mercoledì 31 ottobre 2007

Do not risk being shut out

Scripture: Luke 13:22-30
Jesus doesn't directly answer the question, however; but his response is nonetheless unsettling on two counts. First, Jesus surprised his listeners by saying that one's membership as a covenanted people does not automatically mean entry into the kingdom of God. Second, Jesus asserts that many from the gentile nations would enter God's kingdom. God's invitation is open to Jew and Gentile alike. But Jesus warns that we can be excluded if we do not strive to enter by the narrow door. What did Jesus mean by this expression? The door which Jesus had in mind was himself. I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved (John 10:9). Through the cross Jesus opens the way for us to enter into his kingdom. But we must follow Jesus in the way of the cross.
The good news is that we do not struggle alone. God is with us and his grace is sufficient! As we strive side by side for the faith of the gospel (Phil. 1:27) Jesus assures us of complete victory!

martedì 30 ottobre 2007

"What God's kingdom is like"

Scripture: Luke 13:18-21
The tiny mustard seed literally grew to be a tree which attracted numerous birds because they loved the little black mustard seed it produced. God's kingdom works in a similar fashion. It starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God's word. And it works unseen and causes a transformation from within. Leaven is another powerful agent of change. A lump of dough left to itself remains just what it is, a lump of dough. But when the leaven is added to it a transformation takes place which produces rich and wholesome bread when heated -- the staple of life for humans. The kingdom of God produces a transformation in those who receive the new life which Jesus Christ offers.

domenica 28 ottobre 2007

"Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled"

Scripture: Luke 18:9-14

Jesus' parable speaks about the nature of prayer and our relationship with God. It does this by contrasting two very different attitudes towards prayer. The Pharisee, who represented those who take pride in their religious practices, exalted himself at the expense of others. Absorbed with his own sense of self-satisfaction and self-congratulation he mainly prayed with himself. His prayer consisted of prideful boasts of what he did and of disdain for those he despised. The Pharisee tried to justify himself; but only God can justify. The tax collector, who represented those despised by religious people, humbled himself before God and begged for mercy. His prayer was heard by God because he had remorse for his sins. He sought God with humility rather than with pride.

This parable presents both an opportunity and a warning. Pride leads to illusion and self-deception. Humility helps us to see ourselves as we really are and it inclines us to God's grace and mercy. God dwells with the humble of heart who recognize their own sinfulness and who acknowledge God's mercy and saving grace. I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit (Isaiah 57:15). God cannot hear us if we despise others.

sabato 27 ottobre 2007

"Do you think they were worse offenders than all the others?"

Scripture: Luke 13:1-9

God, in his mercy, gives us time to get right with him, but that time is now. We must not assume that there is no hurry. A sudden and unexpected death leaves one no time to prepare to settle one's accounts when he or she must stand before the Lord on the day of judgment. Jesus warns us that we must be ready at all times. Tolerating sinful habits and excusing unrepentant sin will result in bad fruit and eventual destruction. The Lord in his mercy gives us both grace and time to turn away from sin, but that time is right now. If we delay, even for a day, we may discover that grace has passed us by and our time is up.

venerdì 26 ottobre 2007

"Why do you not know how to interpret the present time?"

Scripture: Luke 12:54-59

Jesus expects his disciples to accurately read the signs of the times! Farmers and seafarers know the importance of spotting weather conditions for safe travel and planting. A lot of effort is made today, with the help of science and technology, to discern potential natural dangers, such as tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, tornados, earth quakes, and erupting volcanoes, so that people can be warned to take shelter before disaster hits. Our need for accurately discerning spiritual danger is even more necessary if we want to avoid moral and spiritual crisis and disaster. Jesus used a vivid illustration to point out the urgency of getting right with God before it is too late. If you got into serious trouble with your neighbor and did something that could get you severely penalized (like being thrown into jail and loosing everything you owned), would you not try to settle the case out-of-court to avoid the worst consequences?
None of us has the power and strength of will for overcoming sin and evil on our own resources. We stand in constant need of God's strength and protection. That is why scripture uses vivid language to describe God as our rock, fortress, and mighty defense.
The light of Christ reveals what is in our hearts and his grace frees us from the tyranny of sin, hurtful desires, and addictions. God's call is urgent and his grace is available for total freedom and transformation in Christ.

