It is 25th August 2015. We celebrate the memorial of Saints Louis and Joseph Calasanz, the priests. The readings are from 1 Thess.2:1-8 and the Gospel is from Mt.23:23-26. The first reading brings out St. Paul’s conviction to preach the Gospel. To understand St. Paul in a better way, we need to know his cultures. He had Hebrew culture from Gamaliel at Jerusalem, the Philosophy of Greece at Tarsus and the knowledge of Christ from Damasucs. The contribution he made was that he replaced the eros (lust) with the Christian agape (love). The eros is the ever-longing love for eternal beauty and the passionate desire that is never satisfied while Agape is the total self-giving in response to the call of God for the sake of the others. St. Paul is motivated so intensely by Agape to work for the Gospel even to the extent of giving his life. “We are eager to hand over to you not only the Good News but our whole lives as well.” (1 Thess.2:8). In all of us, there is a tension between the eros and the agape. We need to be aware of this yearning, and renew ourselves towards offering ourselves to the cause of the other. The responsorial Psalm prays, “O Lord, you search me and you know me.” (Ps138:1). The Gospel admonishes to follow the intention and the spirit of the law rather than to have a mere outward observance of the law. The spirit of the law always encourages us to practice Justice, Mercy and good Faith. The spirit of the law will revitalize us to look inside of ourselves always and try not to twist the law to find a loophole to avoid the law. “Clean the inside of cup and dish first so that the outside may become clean as well.” (Mt.23:26). May God grant you peace. Have a good day.

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