DAILY REFLECTION: JUST LIKE JESUS – SATURDAY 5TH OCTOBER, 2019 – Kvibes


13th January 2021, 

WEDNESDAY, FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Heb 2: 14-18

Ps 105: 1-4, 6-9

Mk 1: 29-39


MISSION FOCUSSED DISCIPLESHIP

The Gospel of today gives us an insight into Jesus’ life of service. After having participated in the celebration in the synagogue, Jesus goes to Peter’s house and cures his motherin-law. Once healed, she gets up and begins to serve. Jesus does not just take away her sickness, but heals in such a way that she begins to serve life. When it begins to get dark, at the end of the day, Jesus welcomes and cures the sick and those possessed whom people bring to him at Peter’s house. The sick and those possessed were the most marginalized people of that time. They depended on public charity. Besides this, by the traditions of their religion, they were considered impure. They could not participate in the life of the community. It was as if God had rejected and excluded them. Therefore, the good news of God consists in accepting and embracing the marginalized and the excluded, and empowering them to live with dignity within the community.

This Gospel passage also presents Jesus’ prayer life. He makes a great effort to seek out time and an appropriate place to pray. He makes the sacrifice of rising early, before the others, and going to a deserted place, to be alone with his Father. In prayer, he is reassured of his mission.

The others go looking for Jesus to take him back to the people who were seeking him. They have misunderstood the mission. They have misread the successes and triumphs of the previous day. After his prayer, Jesus now rectifies their understanding of his mission: “Let us go elsewhere. It is precisely for this that I have come”. He is clear about what he is sent to accomplish, and desires to share this knowledge with the disciples. He does not want them to be lost in the results already obtained. They must not look back, but, like him, remain focused on the mission. It is the mission received from the Father that must guide their decisions and orient their lives.


Responsorial Psalm: The Lord remembers his covenant forever.


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What is Discipleship? – Pastor Dave Online


12th January 2021, 

TUESDAY, FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Heb 2: 5-12;

Ps 8: 2, 5-9;

Mk 1: 21-28.


DISCIPLESHIP: A CALL TO INSPIRE

Jesus’ life, through his words and actions, made an impression on people around him. Hence, he was always followed by huge crowds. The passage of the gospel today narrates how Jesus made an impression in two ways on the crowd that followed him and listened to his teaching. First of all, the people were amazed at his authoritative preaching and sublime wisdom. Secondly, when they saw in what manner he cast out the evil spirit, they were wonderstruck, and they exclaimed, “Here is a teaching that is new and with authority behind it!” This means that he not only evoked in them surprise and awe, but an understanding and a realization as well. He wasn’t just a novelty, or a circus act for them to clap for and move on. They began to feel the need of a change in their lives. They began to realize the importance of his teaching and to attend to it with attention and seriousness.

We, who have received the gift of faith and the grace to know the Lord, are invited to the same experience – to be moved beyond awe, towards an active desire for transformation. We answer this call through a passionate commitment to reading and reflecting on his life as narrated in the Scriptures. Following Jesus and modelling our lives accordingly will help us inspire others to know the Lord and to follow him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

In the first reading, the author of the letter to the Hebrews reminds us of the exalted dignity of Jesus, far above the angels. In taking on human flesh, he has united us all with that exalted dignity that is his. “For the one who sanctifies, and the ones who are sanctified, are of the same stock.” Modeling our life on his therefore, is a privilege only we humans enjoy and which angels can only admire. May our life of discipleship inspire others to embrace this privilege as well.


Responsorial Psalm: You have given your Son power over the works of your hands.


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What Does 'Many are Called but Few are Chosen' Actually Mean?


11th January 2021

MONDAY, FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 Heb 1: 1-6; Ps 97: 1-2, 6-7, 9 Mk 1: 14-20.

RESPONDING TO JESUS’ CALL

On completing high school, Michael had applied to a couple of the country’s top universities to pursue his further studies. In the days that followed, he waited intently for a phone ring, an email notification, or the doorbell, acutely alert to anything that would bring him a step closer to fulfilling his dreams!

