martedì 10 novembre 2009

New General Spirtual Assistant Amanuel Mesgun Temelso

Dear Brothes and sisters. With great joy and happiness, I thank the Lord for what he has done during my 7 years of service to the Brothers and sisters of SFO around the world. It was wonderful and rich experience for me to work with previous Presidency as well as the new presidency. I thank you with my whole heart for your love and encouragement. I enjoyed my work of spiritual animation of SFO and it has increased my faith. I could meet many people, culture, fraternal life in the fraternities of SFO and many first order friars.. These profound experiences entered into my memory, heart and mind. I thank with my heart our dear sister Encarnacion and you my dear sisters and brothers of Presidency for your love support and acceptance of what I am. I am very grateful to you. I could experience among you a great fraternal life and joy. It is my pleasure to thank our dear brothers Valentin, Michael Higgins, Ivan, Martin and Amando for their understanding, love and support. We could work together always in unity. We shared our views, discussed our opinions, and ate together and given witness that first order could work together in harmony and love. I thank you brothers from my heart. Once again I thank you all and wish our new General Spiritual Assistant Fr. Amanuel Mesgun Temelso to have nice time and rich experience in his new service May God reward you and bless you all..

Fr.Irudayasamy OFMCap

I invite you to visit my new blog:
http://irudayasamy.blogspot.com

"We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty"

Scripture: Luke 17:7-10
Perhaps we are like the laborer in Jesus' parable who expected special favor and reward for going the extra mile? How unfair for the master to compel his servant to give more than what was expected! Don't we love to assert our rights: "I will give only what is required and no more!" But who can satisfy the claims of love? Jesus used this parable of the dutiful servant to explain that we can never put God in our debt or make the claim that God owes us something. We must regard ourselves as God's servants, just as Jesus came "not to be served, but to serve" (Matthew 20:28). Service of God and of neighbor is both a voluntary or free act and a sacred duty. One can volunteer for service or be compelled to do service for one's country or one's family when special needs arise. Likewise, God expects us to give him the worship and praise which is his due. And he gladly accepts the free-will offering of our lives to him and to his service. What makes our offering pleasing to God is the love we express in the gift of self-giving. True love is sacrificial, generous, and selfless.

lunedì 9 novembre 2009

"Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up"

Scripture: John 2:13-22 [alternate reading: Luke 17:1-6]
Jesus referred to the temple as his Father’s house which was being made into “house of trade” (John 2:16) or “den of robbers” (Mark 11:17). That is why he used physical force to expel the money-chargers. The prophecy of Malachi foretold the coming of the Lord unexpectedly to his Temple to “purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the Lord” (Malachi 3:1-4). Jesus' disciples recalled the words of Psalm 69: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” This was understood as a Messianic prophecy. Here the disciples saw more clearly Jesus as the Messiah who burned with zeal for God's house. The Jewish authorities, however, wanted proof that Jesus had divine authority to act as he did. They demanded a sign from God to prove Jesus right, otherwise, they would treat him as an imposter and a usurper of their authority. Jesus replied that the sign God would give would be Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection from the tomb: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews did not understand that the temple Jesus referred to was his own body. The “tent of his body” had to be destroyed to open the way to the presence of God for us. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus not only reconciles us with God, but he fills us with his Holy Spirit and makes us temples of the living God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). God's word enlightens our minds and purifies our hearts that we may offer God fitting worship and enjoy his presence both now and forever.

domenica 8 novembre 2009

VILLA BARTOLOMEA HOME FOR THE AGED

VILLA BARTOLOMEA is small village in Italy. The Franciscan sisters of Bon Soccorso from India are working in the Home for aged. Nearly 100 old people are there and the sisters are doing great service to them. There are three sisters who are rendering their service to those old people. Sr.Joanna(superior), Sr.Sukanthi and Sr.Amali. I could visit them and their works. Dear Sisters may God bless you and reward you.

"This poor widow has put in more than the rest"

Scripture: Mark 12:38-44
Jesus taught his disciples a dramatic lesson in giving with love. Love doesn't calculate; it spends lavishly! Jesus drove this point home to his disciples while sitting in the temple and observing people offering their tithes. Jesus praised a poor widow who gave the smallest of coins in contrast with the rich who gave greater sums. How can someone in poverty give more than someone who has ample means? Jesus' answer is very simple: love is more precious than gold! Jesus taught that real giving must come from the heart. A gift that is given with a grudge or for display loses most of its value. But a gift given out of love, with a spirit of generosity and sacrifice, is invaluable. The amount or size of the gift doesn't matter as much as the cost to the giver. The poor widow could have kept one of her coins, but instead she recklessly gave away all she had! Jesus praised someone who gave barely a penny – how insignificant a sum – because it was everything she had, her whole living. What we have to offer may look very small and not worth much, but if we put all we have at the Lord's disposal, no matter how insignificant it may seem, then God can do with it and with us what is beyond our reckoning.

giovedì 5 novembre 2009

"Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Jesus"

