7th DECEMBER 2023

Matthew 7:21–27 (ESV) - Matthew 7:21–27 ESV - “Not everyone who says to… |  Biblia



Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop & Doctor


Is 26: 1-6;                   Ps 118: 1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27;             Mt 7: 21, 24-27



Only a house with a firm foundation can withstand the storm; and only a life with firm convictions can stand the hurricanes of life. To build our house on the rock, Jesus demands two things from us: to listen and to do. One of the great difficulties that we face today is the simple fact that people often do not know what Jesus has said and what the Church teaches us today. Often, they have quite a mistaken notion of what Jesus has said and of the teachings of the Church. The first thing a Christian has to do is to give Jesus Christ a chance to be heard.

Knowledge becomes relevant only when it is translated into action. We must do what Jesus has taught us. Merely listening to sermons, reading the Bible or feeling good at prayer is not enough. We must love our neighbour and do good to others. It is important to understand and to learn to obey the words of Jesus. This is what Jesus commands, and He claims that obedience to Him is the only sure foundation for our life, and it is His promise that the life founded on obedience to Him is safe – no matter what storms one may have to face.

Man’s heart is fickle; perseverance is so terribly difficult; it is not easy to keep one’s faith and trust from wavering when one stands face to face with stern realities. Perhaps, we may meet with obstinate or violent opposition or bitter disappointment and frustration which paralyze us. To be fervent is easy in the beginning and for a short while but it is difficult to remain faithful to the end. Only if we build our faith on Jesus, our house will stand strong, firm and secure. When we learn that the hard way is often the best way and the long view is always the right view, we will find our lives built upon the teachings of Jesus and no storm will ever shake us. As the Book of Proverbs says “After the storm the wicked man is seen no more, but the upright man remains forever.”


Response: Blest is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

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6th DECEMBER 2023

On Today's Gospel | CatholicJules.net



Is 25: 6-10;                 Ps 23: 1-6;                  Mt 15: 29-37



The readings today speak of ‘mountains’. The first reading promises a host of good things to come, on a ‘mountain’…..” for the hand of the lord will rest on this ‘mountain’ ” And in the Gospel, Jesus goes up the mountain, to heal the great crowds of their sicknesses, so that the people “glorified the God of Israel”. Why the ‘mountain’ we may wonder? The ‘mountain ‘ is a choice place for God to manifest himself. Firstly, he leads us to it, and the crowd, and we, only have to follow. We need to try to climb there, awaiting his plan in expectation. It is also a place that is apart/outside of the regular rhythm of our day-to-day ‘busyness’. The atmosphere is purer because of its height- both refreshing and inviting one to calm and quieten down. Up on the ‘mountain’ the voice of Jesus is heard clearer, as sound travels better.

We are each called to meet Jesus on the ‘mountain’ daily, in our daily set-apart times, to listen to His gentle voice. Let us recommit ourselves to the ‘mountain’ of the Lord, thanking him for his unfailing faithfulness. Let us also try to be attentive to the unexpected times when we sense the delicate nudge of the Spirit drawing us up, for a few moments perhaps, maybe to enjoy a better view of our surroundings from a vantage point or to bring to our attention the Presence of Jesus hidden in the inconvenient details of our lives.

In the first reading, God promises a rich banquet. Try to imagine planning for the richest banquet you could think of, to which every single person on earth is invited. This promise is fulfilled in the letter in the New Testament when Jesus Himself becomes ‘bread’ to satisfy every palate and every desire. On the ‘mountain’ he feeds the multitude with compassion. Every day he feeds you and me with Himself in the Holy Eucharist. Can I be more attentive to His real Presence? Whisper a sincere thanks to Him today.

Response: In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for length of days unending.

