Wednesday, June 30, 2010


1. Jesus makes Capernaum his own city because it serves at the centre of his ministry at Galilee.

2. Jesus is impressed by the friends of the paralytic who took so much of trouble to get him closer to Jesus. The friends manifested greater faith than the man himself.

3. The man knew he was a sinner, and his sin made him the enemy of God. Since he felt God was his enemy he was paralysed and ill. Once Jesus brought to him the forgiveness of God, he becomes the friend of God and he is cured from his sickness.

4. Jesus did not say ‘yours sins will be forgiven’ or ‘your sins have been forgiven’, he uses present tense “your sins are forgiven”. Jesus is present to us always.

5. Jesus had the power to read the hearts and minds of the scribes which is again an attribute of God. He does what only God can do and thus the others consider it as blasphemy. The crowd only saw him as God- ordained prophet not as God Himself.

All the human beings are disabled and sick spiritually, we must be obsessed with mission of getting the disabled and sick closer to Christ. This demands a lot of perseverance and patience. We should learn to forgive the people who have hurt us a lot. The hurt feelings will eventually paralyse our minds and hearts. If we find difficult to get out of our wretched situations we should be humble enough to seek the help of the others. Let us ask Jesus to make our place of living as His own and let us receive him not merely as someone extraordinary but as someone who is the source and meaning of our lives.

New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary
Sacra Pagina Series
William Barclay’s Commentary
The Preacher’s outline and Sermon Bible

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


1. This passage demonstrates Jesus’ power to deliver men from the darkest forces imaginable – men possessed by demons. He wanted the world to know that He had now conquered the forces of evil.

2. Some deny a force of evil in an unseen world, whereas the persons who accepts the Bible as the authoritative Word of God accepts what the Bible teaches about their presence. We cannot simply accuse a person who suddenly acts strangely as the consequences of mental illness.

3. This is a miracle story which caused much discussion and usually the discussion has centered around the destruction of the herd of pigs.

· Water was believed to the fatal to demons. Jesus just made use of the opportunity. Jesus did not deliberately destroy the herd of swine; he used their stampede to help two poor sufferers.

· We could never compare the value of a herd of swine with the value of someone’s immortal soul. Our sympathy with pigs does not extend far enough to prevent our eating them.

4. Why were the two possessed men violent?

· Some give themselves over to evil step by step. They walk so long in pride and envy, selfishness and lust and they rebel against giving of themselves.

· Some become so self-centred and selfish and they react violently if they do not get what they desire

· Some give themselves over to the evil so much that they become possessed with evil.

5. They whole city who went to see Jesus saw only the loss of their wealth. Salvation was not on their mind – business was. Their thoughts were engulfed in their material loss, not in heaven’s gain.

It is true that Jesus destroyed two thousand pigs but two men are more valuable than these. We can imagine the amount suffering these two might have undergone from the number of pigs they required to go into. The attitude of the people who came to see Jesus, corresponds to several of ours. We fail to see the nobility in God’s work especially when things go wrong with us. We cannot gain anything without losing something. We are called to lose our possessiveness of all kinds and get attached to Jesus the only true wealth and possession.


The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible

William Barclay’s Commentary

Believers’ Bible Commentary

Monday, June 28, 2010


1. Jesus has a short evaluation with his disciples. He wanted to know what people think about him. Some think that He is John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah etc. By identifying Jesus with Elijah the prince among the prophets, the greatness of Jesus is revealed. He is considered as the forerunner of the Messiah.

2. Each Gospel has its own version of the saying of Peter

· You are the Messiah, the son of the living God (Mt)

· You are the Messiah (Mk)

· The Messiah of God (Lk)

Messiah in Hebrew, Christ in Greek means the same ‘the Anointed one’

3. Christ must be a personal discovery. Christianity always consists in knowing Jesus not merely knowing about Jesus.

4. Peter’s confession is the foundation of the church. There are a lot of debates on the meaning of this declarative statement. “You are Peter (petros) and on this rock (petra) I will build my church. No matter how a person interprets, this was a great piece of complement to St. Peter.

5. A note on Church: Church (ekklesia) means to call out a gathering, an assembly. It is God who calls together and gathers His church. His church is the body of people called out from the world by Him. They are His body of people sanctified or set apart by Him to form the church of the living God.

