Thursday, October 27, 2022

Perfecti Estote | Be Perfect

"Be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect" — Mat 5:48.

Photo by An An from Pixabay

There are people so-called perfectionists. Their life is not easy. They try their best to achieve their goals. Maybe you know a person who is such a perfectionist.

Mathew reminds us that Jesus taught something else about perfectionism. Because he wanted all Christians to become perfectionists. But not in the common sense of the word. In the Gospel, perfectionist means follower of God the Father. First of all, perfectionist needs to remember that they are children of God.

This is the foundation of our behavior as Christians. If you understand that you are able to live as a child of God, you also want to behave like your heavenly Father. And the most important characteristic of God is his love for human beings. Only love can make you ready to accept your opponents and enemies. Only love can encourage you to help all the people who are in need even the bad ones. Only love can cause you to greet your brothers and sisters with your smile and warm heart. Only love makes you focus on the bright side of life.

But without love, you will hate your enemies. Without love, you cannot pray for your persecutors. Without love, you cannot behave like Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Are you a Christian who offers no resistance to people who are evil? Are you a Christian who lets others strike you not only once but many times? Are you a Christian who is ready to share everything with the needy? Are you the one who can spend time with those who ask you?

Tell yourself what your answer is to these questions: Yes or No? Keep in mind that there is no other option. You can be a perfect Christian as Jesus was or not.

Don't be afraid to give a positive answer every day. I know that you are able to "be perfect just as your heavenly Father".

Reflection on Matthew 5: 33-48 by Fr. Józef Trzebuniak SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Sacer Esto | Be Holy

"It is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell" — Mat 5:29

Photo by Alex Martin from Pexels

Dear friends in Christ Jesus,

Jesus seems to be a bit hard on the new set of rules that He is proposing to live a better moral life. Initially when I read this I too felt the same. How can I think of cutting off my body parts? When I reflected further I felt that I should take it into real consideration.  Jesus mentions adultery and the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage. We read in the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 3: 16-17 "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple".

As God the Holy Spirit lives in us we need to care for our body and soul with utmost care. We need to treat our body with respect and dignity. We can't pollute this body with alcohol, drugs, smoking or having sex outside marriage. We also can't spoil our mind with negative thoughts or fill our hearts with impurity.  What we need to have is purity of body, mind, heart and soul.

We as human beings know that we are fragile and can easily fall into various temptations. But always we should remember that Jesus has already conquered evil. He has purified all of us through His precious blood. But how many of us believe this? Only by accepting this truth can we be saved.

In our difficulties and struggles let us hold on to Jesus and only He can bring about proper solutions to all our problems. There are many people who have sacrificed not just their body parts but their whole life itself for the sake of Christ. They have done this with the hope of being with Him in heaven one day. Let us also live a life seeing our death ahead so that we can stay away from sins and be with him in heaven for eternity. Let us be holy as Jesus is holy.


Reflection on Matthew 5: 27-32 by Fr. George Joseph SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Monday, October 24, 2022

Sal et Lux | Salt and Light

"...that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" — Mat 5:16 (NIV) 

Today, I learn about Salt and Light as a Christian.

Have you ever tasted a dish full of spices and herbs yet unsalted? Anyone who cooks understands. There are times when we lack this or that of the ingredients, but the meal still can be served. But not when there’s no salt. Stop everything and find it. We cannot serve the meal. Because so many ingredients have not much significance in a dish without this one element – the salt.

What about the light? It is easier to understand. In general, without light we cannot do most of anything. Activities are paralyzed or greatly disturbed in the dark. Blindness become the scariest condition we could think of, as we cannot imagine living without any light. It creates doubts and fear.

What happens when the salt loses its saltiness? The Lord Jesus clearly said that it has no use but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot (v.13). Salt has one specific characteristic, the saltiness. Without it, it is not called as salt. Jesus said Christians are the salt of the earth (v.13). I can imagine, they make people thankful and praise the Lord as if they have just tasted delicious food. If it is difficult for people to distinguish Christians among others, then are they truly Christians? For they do not bring saltiness to season the bland and flavorless world.  

