Friday, January 29, 2010

IVth Sunday- C.

Jer. 1:4-5, 17-19: 1 Cor. 12:31-13:13Gosple: Luke 4:21-30
John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States and the son of a former President, reportedly said that he would rather clean filth from the streets than be a President. Scripture tells us that most of the prophets shared John Quincy Adams’ feeling of inadequacy to their calling. Moses tried to convince God that he didn’t speak well enough, and Jeremiah complained to God that he was too young. The prophets trembled at the trials ahead of them – and with good reason. Israel had a long history of rejecting prophets. Jeremiah was threatened with death several times, thrown into an empty, muddy cistern, imprisoned, dragged off to exile in Egypt, and, perhaps most painful of all, was forced to watch the destruction of Jerusalem because its inhabitants would not listen to his message.
After reading scripture when Jesus told them : today the scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing, it seems there appeared immediately a double-reaction: some were amazed; and part of their amazement at his “gracious” speech gets expressed in the line “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” But that question seems to cut two ways, and Jesus’ subsequent words indicate his awareness of this. The question “Isn’t this Joseph’s son” CAN be a source of genuine wonder and appreciation—look how far our local boy has come! But it’s not difficult to see that the same question could be asked with a real edge to it, with a sneer. “Joseph’s kid? Good grief. He was a nobody back in the day and he’s a nobody from a no-account family now. Forget him!” They knew members of his family, and that became the filter through which they heard the content of his sermon. Before that congregation really heard him, they already knew him. Everybody knows him. That is the problem. Of all the sayings of Jesus, one of the few things he said that appears in all four gospels is that a prophet gets no respect in a prophet’s hometown. To put it another way, “You become an expert only after you move more than ten miles from home.”
Jesus then goes on to suggest that may be those very detractors in the crowd that day would be asking him shortly for an authenticating sign. They expected Jesus to use his powers and do some special favor for his own people. After all, they were his own people. When Jesus told them the truth that God has no favorites but relates to all humankind by the same standards, they turned against him in disappointment and ran him out of town.
Jesus is telling his townspeople of Nazareth the truth of the universality of God's grace. The people of Nazareth, like most of the “chosen” people of God in Jesus' time, had come to believe in a God made in their own image and likeness. Not the other way around. They believed in an either-or God -- “if God is for us, then he must be against them.” They believed in a God whose beneficence was limited to the “chosen” people. Jesus tells them that such a God does not exist. The true God is equally available to all humanity -- so long as they approach God with faith and trust. To illustrate his points Jesus cites the cases of the prophets Elijah and Elisha who performed great miracles for people who were outside the confines of the “chosen” people. (Widow of Zeraphath and Naaman, the leper)The people were in error and Jesus tried to give them the truth.

Billy Sunday was the Billy Graham of a previous generation. He was conducting a crusade in a particular city. In one of his sermons he said something critical of the labor conditions for workers in that area. After the service, several prominent businessmen sent a message to him by one of the local pastors. The message was this---Billy, leave labor matters alone. Concentrate on getting people saved. Stay away from political issues. You’re rubbing the fur the wrong way." Billy Sunday sent this message back to them: "If I’m rubbing the fur the wrong way, tell the cats to turn around."
The people could not accept the truth because it went against their long-established beliefs in their own superiority, which made them feel good about themselves.
The people of God have always had two kinds of teachers. There are the prophetic teachers who seek above all to please God; who speak the truth of God even when this would cost them their popularity and the people's patronage. And then there are the popularist teachers who seek above all to please the people, to tell them what they would love to hear and confirm them in their prejudices. Scripture warns us that "the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires" (2 Tim. 4:3).
Jesus' words implied that, like the people of his hometown, the Israelites of those former days were unable to receive miracles because of their disbelief. Consequently, God bestowed miracles on the Gentiles who believed in Him. Jesus, like the earlier prophets, dared to speak the truth to people who did not want to hear it.
Jesus’ reference to the unbelief of the Jews and to the stronger faith of the Gentiles infuriated his listeners. They did not like to be reminded that God can, and does, work through religious systems other than their own, even through individuals who are outside any religious system.
By our baptism, God calls us to be prophets like Jesus, sharing his prophetic mission. The task of a prophet is to speak and to live out God’s truth. We must never be afraid of this call, for it is Jesus who will supply us with the courage, the words and the deeds we will need to oppose the many evils in our society. We must realize that God's power is always available to transform even the most unlikely people, and that His power may come to us through unlikely instruments.
We must have the prophetic courage of our convictions. We need to be kind, charitable, honest, forgiving and clear in speaking out our Christian convictions as Jesus was. Speaking God’s truth by word or by deed is a risky business even today. In our country, the attack has not been so much physical as psychological, with various communications media constantly ridiculing and insulting Christians with unprecedented vengeance.
We think that some of the best homilies, retreats, conferences and lectures we hear are “meant for someone else”. We listen and say, “That’s good advice for my kids,” “My neighbors should have heard this homily,” or “That’s aimed at my office staff,” and so on. And that is precisely what Jesus’ hometown people did. They did not acknowledge that they were poor, blind or prisoners who needed a savior and liberator. Hence, they not only rejected Jesus and His “liberation theology,” but also tried to eliminate Him from the world.
Christ fulfilled his life mission, but it didn't make him popular. If we are to fulfill our life mission we need to be ready to suffer similar consequences. We can measure our success as Christians not by how comfortable our faith is making us, by how uncomfortable it is making us. Let's let God make us a little uncomfortable, so that we can become the saint He made us to be.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


