Sunday, November 27, 2022

Iugum Meum | My Yoke

"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." —Matthew 11:28-30 

Photo by Gerhard from Pixabay

Dear friends in Christ Jesus, the world that we live in now, the majority of the people are weary in one or the other way or they have many burdens of different kinds. Those may be physical, psychological or spiritual. Most often they face such difficulties in life not because of themselves but due to the situations in the society, various systems, cultures, customs and lifestyle.

We all need to accept the fact that we are not superheroes who can manage everything by ourselves and this requires humility. There are many people who live around us who love us and who care for us and who are willing to help us in our needs. We may get material help, financial help, physical help, psychological help, spiritual help etc. Let us thank and praise God for such angels in our lives who are sent by God in human forms who care for us.

In today's passage Jesus is talking about giving rest and He is talking about giving rest for our souls. As we all have physical bodies we too have souls. And as we take care of our body we need to take care of our souls too.

Few ways we can take care of our soul is by praying constantly, by reading the Word of God, by receiving His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist etc. Jesus Himself is telling that 'I am gentle and humble in heart'. Jesus is not a cruel person who longs to take revenge on the ones who commit sins against Him but rather He has a loving and forgiving heart.

So what are we asked to do by Him? We are all asked to do only one thing to always have peace, grace, love and happiness. That is to carry His yoke upon us. It means that to do His will in our lives and allow him to guide us and have complete control of our lives and that is indeed the work of a yoke. Let us not resist but rather just co – operate with Him. The more we resist the more we complicate our lives. I don't want to complicate my life. Do you?

Reflection on Matthew 11: 16-30 by Fr. George Joseph SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

In Vinculis | The Great Prophet

“ When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, 'Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?'” — Mat 11:2-3 (NIV)

The Prophets had a very important role in defending the faith of the Israelites. Prophets preach repentance and proclaim the way of God. John the Baptist was a prophet who acted and dressed and had a preaching style like the prophet Elijah, even in the power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). When Elijah was opposed and about to be killed, God always saved Elijah. Now John is in prison, but the Messiah does not save him. This incident raises questions: Is Jesus the promised Messiah? Should we expect someone else?

Jesus declared that he was the Messiah, so that John's disciples and the crowd would not be confused. Affirmation as the Messiah was not said in words, but rather in evidence.

Even though John once refused to be called Elijah (cf. John 1:19-21), Jesus praised John as Elijah in a spiritual sense, even greater than among those born of women (Matt 11:12-14, cf. Matthew 17:10-13 ). In front of John's followers, He confirmed that John's message was true. He was a true Prophet who was not easily swayed by popular opinions. For Jesus, John the Baptist is greater than other prophets because he prepares the way of Jesus, the Messiah himself. In the midst of doubts, Jesus himself strengthened John and his followers.

We live in a world that needs prophets. In what ways am I called to defend the truth? How do I imitate John the Baptist in preparing for the coming of Jesus? In doubt, God will always strengthen and encourage us with His words. When you doubt, remind yourself of the work of Jesus. Remind yourself of how the Gospel changes your life.  We are invited to listen to His voice by faith. “Whoever has an ear let him hear!”

Reflection on Matthew 11:1-15 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Capilli omnes | Hairs counted

"And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." — Matt 10:30 (NIV) 

Photo by Ksenia Mizgireva from Pixabay

Reflecting on the beautiful teaching of Jesus on facing persecutions and needless fears that have often choked my mind, unchecked fears about losing my mind or even fears of succumbing to the siren voice of suicidal thoughts. Yet the LORD had gently reminded me that I'm a precious child of God because of what He has done on the cross and through my baptism in Him. As St. John wrote so beautifully in 1 John 3:1, "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him."

I also draw comfort from our Supreme God who oversees the whole of creation, yet is so personal that He even counts the numbers of hair on my head. I know it's a hyperbole that Jesus uses in His parable, but it really encourages me that He is a personal God who is concerned with the minute details in my life, while also being Sovereign in unfolding His plans. As Jeremiah summed it up in Jeremiah 29:11, "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope."

