“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”Matthew 5:11-12
Every day we are worried about how to earn money for living. It is, of course, we have to think that. But worrying more about such things make our mind disturbed and may not be able to concentrate on our work. If we do not work, we will not earn anything.
Short message from Sehion Ministries, Attappady, Palakkad, Kerala, India.
The Father Revealed in the Son
25 At that time 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. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Lent is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations that begins on Ash Wednesday and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday. Lent is a season of the Christian Year where Christians focus on simple living, prayer, and fasting in order to grow closer to God.
Watch Full Video of Way of the Cross with photos of original places of Via Dolorosa, narrations and prayers.
Epiphany is a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
The Magi Visit the Messiah
2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. (Matthew 2:1-12)
There is a message in these bible verses. The above verses tell us who is really people of God. Usually we think that as we are born Christians, through baptism we have become people of God. In the old testament, Israel is called as people of God. So we think, people of God are people of a particular community like, people of Israel, jerusalem or Christians. People of God are people who trust God, who follow God. Attending Holy Mass daily or receiving holy communion doesn’t mean those people are people of God. In our deeds and words we should follow God. We should love others, help others, humble in heart to become people of God. When Jesus was born that Angels appeared and given that information to shepherds, Magi and guided them to the place where Jesus was born ad allowed them to see Jesus first. There were many high priests, kings there, but God selected the Shepherds and Magi. They were humble in heart. God selected them as the people of God.
Magi opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Gold is a symbol of divinity and is mentioned throughout the Bible. Pagan idols were often made from gold and the Ark of the Covenant was overlaid with gold (Exodus 25:10-17). The gift of gold to the Christ child was symbolic of His divinity—God in flesh.
Frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. The gift of frankincense to the Christ child was symbolic of His willingness to become a sacrifice, wholly giving Himself up, analogous to a burnt offering.
Myrrh symbolizes bitterness, suffering, and affliction. The baby Jesus would grow to suffer greatly as a man and would pay the ultimate price when He gave His life on the cross for all who would believe in Him.
What we should offer to God? We must respect his Divinity, he is divine healer. We must sacrifice for others, sacrifice for God. We must accept bitterness, sufferings and affliction. We must thank God for whatever sufferings and pain he give us.
Herod said to Magi, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” He was not trusting the God, he had doubts. But Magi were trusting the God and followed the star as God Guided them. We must trust God.
We must love others, love and help the poor. Forgive others, ask pardon to others for hurting them by words and deeds. Pray with strong faith and devotion. Through our words and deeds we should proclaim the love of Jesus. People of God are people who are humble, love and helpful to others, whoever follow the word of God.
Let us try to become a member of people of God.
29 As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!” 32 Jesus stood still and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:29-34)
When Jesus was passing through the street, two blind men shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”. In our daily life we can see blind men (beggars) sitting on the road side, in train, in bus shouting the same kind of words, ” have mercy on me, please give something”. How many of us listen to those words, many times we just ignore their words.
Verses 31 – The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!”
This happens many times with us also. it is very difficult for a common man to meet any VIP or Religious leader. Volunteers try to stop them from meeting them. Here what the blind men did is that they shouted even more loudly, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!” Jesus heard their voice and (verses – 32) Jesus stood still and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?”. 33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” This verses make us to understand that, if we feel our prayers are not heard, we should not get disappointed, but we should pray more and more, pray with crying to and then Lord will surely hear our voice and help us.
Look at the next verses 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him. Jesus is compassionate. He never ignore the prayer with faith. He touched their eyes and immediately they regained their sight. Only a touch of Jesus is enough for healing. Next word is very important, “they followed him“. Usually when we feel sick we pray to God and after healing we forget him, stop praying. This is not good. We should thank Jesus for his blessing and healing, we should follow him.
This miracle prove that if we shout loudly, pray with full faith and devotion, Jesus will surely heal us.
The Temptation of Jesus
1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” 4 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’”
5 Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered him, “It is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.’”
9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,
10 for it is written,
‘He will command his angels concerning you,
to protect you,’
‘On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”
12 Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.