Monday, March 27, 2023

Misericordia| Compassion

“Jesus came out, saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.” – Mark 6:34


Photo by Kumar Kranti Prasad on

Jesus Christ and the disciples needed to take some rest in a remote place after a very busy time of working and teaching. However, this was not possible since the crowds followed them and ran ahead to where they were going.

Despite needing rest, Jesus Christ still had compassion for the people and didn’t put His needs first. He continued to teach them and heal them from their illnesses.

The disciples were quite eager to send the crowds away. But Jesus didn’t send them away. By sending them away would have been like in James 2:16 - “Go in peace. Be warmed and filled;” yet you didn’t give them the things the body needs, what good is it?”  Jesus couldn’t teach them and then just send them away without any food. Instead, He asked the disciples to bring whatever food they had.

What stand out here is that the disciples had to bring what they had. We must use what God has already given us, even if it is not the ideal number, place or something we imagine it should be. God will provide the rest.

Reflecting on this passage, I realized again that Jesus had days where there was not even time to eat. This comforts me in times when our schedules are also very packed and hectic.

What life-changing experience it must have been to be part of that crowd on that specific day!

 Reflection on Mark 6: 30 – 39 by Hanne Teach

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Filia Ipsius | The Girl

"She went out and said to her mother, 'what should I ask for?' She replied, "The head of John the baptizer." – Mark 6:24

Photo by Janko Ferlic on

The world we live in we come across many young people who really don't know what they want. They go around experimenting with everything searching for happiness and pleasure. It is also a sad fact that often it is the mature adults who allure these young innocent children into all sorts of evil. The children at a very young age lose their innocence. We see many children with many addictions and with gloomy faces. They lose their life.   

In today's Gospel passage too, we come across a mother who due to her hatred towards John the Baptist, making use of her daughter to kill him. The young innocent girl is made use of by her mother to unleash her anger. We see here a very negative example being given to the daughter by both the parents. If the daughter would have decided for herself the gift, I think that it would be a new pair of clothes or a pet animal. I earnestly pray that the young children all over the world may remain innocent.

On the other hand, we see the life of an innocent man being taken away amidst all this. Can you do anything just to keep your word? Even killing someone? Can't you let your ego go? Let us try to show good examples to the people who live among us not by words but by action. If we claim ourselves to be a child of God then we need to behave like one.  We are all called to be a child of God and live our life in its full innocence and holiness. Jesus Christ is giving us this grace.  We read in Luke 11:13 – "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him." Amen.


Reflection on Mk. 6: 21-29 by Fr. George Joseph SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Thursday, March 23, 2023

| Holy man

"for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him." - Mark 6:20 

Photo by John-Mark Smith on

Reflecting on the gospel account of Mark, as he carefully recorded the series of unfortunate events that culminated in the execution of John the Baptist, a holy man who was prophesied to have come to prepare the ground for the arrival God's appointed Messiah. He was a forerunner of Jesus Christ, his Cousin (their moms, Mary & Elizabeth were cousins). He was also described as a holy man who lived in the wilderness, clad uncomfortably in camel's hair, and lived on a diet of locusts and honey. 

His holy way of living pointed his followers to holy living and repentance, so that they would be ready for the coming Kingdom of God. This was portrayed in stark contrast to King Herod, who lived in luxury and defied God's commands by marrying his brother's wife. He even had the holy prophet beheaded, at the instigation of Herodias, his brother's wife, and a foolish oath to his daughter Herodias, who asked for John the Baptist's head on a platter. Another vile act that contravened God's law against spilling another man's blood (cf. Genesis 9:6)

Herod knew in his heart that John was a righteous man and tried vainly to protect him. However, he still gave in to his foolish pride and an equally foolish oath sworn before his men. He couldn't back out of his oath and had John executed.

Similarly, we live in an information-rich age, where fake news and half-truths bombard our eyes and ears daily through the internet and on the thousands of media platform that permeate society. Jesus is asking us today the same question that He had posed to Peter more than 2000 years ago after the miraculous catch at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:15), "Do you love me more than these?"

