It is 23rd February 2016. We celebrate the memorial of St. Polycarp, the Bishop and the Martyr. The readings are from Isaiah 1:10, 16-20; and the Gospel from Matthew 23:1-12. The first reading invites us to do something more than the bodily penance. It is a collection of Works of Mercy which displayed in the first reading. Our conversion has to be sincere, personal and social. Our personal penance must lead to the social transformation. The focal point of our conversion is to return to God so as to treat the others respectfully. The call to conversion is primarily from God through the Church and so we cannot ignore it or undermine it. The obedience to God’s Word brings all the blessings and the disobedience brings disaster and death. (Is.1:20). We need to do a few fundamental things in order to have a deeper conversion and conversation with God. We must strive hard to stop evil, accelerate doing good, work for justice, uplift the lives of the oppressed, the orphans and the widows. When we have done all these, God is willing to remove our sins and replace with the garments of grace and glory. A saintly nun Mother Theresa told once, “Our service to the humanity is the rent we pay in living the world.” The responsorial praises, “I will show God’s salvation to the upright.” (Ps.49:23). The Gospel sternly warns us about our hypocritical attitudes of displaying holiness in order to attract attention. Our love for positions over take us the loyalty to God is indeed poisonous attitude which kills the connection with God and others. Greatness needs to come out in service. “The greatest among you will be your servant.” (Mt.23:11). I would like conclude with the words St. Polycarp, “Ninety-six years have I served Him, and never did He fail me! How could I now blaspheme my King and my Saviour?” Let us glory the Lord through our humble service to the humanity. May God bless you.

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