Daily Gospel reflections by Fr. George Crasta SVD - SVD India Mumbai Province

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Daily Gospel reflections by Fr. George Crasta SVD


Tuesday, 01 January 2019

Num 6:22-27

Gal 4-7

Lk 2:16-21

Reflection by Fr Gorge Crasta SVD


Today is the first day of the year 2019, and the Church celebrates the Feast of  Mary, the Mother of God. The life begins in mother, so the Church places Mother Mary as role model as we begin the New Year. We have special place for Mother Mary because God honored her by choosing her to become mother of Jesus, our Lord.  ”Rejoice, you who enjoy God’s favour! The Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28). Again the angel  said to Mary: “You are going to be the mother of a Son, and you will call Him Jesus, and He will be called the Son of the Most High" (Lk 1:32). In the first reading God blesses Israelite and prepares them to return to their Promised Land. St. Paul says, “God sent  his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as children” (Gal 4:4-6). Through that Woman we too become His adopted children. Let’s begin this New Year with the example of Mother  Mary and try to bring peace, harmony and happiness all through the year.


Wish you a Happy and Peaceful New Year 2019 and I pray that may Mother Mary enrich your lives during the New Year with an abundance of God’s blessings.


Wednesday, 02 January 2019

1 Jn 2: 22-28

Jn 1:19-28

Reflection by Fr George Crasta SVD


Every person has their own identity and beauty. It’s really beautiful to see that every being is different in image and likeness. If we were all the same, it would be boring. Many times we try to find out the identity of others rather than oneself. John the Baptist realized his very self and duty to prepare the way for the Lord. In the gospel, John the Baptist was confronted with the question, “who are you?” I believe John might have not understood Jesus properly, yet he had faith in midst not understanding. When questioned by the priests and the Levites, he tried to make them understand that what Jesus represents was not like what had come before. John, like all of us, had to grapple with the idea of God made man. Yet, he believed and he baptized. He answered questions from those surely meant to trip him up, to make him falter. He who bears witness with his vision and gaze as a prophet, “I baptize you with water, but among you stands one whom you do not know; although he comes after me” (Jn 1:26). We are called bear witness to Christ even we fail to understand Him completely.


Do I bear witness to Him in family, community, society, area, place of work, etc.?


Thursday, 03 January 2019

1 Jn 2:29-3:6

Jn 1:29-34

Reflection by Fr George Crasta SVD


To know a thing or person introduction is a necessary. The world was in need to introduce Christ which John the Baptist did, even though he did not know him properly. He introduces him as “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (29) Further he says, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me. I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel” (30-31). John humbles himself before Christ, and we are called to humble ourselves in the world in order to give prime place to Christ. In the first reading, John reminds us that those who have hope based on gaining a deeper understanding of God’s love make themselves pure as God is pure. “You must see what great love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s children  which we are!” (1 Jn 3:1) As John gave his personal testimony to the people around him, we too are called to testify Him through our day-to-day activities.


How do I testify Christ through my life?


Friday, 04 January 2019

1 Jn 3:7-10

Jn 1: 35-42

Reflection by Fr George Crasta SVD


A curser or a pointer always helps others for a better cause. The success of a person depends on the curser or pointer. John the Baptist was curser or pre-runner for Jesus. He introduced him as “look, there is the lamb of God” (Jn 1:36) to his disciples. The disciples left their master (guru) and followed Jesus. Looking at them Jesus asked “what do you want?”  In turn they answered “Rabbi, where do you live?” Jesus invites them to see where he was living and have experience with him. One of them followed Jesus was Andrew did not keep his experience of Jesus within himself rather went out to share with his brother Peter. Many people have become cursers or pointers in our liives in order to know Christ and follow him. Today Jesus calls us to stay and have experience with him. In the first reading St John says, “Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is  righteous” (1 Jn 3:7). Through the baptism we are called to stay and have experience His condition love in our lives by living righteously.


Do I “stay” with Jesus and experience his unconditional love?