giovedì 25 ottobre 2007

"I came to cast fire upon the earth"

Scripture: Luke 12:49-53
Jesus shocked his disciples when he declared that he would cast fire and cause division rather than peace upon the earth. What kind of fire did Jesus have in mind here? Fire in biblical times was associated with God and with his action in the world and in the lives of his people. God sometimes manifested his presence by use of fire, such as the burning bush which was not consumed when God spoke to Moses (Exodus 3:2). The image of fire was also used to symbolize God's glory (Ezekiel 1:4, 13), his protective presence (2 Kings 6:17), his holiness (Deut. 4:24), righteous judgment (Zechariah 13:9), and his wrath against sin (Isaiah 66:15-16). It is also used of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11 and Acts 2:3). God's fire both purifies and cleanses, and it inspires a reverent fear of God and of his word in us.
When Jesus spoke about division he likely had in mind the prophecy of Micah: a man's enemies are the men of his own household (Micah 7:6). The essence of Christianity is loyalty to Jesus Christ.
Jesus challenges his disciples to examine who they love first and foremost. A true disciple loves God above all else and is willing to forsake all for Jesus Christ. Jesus insists that his disciples give him the loyalty which is only due to God, a loyalty which is higher than spouse or kin.

mercoledì 24 ottobre 2007

"You must be ready! Jesus is coming at an unexpected hour"

Scripture: Luke 12:39-48

Jesus loved to tell stories, many which ended with a dramatic and unexpected change of circumstances. Can you imagine a thief calling ahead to tell his victim when he would strike? Should we be surprised to see a thief making off with a great treasure left unguarded? What does this say about the treasure which God has entrusted to you and me? When God offers us his kingdom, he gives us a treasure beyond measure (see the parable of the treasure hidden in a field and the pearl of great price in Matthew 13:44-46). What is this treasure of immeasurable value? The Lord himself is our treasure (Job 22:22-23)and the kingdom he offers us is a kingdom of peace, joy, and righteousness (Rom. 4:17). The Lord offers us a relationship with him as his sons and daughters and the promise of eternal life as well. The treasure is of far greater value that any earthly treasure and more secure! But it's possible to lose this treasure if we do not guard what has been entrusted to us by God.

martedì 23 ottobre 2007

"Blessed are they who open at once when he knocks"

Scripture: Luke 12:35-38

This parable contains a lesson in faithfulness and a warning against sloth.Why is faithfulness so important to God? For one, it's the foundation for any lasting and meaningful relationship. Faithfulness or fidelity allows us to persevere in living out an unswerving commitment. The Lord is committed to us in a bond of unbreakable love and fidelity. That is what covenant means – keeping one's word, promise, and commitment no matter how tough or difficult it gets. Faithfulness is a key character trait of God and one that he expects of us. Fortunately God gives the grace and strength to be faithful. He also rewards faithfulness. Why is fidelity, commitment, and faithfulness so difficult today? Many today in western society extol freedom over fidelity and don't want to be bound to an unknown or uncertain future. It's regarded as inconvenient and a burden to the pursuit of the individual's interests. We badly need to recover this virtue, not only for our own sake, but for the sake of future generations as well. If we want to pass on the faith then we need to first be faithful models for our young people.
God loves faithfulness. That is why we can always expect God to give us what he promises. In turn, God expects us to be faithful to him and to one another. How can we grow in faithfulness? God's grace shows us the way. When we are faithful in the little tasks and promises we make, we learn to be faithful in the bigger and more important responsibilities and tasks entrusted to us.

lunedì 22 ottobre 2007

"One's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions"

Scripture: Luke 12:13-21

What is the point of Jesus' story about a wealthy landowner and why does he call him a fool? Jesus does not fault him for his industriousness, but for his egoism and selfishness. Like the parable of the rich man who refused to give any help to the beggar Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), this man had lost the capacity to be concerned for others. His life was consumed with his possessions and his only interests were in himself. His death was the final loss of his soul!

