Saturday, 23 February 2013

Gift and Impossibility

"And he believed the Lord;"
Gen 15:6a

Gen 15:5-18; Phil 3:17-4:1

Gifting for Jacques Derrida is Impossible it is an Aporia (Puzzle). Here God calls Abraham to count the stars in the sky, which is by itself an impossible act. Now to another extreme, God promises those impossible stars would become Abraham's descendents, who currently is without any issue. And Abraham does another extreme, extreme, extreme impossibility, "HE BELIEVED", can you believe it?

God wants to Gift us the impossible and how are we going to respond to the impossible gift. God's gift is unlike anything that would've ever crossed your mind (1Cor 2:9). In order to receive the impossible we must become the impossible and believe our impossible God.

Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) french philosopher.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Perfect like father...

"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Mt 5:48

Mt 5:43-48

Perfect means to become as good as it is possible says online dictionary in a google search for the word. Jesus wants us to be perfect like our heavenly father. Now, do we understand this state of being perfect, we always kind of play with words like this, for example: nobody is perfect, I am nobody or Practice makes someone perfect, nobody is perfect, so why practice and so on. Being street-wise we know perfection is not possible. But, biblical understanding for perfect is quite different. Bible starts with perfect love (Jn 4:18), what is this perfect love, love your neighbor as yourself (Mk 12:31) and it goes on to add another ingredient for this perfect formula, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Mt 5:44).

Jean Paul-Sartre called Ernesto Che Guevara as "complete human being"1, but most people would disagree. However, Che Guevara had worked for his people and their liberation. For him alleviation of hunger was of prime importance, "hunger is a violent condition forced upon the hungry, and he finds violence an unavoidable method to counter that condition." Guevara from a philosophers words was a complete human being but was not perfect, but his condition of becoming perfect is debatable and his work cannot termed viewed in a reductionist mode.

But, Jesus Christ calls us not to love our own but to love our enemies, which is a condition of becoming perfect, which reflects our Heavenly Father's image.

1 Manash Bhattacharjee, "Gandhi and the guerilla," The Hindu, February 23, 2013, Op-Ed.

Saturday, 16 February 2013



Isa 58; Lk 4:1-12; Lk 5: 27-39

Fasting is an age old religious practice. Fasting is usually defined as a withholding of all natural food from the body for a determined period voluntarily appointed for moral or religious ends. E. B. Tylor writes that "it originated in the desire of primitive man to bring on at will certain abnormal nervous conditions favorable to those dreams which are supposed to give to the soul direct access to the objective realities of the spiritual world." However, a popular Christian belief prevails that when you fast and pray things get down immediately. But, lets take a closer look at this fasting act.

Prophet Isaiah writes Fasting is a day to humble oneself. More than abstaining from food it is actually inviting the marginalized for having food together with you. More than remaining at home it is time to go for shopping, not for yourself but to buy things to give for others who are in need.

So why did Jesus go for fasting? becomes a classical question for all those who love going to wilderness, and living without food. Have a closer look a Jesus' fasting. While Jesus was fasting it was his time for preparation for doing his father's will. And during his fasting days he was tempted by the devil, where he made choices not for himself but to do his Father's will. He was choosing a best possibility.

Take a look at Levi (Matthew) what does he do after meeting Jesus. He went home and invited Jesus for dinner. After he was saved he did not run into desert for fasting, instead he threw a party opened his home for his friends who were in need of salvation. He opened up his house, so Jesus can meet so many of his kind. He was feasting, but at the same time he bet he was praying for his friends to be saved. This is the real attitude for fasting.

So when is your fasting day? Look for bunch of guys whom you think are not church-going kind and not religious, they are the ones whom you need for fasting. Give them food to eat, invite Jesus to speak to them. You think you want to abstain from buying things for yourself, well take a f(e)asting day buy things for those who are in need. That is fasting commendable in God's eyes.

Restore, Rebuild, Renovate...

"You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
    restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
    make the community livable again." (Isa 58:12 The Message)

Isa 58:9-14; Lk 5:27-32

Jesus called to Levi, he left everything and followed him. But what followed that event was even more amazing. He called or rather invited Jesus to his home for dinner, and guess what, everyone of the guest was someone exactly like Levi himself. Jesus invited Levi, and he felt that change that happened within him. Levi in turn opened up his entire community for Jesus' call. To make that community live again.