· The church is Christ’s not human beings’

· ‘I will build’ Christ builds the Church

· The gates of Hades will not overcome it, Christ Himself protects the Church.

Today we celebrate the feast of two pillars of the Church. Though there are marked differences between these two leaders of the Church, they have worked together to build the Church of God through their missionary zeal and love of Christ. Jesus asks each one of us personally the same question “who do you say I am?” Our answers will tell us how much we have really understood our Lord.

Who do men say that I am? Who is Jesus for me?

  • To the artist, he is the one altogether lovely (Song of songs, 5,15)
  • To the architecht, the chief corner stone (I Pet.2, 6)
  • To the astronomer, sun of righteousness (Malachy, 4,2)
  • To the banker, hidden treasure (Mt 13, 44)
  • To the builder, one foundation (Is.26,16)
  • To the carpenter, door (Jn. 10, 7)
  • To the doctor, great physician (Jer.8, 22)
  • To the educator, great teacher (Jn. 3, 2)
  • To the engineer, new and living way (Hb.10, 20)
  • To the farmer, sower and Lord of harvest (Lk, 10, 2)
  • To the florist, rose of Sharon (song of songs (2, 1)
  • To the geologist, rock of ages ( I Cor.10, 4)
  • To the horticulturist, (True Vine, Jn.15,1)
  • To the judge, only righteous judge of men (Tim.4,8)
  • To the juror, Faithful and true witness (Revel.3, 14)
  • To the jeweller, Pearl of great price (Mt.13, 46)
  • To the lawyer, counsellor, lawgiver, true advocate (Is.9, 6)
  • To the newspaper man, he is tidings of great joy (Lk,2,10)
  • To the oculist, light to the eyes (Prov.29, 13)
  • To the philanthropist, unspeakable gift (2 Cor,9.15)
  • To the philosopher, Wisdom of God (ICor.9, 24)
  • To the preacher, Word of God (Rev.19, 13)
  • To the sculptor, living stone (I Pt.2, 4)
  • To the servant, good master (Mt.23, 8-10)
  • To the statesman, desire of the Nations (Haggai, 2. 7)
  • To the student, Incarnate Truth (I Jn.5, 6)
  • To the theologian, author and finisher of faith (Hb, 12,2)
  • To the toiler, giver of rest (Mt.11, 28)
  • To the sinner, Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (Jn.1, 29)

(From 101 more Hymn stories by Kenneth W. Osbeck)


William Barclay‘s Commentary

Preacher’s outline and Sermon Bible

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Matthew 8:18-22 8 Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19 A scribe then approached and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." 20 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." 21 Another of his disciples said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." 22 But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."

1. The crowd was attracted to Jesus. The crowd had desperate needs, and Jesus was meeting their needs out of a heart of deep compassion.

2. There are several reasons why crowd is attracted to Jesus

· Some like what they see, lives are changed for good, people are helped, and ministry is carried on for the public good.

· Some follow Christ and His Church because of family and friends.

· Some have a faint understanding of God. They want to be approved and accepted by Him.

· Some believe Jesus is the Savior, the promised Messiah, and they want to be identified with Him.

3. Self-Denial – Discipleship: A teacher/scholar was attracted to Jesus

· He was ready to follow Jesus in spite of knowing that Jesus opposed legalistic traditions of the Scribes and other religionists.

· The scholar proclaims that he is willing to go anyplace. This is most unusual, for he worked in a quiet atmosphere where he could copy and teach the law. Being with Jesus means there will be a lot of crowd and noise due to the people who follow him. There is a lot of good will in him.

4. What was the problem in following Jesus?

· We must accept Him as the “Son of Man” in order to follow His pattern of life.

· We must experience personal poverty and go beyond just the willingness to give all.

· We must abandon all.

5. All the excuses we give are inadequate, God know what He is doing when He calls a person. He wants total trust. There is no better time to call a person that when he faces some unusual trial or circumstances.

Following Jesus cannot be done like a part time job. Jesus expects full time commitment. But the understanding of this full time commitment should be understood in the proper light. For priests and religious it is literally full time commitment. It may not be possible for the lay people. Their commitment is shown in their day to day decisions. If every act of an individual is filled with charity, he/she has already become an ardent disciple of Jesus.


