Friday, 27 September 2019

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading Amos 6:1.4-7: Those who sprawl and those who bawl will be exiled.
II Reading: 1 Timothy 6:11-16: Do all that you have been told until the Appearing of the Lord.
Gospel: Luke 16: 19-31: God things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony.
The Rich Man and Lazarus: The Self-Indulgent vs. the Man of Faith
Only Luke records the Parable of Dives and Lazarus, the last in a series dealing with the misuse of wealth. Dives who had refused to listen to Moses and the Prophets in his life time regarding the treatment of the poor, suffers misery hereafter, while Lazarus has his reward in the bosom of Abraham at the banquet of the blessed.
Jesus identified Lazarus was named Lazarus where as the rich man was not identified and named in this passage. The eternal truth is much more blessed and much more terrifying than any mere human description. The rich man is punished for his indifference to the poor man at his door. The rich man misused two opportunities i.e. wealth and religion. The name Lazarus means God is help. He is an allegorical representation either of his poor disciples (Lk 6:20). Wealth destroys society unless equitably shared. The history and present society shows that often wealth causes havoc in the heart of people. Jesus conveys a good lesson to everyone today that the Pharisees were wrong in thinking that their wealth was a sign of their holiness or God’s reward for it; if at all, it was a sign of just the contrary. Neither is poverty a sign that the poor people come second in God’s love. Their trust in God will not fail them; while those who put their trust in wealth, are in for a rude shock when their end comes. Jesus confirms that rich people seldom learn the lesson that riches are dangerous because of their pride, greed and unconcern for the poor. We do not read that the rich man committed any particular crime; it was lack of concern for the poor that cost him heaven. Neither did Lazarus enter heaven just because he as beggar, but because, in his poverty, he put his trust in God. Thus, wealth easily leads people to selfishness and to trust in themselves, whereas poverty patiently borne, leads a person to put his/her trust in God who does not fail anyone. In other words, the parable of the rich man confirms the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: “How happy are you who are poor: Yours is the Kingdom of heaven” (Lk 6:20). It is not having of wealth that Our Lord condemns, but the misuse of it.
1.    A difference in life (v.19-21)
a.    Rich man nameless, Lazarus named
b.    Rich man wealthy, Lazarus poor
c.     Rich man healthy, Lazarus disabled
d.    Rich man lived in luxury and extravagance; Lazarus begged, helpless
2.    A difference in death: Lazarus died and was escorted to Paradise; rich man died and was buried (22)
3.    A difference in eternity (23-31)
a.    Rich man in hell, Lazarus in Paradise
b.    Rich man saw glory, Lazarus was in glory
c.     Rich man was alone, Lazarus had fellowship
d.    Rich man had burning sensation, Lazarus had water
e.     Rich man tormented, Lazarus comforted
f.      Rich man remembered his former life, Lazarus was silent
g.    Rich man was fixed in hell, Lazarus was fixed in Paradise
h.    Rich man agonized for loved ones, Lazarus was settle in eternity
i.      Rich man begged for other chance, Lazarus was silently at peace
j.      Rich man was unable to intercede for his family, Lazarus was at rest in God’s promises.
Thought: Two conditions are absolutely needed to enter into God’s Kingdom and be saved: humble trust in God and concern for the poor. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8: 36).

