Monday, 30 June 2014


3rd July, Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle, Patron Saint of India

Gospel: John 20:24-29: The Great Conviction-Thomas’ Confession.

I Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-9: The Word of the Lord was addressed to me..
II Reading Eph 2:19-22: You are no longer aliens or foreign visitors..

The Great Conviction-Thomas’ Confession, 20:24-29

Thomas’ faith in Jesus Christ grew day after day; so should ours, till Christ becomes our Lord and our God forever in heaven. Faith in Christ is God’s gift; only God can give it and we must be grateful for having received it. John mentions Thomas in four occasions:
1. Thomas said to his companions during inner sufferings and conspiracy to kill Jesus when Jesus decided to go back to Jerusalem, “Let us go too and die with him.” (Jn 11:16)
2. Thomas interrupted Jesus saying: “Lord, we do not know where you are going: show how can we know the way?” (Jn 14:5)
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (Jn 14:6)
3. Today’s Gospel.
4. Jesus appeared to the seven disciples and later on Jesus appeared to Thomas when all were there (Jn 20: 27; Jn 21:1-23).
i. Faith in Jesus Christ implies a total surrendered to his plans of love for us.
ii. Faith in Jesus Christ brings to us incalculable treasures.
iii. Our Faith in Christ must grow day after day.
This is excellent study on conviction and confession of Thomas, the one of the twelve disciples of Jesus.
1.     Thomas’ frustrated, reactionary spirit (v.24-25)
a.     The disciples testified: Thomas argued
b.    The reason: Guilt-he had forsaken and withdrawn from them
2.     Thomas’ false picture of Jesus (v.25)
a.     He was just an earthly deliverer
b.    He was now dead
c.      Result: persistent doubt for eight days
3.     Thomas’ critical confrontation and confession: Jesus appeared and challenged and convicted him (v.26-28)
a.     The confrontation
1)    Jesus was aware of Thomas’ demands
2)    Jesus warned and called for belief
3)    The strong confession
4.     Thomas’ great lesson for all people.
Thought: To doubt is to be Christless.  “Separate from Christ...without hope and without God in the world” (Eph 2:12). False pictures of Jesus lead to unbelief. Jesus is more than a great teacher, a great prophet, a great man and a great founder of religion.


Gospel: Matthew 8:28-34: Have you come here to torture the devils before time?
I Reading: Amos 5:14-15.21-24: Let me have no more of the din of your chanting, but let integrity flow like an unfailing stream.

Jesus Casts Out Demons: Saving Men, 8:28-34

Jesus had power over devils and conquered the forces of evil. Jesus’ mission was to save the humankind from sin, death and all evils.
1.     Jesus went where no other men would go (v.28-31)
a.     Among the evil possessed
b.    Among the dead
c.      Among the violent
d.    Among the defiant
e.      Among the malicious-devourers-the destroyers
2.     Jesus saved those whom no other men could reach (v.32)
a.     The power of his word “Go”
b.    The result: demons were expelled and exorcised
3.     Jesus was rejected again by covetous men (v.33-34)
a.     The covetous heard of the Lord’s presence and behaviour
b.    The covetous felt nothing in common with him: “When they saw Him.”
c.      The covetous rejected and expelled Him.
Thought: When the covetous sees the Lord, they experience an immediate response: they feel nothing in common with Jesus Christ and His demand for self-denial (Lk 9:23). The Lord’s attitude and demands toward material possessions are stringent (Mt 6:19-24; 25-34). A covetous person is forced either to repent, that is turn from all material seeking or to out rightly reject Christ (Mt 19:16-22).


Gospel: Matthew 8:23-27: He stood up and rebuked the winds and the sea; all was calm again.
I Reading: Amos 3:1-8.4:11-12: The Lord speaks: who can refuse to prophesy?