Scripture: Luke 15:1-10
The scribes and Pharisees took great offense at Jesus because he went out of his way to meet with sinners and he treated them graciously like they were his friends. The Pharisees had strict regulations about how they were to keep away from sinners, lest they incur ritual defilement. They were not to entrust money to them or have any business dealings with them, nor trust them with a secret, nor entrust orphans to their care, nor accompany them on a journey, nor give their daughter in marriage to any of their sons, nor invite them as guests or be their guests. They were shocked with the way in which Jesus freely received sinners and ate with them. Sinners, nonetheless, were drawn to Jesus to hear him speak about the mercy of God. Jesus characteristically answered the Pharisees' charge with a parable or lesson drawn from everyday life.

mercoledì 4 novembre 2009

"Whoever does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple"

Scripture: Luke 14:25-33
Why does Jesus say we must 'hate' our families and even ourselves? The expression 'to hate' often meant to 'prefer less'. Jesus used strong language to make clear that nothing should take precedence or first place in our lives over God. Jesus knew that the way of the cross was the Father's way to glory and victory over sin and death. He counted the cost and said 'yes' to his Father's will. We, too, must 'count the cost' and be ready to follow Jesus in the way of the cross if we want to share in his glory and victory. What is the 'way of the cross' for you and for me? When my will crosses with God's will, then his will must be done. The way of the cross involves sacrifice, the sacrifice of laying down my life each and every day for Jesus' sake. What makes such sacrifice possible and "sweet" for us is the love of God poured out for us in the blood of Jesus Christ. Paul the Apostle reminds us that "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit" (Romans 5:5). We can never outgive God. He always gives us more than we can expect or imagine.

martedì 3 novembre 2009

"You will be blessed, because they cannot repay you"

Scripture: Luke 14:15-24
In the ancient world the most notable sign of favor and intimate friendship was the invitation to "share bread" at the dinner table. Who you ate with showed who you valued and trusted as your friends. A great banquet would involve a lavish meal of several courses and a large company of notable guests and friends. One of the most beautiful images of heaven in the scriptures is the royal wedding celebration and banquet given by the King for his son and close friends. We, in fact, have been invited to the most important banquet of all! The last book in the bible ends with an invitation to the wedding feast of the Lamb and his Bride, the church: The Spirit and the Bride say, Come! (Revelations 22:17). The 'Lamb of God' is the Lord Jesus Christ and his bride is the people he has redeemed by his own precious blood which was shed upon the cross for our salvation.

lunedì 2 novembre 2009

“Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”

Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:31-46 (alternate reading: John 11:17-27)
ALL SOULS DAY
What about the life to come after our death? God puts in the heart of every living person the desire for unending life and happiness with him. While death claims each of us at the appointed time, God gives us something which death cannot touch – his own divine life and sustaining power. In the Old Testament, one of the greatest testimonies of faith and hope in the midst of great suffering and pain is that of Job: For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another (Job 19:25-27). Jesus made an incredible promise to his disciplies and a claim which only God can make and deliver: Whoever sees and believes in Jesus, the Son of God, shall have everlasting life and be resurrected!

domenica 1 novembre 2009

"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven"

FEAST OF ALL SAINTS

Scripture:
Matthew 5:1-12
What is the significance of Jesus' beatitudes, and why are they so central to his teaching? The beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness that God has placed in every heart. They teach us the final end to which God calls us, namely the coming of God's kingdom (Matthew 4:17), the vision of God (Matthew 5:8; 1 John 2;1), entering into the joy of the Lord (Matthew 25:21-23) and into his rest (Hebrews 4:7-11). Jesus' beatitudes also confront us with decisive choices concerning the life we pursue here on earth and the use we make of the goods he puts at our disposal. God alone satisfies. Theresa of Avila's prayer book contained a bookmark which she wrote: "Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you; All things pass: God never changes. Patience achieves all it strives for. Whoever has God lacks nothing, God alone suffices." Is God enough for you? God offers us the greatest good possible – abundant life in Jesus Christ (John 10:10) and the promise of unending joy and happiness with God.

sabato 31 ottobre 2009

"If you sit in the lowest place ...you will be honored in the presence of all"

Scripture: Luke 14:1, 7-11
What is true humility and why should we make it a characteristic mark of our life and action? True humility is not feeling bad about yourself, or having a low opinion of yourself, or thinking of yourself as inferior to others. True humility frees us from preoccupation with ourselves, whereas a low self-opinion tends to focus our attention on ourselves. Humility is truth in self-understanding and truth in action. Viewing ourselves truthfully, with sober judgment, means seeing ourselves the way God sees us (Psalm 139:1-4). A humble person makes a realistic assessment of himself or herself without illusion or pretense to be something he or she is not. The humble regard themselves neither smaller nor larger than they truly are. True humility frees us to be our true selves and to avoid despair and pride. A humble person does not have to wear a mask or put on a facade in order to look good to others, especially to those who are not really familiar with that person. The humble are not swayed by accidentals, such as fame, reputation, success, or failure.

venerdì 30 ottobre 2009

"They were watching Jesus"

Scripture: Luke 14:1-6
Jesus already knew that his hosts wanted to catch him in the act of breaking their Sabbath rituals. So when Jesus gave his defense for healing on the Sabbath, they treated him with cold silence. They were ensnared in their own legalism and could not understand or see the purpose of God in allowing a work of healing to take precedence over rest. Why did God give the commandment to keep holy the Sabbath and enjoined his people to refrain from work on that day? The "Sabbath rest" was meant to be a time to remember and celebrate God's goodness and the goodness of his works, both in creation and redemption. It was a day set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on our behalf. It was intended to bring everyday work to a halt and to provide needed rest and refreshment. It was not, however, intended to put a stop to love of God and love of neighbor. The law of love supercedes the law of rest! Jesus shows the fallacy of the Pharisees' legalism by pointing to God's intention for the Sabbath: to do good and to heal. God's word has power to heal and to set us free from ignorance, error, intolerance, and prejudice.

giovedì 29 ottobre 2009

"How often would I have gathered your children together!"