Thursday, 19 September 2019

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading Amos 8:4-7: The prophet of old challenges the people over their corrupt dealings and oppression of those who are poor.
II Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-8: Paul urges us to a love of unity, teaching us to pray for all God’s people.
Gospel: Luke 16:1-13: You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.
The Parable of the Unjust Manager: Man and Money, Lk 16:1-13
This passage is one of the most difficult passages in all of Scripture to understand. Verse eight is the primary reason. There is one particular danger against which the church repeatedly warns us in our Sunday readings: the danger of riches because of wealth wrongly acquired or badly used. No other Gospels stresses the danger of riches so much as that of Luke. The Christians were tempted to make the acquiring of money the main purpose of their lives. So Luke dedicates the whole chapter of 16, from which today’s Gospel has been taken, to guide the use of money. To that purpose Luke brings in two parables of Jesus:
·       The parable of the unfaithful manager narrated in today’s Gospel (Lk 16:1-8).
·       The parable of the rich man and Lazarus about which we shall hear next Sunday (Lk 16:19-31).
Money and possessions are particularly bad when obtained through oppression, corruptions, exploitations, cheating the poor and down trodden ones. The prophet Amos saw the country’s wealth was built on the social injustice and that the people had no real regard for their religion. The prophet Amos speaks of “the poor being sold for a pair of sandals” (Amos 8:6). The poor had to take loans; the Law forbad taking interest from the needy, (Ex 22:24-25; Lev 25:35-37; Deut 23:20-21) but exorbitant interests were charged, and when a person was unable to repay the loan, his fields and house were confiscated. When nothing was left, the wife and children of the debtor would be taken as slaves.
Today our concern for social justice and for the poor around us will tell us whether our attitude towards money and possessions accords or not with the Gospel. We must always alert and see that whatever wealth comes to us is legitimately acquired, and that God approves of the use we make of it. The Gospel makes it clear that attachment to money and possessions cannot be combined with a genuine Christian life.
The advice of St Paul to Timothy in today’s second reading is to pray for people in authority to discharge their duties in all honesty, for the poor and oppressed who today are victims of injustice, for the rich to change their hearts, refrain from exploiting the poor.
Jesus also teaches about the rich young man- looking for the eternal life- but he goes back sadly when Jesus said, go and sell all your wealth and give to the poor; camel can enter into the eye of a needle but very hard for a rich man to enter into heaven etc.
The manager was a trusted slave who was put in charge of the landowner’s estate. He was highly regarded and esteemed, considered to be completely trustworthy. The term “manager” is applied to ministers (1Cor 4:1) and to believers in general (1Pt 4:10; Lk 16:1).
1. The Unjust manager (v.1-7)
a. He was charged with embezzlement, with wasting the Lord’s possessions
b. He was required to prepare a final accounting
c. He knew he was guilty and was unwilling to change and cry for mercy
d. He decided what to do: He would forget the Lord and court the favour and rewards of people
2. The worldly are more wise in their material pursuits than God’s people are in their spiritual pursuits (v.8)
3. The Christian is to use material wealth for good (v.9)
a. Wealth will fail-at death
b. Giving will be reciprocated
4. The Christian is to be faithful in handling possessions: how he handles his possessions will determine what he will be trusted with eternally (v.10-12)
a. Money is the least trust
b. Unfaithfulness disqualifies one from true, heavenly riches
c. Unfaithfulness disqualifies one from all he would receive
5. The Christian cannot serve two masters: Must choose God or riches (v.13)
Thought: How many religionists mislead others through false teaching, cheating and exploiting the poor, doing injustice and involved incorruptions, causing so many not to use their lives and gifts for God.
Let us be faithful towards of the “little things” God has entrusted us with, that we may one day possess “the real great things” on the earth and in heaven, the eternal life.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading Exodus 32:7-11. 13-14: : The Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. Moses prays, so the Lord relents and does not punish his people.
II Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-17: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Saint Paul rejoices because God has shown him mercy.
Gospel: Luke 15:1-32: There will be rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner. Three “lost and found” stories to show how God loves to forgive.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep:
The Lost Sinner Out in the World, Lk 15:1-7
Chapter 15 is one of the most important chapters in the Bible. In these three parables we find God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and faithfulness and human’s weakness, wrongness and unfaithfulness to God. God always rejoices when He forgives his people those who repent. “Jesus is his Father’s perfect copy,” (Heb 1:3). So Jesus came into the world to make known his Father’s love, mercy, forgiveness and faithfulness to everyone. Today’s three readings teach and explain about God’s love and mercy.
The Gospel includes three of the most famous parables ever told. The parables deal with the lost sinner when the sinner repents and returns home. The first parable is that of the Lost Sheep in the wilderness of the world (Lost outside of the world).
1. Tax collectors and sinners drew near Jesus (v.1-3)
a. The religionists: Grumbling against Jesus associating with “sinners”
b. Jesus: shared  a parable
2. The sheep was lost (outside in the world) (v.4)
3. The sheep was lost because of self (lack of true discernment) (v.4)
4. The sheep was lost “in the wilderness or open country” (v.4)
5. The sheep was sought until found (v.4)
6. The sheep, once found, brought great joy (v.5-6)
7. The sheep represented a repentant sinner (v.7)
The Parable of the Lost Coin:
The Lost Sinner Within the Home, Lk 15:8-10
This passage is often preached and taught right along with the parable of the Lost Sheep (Lk 15:1-7). The lost sheep was lost out in the wilderness or open country of the world, whereas the lost coin was lost in the house.
1. The coin was lost (inside of the house) (v.8)
2. The coin was lost because of others (negligence and irresponsibility) (v.8)
3. The coin was lost in the house (v.8)
4. The coin was sought until found (v.9)
5. The coin, once found, brought great joy (v.9)
6. The coin represented a repentant sinner (v. 10)
Thought: If the Good News of Jesus Christ were preached today in power and authority, how many would be flocking to hear…
·       The gospel of salvation from sin and death?
·       The gospel of the hope for the kingdom of God (Mt 19:23-24)?