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5th DECEMBER 2023

Listen to Jesus ~ Christ



Is 11: 1-10;                 Ps 72: 1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17;                 Lk 10: 21-24


The sacred scripture contains a lot of symbolic language. What we have in today’s first reading is one of the loveliest OT prophecies in symbolic words concerning Messiah. Prophet Isaiah gives us a splendid messianic poem in the first reading describing in some detail the characteristics of the coming Messiah from the Davidic stock. He will be filled with the spirit of the prophets and will establish in the society, that integrity which is the reflection of God’s sanctity on earth. He will restore the peace of Eden which is the fruit of the knowledge of God. The prophetic spirit confers on the Messiah, the outstanding virtues of His ancestors: the wisdom and insight of Solomon, the heroism and prudence of David, the knowledge and fear of God characteristic of the patriarchs and prophets, of Moses, Jacob and Abraham. The list of the qualities mentioned here resembles the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The gospel clearly portrays the fulfilment of what we have described above. This great personage is none other than JESUS, the only begotten Son of the Father. He, filled with the Holy Spirit, rejoices at the divine knowledge the infants receive, JESUS the first in the list of the little ones! The pure of heart see God and hear Him and a veil is thrown on those who pride themselves in intellectual knowledge.

In this season of grace and of great hope of renewal may we be open and receptive like the little ones expecting and receiving all from ABBA. Like Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, the Little Flower with full confidence and abandonment, may we swim in the ocean of love and mercy of the almighty Father. May we avail of the grace, beauty, love and salvation which our Lord brings anew, totally new, to begin afresh in this holy season of Advent, just like a lovely child who delights, fascinates and holds captive its parents who are lost in his marvel of God’s gift to them.


Response: In his days shall justice flourish, and great peace forever.

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4th DECEMBER 2023



Feast of Saint Francis Xavier, Patron of Missions


Jer 1:4-9;        Ps 71;       2 Cor 4:7-15 / Eph 3:2-12;          Lk 10:1-16
Readings in India)




Today, as we celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis Xavier. In the first reading we listen to the call narrative of Prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah was called, consecrated and commissioned by the Lord as the prophet to the nations according to God’s own plan. He was chosen even before he was born. But Jeremiah confesses his own unworthiness and incapability to carry out the mission that has been assigned to him. But God promises him with his own presence. The Lord himself will move with him to deliver him from everything that is evil. Jeremiah was appointed to reveal the sins of the people and the forth coming consequences. He tried to bring back the people from the sin of Idolatry. Jeremiah lived and died for Yahweh.


In the second reading we hear Paul’s confession of himself as an earthen vessel but chosen by Christ. Like Jeremiah, Paul was conscious about his sinfulness. St Paul lived and died for Christ, pouring out himself for the good of the gospel till the last drop of his blood and till the last breath of his life.


Like Jeremiah and Paul, St Francis Xavier was also called by God for the good of his Kingdom, for the proclamation of the Gospel. He was called through the instrumentality of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Having realized his missionary vocation he arrived in Goa in 1542. He gave himself totally to gain souls for the Lord. He preached the gospel using the maximum of every operating he had, especially to the poor people living in coastal area. He died at the age of 46. But this journey of proud evangelization was not a cake walk.


Francis Xavier walked among the fisher folk, proclaiming the good news that the Kingdom of God is at hand. He walked among them healing the sick, casting out demons and raising the dead. He followed the path of his master and reached the same destiny of his master.


Response: My mouth will tell of your justice

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3rd DECEMBER 2023

The first week of Advent - St. Ignatius Catholic Community


Is 63:16-17,19; 64:2-7;          Ps 80:2-3,15-16,18-19; 1 Cor 1:3-9;     Mk 13:33-37


Today we begin the Advent Season, a time in preparation for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word become flesh. It is also the Beginning of the Liturgical Year, and a time to begin again and begin anew. Today’s readings help us to be smart and vigilant. The word ‘smart’ is used commonly in recent days after the advent of smart phones, though it was used earlier for people who dressed well. The word also means using common sense very keenly and being attentive at work. Being smart makes a person vigilant always, without missing any opportunity, ready to grab even the smallest opportunity. A smart person is an optimist to see great opportunity in difficulties and challenges.

As we begin Advent Season, we are asked to be smart and vigilant in our spiritual life also. We are given another opportunity to renew our Christian life, to rectify all our old behaviour and come closer to God. We are invited to stay awake and vigilant, using all the opportunity which God in his goodness provides us to improve our way of life and become good Christians, better disciples. In our spiritual life we can never think of taking a holiday or vacation, rather it is 24/7 job, and this is what it means to be smart and vigilant.

