Saturday, December 31, 2022

Ad Vitam | Into Life

"...But if you wish to enter into life, keep all the commandments of God." — Mat. 19:17

Photo by Józef Trzebuniak

Jesus in His message through the Gospel of Matthew reminds us today to obey all God's commandments so that we may enter into a true life. Dear friends, today is the 365th day of 2022. For so long we have lived our mortal life in this world, it doesn't seem real sometimes as time flies so fast, seems just floats and disappears. In each moment of the end of a year, we are always reminded that the purpose of our pilgrimage of life is getting closer. We are reminded to prepare ourselves to welcome the real life with Him, the eternal life.

Many years ago we were born and present in the world in the form of babies and were entrusted to our respective parents. In fact since then God has given us responsible freedom in living our each own life. He has determined from the beginning, how long we will spend our life in this world, before returning to Him and in what way we will return to Him and so on. Our task is to accept fully that we are His own, we are obliged to give thanks from time to time and enjoy the life that is given with full responsibility and awareness that the life we ​​are living really belongs to God. Obstacles, temptations, challenges during life's journey should be seen as God's way of expressing a longing for His people, maybe when we were happy, we didn't remember Him, so sometimes we are greeted in the opposite atmosphere, greeted with suffering, lost and pain.

When hard times come, do we remember God? Or do we even curse why there must be suffering? Why must we experience misfortune? And various complaints from our mouths, from our minds and from our hearts every time we face life's problems. God is truly good. We are given many opportunities to face various kinds of shortcomings. God's commandments are not as heavy as we think because indeed His commands are for our good such as the commandments to love one another, not to kill, to respect our parents and so on. Aren't those commandments for the good of our society?  Sometimes pride in our achievements makes it easy for us to forget The Source of inspiration and strength. In arrogance there’s some thought in our mind that all of those achievements happen because of the support of our loved ones, so at once we celebrate those moments in a party.  We forgot that first of all we have to thank God because everything we have, including our loved ones, achievements, times, opportunities and so on, are not ours.  

At the end of this year, let's try to look back at the journey of life that we have been through for 365 days throughout the year of 2022. Is the journey of life that has passed filled with gratitude or is it filled with complaints, heartaches, disappointments and despair? Have we ever thought that God was unfair?

Life is a gift because we live it only once and it will never be repeated. We will never be born again in the same world and fix all the mistakes and sins that have been made in our previous lives. While there are still opportunities in the coming years, let's be grateful for the gift of life, be grateful for everything that has happened and will happen to us. Thus, when the pilgrimage of life in this world ends, we are ready to live the real life, which is the eternal life with Him and with all those who have gone before us. Our destiny is Heaven.

Reflection on Matthew 19:16-30 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Friday, December 30, 2022

Non sunt duo | No longer two

“Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” — Mat 19:6 (NLT) 

Today’s topic is "Teaching about Divorce" from Matthew 19:1-15. It is not an easy topic since the real life cases are so varied. And I am not a priest or a pastor. Nevertheless this is my reflection on this topic.

This started when some Pharisees came with an insincere intention. “… to trap him with this question: ‘Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?’” (v.3). Jesus was more than aware of how to answer such trick and shut them up with what we see here:

“He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” (v.4-6, RSV).

God hates divorce. “’The man who hates and divorces his wife,’ says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘does violence to the one he should protect,’ says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.” (Malachi 2:16, NIV). The question that the Pharisees asked in the beginning shows their shallowness and wicked intention.

We need to understand the Judaism background at that time, to look through the Pharisees’ question:

“Under Jewish law, a man can divorce a woman for any reason or no reason. The Talmud specifically says that a man can divorce a woman because she spoiled his dinner or simply because he finds another woman more attractive, and the woman's consent to the divorce is not required…  The position of husband and wife with regard to divorce is not an equal one. According to the Talmud, only the husband can initiate a divorce, and the wife cannot prevent him from divorcing her.” (

Jesus is a revolutionary figure. He defends the weak (in this case women who have no power to stay in a marriage), the hopeless, the forgotten, the sinners etc.

Back to the scripture, I imagine, what kind of couple that God intentionally joins together? Some girls got pregnant before marriage and seem to have no choice but to marry their boyfriends at a very young age. Other women were forced by the parents to get married to ease financial burden. Some people were broken hearted and rushed into a marriage with anyone who seemed nice. Could it be any couples who just by their free will decide to get married? Some women are proud to have a good looking wealthy man on her side. Some men chase after beautiful sensual women to indulge themselves and boast in public just for pride.