In Revelation 3:20, where the resurrected and glorified Christ declares, "Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me." There are many men, women & children out there who are desperate for freedom from half-truths, sicknesses of the body, mind & spirit. They're crying to hear and know that there is One True God, "Who will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4)

Let us be joyful bearers of truly Good News to a hurting humanity. Let's close with the beautiful words from this worship song that speaks of the glorious second coming of Jesus, our Holy LAMB of GOD who was slain.

Revelation Song
Worthy is the,
Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy, is He
Sing a new song, to Him who sits on
Heaven's Mercy Seat

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You

Clothed in rainbows of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
To You the Only Wise King

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You

Filled with wonder
Awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your Name

Jesus, Your Name is Power
Breath, and Living Water
Such a marvelous mystery

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything

And I will adore You

Artist: Jesus Culture feat. Kim Walker-Smith
Licenses: (on behalf of Kingsway (KGY)); Adorando Publishing, UMPI, BMI - Broadcast Music Inc., Integrity Music Publishing, and 6 Music Rights Societies 

Reflection on Mark 6:11-20 by Chris Tan

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Iste Faber | The Carpenter

"Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him." - ‭‭Mark‬ ‭6‬:‭3‬ ‭(NIV)‬

Photo by Anna Shvets on

Jesus went to his hometown with his disciples. He taught in the synagogue and many who heard him were amazed. Even though they were amazed they couldn't accept him as a prophet. It was because of their experiences and knowledge. They said “Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?”(:3)

We think common sense is valuable. But we must not put it above faith.  What a pity they couldn't acknowledge Jesus as their Prophet, Son of God, and Messiah. The Bible says that Jesus couldn't do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. (:5‬)

In Matthew 11:25, Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” And in Matthew 18:3, Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” These verses tell us that we can learn from little children. They have no prejudice and trust their parents wholeheartedly. 

Oh, Lord. “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”(Mark 9:24)

Reflection on Mark 6:1-10 by Machiko Nakamura
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Monday, March 20, 2023

Actus Fidei | Power of Faith

"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." - Matthew 17: 20

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There is no limitation for the words or edicts that come out of our mouths. Every word has the power to either give life or death. But remember, the origin of those words is born in the heart and its intentions. Our Lord values a humble and grateful heart full of faith, and he is pleased and even amazed when we show him our need to seek and believe in him, and our willingness to trust in his words and promises wholeheartedly. By doing this, we recognize his sovereignty as King and Lord of overall in our lives. In response, He is moved to act marvelous and amazing miracles day after day as we can see his work in our lives and our loved ones.

The wall that was impeding to directly approach our Father was removed by Jesus Christ sacrifice in the cross. We can see many examples throughout the New Testament that remind us again and again that we can confidently approach the mercy seat for timely deliverance, direction, advice, or help on any situation we might be experiencing. He is our good Father in heaven, always willing to listen and act on our behalf as his beloved children.

It is not about hierarchy position, social status, economic condition, race, or gender. Jesus Christ died for all of us and sees us all equally. 

In the scripture of Mark 5: 21-30, we learn how the true and profound faith of different believers moved our Lord's heart and willingness to perform a healing miracle in their lives as an expression of his inexhaustible love and grace. Every miracle work performed was not for own vain glory, but that our Father who is in heaven may be glorified. 

We see a father, who recognized Jesus Christ's lordship and authority, moved our Lord to heal his daughter lying at her point of death. Jairus, by faith, declared how the healing miracle was to be manifest, by Jesus Christ laying hands on her; and for God's glory, it was granted as he believed and declared.

We also learn how this desperate and sick woman, who carried the effects of a twelve year blood disease, said to herself (wholeheartedly), believing that she will be healed by just touching his garment. In fact, her faith and trust actually took virtue out of Jesus, and she was healed in that same moment as her prayer and intention were also granted.

