Gospel Jn 1:29 – 34
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
What is important to understand here is that John had willingly and gladly referred Jesus as the Messiah. Although he arrived earlier and was
known to the populace, who assumed John was the chosen one,
yet he gave it all up, saying the reference in the scriptures was to Jesus.
Do we still cling to the Seats of Power even though we lack the requirements.
How many of us are willing to give up our positions for the larger good.
He was about 24 years of age when he got selected to his first job. But the process of reaching his destination involved a change of 3 Trains. As he stood on the Platform ready to board the second train, he felt threatened by the huge crowd gathered. No sooner the train halted those in – were pushing themselves out, while those on the platform were desperate to get in. The interesting observation was when he noticed those who arrived last were desperately attempting to cajole those on board to squeeze a bit, if only to get a toe hold, but once they got in the same individual would disallow another to board shouting that the train was full and they need to try the next train.
Sadly this is the situation in all aspects of our life. Mangroves and Forests have been felled to make way for high rises, and once these self-righteous individuals have their dwellings confirmed, they hold placards against the destruction of these very mangroves and forests, as it disturbs their view of the greens.
Why cannot we be more humane, and help them find alternatives in the neighbourhood, rather than in remote areas where civilisation is yet to be established.
What better way to honour the King of Kings, born in a stable surrounded by Cattle, in an Overcrowded land,(all had arrived for the census,) Unlettered, yet taught a Million. Taught us to Live and died to Save us all. Jesus to the western world and Eisa to the East.
What better way to honour him who taught us what Governance is all about when he said, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.‘
Today the largest democracy in the world thinks it fit to celebrate the day as Good Governance Day. As his followers what more should we ask for, when he gets recognized in unimaginable ways.
To his great surprise, Moses saw a bush burning without fire to kindle it. The bush burned, and yet did not burn away; When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look; God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do Not come here, remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is Holy ground. (Exodus 3:5). He also said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
Can we in our churches start the barefoot movement:
We walk in with our footwear on, but when walking up to receive the Eucharist, can we step out of our footwear, let it be at our seated space and walk bare feet in reverence to his presence.
Yesterday’s Gospel has many interpretations.. Find yours
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”
He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”
Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Then he told them a parable.
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.
There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”
Gospel: Luke 9:18-24
Jesus warns that he will be rejected, and his fate will be shared by his followers
Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.”
He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.
The above passage raises a few important questions, answers of which we must seek within.
1. Who do people think we are ?
2. To attain Salvation we need to daily take up our crosses willingly
and follow his words.
It was summer of 29, when he walked in.
The garden at Gethsemane located on a slope of the Mount of Olives just across the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem. Jesus frequently went to Gethsemane with His disciples to pray (John 18:2). A Ten year walk down the aisle, and now views differed on almost every subject. The most famous events at Gethsemane occurred on the night before His crucifixion when Jesus was betrayed. Frantic bouts of hysterics had driven him up the wall. As the evening began, after Jesus and His disciples had celebrated the Passover, they came to the garden. Being at the receiving end of threats was never his forte. At some point, Jesus took three of them—Peter, James and John— to a place separated from the rest. He knew he could no longer continue this way. Here Jesus asked them to watch with Him and pray so they would not fall into temptation (Matthew 26:41), but they fell asleep. She was unyielding. Twice, Jesus had to wake them and remind them to pray so that they would not fall into temptation. A life they had to build together was all shattered. This was especially poignant because Peter did indeed fall into temptation later that very night when three times he denied even knowing Jesus. The lease had expired. Jesus moved a little way from the three men to pray, and twice He asked His Father to remove the cup of wrath he was about to drink. It was this day they chose to separate as he walked homewards. But each time submitted to the Father’s will. He left his heart behind as he arrived and burst into tears. He was “exceedingly sorrowful unto death,” but God sent an angel from heaven to strengthen Him (Luke 22:43). He could not accept this. The intense anguish and sorrow Jesus felt was certainly understandable. He sat and wept like a child. Being God, Christ knew “all that was going to happen to Him” (John 18:4). He knew in painstaking detail the events that were to follow soon after He was betrayed by one of His very own disciples. Never had a scene like this been witnessed before. He knew that many who had hailed Him as the Messiah only days earlier would now be screaming for His crucifixion (Luke 23:23). He was the strong one. He knew He would be flogged nearly to the point of death before they pounded the metal spikes into His flesh. It was miserable to watch him break down. So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the ‘place of a skull’ (John 19:17) His mother arrived. No sooner had Jesus risen from his first fall, than he meets his Mother, standing by the wayside. She was dumbstruck. With immense love, Mary looks at Jesus and their eyes meet. Never knew what hit her too. Mary’s soul is steeped in bitter grief. Why us! She exclaimed. Crucifixion was considered to be the most painful and torturous method of execution ever devised. Raj told her it would soon be alright. It could be a fit of anger that ignited this. “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ( Matthew 27:46). She refused to take his calls and he knew he had no role in it. He kept on sending her messages on forgiveness and reconciliation. The spiritual pain of this feeling of abandonment no doubt greatly exceeded the intense physical pain the Lord endured on our behalf. And finally the day they feared arrived. They were called for the final reconciliation. And as they broke bread together he knew it was All Over. Jesus knowing that all had been accomplished and to fulfil scripture said, “I Thirst” A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.” He bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)
It was a day of Merriment. It was the 4th of January 2014.
The guests had all arrived before the party began.
Music was in full blast, as the lady conductor held every one to the floor. All danced as if there was no tomorrow, until the clock struck twelve. The time had arrived for the guests to fly back to places they came from.
Tired, they arrived home and slept through the night.
It was a 6 month long sleep, before they set foot in the kitchen.
Both were reared with a soft touch.
Now they had to warm up to get the kitchen fires burning.
Inadvertently both cut their fingers as they went through the process, and then the troubles began……….
Whose blood was more red. Mine or Yours was the argument.
In the redness of things, they forgot why they had entered the kitchen. They kept the debate alive till they bled themselves dry, and gradually both decided to stay away from the kitchen not knowing that the fireplace was where the warmth lay.
As they stood out in the open,
they reminisced their school days.
How full of Love and Life they were, not burdened with the daily chores, only to lead a carefree life.
They yearned for life, without the encumbrances.
How could the Hall be warm, if the kitchen was cold.
It’s nearing sunset, as darkness descends.
Will they agree to set aside their bloodlines and get into the kitchen together…..
“Will tomorrow see a new Dawn in their lives.”