In the Gospel of today, Jesus invites Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow him. He begins his ministry by recruiting this team of young people. Little did they know that two thousand years later, they would still be remembered as the founders of the world’s largest congregation of believers, the team members of the Son of God himself.

Jesus called them as he calls us today, not only to enjoy his friendship but to also share in his mission. If we are keenly tuned in and alert to his calling, we will see the many instances in our lives where the Lord has already placed us in an opportune position to say ‘yes’. We have to focus on what stops us – is it our own notion of our limitations and feelings of insignificance, or our lack of faith in God’s providence? Once we identify these seemingly persistent obstacles, we have to pray and get them out of the way. It will then be much easier for us to hear God’s call and respond in accordance to his will.

We have already taken our first series of steps through the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation in furthering our journey in the life of discipleship. We are now eligible for the next level of Christian responsibility – personal mission. The question of importance is, are we ready to be recruited by our God Most High? Are our plans for our vocation in alignment with his will for our lives? Are we waiting, as eagerly as Michael, for his call? “Do not forget that when the Lord calls, he also provides the necessary strength and grace to answer his call.” (St John Paul II).


Responsorial Psalm: Worship God, all you angels


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Jesus' Baptism | Life of Jesus


SUNDAY, FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF OUR LORD Reading 1: Is 42:1-4, 6-7 Here we are given a picture of a true servant of God. He is gentle and humble of heart, and totally dedicated to his mission, which is to bring about true justice. Reading 2: Acts 10:34-38 Here we are given a description of how the first Christians saw Baptism. The baptized person was said to have been ‘anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power’. Gospel: Mk 1:7-11 This tells how Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the river Jordan, and the signs that accompanied that baptism.

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Today, on the feast of the baptism of Jesus, we see unfolding the moment that John was really being prepared for all his life. Mary’s visit to Elizabeth soon after the angel Gabriel appeared to her with the news of the latter’s pregnancy, caused John as a baby to leap in the womb of his mother; and both John and Elizabeth were filled with the Holy Spirit. Today John takes his mission to its pinnacle.

John the Baptist, the last of the prophets and the ‘voice crying out in the desert’, is visited by Jesus while he is baptizing in the river Jordan. John baptizes Jesus with water on his request, and the Spirit comes down on him to show that the very Spirit that anointed John in the womb now brings the Father’s work to completion in Jesus Christ. John prophesied that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and this Spirit is revealed to us here in the form of a dove.

Matthew records in his gospel narration the words of Jesus about John the Baptist: “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.” (Mt 11:11). When John says “I am not worthy to untie his sandals”, he reveals Jesus as God to us. John also teaches us something very important about our place before God. We are never worthy for him. We are never worthy enough to receive his grace. It is he who comes to us. We need to remind ourselves of this every time we are tempted to boast of our accomplishments, to be proud of our gifts and talents, status or position of authority. We like to be in control of everything – our life, our future, and at times even the people in our lives whom we try to control by the power of familial, social or legal authority we may enjoy over them. John has something special for us here. He who was declared as the greatest of the prophets by the Lord himself, is great in his humility.

The baptism of Jesus also marks the beginning of his public ministry. Jesus, in his human nature, receives the Holy spirit and is then led by the Holy Spirit into the desert to be tempted. He perseveres against Satan and does not give in to temptation. After this he begins his public ministry, a ministry of love, which turns the world upside down, or rather, right side up.