In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah acknowledges the greatness of God who is always ready to forgive and take care of the people despite their waywardness. Being a loving Father, he is ready to close his eyes to all our wrongdoing and still pours out his graces and blessings. Isaiah further surrenders all in God’s merciful hands saying, ‘you are the potter we are the clay; we are the work of your hand’. He is beseeching the Lord not to let them astray rather to take of them as the potter is careful with clay to bring out the best.

In the second reading, Saint Paul expresses his gratefulness to God for all the different types of graces given to them. In this way he reminds them to be faithful till the last day being holy and blameless. It is a reminder to the Corinthians to be smart and vigilant. In the Gospel, Jesus gives the example of the doorkeeper in whose hands the whole household was left, while the houseowner was on a journey. The doorkeeper has to be smart and vigilant till the master is back so that everything is safe and sound.

As we begin this Advent season we are reminded to be like the doorkeeper being always smart and vigilant in our spiritual or Christian life. God gives us all that is needed for the upkeep of our spiritual life. It is up to us to use them never missing anything anytime. We need to become aware of our sinfulness which takes us away from us the intimacy with God and which makes us poor doorkeepers. It also makes us fall short of the use of graces and blessings. So deeply becoming awareness of God’s loving an unfailing presence in our day to day lives, with humility and trust we need to surrender ourselves as clay to the potter that he makes us as perfect as possible.

In today’s short Gospel passage, the word ‘watch’ is used four times. We should be very attentive to this message. As a great feast, we need a lot of preparation, celebration, decorations, good food, dress, singing and so on for Christmas. But we should not forget to welcome the Lord in our hearts. We can relate to God in different ways, but it should always principally be a turning to God. Advent thus must be an intensification of the love and intimacy with Jesus.

Though we prepare for Christmas, the birthday of Jesus the historical event which has taken place already, we also prepare ourselves and wait for his second coming, the day and time which we do not know. So we need to be smart and vigilant, not taking anything for granted, but making the best use of everything that comes on our way. Let this Advent Season become another opportunity for us to become smart and vigilant. Are you ready to make a difference this Advent?

Response: O God, bring us back; let your face shine on us, and we shall be saved.

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2nd DECEMBER 2023

No photo description available.



Dn 7: 15-27;               Dn 3: 82-87;               Lk 21: 34-36


Today being the last day of the Liturgical year, the first reading is from the book of Daniel. This book, written 170 years before the incarnation of Jesus, belongs to the genre called apocalyptic literature. This genre was used during difficult times, such as the persecution by enemy kings. The author seeks to instill hope in his people with metaphors and symbols that the enemies couldn’t decipher. Today’s first reading, with its background of the religious persecution of the Greek king Antiochus Epiphanes, speaks of how the the Lord, will save the Jews who stay loyal to Him. They are promised that for the suffering they receive from the four beasts, i.e., the four enemy kingdoms (Babylon, Media, Persia, and Greece), and they would be rewarded immensely in the end.

Therefore, for an event that happened in the past, why should the Church in the holy liturgy provide us with this reading, and what relevance does this reading have today? Saint Augustine provides the answer: “God wished difficulties to be scattered through the sacred books inspired by him, in order that we might be urged to read and scrutinize them more intensely, and experiencing in a salutary manner our own limitations, we might be exercised into submission of mind.”

Through an intense prayerful reflection, we understand that, just like Jews who faced persecution for being loyal to the One God, we too are surrounded by circumstances that provide us enough evidence that we will be persecuted for the faith we profess in Jesus! Hence, in these difficult times, this reading becomes the guiding light that leads us to the season of Advent, wherein the liturgy will provide us hope and consolation to remain steadfast in our faith and leave the rest to God, who shall sort everything by his divine justice and share with us “the kingship, dominion, and majesty of all the kingdoms under the heavens.”

Response: Sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

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1st DECEMBER 2023

Luke [21:29-33] The Lesson of the Fig Tree - YouTube



Dn 7: 2-14;                 Dn 3: 75-81;               Lk 21: 29-33



Life at times seems hopeless. When unexpected things happen, we tend to feel dejected and lose hope. The readings of the day invite us not to lose hope when things don’t go as we want. Prophet Daniel saw a fierce vision but in the end, saw the exalted Christ. Jesus too harps on ‘a purpose’ when we see things happen. Truth is not something that can be grasped in a jiffy. What we say is true today may not hold good later. But all this doesn’t mean that truth changes, it is rather a change in our viewpoint. What appears true in one angle need not be the same when seen from the other. Similarly, in day-to-day events, one may find it bad or unexpected, whereas when seen from another point of view it may be a means for a greater good that is to come. We can reduce the way a person looks at reality to two basic viewpoints, one optimistic and the other pessimistic. What we choose can define who we are.

