Monday, 28 September 2020

In castellum Samaritanorum (Lk. 9:52)


Before Jesus died and ascended heaven, he went to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was a place where he was to suffer and show the glory of God. However, from Galilea to Jerusalem, he had to pass through Samaria. For the Jews, Samaria was an enemy region (compare with John. 4:9). So, people did not allow Jesus to cross Samaria. Nevertheless, Jesus remained on his way and tried to find shelter in the Samaritan village. During his journey, he made friends with these people who were his enemies.

On the contrary, we usually avoid our enemies. Who is our enemy? Those who committed sins against us. We keep hating them and even want to take revenge. Jesus teaches us to love our enemies and to look at others with eyes of love.

Probably all of us want to achieve friendship which is a virtue. Obviously, it is hard to love enemies and make friends with those whom we hate. However, forgiveness is the best way to live a happy life. We should not let anger spoil our hearts. May love fulfill our hearts. In the name of Jesus, let us love one another.

By Fr. Aris Mada, SVD.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Apprehendens puerum (Lk. 9:46)


From the time of primary school, we learn how to become successful. We were obliged to pass all the tests in order to graduate. Consequently, we start to teach our children the same and always want to be the best. Because if we are the best, we are praised by teachers, parents, and superiors. However, the teaching of the Gospel is very different. Jesus very often puts the weakest or the most sinful person in the middle as an example to all. Jesus tries to explain that it is the grace of God which makes us the strongest and the best. It is not only our own effort and intelligence that helps us achieve holiness and perfection.   

When the disciples of Jesus were not able to comprehend his teaching because of their stubbornness, he set a little child by his side. This sign helped them understand that they needed to become children of God. In addition, the apostles learnt a lesson on humbleness and simplicity of heart. They realized that Jesus Christ abides even in the weakest person. Furthermore, God is present not only in the most powerful and richest but also in the smallest and poorest ones. 

From the Good News, we also get to know something important about ourselves. Even our most painful wounds and darkest memories can be healed by Jesus. Actually, the divine Medician comes to make the sick healthy, the weak strong, the poor wealthy, etc. Moreover, our Master casts away all evil spirits and destroys every sin. In his name we who are fragile become strong and we who are sinful start a new life. 

Let us give thanks and praise the Lord in every circumstance and condition. May the Holy Spirit make us courageous disciples and witnesses of Jesus. Amen. 

By Fr. Jozef Trzebuniak, SVD.

Saturday, 26 September 2020

In magnitudine Dei (Lk. 9:43)


The series of events concerning Jesus made it clear that He was "the Messiah of God" (Luke 9:20). Such events as the exorcism of evil spirits, the resurrection of the dead, the feeding of the five thousand people, the glorification on the mountain, etc. The three passages we read today show the struggle of his disciples to understand their calling as followers of Jesus.

They find it difficult to understand Jesus' announcement that He must suffer (Luke 9:44). It was very difficult for them that they also have to accept the cross. Actually, they dreamt about great honor and high position. But Jesus took a young child and made him a role model in the Kingdom of God. They were taught to serve in the name of the Lord Jesus. 

The teaching of this passage is extraordinary. As Christ's disciples, we are called to various ministries. We should not choose better status and position in the community. On the contrary, we are called to accept the cross and become despicable for God's sake.  

By Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Christus Dei (Lk. 9:20)


When we are alone and pray, many thoughts come to our minds. We also realize that we are surrounded by people. Their needs and problems accompany us while we are with God.

Jesus Christ knows how to find a balance between talking with the Father and his disciples. However, for us, it is very difficult to divide time for spiritual and earthly matters. For that reason, when we are to pray, we think about our tasks and problems. And when we are going to work, we are not able to focus properly.

Jesus wants us to ask ourselves and answer some important questions. The most important – who Jesus Christ is for you. Probably, you’ve already heard many answers. Probably, you’ve already answered using your mind. But the answer should arise from your heart. You are to respond with love.

Jesus always tries to ask if you love him with your whole heart and mind. And he is waiting for your answer. Because it  is the question about your love towards the Son of God, you cannot find the answer in books or in other places.