The dove, the symbol of peace, humility and grace is revealed to us here. But let us not be mistaken by this symbol. The dove is the Holy Spirit and it is powerful. The Holy Spirit comes with power to fight evil, withstand suffering and wage war against Satan. The Holy Spirit, even though revealed as a dove in this passage, is the one that turns Jerusalem and the Roman empire of 30 AD upside down, all because of love, through the person of Christ, the anointed one, the promised Messiah. From being born in a manger with the shepherds to greet him, to dying on a cross with thieves to bid him goodbye, with a borrowed roof over his little head and a borrowed tomb for his final bed, this man anointed today in that river Jordan, changed the course of human history for all eternity, by the power of the same Spirit that anoints each one of us today in the waters of baptism. This is a call for us to turn the world upside down through love. Having received this same Spirit of God, we are empowered to live and love in the same way as Jesus did. We are Christ’s body, He the head.

The passage ends with a voice from heaven saying, “You are my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.” Let us strive with perseverance to live as Christ did, that our Father in heaven may say the same words to us, “You are my beloved son/daughter, with whom I am well pleased.”


Responsorial Psalm: Ps 29:1-4,9-10The Lord will bless his people with peace


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The Values Series | HUMILITY – eshrinkblog


SATURDAY AFTER EPIPHANY, 9th January 2021 1 Jn 5: 14-21; Ps 149: 1-6, 9; Jn 3: 22-30

HUMILITY: WALKING IN TRUTH

C.S. Lewis says, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” The modern world with its technological advancements tends to promote a self-centred lifestyle. The present selfie culture does not encourage a movement out of oneself towards the other. One can be so obsessed with self that the presence of the other itself is forgotten. In this process, the true meaning of the humility is destroyed.

John the Baptist had the courage and humility to say that he was not the Messiah, and instead, pointed his fingers to Jesus, declaring, “there is the Messiah.” It was possible for him who was enjoying much fame among his people at that time, to publicly declare that he was a nobody before the as yet unknown Jesus, as John was honest to himself about who he was. He knew by thinking himself less he was neither a liar nor a loser. He was being true to himself and his mission. St Teresa of Avila describes humility as “walking in truth.” She said: “God is the supreme Truth; and we have nothing good but only misery and nothingness. Whoever does not understand this, walks in falsehood” (Interior Castle VI 10,7).

In today’s Gospel we see how John compares his joy to the joy of the bridesmaid. This joy is a joy of contentment, that is founded on a true knowledge of self, and is the fruit of living according to that knowledge. Thus, true humility is a genuine walking in truth before God, neighbour and oneself that brings forth joy. It is a laying down of our lives before our God and the world with no mask or agenda. As we reflect on John’s life today, let us pray for the grace of a genuine self-knowledge so that we are able to think of ourselves less, as he did. May we walk on the path God has ordained for us, neither getting ahead of ourselves nor lagging behind, and without a desire for a detour.


Responsorial Psalm: The Lord takes delight in his people.


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FRIDAY AFTER EPIPHANY, 8th January 2021

1 Jn 5: 5-13;

Ps 147: 12-15,19-20;

Lk 5: 12-16


IS YOUR LIFE POWERED BY FAITH?

John presents the message of today’s liturgy in the first reading by endeavouring to convince the readers of his first letter about the incredible importance and necessity of faith in Jesus as the son of God and saviour of the world. He goes on to list out, as if trying to prove something in a court of law, the impeccable witnesses to this truth – the Holy Spirit, the water and the blood. John is so insistent, because for him, believing in Jesus is not just following rules, fulfilling obligations or reciting prayers, but a change of life itself. “Who can overcome the world? Only the man who believes that Jesus is the son of God.” For John, faith is that which powers one’s life itself; there is no place for dichotomy and hypocrisy. And the one who believes, becomes a witness himself to the truth that he believes in.

In this light, the incident of the gospel is significant. The leper recognized his need to be cured, and therefore his faith in the Lord moved him to fall at Jesus feet and not ask, but surrender his request before him. “If you want to, you can cure me.” Faith shaped his attitude, his words and his actions. His was an active faith, a faith that John relentlessly urges us all to strive for. The leper represents our sinful selves. And tragically, our lack of personal prayer and humble and honest self-reflection can often turn us blind to our ‘leprosy’. How can he who sees no need ask for help? And how can he who doesn’t ask for help, experience the power of God’s grace?