The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible

Saturday, June 26, 2010


‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’

1. He sent messengers to prepare for his arrival. Unlike the twelve who were sent out to preach and to heal, these emissaries are a sort of advance party of scouts who prepare places of hospitality for the guests.

2. Fire to fall from heaven: A clear reference in 2 kg 1: 10 when Elijah threatens fire to fall on his enemies and then delivers on the promise. James and John went to practice similar vengeance on their opponents. Jesus teaches lesson on tolerance. Abraham Lincoln once asked about his cordiality with enemies noted “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends”

3. Jesus rebuking the disciples: Jesus is deriving a lesson for all the Christians ‘You do not know of what spirit you are and these’ and we should not forget his words ‘for the son of man did not come to destroy souls but to save them’

4. I will follow you: The threefold call remind the reader of the threefold willingness of Elisha to follow Elijah before his ascension (2 Kgs 2: 1-6). It is the only passage in the Gospel where someone volunteers to follow.

5. The image of the plow recalls Elisha who was called while plowing and begged to leave o kiss his father and mother (1 Kgs 19: 19-21). Elijah allowed him, Jesus’ demand is stricter. We are not expected to turn back which means to live in the past and with the past memories. We live the present looking forward to the kingdom of God.

Jesus’ may apparently seem to be too demanding but the point to be noted is, when someone wants to bury his/her father it only means that his/her father is not yet dead and he needs some more time to make a decision. Jesus always gives time for sufficient discernment but we should develop some sort of stability in our decisions. We cannot be wavering like a cat on a wall. The moment we decide to commit ourselves totally to the kingdom of God, Jesus will give us the strength to persevere without turning back at our past.

The International Commentary on the NT
Sacra Pagina Series
William Barclay’s Commentary.

Friday, June 25, 2010


1. The centurions were the backbone of the Roman army. In a Roman legion there were 6000 men, the legion was divided into 60 centuries each containing 100 men, and in command of each century there was a centurion – finest men in the Roman army.

2. Almost every centurion in the N.T. is mentioned with honour.
• The centurion who recognized Jesus on the cross as the son of God.
• Cornelius the first Gentile convert to the Christian Church
• Centurion who found out St. Paul was a Roman and rescued him from mob.
• Centurion who informed Paul that Jews had planned to kill him
• Centurion whom Felix ordered to look after Paul
• Centurion who accompanied Paul on his last journey.

3. I am not worthy –Jesus’ statement in 8:7 saying I will go and heal him would have surely annoyed the Jews for it was not proper for a Jew to visit the house of a Gentile. Knowing that the centurion asks Jesus to heal him from far. He manifests a lot of humility and politeness.

4. This is the only time when someone comes and asks Jesus to perform a miracle on behalf of a slave. Usually parents come and intercede for their kids, or the relatives come on behalf of their dear ones. Centurion comes on behalf of a slave which is absolutely a rare happening and it impressed Jesus very much.

5. The centurion knows his power and status. He has several people to obey him. He does not practice blind humility by denying the truth. His humility is manifested when he deals with Jesus with true faith. He became the son of Abraham not by his birth but by his faith.

Every day we say those beautiful words of the centurion! “Only say a word I shall be Healed” (In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God Jn1:1) The centurion identified the presence of Word that became flesh. He knows that the Word alone is sufficient and flesh need not travel so long to reach his slave. Thus centurion captures the heart of Jesus not just by his act of faith but also by the content of his faith (Word is Jesus).

William Barclays’ Commentary
The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible

Thursday, June 24, 2010


1. A note on leprosy: ‘No other disease reduces a human being for so many years to so hideous a wreck’
• It begins with little nodules which go on to ulcerate every part in the body, the eyebrows fall out, vocal chord become ulcerated, the voice becomes hoarse and the breath wheezes. The sufferer becomes a man/woman of ulcerated growths. This lasts for 9 years, ends in mental decay, coma and ultimately death.
• The other type begins with loss of sensation in some parts. It slowly spread to other parts. You begin to lose your fingers, toes and eventually the whole hand or foot. It lasts for twenty to thirty years. The sufferer dies by inches. (Read also Leviticus 13:14-46)

2. The defilement caused by leprosy was second only to the defilement caused by the contact with the dead body. No one will come near to a leper than four cubits – (a cubit is eighteen inches). If the wind was blowing towards a person from a leper, the leper must stand at least 100 cubits away. No other disease separated a human being from another as leprosy did. It is here Jesus makes the decision of touching the leper.

