Friday, 22 January 2016

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading: Nehemiah 8:2-6.8-10: Ezra read from the law of God and the people understood what was read.
II Reading: 1Corinthians 12:12-30: You together are Christ’s body; but each of you is a different part of it.
Gospel: Luke 1:1-4,4:14-21: Text is being fulfilled today.
Jesus Announces His Mission: A Graphic Picture of Rejection, 4:16-30
The kingly power of God is to be exercised in pardoning, loving, healing and liberation from sin, death and all corruptions. Jesus has not merely read the Scriptures but as King’s messenger proclaimed the Good News to the poor, captives, blind, oppressed and announced the year of the Lord as true freedom. Jesus Christ claimed to be the Messiah, and His claim was rejected by the people of His day. His claim is still rejected by people today. A graphic picture of rejection is painted in the present passage.
1. A dramatic scene (v.16)
a. Jesus visited His home town
b. Jesus entered the Synagogue-His custom on the Sabbath
2. Scene 1: Jesus’ dramatic reading from the prophet Isaiah-concerned the Messiah (v.17-19)
a. The Messiah was to be anointed by the Spirit
b. The Messiah was to preach the gospel (Good News)
c. The Messiah was to minister
d. The Messiah was to preach the age of salvation
3. Scene 2: Jesus’ phenomenal claim (v.20-21)
a. The rapt attention of the people
b. The claim of Jesus to be the Messiah
4. Scene 3: The people’s declining response (v.22-23)
a. First, They were impressed
b. Second, They questioned
c. Third, They demanded proof-insisted He heal (prove)Himself, that is, work miracles-like a devil or Satan asking to prove
5. Scene 4: The people’s painful rejection (v.24-27)
a. Illus. 1: Only one needy widow had her needs met in Elijah’s day-because only one widow accepted Elijah
b. Illus. 2: Only one needy leper was cleansed in Elisha’s day-because only one leper accepted Elisha
6. Scene 5: The people’s true spirit (v.28-30)
a. An insane wrath: A close mindedness
b. An insane insult: To silence Jesus
c. The insane behaviour of the people failed
Thought: When God calls, He appoints; He equips the messenger with His Spirit. The Holy Spirit goes with the messenger wherever God sends him.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Saturday: 2nd Week in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading: 2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11- How did the heroes fall in the thick of the battle.
Gospel: Mark 3:20-21: His relative said he was out of his mind.
Jesus’ Impact upon Friends: Calling Jesus Mad and Insane
The Authorized Version (KJV) is probably correct in using “friends” in verse 21 of “kinsmen” or family. Jesus’ impact upon his family is discussed in Mark 3:31.
1.     The crowd: they were so zealous that Jesus was unable to eat (v.20)
2.     The friends or family: they acted the very opposite (v.21)
a.     Heard of his behaviour
b.    Thought him insane
c.      Sought custody
Thought: Zeal and enthusiasm for Christ are so desperately lacking. People should be flocking to him by the multitudes, but they are not. Why?
·        Do they love the world and the things of the world too much (1Jn 2:15-16)?
·        Do they love the body and its feelings too much?
·        Do they love pride, fame, power, money, wealth too much?
·        Do they just not know? Have they not heard? (Rom 10:14-15)
·        Is the witness and life of believers too weak? (Eph 4:17-24)
Thought: Jesus Christ ministered despite enormous inconvenience and disruption. He denied himself his own need in order to help others. The call of the hour is: “Believe Jesus. Trust Him. He was not insane. He is truly the Son of the living God.”
Friends or family can be wrong, no matter how much they esteem and love us. What they think and how they treat us can often be wrong: the friends or family of Jesus were wrong. In this case we must go against friends or family some time for the right cause or justice. We must vigorously surrender to God and to His Will regardless of what our friends or family may think. Being strong and standing firm in God’s Call and Will are desperately needed always.
What a lesson for us today!