I will close with this beautiful hymn about trusting and waiting upon God's good plans.


The Plans I Have For You (by Marty & Misha Goertz)

YouTube link:

Here I am, waiting once again.

On my knees, listening and then

In a moment, a voice so clear

speaks in a whisper, the words I need to hear.

I know the plans I have for you,

You're always on my mind.

And all the thoughts I think toward you

are lovingly designed,

to bring you through, and give to you

a future and a hope.

They're for your peace, they're for your good,

the plans I have for you.

(Repeat Chorus)

Oh, there is no one like you,

still sometimes I need you to remind me.

And every time you do, you say,

"Seek me. You will find me."

I know the plans I have for you,

You're always on my mind.

And all the thoughts I think toward you

are lovingly designed,

to bring you through, and give to you

a future and a hope.

They're for your peace, they're for your good,

the plans I have for you.

(Instrumental Break)

To bring you through, and give to you

a future and a hope.

They're for your peace, they're for your good,

The plans I have for you.

The plans I have for you.

The Plans I Have For You:

Words and Music by Marty Goetz & Misha Goetz Hoyt

© 2018 Singin' in the Reign Music/ASCAP & Misha Goetz Music/ASCAP

Reflection on Matthew 10:16-33 by Chris Tan

Monday, November 21, 2022

Praecipiens | Sent Out

"These twelve Jesus sent out..." — Mat 10:5 (NIV) 

Photo by Billy Pasco on Unsplash

Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and heal every disease and sickness. Even though we are children of God, we are surrounded by the power of demons in this world. And, we on our own can't face and overcome the power of darkness. However, thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ, we can. 

Disciples are sent out to the world where the demons' power is also working , and they were given some strength. Freely we have received, freely we shall share with people, God's unconditional love just like Jesus did. 

Twelve disciples were just ordinary people like us. Each of us is also sent out by God. We don't have any strength nor authority, but the Lord Jesus works with us. So today, let us receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in order to go to the world, and to share the blessings of God.

Reflection on Matthew 10: 1-15 by Michiko Mikata  
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Operarii Pauci | Few Workers

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” — Mat 8: 37 (NIV) 

Today’s passage is about the miracles that Jesus did. What makes this reading so special is how we see people being cured by their faith, or by Jesus Christ himself. Even when he was doubted, he proved all of them were wrong, with his actions. But the main focus in this chapter is faith.

“According to your faith let it be done to you” and “your faith has healed you.” Depending on our faith, on how much we believe in it, and trust God, we will be healed. In a sense, we must always let ourselves trust God, so he can take the wheel, and heal us.

Very often, we shall see what Jesus saw in Verse 36 that when he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. For all of this, we must spread the good news of the Lord, and let themselves have the choice to be guided by God, and let them as well, be healed from their ailments. Our sins, our faults. All with faith, we can overcome it.

The harvest is indeed plentiful, with the teachings and guidance of God. However, the workers are few. We should let ourselves by guided by our faith, and by God.

Reflection on  Matthew 9:18-38 by Cristobal Alvarez
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Filius Hominis | Jesus' authority

“But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority… “ — Mat 9:6 (NIV) 


Today’s passage is one of my favorites. It describes who Jesus Christ is, deeply.

Some people brought a paralyzed man on a mat to Jesus. He declared forgiveness to this man’s sins first, which made the teachers of the law angry. They said that He was blaspheming, as only God can remove our sins. Jesus knew their thoughts, and identified these thoughts as evil. Then He commanded the man with His authority to get up and walk.

Jesus said to the crowd, “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” For me, none of them is easier. Those are things only God can do. To forgive our sins and also be able to command a disease to disappear by His own power. When the disciples healed people, like Peter, he did it in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:6). Jesus makes it clear for everyone, that He is able to do everything. And therefore, it reveals Himself to the believers, that He is God.