There is no impossible for the great love of God toward his children in need or in distress. Let's seek him as he is prompt and open to listen to us.  Believe wholeheartedly in his promises, and he will deliver a timely response according to his perfect, good, and acceptable will.

Reflection on Mark 5: 21-30 by Nydia Flores
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

In Domum | House

"Go back to your house, to the people from your village, and tell them everything that God has done for you and how He has pity on you!" - Mark 5:19.

Photo by Miki Czetti on

Almost every day we hear God's message telling us to go home immediately. "Going home" has a very broad meaning, not only returning to where we came from, but also a gentle invitation so that we could always love ourselves day after day. Go home and return to ourselves which are sometimes far from other’s attention, far from the warm embrace of God's love too. Because we ourselves choose to leave the comfort and warmth of ourselves.  Sometimes we convince ourselves that we were not loved. We were rejected by our neighbors and at the end by these kind of thoughts, we fall into depression, alone and despair. By being so pessimistic, we bring ourselves away from the warmth of God's love which is real in others.

Truly God loved us very much because everything needed for life is always provided. How often we ignore the goodness He gives. Lenten is the right time to spend a little time reflecting on God's love and grace that we receive every day. 

Simple things are very important and are always considered as extraordinary things like the breath of life which is an example of God's great kindness. If the breath of life is taken from us, then all that is left is vanity. Because everything is not eternal. Only one thing will never end, that is God's love.

Reflection on Mark 5:11-20 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Salva Ero | Be Cured

"If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured" — Mark 5:28 (NAB).

Photo by Pexels from Pixabay

During the Lenten Season we come closer to Jesus. We want to touch him and be cured from our weaknesses and sins. If our relatives and friends are in need, we also ask for them.

Crowds always gathered around Jesus, but only a few people could experience their healing. What was special about Jairus and a woman afflicted with hemorrhages?

Jairus came forward and fell at the feet of Jesus. He went out from the crowds. He wasn't afraid of sharing in public about his daughter's condition.

But we are often shy to express our needs and troubles. We prefer to talk about our successes and joys. We do not like to share our problems and difficulties. We are not humble enough to talk about our true feelings and suffering.

For that reason, we can learn a lot from the brave man Jairus. Also, an afflicted woman can encourage us. We do not have to hide our worries for a long time. We should open our hearts and ask Jesus to lay his hands on us. Only in this way we can get well and start to live again.

We are fragile humans who suffered greatly at the hands and words of others. We were disappointed and left alone when it happened. So now we can become wiser and more prudent because we heard the Good News.

Moreover, he touched us many times through other people. He taught us through the Scriptures and healed us through the ministry of the Church. We can be cured by him immediately and preach the goodness of our Lord forever and ever.   

Reflection on Mark 5:21-30 by Józef Trzebuniak
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Deus Lux Mea | God Is My Light

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" — John 8:12 (NIV) 

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

Just after Jesus got off from the boat after arriving to the region of the Gerasenes with his disciples, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This particular man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain or strength could ever subdue him. When he saw Jesus, he quickly ran and fell on his knees in front of him. And he shouted: “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. (Mark 5:1-10) 

This sort of situation reminds me of how very often, as men and women we’re often bound to our sins. To our demons, and no matter how many earthly chains, restrictions we may put to ourselves, this evil will always come out from us, and keep haunting us, and it is only thanks to the Lord, that we will be able to be free. 

Deus lux mea est, God is my light, and our light. No matter what will come to us, we can always rely on the Lord, and let Him take the wheel, to set us free.

Reflection on Mark 5:1-10 by Cristobal Alvarez 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Ventus et Mare | Wind and Sea

“...Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” — Mark 4:41 (WEB) 

The disciples took Jesus in their boat to the other side after he taught the crowd, behind, many things. Everything was fine, then came a great storm of wind. The waves beat into the boat so much that the boat was already filling (v.37). It was not resolved by these experienced fishermen. They would perish soon. Panic and looking for Jesus, they were shocked that he was sleeping. They questioned his awareness over the situation, even his care for them (v.38). “Teacher, don’t you care that we are dying?”