3. This is the first healing miracle performed by Jesus in Mathew. By this He proved Himself to be God because only God could cure leprosy.

4. The leper did not ask merely to be healed, but he asked to be cleansed. The words “If you are willing” show two things. a) They show great faith in Jesus. B) They show that the leper appeals to the heart of Jesus.

5. Jesus said I am willing. These words communicate several significant things about Jesus
• Jesus was not willing to allow even the most defiled person to perish
• The most defiled need not even urge Jesus to heal them, they simply have to approach him
• The leper did nothing but came to Jesus and Jesus expects nothing in return except faith.

All of us are lepers in some way. Some of us have spiritual leprosy, some mental leprosy, some emotional and some even physical. Many a times we are not even aware of our ulcers. Jesus is the only one who can heal us from these defilements. We should be ready to promptly approach Jesus and surrender to him with total faith. Jesus will surely heal us from our iniquities but only when we take the first step to go near him of course with strong faith.
William Barclays’ Commentary
The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


1. The birth of a child is a significant event for every parent but the birth of John was a significant event for every generation. It is because his birth sealed God’s power, sealed God’s mercy and caused all to rejoice.

2. The name John means ‘Yahweh has shown favour’.

3. John being the child age of old-age naturally everyone thought they would name him Zechariah his father’s name. But both Elizabeth and Zechariah are adamant with the neighbours and kinsfolk that his name should be John. Note that the obedience of Zechariah removed the discipline of God for his sin. Since he obeyed what God had told him in naming the child the discipline of God was removed from his life.

4. News travelled fast. Evidence was clear. If God could show his hand so strongly in this birth what would He do when the child matured? What was God getting ready to do among them?

5. The birth of the Child John caused several important results
• The father was miraculously healed.
• The people were awe-stricken and word ‘awe’ (phobos in Greek) means reverence.
• The events were spread abroad (God’s movement should always be at the very centre of people’s conversation.
• The sense of destiny surrounded the child (a lot of expectation is going on in the minds of people and are waiting for the child to grow.
It is obvious that John’s birth was an important event in the unfolding of Salvation history and that is the reason he becomes the third person after our Blessed Lord and Blessed Mother to be celebrated in the Church on his birthday. God has a purpose for all our lives. It becomes our responsibility to discern God’s will and act accordingly. None of us are born by chance; we are born in this world by choice – by God’s choice. We can bring meaning to our birth only when we reveal God’s glory through our lives by making proper choices.

Preachers Outline and Sermon Bible
New Interpreter’s Commentary

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

FALSE PROPHETS – 12th week in Ordinary time – June 23rd Wednesday (Mt 7: 15-20)

Wolf: I kidnapped you so that you would teach me some of your mannerisms. I assure you that I will let you go after the lessons.

Sheep: I am damn sure, your are going to feast on me as soon as the lessons are done! I can teach the mannerisms but your nature will remain the same!

1. False Prophets come in sheep’s clothing, in the habit of prophets which was plain and coarse; they wear a rough garment to deceive. Elijah’s mantle the Septuagint calls a sheep-skin mantle.

2. Every hypocrite is a goat in sheep’s clothing, but a false prophet is a wolf in sheep’s clothing; they are the worst enemy of a sheep who come to tear and devour.

3. Jesus uses the same words of John the Baptist (Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is cut down). Christ does not use newer words and expression just to add novelty, but tells the truth in the same way.

4. If men pretend to be prophets and are immoral, that disproves their pretensions; those are no true friends to the cross of Christ; whatever they profess their God is their belly and they mind earthly things Phil 3: 18, 19.

5. False prophets need not be necessarily people from other religions and denominations, but people who mislead the Church from within by living immoral life.(Duet 18:22)

Every priest is called to be a true prophet. Failing to make use of the formative period, one can eventually turn out to be a false prophet. We hear a lot of scandals, and they are the clear examples of sheep being devoured by wolves. Abuses by the leaders who hold responsibilities be it in family, office or institution are to be considered as the yielding of bad fruits. Every tree should take responsibility for itself to grow as a good tree to bear good fruits.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary
The New Interpreters’ Bible

Monday, June 21, 2010


Doggie: My Master is becoming insane you know; instead of pouring milk in my bowl he pours Red-Bull the energy drink and says it is expensive! By the way what makes you sad today dude?