In the parable of the rich fool Jesus gives a lesson on using material possessions. His lesson contains a warning to beware of all covetousness. To covet is to wish to get wrongfully what another possesses or to begrudge what God gave him. Jesus restates the commandment "do not covet", but he also states that a person's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.

domenica 21 ottobre 2007

BRNO (Slovak Rep.) Samy has met OFM friars near Brno where they have parish. They also in charge of animating and guiding the SFO fraternity.

Sisters Who are working near Capuchin Monastery where they sell religious articles.Sisters from Poland, Italy and Slovakia.

"Keep praying and do not lose heart"

Scripture: Luke 18:1-8

What can a shameless and unjust judge pitted against a crusty and pestering woman teach us about justice and vindication in the kingdom of God? Jesus tells a story that is all too true — a defenseless widow is taken advantaged of and refused her rights. Through sheer persistence she wears down an unscrupulous judge until he gives her justice. Persistence pays off, and that's especially true for those who trust in God. Jesus illustrates how God as our Judge is much quicker to bring us his justice, blessing, and help when we need it. But we can easily lose heart and forget to ask our Heavenly Father for his grace and help. Jesus told this parable to give fresh hope and confidence to his disciples. In this present life we can expect trials and adversity, but we are not without hope in God . The just can look forward with hope to that day when they will receive their reward.

Jesus ends his parable with a probing question for us. Will you and I have faith — the faith that perseveres to the end — of time when Jesus returns in glory to judge the living and the dead? Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to us. If we want to live, grow, and persevere in the faith until the end, then we must nourish it with the word of God and ask the Lord to increase it (Luke 17:5). When trials and setbacks disappoint you, where do you place your hope? Do you pray with expectant faith and confidence in God's merciful care and providence for you?

sabato 20 ottobre 2007

The Visit to Austerlitz Battleground

Peace Memorial

Fr.Pavel and Samy in Brno

"The Holy Spirit will teach you what you ought to say"

Scripture: Luke 12:8-12

Jesus knows that his disciples will be tested and he assures them that the Holy Spirit will give them what they need in their time of adversity. He warns them, however, that it's possible to reject the grace of God and to fall into apostasy (giving up the faith) out of cowardice or disbelief. The scriptural expression to deny someone means to disown them.
The love and mercy of Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit are freely given to those who acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

venerdì 19 ottobre 2007

Capuchin Friars in Brno

It is very joyful stay for me to be with our friars in Brno. Fr.Guardian Pavel and all the brothers are kind and amicable. I thank you dear Guardian and all brothers for your franciscan hospitality and kindness.God reward you. Wish you all the best. You are doing wonderful service to the people of God around you.

Clarist sisters at Sobesice

Samy visited the clarist sisters at Sobèsice in Brno. They are 10 sisters and the mother superior is German. May God bless them. Their house is power house of prayer and they send God's vibrations to the world.

"Do not fear those who kill the body"

Scripture: Luke 12:1-7

Hypocrisy thrives on making a good appearance and masking what they don't want others to see. The good news is that God's light exposes the darkness of evil and sin in our hearts, even the sin which is unknown to us. And God's light transforms our hearts and minds and enables us to overcome hatred with love, pride with humility, and pretense with integrity and truthfulness. God gives grace to the humble and contrite of heart to enable us to overcome the leaven of insincerity and hypocrisy in our lives.
What does fear have to do with the kingdom of God? Fear is a powerful force. It can lead us to panic and flight or it can spur us to faith and action. The fear of God is the antidote to the fear of losing one's life.
The greatest injury or loss which we can experience is not physical but spiritual – the loss of one's soul to the power of hell. A healthy fear of God leads to spiritual maturity, wisdom and right judgment and it frees us from the tyranny of sinful pride, deceit and cowardice – especially in the face of evil and spiritual deception.