Scripture: Luke 13:31-35
Jesus went so far as to call Herod a fox. What did he mean by such an expression? The fox was regarded as the slyest of all animals and one of the most destructive as well. Any farmer will tell you how difficult it is to get rid of foxes who under the cover of night steal and destroy. The fox became a symbol of what was worthless, insignificant, and destructive. It takes great courage to stand up and openly oppose a tyrant. Jesus knew that he would suffer the same fate as the prophets who came before him. He not only willingly exposed himself to such danger, but he prayed for his persecutors and for those who rejected the prophets who spoke in God's name.

mercoledì 28 ottobre 2009

Jesus called his disciples and chose twelve apostles

Scripture: Luke 6:12-19 (alternate reading: Luke 13:22-30)
When Jesus embarked on his mission he chose twelve men to be his friends and apostles. In the choice of the twelve, we see a characteristic feature of God's work: Jesus chose very ordinary people. They were non-professionals, who had no wealth or position. They were chosen from the common people who did ordinary things, had no special education, and no social advantages. Jesus wanted ordinary people who could take an assignment and do it extraordinarily well. He chose these men, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under his direction and power. When the Lord calls us to serve, we must not shrug back because we think that we have little or nothing to offer. The Lord takes what ordinary people, like us, can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom.

martedì 27 ottobre 2009

Elective chapter in Great Britain

Tibor Kauser presidency councillor from Hungary and myself have gone to Great Britain for the elective chapter of SFO from 22 -25 October, 2009. It was held at Oblate Retreat and Spirituality Center Wistaston Hall, Crewe Due to this commitment I could not write daily thoughts of the Gospel. Please hold me excused. Three National Spiritual Assistants took part in the chapter. They were Fr.Peter Hall OFM, Fr.Stephen Innes OFMCap and Fr.Vincent Kennedy OFMConv. The chapter was held in peaceful and fraternal atmosphere. I wish the New National Council and May God bless them.

"What God's kingdom is like"

Scripture: Luke 13:18-21
The tiny mustard seed literally grew to be a tree which attracted numerous birds because they loved the little black mustard seed it produced. God's kingdom works in a similar fashion. It starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God's word. And it works unseen and causes a transformation from within. Leaven is another powerful agent of change. A lump of dough left to itself remains just what it is, a lump of dough. But when the leaven is added to it a transformation takes place which produces rich and wholesome bread when heated – the staple of life for humans. The kingdom of God produces a transformation in those who receive the new life which Jesus Christ offers. When we yield to Jesus Christ, our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Paul the Apostle says, "we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us" (2 Corinthians 4:7).

giovedì 22 ottobre 2009

"I came to cast fire upon the earth"

Scripture: Luke 12:49-53
Jesus shocked his disciples when he declared that he would cast fire and cause division rather than peace upon the earth. What kind of fire did Jesus have in mind here? Fire in biblical times was associated with God and with his action in the world and in the lives of his people. God sometimes manifested his presence by use of fire, such as the burning bush which was not consumed when God spoke to Moses (Exodus 3:2). The image of fire was also used to symbolize God's glory (Ezekiel 1:4, 13), his protective presence (2 Kings 6:17), his holiness (Deut. 4:24), righteous judgment (Zechariah 13:9), and his wrath against sin (Isaiah 66:15-16). It is also used of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11 and Acts 2:3). God's fire both purifies and cleanses, and it inspires a reverent fear of God and of his word in us.

mercoledì 21 ottobre 2009

"You must be ready! The Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour"

Scripture: Luke 12:39-௪௮
Jesus ends his teaching on watchfulness and vigilance with another parable about a master and his servants (similr to the parable in Matthew 24:.45-49). The storyline is similar. There is an element of surprise – the master suddenly returns home unexpectedly, probably from a long journey. He rewards the dutiful servant for his faithfulness to his master. He has performed his service with diligence and has done all that the master required of him. The master punishes the other servant who behaved wickedly. This servant was not only irresponsible – he was frequently absent from work and spent his master's money by throwing endless parties with his friends. The wicked servant also abused his fellow workers with physical force and violence – probably to make them do the work he was supposed to do for his master. The master not only strips him of his job and a secure place to live, but removes him from the joy and fellowship of the people he lived and worked with. The wicked servant is cast into a prison of like-minded rebels, trouble-makers, thieves, and murderers. Can you imagine a place of endless quarreling, strife, hatred, envy, jealousy, and constant abuse and fighting? Should we be surprised to see the master acting with such swift judgment? After all the master is only giving back to the wicked servant what he has given to others though his abusive and irresponsible behavior. The master rewards the faithful servant with promotion, honor, and friendship, and he punishes the unfaithful servant – who stole from his master and used his position to abuse others – by removing him from his position of trust. The Lord has entrusted each one of us with his gifts and grace – the grace to love God with faithfulness, trust, and obedience – and the grace to love our neighbor as ourselves.

