Friday, 28 September 2018

I Reading: Number 11:25-29: Moses elects the seventy elders
II Reading: James 5:1-6: James condemns the oppressive rich
Gospel: Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48: “You must not stop him…anyone who is not against us is for us.”
There are different types of histories. Today’s first reading and the gospel talk about the salvation history of the humankind. God saved the Israelites through patriarchs, his messengers like Moses and the seventy elders, prophets, kings so on in the Old Testament.
Jesus being the New Moses in the New Testament appointed the twelve disciples to be with him and to be sent out to proclaim the good news and gave them his power and authority to cast out devils, and sent out the seventy others and many followers to continue his mission to establish the kingdom of God to save the humankind.
The salvation history of Jesus still carries on through the succession of the Pope, bishops, priests, and the catechists and the believers. The spirit of God can be given to anyone apart from his disciples or followers; so let us not feel jealousy of others’ inspiring work whereas Joshua in the first reading and John in the gospel were not able to accept the power and spirit of God working through other people. So the power of God is not only in the church but also to anyone whom God endows him/her.
God wants everyone to be saved so He sent His own beloved Son Jesus Christ to save us all from sin and death. St James warns against the rich for their greediness which becomes the obstacle to enter the kingdom of God.  Jesus is very harsh to the sinful acts in today’s gospel which prevent a person to enter into heaven. Being the baptised Christians, believers and followers of Jesus Christ let us try to commit ourselves totally for the salvation of humankind doing good works and glorification of God on this earth.
Thought: Joshua was jealous about Eldad and Medad who were given the spirit of God and they were prophesying in the camp as an ordinary peron and John was also jealous about the outside person who was casting out devils in the name of Jesus.
The second sin in the Bible was the sin of jealousy; Cain killed his brother Abel. John the Baptist was not jealous about Jesus rather he said, let him increase and let me decrease and I am not worthy to untie his sandals. We need humility and total commitment and obedience to the commandments of God and try to do God’s plan and mission with his spirit and power.
God can choose anyone from any walk of life or place and can give His power and spirit to carry out his work. Thus the spirit of the Lord is not only based on with the religious or appointed or consecrated persons or chosen ones or baptised Christians or in the church alone but to all whom God wants.
we should not abuse the power, authority, position, wisdom, wealth and riches for our selfishness and worldly life. God endows us with His power and wisdom to save the people of God.

Monday, 17 September 2018

I Reading: Wisdom 2:12.17-20: Let us condemn him to a shameful death.
II Reading: James 3:16-4:3: Peacemakers, when they work for peace, saw the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.
Gospel: Mark 9:30-37: The Son of Man will be delivered. If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself servant of all.
The Second Prediction of Death:
Intensive Training in the Death of Christ, 9:30-32
The thrust of this passage is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus drilled the truth of His death and resurrection into His disciples. It is absolutely essential that every person grasp the death and resurrection of Jesus.
1. The preparation: Jesus got along his disciples (v.30)
2. The lesson: Jesus taught his disciples that he was to die and arise (v.31)
3. The response: The disciples rejected what they did not wish to see
The Disciples’ Terrible Ignorance of Messiahship:
A Problem of Ambition, 9:33-37
The disciples were thinking that who would hold the highest position (for recognition and position) in the kingdom of Jesus. It is nice to have a good ambition for the highest gifts or good or service.
1. Jesus returned to Capernaum (v.33)
a. The disciples argued
b. Jesus questioned what they were arguing about
2. Ambition can shame (v.34)
3. Ambition needs instruction (v.35)
4. Ambition is a virtue, but it must be directed toward the right goal: to serve (v.35)
5. Ambition for service proves a person’s discipleship (36-37)
a. The Illustration: welcoming a child
b. The lesson: proves one’s discipleship
          1) Proves one has received Christ
          2) proves one has received God
Thought: Ambition that leads to argument and division is wrong. It must be based on service and highest gifts.