giovedì 18 ottobre 2007


Samy and Anezka Fiserova visited the Jihlava Fraternity. Samy concelebrated mass with Conventual friars. This friary and church is known to be very old and they say that St.Bonaventure once had come for the provincial chapter in this convent. Samy has met the fraternity members and others and spoke to them what is Franciscan charisma and its significance.

"The harvest is plentiful... Pray the Lord to send out laborers into his harvest"

Scripture: Luke 10:1-9 (alternate reading: Luke 11:47-54)

Luke the Evangelist dedicated his life to telling others of the good news of Jesus Christ. Luke's account in his Gospel and in the Acts of the Apostles emphasizes the mission of Jesus to bring the kingdom of God to every corner of the world. When Jesus commissioned seventy of his disciples to go on mission, he gave them a vision of a great harvest for the kingdom of God. Jesus frequently used the image of a harvest to convey the coming of God’s reign on earth. The harvest is the fruition of labor and growth — beginning with the sowing of seeds, then growth, and finally fruit for the harvest. In like manner, the word of God is sown in the hearts of receptive men and women who submit to God and honor him as their Lord and King. The harvest Jesus had in mind was not only for the people of Israel, but for all the peoples (or nations)of the world. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
What is the significance of Jesus appointing seventy disciples to the ministry of the word? Seventy was a significant number in biblical times. Moses chose seventy elders to help him in the task of leading the people through the wilderness. The Jewish Sanhedrin, the governing council for the nation of Israel, was composed of seventy members. In Jesus’ times seventy was held to be the number of nations throughout the world. Jesus commissioned the seventy to a two-fold task: to speak in his name and to act with his power
Poverty of spirit” frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God’s provision for us. The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves. God gives us his Word and his Spirit that we may have life in him--abundant, grace-filled life which never ends. He wills to work through and in each of us for his glory. God shares his word with us and he commissions us to speak it boldly and simply to others.

mercoledì 17 ottobre 2007

Participants in the Slovccia Elective Chapter

Participants together with spiritual Assistants and samy

Franciscan joy and sharing

"You load men with burdens hard to bear"

Scripture: Luke 11:42-46

Jesus was angry with the religious leaders because they failed to listen to God's word and they misled the people they were supposed to guide in the ways of God. The scribes devoted their lives to the study of the Law of God and regarded themselves as legal experts in it. They divided the ten commandments and precepts into thousands of tiny rules and regulations. They were so exacting in their interpretations and in trying to live them out, that they had little time for anything else. By the time they finished compiling their interpretations it took no less than fifty volumes to contain them! In their misguided zeal, they required unnecessary and burdensome rules which obscured the more important matters of religion, such as love of God and love of neighbor. They were leading people to Pharisaism rather than to God.
The essence of God's commandments is love — love of the supreme good — God himself and love of our neighbor who is made in the image and likeness of God. God is love and everything he does flows from his love for us. God's love is unconditional and is wholly directed towards the good of others. True love both embraces and lifts the burdens of others. Paul the Apostle reminds us that "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given us" (1 Cor. 5:5). Do you help your neighbors carry their burdens? God gives each of us sufficient grace for each day to love as he loves and to lift the burdens of others that they, too, may experience the grace and love of Jesus Christ.

martedì 16 ottobre 2007

The New National Council of Slovakia

The New National Council together with Fr.Samy and Antica

Fr.Samy during the Mass Preaching.