martedì 20 ottobre 2009

"Blessed are they who open at once when he knocks"

Scripture: Luke 12:35-38
The Boy Scouts have as their motto, Be Prepared! Jesus' master-servant parables seem to extol the virtue of preparedness. But there is something deeper and even more important behind it. There is an element of surprise in the story of the master returning home at a late hour after attending a marriage feast. Will the master catch his servant sleeping rather than keeping watchful guard? And what about the reward promised for those who faithfully perform their duty, day in and day out, no matter what the circumstances? The image Jesus uses here is a great wedding feast in which the master honors his guests by seating them himself and personally waiting on them. What a great reversal – the master becomes a servant to show his respect and honor for his beloved guests!

lunedì 19 ottobre 2009

"One's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions"

Scripture: Luke 12:13-21
Inheritance disputes are rarely ever easy to resolve, especially when the relatives or close associates of the dead benefactor can't agree on who should get what and who should get the most. Why did Jesus refuse to settle an inheritance dispute between two brothers? He saw that the heart of the issue was not justice or fairness but rather greed and possessiveness. Jesus reinforces his point with a parable about a foolish rich man. Why does Jesus call this wealthy landowner a fool? Jesus does not fault the rich man for his industriousness and skill in acquiring wealth, but rather for his egoism and selfishness – it's mine, all mine, and no one else's. This parable is similar to the parable of the rich man who refused to give any help to the beggar Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). The rich fool had lost the capacity to be concerned for others. His life was consumed with his possessions and his only interests were in himself. His death was the final loss of his soul!

domenica 18 ottobre 2009

"The Son of man came not to be served but to serve"

Scripture: Mark 10:35-45
Two of Jesus' disciples boldly asked Jesus to promote them to first place in his kingdom. The desire for greatness seems to be inbred in all of us. Who wants to be last or least? Jesus did the unthinkable – he reversed the order to true greatness and glory. If we want to be first and great, then we must place ourselves at the disposal of others by putting their interests first and by taking on their cares and concerns as if they were our own. Jesus wedded authority with unconditional love and service with total sacrifice – the willing sacrifice of one's life for the sake of another. Authority without sacrificial love is brutish and self-serving. Jesus also used stark language to explain what kind of sacrifice he had in mind. His disciples must drink his cup if they expect to reign with him in his kingdom. The cup he had in mind was a bitter one involving crucifixion – laying down one's life even to the point of shedding one's blood for the sake of Christ.

sabato 17 ottobre 2009

"The Holy Spirit will teach you what you ought to say"

Scripture: Luke 12:8-12
Jesus knows that his disciples will be tested and he assures them that the Holy Spirit will give them what they need in their time of adversity. He warns them, however, that it's possible to reject the grace of God and to fall into apostasy (giving up the faith) out of cowardice or disbelief. The scriptural expression to deny someone means to disown them. Jesus also speaks against blaspheming the Holy Spirit. What is blasphemy and why is it reprehensible? Blasphemy consists in uttering against God, inwardly or outwardly, words of hatred, reproach, or defiance. It's contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. Jesus speaks of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit as the unforgivable sin. Jesus spoke about this sin immediately after the scribes and Pharisees had attributed his miracles to the work of the devil instead of to God.

venerdì 16 ottobre 2009

"Do not fear those who kill the body"

Scripture: Luke 12:1-௭
To the Jews leaven was a sign of evil. It was a piece of dough from left-over bread which fermented. Fermentation was associated with decay and rotting – the state of foul-smelling decomposition. Why did Jesus warn his disciples to avoid the ways of the Pharisees? The Pharisees wanted everyone to recognize that they were pious and good Jews because they meticulously and scrupulously performed their religious duties. Jesus turned the table on them by declaring that outward appearace doesn't always match the inward intentions of the heart. Anyone can display outward signs of goodness while inwardly harboring evil thoughts and intentions. The word hypocrite means actor – someone who pretends to be what he or she is not. But who can truly be good, but God alone? Hypocrisy thrives on making a good appearance and masking what they don't want others to see. The good news is that God's light exposes the darkness of evil and sin in our hearts, even the sin which is unknown to us. And God's light transforms our hearts and minds and enables us to overcome hatred with love, pride with humility, and pretense with integrity and truthfulness. God gives grace to the humble and contrite of heart to enable us to overcome the leaven of insincerity and hypocrisy in our lives.

giovedì 15 ottobre 2009

"You have taken away the key of knowledge"

Scripture: Luke 11:47-54
What does Jesus mean when he says they have taken away the key of knowledge? The religious lawyers and scribes held the "office of the keys" since they were the official interpreters of the scriptures. Unfortunately their interpretation of the scriptures became so distorted and difficult to understand that others were "shut off" to the scriptures. They not only shut themselves to heaven; they also hindered others from understanding God's word. Through pride and envy, they rejected not only the prophets of old, but God's final prophet, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the "key of David" (see Isaiah 22:22; Revelations 3:7) who opens heaven to those who accept him as Lord and Savior. He is the "Wisdom of God" and source of everlasting life. Only the humble of heart – those who thirst for God and acknowledge his word as true – can truly understand this wisdom. [See Psalm 119:99ff: "I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation."] God is ever ready to speak his word to us and to give us true wisdom and understanding.