ISAIAH 62: 1-5;: I COR 12: 4-11;Gosple: JOHN 2: 1-11
Two weeks ago we celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany of Jesus. The Scripture, however, recorded three Epiphanies; one in Bethlehem at the visit of the Magi, second at the time of His Baptism and the third at the Wedding Feast of Cana. In Bethlehem, the Magi discovered the identity of Jesus and revealed it to the world. On the day of His Baptism, the Father and the Holy Spirit together revealed Jesus’ identity to the world. At the Wedding Feast of Cana, Mary, his own mother took the initiative to reveal the identity of Jesus. Our Gospel reading, today, focuses on this particular aspect. Even though the focus is on the fist of the seven miracles of Jesus in John, this story also reveals the significance of Mary in the plan of salvation. From that perspective, the wedding feast of Cana also marks the Epiphany of Mary. This story reveals at least three aspects of Mary’s personality.

Mentoring is important in any area of life. Consider any game or a sport. Behind any winning team, there always is a great Coach. People who reached the height of holiness had mentors or spiritual directors. The mentor behind the formation of Jesus was none other than his mother. No one knows a son better than his mother. The greatness of Mary was that she accompanied Jesus at every step of his growth and prepared him for his mission. At the age of twelve Jesus was lost in the temple. When Mary confronted Jesus, He said: “Why did you search for me? Don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business?” According to the Jewish custom, a boy becomes legally an adult at the age of 12. Naturally, nobody could blame a boy if he makes an independent decision. Legal adulthood does not necessarily mean maturity. Mary convinced him of the importance of waiting for God’s time, and led him home. The Bible says Jesus grew in wisdom under the guidance of His parents. At Cana, Jesus was not sure about the timing of his mission. He said, “My time has not yet come.” Mary intervened again and helped him to see the signs of the time. She said to the servant, “Do whatever Jesus tells you”. Mary, thus, accompanied Jesus as a mentor and slowly prepared him for the mission for which he was sent by His Father. Jesus recognized the role His mother in His formation. So at Calvary, He entrusted the Church to her guidance. She faithfully accepted that responsibility and prepared the disciples for the day of Pentecost.

Do we have a mentor in our life? The help of a spiritual director is useful for discernment. Remember the story of Samuel. God called him three times. He did not recognize it. He thought that it was Eli. Finally, Eli helped him to recognize God’s voice. St. Paul says: To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. We all have gifts and talents. As Mary helped Jesus to manifest his gift, we need mentors to discern, discover and identify our gifts, talents and calling.