Piggy: That’s better! I think my master is planning to slaughter me; He chained my neck yesterday using a yellow colour chain and tells me that it is a golden-necklace!

1. Under Mosaic Law dogs and swine were unclean animals and here the terms are used to denote wicked people. When we meet vicious people who treat divine truth with utter contempt we are not obligated to do continue to share the gospel with them.

2. The Golden Rule had been expressed in negative terms at least one hundred years by Rabbi Hillel but Jesus goes beyond passive restraint to active benevolence. To be a Christian is not just abstain from sin but to show positive goodness.

3. In practice Golden rule says several things
• We should not treat people the way they treat us; good for good, evil for evil.
• We should not treat people the way they think they should be treated.
• We should not treat people the way we think they should be treated.
• We should people the way we want them to treat us.
4. Jesus is saying that to follow Him would require faith, discipline and endurance. But this difficult life is the only life worth living. If you choose the easy way, your will have plenty of company, but you will miss God’s best for you.
5. The narrow gate is the way of personal faith in Christ. The true servant of the kingdom will always be in the minority. The idea of kingdom is not wholly futuristic, therefore the saying need not be entirely eschatological.
To receive anything worthily one needs to go through a time of preparation or a period of formation. If one does not realize the worth of the gift, the gift loses its significance. For a land to yield one needs to plough and water the land, to hit powerfully one needs to season the bat so also the individual to whom we preach gospel need some sort of preparation to receive the message. We cannot fill the cup which is already full or which is broken. Those who are ready to receive the kingdom values will be perhaps a minority who has knowingly chosen the narrower path that demands them to be compassionate with others.

New Century Bible
Holman New Testament Commentary
Believer’s Bible Commentary
Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Sam: What is that you are carrying?

Tom: I just managed to pull out the log that was in my eyes!

Sam: That’s great! Can you just do the same for me too?

Tom: I wish I could do but unfortunately from the moment I pulled out the log from my eyes I am not able to see even a dust in others, including yours!

  1. Christ says the criticizer will stand in the day of judgment, guilty of these following sins
  1. Inconsistency
  2. Self-righteousness
  3. Spiritual blindness
  4. Uncharitable or lack of love
  5. Hypocrisy

  1. There are several reasons why people tend to judge and criticize.
  1. Criticism boosts our self-image. It adds to our own pride, ego and self-image.
  2. There is a tendency in human nature to take pleasure in hearing and sharing bad news and short comings.
  3. We get a feeling that our own life is better than the person who failed.
  4. We rationalize our decisions and acts by pointing out the failures of others.
  5. It points our to our friends how strong we are.
  6. It is an outlet for hurt and revenge.

  1. There are several reasons why no person should criticize.
  1. We do not know the circumstances and the situations in which a person acts.
  2. All people whether religious, non-religious do commit sin.
  3. All there is to know about a person is never known. We do not know how a person grew up as a child which makes up one’s personality.
  4. Judging others usurps God’s authority.

  1. A thinking person knows that he/she is just as human and sinful as the next person.
  2. There are several passages that come down heavily on person who criticizes. (James 3:1-2, Mt 7:2, Lk 6:36-37)

None of us can claim to be non-judgmental in our day to day approach. Jesus is inviting each one to become aware of oneself. If only we take sometime to look at the mirror can we find the plank in our eyes. The mirror can be the prayer moments, friends, parents, spiritual guides etc. Once we are aware of our situation we will at least hesitate to find the speck in other’s eyes.