Jesus Calms a Storm: Conquering Fear and Nature, 8:23-27

Jesus proved again that He is the Messiah! The purpose of this event is given in v.27. calming the storm did three things.
1. It demonstrated who He is: The Sovereign Lord who has all power-even power over nature.
2. It strengthened the belief of His followers: belief in Him as the Messiah and in His personal care as their Saviour.
3. It gave to all generations a picture of His care and power-His care and power to deliver through all the storms of life (trails and fearful experiences).
It does not matter what the storm or trail is nor how terrifying it may be, Christ is able to deliver and bring about the most assuring calm. In this experience, God demonstrated His wonderful care and power to deliver believers through the storms of life.
1. A basic fact: True disciples follow Him no matter what (v.23)
2. A fearful experience: A great storm arose (v.24)
3. A terrifying discovery: Man is not able to handle the situation (v.24)
4. A desperate approach: Lord, wake-save us (v.25)
5. A challenging question (v.26)
a. Why are you so afraid?
b. Why so little faith?
6. A strong, powerful deliverance: A great calm (v.26)
7. A marvellous purpose (v.27)
a. To prove who He is
b. To strengthen faith
c. To demonstrate His care for all
Thought: How many are willing to follow Jesus regardless of circumstances, cost and the sacrifice demanded?
Jesus Christ can calm any storm of life for us and He can strengthen us to go through any storm of life (2Cor 1:3-4; Phil 1:29; 1Pet 4:12-13).


Gospel: Matthew 8:18-22: Follow me.
I Reading: Amos 2:6-10.13-16: They trample on the heads of ordinary people.

Jesus Attracts People: The Cost of True Discipleship, 8:18-22
Jesus attracts people by his exemplary life. Many wanted to follow Jesus so he taught the cost of true discipleship.
1.     The crowd was attracted (v.18)
2.     The scholar was attracted (v.19)
a.     He willed to follow
b.    He was determined
c.      Jesus demanded more
1)    Must accept Him as the Son of God
2)    Personal poverty
3)    Must abandon all
3.     The average disciple was attracted (v.21-22)
a.     He hesitated
b.    He had divided attention
c.      Jesus demanded more
1)    Immediate loyalty
2)    A sense of urgency
Thought: Many are committed, but their commitments are self-commitments not Christ commitment.

Thursday, 26 June 2014


I Reading: Acts 12:1-11
II Reading: 2 Tim 4:6-8.17-18
Gospel: Mt 16:13-19
We celebrate today the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul. Let us thank God for these two apostles the light and strength they needed to announce the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout their life-time, and witnessed to Christ at their death through their shedding of their blood. Both were executed in Rome around the year 67 A.D., that is, some 35 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
These two saints are known as the “Pillars of the Church.” The Church of Christ is built by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ), by the blood of the martyrs and believers. “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”
Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus. Jesus fixed his eyes on him and said “You are Simon, son of John; you are to be called Cephas, which means a rock (Jn 1:42).” In today’s Gospel Jesus confirmed and strengthened the faith of Peter and gave him the power and authority to carry out the mission of Christ and nothing should destroy or diminish the mission of Christ while proclaiming the Good News of Christ.
Simon Peter was an ordinary person and illiterate (Jewish mission) where as Paul was the highly educated person (Gentile mission). Both invested their whole energy in Christ and loved him so much and followed him immediately till the end of their lives even unto death. Even persecution and opposition did not stop them spreading the Gospel of Christ. Although they had lots of differences and contracting characters, still they worked together (Unity) and preached the Good News to the people (diversity) and continued the mission of Christ with a missionary zeal (universal mission for the salvation of souls).
Let us ask for God’s grace to strengthen our faith in Christ and imbibe the spirit of these two saints to continue the mission of Jesus Christ despite persecution, rejection, opposition and temptation in our vocational journey of Christ.

Gospel: Matthew 8:1-4: If you want to, you can cure me.
I Reading: 2 Kings 25:1-12: Judah was deported from its land.

Jesus Heals the Leper: Cleansing the Most Defiled

This passage is beautiful for spiritual cleansing. The power of Jesus to heal and cleanse the most defiled person in clearly seen.
1.     The large crowds followed Jesus (v.1)
2.     The leper: the unclean and most defiled person (v.2)
a.     He came to Jesus
b.    He worshipped Jesus
c.      He asked and trusted Jesus for cleansing
3.     The Lord Jesus (v.3)
a.     He touched
b.    He said, “I am willing”
c.      He cleansed
4.     The cleansed man (v.4)
a.     He must beware of pride, of boasting
b.    He must obey the law
Thought: “I am willing.” The mission of Jesus Christ is to seek and to save that which is lost, no matter how defiled (Lk 19:10; Mt 9:12-13; 20:28). The Church is called to the very same mission (Jn 20:21). Jesus said go-go to “all creation,” to every human being (Mk 16:15; cp. Mt 28:19-20).

Gospel: Matthew 7:21-29: The house built on rock and the house built on sand.
I Reading: 2 Kings 24:8-17: The king of Babylon deported Jehoiachin and all the nobility of the country to Babylon.