Our change and calling by Christ can turn into a call for Christ himself to interact with our community. Open our community to Christ's presence. Christ calls us as repairer, re-builder and renovator or anything. Specially, we will be called as someone who makes the community livable again.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Choose Life...

"Choose life..."
Dt 30:19

Dt 30:15-20

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” - Albert Einstein. What a wonderful idea. If we need to keep living, we need to keep moving. Even God wants us to keep moving in life, therefore he says 'choose life'. There are many things that distract and keep us from moving on. World offers us choices on things, dead things (materials, objects, etc.,).

But today, lets make a choice, let us choose life. Lets choose freedom from things that hold us from moving forward. Let us choose love and grace of God that encourages us to move forward. Above all let us encourage someone to move forward, help them choose life.

"Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever..." Heb 12: 1-3 (The Message)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

hearts wide open...

"now is the day of salvation"
2Cor 6:2

2Cor 5:20-6:13

Today is the day of salvation. We have received the Grace of God, but, do not receive it in vain. Let the Grace that you have received through Jesus Christ be of some use for our neighbor. Grace can be defined as the ability to "open our hearts wide open" (2Cor 6:13). Grace knows no bounds and no restrictions.

Put the Grace of God that is in you to good use today. Let there be salvation, now is the day of salvation. Let's open our hearts wide, let our eyes see. Let us be radically open in our hearts and minds so we may touch one person today and declare to him the day of salvation, today!!

Monday, 11 February 2013

God and Review...

"God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good."
Gen 1:31

Gen 1:20-2:4

Work, in many theologians views is a call of God, towards continuation of development in creation1. Our God presents himself as an active worker in the development of creation. Each one of us are given a task, a profession to pursue. Some of us corporates, teachers, artists, etc., but each one of us are creators in our given space. True to our image (of God), we have creative impulses that fuel our work.

In today's reading, God made everything and he reviewed them and found it was good. This is profound, even God who is perfect in his work, takes time to review his work. We need to take time to review our work, inspect our work until we find it very good (Gen 1:31). God did not stop until it was very good in his own eyes. Lets take time to review our work to make it look very good in our own eyes (Prov 22:29).

1Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 2004), III/4, 470-74.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

What I am...

"But by the grace of God I am what I am"
1Cor 15:10

1Cor 15:1-11; Isa 6:1-8; Lk 5:1-11

Grace is what makes us who we are. Grace of God is not a Cheap Grace but a Costly Grace (Bonhoeffer). Costly grace is one which call for repentance and discipline. Isaiah's vision of God was accompanied by cleansing. For Peter an encounter with Jesus was his own self-understanding that he was a sinner. In both the instances it was climaxed with a call for a divine commission.

God's vision shows us who we are and God's Grace calls us towards who we can be. We can be bold in saying that because of Grace of God we are who we are. And this grace leads us towards who we can be.

Friday, 8 February 2013


"Let mutual love continue"
Heb 13:1

Heb 13:1-6

Love suffers pain, love is vulnerable. To continue in love is the greatest challenge in Christianity. You have to continue in Love with the divine other and the other (neighbor) (Mt 22:36-40). How to continue in this love? Today's reading advises to show hospitality. This hospitality is counting yourself in with the trouble of the other. Suffering of the other becomes suffering of the self. Not merely a suffering in thought, which tends to become, I suffer for them (self-pity) and how good I am. Instead, the suffering should become an incarnation, that is, taking on the suffering of the other with a willing heart. Then, to continue in love is to count-in-you in the situation of the suffering other.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

No Bread, No Bag, No Money...

"He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts"
Mk 6:8

Mk 6:7-14

Jesus ordered his disciples not to take any bread, bag or money on their mission. This mission was authorized by Jesus Christ himself. This authority over unclean spirits came with a specific command: no bread, no bag, no money. This is the real call for discipleship, a missionary of Christ cannot take bread, bag or money in his journey he has to rely on divine providence. They did not carry anything with them but, they did heal people and made their masters name proud, "Jesus' name had become known."

"My dear and beloved Brother, the treasure of blessed poverty is so very precious and divine that we are not worthy to possess it in our vile bodies. For poverty is that heavenly virtue by which all earthy and transitory things are trodden under foot, ... It is she who accompanied Christ on the Cross, was buried with Christ in the Tomb, and with Christ was raised and ascended into Heaven, for even in this life she gives to souls who love her the ability to fly to Heaven, and she alone guards the armor of true humility and charity.”