Faith conquers the world and all its forces. But to experience its power one needs to recognize one’s sinfulness, and the dire need for grace. It is only then that faith can begin the process of influencing and transforming attitudes, words and actions. It is only then that it transcends from just being knowledge about truths, to becoming the food that powers life itself.


Responsorial Psalm: O Jerusalem, glorify the Lord!


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7th January 2021

Only the #Bible, the #word of #God, can do this. Bible #hug. Living word.  God touches the #heart. #Loving #scripture. The love o… | I love books,  Books, Word of god


THURSDAY AFTER EPIPHANY, CHRISTMASTIDE 1 Jn 4:19-5:4 Ps 72: 1-2,14-15,17 Lk 4: 14-22


JESUS REVEALS HIMSELF THROUGH SCRIPTURES

Today, we hear about Jesus’ return to his hometown Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, as he usually did. The synagogue was a gathering place of the Jewish community. The sabbath was celebrated in each home with special rites and prayers. But the men were invited to celebrate it in the synagogues with the public reading of the Law and the Prophets, and the singing of the psalms. Every adult Jew had the right to stand up and speak. But it was the custom to entrust the scripture scroll to those who had a certain competence (Acts 13:15). On this day, the Scripture was handed to Jesus, who stood up to read.

The incident narrates Jesus’ manifestation of his true identity as the Messiah in his own village and among his own people. Using the prophecy of Isaiah, he reveals himself as being the one anointed by the Spirit of the Lord to bring “good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” This was a moment of glory for him. His reputation spread throughout the countryside and everyone praised him, being astonished at the gracious words that came from his lips.

What do we learn from this passage of Scripture? Firstly, the lesson of humble gratitude to God in the face of praise and glory, for the good work he has given us the grace to accomplish. May the Lord help us to live these experiences in a spirit of peace like him being aware of its fragility. Secondly, we read even today, the same text that our Lord himself read. Reading the Bible is a concrete means to unite ourselves with the mind and heart of Jesus. May the Lord instil in us a great love for sacred scripture that we may come to love him more and more each day.


Responsorial Psalm: All nations on earth shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.


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6th January 2021

Roni Buczynski on Twitter: "#SundayMorning Beloved, if God so loved us, we  also must love one another. 1 John 4:11 NABRE https://t.co/BgUVfi2bo9…  https://t.co/7HE3x776px"

LOVE IS A CARING COMMITMENT


WEDNESDAY, 6th January 2021, CHRISTMASTIDE 1 Jn 4:11-18; Ps 72:1-2,10-13; Mk 6:45-52

A woman was surprised at church when another woman, who had often dishonoured her, went out of her way to give her a warm hug before the service. She wondered what had brought about this change. She got her answer at the end of the service when the priest instructed, “Your assignment for next week is the same as last week. I want you to go out there and love somebody you just can’t stand.” If loving others was only as easy as giving a hug to someone we don’t like, we would all excel in love. Just hug them and move on! But love is a bit more difficult than that. Because, loving others is putting the other person ahead of you, and that is always a huge battle. Our natural tendency is to revert to selfishness, not to love.

For this reason, the New Testament as a whole, and the apostle John in particular, never tires of exhorting us to love. Like driving a nail into a board, John hits on this commandment again and again. Five times in his first letter, he reminds us of Jesus’ command to love one another (1 Jn 3:11,23; 4:7,11,12). In fact, he says that if you do not love others, you do not know God.

What does it mean to love? Biblical love is a self-sacrificing, caring commitment that seeks the highest good of the one loved. At its heart, love is a commitment that is not without feeling; it is a caring commitment. In other words, biblical love involves delight, not just duty. Also, this caring commitment is not just an attitude, but an action; it shows itself in deeds. Those deeds often require self-sacrifice, seen supremely in Jesus’ death on the cross. The goal of this commitment is the highest good of the one loved. Let us look at Jesus our master and ask his grace to imitate him in love. For, he loved us even at the cost of giving up his life on the cross.