Isn’t it familiar to us? We are happy Christians, blessed, involved in many Church events and life seems so beautiful. We are able to handle little storms here and there around our lives with our faith. But when a great sudden storm comes, when it threatens our lives or our beloved ones’, we start to lose hope.

There were moments when my boat was filling, and it was difficult to see a rescue. I wondered whether Jesus was aware of my critical situation. Later, he revealed his plan, moments after moments that showed a bigger meaningful picture.  “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan.” (Romans 8:28, NCV). Oh, how he is so many steps ahead than my thoughts.

Verse 3 shows Jesus questioned them back, “Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?” The problem with the disciples and us, his followers, is we are weak. We need to be strengthened over and over. When your boat is filling, the waves are rising and it seems like he’s asleep, have faith. Have faith, you've got Jesus in your boat. Everything's under control. Because our Lord is the Lord over any hopelessness, as even the wind and the sea obey Him (v.41)! 

Reflection on Mark 4:35‐41 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Lucerna | Lamp

"He said to them, Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it put on a stand?" – Mark 4: 21 (WEB)

Photo by Maddy Freddie on

In this parable, Jesus Christ asks questions about how a lamp should be used to fulfill its purpose of providing light. In Matthew 5: 14, we also read about light: “You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden.”

Jesus Christ wants us to shine like lamps as we go through our daily lives. If we keep our lamps hidden to ourselves, we are only thinking of ourselves, and not sharing the Good News to others in this dark world. The light is meant to be discovered by those that are still in the darkness.

People often tell me that faith is a personal issue and hence should be handled as a private matter. This is the opposite of what Jesus Christ is telling us to do.  The light is not meant to be kept a secret and hidden. It should shine brightly from all God’s children.

Shining your light in this world is not easy. You can get rejected, criticized, mocked, jailed or much worse situations.  Even at some time in his life Peter struggled to shine his light and denied Jesus Christ three times (Luke 22:57).  Corrie ten Boom is one of my favourite examples of someone who shined brightly and shared the Good News even in the darkest concentration camps during World War II. 

Shining light is a responsibility and it is what Jesus asked of us to do. In Luke 8: 39 we read what Jesus said to the man from whom the demons had gone out: “Return to your house, and declare what great things God has done for you."

Let us pray and ask God to give us the courage to reflect the light to others and declare what great things God has done for us.

Reflection on Mark 4: 21 – 29 by Hanne Teach

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Monday, March 6, 2023

Unum Centum | Hundredfold

"And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and hundredfold" – Mk 4: 20.

Photo by Todd Trapani on

We all have seen farmers preparing the soil before the cultivation. It takes quite a lot of time, energy and hard labour. After sowing the seeds, again it takes quite a lot of hard work till the field is ready for the harvest. God gives growth. 

Jesus uses such a parable so that all people can easily understand and grasp the meaning. But still some did not understand because they did not want to understand. A person who is hard hearted won't easily accept the Word of God. We all need the Holy Spirit to bear fruit in us after listening to the Word of God. Knowing the Word of God is knowing God himself. If you love God you will love the Word of God also. When you love God you will try to listen to him and put into practice what he speaks through his word. 

Jesus makes it very clear for us in John 14: 23 – "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." This is a great mystery as well as a great promise. If we want the Triune God to dwell in our souls, we need to just love the Word of God and try to put into practice. Let us not merely become the hearers but rather doers. 

It is a good practice to learn by heart a few Bible words and repeat them over and over. Let the Word of God sink into our hearts and I am sure we can bear fruits a hundredfold.


