Monday, 27 June 2016

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time-C

I Reading: Isaiah 66:10-14: Towards her I send flowing peace, like a river.
II Reading: Galatians 6:14-18: The marks on my body are those of the Lord Jesus.
Gospel: Luke 10: 1-12, 17-20: Your peace will rest on that man.
The Seventy Sent Forth : Great Purpose, 10:1-16
Jesus appoints the seventy and sends forth for his mission. This passage tells the Christian labourer how he is to work and tells the hearer how he is to treat the labourer of God. Paul explains to us what it really means to be a Christ means to have become an altogether new creature, on account of the Life in the Spirit given to us at Baptism. It also means to belong to Christ and finally Paul wishes “peace and mercy to all who follow the rule”, that is, to all who keep faithful to Christ (Gal 6:16).
Jesus sent seventy two disciples to announce the kingdom of God who represent all the baptised, each one of us included, whereas the twelve apostles whom Jesus sent first, represent not only the apostles but their successors as well: the Pope, the bishops and priests, all those special messengers chosen by God. Number 12, (the number of apostles) stands in the mind of Luke for the 12 tribes of Israel, who in God’s plan, were to be evangelised first.
1. Jesus appointed seventy disciples to prepare the way for Him (v.1)
a. had many disciples
b. two by two: to support, encouragement and community life
c. saw tremendous need
d. sent as forerunners
2. First, pray for more labourers (v.2)
3. Second, go into an antagonistic world (v.3)
4. Third, trust God and sense the hour’s urgency (v.4)
5. Fourth, guard the message-do not force it upon people (v.5-6)
6. Fifth, accept compensation, but do not seek luxury (v.7)
7. Sixth, be accommodating and adaptable (v.8-9)
a. indentify with people
b. minister to people
c. proclaim the kingdom of God
8. Seventh, walk away from rejecters (v.10-15)
a. any town and people who reject
          1) symbolize God’s rejection by wiping off the very dust of the city
          2) reason: kingdom of God came near, but they rejected it
          3) judgement: shall be greater than Sodom’s
b. any who only profess to be God’s people
          1) illustrated by two Jewish towns
          2) the reason: the works of Christ were seen, yet he was rejected
          3) the judgement: to be more terrible
c. any who have a constant witness but reject: to receive the greatest judgement-hell
9. Eighth, , know that the Christian labourer presents the Lord (v.16)
Thought: Anyone who rejects the Lord definitely will be condemned.

The Seventy Return: Great Power, Lk 10:17-20
Jesus Christ gives great power to the person who truly works for him.
1. The Seventy returned (v.17)
a. with joy
b. with great results and a testimony of power
2. The Christian labourer has power over Satan (v.18)
3. The Christian labourer has power overall enemies: perfect security (v.19)
4. The Christian labourer is to rejoice in his salvation, not in his power (v.20)
The Seventy Return: Great Privileges, Lk 10:21-24
The Christian labourer has three great privileges. Jesus was filled with joy over these privileges and praised God. The Lord’s heart longs to share these privileges with every person.
1. Jesus rejoiced (v.21)
2. privilege 1: The spiritual insight into truth (v.21)
a. into “these things”
b. God hides truth from the wise and learned
c. God reveals truth to babes
d. such action is well pleasing to God
3. Privilege 2: The knowledge of God and of His only Son (v.22)
a. God and the Son alone know one another
b. The Son reveals God to some
4. Privilege 3: The insight and privilege of learning God’s full revelation (v.23-24).
Thought: God’s power is defeating Satan, of delivering people from the power of Satan.
To be a Christians means to give oneself to Christ wholeheartedly.


Gospel: Matthew 9:14-17: Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of mourning as long as the bridegroom is still with them.

Jesus Answers the Question about Fasting: 
Ushering in a New Age and Covenant, Mt 9:14-17
Christ is the bridegroom of the new age, the new life, and the new covenant. He is the bridegroom of the church. There is no need of fasting or crying when Jesus is with us and celebrating the banquet of joy with his disciples.
1.     John’s disciples (v.14)
a.     Questioned Jesus about fasting
b.    Received three illustrations from Jesus
2.     The bridegroom: A new life and age of joy (v.15)
a.     His presence brings joy
b.    His prediction: death
c.      His death shall bring fasting
3.     The new cloth: A stronger life and age (v.16)
a.     The new is stronger
b.    The old is weaker
4.     The new and old wine: A new life and age of more power (v.17)
a.     The new would burst the old bottles
b.    Both are to be preserved
Thought: The new wine would have been lost if it had been put into the old bottles of religion. There would be no new life or age, no hope for man whatever (2Cor 5:17).


Gospel: Matthew 9:9-13: It is not the healthy who need the doctor. What I want is mercy, not sacrifice.