mercoledì 14 ottobre 2009

"You load men with burdens hard to bear"

Scripture: Luke 11:42-46
The word woe can also be translated as alas. It is as much an expression of sorrowful pity as it is of anger. Why did Jesus lament and issue such a stern rebuke? Jesus was angry with the religious leaders because they failed to listen to God's word and they misled the people they were supposed to guide in the ways of God. The scribes devoted their lives to the study of the Law of Moses and regarded themselves as legal experts in it. They divided the ten commandments and precepts into thousands of tiny rules and regulations. They were so exacting in their interpretations and in trying to live them out, that they had little time for anything else. By the time they finished compiling their interpretations it took no less than fifty volumes to contain them! In their misguided zeal, they required unnecessary and burdensome rules which obscured the more important matters of religion, such as love of God and love of neighbor. They were leading people to Pharisaism rather than to God.

martedì 13 ottobre 2009

"Give for alms those things which are within"

Scripture: Luke 11:37-41
A Pharisee, after hearing Jesus preach, invited him to dinner, no doubt, because he wanted to hear more from this extraordinary man who spoke the word of God as no one else had done before. It was not unusual for a rabbi to give a teaching over dinner. Jesus, however, did something which offended his host. He did not perform the ceremonial washing of hands before beginning the meal. Did Jesus forget or was he deliberately performing a sign to reveal something to his host? Jesus turned the table on his host by chiding him for uncleanness of heart. Which is more important to God – clean hands or a clean mind and heart? Jesus chided the Pharisees for harboring evil thoughts that make us unclean spiritually – such as greed, pride, bitterness, envy, arrogance, and the like. Why does he urge them, and us, to give alms? When we give freely and generously to those in need we express love, compassion, kindness, and mercy. And if the heart is full of love and compassion, then there is no room for envy, greed, bitterness, and the like.

lunedì 12 ottobre 2009

"This is an evil generation; it seeks a sign"

Scripture: Luke 11:29-32
Many fatalities could be avoided if people took the warning signs seriously. When the religious leaders demanded a sign from Jesus, he gave them a warning to avert spiritual disaster. It was characteristic of the Jews that they demanded "signs" from God's messengers to authenticate their claims. When the religious leaders pressed Jesus to give proof for his claims he says in so many words that he is God's sign and that they need no further evidence from heaven than his own person. The Ninevites recognized God's warning when Jonah spoke to them, and they repented. And the Queen of Sheba recognized God's wisdom in Solomon. Jonah was God's sign and his message was the message of God for the people of Nineveh. Unfortunately the religious leaders were not content to accept the signs right before their eyes. They had rejected the message of John the Baptist and now they reject Jesus as God's Anointed One (Messiah) and they fail to heed his message. Simeon had prophesied at Jesus' birth that he was "destined for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that inner thoughts of many will be revealed" (Luke 2:34- 35). Jesus confirmed his message with many miracles in preparation for the greatest sign of all – his resurrection on the third day.

domenica 11 ottobre 2009

"You will have treasure in heaven"

Scripture: Mark 10:17-௩0
A young man who had the best the world could offer – wealth and security came to Jesus because he lacked one thing. He wanted the kind of lasting peace and happiness which money could not buy him. The answer he got, however, was not what he was looking for. He protested that he kept all the commandments; but Jesus spoke to the trouble in his heart. One thing kept him from giving himself whole-heartedly to God. While he lacked nothing in material goods, he was nonetheless possessive of what he had. He placed his hope and security in what he possessed. So when Jesus challenged him to make God his one true possession and treasure, he became dismayed. Why did he go away from Jesus with sadness rather than with joy? His treasure and his hope for happiness were misplaced. Jesus challenged the young man because his heart was possessive. He was afraid to give to others for fear that he would lose what he had gained. He sought happiness and security in what he possessed rather than in who he could love and serve and give himself in undivided devotion.


sabato 10 ottobre 2009

"Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it"

Scripture: Luke 11:27-28
When an admirer wished to compliment Jesus by praising his mother, Jesus did not deny the truth of the blessing she pronounced. Her beatitude (which means "blessedness" or "happiness") recalls Mary's canticle: All generations will call me blessed (Luke 1:48). Jesus adds to her words by pointing to the source of all true blessedness or happiness – union with God in heart, mind, and will. Mary humbly submitted herself to the miraculous plan of God for the incarnation of his only begotten Son – the Word of God made flesh in her womb, by declaring: I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word (Luke 1:38). Mary heard the word spoken to her by the angel and she believed it. On another occasion Jesus remarked that whoever does the will of God is a friend of God and a member of his family – his sons and daughters who have been ransomed by the precious blood of Christ. (Luke 8:21). They are truly blessed because they know their God personally and they find joy in hearing and obeying his word.

venerdì 9 ottobre 2009

"If it is by the finger of God"

