Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Choice, the Call and the Anointing of a Messenger.

"John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1: 29).

Sunday 19 January 2020, 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Church presents a unified strong voice in all the Scripture readings: 1st, 2nd, Responsorial Psalm and Gospel. What is the common theme? The Choice, the Call and the Anointing. The principal characters in today's Scripture: Isaiah, John the Baptist, Jesus and Paul were all chosen, called and anointed to ministry by the Father.

Last Sunday, we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord and had the opportunity to renew our Baptismal Promises. We heard that we too are chosen, called and anointed to bear witness to the Death, Resurrection and Name of Jesus. These Scriptures from today's Liturgy point to our mission.

"The Lord said to me: You are my servant, Israel, through whom I show my glory..... I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49: 3, 5 - 6).

Jesus is the Light of the world. Isaiah, John the Baptist and Paul and Christians carry the Light of the Gospel to our world.

"Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God..." (1 Corinthians 1: 1 - 3).

We Christians are called along with Paul to be holy and missionary.

"I have waited, waited for the Lord,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry. And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God." (Responsorial Psalm 40: 8-9).

Wait for the Lord to commission you. Be patient. In the fullness of time, He will do it. The Holy Spirit will give you all the needed gifts for your ministry.

Daily Bible Verse

Friday, January 17, 2020

Jesus is not ashamed to call us family.

“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Mark 2: 16).

Saturday 18 January 2020, of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time.

The Pharisees were scandalized to see Jesus in table fellowship with a large group of sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes. The Pharisees not known to hold back their judgment on moral failure were quick to pass judgment and condemn Jesus. There are a number of teaching points in this situation, but let us  consider one which could lift us up.

Jesus has shown and said that He is not ashamed to call us His brothers and sisters. He knows who we are and the stuff of which we are made. Remember the Genealogy of Jesus Christ Son of David? That's the whole point. He came to redeem and save His kith and kin.

If Jesus is not ashamed to call you His brother and sister. Do not be ashamed to call Him your Lord.

Daily Bible Verse @

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Feast of St Anthony of the Desert.

"If you would be perfect, go, sell what you have, give to the poor, and follow me, says the Lord." (Matthew 19: 21).

Friday 17 January 2020, of 1st Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Anthony, Abbot (251 - 356). Also called St Anthony the Great and St Anthony of the Desert. It is said that Anthony heard our key Scripture in Church and literally sold all he had, distributed it to the poor and marched off to the desert where he lived the rest of his life. He was 18 years old when he made this radical decision. 

In the desert, Anthony attracted like minded monks and they formed a community. St Anthony struggled a great deal against the powers of darkness and God aided
Anthony to overcome.  Anthony showed a great talent for spiritual direction and people traveled great distances to be counseled by him.

It is said that the best advertisement for Jesus are the saints. The saints prove that the teachings of Jesus are true and they work. Jesus is glorified when we honor the saints. This is why the Communion of the Saints and the communion with us saints in the Church is so powerful.

"If you would be perfect, go, sell what you have, give to the poor, and follow me, says the Lord." (Matthew 19: 21).

Daily Bible Verse @ 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Of course, I want to heal you.

"A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean." (Mark 1: 40 - 42).

Thursday 16 January 2020 of Week 1 in Ordinary Time.

The cleansing of this audacious leper by Jesus teaches us some important lessons on faith:

#1 The leper was bold and confident with expectant faith.
#2 He worshipped Jesus by kneeling down.
#3 He sought for Jesus and found Him.
#4 His faith knocked at the Heart of Jesus and the Heart was unlocked for the leper.
#5 Then the leper asked Jesus for healing and received his cleansing.
"I will heal you," Jesus said.

I have found from my own experience that whenever I approached Jesus with bold faith, expecting a YES, I have received what I asked for.
Pray with bold confidence and expect to receive an answer because you know you are asking what God has already promised to give.

Daily Bible Verse @

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Speak your servant is listening.

“Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3: 10).

Wednesday 15 January 2020, in the 1st week in Ordinary Time.

Samuel, the son of Hannah and the great Prophet of Israel has his first encounter with the God of Israel. Here is the epitaph of Samuel to indicate his legacy:
"Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to go unfulfilled. Thus all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba came to know that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord." (1 Samuel 3: 19 - 20).
This is pretty strong endorsement from the Boss of Samuel. What personal qualities got Samuel to be so highly rated in the annals of Israel? The answer is in the Responsorial Psalm 40 which is known as a Messianic Psalm.

"Blessed the man who makes the Lord his trust; who turns not to idolatry or to those who stray after falsehood."...
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me. To do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!”...
I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O Lord, know." (Psalm 40: 8,9).

This Messianic Psalm applies to the character of Samuel. He is uncompromisingly loyal to God. He despises idolatry and falsehood. He courageously tells truth to power.
"Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will."

"The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice, says the Lord, I know them and they follow me." (John 10: 27).
O that we will hear your voice today and follow you!

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, January 13, 2020

Urgent prayer for a son.

“O Lord of hosts, if you look with pity on the misery of your ­handmaid, if you remember me and do not forget me, if you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the Lord for as long as he lives; neither wine nor liquor shall he drink, and no razor shall ever touch his head.” (1 Samuel 1: 11).

Tuesday, 14 January 2020, in Ordinary Time.

We have for reflection today the great prayer of Hannah, mother of the Prophet Samuel. This is a powerful prayer by a woman of faith who appears to understand the mind of God. The Church uses frequently the hymn of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2: 1 - 8 in her Liturgy. What we learn from the prayer of Hannah:

#1 Humility: "Look with pity on the misery of your handmaid."
#2 Target petition: "Give your handmaid a male child."
#3 Quid pro quo: "If you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the Lord for as long as he lives."
#4 Pledges to train the boy in the ways of the Lord: "Neither wine nor liquor shall he drink, and no razor shall ever touch his head.”

Not even a human being, sinful and selfish as we are will fail to notice such a prayer. The old priest Eli rocking in his armchair overhead the prayer and added his priestly blessing: “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” (1 Samuel 1: 7).

"It is the Lord who gives poverty and riches. He brings men low and raises them on high." (1 Samuel 2: 8).

Daily Bible Verse @

Sunday, January 12, 2020

The time of fulfillment has arrived.

“This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1: 14).

Monday 13 January 2020, the 1st week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Hilary of Poitiers (315 - 368), Bishop and Doctor of the Church. France is called the eldest daughter of the Church. Look at the dates of St Hilary and you will see why. Before 315 AD, the Church hierarchy already existed in France. St Hilary powerfully defended the divinity of Christ against the Arian heresy. He helped the Church understand the deeper significance of the of the Incarnation.

The arrest and execution of St John the Baptist was a signal for Jesus to launch His ministry. His very first pronouncement is significant: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

"This is the time of fulfillment."
What fulfillment? Of all the prophecies and promises made to the chosen people since Genesis 3: 15. Every prophecy, every promise is now fulfilled in Jesus and His Mission. How do we get on board?
Repentance. The early Church likes the word Metanoia, a strong Greek word for repentance implying an irreversible 360 degree change.

Metanoia may not succeed unless it is anchored on a living Faith that is nourished every day through prayer, word of God, Eucharist, Reconciliation, ministry and spiritual reading. He who puts his hand to the plough must not look back.

"Open our heart, O Lord, to accept the words of your Son. (Acts 16: 14).

Daily Bible Verse @