Things may not always happen as planned. Our calculations can go wrong. Unpredictability of the situation and miscalculation on our part can at times put us in a humiliating situation. How do we respond if we see such a situation happening to some of our friends or neighbors? Here Mary stands as a great model. The host of the wedding feast at Cana was running out of wine. It was a sign of disgrace. It could have brought shame on the whole family. Mary helped to solve the crisis in a professional manner. She did not make breaking-news out of it. She did not bring it to the attention of anyone who could do nothing to save the situation. She approached the right person and solved the crisis without incurring damage to anyone’s reputation. She did everything quietly, and remained behind the scene. What a great model of service!

“Pray to the Mother of God. She will get our petition to Jesus. Jesus never denies her request. It is a true statement. A couple of times Jesus turned down the requests of His disciples, including Peter. Jesus, however, never rejected the request of his Mother. Even though Jesus thought that it was not the appropriate time for Him to start his public mission, He yielded to his Mom’s request. He performed the first miracle at his mother’s request. Approach Mary, she will intercede for us before her Son, Jesus.

At Cana Mary said “ They have no wine”. Today pointing to the people in Haiti she may be telling us her children, “They have no medicine, water and other basic necessities to survive this disaster. In 2008 they suffered the effects of 4 major hurricanes and this week they have experienced yet another natural disaster of enormous proportions. Let our generosity be an act of thanksgiving for sparing us from such disasters and an imitation of what Jesus and Mary did for the embarassed couple at Cana.
"Do whatever He tells you." This is the only piece of advice given by Mary recorded in the New Testament, and it is a prerequisite for miracles in our families. Let’s heed her advice and obey her Son who will fill our empty jars- our empty hearts- with delightful wines to celebrate our life. And let’s ask “Holy Mary Mother of God, to pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of hour death.”