Friday: 2nd Week in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading: 1 Samuel 24:3-21: I will not raise my hand against him, for he is anointed of the Lord.
Gospel: Mark 3:13-19: He summoned those he wanted to be his companion.
Jesus’ Impact upon the Twelve Disciples:
Calling Choice Men for the discipleship and the leadership.
Jesus calls choice men-men with good hearts that are ripe to be melted and moulded. He calls and appoints the twelve men whom he wanted and he changes them. Jesus makes and creates a new Israel- a new Church, a new nation and a new people of God on the mountain in the New Testament, whereas God had created a new Israel, a new nation and people of God on Mount Sinai by the leadership of Moses. The twelve disciples represent the twelve sons of Jacob; the people of Israel, the whole people of God in the world to sit on the thrones of the Son of Man to judge the people of God. Hence we find the discipleship and the leadership of the twelve in this pericope; to be with him, to be sent out to preach and to have authority over demons. This is what this passage is all about: Jesus’ impact upon choice men.

1.     Men called by Jesus (v.13)
2.     Men appointed by Jesus (14-15)
a.     To be with him
b.    To be sent out
c.      To preach
d.    To receive authority and power
3.     Men changed by Jesus (16-19)
Thought: The twelve disciples were appointed by Jesus for four specific purposes. Jesus appointed (epoiese- Greek word poieo which means to do, to make, to appoints with credentials.) the twelve to the office of being His ministers and representative on earth.

Thursday: 2nd Week in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading: 1 Samuel 18:6-9; 19:1-7: My father Saul is looking for a way to kill you.
Gospel: Mark 3:7-12: The unclean spirits would shout, “You are the Son of God.” But he warned them strongly not to make him known.
Jesus’ Impact upon Crowds and Evil Spirits: Seeking and Fearing Christ

Jesus’ impact upon people was unbelievable. In just a few months, the whole nation was aroused to seek after the One called Jesus of Nazareth, the promised Messiah. Jesus fed the five thousand men, not counting women and children, so a large crowd is following Him from all over the places. The multitudes did what we so desperately need to do; the truly sought Him, even to the point of crowding Him and pushing forward to touch Him and crushing in upon Him.
Jesus’ impact upon evil spirits was just as dramatic. They were stricken to bow before him and to acknowledge his Messiahship-two acts that desperately need to be done by people.
1.     Jesus withdrew (v.7)
2.     His impact upon people (v.7-10)
a.     Large crowd followed him:
i.                   They came from near and far
ii.                 The reason: they heard what great things he did
b.    Crowds crushed him
i.                   Endangered his life
ii.                 Sought to touch him
3.     His impact upon evil spirits: A terrible fear (v.11-12)
a.     They were subject to him
b.    They acknowledged his Messiahship
c.      He rebuked the evil spirit’s confession: because the confession Christ wants is the confession of a broken and contrite heart, a changed and repentant life.
Thought: People desperately need the power, the saving strength of Jesus. Every evil spirit, every evil person needs to fall down before Christ with great faith, hope and love in Jesus.
How many are flocking to Jesus and following Him if we are more faithful in sharing the glorious salvation in Him?
Wednesday: 2nd-Week in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading: 1 Samuel 17:32-33.37.40-51: David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone.
Gospel: Mark 3:1-6: Is it against the law on the Sabbath day to save life?
Jesus’ Impact upon Authorities and Politicians:
Understanding True Religion.
This was a critical event for Jesus-the climax of five conflicts with the religionists (teachers of the law and Pharisees). Time and again the religionists had attached Jesus, accusing Him of teaching a false religion. In this climatic confrontation, Jesus took the man with the shrivelled hand and demonstrated just what true religion is. The demonstration was so clear and forceful that the religionists were stunned. What is true religion? We assess into five things:

1.     Jesus entered  the synagogue (v.1-2)
a.     Confronted a man with a shrivelled hand
b.    Confronted the religionists
2.     True religion is a willingness to stand up (v.3)
3.     True religion is doing good and saving lives (v.4)
a.     Not rules, regulations
b.    Not refusing to face the truth
4.     True religion is righteous anger against error and evil (v.5)
a.     Feelings of anger and grief
b.    Because of stubbornness and hardness
5.     True religion is restoring people to completeness and wholeness (v.5)
6.     True religion is not intrigue nor is it destructive (v.6)

Thought: Real religion is a willingness to stand up. Christ calls every person to rise up, stand, repent and confess his faith in the Lord’s power to save and heal him (Rom 12:1-21; Mt 20:28; Acts 17:29-30 etc.). True religion is doing good and saving lives. Position, power and security very often corrupt people’s hearts and minds like scribes and Pharisees in the Gospel.

Tuesday: 2nd-Week in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1-13: Samuel anointed David where he stood with his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord seized on David.
Gospel: Mark 2:23-28: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Jesus’ Impact upon Religionists: Understanding the Sabbath (Sunday)
The Sabbath or Sunday is often abused. A person can abuse the Sabbath or Sunday by being either too strict or too loose in observing the day. In the present generation, however, the problem is not in being too strict but in being too loose. Few ever give any thought to God’s command to keep the Sabbath holy.
In this passage Jesus deals with the true meaning of the Sabbath or Sunday: a critical issue for every generation (Mt 12:1-8 for more discussion).

1.     The Sabbath is not rules and regulations (v.23-24)
a.     Jesus passed through the grain fields
b.    The disciples plucked and ate some grain
c.      The religionists questioned the picking of the grain on the Sabbath
2.     The Sabbath was given to help man/people (v.25-27)
The illustration: David
The point: The Sabbath was given to serve, not master man/woman
3.     The Sabbath is to be governed by the Son of Man (v.28)
Thought: Man/woman is far more important than rules and regulations, ceremony, ritual and religion. The first duty of man/woman is to worship God and to meet the need of his/her fellow man/woman. Nothing should over take precedence over this first duty.
 Rules and regulations, laws and commandments are made to help people, to govern his/her behaviour and to show him/her the best way to live. Therefore, rules which guide people to rest and worship on the Sabbath or Sunday are good and beneficial.