Saturday, 05 January 2019

1 Jn 3:11-21

Jn 1:43-51

Reflection by George Crasta SVD


Experiences make one perfect. Philip who experienced Jesus, goes out to share his experience with his brother Nathaniel who was sceptic in the first instance says, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip in turn asks him to “come and see” (Jn 1:46). God call every human being to “come and see” to experience his presence.  Nathaniel found in Jesus more than he could have hoped and dreamed. Jesus spoke a word to Nathaniel and it set his heart ablaze with wonder. In the first reading St John says, “Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything” (1 Jn 3: 18-19).  Every often we are caught up in parsing words, reading the spiritual books, wondering what the saints thought or the theologians.  Yet, when we boil down the gospel message is not as simple as “God is love” and “we should love one another.”


Do I share my spiritual experiences with other? Do I love others as God loved me?


Sunday, 06 January 2019

Is 60:1-6

Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6

Mt. 2:1-12

Epiphany


Today, we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany of our Lord. From the early days of the Church, this feast has been considered as an important feast receiving at times more attention than the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord. In celebrating Epiphany, we are celebrating the greatest proof of goodness there has ever been, of God’s deeply personal love for us. For it was out of love, that the Father gave us the Son, and gave him to be our Light, our Saviour, our King and our Joy. His present to us is nothing less than the divine presence in our lives. In the First Reading Prophet Isaiah consoles the people in exile as he speaks of the restoration of New Jerusalem. In the New Jerusalem, the glory of God would be seen, not only upon the Jewish nation, but also upon the Gentiles.  In the second reading St Paul expresses God’s secret plan in clear terms: "the Gentiles are…copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel." The Gospel reminds us that if God permitted the Magi – foreigners and pagans – to recognize and give Jesus proper respect as the King of Jews, we should know that there is nothing in our sinful lives that would keep God from bringing us to Jesus.


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Tuesday, 08 January 2019

1 Jn 4:7-10

Mk 6:34-44

Reflection by Fr George Crasta SVD


The nature cannot deny itself; it’s always true in itself. The first reading invites to be part of that “nature.” “let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 Jn 4:7-8).  God shared His love with the creatures by sending His Only Son Jesus to the world. In the gospel Jesus had compassion on people, for they were sheep without a shepherd. The situation turns to be worse all over the world. Blind religious leaders, irresponsible parents, careless and selfish political leaders make the situations aggravate. Compassion is a word far forgotten, almost deleted from the dictionary of human hearts. The girl who succumbed to death after gang raped and thrown out of a running bus tells us how badly we have lost the virtue of compassion. Apathy galore! The landless peasants, the unorganized workers, the marginalized dalits, the uncared for tribals, the discriminated women, and the forsaken senior citizens – all of them need a shepherd like Jesus to restore to them their human dignity. Today you and I are called to be “shepherds to lost flock.”


Do I feed hungry with bread and Word?

Do I have compassion for my sheep who are under my care? 


Wednesday, 09 January 2019

1 Jn 4:11-18

Mk 6:45-62


We are born with a mission and we are called to live our lives focused on that mission. Our mission is to be part of “Divine Love” and share with other. In the first reading, St John says, “since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us” (1 Jn 4:11-12).  Every creation has one or another kind of fear. Panic is the most natural reaction human person. This is what happened to the disciples of Jesus at sea.  It was at Jesus' initiative that the disciples sailed across the lake, only to find themselves in a life-threatening storm. They were experienced fishermen, yet they feared for their lives. Although Jesus was not with them in the boat, he nonetheless watched for them in prayer. When he perceived their trouble he came to them on the sea and startled them with his sudden appearance. The Lord keeps watch over us at all times, and especially in our moments of temptation and difficulty.  Jesus assures us that we have no need of fear if we trust in Him and in his great love for us.