Is there a person in the world who does not taste bitterness in life? A question worth pondering. Life is comprised of good and unpleasant events. For example, ‘death’ is a sorrowful event, but imagine if there was no death, (ageing would continue because it is a part of growth) a person ripening with years would only live a miserable life in physical and emotional suffering. Death in one of the viewpoints is relief. Similarly, all events can be seen in a positive attitude, a hope that good will surely come.

Hope is something that keeps humans motivated. A person without hope is not only spiritually dead but physically too. Moreover, a Christian who does not see the resurrection behind Christ’s death will only taste sadness and never experience the joy of living a Christian life. Let us pray for the grace of strengthening our hope at all moments. May God help us in seeing the bright side of our life. May the scriptures inspire us and our Mother Mary motivate us.

Response: Sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. 

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30th NOVEMBER 2023

St. Andrew, Apostle



Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle


Rom 10: 9-18;                        Ps 19: 8-11;                Mt 4: 18-22



Today we remember St Andrew, the apostle of the Lord. His Greek name means “courageous”. He is the elder brother of Saint Peter and like him was a fisherman. He was a disciple of John the Baptist and one of the first two who followed Jesus. He was a spiritual-minded person. He followed John the Baptist earlier in life and followed Jesus as soon as he experienced his closeness to Him. Just after a night’s stay with Jesus, he convinced even his brother to join the band of Jesus. He is mentioned second in line after his brother Peter in the list of apostles. In Byzantine tradition he is called ‘protokletos’ i.e. the first called. In the year 60 AD, Andrew was tied and hung upon a ‘X’- shaped cross, (today known as Saint Andrew’s cross) to extend his pain and share in the suffering of the Lord. Even from there, it is said, he continued to preach to the faithful for two days, before dying.

It is interesting to note that in the Gospel of John, Andrew is mentioned three times, and each time he is described as an apostle who is introducing someone to Jesus. The first time, he brings his brother Peter to Jesus (Jn 1:41–42). The second time, he facilitates a little boy to present five loaves and two fish to Jesus (Jn 6:8-9). The third time, he is contacted by some Greeks who wanted to meet Jesus (Jn 12:20-36). Like Andrew, since we are also disciples, we ought to bring people to Jesus.

The evangelist John presents an incident wherein Greek Gentiles tell Philip that they want to see Jesus, but Phillip makes Andrew do the job (Jn 12:21). This shows Andrew wielded some authority among the early community itself. Through Andrew they have a brief encounter with Jesus, but “There is to be another, far deeper encounter. The Greeks will indeed “see” him: through the Cross he comes towards them…They will see his “glory”: in the crucified Jesus they will find the true God, the one they were seeking in their myths and their philosophy” (Cardinal Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 19).

Today’s feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, and the Gospel, are inviting us to reflect upon our “Call”. As the people of God, we’re all called to be holy. It is universal; despite our state in life, every person is called to holiness; to union with God! Apart from that, we all have our personal calling. The ordinary call of every man and woman is to enter into a covenant of marriage covenant. To procreate, to build up the society. However, some are called out of the ordinary to an extraordinary calling, to proclaim and to witness with their lives the heavenly realities that await us, by dedicating their lives to God for the service of the Church and our communities.

However, the work of evangelization is not limited only to the ordained ministers of the Church. It is the call and duty conferred on us by the virtue of our baptism. Yes, not all of us are called to preach from the pulpits. But all of us our called to proclaim Christ by our lives. In a world where the persecution of Christians is increasing everyday, it becomes difficult to proclaim out aloud. However, nothing will stop us from living a life that reflect Christ, which speaks louder than the words.