Gospel: Luke 8:4-15: The part in the rich soil is people who take the word to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.
I Reading: 1 Timothy 6:13-16: Do all that you have been told, with no faults or failures, until the appearing of the Lord.
Jesus Teaches the Sure Fate of the Word:
How People Receive the Word, 8:14-15
Jesus wanted people to know that hearing the Word of God was not enough but need to bear fruits. Those who hear the Word of God and obey accordingly definitely they will bear fruit. It is great encouragement to the preacher and teacher and to the lay witnesses. The seed they sow shall bear fruit (Mt 13:1-9; Mk 4:1-20).
1. Crowds thronged Jesus came from every town (v.4)
2. The parable: A farmer sowed seed (v.5-8)
a. some fell by the path
          1) were trampled
          2) were devoured
b. some fell upon rock
          1) were withered and scorched
          2) had no moisture or depth
c. some fell among thorns: were choked
d. some fell on good ground: were fruitful
3. The reason why Jesus spoke in parables (9-10)
a. to reveal the truth to open hearts
b. to conceal the truth from closed minds
4. The interpretation (v.11-15)
a. the seed is the Word of God
b. some are by the path
          1) they do hear
          2) the devil snatches the word away
c. some are on rock
          1) they do hear
          2) they are choked with materialism and pleasure
e. some are on rich soil
          1) the keep the word
          2) they have honest and good hearts
          3) they bear fruit
Thought: The success of the seed depends upon one thing alone; the condition of the soil (heart) to receive the seed (Word). If the ground (heart) is soft and rich (good qualities) then will bear much fruit.

Gospel: Luke 8:1-3: With Jesus went several women who provided for him out of their own resources.
I Reading: 1 Timothy 6:2-12: As a man dedicated to God you must aim to be saintly.
Jesus and the Women who Supported Him, 8:1-3
This is an interesting passage. It shows that Jesus received financial support for his ministry. There were some women, apparently well-off financially, who supported Him.
1. They supported a ministry of preaching (v.1)
a. It reached out
b. It was true to the gospel: the kingdom of God
2. They supported a ministry of discipleship (v.1)
a. Mary Magdalene: A dark past
b. Joanna: A lady of the king’s court
c. Susanna: An unnoticed follower
d. Many others: unknown
Thought: The women supported a ministry of discipleship. Although Jesus appointed the twelve disciples and later on it was soon to be the Great Commission to all His followers.

Gospel: Luke 7:36-50: Her many sins must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love.
I Reading: 1 Timothy 4:12-16: Always take great care about what you do and what you teach; in this way you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.
Jesus Contrasts the Attitudes of the Repentant and Self-Righteousness,
Lk 7:36-50
The present passage contrasts the attitudes of the sinful (repentant) and the self-righteous. Self-righteousness is a serious sin. It is both common and damning.
1. Simon, a Pharisee, invited Jesus to dinner and Jesus accepted (v.36)
2. The attitude of the repentant: A woman prostitute (v.37-38)
a. She sensed a desperate need
b. She approached the Lord despite all
c. She surrendered to the Lord in utter humility
d. She loved much giving her most precious possession
3. The attitude of the self-righteous (v.39)
a. He was a considerate man, but self-righteous
b. He considered himself better than others
c. He sensed no need for forgiveness
4. The two attitudes illustrated: The parable of two debtors (v.40-43)
a. One debtor owed much; the other little
b. A free forgiveness of both debtors
c. A piercing question: who appreciated and loved the most?
d. A begrudging answer
5. The need of the self-righteous: To really see Jesus, who the repentant say He is (v.44-50)
a. He is the one who deserves more than common courtesies
1) common vs. worshipful respect
2) common vs. humble greeting
3) common vs. sacrificial gift
b. He is the One who has the power to forgive sins
c. He is the One who people need to  ask about
d. He is the One who saves the repentant
Thought: The person who comes to Jesus Christ must come with a broken and contrite heart.

Gospel: Luke 7:31-35: We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance; we sang dirges, and you wouldn’t cry.
I Reading: 1 Timothy 3:14-16: The mystery of our religion is very deep.
Jesus Reveals God’s Verdict Upon This Generation and Age, 7:29-35
Jesus gave the verdict upon His generation and every generation of people.
1. Reactions to John (v.29-31)
a. The people and tax collectors who were baptised: vindicated John
b. The religionists who were not baptised: rejected God’s purpose
c. Jesus warned His generation and age
2. An age of childishness (v.32)
3. An age of escapism: seeking to escape responsibility (v.33-34)
a. Accused John of conservatism: too denying
b. Accused Jesus of license: too loose
4. An age with only a few wise toward God (v.35)
Thought: The wise (children of wisdom) who accept the ministry of both John and Jesus, both of whom fulfilled the Prophetic Word of God.