Scripture: Luke 11:15-26
Jesus came to free us from the greatest danger of all – the corrupting force of evil which destroys us from within and makes us slaves to sin and Satan (John 8:34). Evil is not an impersonal force that just happens. It has a name and a face and it seeks to master every heart and soul on the face of the earth (1 Peter 5:8-9). Scripture identifies the Evil One by many names, 'Satan', 'Be-el'zebul – the prince of demons', the 'Devil', the 'Deceiver', the 'Father of Lies', and 'Lucifier', the fallen angel who broke rank with God and established his own army and kingdom in opposition to God. Jesus declared that he came to overthrow the power of Satan and his kingdom (John 12:31). Jesus' numerous exorcisms brought freedom to many who were troubled and oppressed by the work of evil spirits. Jesus himself encountered personal opposition and battle with Satan when he was put to the test in the wilderness just before his public ministry (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1). He overcame the Evil One through his obedience to the will of his Father.

giovedì 8 ottobre 2009

"How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Scripture: Luke 11:5-13
Jesus used the illustration of a late-night traveller to teach his listeners an important lesson about how God treats us in contrast to the kind of treatment we might expect from good neighbors. The rule of hospitality in biblical times required the cooperation of the entire community in entertaining an unexpected or late-night guest. Whether the guest was hungry or not, a meal would be served. In a small village it would be easy to know who had baked bread that day. Bread was essential for a meal because it served as a utensil for dipping and eating from the common dishes. Asking for bread from one's neighbor was both a common occurrence and an expected favor. To refuse to give bread would bring shame because it was a sign of inhospitality. The Lord is ever ready to give us not only what we need, but more than we can expect. He gives freely of his Holy Spirit that we may share in his life and joy.

mercoledì 7 ottobre 2009

OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY

The month of October is dedicated to our Lady of the Rosary. Today’s feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary was instituted to honour and to thank Our Lady for the protection the Church experienced through her in the victories of the Christian armies against the Turks at Lepanto on the 7th October, 1571. The faith that Church expresses through this feast is that Mary is the Protectress of the Church. The Rosary as we know is nothing but faith-contemplation of Christ’s life, death and glorification and of Mary’s intimate association with Jesus. Rosary expresses 3 mysteries: Incarnation, Mary at the Cross, Pentecost. The Rosary is sure means for preserving the home and strengthening family life.

I wish A very happy feast to Srs.Joanna Mary and Rosary.

"Lord teach us to pray"

Scripture: Luke 11:1-4
Jesus teaches us to address God as "our Father" and to confidently ask him for the things we need to live as his sons and daughters. We can approach God our Father with confidence and boldness because Jesus Christ has opened the way to heaven for us through his death and resurrection. When we ask God for help, he fortunately does not give us what we deserve. Instead, he responds with grace and mercy. He is kind and forgiving towards us and he expects us to treat our neighbor the same. We can pray with expectant faith because our heavenly Father truly loves each one of us and and he treats us as his beloved children. He delights to give us what is good. His love and grace transforms us and makes us like himself. Through his grace and power we can love and serve one another as Jesus taught – with grace, mercy, and loving-kindness. Do you treat others as they deserve, or do you treat them as the Lord would with grace and mercy? Jesus' prayer includes an injunction that we must ask God to forgive us in proportion as we forgive those who have wronged us. God's grace frees us from every form of anger, spite, resentment, and hatred.

martedì 6 ottobre 2009

"You are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful"

Scripture: Luke 10:38-42
Jesus loved to visit the home of Martha and Mary and enjoyed their gracious hospitality. In this brief encounter we see two very different temperaments in Martha and Mary. Martha loved to serve, but in her anxious manner of waiting on Jesus, she caused unrest. Mary, in her simple and trusting manner, waited on Jesus by sitting attentively at his feet. She instinctively knew that what the Lord and Teacher most wanted at that moment was her attentive presence. Anxiety and preoccupation keep us from listening and from giving the Lord our undivided attention. The Lord bids us to give him our concerns and anxieties because he is trustworthy and able to meet any need we have. His grace frees us from needless concerns and preoccupation.

lunedì 5 ottobre 2009

"Go and do likewise"

Scripture: Luke 10:25-௩௭
Many agnostics refuse to believe in God because of this seemingly imponderable problem. If God is love then evil and suffering must be eliminated in all its forms. What is God's answer to this human dilemma? Jesus' parable about a highway robbery gives us a helpful hint. Jesus told this dramatic story in response to a devout Jew who wanted to understand how to apply God's great commandment of love to his everyday life circumstances. In so many words this religious-minded Jew said: "I want to love God as best as I can and I want to love my neighbor as well. But how do I know that I am fulfilling my duty to love my neighbor as myself?" Jesus must have smiled when he heard this man challenge him to explain one's duty towards their neighbor. For the Jewish believer the law of love was plain and simple: "treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself." The real issue for this believer was the correct definition of who is "my neighbor". He understood "neighbor" to mean one's fellow Jew who belonged to the same covenant which God made with the people of Israel. Up to a certain point, Jesus agreed with this sincere expert but, at the same time, he challenged him to see that God's view of neighbor went far beyond his narrow definition.

domenica 4 ottobre 2009


O Francis,
beloved of God,
Christ made himself
manifest in you!

Dearest brothers and sisters, May the Good Lord grant you His Peace!