But let’s take a look at some references about marriage:

“Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union…” (Malachi 2:15, NLT). God wants holy descendants from a marriage.

God warned Ezra the Priest, “The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. “(Ezra 9:11-12). But they disappointed God so much by intermarrying the pagans. God’s anger ended after they made a decision, “Let us now make a covenant with our God to divorce our pagan wives and to send them away with their children. We will follow the advice given by you and by the others who respect the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law of God.” (Ezra 10:3, NLT).

Apostle Paul tells in 1 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” Yet in 1 Cor 7:14 Apostle Paul suggests a spouse to stay in a marriage if her faith is not threatened. It was especially when someone became Christian while the person was already in a marriage with an unbeliever. Nevertheless, in some circumstances, he said this might happen: “But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.” (1 Cor 7:15, NIV).

When Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, he saw a huge shining statue of a man whose feet were made of iron and baked clay. He said, “This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay do not mix.” (Daniel 2:43).

So in my humble opinion, just “Marriage” itself holds not much meaning. But the same spirit towards God will do so much. A Christian marriage is a very serious matter that Apostle Paul said, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:32).

A marriage that God has joined together involves His plan. God works towards it.  “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18). As the result, it will bring true joy for the couple especially the man who finally finds a suitable life companion and recognizes the connection. Let’s take a look at Genesis 2:21-23:

"So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. 'At last!' the man exclaimed. 'This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called "woman", because she was taken from ‘man.’”

The bond that he feels is deep, someone he longs and needs in his life.

We learn about a union made by God from Joseph and Mary. This remarkable couple accomplished God’s master plan for saving the mankind through taking care of a holy infant born in their marriage. Joseph helped and protected Mary wholeheartedly through any challenges and danger. Next, Aquila and Priscilla who worked together with Paul as a team to spread the good news in a difficult situation as early Christians. They had the same vision and made their home a church for the community (1 Cor 16:19). Priscilla supported her husband with her knowledge as they both had an in-depth understanding of Christ doctrine (Acts 18:24-26). David and the wise beautiful Abigail who saved his hands from shedding innocent blood  of the Lord’s battle and became his wife later (1Samuel 25:23-34). Also not to forget Boaz & Ruth who cared for each other sincerely and from their offspring, Christ came as a descendant of David (Ruth 4).

God granted mankind a free will to make decisions, yet we must be very careful on what path we choose. “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh…” (Galatians 5:13). As a Protestant, I believe not all marriages were joined by God. Just like not all bad moments or sickness are planned by God, but it can happen because of our own mistakes and sins. Otherwise everything will be God’s fault and humans become blameless. In fact, oftentimes, it is us the humans who push the marriage without godly consideration but ask for God’s blessing.

Careless marriages can be very destructive and dangerous. Sapphira submitted to her husband in manipulating the Holy Spirit without any personal discernment of what was sinful and what was godly. This union formed a conspiracy that brings them to a sudden death. Ahab & Jezebel the leaders of Israel who served other gods. “…No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the Lord’s sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel.” (1 Kings 21:25). Both Ahab and Jezebel were killed violently because of their sins. Samson who trusted a wrong person to become his wife. He loved her so dearly but Delilah was the one who handed him over to his enemies for money and eventually brought his death (Judges 16).

Today marriages and families could traumatize many people. The violence and oppression to the weaker party especially women and children happen a lot behind the closed door called 'home'. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime shows data of 2020:

"47,000 women and girls worldwide were killed by their intimate partners or other family members in 2020. This means that, on average, a woman or girl is killed by someone in her own family every 11 minutes. Women and girls in all regions across the world are affected by this type of gender-based violence. With an estimated 18,600 victims, Asia is the region with the highest number of victims in absolute terms, while Africa is the region with the highest level relative to the size of its female population."  (

Divorce did exist in the bible. But it was a devastating circumstance. That’s why Jesus protects the weak party from it. But to stay in a nightmare of a destructive marriage is also very dangerous. It’s better to avoid a broken marriage than to deal with it. So this message is for those who plan to get married. Do not rush until you are sure that it is God who joins the two of you.  It means, it is not just a light superficial relationship. This person should suit you very well, support you to be the best of yourself and most importantly, the both of you should have the same spirit to glorify God as you are going to be one flesh formed by God Himself. This is important as you will have God’s mission through your marriage. It will be a beautiful deep Christ exalting marriage, so that what God has joined together, let no one split apart. May God bless you. Amen.