Gospel: Luke 7:11-17: Young man, I tell you to get up.
I Reading: 1 Timothy 3:1-13: The president must have an impeccable character. In the same way, deacons must be conscientious believers in the mystery of the faith.
Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son: Great Compassion and Power, 7:11-17
The most phenomenal event in all history is the resurrection of the dead. In this event Luke shared the great compassion and power of Jesus to raise the dead.
1. Jesus entered Nain-many were present to witness the conquest of death (v.11)
2. The great compassion of Jesus: He was touched (v.12-13)
a. by death, a dead man
b. by a broken heart
c. by a loving, caring and beloved woman
d. The Lord saw: had compassion and spoke, giving assurance
3. The great power of Jesus (v.14-15)
a. to bypass traditional beliefs
b. to stop the death processional
c. to raise the dead
4. The great awe of the people (v.16-17)
a. they glorified God
b. they believed him to be a prophet
c. they acknowledged God’s dealing with them again
d. they bore witness
Thought: It was the Lord who saw her, had compassion upon her and spoke and gave great assurance.

Gospel: Luke 7:1-10: Not even in Israel have I found faith like this.
I Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-8: There should be prayers offered for everyone to God, who wants everyone to be saved.
Jesus Finds Great Faith in a Soldier: Great Faith, What it Is, 7:1-10
Jesus Christ meets the needs of every one-Gentile or Jew, rich or poor, leader or follower, ruler or slaves. He bridges the gaps, prejudices and divisions between people. The one essential for securing His help is faith. A person must have faith in Christ and His power which is demonstrated what happened between the soldier and Jesus in this passage.
1. Jesus returned to Capernaum (v.1)
2. Great faith cares deeply for people (v.2)
3. Great faith feels unworthy in approaching Jesus Christ (v.3)
4. Great faith seeks God in Jesus Christ (v.4-5)
5. Great faith is centred in Jesus Christ (v.6-8)
a. In Jesus as Sovereign Lord
b. In Jesus supreme power and Word
6. Great faith stirs the great power of Jesus Christ (v.9-8)
a. Jesus marvelled
b. Jesus commanded the soldier
c. Jesus healed the servant
Thought: Willingness, obedience and great faith were essential for Jesus to raise the dead son.

Gospel: Mark 8:27-35: You are the Christ. The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously.
I Reading: Isaiah 50:5-9: I offered my back to those who struck me.
II Reading: James 2:14-18: If good works do not go with faith, it is quite dead.
The Great Confession of Peter: Who Jesus is, Mk 8:27-30
The first reading and the gospel explain about the suffering servant. In the second reading St James assets that faith without works is dead. In the gospel Jesus predicts about his suffering, passion and death and encourages his disciples or followers to follow his way by renouncing oneself and taking up his own cross. The passage further discovers the identity of Jesus. Who is Jesus? Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God, the suffering servant and the saviour of the world.
Jesus deliberately set out to make sure that the disciples saw Him as God’s Messiah and not man’s Messiah and a way of power and pleasure. He had to make sure they understood God’s way of salvation and plan that God was after victory over death and a life that lasted eternally, not just for seventy or so many years.
The present passage is one of the most dramatic  revelations ever made and the most demanding questions ever asked. The answer given determines one’s eternal destiny and requires a single answer: “You are the Christ.”
1. Jesus in Caesarea Philipi (v.27):
The Greek God of nature is PAN, the God being called PANIAS. Herod the great had built the temple in worship of Caesar. Herod’s son Philip who adorned the temple with the magnificence for which it was known world-wide. It was Philip who changed the name of the city from Panias to Caesarea and added his own name calling the city Caesarea Philipi. It was against this background of religion Jesus asked the question, “who do people say I am? Who do you say I am?” and Peter made is great discovery  and confession: Jesus is the Christ, the real Messiah.
a. He visited the village
b. He questioned the people’s belief about himself
2. The confession of men: He is a great man like: John the Baptist, Elijah and one of the prophets (v.28)
3. The confession of his disciples: He is the Christ, the true Messiah, Son of the living God (v.29)
4. The need: To learn about God’s Messiah (v.30)
Thought: Confession is just the beginning of our spiritual journey. We must be accurate in what we study and we must we accurate in what we share, making certain that we share the truth.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Gospel: Luke 6:43-49: Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord” and not do what I say?
I Reading: 1Timothy 1:15-17: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
Jesus Teaches Two Foundations of Life:
Genuine vs. Counterfeit Discipleship, 6:46-49
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 are two kinds of builders.
a. A wise builder: hears and obeys (v.47-48)
b. A foolish builder: hears and does not obey (v.49)
1. The foundation of discipleship is obedience (v.46)
2. The true disciple: lays a foundation (v.47-48)
a. he comes and hears and does
b. he is like a builder
  1) he builds a house
  2) he digs deep
  3) he lays a rock foundation
c. results: it stands
3. The false disciple: lays no foundation (v.49)
a. he hears but does not obey
b. he is like a builder
  1) builds a house
  2) does not dig
  3) lays no foundation
c. Result: a great fall
Thought: The Lord is not a lifeless rock, but “the living stone” (1Pet 2:4). A man person must build upon Jesus Christ. There is no other foundation that can withstand the coming storms of trouble, problems, afflictions, evil and death.