Peace Prayer of St. Francis


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

With this prayer of St.Francis I wish you

“A VERY HAPPY FEAST OF OUR FATHER ST.FRANCIS”

sabato 3 ottobre 2009

"Rejoice that your names are written in heaven"

Scripture: Luke 10:17-24
Jesus thanks the Father in heaven for revealing to his disciples the wisdom and knowledge of God. What does Jesus' prayer tell us about God and about ourselves? First, it tells us that God is both Father and Lord of earth as well as heaven. He is both Creator and Author of all that he has made, the first origin of everything and transcendent authority, and at the same time, goodness and loving care for all his children. All fatherhood and motherhood is derived from him (Ephesians 3:14-15). Jesus' prayer also contains a warning that pride can keep us from the love and knowledge of God. What makes us ignorant and blind to the things of God? Sinful pride springs from exaggerated self-centeredness. It closes the mind to God's truth and wisdom for our lives. The angels fell into pride and were cast out of heaven. The virtue of humility, the only true remedy against false pride, and which is very different from the feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem, leads us to a true recognition of who we are in God and of our dependence on God.

venerdì 2 ottobre 2009

"Their angels always behold the face of my Father"

Scripture: Matthew 18:1-5, 10 (alternate reading: Luke 10:13-16)
John Chrysostom, a 5th century church father, compared the guardian angels to the troops garrisoned in cities on the frontiers of the empire to defend it from the enemy. Basil the Great said, "Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life." Angels ministered to Jesus after his temptation in the wilderness and during his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. The angels will be present at Christ's return, which they will announce, to serve at his judgment (Matt. 25:31). The angels tell us that this universe is not just materialistic. The fallen angels, led by Satan, seek our destruction. If they cannot induce us to disown our faith and allegiance to Christ, they attempt to divert us from doing the will of God by distracting us with good things that weigh us down and make us indifferent towards the things of God. God gives us the help of his angelic hosts and he gives us spiritual weapons, the shield of faith and the breastplate of righteousness (see Ephesians 6:1-11), to resist the devil and his lies. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we, too, join with angelic choirs in singing the praises of God.

giovedì 1 ottobre 2009

"The kingdom of God has come near to you"

Scripture: Luke 10:1-12
When Jesus commissioned seventy of his disciples to go on mission, he gave them a vision of a great harvest for the kingdom of God. Jesus frequently used the image of a harvest to convey the coming of God’s reign on earth. The harvest is the fruition of labor and growth – beginning with the sowing of seeds, then growth, and finally fruit for the harvest. In like manner, the word of God is sown in the hearts of receptive men and women who hear his word and who accept it with trust and obedience. The harvest Jesus had in mind was not only the people of Israel, but all the peoples (or nations) of the world. John the Evangelist tells us that "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). What does Jesus mean when he says his disciples must be "lambs in the midst of wolves"? The prophet Isaiah foretold a time when wolves and lambs will dwell in peace (Isaiah 11:6 and 65:25). This certainly refers to the second coming of Christ when all will be united under the Lordship of Jesus after he has put down his enemies and established the reign of God over the heavens and the earth. In the meantime, the disciples must expect opposition and persecution from those who who would oppose the gospel. Jesus came as our sacrificial lamb to atone for the sin of the world. We, in turn, must be willing to sacrifice our lives in humble service of our Lord and Master.

mercoledì 30 settembre 2009

"No one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God"

Scripture: Luke 9:57-62
With the call the Lord gives the grace to respond and the strength to follow all the way to the end. Why does Jesus issue a challenge with the call? Jesus was utterly honest in telling people what it would cost to follow him. When a would-be disciple approached Jesus and said he was ready to follow, Jesus told him it would require sacrifice – the sacrifice of certain creaturely comforts. Jesus appealed to this man's heart and told him to detach himself from whatever might hold him back. Spiritual detachment is a necessary step for following the Lord. It frees us to give ourselves without reserve to the Lord and his service. While many of us may not need to give up the comfort of our own home and bed to follow Jesus, we, nonetheless, must be willing to part with anything that might stand in the way of doing God's will. Another would-be disciple said he would follow as soon as he had buried his father. What he meant by this expression was that he felt the need to return to his home to take care of his father through old age until he died. The third had no obligation to return home, but simply wanted to go back and say good-bye. Jesus surprised these would-be disciples with the stark truth that nothing should hinder us from following the Lord. Was Jesus being harsh and rude to his would-be followers? Not really. We are free to decide whether we will take the path which Jesus offers. But if we choose to go, then the Lord wants us to count the cost and choose for it freely.

martedì 29 settembre 2009

"You will see heaven opened and the angels of God"

Scripture: John 1:47-51 (alternate reading: Luke 9:46-50)
SS MICHAEL , GABRIEL AND RAPHAEL, ARCHANGELS
What does Jesus mean when he says "you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man"? One of the most remarkable revelations recorded in the bible is the dream of Jacob (Genesis 28:12-17). God had opened a door for Jacob that brought him and his people into a new relationship with the living God. In Jacob's dream God revealed his angelic host and showed him the throne of heaven and promised Jacob that he and descendants would dwell with the living God. Who are the angels and why do they intervene between heaven and earth? The scriptures tell us the angels are God's servants and messengers. "They are the mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word" (Psalm 103:20). The angels belong to Christ and were created for and through him (Colossians 1:16). The Letter to the Hebrews speaks of the role of the angels in God's plan of salvation: "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14) The angels are not only messengers but protectors and guardians as well. “For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all yours ways” (Psalm 91:11). We are not alone in our struggle against sin and evil in the world. The armies of heaven fight for us and with us in the spiritual battle for our hearts, minds, and wills

lunedì 28 settembre 2009

"Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts"