Talking with God is something personal and consequently, it is not easy to share with others. Nonetheless, we should try to express our love with human words. We don’t need to tell everyone about our spiritual experience, but we are invited to encourage one another.

We are to love Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our salvation. Thus, we will be able to overcome all the difficulties, struggles, and problems that we encounter. O Lord Jesus, the Son of God, help us understand and love God forever and ever. Amen.   

By Fr. Józef Trzebuniak, SVD.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Convocatis Duodecim (Lk 6:1)

The task given by Jesus to the apostles to become his messengers is preceded by giving them authority over all demons and to cure diseases. Jesus sends them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal. And these two tasks underline the role of an apostle.

Such are the roles of an apostle or messenger of God; he must be aware of the presence of evil's power and to fight and defeat them, he must pray over people and heal diseases and he has to preach about the coming of the Kingdom of God. But for doing these roles, an apostle or messenger of God must only trust in the power and authority of God, who calls, gives authority and sends him out.

We are all disciples of Jesus and of course we are his messengers too. And because of that, Jesus sends us to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal diseases. These tasks are being fulfilled, if we believe in the power and authority of God. 

Let us keep in mind that relying on our own power and authority and preaching our own message leads us to defeat, disaster and destruction. Jesus who calls and sends us to be his messengers is with us always.

By Fr. Risco Batbual, SVD.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Vestrum est regnum Dei (Lk. 6:20)


In Luke’s Gospel today, we hear that Jesus presents a list of four blessings for those who depend on God and believe in Him. Jesus classifies those who are poor, hungry, weeping, and persecuted as blessed because of the kind reward that they will receive in His kingdom. God really loves them and gives them blessings because they trust in God and depend on Him. Accordingly, if we want to be classified as blessed people in the Kingdom of God, we must truly believe in God and depend on Him.

Many people think that they will be happy if they possess a lot of money, position, good food, a beautiful girlfriend or handsome boyfriend, etc. But, all those things don’t lead them to real happiness, because they don’t come to the source of true happiness. And the source of true happiness is God Himself.

Today Jesus gives very good advice for us. If we want to be happy and blessed in the Kingdom of God, we must truly believe in God and depend on Him. Don’t think that material things and wealth will give us true happiness. Yes, it can make us joyful. However, without God, we will lose everything. We should find God first, the source of true happiness and then we can get other things. Thus, we will get the earthly wealth and achieve the heavenly treasure too. We will be happy in this life and in the life to come.

By Fr. Risco Batbual, SVD.

Nobiscum Deus (Mt. 1:23)


In Java Island, Indonesia, there is an interesting phrase which Christians often use to greet each other, namely “Berkah Dalem”. This is a Java language. The word “Berkah” means blessing, gift, grace. Then, the word “Dalem” means “God”. Therefore, when people say “Berkah Dalem”, people are grateful for all God’s grace, gift, and blessing. This greeting is not without a reason. They indeed realize what they have on this earth comes from God.

We can easily realize that all our belongings are not our own but come from God’s kindness. Life itself is a gift from God who created heaven and earth. We have special dignity because God gave His Only Son, Jesus Christ for us. So our life is a precious gift from God. 

Before Jesus was born, God had named Him, Emmanuel, which means “God is with us” (Mat. 1:23). Thanks to Jesus, we believe in God who always accompanies us. Our strength comes from God who gives us hope in every experience. Furthermore, God convinces us that He loves us unconditionally.

When we say, “God bless us”, we are sure God loves us and God’s love is unlimited. However, bad experiences make our faith weaker to believe in God’s love. We feel God abandons us. It was the experience of Jesus on the cross when He cried out, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mat. 27:46). However, Jesus’ life example convinces us to surrender our life to God.

Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, also teaches us to obey God’s will. She humbly accepted and participated in God’s plan to save this world from sin. Her presence is meaningful for the world and the Church.

Let us give thank you for the blessing, grace, and gift we have received from God, especially in Jesus and His Mother, Blessed Mary. We have received these gifts freely, so let us share them freely too.

By Fr. Aris Mada, SVD.