What an awesome fact to know that Jesus, our dear Lord, is the Mighty God, the second person of the Triune God. Isaiah 9:6 tells us about Jesus Christ, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. “

This passage also teaches me of my attitude towards sickness. Often we don’t realize that we have Jesus Christ who has authority over anything. When I was having a serious disease, I tended to look for medication first, searched for the newest research and method to get rid of the disease. After that, I prayed. Sometimes, I leaned on the treatment much and then when it didn’t work well, I could only rush to God. Through years of experience, it is a whole different story when I seek Jesus first. There is a spiritual guidance, new facts reveal, more knowledge and doors open. Moreover, unspeakable strength and peace accompany my journey.

Have you come to Jesus Christ, the Mighty God, and experience His authority over your life, your sins and any impossibilities? Reach for Him in a sincere prayer and read His Word. Believe and you will see the difference. May God guide us all.


Reflection on Matthew 9:1-17 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Quid timidi | Why afraid?

“You of little faith why are you so afraid?” — Matthew 8:26

Photo by boram kim on Unsplash

As Jesus was doing miraculous works, many people gathered around him. When a teacher of the law came to follow him, Jesus said, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Having no home is uncomfortable and unstable. But this situation might lead us to always rely on God's hand.

Jesus said to the disciple who wanted to bury his Father first, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” It may sound strange but it means a matter of priority. What is our priority? Family, work, maybe friends? It should be God, our Father. 

When the boat started sailing, a furious storm came up and the waves swept over the boat. The disciples were facing the rushing waves. Fear and fatigue made them overwhelmed and exhausted and they couldn't keep their faith. But look! Jesus was sleeping, tired from the hard work. When the disciples came to him for help, he rebuked the winds and the waves. And it was completely calm. 

The value of having Jesus with us. The people in the region on the other side of the lake couldn't see it. That's why they pleaded with him to leave their region. Lord, let us be aware of the value of having YOU with us always.

Reflection on Matthew 8: 18-34 by Machiko Nakamura 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tanta Fides | Great Faith

“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith” — Mat 8:10 (NIV)

Photo by Himsan from Pixabay

The Gospel according to Mathew 8:1-17 tells us that Jesus spent much of his time healing the sick. He was not just a popular healer. The sick, unbelievers and sinners seek Him because they know Jesus is very solid and willing to accept these kinds of people as they are. Jesus was full of compassion and solidarity. He wanted to talk to them. He would touch them occasionally, as part of His healing approach - 'He took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses'. This is perfectly seen at Calvary, when Jesus died for our sins. 

Jesus praised the faith of the Roman centurion . His praise was unexpected - “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” He praised the unique faith of a pagan, one who was considered irreligious. Jesus was amazed that a non-Jew could have such strong faith and held him up as an example. Here we see that the Roman centurion's faith rested in trusting and accepting the power of Jesus. 

This praise of Jesus makes us ask ourselves: Do we have the same faith as the Roman centurion's? What exactly is faith? As religious people, how do we live our faith in everyday life? How do I let the power of Jesus fill me every day?

Reflection on Matthew 8:1-17 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Domine | Will of God

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven." — Mat 7:21  

It sounds very difficult to accept because we often think that we are doing great things to please God and He is very happy with us and our lives. But it may not be so. At the end of the world when Jesus will come again in all His glory to judge the world again, it is possible that we may hear from Jesus, "I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers"(23). 

Jesus is placing before us a big challenge that is recognizing 'our will' and 'God's will'. We know that Jesus always did the will of His Father. To recognize the will of His Father He always spent long hours in prayers and we too can adopt this method. 

For Jesus doing the will of God always came along with struggles and suffering - for example accepting the cross to save humanity from perishing. Similarly in our lives too, to do the will of God it pains us often. But when we compare the pain and suffering of this present world with the Joy and happiness in the next world, which is heaven, we can always feel at home. 