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Is 40:1-5, 9-11, TITUS 2:11-14, 3:4-7,Gosple: LUKE 3:15-16, 21-22
There is an old Hindu parable about a tiger cub raised by goats. The cub learned to bleat and nibble grass and behave like a goat. One night a tiger attacked the goats, which scattered for safety. But the tiger cub kept grazing and crying like a goat without getting frightened. The old tiger roared, "What are you doing here, living with these cowardly goats?" He grabbed the cub by the scruff, dragged him to a pond and said: "Look how our faces reflected in water? Now you know who you are and whose you are." The tiger took the cub home, taught him how to catch animals, eat their meat, roar and act like a tiger. The tiger cub thus discovered his true self. Today’s gospel seems to suggest that Jesus received from heaven a fresh flash of realization of who, and Whose, he really was (his identity) and what he was supposed to do (his mission),.
Christ began fulfilling his mission at the incarnation, and shifted into high gear when he began his public ministry thirty years later. This public ministry started with his baptism, when God the Father made a public announcement, so to speak, regarding his qualifications. This is why today's celebration marks the transition from the liturgical season of Christmas into the liturgical season of Ordinary Time.
When Jesus came from Nazareth to be baptized, John immediately recognized him. Matthew tells us that John was reluctant to baptize Jesus, telling it is he who needed to be baptized by Jesus. Jesus did not need baptism. The Sinless One had no need of forgiveness. Why then did Jesus choose to be baptized by John?
One answer we might give lies in the revelation of divine humility. The Son of God not only washed the feet of sinners, he allowed himself to be numbered with them. It is significant that here, at the beginning of Christ's ministry, the revelation of his divine sonship is also the revelation of the Father and the Holy Spirit. There is a gentle approval in the tender words of the Father and the presence of the Spirit in the form of a graceful dove, as the Son of God submits to baptism with a loving humility.
The meaning of Christ's baptism does not end there because by descending into the waters and re-emerging, Christ symbolically anticipates his coming death and resurrection. Baptism signifies the death of the old self. Before anything new can be born, the old has to pass away. Jesus takes our old life and dies with it and hands us new life.
French writer Henri Barbusse tells of a conversation overheard in a trench full of wounded men during the First World War. One of the men, who knew he only had minutes to live says to another man, "Listen, Dominic, you've led a very bad life. Everywhere you are wanted by the police. But there are no convictions against me. My name is clear, so, here, take my wallet, take my papers, my identity, take my good name, my life and quickly, hand me your papers that I may carry all your crimes
away with me in death."
The Good News is that through Jesus, God makes a similar offer. Something wonderful happens to us when we are baptized. When we are baptized, we identify ourselves with Jesus. Our lives are changed. We see things and people differently than before. We are able to identify with Jesus because He was baptized. And we are able to love as he loved. Such identification is life changing. Because we are given the holy spirit to empower to live life guided by the spirit. The gospel says: The Spirit descends "like a dove." The Holy Spirit is not a bird. The dove is a metaphor for the Spirit's coming into our lives. It is a beautiful metaphor. Have you ever seen a dove descend and land? It is graceful, gentle, and quiet. That's the point being made. That is the way the Holy Spirit will enter into our lives. The Holy Spirit came to Jesus gently, quietly, and privately. The Holy Spirit descended upon him while he was by himself praying." In other words, it wasn't a public event. It was a personal and private experience. No one else saw it. No one else heard that voice from heaven. He came out of the water, went off by himself, and prayed. That is what happened. This is what happens in our life too.
The "baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other Sacraments" (CCC, 1213). The 13th century king of France, St. Louis IX (1226-70), insisted that the grand celebration of his birthday should be held on the day of his baptism, and not on his birthday proper. His argument was that baptism was the beginning of a life that would continue for eternity in the everlasting glory of heaven.
Most of us dipped the fingers into the holy water font and blessed ourselves when we came into church today. Why? This blessing is supposed to remind us of our baptism. And so when I bless myself with holy water, I should be thinking of the fact that I am a child of God; that I have been redeemed by the Cross of Christ; that I have been made a member of God’s family and that I have been washed, forgiven, cleansed and purified by the blood of the Lamb. We express these faiths by crossing ourselves with holy water. Faith is the essential element of baptism. An infant, though, doesn’t possess faith to receive baptism, is baptized by the faith of the parents. A paralytic was brought to Jesus by a few people, Jesus healed him looking at the faith of the people who brought him, not at the faith of the paralytic. This is what happens in infant baptism. That is why the church refuses to baptize infants whose parents don’t have faith or do not practice faith.
A drunk stumbles across a Pentecostal baptismal service on Sunday afternoon down by the river. He proceeds to walk down into the water and stand next to the Preacher. The minister turns and notices him and says, "Mister, are you ready to find Jesus?" The drunk looks back and says, "Yes, Preacher. I sure am." The minister then dunks the fellow under the water and pulls him right back up. "Have you found Jesus?" the preacher asked. "No, I didn't!" said the drunk. The preacher then dunks him under for quite a bit longer, brings him up and says, "Now, brother, have you found Jesus?” “No, I did not, Reverend." The preacher in disgust holds the man under for at least 30 seconds this time, brings him out of the water and says in a harsh tone, "My God, have you found Jesus yet?” The old drunk wipes his eyes and says to the preacher... "Are you sure this is where he fell in?" So if one receives baptism without faith he will not find Jesus.
This is also a day for us to renew our baptismal vows by consecrating ourselves to the Holy Trinity and "by rejecting Satan and all his empty promises," which our profane world is constantly offering us through its mass media of communication. Let us ask Our Lord today to make us faithful to our Baptismal promises.
Today, as Jesus renews his commitment to us in this Mass, let's thank him for reuniting us with the Father, and ask for the grace to live as the children of God in thought, word and action so that our Heavenly Father may say to each one of us as He said to Jesus: "You are my beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased"

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tuesday, 1Jn 4:7-10,MARK 6:34-44

In today's first reading, St. John emphasizes that the initiative for love comes from God and not from us. God does not love us just because we love or obey him.
C.S. Lewis, once wrote a book called "The Four Loves". One of these is "agape", the form of love that John is talking about. "Agape" is: "a passionate desire for the well-being of the other". This is the love that God unconditionally extends to all his creatures without exception. It is the love that each of us must also extend to every one of our brothers and sisters again and again, without a single exception. It is an outreaching love; an unconditional love; it does not depend on mood, liking or disliking. It is based purely and simply on the need and on the good of the other.
The gospel tells the familiar story of the multiplication of loaves and fishes to feed the large crowd following him. He was moved with pity for them and then fed them. Jesus blessed the people and served them as he still does for us. Always because of our needs he has pity on us and helps us.
Of all the miracles Jesus did, this is the only one which is repeated in all four gospels. The miraculous feeding of such a great multitude pointed to God's provision of manna in the wilderness for the people of Israel under Moses' leadership. This food foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would offer his followers.
The feeding of the five thousand shows the remarkable generosity of God and his great kindness towards us. In the multiplication of the loaves and fishes we see a sign and a symbol of what God always does. When God gives, he gives abundantly. He gives more than we need for ourselves that we may have something to share with others, especially those who lack what they need. We are called to pass on this love of God for us to everyone we meet.