Gospel: Luke 6:39-42: Can blind man guide another?
I Reading: 1Timothy 1:1-2.12-14: I used to be a blasphemer, but the mercy of God was shown to me.
Jesus Teaches His Rules for Discipleship: The Need to Watch, 6:39-45
Man is to watch how he lives. Both the quality and fate of his life depend upon it. God cares about the quality and destiny of a man’s life. He wants every man to receive the fullest life and the eternal life.
There are four rules, four warnings that must be watched if we are to live life to the fullest and be assured of eternal life.
1. Watch blindness: One’s leader and how one leads (v.39)
a. If both are in darkness
b. Both stumble and fall
2. Watch the Teacher (Lord) (v.40)
a. Student (disciple) must submit
b. He must be like his teacher
3. Watch hypocrisy and criticism of others (v.41-42)
a. Both have a problem
b. The criticizer has the biggest problem
c. The criticizer is a hypocrite
d. Judging oneself enables one to see clearly and to see how to help others
4. Watch the fruit that a man brings forth (v.43-45)
a. Every tree is known by its fruit
b. Every tree reproduces after its nature or kind
c. Every man reproduces what is in his heart
Thought: A man’s words expose five things about him:
1) his true nature
2) his motives, desires and ambitions or lack of initiative
3) his true character: good or bad, kind or cruel
4) his mind, what he thinks; pure or impure thoughts, dirty or clean thoughts
5) his spirit, what he believes or purses: the legitimate or illegitimate, the intelligent or ignorant, the true or false, the beneficial or wasteful.

Gospel: Luke 6:27-38: Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.
I Reading: Colossians 3:12-17: Put on love
Jesus Teaches the New Principles of Life, Lk 6:27-38
The principles spelled out by Jesus are shocking. They go every grain of society and every fiber of a man’s being. Man rebels by nature against what Jesus is saying; however the new principles must be heeded, for they are the salvation of society and the hope of man for life.
1. The principles of life (v.27-31)
a. Governing relationship
  1) love and do good
  2) bless and pray
  3) offer the other cheek
b. Governing property
  1) deprive not
  2) give
  3) do not demand material goods
c. Governing behaviour
2. The argument: A disciple’s behaviour must surpass a sinner’s (v.32-34)
a. in love
b. in doing good
c. in lending
3. The reward for living right (v.35-36)
a. shall be great
b. shall be the children of the Most High
c. shall be acting as God’s children
4. The promise: Reciprocal behaviour-you will receive what you give (v.37-38)
a. in relationships
b. in property
c. the principle: a person receives what he/she gives
Thought: Believers are to love all people, even enemies which is the true teaching of Jesus Christ.

Gospel: Luke 6:20-26: How happy are you who are poor. But alas for you who are rich.
I Reading: Colossians 3:1-11: You have died with Christ. That is why you must kill everything in you that belongs only to earthly life.
Jesus Teaches the Perils of the Material World, Lk 6:20-26
This is a shocking passage to the world, for Jesus switches the world’s values completely around. He rejects entirely the materialism (things) of the world and warns the worldly and materialistic that severe judgement is coming.
1. The Promise to those who reject materialism (v.20-23)
a. The poor: Will inherit the kingdom of God
b. The hungry: Will be filled
c. The sorrowful: Will laugh
d. The persecuted for Jesus’ sake
1) The persecuted described: The hated, the ostracized, and the rejected
2) The attitude to have while being persecuted: Rejoicing
3) Reward: To be great
2. The Judgement of those who follow materialism (v.24-26)
a. The rich: Will want
b. The full: Will hunger
c. The merry: Will weep
d. The prideful and compromising: Will have earthly approval only
Thought: All people need a Saviour for salvation, seeking His righteousness.