Reflection on Mk.4: 10-20 by Fr. George Joseph SVD

(Listen to the podcast here)

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Audiat | Listen

"And he said, 'Let anyone with ears to hear listen!'" — Mark 4:9 

Reflecting on the beautiful parable of our Lord Jesus Christ, is a timely reminder for myself about how am I tending the soil of my heart. Is it a good soil that is fully prepared to receive the Word of God, and bear a fruitful harvest or is it a fallow rocky ground that's tainted by shallow philosophies or even false teachings that doesn't place Jesus at the Centre but focuses only on the gifts of the Giver? Are my ears tuned to the still-small voice of the Holy Spirit Who whispers, "I love you more than you'll ever know, my child.", or is it tuned to the noise of the world which threatens to drown out the loving voice of my Abba Father?

The Giver of all good gifts, our Father in Heaven, has one desire is for each of us to grow deeper and deeper in relationship with Him and seek Him first in all things so that we may reflect in increasing measure of His Son's Character and be His hands and feet in a broken and hurting world.

I will close with the Spirit-inspired words of this beautiful Love Letter, which was first published by Barry Adams in 1999 and can be downloaded from the link below (in 125 languages).

There is a link to an audio recording of the Father's Love Letter, which is available for viewing on YouTube

On the website below, you can read about how God used a simple prayer of a young man who had prayed over Barry Adams in 1997. It had ultimately led him to compile a series of paraphrased scriptures into a PowerPoint presentation as a message of the Father's love. Since the launch of the video in 1999 as a free Flash video on , millions worldwide have been touched by the message of our Father's love, and has been translated into more than 125 languages and this video continues to find its way into many places around the world.

The Story Behind the Father's Love Letter…


Reflection on Mark 4:1-9 by Chris Tan

Monday, February 27, 2023

Spiritus Sanctus | Holy Spirit

"But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin." – Mk. 3 : 29 (NRSV)

Photo by Skully MBa on

Dear friends in Christ Jesus, we all know that during Jesus' three years of public ministry he was always busy and hardly had any time for himself. There were always people around him and often he did not eat or take rest. The little free time he had he used to spend in prayer communing with his Father. Some of the scribes claimed that Jesus is possessed by an evil spirit and by the ruler of demons he casts out demons (v.22). Jesus is making them aware of the fact that evil spirits won't work against themselves, why should they destroy their own kingdom. Jesus in his life filled with the Holy Spirit was trying to build up God's kingdom. It is also a fact that Satan using evil spirits is trying to build up his own kingdom.

The question we need to ask is what spirit do we possess? Are we filled with the Holy Spirit trying to build up God's kingdom, or are we on the side of Satan? The true sign of the Holy Spirit is unity and love and the sign of evil spirit is division and chaos. 

The Holy Spirit gives us eternal life and the evil spirit leads our souls to destruction. As workers in the vineyard of God's Kingdom, let us spread love and help out our fellow brethren to receive the Holy Spirit. A person who is truly filled with the Holy Spirit can not be easily attacked by the evil spirit. 

Let us earnestly ask Jesus to fill us all with the Holy Spirit so that we can continue the mission that he has entrusted to us and that is leading all people to the Truth. In our mission encounters we may come across people who are so stubborn and hard hearted who may not be willing to listen to us or listen to their conscience even. Let us not lose our hearts in such situations but rather offer their souls to Jesus in prayer and then see the miracles. 

Holding the pierced feet of Jesus and looking at his five wounds and trusting in his precious blood and adoring his opened side and stricken heart. Let us implore that we may never sin against the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Reflection on Mk. 3: 20-35 by Fr. George Joseph SVD

(Listen to the podcast here)

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Medicus | Physician

“...Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to  call the righteous, but sinners."  — Mark 2:17 (RSV)


Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

The tax collectors in Jesus’ day worked for the Roman Empire to collect taxes from the Jewish, which brought benefits to the Romans not for the Jewish, and maintained the Romans’ control over the Jewish territory to oppress them more and more. This duty was often done in unethical ways, like harassing people, taxing over and over by different tax collectors and with inflated analysis over people’s properties and income so they could get higher taxes. When people couldn’t pay the taxes, the tax collectors gave loans and charged them high interests as private debts. There’s nothing the Jewish could do, such as asking for a law enforcement, as the judges also were paid from the taxes. Many times the tax collectors were accompanied by the Roman soldiers representing the authority of the Roman Empire. No wonder they were seen as wicked people, excluded by other Jewish, excommunicated by the rabbis in the synagogues and utter disgraces to their own families. (Source: )

Can you imagine Lord Jesus develops friendship and close contact with the tax collectors even chooses one of them as part of his twelve companions on Earth (Matthew ‐ the Apostle)? Yes. That's why the Pharisees were shocked, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (v.1). While many of us might maintain our so‐called ‘purity’ like the Pharisees did by avoiding some people and surrounding ourselves with ‘good people’ only, Jesus approaches these people and shows them the grace of God.

All were sitting and eating together: Jesus, His disciples, the tax collectors and sinners. Let’s see them in another way: Jesus Christ and (merely) human beings. Because Apostle Paul in Romans 3:23 said,”… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  However, until we realize that we are sinners, that we are sick, we will not come to Him. We are either too proud to consider ourselves as sinners or losing our sensitivity on sinful things. On the other hand, we also could be overwhelmed with our sins that we choose to stay away from Him. We are desperate, unable to save ourselves but have nowhere to go. 

Jesus Christ understands our nature as sinners. He knows that we need Him, as He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” People who were perceived as ‘sinners’ came and ate together with him at the house of Levi, the tax collector (v.15).  The sinners saw there was hope for them as well, when the tax collectors were welcomed to sit and eat with the Lord. The same hope is still open for us all who are tired with the old sinful habits. Let’s come to the Great Physician, who is constantly calling us, to be healed and have a new life in Him. 

Reflection on Mark 2:13 ‐17 by Desire Litaay 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Surge | Stand up

He said to the man whose hand was withered, “Stand up.”- Mark 3: 3 (WEB).

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on

Jesus entered into the synagogue that Sabbath day knowing the Pharisees were watching Him. They were setting a trap for Him. Despite this situation, He healed the man with the withered hand. For me, this points to one word: compassion. Jesus had compassion for people with problems and needs. It is quite clear that the Pharisees did not have compassion for this man. They were only focused on their own agenda and plans.

The Gospel of Mark often focus on emotions. We read about Jesus’ emotions in this chapter. In Mark 3: 5 we read: “When he had looked around at them with anger, being grieved at the hardening of their hearts, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  It is not very often that we read that Jesus Christ showed anger. Anger due to the hard hearts of the Pharisees. This reminds us to make sure that our hearts are always open.

For this man to be healed, he first had to show up with an open heart. He had to go out of his house to the synagogue. If he stayed at home, things might have turned out different for him on that joyous day. Some say that people with disabilities were not permitted at the synagogue. Others say that maybe the Pharisees arranged for him to be at the synagogue. Whatever the case, this man showed up. That was the first important step.

Next, this man had to do two things: stand up and stretch out his hand. Jesus asked only these two small things from him.  He obeyed and Jesus Christ healed him.  For me, this symbolizes what we need to do daily as well: stand up and stretch our hand out to Jesus Christ.  Whatever life throws at us, we need to show up, stand up and stretch out our hand to our Saviour.

Reflection on Mark 3: 1 – 19 by Hanne Teach

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Intra se | Within themselves

"They were thinking this way within themselves" - ‭‭Mark‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ ‭(BSB).

You are thinking a lot within yourself. What is your future? What are you going to do?  How could you overcome your problems? Could you avoid this or that situation in your life? 

There are so many ideas that appear in your head. But sometimes you sit down with Jesus at home. You calm down your mind and soul. 

The Lent season invites us to spend more time only with Jesus while he stays at home (v. 1). You do not need to control everything - your past, presence, and future. The Son of God is close to you.  