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Friday, 11 January 2019

1 Jn 5:5-13

LK 5:12-16

Reflection by Fr George Crasta SVD

 

Today we hear lots of love stories, like Romeo and Juliet, Beauty and the Beast, Cleopatra and Marc Antony, and so on. There is the greatest love story ever told of the Creator and creation, i.e. God loved us, so much that He sent down His only son to save the world. And through Jesus we have eternal life. John in the first reading says, that Jesus came through not only water but water and blood (1 Jn 5:6a). These symbolize how we obtain life through the living water of baptism and also through the blood of Christ, the Eucharist, which cleanses us from sin. God loved us so much as to give us the blood of Christ to save us. St John says whoever believes in the son of man has this testimony within him (1 Jn 5:10a). Another aspect of the love story we see in the gospel. As Leper approached Jesus for healing, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him saying “I am willing, be cleansed” (Lk 5:13a). We all need the forgiveness and healing from the Lord, so that we will be able to testify Him in “Spirit, blood and water”.

 

Do I approach Jesus for forgiveness and healing?

Am I willing to testify Jesus through my life just leper did in the gospel?

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Saturday, 12 January 2019

1 Jn 5:14-21

Jn 3:22-30


Trust in Him and we lack nothing.  In the first reading says, “if we know that he listens to whatever we ask him, we know that we already possess whatever we have asked of him” (1 Jn 5: 15). It has been my personal experience that whatever I needed anything for my life I received it without asking others.  Sin, death and evil will remain with us unless God’s Kingdom established. No community is free from conflict and pain. Even the disciple of Jesus had disagreements among themselves. In the gospel we hear about the jealousy among John’s disciples. They even complained about Jesus, saying, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.” John responds by pointing to Jesus and reminding them of what’s really important. Drop your ego, see the Truth and love one another: “He must increase, I must decrease.”



Can I forego my ego in order to rise of another person?


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Sunday 13 January 2019
Is 42:1-4, 6-7
Acts 10:34-38
Lk 3:15-16, 21-22
Baptism of the Lord

Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Baptism of Jesus was the moment when he passed from the relative obscurity of village life in Nazareth onto the public stage of his mission of proclaiming the God’s Kingdom. Jesus emerges from His thirty years of hidden life, and before beginning His public ministry, He was baptised by John the Baptist. John expresses his unworthiness to baptise Him saying “I am not worthy to untie his sandals.” As Jesus came out the water after baptism threefold action took place. 
1. Heaven opened: many received baptism from John to wash away their sins whereas Jesus’ Baptism was to open flood gates of Heaven for the entire human race. 
2) Holy Spirit descended in the form of Dove: Jesus had always the fullness of the Holy Spirit. This is to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah (Is 11:2; 61:1) Dove is the symbol of peace. 
3) Father’s Voice from Heaven: “You are my son, the beloved; with whom I am well pleased.” God’s affirmed that Jesus is the Son of God. Through the baptism we all become children of God.


Do I live a life pleasing to God?
What are those obstacles that block us to please God?


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Monday, 14 January 2019

Heb 1:1-6

Mk 1:14-20

Reflection by Fr George Crasta SVD


Any encounter between two or more people has potential to be a life-giving moment. The meeting that Peter, Andrew, James and John had with Jesus was such a life-giving moment for those four fishermen, the life-giving power of God was present to them in the person of Jesus. That power of God present in Jesus was the power of love, a love that promised forgiveness, healing, acceptance, a love that gave them a mission in life. The kind of encounter that Peter, Andrew, James and John had with Jesus is offered to each one of us. Jesus is not just a figure of history, belonging to the past. He is the living Lord, still present in his church and in the world, constantly calling out to us and meeting with us in the course of our day to day lives, as he met with Simon, Andrew, James and John while they were going about their work as fishermen. He calls each one of in our day-to-day life, we only need to tune our ears to His voice. 


Do I hear his voice? 

Have I tuned ears/heart to listen to His voice?


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Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Heb 2: 5-12

Mk 1:21-28

Reflection by Fr George Crasta SVD

St. Arnold Janssen

 

Today is the feast of St Arnold Janssen (1937-1909), St Arnold Janssen was born on November 5, 1837, in the Diocese of Münster, in Germany. After his ordination to priesthood he dedicated himself to the teaching and the spread of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and igniting the missionary spirit among the German speaking peoples of Europe. Full of zeal for the Kingdom of God he consecrated all of his energies for the formation of priests, sisters and lay people so that he could send them to evangelize, especially among peoples who did not know Christ. For this reason, he founded three religious congregations; Society of the Divine Word (SVD), Missionary Sisters of the Holy Spirit (SSpS), and Missionary sisters of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration (SSpSAP).