Monday- Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

Today’s reading records the moment when Jesus left his home town, never to live there again. In Luke’s gospel it is clearer that this decision was due to his experience of rejection at Nazareth (Lk 4:30,31). His townspeople tried to throw him over a cliff because he said things they didn’t like to hear. As soon as John had finished his testimony Jesus began his in Galilee. Galilee was at the crossroads of the world and much traffic passed through this little region. It had been assigned to the tribes of Asher, Naptali and Zebulum when the Israelites first came into the land ( Joshua 9). For a long time it had been under Gentile occupation. Isaiah foretold (Is. 9) that the good news of salvation would be proclaimed in this land and reach to the Gentiles. Jesus begins the proclamation of the gospel here to fulfill the word of God. The Old Testament prophets spoke of God’s promise to send a Redeemer who would establish God’s rule. That time is now fulfilled in Jesus.

Jesus takes up John’s message of repentance and calls disciples to believe in the good news he has come to deliver. He encourages them on the very simplest level to "re-form" their lives, in order to live in God's Kingdom. The task was to awaken a race alienated from God from the beginning. There was only one word for it—‘Repent!’ Take a fresh look! He was calling the blind to see. Repentance is less about sorrow and regret than a challenge to see straight. Repentance requires a life-change and a transformation of heart and mind.
The Holy Spirit gives us grace to see our sin for what it is – rebellion and a rejection of the love of God. Faith is an entirely free gift which God makes to us. To believe is to take Jesus at his word, to believe that God loved us so much that he sent his only begotten Son to redeem us from the slavery of sin and death. God wants to change our way of thinking and transform our lives by the power of his word. Let’s give our life to the hand of God to be re-formed by the powerful, careful hands of a God who continues to call us to life, to re-create us in His own image.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Is. 60:1-6,: Eph.3: 2-6,Gosple: Mt. 2: 1-12