Scripture: Luke 9:46-50
The appetite for glory and greatness seems to be inbred in us. Who doesn't cherish the ambition to be "somebody" whom others admire rather than a "nobody"? Even the psalms speak about the glory God has destined for us. "You have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor" (Psalm 8:5). Jesus made a dramatic gesture by placing a child next to himself to show his disciples who really is the greatest in the kingdom of God. What can a little child possibly teach us about greatness? Children in the ancient world had no rights, position, or privileges of their own. They were socially at the "bottom of the rung" and at the service of their parents, much like the household staff and domestic servants. What is the significance of Jesus' gesture? Jesus elevated a little child in the presence of his disciples by placing the child in a privileged position of honor at his right side. It is customary, even today, to seat the guest of honor at the right side of the host. Who is the greatest in God's kingdom? The one who is humble and lowly of heart – who instead of asserting their rights willingly empty themselves of pride and self-seeking glory by taking the lowly position of a servant or child.

domenica 27 settembre 2009

"Because you bear the name of Christ"

Scripture: Mark 9:38-48
They were upset that someone who was not of the same company of disciples as themselves was casting out a demon in the name of Jesus. They even "forbade" the man "because he was not following us". Jesus' reply is filled with wisdom: "No one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me." Are we not like the disciples when we get upset at the good others do because of jealousy or fear? Paul says that "love is not jealous... but rejoices in the right" (1 Corinthians 13:4,6). Envy and jealousy, its counterpart, are sinful because they lead us to sorrow over what should make us rejoice – namely, our neighbor's good. The reason we may grieve over our another's good is that somehow we see that good as lessening our own value or excellence. Envy forms when we believe that the other person's advantage or possession diminishes or brings disgrace on us. Envy is contrary to love. Both the object of love and the object of envy is our neighbor's good, but by contrary movements, since love rejoices in our neighbor's good, while envy grieves over it. How can we overcome envy? With the love that God puts into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). This love seeks the highest good of our neighbor. Paul the Apostle says that "love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right (1 Corinthians 13:5-6). Ask the Lord to fill you with the fire of his purifying love that you may rejoice in the good of others even in those who cross you or cause you difficulty.

sabato 26 settembre 2009

"They were astonished at the majesty of God"

Scripture: Luke 9:43-45
When we ascribe majesty to someone or something, we acknowledge greatness in that person or thing, and voice our respect for it. The miracles of Jesus revealed the majesty of God and displayed his grace and favor, especially towards the lowly and humble of heart. But with the miracles Jesus also gave a prophetic warning: There can be no share in God's glory without the cross. Jesus prophesied his own betrayal and crucifixion. But it did not make any sense to the disciples because it did not fit their understanding of the Messiah who was supposed to come and free his people from tyranny and oppression. Little did they know that the way to victory over sin and death would be through the cross and resurrection of Christ.

venerdì 25 settembre 2009

"As Jesus was praying alone the disciples were with him"

Scripture: Luke 9:18-௨௨
Who is Jesus for you? Many in Israel recognized Jesus as a mighty man of God, even comparing him with the greatest of the prophets. Peter, always quick to respond whenever Jesus spoke, professed that Jesus was truly the Christ of God. No mortal being could have revealed this to Peter, but only God. Through the eyes of faith Peter grasped who Jesus truly was. He was the first apostle to publicly recognize Jesus as the Anointed One whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world as Lord and Savior (Luke 2:11, Acts 2:36). Christ is the Greek word for Messiah, the Hebrew word which is also translated as the Anointed One.

giovedì 24 settembre 2009

"Who is this about whom I hear such things?"

Scripture: Luke 9:7-௯
Who do you most admire? People with power, influence, fame or wealth? Scripture warns us of such danger (see Proverbs 23:1-2). King Herod had respected and feared John the Baptist as a great prophet and servant of God. John, however did not fear to rebuke Herod for his adulterous affair with his brother's wife. Herod, however, was more of a people pleaser than a God pleaser. Herod not only imprisoned John to silence him, but he also beheaded him simply to please his family and friends. Now when reports of Jesus' miracles and teaching reach Herod's court, Herod becomes very troubled in conscience. He thinks that John the Baptist has risen from the dead! Herod sought to meet Jesus more out of curiosity and fear than out of a sincere desire to know God's wisdom and truth. God's grace frees us from the tyranny of fear and the pressure to please others rather than to please.

mercoledì 23 settembre 2009

"Jesus gave them power and authority over all demons and diseases"

Scripture: Luke 9:1-6
God's word has power to change and transform our lives. Jesus gave his apostles both power and authority to speak and to act in his name – to cast out evil spirits, to heal, and to speak the word of God. When Jesus spoke of power and authority he did something unheard of. He wedded power and authority with love and humility. The world and the flesh seek power for selfish gain. Jesus teaches us to use it for the good of our neighbor. Why does Jesus tell the apostles to travel light with little or no provision? Poverty of spirit frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God's provision. The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves. He wills to work in and through each of us for his glory.