Reflection on Matthew 19:1-15 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Misertus | Have Mercy

"Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?'" — Mat 18:32-33 

Photo by Designecologist from Pexel

Dear friends in Christ Jesus, in this scripture passage from the parable of the Unforgiving Servant, Jesus is asking us to reflect upon the mercy of God. We all make mistakes and we commit sins and for sure we ask mercy and forgiveness from God. The merciful God who is listening to our pleading always forgives our sins and grants us mercy, even though most often we are not worthy of it. A person who has experienced the mercy of God, will for sure be grateful and thankful to God for the great tender love of God.

In our day today, we come across many people and some love us, care for us, help us, pray for us and so on. Also we come across people who hurt us, offend us, make us angry etc. Sometimes God allows us to go through all the negative experiences to test our faithfulness towards him. He wants us to know whether we are able to carry forward the love and care that we experience from him. It is in such struggles, temptations, difficulties we come to know how faithful we are to God. Do we lose our peace of mind or become agitated and frustrated quickly or are we able to be at peace and have control over the situation?

Jesus is not looking at mere external peace and smiling faces but rather he looks into our hearts. Jesus knows everything that goes on in us. Are we able to forgive the people who hurt us from our heart? Jesus is not asking us to do something ordinary but something extraordinary. We can give only what we have. Let us carry forward the love and mercy we experience from God in all circumstances.



Reflection on Matthew 18: 15-35 by Fr. George Joseph SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Friday, December 23, 2022

Fides | Faith

"... Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."— Mat 17:20 (NIV) 

Photo by Enotovyj from Pixabay

Reflecting on the beautiful response of our Lord to the disciples' queries about why they couldn't cast out the demon, He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there', and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." When I reflected on my own prayer journey, I realised that many a times I pray for Jesus to do something great in my life, such as the salvation of my pre-believing family members, yet just like the disciples, my faith was little, because I realised there were little seeds of doubts that I had allowed to linger in my heart even after praying. 

It's clear from this passage that the power of our prayers does not lie in the size of mine or your faith, but my view of God. Is the God in my heart greater than any obstacles or earthly trials? Or do I allow the problems and trials in life obscure my view of an Almighty God who declares that nothing is impossible with Him on our side. How can I cultivate the faith of a young shepherd boy David? 1 Samuel 17:45-47 tells us how he boldly declared to a battle-hardened Goliath, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands." and slayed the proud giant with a smooth pebble from a well-aimed slingshot. The rest is Biblical history on the exploits of King David (a shepherd boy and God's anointed subsequently shepherd king) who led God's nation into countless victories against enemies that had larger armies and more powerful weapons. But God was fighting alongside Israel and His anointed king and gave His nation the military successes and victories. 

In the New Testament book of Romans, St. Paul reminds with these powerful reminders of our identity in Christ Jesus, that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:37-39).

Reflection on Matthew 17:14-27 by Chris Tan

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Sicut Parvulus | Like this Child

"Who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven" — Mat 18:4 (NJB). 

Photo of Pexels from Pixabay

Christmas is about Child Jesus who was born in Bethlehem. Mathew the Evangelist explains more about this little Child. First of all, he shows us that Jesus humbled himself and was born as a small baby in the manger (Mat 1:18). In this way, we learn a very important lesson on how to forget about ourselves. Although Jesus was an almighty God, he became a child and lived among us. Even blessed Mary and Joseph wondered why he chose such a humble status. But he did and showed us who was the greatest in the kingdom of God.

Then Mathew writes us more about the dignity of all children. "The little ones have their own angels in heaven who always look upon the face of heavenly Father" (v. 10). The face of Child Jesus was turned towards the heavens because there was his heavenly throne. When a baby is born, they also look up into the sky. We adults stop doing so because we focus on material things more than the spiritual realm. Thus, we become more and more involved in this world and sadder and sadder.