"Give for alms those things which are within"

Scripture: Luke 11:37-41

A Pharisee, after hearing Jesus preach, invited him to dinner, no doubt, because he wanted to hear more from this extraordinary man who spoke the word of God as no one else had done before. It was not unusual for a rabbi to give a teaching over dinner. Jesus, however, did something which offended his host. He did not perform the ceremonial washing of hands before beginning the meal. Did Jesus forget or was he deliberately performing a sign to reveal something to his host? Jesus turned the table on his host by chiding him for uncleanness of heart. Which is more important to God — clean hands or a clean mind and heart? Jesus chided the Pharisees for harboring evil thoughts that make us unclean spiritually — such as greed, pride, bitterness, envy, arrogance, and the like. Why does he urge them, and us, to give alms? When we give freely and generously to those in need we express love, compassion, kindness, and mercy. And if the heart is full of love and compassion, then there is no room for envy, greed, bitterness, and the like.

lunedì 15 ottobre 2007

The Election Chapter of the SFO in Slovak Republic

Helena Ficelovà the National Minister

The elective chapter of the Slovak Republic took place from 12 - 14 th October,2007 at the special compound of STU-Slovak Technical University, 930 17 Gabcikovo 3. The total brothers and sisters were 115 but only 86 participants who had right to vote actively participated in the chapter and elected their leaders for the coming 3 years. Three national Spiritual Assistants , P.Jozef Konc OFMCap, Jozef Makosc OFMConv, and Jakub Martaus OFM added vitality and meaning by their presence. Fr.Samy Irudaya OFMcap from the part of General Spiritual Assistants and Antica Nada Cepulic OFS from the part of CIOFS conducted the chapter.Helena Ficekovà was elected as National Minister and Sidònia Gàborovà was elected as International councilor. It was joyful and fraternal celebration of the chapter and all contributed the spirit of Franciscan atmosphere. We wish the New National Council all the best. God bless them.

Sidònia Gàborovà the International Councilor

The 3 National Spiritual Assistants with Samy

"This is an evil generation; it seeks a sign"

Scripture: Luke 11:29-32

Many fatalities could be avoided if people took the warning signs seriously. When the religious leaders demanded a sign from Jesus, he gave them a warning to avert spiritual disaster. It was characteristic of the Jews that they demanded "signs" from God's messengers to authenticate their claims. When the religious leaders pressed Jesus to give proof for his claims he says in so many words that he is God's sign and that they need no further evidence from heaven than his own person. The Ninevites recognized God's warning when Jonah spoke to them, and they repented. And the Queen of Sheba recognized God's wisdom in Solomon. Jonah was God's sign and his message was the message of God for the people of Nineveh.
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit he pours his love into our hearts that we may understand his will for our lives and walk in his way of holiness. God searches our hearts, not to condemn us, but to show us where we need his saving grace and help.

venerdì 12 ottobre 2007

visiting Fraternities

We have visited 2 fraternities of Slovakia. The one is from Novè Zàmky and another one is DETVA. The brothers and sisters shared their life experiences and their apostolic activities. They are doing lot of charitable works and taking care of the sick and helping in the parochial works.There is very much fraternal atmosphere among them.

"If it is by the finger of God"

Scripture: Luke 11:15-26

Some of the Jewish leaders reacted vehemently to Jesus' healings and exorcisms and they opposed him with malicious slander. How could Jesus get the power and authority to release individuals from Satan's influence and control? They assumed that he had to be in league with Satan. They attributed his power to Satan rather than to God. Jesus answers their charge with two arguments. There were many exorcists in Palestine in Jesus' time. So Jesus retorted by saying that they also incriminate their own kin who cast out demons. If they condemn Jesus they also condemn themselves.