Jesus Calls Matthew: Receiving sinners, Mt 9:9-13
What is so heart-warming and touching is that Matthew shares his own personal conversion how Jesus came to save sinners such as him. He does not talk about himself nor about the details of his sin and shame, but he lifts up Jesus and the glorious salvation Jesus came to bring. He emphasizes not his own conversion, but the fact that Jesus came to save all tax collectors and sinners such as him.
1.     The sinner who needed a Savior (v.9)
a.     Jesus saw a man
b.    Jesus called the man
c.      The man’s one act: he got up and followed Jesus
2.     The sinner who introduced his sinful friends to the Savior (v.10-11)
a.     He entertained Jesus and his sinful friends
b.    The religionists questioned Jesus’ fellowshipping with sinners
3.     The Saviour who saved the sinner: His mission (v.12-13)
a.     He came to be where the spiritually sick are
b.    He came to have mercy, not to gain sacrifice
c.      He came to call people and sinners to repentance
Thought: Matthew committed himself totally to Jesus. Once he began to follow Jesus, he never turned back.


Gospel: Matthew 9:1-8: They praised God for giving such power to men.

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man: Forgiving Sin, 9:1-8
Jesus was deeply touched by men who diligently sought him and persevered in that diligence. These men could not reach Jesus because of the throng of people, but the friends would not give up. They removed the roof and lowered the sick man down to Christ (Mk 2:1-12).
This persistent act gave Christ the opportunity to show his love and power to forgive sins and to demonstrate that he was beyond question the Messiah.
1. Jesus left Gadara and entered His own city-Capernaum (v.1)
2. Jesus’ power to forgive sins was demonstrated (v.2)
a. The friend’s care: brought disabled friend to Jesus
b. The friends’ great faith
c. Jesus’ compassion: forgave the man’s sin
3. Jesus’ power to forgive sins was questioned: silently accused of blasphemy (v.3)
4. Jesus’ power to forgive sins was proven (v.4-7)
a. He revealed something: He knew their rejection
b. He suggested something: A test
c. He did something: He healed the man
d. He commanded something: Go
5. Jesus’ power to forgive sins brought glory to God (v.8)
Thought: All people are disabled and sick spiritually need Jesus’ healing touch. We cannot save our friends but only Jesus Christ can forgive people’s sins.


I Reading: Acts 12:1-11: Herod arrested Peter, but an angel released him from his chains, leading him out of prison and into freedom.
II Reading: 2 Tim 4:6-8.17-18: Paul tells us that he has fought the good fight and finished the race. Now only martyrdom awaits him.
Gospel: Mt 16:13-19: When Jesus asked the disciples what identity people attributed to him, Peter answered on behalf of the Church that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
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 contrasting 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).
No persecution can destroy the Church; whereas the lack of unity and integrity can destroy the lives of the faithful in the church. 
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 temptations in our lives.

Gospel: Matthew 8:23-27: He stood up and rebuked the winds and the sea; all was calm again.

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.

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.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Gospel: Matthew 8:5-17: Many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.

Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant: Receiving and Rejecting Men, 8:5-13
This passage shows that Jesus is definitely the Messiah (v.13). He also has the power to reject the unbelieving (v.12). Jesus had the messianic power to do the mission of his Father receiving any person, regardless of the barrier. He could span every conceivable barrier.
a.     The ideological barrier: the centurion was despised, rejected and hated by Jews.
b.    The physical barriers: the centurion’s servant was ill.
c.      The spiritual barriers: the centurion was a Gentile.
Jesus receives any person who truly believes, but rejects those who do not believe, no matter who they are.
1.     Jesus’ great power was aroused to receive the rejected (v.5-9)
a.     By the centurion’s humility
1)    Begged a Jew
2)    Called Jesus Lord
3)    Jesus’ response: “I will”
b.    By the centurion’s sense of unworthiness
c.      By the centurion’s love for a slave
d.    By the centurion’s great faih
1)    In Jesus’ supreme authority and power
2)    In Jesus as Sovereign Lord (v.8)
2.     Jesus’ great power was aroused to embrace believers of every nationality (v.10-11)
a.     The Roman centurion
b.    The “many” from every place, from all nations
3.     Jesus’ great power shall reject the unbelieving (v.12)
4.     Jesus’ great power proved his Messiahship (v.13)
Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law: Jesus’ Power and Its Purpose, 8:14-17)
One of the purposes for which Jesus came to earth was to meet the needs of individuals and families. The experience in Peter’s home shows this.
1.     Purpose 1: To meet the needs of the individuals and families (v.14-15)
a.     He visited Peter’s home
b.    He healed Peter’s mother-in-law: she arose and served
2.     Purpose 2: To meet the needs of the large crowds (v.16)
3.     Purpose 3: To prove his Messiahship (v.17)
a.     He bore the ultimate cause of disease
b.    He bore each fresh illness
Thought: No individual or family is too poor or unimportant for Jesus to visit and help. He cares for all.

Gospel: Matthew 8:1-4: If you want to, you can cure me.

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).