During Christmas time we are to change our perspective. We cannot forget about our reality and duties, but we can reflect more about our heavenly home. Our Father does not want us to lose any of our dreams from our childhood. But God the Father makes our dreams come true. He is a faithful Father who never abandons his beloved ones. The Son of God also teaches us about his Father who handles all humanity.

We cannot forget about the fact that we were born as little ones as well. So the Child Jesus lives in our souls even if we get older and older. Let us discover our dignity as beloved children who see their heavenly Father. Let us keep our dreams in our hearts. Let us live with holy angels who always support us on the path to the heavenly kingdom.

Reflection on Mathew 18:1-18 by Fr. Józef Trzebuniak SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Super aquas | On the water

"Then Peter called to him, 'Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water." — Mat 14:28 (NLT) 

During His lifetime on earth, in the midst of daily activities, Jesus always found time to be alone so He was able to have a deep talk and a long conversation with His Father in heaven. That was His strength and source of inspiration. From His human nature, Jesus experienced everything we have ever experienced except sin. He sought source of strength all the night long, because the relief of sharing with His Father is an immeasurable pleasure, beyond the pleasure and satisfaction of sleeping all the night long, just like most of us. 

Jesus showed us the right direction to draw to this One and Only Source of Strength when facing life's troubles. Sometimes we are too proud to admit that actually our minds are empty and dry, we need God's presence. Nowadays especially in the cities we easily find worldly places for hiding problems, places to burry a while our dryness when encountering chaos such as discotheques, karaoke clubs and pubs, etc.

Because of the luxury that sometimes we easily find, it is easy for modern people to doubt or even laugh at God's believers because they do not believe in the existence of God who created the universe. Some said that if God exists, why there’s suffering and a cross to bear, why there’s sickness and death? Mankind's doubts about God's existence are represented by Peter's expression in Verse 28, "Lord, if You are, tell me to come to You walking on water". In our daily life, when Jesus ensures us that He is always there in each life struggle, our hearts are still not fully convinced so we go further to seek self-satisfaction and finally sink like Peter who doubted the presence of Jesus walking on the water.

God's majesty and mercy are always with His people. During this time of advent where we found ourselves on this fourth week, there are activities around the Christians. Some are so enthusiastic to welcome  Baby Jesus, so much in preparing hearts by going to confession, living in peace with families, but there are also some people who are waiting for Jesus with a cold heart, just going along with the crowd and having their own opinion about Christmas just as an annual Christian rites without meaning. They cannot see the spiritual beauty behind the great celebration itself. The incarnation of Jesus happened because He wanted to save sinners, especially those who live in great sins, in confusion, discouragement and almost drown.  Throw away your doubts, come, let us not hesitate to welcome Him together.

Reflection on Mathew 14:22-36 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Signum de caelo | Sign from heaven

"The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and putting Jesus to the test, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven." — Mat 16:1 (NLT) 

The theme today is searching for a sign. There are many times in life where we focus so much on the earthly matters, and we forget about one particular thing: That with Jesus alone, all of our needs will be gone or attended to.

This reading, in particular, touches the topics of  faith, and the humans' need of a ‘sign’. Even if we were to get a sign from God, it wouldn’t exactly be what we expect. Sometimes we will misinterpret anything, into a sign. That’s why Jesus also mentions about ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’

The disciples mistakenly thought it was regarding food, but in truth, it means regarding to not be molded by false prophets or false teachings. And all that we need in this life, is God, for he will provide.

Reflection on Matthew 16:1-12 by Cristobal Alvarez 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Monday, December 19, 2022

Misereor | Compassion

"Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 'I have compassion for these people...'" — Mat 15:32 (NIV) 

Photo by Jade on Unsplash

When Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon, a Canaanite woman came to him. I can't help but identify with her. Her daughter was suffering terribly so she asked him for help.

But Jesus kept silent. Yet she didn't give up. Jesus even said that, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." She came in front of him to kneel and begged for help. But Jesus said "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs." I see he humiliated her. 

But her thoughts were different and said, "Yes, it is, Lord." And she continued, "Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table." Then she was praised by the Lord, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted."

I want to be like her. I often forget who I am and don't be thankful for the blessing. I am ashamed that I took my privilege for granted. I must always remember and be grateful for what privileges God has given me.

Who is with me? It is the Lord who has compassion for us and provides enough to feed 5000 or 4000 or more people.