In his second argument Jesus asserts that no kingdom divided against itself cannot survive for long. We have witnessed enough civil wars in our own time to prove the destructive force at work here for the annihilation of whole peoples and their land. If Satan lends his power against his own forces then he is finished. How can a strong person be defeated except by someone who is stronger? Jesus asserted his power and authority to cast out demons as a clear demonstration of the reign of God. Jesus' reference to the 'finger of God' points back to Moses' confrontation with Pharaoh and his magicians who represented Satan and the kingdom of darkness (see Exodus 8:19). Jesus claims to be carrying on the tradition of Moses whose miracles freed the Israelites from bondage by the finger of God. God's power is clearly at work in the exorcisms which Jesus performed and they give evidence that God's kingdom has come.

giovedì 11 ottobre 2007


Samy and National spiritual Assistant of OFM con celebrated mass and samy preached. After the mass Antica and samy have met the fraternity members.They have shared views and their activities with vistors and asked certain questions, The members are doing many charitable works and always very helpful to the church. Formation works go on well and it is all in the beginning stage. Then again samy and Antica met the national council and listened to each one.It was very good fraternal meeting.

"How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Scripture: Luke 11:5-13

Jesus used the illustration of a late-night traveller to teach his listeners an important lesson about how God treats us in contrast to the kind of treatment we might expect from good neighbors. The rule of hospitality in biblical times required the cooperation of the entire community in entertaining an unexpected or late-night guest.

If a neighbor can be imposed upon and coerced into giving bread in the middle of the night, how much more hospitable is God, who, no matter what the circumstances, is generous and gracious to give us what we need. In conclusion Jesus makes a startling claim: How much more will the heavenly Father give! The Lord is ever ready to give us not only what we need, but more than we can expect. He gives freely of his Holy Spirit that we may share in his life and joy. Do you approach your heavenly Father with confidence in his mercy and kindness?

mercoledì 10 ottobre 2007

visit to slovakia and the elctive chapter

On 9th evening at 6 p.m we Antica and Samy met the National Council together with spiritual assistants. It was fraternal and amicable and all shared and answered our questions. Formation works are going on well.Many fraternities need spiritual assistants for animation.Friars in Bratislava are very cordial and kind. Though some times lingua becomes difficult but we understood well. God bless them.

"Lord teach us to pray"

Scripture: Luke 11:1-4

Jesus teaches us to address God as "our Father" and to confidently ask him for the things we need to live as his sons and daughters. We can approach God our Father with confidence and boldness because Jesus Christ has opened the way to heaven for us through his death and resurrection. When we ask God for help, he fortunately does not give us what we deserve. Instead, he responds with grace and mercy. He is kind and forgiving towards us and he expects us to treat our neighbor the same. We can pray with expectant faith because our heavenly Father truly loves each one of us and and he treats us as his beloved children. He delights to give us what is good. His love and grace transforms us and makes us like himself. Through his grace and power we can love and serve one another as Jesus taught -- with grace, mercy, and loving-kindness. Do you treat others as they deserve, or do you treat them as the Lord would with grace and mercy? Jesus' prayer includes an injunction that we must ask God to forgive us in proportion as we forgive those who have wronged us. God's grace frees us from every form of anger, spite, resentment, and hatred.

martedì 9 ottobre 2007

visit to slovakia and the elctive chapter

Today I am going to Slovakia for the pastoral visit and elective chapter of SFO. May the Good Lord bless all of them. They may elect the person who is ready to serve. Wish them all the best.

"You are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful"

Scripture: Luke 10:38-42

Jesus loved to visit the home of Martha and Mary and enjoyed their gracious hospitality. In this brief encounter we see two very different temperaments in Martha and Mary. Martha loved to serve, but in her anxious manner of waiting on Jesus, she caused unrest. Mary, in her simple and trusting manner, waited on Jesus by sitting attentively at his feet. She instinctively knew that what the Lord and Teacher most wanted at that moment was her attentive presence. Anxiety and preoccupation keep us from listening and from giving the Lord our undivided attention. The Lord bids us to give him our concerns and anxieties because he is trustworthy and able to meet any need we have. His grace frees us from needless concerns and preoccupation.
The Lord Jesus desires that we make a place for him, not only in our hearts, but in our homes and in the daily circumstances of our lives as well. We honor the Lord when we offer to him everything we have and everything we do.