 

The more bridges you build, the better your construction skills will be. Bridge is a structure spanning and providing passage over a gap or barrier, such as a river or roadway.  Bridge is also a structure which connects two or more individuals and communities. Jesus is the bridge between God and human being. In the gospel he builds the bridge between a man possessed with evil spirit and the community. Jesus enters the synagogue of Capernaum and releases a man from an unclean spirit, a spirit which would have separated him from the worshipping community and from God. We are called to build bridges and not walls. Jesus Christ lived and died to draw people into a new community of faith, hope and love, and thereby, to a deeper relationship with God. The unclean spirit acknowledged the presence of Jesus Christ saying, “…I know who you are, the Holy One of God” (Mk 1:25).   Our mission here on earth is to build bridges and proclaim Jesus as “the Holy one of God”.

 

Do I build bridges in my families, communities, societies, etc.?

Do I acknowledge Jesus as “the Holy One of God”?


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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Heb 2:14-18  `

Mk 1:29-39

Reflection by Fr George Crasta SVD

St Joseph Vaz

 

Modern world runs with technology, one among them is mobile. Mobile is essential thing, each and everything functions through it. Mobile is only an electronic device; the essential is the SIM or the network. If that network fails, the importance of that mobile stands still or inactive. Human being is that of mobile functions with Divine Network. Jesus exercised his power to heal the sick and his name and fame spread all around the town. “They brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him” (Mk 1:32-34).  Early in the morning Jesus goes to a secluded place to recharge his power with Heavenly Father in prayer. Action and prayer should go hand-in-hand as Jesus showed us the example. Prayer strengthens our network with Heavenly Father so that our human device can give the best result possible.

 

How is my network with Heavenly the Father?

Do I recharge my life with Divine Power?




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Thursday, 17 January 2019

Heb 3:7-14

Mk 1:40-45

Reflection by Fr George Crasta SVD

 

The inner voice enlightens the person to be a successful in the society. Therefore, the first reading of the day says, “As the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice do not harden your hearts’” (Heb 3:7-8). It has two important aspects i.e. a longing and a warning. Both are necessary for living in a society. Quit often we fail to listen to our inner voice because of the attractions of the world. Sometimes we fill it with our own words, without allowing spirit to talk to us. Let us, therefore, take care of our inner voice by avoiding distractions of the world and open up our attention to Spirit in order to receive the affections and inspirations of the Lord. Jesus listens to his inner voice and acted accordingly. In the gospel, Jesus breaks the tradition of the society by touching the leper and giving him new life in society (Mk 1:41).  Along with the practical motive of Jesus sending the healed leper to the priest, we see Jesus’ respect for tradition. It’s clear that we should blend the tradition and modernity in order to live happily in society.

 

Do I listen to the inner voice of the spirit?


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Friday, 18 January 2019

Heb 4:1-5, 11

Mk 2: 1-12

Reflection by Fr George Crasta SVD

 

Where there is will, there is way. This proverb goes in line with the day’s gospel reading. People crowded in a house to listen the Word of God from Jesus. There was no gap where someone could get in. four men carried a paralytic man with stretcher to reach to Jesus but they could not. Therefore, they went beyond their way to reach to Jesus. Both of them risked something in the process. The present extreme step to get to Jesus would also risk the destruction of a house, but the people behind it would get what they wanted, for that is what the incarnation aimed at. Their trust in Jesus and his ability paid off!  The owner of house didn’t complain for spoiling his house roof, whereas some of the scribes thought themselves, “how can this man talk like that? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mk 2:6). We are all told to forgive our neighbour if we wish to be forgiven by God. With such forgiveness, we remain united as one people of God and we avoid the excesses of dominance and mutual recrimination.

 

Do I criticize others for doing some good works?

Do I go out of my way to help others?



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