Reflection on Matthew 15:21-39 by Machiko Nakamura
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Adferte | Bring to Me

“Bring them here to Me.” — Mat 14:18 (NASB) 

Jesus was in anguish when He heard about John the Baptist’s death - beheaded by Herod the tetrarch. He withdrew with a boat to a secluded place to be alone. But the crowds followed Him on foot. These people had been following Him and listening to His teaching. Yet they still didn’t want to leave Him. He saw them and had compassion on them.

When the evening came, instead of sending them away to find their own food, Jesus told the disciples to feed the crowds. His disciples argued that they only had five loaves of bread and 2 fish, while there were five thousands of men, not to mention women and children. Jesus said to bring those little food to Him.

Verses 19-20 (NASB) tell us,”And ordering the crowds to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looked up toward heaven. He blessed the food and breaking the loaves, He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces: twelve full baskets.”

I have read this bible part many times. Yet, it doesn't stop mesmerize me. When we think that we don’t have much, like it wouldn’t be enough, bring it to Jesus. When we have families or a group of people under our care and protection, and we feel like it’s hard to cope with the responsibility, bring it to Jesus. He said to the disciples, “They do not need to go; you give them something to eat!” He insisted and it was an order. Not for them to try by themselves, but because He was going to bless it. 

Jesus sets a standard which is very noble. He helps people even when He has His own sufferings. He didn’t wait until He was happy to do good. Let’s do our tasks and responsibilities to take care of other people diligently. With the Lord Jesus by our side, we have all confidence to continue spread kindness and love. Jesus enables impossibilities from a little to an abundance. 

Do you have any limitations despite how good your plan is for others? Jesus said, “Bring them here to Me.” God bless you and your endeavor. 

Reflection on Matthew 14:1-21 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

In Consummatione | End of The Age

"So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" — Mat 13: 49-50


Dear friends in Christ Jesus, as we all believe that the world will end one day and for us personally it will be during our death from this world. Only God is immortal and we are all mortals. As Christians the hope that we have is eternal life and this eternal life is possible only through Jesus.

Jesus came to this world to save us and make sure we reach heaven. Indeed he has made it possible and easy for us by his passion and death on the cross. It is on this foundation that we all need to build our faith. Jesus has already saved us and we only need to claim it. We can claim it by being his true disciple that is by obeying what he taught.  It all depends on how strong we build and with what we build our faith. Better to build it with gold because, at the end times even if it gets burned it will only get purified further.

Our God is loving and merciful for sure. He is a good God. The world we live in has both good forces and evil forces working. We need to recognize these good forces and be part of it. Don't let the evil forces consume you. Let the Holy Spirit guide us. 

God respects human freedom. As God respects our freedom we also need to respect his freedom during the end times, during the judgment. After giving us all the grace possible to save ourselves, if we don't make use of it then we can't blame God for sending us to hell. I respect the freedom of God. Do you?

Reflection on Matthew 13: 31-58 by Fr. George Joseph SVD   
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Bonum Semen | Good Seed

“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” — Mat 13:23 (NIV)


Photo by J Garget from Pixabay

Today's Gospel tells us about the parable of the sower and the weeds. Of course we are familiar with this parable. From this parable, we realize that a good harvest depends on the soil. Now all we have to do is examine ourselves, does our heart resemble a roadside, rocky ground, thorny ground, or fertile soil?

Although we hope to be like fertile soil, we must not forget that it is possible that sometimes our hearts can become like a hard road. The seed fell on it, but in an instant it was eaten by a bird and it was gone. This is like the seed of God's word falling on a heart that is indifferent, lukewarm and arrogant. The seed of the word that we receive may not produce anything, if we harden our hearts, become indifferent and do not want to meditate on His words, especially if they rebuke us. Thus the word of God that has been sown does not produce anything in our lives or other people’s lives around us.

Let's ask God that our hearts will always be fertile soil for the seed of His word. hopefully with the help of His grace we can overcome everything that hinders the growth of His word in our lives.


Reflection on Matthew 13:1-30 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Frater et Soror | My brother and sister

"For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." — Mat 12:50 

Reflecting on the beautiful response of our Lord to the disciples' questions, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" And pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother" (v.48-50).