Responsorial Psalm: All nations on earth shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.


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5th January 2021

Amazon.com: Jesus Christ Shepherd with Lambs Religious Wall Picture 8x10  Art Print: Posters & Prints

JESUS, THE PROMISED SHEPHERD


TUESDAY, 5th January 2021, CHRISTMASTIDE

1 Jn 4: 7-10;

Ps 72: 1-4, 7-8;

Mk 6: 34-44


After the solemnity of the Epiphany, the Church’s liturgy continues to reveal different facets of Jesus’ mission and divinity to us. In response to the failure of the shepherds of Israel, God had promised through Ezekiel that he himself would look after his sheep and appoint a shepherd to pasture them. Sheep without a shepherd cannot find their way. They cannot lead themselves. Such a situation makes them weak and defenceless against dangers and threats. Jesus’ teaching ministry is focused on addressing this need of the people, instructing them on the way that leads to life. His very presence is their security. The shepherd is also responsible for feeding his sheep and Jesus faithfully accomplishes this too.

Today’s Gospel portrays Jesus as the promised shepherd of God, carrying out his responsibility of guiding, protecting and feeding his flock. It also brings to mind the celebration of the Eucharist where we are instructed through the Word of God and fed with the Bread of Life. Over the last year, not all of us have been fortunate to participate in the Eucharist. Has the Good Shepherd forgotten to feed us? However, we must ask ourselves; do we really ‘hunger’ for him like those in the Gospel? In his presence, they forgot about their need for material food; in fact, they didn’t even bother about it. Anticipating where he would be, they had run ahead to meet him. All they wanted was to be with Jesus and to listen to him. They had chosen the one thing necessary (cf. Lk 10:42). And in response, Jesus provides all the rest (cf. Mt 6:33).

This time of the ‘divinely-imposed’ Eucharistic fast is the lonely place we have been drawn into, to check if we truly desire Christ or are following empty dreams. Even though he may seem absent, he will not allow us to perish. We already know this as during this time, we have not been deprived of the sustenance provided through the Word of God.


Responsorial Psalm: All nations on earth shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.


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4th January 2021

BECOMING DWELLINGS FOR GOD


MONDAY, 4th January 2021, CHRISTMASTIDE

1 Jn 3: 22-24; 4: 1-6;

Ps 2: 7-8, 10-11;

Mt 4: 12-17, 23-25


We have been taught that God dwells within our hearts. But in what way? St John of the Cross enumerates three ways in which God is present in the soul”

  • Presence by Essence: In this way God is present in all creatures at all times giving them life and being.
  • Presence by Grace: God dwells in the soul that he is pleased and satisfied with. The soul cannot know if it has this presence. Those who commit mortal sin lose this presence.
  • Presence by Spiritual Affection: God grants his spiritual presence to devout souls, refreshing and gladdening them.

How wonderful it is to experience this in-dwelling presence of God (by spiritual affection) within! What must we to do in order to encounter God dwelling within us? St John, in the first reading today, gives us the answer. He tells us that those who keep the commandments of God abide in him and he abides in them. Which are the commandments of God that we are to keep? St John enlists just two:

  • To believe in Jesus: Believing in Jesus implies having trust and confidence in him. It involves a complete self-surrender in faith to God who will never abandon us and who knows what is best for us. It is the joyful acceptance of his will in our daily life.
  • To love one another as he loves us: Jesus loves us unconditionally and he wants us to love our brothers and sisters in the same way. This involves accepting them as they are without judging or criticizing them. This love demands self-sacrifice and generosity.

Jesus himself assures us that whoever loves him by keeping his commandments will be loved by the Father, and the Father and the Son will come and make their dwelling within that person. (cf. Jn 14:21,23). May our hearts be transformed into worthy dwelling places for God.


Responsorial Psalm: I will give you the nations as your inheritance


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