The Parable of the Prodigal Son: The Lost Son, Lk 15:11-24
The parable of the prodigal son is the greatest and most beloved story ever told in human language. God loves and reaches out to the most prodigal of men and He runs to embrace any prodigal son who repents and returns home. God forgives his prodigal son and restores him, no matter how terrible the sin and failure of the prodigal.
1.    He said, “Give me” (v.11-13)
a.    My inheritance
b.    My independence
c.     The result: he wasted his life in wild living
2.    He met the day when he suffered and was in need (v.14-16)
a.    He suffered being destitute
b.    He suffered natural disaster
c.     He suffered humiliation
d.    He suffered hunger
e.     He suffered the loss of friends
3.    He came to his senses and snapped out of his insanity, back to reality (v.17-19)
a.    Thought of his father and his enormous provision
b.    Thought of his plight
c.     Thought of humbling himself:
i.                Of repenting
ii.              Of confessing his sin and unworthiness
4.    He got up and returned to his father (v.20-21)
a.    He repented-turned from his sinful life
b.    He was accepted even before he confessed
c.     He confessed
5.    He was accepted when he returned to the father (v.22-24)
a.    The father restored him
b.    The father fed the son and celebrated his son’s return
c.     The father proclaimed his son’s new life

The Parable of the Older Son:
The Self-Righteous Religionist, Lk 15:25-32
The second son or the older son represents the self righteous religionist-the mortal, the just, the good-the man who has never committed gross and visible sin. He is religious and does religious works; therefore he feels and believes he is accepted to God. In this parable Jesus pointed out five faults with the self-righteous religionist (Lk 11: 37-54; 18:9-12; Rom 2:17-29).
1.    Fault 1: he was in the field away from home (v.25-27)
2.    Fault 2: he shut himself out (v.28)
3.    Fault 3: he was self-righteous (v. 29)
a.    He claimed to be religious
b.    He claimed to be moral and just
c.     He felt he deserved more, that he was not recognized enough
4.    Fault 4: he lacked compassion and understanding of sinners (v.30)
5.    Fault 5: he failed to see two critical facts (v. 31-32)
a.    He had the same blessings available
b.    His brother was truly saved

Thought: The father restored the prodigal son:
a.    The “robe” restored him to a position of sonship and honour. It symbolized being clothed with the righteousness of Christ.
b.    The “ring” restored him to a position of authority. The son was now to represent the father and his kingdom.
c.     The “sandals” immediately restored and elevated him above servant hood, which means he became a free man. The son was now fitted with sandals to carry the Gospel of Peace wherever he went (Eph 6: 15).
d.    The “celebration” pictures reconciliation, full acceptance, and the great joy of the occasion.
e.     The father proclaimed his son’s new life.
i.                He was dead and is alive again.
ii.               He was lost and is found.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time-C

I Reading: Wisdom 9:13-18: Who can divine the will of the Lord?

II Reading: Philemon 9-10.12-17: Have him back, not as a slave any more, but as a dear brother.

Gospel: Luke 14:25-33: None of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.

The Cost or Conditions of Discipleship, Lk 14:25-35

Jesus is not interested in cheap invitations and discipleship. The call to discipleship is to receive the eternal benefits and advantages offered by God. A person must pay the ultimate price to get salvation, all that one is and has to follow Jesus Christ. What does it cost to follow Christ? Jesus explains vividly:

The cost or conditions of discipleship involves the supreme sacrifice: renunciation (v.26), self-denial (v. 27), thoughtfulness-counting the cost (v.28-32) and forsaking all-giving up everything (v.33-35).

There are three other conditions for discipleship given by Christ elsewhere. 1) Love to others-love one another (Jn 13:35;34)

2) Steadfastness-hold my teaching (Jn 8:31)

3) Fruitfulness-you bear much fruits as my Father’s glory to be my disciples (Jn 15:8).

This is the all important subject of this passage.

1. Huge crowds followed Jesus and he challenged them (v.25)

2. A man must put Christ first: Before family and even before self

3. A man must bear the cross of death: Death to self (v.27)

4. A man must give thought to discipleship: Count the cost and the consequences (v.28-33)

a. Illust. 1: A builder-must count his resources

b. Illust. 2: A king at war must count the consequences

c. The point: A man must pay the ultimate price-give up everything

5. A man must have the salt of discipleship: The Salt of self-denial (v.34-35)

a. A half-hearted choice

  1) is worthless

  2) is to be cast out

b. an invitation: hearing is a choice

Thought: A half-hearted choice worthless and is to be cast out. Salt  that is worthless and useless is always thrown out, for it is good for nothing. A person must bear the cross of death-to self (Lk 9:23; Mt 16:24).

