06.12.2022 — Personal Care of the Shepherd

Posted under Reflections on December 6th, 2022 by

2nd week of Advent, Tuesday – 6th December 2022 — Gospel: Mt 18,12-14

Personal Care of the Shepherd

In the parable of the wandering sheep, Jesus questions twice about things with which the disciples were familiar. He wanted them to think and not just listen. This parable appears in the Gospels of Matthew (18,12-14) and in Luke (15,3-7) with slight variations. Matthew’s parable is given to Jesus’ disciples as community discourse, but the Luke’s is given to religious leaders, Pharisees and scribes. In Matthew the sheep strays and is devastated, but in Luke it is simply lost. More than the lost sheep, the strayed sheep needs to be brought back. Matthew’s version is pastoral in nature, for the owner of the sheepfold goes in search of the strayed one and after finding it, he is pleased with it. The parable focuses on the individual and personal care of the shepherd to the sheep. It doesn’t matter which sheep went astray, the shepherd would search for it. In the same way, heavenly father is also not willing to lose the little ones. Luke’s version is evangelical, for the owner returns home with the lost sheep and celebrates with the neighbourhood. This celebration also continues in heaven as a sign of repentance of one sinner. Matthean parable challenges us to get out of our comfort zones and our selfish ways of living. It calls to live our lives for the other by accepting our responsibility for them.

05.12.2022 — Basic Need for Forgiveness

Posted under Reflections on December 5th, 2022 by

2nd Week of Advent, Monday – 5th December 2022 — Gospel:  Lk 5,17-26

Basic need for Forgiveness

In healing the paralytic, Jesus emphasizes on the importance of forgiveness of sins, which is the basic need of every person. Probably the paralytic’s friends were motivated by their friend’s physical need rather than his spiritual need. In fact their actions in getting round this crowd by letting the paralytic down through the roof is a great illustration of the same. However, Jesus used this miracle to prove his claim to have authority to forgive sins. His power in the visible realm over paralysis is manifested in his authority to forgive sins in the spiritual realm.  From a human point of view, it’s easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” since there’s no way to verify it. From God’s perspective, to forgive sins is more difficult, since it involved the sacrifice of his Son. Jesus took that which is humanly more difficult – healing the man- and used it to verify his claim to forgive his sins. His forgiveness of sins explain two great truths: 1) Only God can forgive sins and Jesus is God; 2) Only man can bear man’s penalty for sin and Jesus is man.

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