With regards to our heavenly kinship, our Lord is very clear that we are all brothers and sisters-in-Christ, if we humbly and faithfully do the will of our Father in Heaven, which is to proclaim the gospel of Christ as the only Way to the Father. Jesus, our Forerunner has already gone ahead to prepare a place for all of us in our Father's Mansion, as the Apostle whom Jesus loves had written down these following words of encouragement from our LORD. One chapter after the Last Supper discourse, timeless promises that are also applicable for all of us in the 21st century church,  in John 14:2, “In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you.”

I will close with this beautiful worship song about resting in our Father's Love (with Eternity written on our hearts).

The Father's Song (by Matt Redman)

YouTube link:

I have heard so many songs

Listened to a thousand tongues

But there is one

That sounds above them all

The Father's song

The Father's love

You sung it over me and for eternity

It's written on my heart

Heaven's perfect melody

The Creator's symphony

You are singing over me

The Father's song

Heaven's perfect mystery

The King of love has sent for me

And now you're singing over me

The Father's song

I have heard so many songs

Listened to a thousand tongues

But there is one that sounds above them all

Thank You Lord

The Father's song

The Father's love

You sung it over me and for eternity

It's written on my heart

Heaven's perfect melody

The Creator's symphony

You are singing over me

The Father's song

Heaven's perfect mystery

The King of love has sent for me

And now you're singing over me

The Father's song

This is Your song over us tonight, oh God

Song of Your grace

The song of Your love

Yes, You are gonna switch on high

Heaven's perfect melody

The Creator's symphony

You are singing over me

The Father's song

The Father's song

The Father's love

You sung it over me and for eternity

It's written on my heart

You've written it in love

You've written it in grace

Into the depths of our hearts


Thank You, thank You, thank You

The Father's Song:

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Reflection on Matthew 12:31-50 by Chris Tan

Thursday, December 1, 2022

In Nomine Eius | Hope of The World

"And his name will be the hope of all the world." — Mat 12:21 (NLT) 

Today I learn more about the immense authority of the Lord Jesus. I also find how strong the rejection He had from the religious people, the Pharisees, who I thought should easily welcome Him beforehand. This is a long passage to cover – Matthew 12:1-30, but let’s look at some major facts.

First, He is the Lord over any religious laws. The Pharisees and the Jewish in general held the Law of Moses strictly which interprets the Ten Commandments e.g., how to act on the Sabbath. One cannot work or gain food during that day, whereas Jesus’ disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and eat. He reminded the Pharisees that a long time ago David and his followers entered the House of God and took the sacred bread who was only for the Priests and ate them when they were desperate of hunger. Also how the Priests in the temple were working although it was Sabbath and were not guilty.

Sometimes, someone can be very legalistic, holding tightly to a rule, for the sake of the rule itself. But the reason mostly for gaining private praise for accomplishing hard challenges. Jesus said, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice”. Jesus sees beyond the matter. There are people in need who require immediate response. His authority over the law is the utmost because actually all those rules serve God for a noble purpose – not the other way around.

Second, He is the Lord over any diseases or infirmities. While complaining the Pharisees over their narrow mind – which actually was wicked as they wanted to accuse Him by trapping Him for healing people on the Sabbath, He restored the withered hand of the man to be whole again instantly. He was omnipotent yet loving that He showed compassion for the sick. A great multitude then followed Him and He healed them all. Again, the Lord Jesus emphasizes on mercy than merely following a rule.

Third, He is the Lord over demons or satanic power. He released a man from a demon-possessed condition and at the same time healed him from being blind and mute. Still the Pharisees accused Him of casting out demons by another stronger demon, Beelzebub. It was hard for them to accept Jesus as the Son of God despite His incredible power and authority that He had performed over and over. They chose not to believe, even were against Him and plotted His death.

Verse 30, the end of this passage, Jesus said, “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” There’s no in-between option in following Jesus. Either we are with Him or against Him. He wants true followers, true believers, true disciples.

How about us? We must be careful with our own rationale and logic because faith is the only way to accept God and His work. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrew 11:6).

We could also be overshadowed with our daily burdens, life challenges and difficulties that hinder us from believing in the power of Jesus Christ. Verse 21 beautifully says, “And his name will be the hope of all the world.”  Amen! You are our hope. To You, dear Lord Jesus, be glory both now and forever.

Reflection on Matthew 12:1-30 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)