There are many obstacles that do not allow you to meet with Jesus face to face. If you are unable to get near the Lord, you have to find a better way to approach him. If you are too weak alone, you can ask your community to pray and support you. There is always a chance to break down the wall between you and God. 

If you hear Jesus preaching in the church. If your community reads the Holy Scriptures. You are luckier than thousands of people who are far away from the Lord. You can break through your anxieties and let them down in front of Jesus. 

There, you will hear again that you are a beloved child of God (v. 5). You will get absolution from all your sins because you are faithful. Don't follow the scribes who are only sitting and doubting. They do not believe in the power of his words and actions.  

You do trust in Jesus Christ. You are to open your heart and start a new life. You can win with the Lord. For the Son of God has the authority to make miracles on earth (v. 10). So come closer to Jesus and you will be astounded. You will glorify God in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Reflection from Mark 2:1-12 by Józef Trzebuniak

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Genu flexo | Kneeling down

"A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, 'If you choose, you can make me clean.'" — Mark 1:40 (NRSV) 

Reflecting on the beautiful exchange between our Lord Jesus and the leper, who in his humility, came on his knees and begged the Son of God to heal him. It is lovingly portrayed by the Apostle Mark in 1:40-45. Our Lord's merciful and immediate response to this man's heartfelt pleas: 

"I do choose. Be made clean." 

Jesus' response reminded me of God's loving question to Adam, "Where are you?", after Adam and Eve had disobeyed His Commandment not to eat of the fruit of the Knowledge of Good & Evil. It never fails to amaze me that even though He is our Omniscient and Omnipotent Creator, yet His one desire is to have a personal relationship with a sinful humanity (His creation). 

It must have been a painful and lonely existence for the leper, as an outcast from the Jewish community. It certainly took great courage for Him to appear in a public space, to go on bended knees and made His desperate plea to the Son of God. It gives me a blessed assurance that I too a leper in my heart (of many sins) can have direct access to God's mercy and healing grace if I am willing to humble myself and ask for healing in Jesus' Name. Just like the leper who stepped out in bold faith as recorded in today's gospel from Mark Chapter 1. 

I will close with this beautiful hymn by Twila Paris, as a reminder that Jesus is not only the Son of God, but He's also God's Perfect Redemptive Sacrifice for all sinful humanity.

Lamb of God – Twila Paris 
Verse 1 
Your only Son no sin to hide
 But You have sent Him from Your side 
To walk upon this guilty sod 
And to become the Lamb of God 

Sweet lamb of God 
I love the Holy Lamb of God 
Oh wash me in His precious Blood 
My Jesus Christ the Lamb of God 

Verse 2 
Your gift of love they crucified 
They laughed and scorned Him as he died 
The humble King they named a fraud 
And sacrificed the Lamb of God 

Oh Lamb of God, Sweet lamb of God 
I love the Holy Lamb of God 
Oh wash me in His precious Blood 
My Jesus Christ the Lamb of God 

Verse 3 
I was so lost I should have died 
But You have brought me to Your side 
To be led by Your staff and rod
 And to be called a lamb of God 

Oh Lamb of God, Sweet lamb of God 
I love the Holy Lamb of God 
Oh wash me in His precious Blood 
My Jesus Christ the Lamb of God

Songwriters: Twila Paris
Licenses: UMG (on behalf of Sparrow (SPR)); Adorando Publishing, LatinAutor - UMPG, Warner Chappell, Adorando Brazil, Capitol CMG Publishing, LatinAutorPerf, ASCAP, and 8 Music Rights Societies

Reflection on Mark 1:40-45 by Chris Tan

Friday, February 17, 2023

Evangelium | Good news

"The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God"‭‭Mark‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ ‭(NIV‬‬)

Photo by Daniel Akashi on

Mark writes the beginning of this gospel in a condensed way. In the first 20 verses, he wrote about the prophecy by Isaiah, John the Baptist, the baptism of Jesus, the temptation in the wilderness, and the calling of the disciples.