So let us take up some pain, some suffering if it requires us to do the will of God. Sometimes or most often our will is contradictory to the will of God. For example, I want to go shopping or see a movie with my friends but what God wants is that I visit my neighbor who is sick.  Living a holy life following the commandment of Jesus that of love we can easily recognize the will of God. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to guide us.

Reflection on Matthew 7:15-29 by Fr. George Joseph SVD
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Arta Via | Narrow the Gate

"How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life" — Mat 7:14.

Photo by Peter H from Pixabay 

Nowadays, living as a Christian is not an easy thing. They say that Christians are the most persecuted people in the world. Among our relatives and colleagues, it's difficult to give testimony of Jesus Christ.

We could judge others and find many problems in their life. But is it the way how Jesus lived? We can notice that other people are sinners who commit many sins, but it does not help us to improve ourselves. It is a temptation to keep teaching our friends rather than ourselves.

Jesus Christ does not want us to be hypocrites who do not see their mistakes, but only the sins of others. The Son of God helps us understand what has universal value. He shows us how to become humble and patient. Especially in the relationship with our heavenly Father. We are to ask and wait for divine grace. This is the right attitude of true Christians in the modern world. Christians should live as children who trust in their parents.

We as God's children get everything we need from God's hands. The greatest gift is the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Christ. These good things we get from our heavenly Father.

Let's focus on the goodness and blessings from God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is the best way that leads to life.  

Reflection on Matthew 7: 1-14 by Fr. Józef Trzebuniak SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Nolite solliciti | Do not worry

"So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today" — Mat 6:34

Reflecting on the beautiful teaching of Jesus on the needless worries that we humans tend to carry on our shoulders, in spite of the fact that God has told us repeatedly in OT & NT texts that He will supply all that we need. That in Him, we'll find a peace that surpasses human understanding.

I'm reminded of this beautiful quote by Corrie Ten Boom (Holocaust Survivor – who endured the searing pain of witnessing her father & older sister's death in a Nazi concentration camp):

"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength."

After the war, Ten Boom advocated reconciliation as a means for overcoming the psychological scars left by the Nazi occupation. She later traveled the world as an evangelist, motivational speaker, and social critic, referring to her experiences in Ravensbrück as she offered solace to prisoners and protested the Vietnam War (Source:

I'm also reminded of the countless times that I had prayed to the Lord to carry away my burdens and yet almost immediately had put those burdens back onto my tired shoulders, acting as if I was my own saviour. It was only after many years of fruitless striving in my own strength and self-made pride, that God brought me into a place of ultimate surrender, where I literally had to lay down all my cares and burdens before His most Holy Cross and finally realized what Paul had meant when he declared:

"Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ." (Phi 3:7-8, NRSCVE)

I will close with this beautiful hymn about the Power of resting in Christ.

In Christ Alone (by Keith & Kristyn Getty)

YouTube link:


1. In Christ alone my hope is found;

He is my light, my strength, my song;

This cornerstone, this solid ground,

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace,

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!

My comforter, my all in all—

Here in the love of Christ I stand.


2. In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,

Fullness of God in helpless babe!

This gift of love and righteousness,

Scorned by the ones He came to save.

Till on that cross as Jesus died,

The wrath of God was satisfied;

For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—

Here in the death of Christ I live.


3. There in the ground His body lay,

Light of the world by darkness slain;

Then bursting forth in glorious day,

Up from the grave He rose again!

And as He stands in victory,

Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;

For I am His and He is mine—

Bought with the precious blood of Christ.


4. No guilt in life, no fear in death—

This is the pow'r of Christ in me;

From life's first cry to final breath,

Jesus commands my destiny.

No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,

Can ever pluck me from His hand;

Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.






Reflection on Matthew 6:16-34 by Chris Tan