Monday: 2nd-Week in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading: 1 Samuel 15:16-23: Obedience is better than sacrifice. The Lord has rejected you as king.
Gospel: Mark 2:18-22: The bridegroom is with them.
Jesus’ Impact upon Young Disciples and Theologians:
The Kind of Life Christ brings.
Jesus Christ has the power to completely change life. He knows the desperate need and cry among people for a changed life. The changed life Christ gives is fourfold.
1.     Jesus aroused questions about fasting (v.18)
a.     An unusual alliance: John’s disciples and Pharisees
b.    A justified question
2.     Jesus Christ brings a joyful life (v.19)
3.     Jesus Christ brings a seeking life (v.20)
a.     He will be taken away
b.    His followers then fast
4.     Jesus Christ brings new life (v.21)
5.     Jesus Christ brings an adventuresome life (v.22)
Thought: A believer should not judge other believers for not keeping religious rituals. Religious rituals are not the standard by which believers are to be judged.  Christ alone is the judge (Rom 14:4).
A new beginning and a new life must be launched or else the person faces uselessness, extinction or death. A person will die in the old garment of his flesh (sinful nature) unless he comes to Christ for a new beginning.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading: Isaiah 62:1-5: The bridegroom rejoices in his bride.
II Reading: 1Corinthians 12:4-11: One and the same Spirit, who distribute gifts to different people just as he chooses.
Gospel: John 2:1-11: This was the first of the signs given by Jesus: it was given at Cana in Galilee.
Revelation 1:Creative Power, Jn 2:1-11
This was the first miraculous sign Jesus performed. It demonstrated His very purpose for coming to earth: to reveal the creative power of God. He had  the power to create and produce what was needed to meet man’s need.
1. Wedding in Cana of Galilee (v.1-2)
a. Time: The third day
b. Mary attended
c. Jesus and the disciples attended
2. The concern of Jesus’ creative power (v.3-5):Genesis-Creative Word of God-God’s creation
a. Mary’s social concern
b. Jesus’ deeper concern: To meet man’s spiritual need
c. Mary’s confidence in her Son
3. The revelation of Jesus’ creative power (v.6-8)
a. The materials: Water jars- used for cleaning and quenching thirst
b. The command: Prepare/fill the jar
c. The obedience: They drew water and experienced the creative power of Jesus
4. The results of Jesus’ creative power (v.9-11)
a. Man’s need was met
b. Christ’s glory was revealed
c. The disciple’s faith was strengthened
Thought: Jesus graced and blessed the marriage because he was “invited…to the wedding.” Mary’s concern was a social concern and Jesus met the real needs of the people. Jesus, being the Son of God, the Messiah has the power to create anything which is good for the greater glory of God and salvation of humankind as the kingdom of God.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Saturday: 1st-Week in Ordinary Time-Year-C
I Reading: 1 Samuel 9:1-4.17-19.10:1: The Lord told Samuel, “That is the man of Whom I told you; Saul shall rule my people.”
Gospel: Mark 2:13-17: I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.
Jesus’ Impact upon Matthew & His Friends:
Reaching the Outcast & Sinner
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. No matter how lost, how outcast, or how bad a sinner a person is, Jesus came to save the person.
1.     Jesus went out to the lake (v.13)
a.     The crowds gathered
b.    Jesus taught them
2.     Jesus called the outcast and the sinner (v.14)
a.     Passed by –saw Levi
b.    Called to abandon all
c.      Impact: He accepted the call; he left all
3.     Jesus associated with the outcast and sinner (v.15)
a.     Levi invited his associates and friends
b.    Jesus associated with them
c.      The impact: Many followed Him
4.     Jesus answered society’s attitude toward the outcast and sinner (v.16-17)
a.     The religionists questioned Jesus’ associations
b.    Jesus’ reply:
i.                   An illustration
ii.                 His very purpose: To call sinners and to save all and the world
Thought: There is enormous hope for every person, no matter how weak, unprincipled or undisciplined. The hope is Jesus Christ. The person can be born again-truly born again. The person can be re-created in Christ Jesus, made into a new person, a new creation.

Friday: 1st-Week in Ordinary Time-Year-C
I Reading: 1 Samuel 8:4-7.10-22: You will cry out on account of the king you have chosen for yourselves, but God will not answer you.
Gospel: Mark 2:1-12: The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.

Jesus’ Power to Forgive Sin and Its Impact: Forgiveness of Sin

The man who seeks forgiveness of sins truly seeks with a desperation that will not quit-will be forgiven. This is the great lesson learned from the man with palsy.
1.     Jesus returned to Capernaum many months later (v.1-2)
a.     Jesus had returned home
b.    Crowds heard and flooded the house immediately
c.      Jesus preached the Word
2.     The prerequisite to being forgiven (v.3-4)
a.     Coming to Jesus
b.    Possessing a sincere, desperate faith in Jesus’ power-a faith that will not quit
3.     The reality of being forgiven (v.5)
a.     Jesus saw faith
b.    Jesus forgave sins
4.     The question aroused by being forgiven (v.6-7)
a.     The religionists reasoned
b.    The religionists questioned: Who has the power to forgive?
5.     The source of being forgiven (v.8-11)
a.     Jesus revealed that he knew the hearts of men
b.    Jesus revealed his God-like wisdom and fearlessness
c.      Jesus stated his purpose: To prove his Messiahship, that he is the Son of Man
d.    Jesus proved that he had the power to  forgive sins
6.     The impact of being forgiven (v.12)
a.     The man walked before all-forgiven, healed
b.    The crowds marvelled
c.      The crowds praised God
Thought: Jesus has the power to forgive sins because He is truly the Son of God, the Messiah. A person becomes fool if he/she does not come to Jesus for forgiveness of sins.