lunedì 8 ottobre 2007

"Go and do likewise"

Scripture: Luke 10:25-37

Many agnostics refuse to believe in God because of this seemingly imponderable problem. If God is love then evil and suffering must be eliminated in all its forms. What is God's answer to this human dilemma? Jesus' parable about a highway robbery gives us a helpful hint. Jesus told this dramatic story in response to a devout Jew who wanted to understand how to apply God's great commandment of love to his everyday life circumstances. In so many words, this religious-minded Jew said: "I want to love God as best as I can and I want to love my neighbor as well. But how do I know that I am fulfilling my duty to love my neighbor as myself?" Jesus must have smiled when he heard this man challenge him to explain one's duty towards their neighbor. For the Jewish believer the law of love was plain and simple: "treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself". The real issue for this believer was the correct definition of who is "my neighbor". He understood "neighbor" to mean one's fellow Jew who belonged to the same covenant which God made with the people of Israel. Up to a certain point, Jesus agreed with this sincere expert but, at the same time, he challenged him to see that God's view of neighbor went far beyond his narrow definition.
What does Jesus' story tell us about true love for one's neighbor?True compassion not only identifies and emphathizes with the one who is in pain, but takes that pain on oneself in order to bring freedom and restoration.

domenica 7 ottobre 2007

"Lord, increase our faith"

Scripture: Luke 17:5-10

Jesus tells us that with faith we can do far more than we could accomplish by our own strength; faith can even move mountains and trees (see Matthew17:20; Mark 11:23)! What kind of faith did Jesus have in mind here? By faith Jesus meant more than just belief in God and in his power. Jesus spoke of faith as something dynamic, active, and very alive. Expectant faith is a gift God gives us for overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of doing God's will. It enables us to cooperate with God's grace and power for accomplishing whatever God wants us to do. To illustrate the powerful force of faith, Jesus used the image of an uprooted tree.

The term "mountain remover" was used in Jesus' time for describing someone who could solve great problems and difficulties. Don't we often encounter challenges and difficulties which seem beyond our power to handle? What appears impossible to human power is possible to those who believe in God's power.

We must regard ourselves as God's servants, just as Jesus came "not to be served, but to serve" (Matthew 20:28). Service of God and of neighbor is both a voluntary or free act which springs from a generous and merciful heart and a sacred duty which we owe to an all-merciful and gracious God. One can volunteer for public service or be compelled to do service for one's country. Likewise, God expects us to give him the worship and praise which is his due. And he gladly accepts the free-will offering of our lives to him and his service. What makes our offering pleasing to God is the love we express in the gift of self-giving. True love is sacrificial, generous, and selfless.

sabato 6 ottobre 2007

"Rejoice that your names are written in heaven"

Scripture: Luke 10:17-24

The scriptures tell us that "the joy of the Lord is our strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). Why does Jesus tell his disciples to not take joy in their own successes, even spiritual ones? Jesus makes clear that the true source of our joy is God himself, and God alone. Regardless of the circumstances, in good times and bad times, in success or loss, God always assures us of victory in Jesus Christ. Jesus assures his disciples that he has all power over evil, including the power of Satan and the evil spirits or fallen angels who conspire against us. In fact, that is why Jesus came into the world to overthrow the evil one (John 12:31). We, too, as disciples of Jesus have been given spiritual authority and power for overcoming the works of darkness and evil (1 John 2:13-14).

venerdì 5 ottobre 2007

Life of Gospel Brotherhood


St.Francis applied this term first of all to the order as a whole: He would say : "I want the order to be called the order of lesser brothers". Hence, the term expresses the real character of the order.
Creating in the fraternities a family -life, simple and joyful atmosphere in which each brother can freely grow developing mutual trust, understanding and esteem for one another.
Our constitutions clearly state that the first apostolate of the friar minor is to live the Gospel life in this world.
Before all else, we must bear witness to Brotherly life, lived with the people and for the people, with the poor and for the poor.
Coming together is the beginning
sharing together is the progress
working together is success.