Little Amy was looking through the family album and found a picture of a man sitting behind a cow. All that was visible was the man’s legs and feet. She took the picture to a photo shop and told the clerk, "This is the only picture of my grandfather that I have. So please remove the cow so I can see what he looked like." In today’s first reading, we are given the portion of the vision of Isaiah which presents the God of Israel as the Light Who removes darkness and clouds from the earth. Matthew, writing to his Jewish-Christian community, describes how the Magi as foretold by the prophet Isaiah, came to Jerusalem with their gifts, following a special star.
The word ‘magi’ is translated here as “wise men.” ‘Magus’ meant different things: a magus was a member of the Persian priestly caste; or one who possessed occult knowledge and power (this is the origin of our word ‘magic’). Tradition calls them “kings” – judging, probably, by the wealth of the gifts they brought.
According to the sixth century Italian tradition there were three Magi - Casper, Balthazar, and Melchior. It is based on the fact that three gifts are mentioned in Matthew’s gospel. The Orthodox Church holds that the Magi were twelve kings, corresponding in number to the twelve tribes of Israel. As for the star, commentary on the Torah by Jewish rabbis had suggested that a star appeared in the sky at the births of Abraham, Isaac and Moses. Likewise, in the Book of Numbers, the prophet Balaam spoke of "a star that shall come out of Jacob." Stars, then, were believed to be signs from God, announcing important events. Thus, the brightness of the light to which kings were drawn became the star in Matthew. Gold, frankincense and myrrh may be thought of as prophesying Jesus’ future. Gold was a gift for kings; frankincense (an ancient air purifier and perfume) was offered to God in Temple worship (Ex. 30:37); and myrrh (an oriental remedy for intestinal worms in infants) was used by the High Priest, both as an anointing oil (Ex. 30:23), and to prepare bodies for burial. These gifts were not only expensive but portable. Perhaps Joseph sold the gifts to finance the Holy Family’s trip to Egypt. The gifts may well have been God’s way of providing for the journey that lay ahead.
Herod was one of history’s greatest tyrants: he spared no one, not even his own family; to keep his grip on power he murdered his wife, three of his sons, his brother-in-law, an uncle, and his mother-in-law. He built the temple and as a Jew he kept the Jewish laws of purity, abstained from pork. And this made a Roman Emperor jokingly comment- I would rather be Herod’s pig than his son. His pig would be safe, that is what he meant. In fact, his whole life was a series of violent, horrible crimes. His tyrannical fear of losing control eventually made him universally hated, even by his closest collaborators. As he lay dying, he ordered a thousand of his best servants and ministers to be led into a stadium and slaughtered, because he wanted to be sure there was mourning and sadness in his kingdom upon his death.
He had been appointed “King of the Jews” by the Roman Senate in 40 BC and he had already reigned for over thirty years. He was in no mind to hear of a new king, especially one who was no son of his. “He was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him.” He was frightened to hear of a rival, and the people were frightened because they knew what he was capable of. But the chief priests and the scribes – the religious authorities of the day – were able to give him directions in locating this rival. They knew in detail about the expected arrival of “the anointed one.” But not any of the authorities went with Magi to search for the Child; it was the pagan astrologers who sought and found him.
Leaving Jerusalem the Magi found and followed their star and it led them to where the child was. They came to a cave or a stable where they found a poor family, with animals and perhaps a few shepherds. All the appearances would have told them they had made a ridiculous mistake, yet “falling to their knees, they did him homage.” Their reaction was different from Herod's: he was troubled, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
The feast of Epiphany invites us to see ourselves as images of the Magi, a people on a journey to Christ. The Magi offered gold, in recognition of Jesus as the king of the Jews; frankincense, in acknowledgment that He was God, and myrrh as a symbol of His human nature. Let us offer God our very selves, promising Him that we will use His blessings to do good to our fellow men. Herod and the Jewish leaders did not look for him or offer him anything because they lacked humility. Let’s be people of humble offering.
Just as the Magi chose another route to return to their homes, let us choose a better way of life, abstaining from proud and impure thoughts, evil habits and selfish behavior.
Let us become the Star, leading others to Jesus, as the star led the Magi to Him. We can remove or lessen the darkness of the evil around us by being, if not like stars, at least like candles, radiating Jesus’ love by selfless service, unconditional forgiveness and compassionate care. Like the Magi offering their gifts, we offer what we have, from the heart, in response to what that Child has given to us - himself.
It is the start of the New Year and as usual, we have our own expectations, resolutions, and plans for the year. We earnestly beg the Lord that such desires will be fulfilled. Yet, we are to prepare ourselves for the various ways and manifestations of the Lord. The Lord will indeed come up with many surprises. Yet, it will depend on our attitudes whether we will be able to see such events in the light of faith. For the Magi, there was a star that served as their guide towards meeting the much awaited Messiah. We just have to open our minds and hearts for these surprises that will surely indicate the presence of Jesus in our lives. Let’s ask the Lord to help us recognize the star and open our minds and hearts for the surprises.

Friday, January 1, 2010

NEW YEAR & Mary Mother of God.