- St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, 4 February 2013

done it...

" proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
    saying that he has done it."
Ps 22: 31

Heb 12:1-4; Ps 22

Faith that is not passed on to the next generation is a dangerous thing. Book of Judges is a classic example of what happens when faith is not passed on to the next generation. If we need to pass on our faith, primarily we need to fix our eyes on Jesus who is perfecter of our faith. Our faith depends on what we know about Jesus Christ. Psalmist says, I will proclaim to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it. In order to pass on our faith, we need to know what he has done.

Based on the reading, we can summarize that Jesus has endured the cross, disregarded the shame and endured hostility by evil men. He has done, now its our call hold on to this witness of faith in order to persevere in our own race of enduring shame and hostility and fight every sinful structure to the point of shedding blood like our Lord Jesus Christ. Fix your eyes upon Jesus Christ. Pass on the faith saying he has done it and now its our turn to do it.

WEak ... Weak ... weak...

"To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak..."
1 Cor 9:22

John 12:20-32; 1Cor 9:19-23

Becoming "weak", carrying the cross, hating one's own life. All this is the meaning of a Christian. Jesus realized his glorification as process of falling to the ground and dying (John 12:23-24). Is this our idea of "glory" as a Christian. 

Following Christ demands, hating and loosing his own life, which perfectly resounds in Paul's own words, "I am free...I have made myself slave to all" (1Cor 9:19). Is this sounding uncomfortable to us? Paul adds, "I became weak" to win weak. World does not need sympathy, but needs solidarity. Becoming weak for the weak. Losing along with the losers.

Jesus said, "
where I am, there will my servant be also." If we call ourselves servant's of Jesus Christ. Now, the question of early disciples comes back to us again, "where are you staying?" (John 1:38). Where are we to find Christ today?

Friday, 1 February 2013


“This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many ... and to be a sign that will be opposed"
Luke 2:34

Luke 2:22-40

Contradiction. This child will be a sign of contradiction to the world, this child will usher in the falling and rising, hidden to the revealed. This child is Jesus Christ, who brought in contradiction, he contradicted everything in the world. He is "...a Stumbling block..." (1 Cor 1:23) to the world, because he subverts and inverts the world. Rising will be falling in him and falling will be rising (Mk 9:35). 

"The way things are counted in the kingdom confounds the calculations of the “world.” If your brother offends you seven times a day, you should forgive him, and that still holds even if he offends you seven times seventy, which seems excessive. If one sheep among a hundred is lost and then found, there is more rejoicing over that one than over the ninety-nine, which is an unaccountably odd way to count, since there is more profit in the ninety-nine and the one is not worth the risk to the ninety-nine, as any cost accountant, who knows how to calculate risks, can assure us. In the kingdom there is an odd predilection for reversals: the last shall be first, sinners are preferred to the righteous, the stranger is the neighbor, the insiders are out."1

John Caputo says that Christians have a "deadly serious concern to contradict the world." Are we playing safe? are we afraid to contradict anyone in the world? are we pleasing men more than Christ? then there is a serious lack in our commitment to the sign who is a contradiction to the world. We are called to become a/Sign.

1. John Caputo "The Poetics of the Impossible and the Kingdom of God", Blackwell Companion to Postmodern Theology, ed. Graham Ward (MA: Blackwell, 2001), 471.

(un)Mute >

"Speak out for those who cannot speak..."
Prov 31:8

Prov 31:8,9

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?", these words were uttered by Jesus with a "loud voice" (Mk 15:34). It is mentioned that he cried with a loud voice. Amidst his pain and suffering on the cross, he mustered all his strength to voice these words. Through these words, Jesus gave voice to the millions who are suffering from neglect, marginalization and rejection. People who are suffering from poverty and rejection, both socially and religiously, found a loud voice in Jesus Christ. Through his words, millions find solidarity in a suffering Christ, who is willing to give voice for the voiceless.

Lets speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of the destitute, for the rights of the poor and needy. Share your voice with millions, who are without voice, who cannot speak for themselves. Through our voice let them find solidarity in suffering. Let us together struggle for justice and righteousness. Speak today for someone who cannot speak. Stand up for someone who cannot stand for themselves, even if it means standing alone.