giovedì 4 ottobre 2007

Man of Peace, Poor and Humble St.Francis

For Francis, the Eucharist became the deepest source of support for his desire for cosmic peace and reconciliation. Just two years before he died, St. Francis said: "I beseech all of you, by whatever charity I can, that you show reverence and all honor to the most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, because (in Him) all things, whether on earth or in heaven have been pacified and reconciled with Almighty God".
Reflection :

If we have God as our source of strength and inspiration ,then we can continue to be effective agents of the Kingdom.

-' Poverty is the way to Heaven ,the nurse-maid of humility ,and the root of perfection'


Loving God teach me to be humble and lowly of heart,

teach me to empty myself of pride and self-seeking ,

To become like a child to be humble, So that I may place

all my trust in You like Your Humble servant Francis !

I pray with St. Paul When I am tempted, Lord, to despair in

the face of ongoing evil, give me hope. When I am tempted to

judge others harshly for their failings, give me patience and

the ability to see my own failings. When I am tempted to give

up trying to live your laws, give me courage !


May the Good Lord bless you and give you His peace in and through St. Francis. Have a nice day!

mercoledì 3 ottobre 2007

"No one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God"

Scripture: Luke 9:57-62

With the call the Lord gives the grace to respond and the strength to follow all the way to the end. Why does Jesus issue a challenge with the call? Jesus was utterly honest in telling people what it would cost to follow him. When a would-be disciple approached Jesus and said he was ready to follow, Jesus told him it would require sacrifice.We are free to decide whether we will take the path which Jesus offers. But if we choose to go, then the Lord wants us to count the cost and choose for it freely.
What does the story of a plowman have to do with the journey? A plowman who looked back while plowing caused his furrow to be crooked. He had to look straight ahead in order to keep the plow from going off course. Likewise, if we look back on what we have freely left behind to follow the Lord, our path will likely diverge and we'll miss what God has for us.

martedì 2 ottobre 2007

"Their angels always behold the face of my Father"

Scripture: Matthew 18:1-5, 10 (alternate reading: Luke 9:51-56)

God dwells with the lowly and regards them with compassion. His angels watch over them as guardians. "For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways" (Psalm 91:11). God has not left us alone in our struggle "to refuse evil and to choose good" (Isaiah 7:15). The angels are his "ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation" (Heb. 1:14). Scripture is full of examples of how the angels serve as messengers and protectors. When Peter was chained in prison and kept under guard, an angel woke him in middle of the night, released his chains, and brought him safely out of prison, past several guards and through locked gates. When Peter realized he wasn't dreaming, he exclaimed: "Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me" (Acts 12:11). When Daniel was thrown into a den of hungry lions, an angel protected him from harm.

Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we, too, join with angelic choirs in singing the praises of God.

lunedì 1 ottobre 2007

"Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts"

Scripture: Luke 9:46-50

The appetite for glory and greatness seems to be inbred in us. Who doesn't cherish the ambition to be "somebody" whom others admire rather than a "nobody"? Even the psalms speak about the glory God has destined for us. "You have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor" (Psalm 8:5). Jesus made a dramatic gesture by placing a child next to himself to show his disciples who really is the greatest in the kingdom of God.
What is the significance of Jesus' gesture? Jesus elevated a little child in the presence of his disciples by placing the child in a privileged position of honor at his right side. It is customary, even today, to seat the guest of honor at the right side of the host. Who is the greatest in God's kingdom? The one who is humble and lowly of heart — who instead of asserting their rights willingly empty themselves of pride and self-seeking glory by taking the lowly position of a servant or child.
Jesus, himself, is our model. He came not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28). Paul the Apostles states that Jesus "emptied himself and took the form of a servant" (Phil. 2:7).