Preacher Outline

Saturday, June 19, 2010

TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME – June 20th Lk 9: 18-24

1. Jesus prayed alone: It is not recorded that the Lord Jesus ever prayed with the disciples. He prayed for them, He prayed in their presence and taught them to pray but his own prayer life was separate from theirs.
2. He begins with the impersonal question. Jesus was on every tongue – many opinions were given about him. Like men of his own day who called him John, Elijah and Jeremiah, even today he stands supreme among different stars. From impersonal question he moves on to personal question – which is also addressed to all of us.
3. Jesus after outlining his own future (passion, death and resurrection) invites the disciples to take up their own cross. In our frantic effort to acquire all the riches if one misses the true purpose of life, what good would it do them?
Daily Cross could be
· Opposition of loved ones
· The reproach of the world
· Forsaking family and house and lands and the comforts of the world
· Complete dependence on God
· Obedience to the leading of Holy Spirit
· Proclamation of an unpopular message
· A pathway of loneliness
· Organized attacks from established religious leaders
· Suffering for righteousness’ sake
· Slander and shame
· Pouring out men’s life for others

4. Denying self does not mean, denying self-esteem but to let go of selfish desires (craving for positions) and earthly security. Following Jesus does not mean walking behind Jesus but taking the same road of self-denial and self-sacrifice.
5. To gain the whole world one would have to worship the ruler of this world- Satan- because that is the offer he made to Jesus in the desert.

Jesus is calling all of us to carry our daily cross which simply means we are called to shed our Ego. Denying self would call all of us to stop craving for positions and possessions. It is hard to work under someone who may not be as efficient as ourselves, but with faith we need to accept our situations. Our daily crosses are only temporary; we are not going to carry our cross after our death but the things we crave for may offer cross-free life but will eventually have to carry cross for ever.

Believer’s Bible Commentary.
Life Application New Testament Commentary.

Friday, June 18, 2010


  1. Slaves in the ancient times were not considered as persons but as thing without any rights of their own. They have no time of their own and the Master can do anything with them even to the extent of killing them. As Christians we have to realize that we are the slaves of God without any rights or time of our own.
  2. ‘Mammon’ – This Hebrew word is used to denote material possession. Its original meaning: that which is entrusted to another person for safe keeping. It later became something that in which people put their trust. Jesus is correcting this attitude towards material possession and teaching these a) All things belong to God, nothing is ours b) People are more important than things, they should never be treated as thing c) Wealth is always a subordinate good, only love of money is root cause of all evil (1 Tim 6:10)
  3. Jesus is not advocating a shiftless, thriftless, reckless, thoughtless, improvident attitude towards life, rather he is forbidding a careworn, fearful life which takes all the joy out of life.
  4. Trust in God for the things which are necessary to support life, one who has given a gift which is beyond a price will not be stingy to buy the wrapper for the gift.
  5. When comparing with the birds it is said that no one works harder than the average sparrow to make a living but they seldom worry. The flowers Jesus talking about were on the hillsides of Palestine and the grass which were used to heat up the oven when women wanted to cook something in a hurry is made with such a care by our Heavenly Father.

The two typical diseases of modern life are stomach ulcer and the coronary thrombosis and in many cases both are the result of worry. Jesus is assuring God’s care and protection. During our lifetime many things may go wrong and it is here we need to place our trust in God without depending too much on our talents and our potentialities.



William Barclays’s Commentaries on Bible

Sacra Pagina Series

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Invest your treasures in Heaven

1. Jesus is warning against the consumerist and materialistic culture which tries to sell everything that exist in the world.

2. We easily fall for the treasures on earth for the simple reason, it is within our reach, we can see, touch and make it our own; this also brings in the risk of riches being snatched away by others.

3. All of us know that we are not going to carry anything with us after our death not surerly our mobile phones which have become an extension of almost every human being.

4. Heavenly treasures are like Spirit, Eternal life, Unconditional love etc. These can never be stolen away and they are in fact are lasting.

5. A special attention is given to the eye which is compared to the lamp that gives light. Our eyes get used to seeing violence, atrocities, vulgarity, immorality etc. If it is not guarded properly we will end up in living in double darkness.

Everyday we read in Newspapers about the stealing of money from ATMs, unstable stock exchanges, colossal hike of Jewells etc. We know that none of the above is permanent but still we want to gather them up. Very few people have their investment in heaven which demands a little bit of self-discipline, faith, hope and charity. Living a righteous life is actually not a difficult task but just demands consistency and perseverance in prayer. The best way to invest treasures in heaven is to live our life on earth with little more love and compassion. Once we become the potential clients of heaven we need not worry about security! Can we find a better place to live on earth than God’s merciful hands!


