It is 24th October 2019. We celebrate the memorial Anthony Mary Claret. The readings are from Romans 6:19-23; and the Gospel from Luke 12:49-53. When God is no longer remains the meaning and motto of our existence, we tend to lean on sin and Satan for our livelihood. Sin not only destroys the relationship with God and with one another. Every sin is a sin again love, faithfulness and trust. St. Paul points out in the first reading as though sin is being paid to keep God out of our life and preferring to offer the place of God to created things and people. Sin separates us from God and bring us closer to death. This pain of separation is self-inflicted and a personal choice to reject God. By loving sin, we lose the capacity to love God. By choosing to embrace sin, we become weakened to choose God. Life is all about choices. Our choices cannot exclude God and God’s kingdom, grace and faith, holiness and faithfulness in our lives. We need to clarify and examine daily whether we are at the service of Christ or in the service of sin. Our life of charity is the sanctification for our souls and we need to be the slaves of God not of sin and Satan. “For the wage paid by sin is death, the gift given by God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom.6:23). God does not owe anything to anyone however good we might be. Yet, salvation is grace in Christ is offered by God as an underserved gift. We need to welcome it and nurture it on a daily basis. The responsorial Psalm praises, “Happy are they who hope in the Lord.” (Ps.39:5). The Gospel teaches us that meeting Christ ignites humanity with the flames of the Holy Spirit, the fire of love and blazing tongues of the word of the Lord. The encounter with Jesus brings division in the strangers and to the members of the same family. Jesus remains a sign of contradiction as prophesized by Simeon. (Lk.2:34). Fire denotes the judgement of God and directly connected with the baptism of the Lord. The flames of fire that descended upon the Church to be prophetic in its evangelising mission. Missionary disciple must have a love greater than the love they have for their family and relatives. The fire of love if it is confined to the fence of the family and friends is fragile and fragmented. A missionary disciple needs to abandon all forms of greed and hypocrisy, selfishness and discrimination, willing to embrace universal fraternity by sincere love to all people especially people different from one’s tribe, race, creed, ethnicity, culture colour and social status. Our commitment for Christ is to be the top priority over all the material attachments. Let us not quell the flames of love by our sins while listening to Jesus. The fire that Jesus offers warms our hearts, homes and relationships. May our renewal, this new beginning during this extraordinary missionary month bring us closer to God and to be far from life of sin. We need to be faithful to God who is always faithful. “For God never revokes the call and the gift He offered.” (Rom.11:29). May you have a day full of peace basked in the flames of love offered by Jesus. May God bless you.

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