about healing? Do I support people who are trying to stand for justice in the society?

06 September, Tuesday
Readings: 1 Cor 6:1-11; Lk 6:12-19

Before choosing the twelve apostles, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. What Jesus had to ask God in prayer, if he was the Son of God, the Son of Man, and the Lord of the Sabbath and that he could forgive sin? Was he afraid of making a mistake in the choice of the apostles, scheduled for the next day? He had to seek advice from his Father? In these questions we project the weakness of our prayer. At this time, we need to understand the mission of Jesus, that is, to choose the Twelve actually means to lay the foundations of the Church; the prayer of Jesus is prayer of communion and contemplation of the Father. Jesus withdraws for prayer and the evangelist Luke makes a point that Jesus prays before every major and important event. This attitude of prayer is a testimony of the communion of Jesus with the Father. Jesus’ prayer is free: it is contemplation, admiration of the Father. It is an expression of his outburst of love as Son.

And Jesus chose very ordinary men, who had no wealth and position. Jesus chose ordinary men for the extraordinary work of God. Jesus calls you and me every day. Do I respond? Do I pray to God before I begin my work? Do I relate myself with Jesus and the Father in my prayer? Do I recognize that prayer is depending on God and communion with Him?

07 September, Wednesday
Readings: 1 Cor 7:25-31; Lk 6:20-26

We have the Beatitudes from the gospel of Luke. It is the culmination of the teaching of Jesus and the announcement of the New Testament. Through the Beatitudes, Jesus teaches us what the true source of our happiness or blessedness is. Jesus teaches the difference between kingdom life and secular life.

The word Beatitude literally means blessedness or happiness. The source of happiness is a total transformation of our lives, that is, conversion of heart and mind. We should empty everything that blocks in our hearts and minds and actions to reach God. If so, we find happiness, and God pronounces blessing upon us, even though we are poor, hungry, weeping, or even though we are hated, excluded, reviled and defamed, and our reward is great in heaven. Our faith and hope is in the Lord and not in these worldly things. We need to hunger and thirst God alone in our daily life.  Am I ready to find Jesus as the source of my happiness and blessedness?

08 September, Thursday
Readings: Micah 5:1-4; Mt 1:1-16, 18-23
Feast: Nativity of the BVM

Today we celebrate the birth of mother Mary. This feast speaks of God’s love for us. We do not find anything about her birth in the Scripture. According to the Christian tradition, in some of the apocryphal writings from 2nd and 3rd centuries, such as in proto-evangelium, a mention is made about her birth. According to this, she is the child of Anna who was devout and barren and Joachim who was rich and devout. Due to their earnest prayers, they hear the good news about the child (proto-evangelium 4:1). They named the child Mary. Her birth is the sign that God has prepared for us salvation, which will be a new heaven and a new earth (cf. Rev 21:1-5). St. Paul in his letter to the Romans he writes: “Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (8:29). This is especially true for the Holy Virgin, predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son of God and his son. And God has prepared all things according to this intention: “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God,” just before we find in the same letter.

The plan of God for her was that she had to be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. She received the Word of God, accepted and obeyed it in her life. Mary is an excellent example for all of us in many ways. She is our mother too. Even God has a plan for each one of us for the salvation of the world. We need to be aware and go forward in our life. We need to give our first preference to God. We need to care for others.  Think positively.  May mother Mary help us and intercede for us!

09 September, Friday
Readings: 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-27; Lk 6:39-42

First ‘take the log out of your own eye’ is the message today. Jesus does not want a blind community which does not know God and his Word. Spiritual blindness is the result of pride that governs the heart and produces the evil fruit of hypocrisy, poisonous fruit that kills anyone who tries.

Jesus wants his disciples humble, small, wise, prudent, cautious, and intelligent. He wants them to be polite in everything. He wants them to put their every attention to their spiritual elevation, moral, doctrinal, cognitive. He wants them to grow from strength to strength and from grace to grace, until the moral perfection, spiritual, cultural. Once they live in the grace of God and progress in wisdom, understanding of faith and morals, strong and alive in the Lord and for the Lord may help the brothers.

This is true humility: to know that each of us is on the way. As travellers cannot help immediately and become master to others; He must think that he needs a great time learning, growth, maturation, elevation and so it must be clothed in infinite patience towards his brothers in faith. Humility must then go to the great charity. Each correction must be the fruit of an immense and infinite love which governs the soul and spirit, mind and heart.  Promise: Let us not judge others!

10 September, Saturday
Readings: 1 Cor 10:14-22; Lk 6:43-49

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good”. Because we take these and many other words of Christ as maxims of good conduct, or as mere advice that Jesus gave us and that we should strive to follow? Why do we say: “Lord, Lord” but we do not do what Jesus tells us? Now, Jesus tells us that, in him, with him and through him, we are children of God. There is a treasure placed in us by God himself. This treasure is the very life of children. The good tree similarly gives good fruit. Jesus asks us to bear good fruit, because each tree is known by its own fruits. Jesus’ words are no maximum or advice: we are indeed children of God. Our life of Christian persons, to be solidly built, must be built on this life, on this treasure place in us on the day of baptism, treasure He asks to be enriched. Jesus knows that we can produce good fruit, if we live his life. Go to Jesus through prayer and the sacraments. We go to Jesus to hear his word of truth and produce good fruit. The treasure is in us through the power of the Spirit who was given to us.

11 September, Sunday
Readings: Ex 32:7-11, 13-14; 1 Tim 1:12-17; Lk 15:1-32
XXIV Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” To an audience of grumblers Jesus tells three parables of the lost found: The lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost brother. First of all, these parables teach us that God cares about what is lost and what a great joy to experience at the discovery of what is lost. These parables also present that God is merciful and compassionate!

God addresses the critical to be on the side of the lost: the father addresses his elder son’s anger with love, peace, without apology. Jesus faces criticism until his slander, criticism that continually reproduce and almost infallibly; because, every time that the Church proposes the image of God who seeks the lost, was born the discomfort. And yet, God cares even one lost. The parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin, have the paradoxical to indicate the mystery of God who is interested in even one lost, insignificant, worthless, from which there is nothing good to be obtained. This obviously does not mean that we should neglect the many; however, it is hyperbolic image of the incomprehensible love of the Lord. For this Christian ethics comes in very demanding leaders, who do not always understand why we cannot make us a precise idea of ​​the absolute human dignity in every phase and condition of his life.

Let us continuously search until what we have lost is found like the shepherd, house-wife and the father. God desires that each and every person is saved and restored to fellowship with Him. This restoring leads to rejoicing in the heavenly community. Promise: Let us pray for one another.