Meanwhile, speaking of the light for the world, people put the lamp on its stand to give light to everyone in the house. It is not supposed to be hidden under a bowl (v.15). Jesus said it is similar to a town built on a hill which cannot be hidden (v.14). Everyone can see the light easily and it brings clarity, not doubts. Christians are supposed to bring the Truth that will guide everyone to walk through this dark world – as the co-workers of Jesus Christ who was “the Light of the world” himself (John 9:5).

Let’s examine ourselves. How does our presence season the people around us? Are they grateful for us? Does our light shine clearly? Do people see good deeds in us and glorify our Father in heaven? Let’s be salt and light more and more.


Reflection on Matthew 5:13-16 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Beatitudines | The Beatitudes

"Blessed are you..."  — Mat 5:11  

Reflecting on the beautiful teaching of Jesus on the Beatitudes (marks of Kingdom values). Contrary to what the religious leaders in His Days were teaching – an angry God, with a complex set of temple rules and regulations governing what's holy and what's not. That different teaching also was distant from ordinary folks who may have infringed on some of these laws (simply because their vocations were deemed as unclean, for e.g. shepherds) and were thus blocked from worshipping the One True God of Israel.

The life-giving Words of Jesus were like refreshing streams of living waters flowing through a drought-stricken desert, and quenched the parched souls of these sons & daughters of God who received His Words with much joy and gratitude. As truly they are the blessed ones in God's Merciful Eyes – the downtrodden, the poor in spirit, the ones who've tasted bitter losses and pains through their lives, the meek, the ones who hungered for God's truth and mercy, the pure in heart, the peacemakers. Yet they were denied worship of their God by the custodians of the Jewish faith, who care more about their own whitewashed reputations than showing God's mercy and grace to His people. Even currently, how many of our religious leaders have painted half-truths about God's Grace and mercy, which is not dependent on our performance nor our achievements but rest solely on the accomplished works of Salvation through the immaculate birth, cruel death and glorious resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ – Healer, Messiah, Son of God, Brother and Loving Shepherd.

Let's all spend some time this week to reflect how each of our lives may reflect the Kingdom values in the Beatitudes and ask God for His Grace and empowerment if there are areas which do not reflect Christ in us to those around us. Let us seek and ask God for this Grace.

I will close with this beautiful hymn, inspired by the Beatitudes.

Blest Are They (inspired by Matthew 5:1-12)


1. Blest are they, the poor in spirit;

theirs is the kingdom of God.

Blest are they, full of sorrow,

they shall be consoled.



Rejoice and be glad!

Blessed are you; holy are you!

Rejoice and be glad!

Yours is the Kingdom of God!


2. Blest are they, the lowly ones;

they shall inherit the earth.

Blest are they, who hunger and thirst;

they shall have their fill.




3. Blest are they who show mercy;

mercy shall be theirs.

Blest are they, the pure of heart;

they shall see God!




4. Blest are they who seek peace;

they are the children of God.

Blest are they who suffer in faith,

the glory of God is theirs.




5. Blest are you who suffer hate

all because of me.

Rejoice and be glad, yours is the kingdom,

shine for all to see.




Composed by: David Haas

Text based on Matthew 5:3-12. Text and music Copyright 1986. GIA Publications

  Youtube Link

Reflection on Matthew 5:1-12 by Chris Tan

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Venite Post Me | Follow Me

"'Come, follow me,' Jesus said..." — Mat 4:19 (NIV) 

Photo by ddzphoto from Pixabay

Thus began the ministry of Jesus. Jesus heard about the imprisonment of John the Baptist and withdrew to Galilee. Withdraw means to go back, not forward but backward. But it was for the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah. “The land of Zebulun Naphtali, Galilee of the Gentiles” - the weak who seems abandoned. To those living in the darkness - the shadow of death, in the dark of dismay a light has dawned. How bright the light was!

”Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near" Jesus began to preach. It was the beginning of his public life. He called Peter, Andrew, James, and John who were working at lake Galilee. ”Follow me" They were invited to the personal relationship with Jesus. They immediately left their nets and followed, throwing away their work, their families, and their daily lives.

Can I do this? Even if it's not such a big thing, there are promptings from God in everyday small situations. I would like to put my plans and thoughts aside, trust God's promises, and follow his promptings.

Reflection on Matthew 4:12-25 by Machiko Nakamura
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Tentatio | Temptation

"... Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" — Mat 4:10 (NIV) 

In the wilderness when we spend the time, we really are alone and feel lonely even sometimes afraid too. I was afraid to go into the wilderness. However, we can meet God face to face there, and know that God touches us, and heals us, and recovers us. Now I am slowly learning that the wilderness gives us experience of grace. 

However, I was wondering why Jesus was led into the wilderness after fasting forty days and forty nights. Jesus could reject these hard times to go through if he had wished. On the other hand, since Jesus came to the world as a human, just like us, very weak human, He obeyed the guidance of the Spirit and experienced the test as a human who feels hunger, pain, and loneliness. Just like we experience in our life. 

The devil doesn't come as it is, but changes the figure of itself as a tempter, and tries to tempt our mind and feeling. They are so clever that we may not notice that it was a temptation, but we may think " we have to do this" or "we have to get this" and so on. Jesus was tempted by the devil using appetite, greed for material, and greed for honor. He chose the Word of God, and obeyed it completely, and won against temptation. 

In our life, we may be shaken by the tempter, however, we can choose the Word of God, then God will give us strength to obey the Word of God, and give us victory in the Lord. We are weak, but strong in the word of God. "Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only." 

Let's live in the word of God. Every day we may face the temptation, but we can choose what the Word of God says, then we will have victory.

Reflection on Matthew 4:1-11 by Michiko Mikata
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Friday, October 14, 2022

Baptizatus | Heaven was opened

"As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened..." —Mat 3:16 (NIV)

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

The reading for Friday 14 of October is mostly on the importance of a baptism. Here, we truly see the baptism of Jesus Christ, and how the Sacrament of Baptism is truly important.

But the one thing that is more interesting upon reading this chapter, is how Jesus Christ came to John the Baptist, and asked to be baptized by him, and John tried to deter him, saying "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"

It is intriguing, due to the fact that even someone such as the Son of God, came to him, and even after trying to dissuade him, he still insisted upon going through with it. Why? Jesus in the chapter replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness."

Jesus makes it so important, that it doesn't matter if by baptizing Jesus, John the Baptist might be perceived as holier than him (although John tried to dissuade him earlier) - just see it as a duty. It does not matter if the one who baptizes seems holier than the one being baptized at the moment, but what matters that it is done with respect and awe to God. Of course, John the Baptist obeys as a true servant of God. And while in the previous chapters he baptized others for Repentance, the baptism that John was asking from Jesus was more powerful - it was the one made out of Holy Spirit and Fire.

Meanwhile, once Jesus was baptized, heaven was opened. Similar that once we initiate in our Faith through baptism, heaven is opened for us, as we keep progressing with the sacraments.


Reflection on Matthew 3:9-17 by Cristobal Alvarez
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Fructus Dignus | Fruit of Repentance

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance." — Mat 3:8 (NIV) 

In the front of  Pharisees and Sadducees, John the Baptist told them to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Well, what does that mean? It means to demonstrate the true change in your heart and mind by the way that you live in your life. But, repentance is not only measured by feelings. Repentance is more than a feeling or thought when a person deeply regrets what he or she has done. That's not enough. To repent is not only  to feel bad about our sins, but also  to think differently ("To repent" comes from the Greek words metanoeo, it means “to change one's mind”). 

