It is 16th January 2020. The readings are from 1Samuel 4:1-11 and the Gospel from Mark 1:40-45. God never wants us to lose a battle, get humiliated and defeated in our life circumstances. But sin rejoices when we are going down to the drain. The question arises in our life: who puts us into this wretched and broken condition of life? It is not God of course. It is our affiliation with sin and selfishness brings us down in our life. We are to be blamed and to take responsibility for all that is going on in our lives. We cannot go on basking in the past glorious moments and hiding behind it. We all need to face the reality in our life. Without God and the support from our faith-encounter communities, it is impossible to face truth about our spiritual life. The first reading clearly explains the fall of people of Israel was their sins and their refusal to acknowledge God in overcoming their enemies. The army of Israel got defeated and humiliated and eventually the temple at Shiloh got destroyed and the Ark of the covenant that contained the stone tablets and a portion of manna, was taken into custody by the Philistines. Religious commandments and articles have no magical charm to do things we desire when we are far from living the Commandment and have reverence for the same. Sacramentals are reminders about God’s love not a magical weapon. We cannot use these sacred objects for our convenience only. When our souls and lives are shrouded with sins, it is hard to have spiritual combat fought successfully. The responsorial Psalm prays, “Redeem us, O Lord, because of your love.” (Ps.43:27). The Gospel expounds that God does not need advertisement to remain God. Jesus cured a leper. It was his faith in Jesus that healed him. Superstitious faith never brings us closer to Christ. Validity of celebrating the Sacraments alone do not bring the desired blessings but the inner holiness of a person who celebrates with faith in Jesus does. We cannot be a disciple of Christ unless we transform internally and commit ourselves solely to Christ. No one becomes a witness by accident or by a magical and superstitious faith. “Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured.’” (Mk.1:41). May we strengthen our faith in Jesus through our personal encounter and experience of God. May you have a good day and God bless you.