Lumen Gentium of the Vatican Council II says that: “In the Church, everyone whether belonging to the hierarchy, or being cared for by it, is called to holiness, according to the saying of the Apostle: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thes. 4:3; Eph. 1:4). However, this holiness of the Church is unceasingly manifested, and must be manifested, in the fruits of grace which the Spirit produces in the faithful; it is expressed in many ways in individuals, who in their walk of life, tend toward the perfection of charity, thus causing the edification of others; in a very special way this (holiness) appears in the practice of the counsels, customarily called “evangelical.”

The conditions of the society in which we live oblige all of us therefore to revise methods, to seek by every means to study how we can bring the Christian message to the modern person. Therefore, let us proclaim Christ and His Kingdome by the living faithfully our lives, becoming the fishers of men.

Response: Their sound goes forth through all the earth.

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29th NOVEMBER 2023

LUKE 21:12 (Today's Gospel Reading: Luke 21:12-19) | A CHRISTIAN PILGRIMAGE



Dn 5: 1-6,13-17,23-28;                      Dn 3: 62-67;               Lk 21: 12-19


The lives of Blessed Rani Maria and Fr. Stan Swamy are wonderful examples in our times in India of people who were courageous to suffer, die and witness the Gospel and Christian values. Many more throughout the world are being persecuted because they are Christians. In the history of the Church, we see that Rome was burnt and Christians were killed because they followed Christ. History repeats itself today and in many parts of the world, many Christians suffer and are killed. Through all these examples, we clearly see the fulfilment of the Gospel of today. Jesus very vividly predicted how all those who profess his name would be persecuted, rejected and killed. This is an opportunity to testify our faith and to prove that we are all his disciples. At the same time, we must remember that Jesus was obedient to his heavenly Father, accepted the death on the Cross and all the humiliations that came along. If then we are his disciples, we must be ready always to suffer and to testify to his name, whom we readily follow.

Daniel in the first reading courageously explains the truth to the king that what he has done was wrong. He defied the presence of God by using all those holy vessels of the temple of Jerusalem at the banquet. Daniel could have avoided telling the truth being afraid of the king of his life but he was ready to bear whatever might come. He was guided by the Spirit of God to witness to the truth. The same Spirit Jesus promises us too in all our sufferings and persecutions.

How do we look at and evaluate all the situations and happenings around us? Are we courageous to go forward and witness to the values that we uphold or do we compromise with them? If we are followers of Jesus, we need to come out of our comfort zones and be ready for any kind of persecution. Christianity is not a bed of roses but a rose full of thorns. Let us be courageous to witness Jesus to others.

Response: Sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

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28th NOVEMBER 2023

No photo description available.



Dn 2: 31-45;               Dn 3: 57-61;               Lk 21: 5-11


Jesus in his final discourse, foretells the destruction of the temple. In the gospel of Luke, there are some differences, when we compare this passage with the gospel of Mark. Mark shows (13:1-8) Jesus coming out of the Temple and predicts the destruction of the temple. In Luke, Jesus is within the temple and some people speak of its magnificence. In Luke, the people pose the question and ask what the sign will be. While Peter, James, John and Andrew ask the question in the gospel of Mark (13:3). Jesus’ response is by issuing a set of three warnings and not stating the hour when this will take place.

The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD was interpreted by the Christian community as having failed to keep God’s Word which was preached to them by Jesus. In Lk 2:34, Simeon speaks of Jesus being the reason for the fall of many in Israel. In Lk 3:9 John the Baptist says that the trees which fail to produce fruit, will be cut down and thrown in the fire. Jesus warns us against deception by false messiahs and the claims that they may make. The warning could be understood as, not being led into sin by following false and deceptive teachings or by also being deceived by apocalyptic events. Several claimed to be speaking in Jesus’ name and were false prophets. They should also not be terrified when they hear of wars and insurrections. These are part of God’s plan to bring about His kingdom and must take place before the end.

It is natural for us as human beings to turn to God in times of danger, distress, hardship, difficulties, pain and suffering. We turn to God in faith and hope that God will deliver us from such difficulties. Luke reminds us to be vigilant and to heed God’s Word rather than be influenced by speculation, gossip and false ideologies. In For a Synodal Church – Vademecum, 2.4 pt. 3 we are asked to “appreciate where the Holy Spirit is generating life and see how we can let God work more fully.”

Response: Sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Copyright ©2023 ©Springs of Living Water  http://springs.carmelmedia.in