Numbers 6:22-27,: Galatians. 4:4-7,Gosple: Luke 2: 16-21

We just stepped into a new year. A new year is like a new baby: it has to be given a name, and today’s readings are about naming. The first reading says, “They shall put my name on the people” (v 27), and in the Gospel the child is named Jesus (v 21). We begin the year in God’s name, and in the name of God’s Son. We are the people who have been given the right to call God “Abba, Father” because of Jesus.
Mary’s presence marks the beginning of the year. It is appropriate to have a mother to accompany our first steps. January 1st is her feast- Mary Mother of God. Her title, ‘Mother of God, affirms equally the humanity and the divinity of Christ. The Nestorians –said that Christ was two persons: the man Jesus and the divine Son of God. This view was rejected at the Council of Ephesus (431 AD), which insisted that Jesus was one person with two natures, divine and human. The most emphatic way they could say this was to affirm that Mary was not just the mother of the man Jesus, but that she was the mother of God. This was their way of saying that Christ was one person, not two. At the dawn of this year 2010 the church teaches us that we should approach Jesus through Mary.
New year is the time we make new resolutions. But What we need, of course, is not another resolution, but a revolution. We need a turning point in our lives. Without a revolution our resolutions might remain just resolutions without transferring into effect.
A boy asked a puzzle to his father, "Dad, if three frogs were sitting on a limb that hangs over a pool, and one frog decided to jump off into the pool, how many frogs would be left on the limb?" The dad replied, "Two." "No," the son replied. “Here is the question again: There are three frogs and one decides to jump, how many are left?" The dad said, "Oh, I get the point! If one decided to jump, the others would too. So there are none left." The boy said, "No dad, the answer is three. The frog only DECIDED to jump." Does that sound like our last year’s resolutions? Great inspiration and great resolutions, but often times we only decide, and months later we are still on the same limb of do-nothing.
Some years back a photo of Lady Bird Johnson, wife of President Lyndon Johnson, appeared on the front page of USA Today. An interviewer asked her if she had any advice for people. She said, "Yes! Each day, do a little more than you think you can." That's a good advice to consider at the beginning of the New year.:
Each day, love a little bit more than you think you can. Each day forgive a little more than you think you can. Each day be a little more patient than you think you can. Each day be a little bit kinder than you think you can. This would make everyday of the new year a better year in every respect.

We, Christians have good reason to be the happiest people in the world. Because Christmas announces us peace, joy and happiness. Our happiness is not based upon the condition of the world but upon the condition of the heart. We are happy because of God and not because of man.

If anybody should be happy, it is a Christian. But, many think the life of a Christian in terms of solemnity, seriousness, and severity. Some of us are like the country boy whose grandmother forbade him to engage in "worldly amusements" on Sunday.
Dejected and lonely, he walked down to the barn fence and while he was there a mule came up and put its head into the boy's hands. Patting the sad face of the mule, the boy commiserated, "Poor fellow, you must be a Christian, too."

Often we are like this country boy, thinking that living by Christian principles fully takes away the vigor and enjoyment from our life. We forget the fact that our happiness primarily lies in our attitude to life. If our attitude towards life is optimistic and hopeful our life would be happy. I remember a story I heard long ago when I was in elementary school. It is about the story of two boys- named Chaitran and Maitran. Their teacher wanted to test them and so gave both of them 10 bucks each and showed them two rooms and asked them to fill the rooms with anything they like. The rooms should be full any way. Chaitran thought of it how can I fill the room with things worth just $10 ? He approached the Muncipality scavangers / or garbage collector and paid him $10 and told him to fill the room with garbage, which doesn’t cost much. But Maitran thought in a different way. He bought two incense sticks and a couple of candles and a few fresh flowers and he lighted the incense sticks and the candles and kept the flowers in the room. When the teacher came to inspect the room he was pleased with Maitran’s view of filling the room with fragrance and light while Chaitran’s room could not even be approached by the teacher because of the filthy smell. Both had different perspectives and state of mind and they evinced that by their actions. Both were given same opportunities, circumstances, but both reacted to them differently. I think this story imparts some lessons how we should approach the new year.
Three ways to make the New Year meaningful: a) Something to dream, b) Something to do, and c) Someone to love. “I have a dream’” said Martin Luther King. We should all have a noble plan of action (dream a noble dream) for every day in the New Year. We need to remember the proverb:” Cherish your yesterdays, dream your tomorrows, but live your today." It has been truly said that an idle mind is the devil's workshop. We must not be barren fig trees in God’s vineyard. We must be always engaged, doing good to others and loving our fellow men and women, who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. This becomes easy when we make God the center of our life and realize His presence in all the people around us. Let us light a candle instead of blaming the darkness around us. Just as the moon borrows the sun’s light to illuminate the earth, we must radiate the light of God shining within us.
Let me conclude by the priestly blessing prayer God instructed Aaron and his sons to use , from the first reading.The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face shine upon you and give you peace; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace though out the New year.