Preachers Outline

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Father – Spiritual Heart of Piety (June 17- Mt 6: 7-15)

  1. There are three ‘you’ petitions and three ‘we’ petitions in this Matthean version of our Lord’s Prayer. Among the three ‘you’ petitions the central petition is “ May your kingdom come” which expresses hopes in the coming of God’s kingdom – all creatures will declare the holiness of God!
  2. The three we petitions presupposes eschatological expectation a. Sustenance for the day (heavenly banquet), b. Forgiveness of sins (involves judgment) c. Divine protection in eschatological testing (dangerous struggle with Satan).
  3. This prayer is considered the shortened version of Eighteen Benediction of Jews which consists of 3 introductory praises, 12 petitions for personal and communal needs and 3 concluding praises.
  4. The specific words which Jesus used are not any more sacred than request we might make expressing the same kids of desires to the Father; we should seek to learn to pray like Jesus not merely what Jesus prayed.
  5. The pattern of meaningful prayer is to begin by majority on the person and nature of God and His kingdom interests, coming to the personal requests and needs only secondarily.
  • Our Father : Should be prayed in fellowship with other believers (Communitarian)

  • Hallowed be thy name: ‘Hallowed’ means to sanctify - make holy; we should come before God with an attitude of reverence for God’s perfection.

  • Your kingdom come thy will be done: God’s kingdom is not completely fulfilled on the earth – therefore the task of spreading of God’s kingdom around the world is given to the Church and the kingdom servants.

  • On Earth as in Heaven: There is no sin and rebellion in heaven; hindrances are present only on earth.

  • Give us today our daily bread: During Jesus’ time most of the people lived ‘hand to mouth existence! This phrase befits all the lowly and the marginalized.

  • Forgive us our debts: One does not gain forgiveness by forgiving but a person evidences his or her own forgiveness by forgiving others.

  • Lead us not into Temptation: Forgiveness is curative spiritual medicine and this request is the preventive medicine {Preventive system of Don Bosco}- we should pray regularly for specific spiritual dangers of which we are aware.

We pray this prayer number of times without realizing it is the compendium of all the types of prayers like prayer of praise and thanksgiving, prayer of petition and prayer of penance! These are not the empty phrases but phrases that gives an orientation to all our lives.


Sacra Pagina Series

Holman New Testament Commentaries

Introduction to New Testament – Raymond Brown

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Self-Righteousness - June 16th (Mt: 1-8, 16-18)

1. Jesus does not attack the practices of public piety but the aberrant or weird style of those who make acts of personal piety namely almsgiving, prayer & fasting.
2. Jesus’ followers are to avoid public displays of private piety. He was not condemning the righteous acts themselves but motivations behind the actions.
3. In Classical Greek the word hypocrite referred to an actor on stage wearing a mask.
4. Jesus was not forbidding public prayer (Mt 14:19, 15:36, Acts 1:24, 3:1) but the one who prays only in public and never in private is praying for wrong reasons.
5. Prayer is not for the purpose of informing God but expresses to him the fact of our impotence to meet our own needs.

All of us do want recognition, appreciation and acknowledgment. It is truly a human need but we should not make use of prayer moments to achieve this end and thus project ourselves as self-righteous people. There might be many who in spite of their hard work, sincerity and generosity would not get any recognition from their own people or from the society at large. Today’s Gospel promises them a true recognition that comes from the heavenly Father.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Love your enemies (Mt 5: 43-48)

  1. Love your neighbour is found in Lev 19:18; There is actually no Old Testament saying which tell you to hate your enemies, this was only added from Qumran Scroll (hate all the sons of darkness – 1QS 1:10)
  2. Loving enemies implies breaking through the limitations imposed on the object of one’s love
  3. Tax collectors are suspected of dishonesty and collaboration with Romans, paired with Gentiles (Mt 18:17), Sinners (9:10) and Harlots (21:31-32)
  4. The word perfect means ‘wholeness of God who cares for all people’
  5. This first century Rabbai is more authoritative than Moses and seems to legislate with all assurance of the God of Sinai

All of us have one category of people whom we never like; we find pleasure in talking about their defects in their absence and will feel utterly uncomfortable in their presence. They many not be exactly our enemies, but just because we have had a bitter experience with them, we try to make it universal! Instead, Jesus is asking us to make our love universal! Isn’t it challenging?