The Warning about False Pretences:
Who shall enter the kingdom of Heaven? Mt 7:21-23

Who will enter the kingdom of heaven? Will everyone who professes Christ enter? The Lord says “No. There are some who professes my name only...” the false professors who recites only creed, rosaries and prayers etc will not enter because they don’t do the will of God but their own will they do.
1.     The law of entrance (v.21)
a.     A person must do more than profess
b.    A person must do God’s will
2.     The plea of false profession: works (v.22)
a.     Plea 1: prophesied and cast out evil spirits
b.    Plea 2: great works
c.      Plea 3: served in the Lord’s name
3.     The rejection of the false profession (v.23)
a.     Because Christ never knew
b.    Because worked iniquity

The Wise and Foolish Builders, Mt 7:24-27

Every person has a house- a life-to build. How he/she builds his/her life determines his destiny, not just for this life but for the eternity. How he/she builds his/her life makes all the differences...
·        Between success and failure
·        Between life and death
·        Between reward and loss
·        Between acceptance and rejection
·        Between standing and falling
There is only one foundation for every life: Jesus Christ (1Cor 3:11). He is the Rock upon which both individuals and churches are to build (Mt 16:18). Jesus teaches that there two kinds of builders.
1.     A wise builder: hears the instructions and obeys them (v.24-25)
a.     He builds a house
b.    He builds upon a rock (Christ)
c.      He faces a storm
d.    He built wisely: the difference is the foundation
2.     A foolish builder: hears the instructions and does not obey them (v.26-27)
a.     He builds a house
b.    He builds upon the sand (without Christ)
c.      He faces a storm
d.    He built foolishly: suffers great destruction-the difference is the foundation (without faith in Christ).
Thought: The man who builds on sand (without faith in Christ) is hopeless and helpless. Jesus spoke with authority because he is the Son of God and he did was with the authority of God (Mt.28:18; Mk 1:27; Jn 5:19-30; 5:27).

Gospel: Matthew 7:15-20: You will able to tell them by their fruits.
I Reading: 2 Kings 22:8-13. 23:1-3: In the people’s hearing the king read out everything that was said in the book of the covenant found in the Temple of the Lord, and in the presence of the Lord he made a covenant.

The Warning about False Prophets

Jesus Christ is talking about prophets, men who proclaim and teach the gospel. There are some who are false prophets, men who proclaim and teach a false gospel. Christ says seven things about false prophets. (Cf. Gal 1:6-9).
1.     Their presence: Beware (v.15)
2.     Their chief trait: they appear as sheep, but inwardly they are wolves (v.15)
a.     Outwardly: as sheep
b.    Inwardly: are wolves
3.     Their revealing mark: the fruit they gather (v.16)
4.     Their true nature: is not good, but corrupt and evil (v.17)
5.     Their hopeless fruit: cannot bear good fruit, but only bad and corrupt fruit (v.18)
6.     Their terrible future: judgement (v.19)
7.     Their fruit: exposes them (v.20)
Thought: “By their fruit you will recognize them.”
1)    “Test the spirits,” the prophets (1Jn 4:1)
2)    “Test everything,” the prophet’s fruit (1Th 5:21)

Gospel: Matthew 7:6.12-14: Always treat others as you would like them to treat you.
I Reading: 2 Kings 19:9-11. 14-21. 31-36: I will protect this city and save it for my own sake and for the sake of David.

The Summit of Ethics: The Golden Rule and the Two Choices in Life,
Mt 7:12-14
This Scripture contains two of the most well-known things Jesus ever said. They deal with two of the basic issues of life.
(1) There is the issue of righteousness. How can a person live righteously? That is, have a right relationship with his neighbour?
(2) There is the issue of life. How can a person be sure he has life, real life?
1.     The golden rule of life (v.12)
a.     Demands true justice
b.    Includes real love
c.      Teaches the whole law
2.     The two choices in life (v.13-14)
a.     Two gates: wide vs narrow
b.    Two ways: easy and hard
c.      Two ends: destruction vs life
d.    Two travellers: the wise vs the unwise
e.      Two decisions: no effort vs seeking to find
Thought: Three things are required of people:
1)    To know what Jesus Christ taught.
2)    To believe what Jesus Christ taught.
3)    To do what Jesus Christ taught. It is not enough to know or to believe the golden rule. We must live it.