We cannot understand God’s plan unless He reveals to us. Only the Spirit can help us to understand God’s plans of love for us; only He can give us the strength to follow Christ.


Gospel: Luke 6:1-5 : Why are you doing something that is forbidden on the Sabbath day?

I Reading: Colossians 1:21-23: God has reconciled you so that you may appear holy and pure.

Jesus Teaches That Need Supersedes Religion, Lk 6:1-11

People have the tendency to institutionalize religion, to  make it full of form and ritual, rules and regulations, ceremonies and services. Men, religionists and lay-men alike, are too often guilty of “having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2Tim 3:5). This is the very point Jesus is making in this passage. The more important things in life to meet the needs of people.

1. The Sabbath (v.1): This is the very thrust of Luke: to show that religion and ritual must never be put before the needs of man (Mt.12:1).

2. Fact 1: Meeting man’s real needs is more important than religion and ritual (v.1-5)

a. The need: the disciples were hungry, so they picked grain

b. The opposition: The religionists became upset because a religious rule was broken.

c. The answer of Jesus: An illustration

1) David hungered

2) David overrode the religious rules to meet a need

d. The point: The Son of Man is as great as David-He is the Lord of the Sabbath

3. Fact 2: Doing good and saving life are more important than religion and ritual (v.6-11)

a. The need: A man’s right hand shrivelled

b. The opposition by the religionists

c. The question and challenge of Jesus

1) He perceived their thoughts

2) He challenged them to think honestly

3) He healed the man doing good

d. The point: To do good and to save life supersedes rituals

e. The religionists’ insane anger

Thought: Christ shows that human needs are far more important than religious rituals and rules. We are not to abuse, neglect or ignore religious worship and ceremonies. Sometimes, however, a real need arise that has to be taken care of immediately.


Gospel: Luke 5:33-39 : When the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast.

I Reading: Colossians 1:15-20: All things were created through him and for him.

Jesus Reveals His Great Mission: The Great Mission of All, Lk 5:27-39

The greatest life ever lived on earth was the life of Jesus Christ. Therefore no mission cam ever compare with the mission which He was sent to do. The greatest mission of Jesus Christ was…

·       A quickening mission: to make people alive to God

·       An eternal mission: to give people life forever

·       A purposeful mission: to cause people to commit their lives to God unconditionally.

Luke’s very purpose in this passage is to reveal the great mission of Christ with the skilful mind of a man who knew the Lord intimately, he weaves several events together to spell out the great mission of Jesus Christ.

1. The mission of calling out-casts (v.27-29)

a. He went forth

b. He saw

c. He called

d. The outcast left all and followed Jesus

e. The outcast reached his friends

2. The mission of calling sinners to repentance (v.30-22)

a. The religionists questioned Jesus’ associations

b. Jesus’ answer

1) He illustrated His mission

2) He started His mission

3. The mission of bringing real joy (v.33-34)

a. The religionists questioned Jesus’ behaviour

b. Jesus’ answer: His presence brings joy and vitality to life

4. The mission of dying (v.35)

5. The mission of launching a new life and spiritual movement (v.36-39): Jesus gave three points to illustrate what he meant:

a. Illustration 1: Not patching the old, but starting a new: A patch of new cloth is used to patch an old garment, for it fails to match the old garment. Jesus was saying that he was not patching up the old life, but starting a new life and new movement (Mt 9:16; 2:21).

b. Illustration 2: Not putting His teaching (wine) in old wineskin: The new wine is not put into old wineskins, for the new wine would burst the old wineskins. Jesus was saying that he was not putting his teaching into the old life and movement, but he was launching a new life and movement for God (Mk 2:22)

c. Illustration 3: The new is difficult to accept-it takes time: The new wine is difficult to accept if one has been drinking of wine. Jesus was saying that his new life and spiritual movement would be difficult to accept; it would take time. Men/women were slow to give up the old, for they were too content with it (their religious ways and self-righteousness). Therefore, men would often refuse to even consider the new life and movement. (2Cor 5:17; Eph 4:22-23; Col 3:10; Titus 3:5; 1Pet 1:23; 1Jn 5:1; Jn 3:3).

Thought: The person who is truly an outcast of society, who is rejected and despised by people, can be saved and delivered from emptiness and loneliness. Jesus Christ will save him/her. In fact, He longs to save and deliver the outcast, the empty and lonely of the earth.