We all are born in the world, live in the world and die in the world, while living here on earth, we live as though we will live here forever. But the truth is, this world is only an illusion, a maya and will disappear from our life, when our end draws near. And that is why the word of God reminds us saying “Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world – the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches – comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever” (1 Jn 2:15-17)
Everyone here on earth has the joy of receiving from others. But when it comes to give, our hands are short. We expect others to share their wealth and good things with us. But when we are asked to share, we think twice, isn’t it? We want God to bless us but after receiving, we forget God until another need arises. But dear brothers and sisters, in giving, we truly receive. St. Paul says “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). It is true that God truly loves a cheerful giver. That is why we read in the book of Malachi “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an over flowing blessing” (Malachi. 3:10). Two weeks ago, a brother named Basil Fernandes, shared his testimony. In the year 2007, when he attended my 5 days retreat, he realized that he should give his 1/10th tithe, without fail. He had only 2 branches, with hardly 10 people to work, he was staying in a rented house, he had to travel by public transport, he was into deep debts. But after 5 years, he is blessed with 160 branches, with more than 400 staff, he has his own 3 bedroom private apartment, brand new car, and he is freed from all his debts. All because he never failed to give what belongs to God. without fail he gives his 1/10th to God’s work and attends retreat every month with his family.
We are all living in the modern civilization. We see everyday changes taking place. The cultures have changed, traditions are disappearing. People have new ideology. Research in different fields have taken man to new heights of glory. The human societies all over the world are going through a drastic transition. Philosophies are ruling different countries. Man has lost many values that have been keeping families, communities and societies in harmony and peace. And therefore lot of fanatism and hypocracy is creping within the social mileu, and at this point, what brings true peace, harmony and social development and human dignity is only the life giving word of God. we read in St. Mark’s gospel, Jesus was asked by the scribes and Pharisees “why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of elders, but eat with the defiled hands?” (Mk. 7:5). Jesus answered them “This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me teaching human precepts as doctrines, you abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition” (Mk. 7:6-8)
Last Sunday, we had the Gospel reading on feeding the five thousand from St. John’s Gospel chapter 6:1-14. Many will have gone for Sunday mass and listened to the boring, baseless and self-imagined, preaching of the preacher. Hence the Lord told me ‘Feed my sheep’ Jn. 21:15. Yes! My dear brothers and sisters, “The Lord is our shepherd and he feeds us with the green pastures and leads us to the fresh waters” Psalm. 23:1-2. ‘Feeding the Five Thousand’ this passage, should enlighten us and make us realize that the Lord, who is our shepherd, wants to feed us daily with the heavenly manna, which is the word of God and with fresh waters, which is his life giving spirit. When he fed those 5,000 men, besides many women and children, Jesus performed that miracle with 2 fish and 5 loaves. Even today he wants to feed us with the same. What are those 5 loaves? They are nothing but the first five books of the Holy Bible, and what are those 2 fish? They are the two testaments? Old Testament and the New Testament. If you feed just 5,000 men alone with this food, besides millions of women and children, still the remaining will be collected in 12 baskets, for further distribution. These 12 baskets were given to 12 disciples by Jesus. So that, they would continue to feed many more with Word of God.
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Jesus alone is God,
No one can stand against our Lord,
Father of all holy one,
In blessings his children never fall short.
Everyone will bow down low,
The atheist and theist both,
They tremble and fall,
When they hear the name of Jesus, our God.
He is everything and all in all,
All authority comes from heaven above,
So let us not raise ourselves to the utmost,
But glorify him through what he has given you all
In Jesus alone is our salvation,
And no one can ever save your life at all,
He alone listens to your call,
No saint or angels will come to console your hurt.
- Maria Lobo, Mumbai
Arise and let your light shine
Move ahead and never stop your fight
God is with you and one day you will be fine
Just fight the war which he wants you to fight.
Let the light of your love shine,
Fire of anger may not be your light,
Your fight is against the one who's seated in the darkness,
With Christ's light you can defeat him with Christ's brightness.
Don't let your heart be discouraged,
If the evil is multiplying in a greater extend.
Let the evil be defeated by good,
If God is with us than who could ever stop us?
If you want to be a victorious warrior,
Then between you and Jesus break all the barriers,
Put on the armor of God,
And with Christ your war is already won.
- Maria Lobo, Mumbai
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