What caught my attention the most is the 12th verse: “At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness”. Just before that, we read: “And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’” - ‭‭Mark‬ ‭1‬:‭11‬ (‭NIV).

It is hard for me to understand why the Holy Spirit sent Jesus to the wilderness to be tempted. That was just after a voice from heaven said that Jesus was the beloved child whom God the Father would be pleased with.  This Bible verse may have the answer: “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” - ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12‬:‭7‬ ‭(NIV‬‬).

Indeed we have hardships too. However, we are also the children of God.  The Bible provides us with this verse from Hebrews: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” - ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12‬:‭11‬ (‭NIV)‬‬.

This verse reassures us: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” - ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10‬:‭13‬ ‭(NIV)‬‬.

Oh, my Father in heaven. Great is your faithfulness! 

Hymn: Great is They Faithfulness by Women of Faith:

Reflection on Mark 1:1-20 by Machiko Nakamura

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Dubitationes | Doubts

"When  they  saw  him, they  worshipped   him;   but   some   doubted." —  Mat 28:17 (NIV) 

Shortly after the good news was spread that Jesus had risen from the dead, to his disciples, the chief priests were quick to bring up an explanation as to why the tomb was open, and why Jesus wasn't there. They were quick to dismiss the possibility of a resurrection. Just as such, they quickly bribed the soldiers a large sum of money, and to tell the others and the governor, that the disciples came during the night, and took Jesus while they were asleep. And just like that, a lie became the truth to many. For it became circulated widely among the Jews to this very day.

But in truth, the disciples went to Galilee, just where Jesus had told them where to go. And when they saw him, some had doubts. Jesus reassured them, and gave them a mission. "To make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age," Jesus said.

This chapter resonates in a way to me because we can clearly perceive how people, even when we have proof right in front of us or have it happened just in front of our eyes, can still have doubts, or be in denial. Even after Jesus had resurrected from the dead, and the soldiers truly saw him arise and greeted the women who saw him, they were quick to deny him for coin. Just to keep playing the Chief Priests and the Elders' ploy. And in the case of the disciples themselves, even after seeing all that had happened in their own eyes, they still had doubts. But even then, Jesus still accepted us, and told his disciples to share the good news to the world.

Aquinas once said,  "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." I believe, it truly applies to this chapter.


Reflection on Matthew 28:11-20 by Cristobal Alvarez 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Surrexit| Raised

"He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay." – Matthew 28: 6 (NRSV)

Photo by Ivan Samkov on

All Christians believe in life after death. The life that God is promising to us is eternal. We read in the book of wisdom of Solomon 2: 23 – "For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity".  

Our life doesn't end with our death. By death our soul is separated from the body and this soul continues to live. This hope that we have is actualized through the resurrection of Jesus himself. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul reminds us: "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith" - 1 Corinthians 15:14.

Jesus himself says in John 5:24 – "truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life". When we look into the life of Jesus he was very certain about the kind of death that he was going to undertake and he was also certain about the fact that after three days he will be raised. We read in the gospel of Mark 9: 30-32 – "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise."

After the death of Jesus, the disciples were terrified and sad. They had almost lost hope. Even though Jesus had told them that he will be raised on the third day, they had not understood it. It is at this time that the Angel appears to Mary Magdalene and her companions and tells them, "He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay." - Mt. 28: 6. This good news of Jesus being raised is announced by these women to the disciples and it gives them hope. 

This is also one of the foundations of our faith: the real good news that Jesus lives. We are also asked by Jesus to spread this good news. As the tomb is empty and by his death Jesus has destroyed death, sin and all evil.  We have the best hope possible in the world. Let us also do just like Mary Magdalene and her companions did: "and they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him" - Matthew 28: 9.


Reflection on Matthew 28:1-10 by Fr. George Joseph SVD

(Listen to the podcast here)