For John the Baptist, Repentance is more than turning away from sin—it is also a turning to a fruitful life. God does see our hearts, but the fruits of repentance that we produce are very important to strengthen ourselves. Thus, we will be able to measure if we are serious about leaving sin and living in harmony with God's will.

The fruits of repentance that we produce are also very important for others. It will be a testimony to others so that they are moved to repent and bear the same fruit of repentance. Let's live what John the Baptist said. May our lives always be moved by the Holy Spirit to repent and bear fruit.

Reflection on Matthew 3:1-8 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Adoraverunt | Kneel down

"On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary, his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." — Mat 2:11 


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Dear friends in Christ Jesus,

In today's gospel passage according to Matthew Chapter two and Verses one to twelve we read about the visit of the wise men to child Jesus. The wise men had observed the signs of nature and found out that the prophecy in the Old Testament was fulfilled. The Messiah, the Savior, was to be born in Bethlehem of Judea who would shepherd the people of Israel. The wise men could not resist themselves from visiting this new born king.  They began their tiresome and long journey carrying gifts to pay homage to their Savior. There was a star guiding their journey to the place of the birth of child Jesus. The passage makes it clear to us that they were overwhelmed with joy when they reached the place. In Verse 11 we read that "On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary, his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh".

Dear friends,

We all believe that Jesus is our personal Savior and there is no other Savior who can save us. Jesus is the king of our lives who rules our hearts. Only by trusting in Jesus alone we are saved. He has already saved us by dying on the cross, by shedding His blood. Only we need to accept His invitation and cooperate with Him in saving us.  The wise men recognized the King, the nature recognized the King, but sometimes we fail to recognize Him.

In our life journey there is only one final destination that is to meet the King of the universe. Unlike king Herod who listened to his evil promptings, let us try to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead us into the bosom of our beloved Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Once we reach there, we will be also overwhelmed with joy like the wise kings and then we can just kneel down in front of Jesus and pay him our love and homage.

Jesus accepts all of us as his beloved children. We may not have gold to offer but let us offer him all that we have; our very life, strengths, talents, abilities and also our weaknesses and sins. In front of his loving presence we all get purified as gold gets purified in fire. Let this fire, this love for Jesus rules our lives. Amen.  


Reflection on Matthew 2:1-12 by Fr. George Joseph SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

In somnis | In a dream

"The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream" — Mat 2:13.


Photo by Arijit Chakraborty from Pixabay


We have plenty of dreams. There are nights when we are afraid of our dreams. There are dreams which scare us. But sometimes we have good dreams which come from God. The problem is how to interpret our dreams and read the messages fof angels in the right sense.

Mathew in his Gospel presents Joseph who can help us understand our dreams. Joseph was a person who knows how to listen. He is able to recognize the voice of the angel. He does not follow his own opinions and feelings. He rather chooses the will of God. This message is not optimistic for his family. It is scary and horrifying. But Joseph is a man of faith. He managed to escape from the danger because he was obedient to the word of God. He exactly knew what to do because he heard the angel speaking.

It is a pity that there are so many people who do not pay attention to the Scriptures. They even do not believe in angels. So how can this holy spirit help them?

Joseph was a wise and very spiritual man. For that reason he preferred to follow the will of God than the words of other people. When only he heard the whisper of angel, he was ready to fulfill his commandment.

We can ask ourselves: Do we keep our souls silent? Are we ready to change our plans to follow the divine Word? Is the life of our close friends more important than ours? Are we eager to offer our life for others as Joseph did?

If we do choose God's will, it does not mean that we will live a peaceful and easy life. We will face difficulties and troubles. But we will be the winners as Joseph from Nazareth. It's not a problem that we fear and feel lonely. The most important is that "what is spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled" in us. Let's listen to the messages of the holy angels. Thus, we will become the winners of eternal life.  


Reflection on Matthew 2:13-25 by Józef Trzebuniak SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)