LUKE 10:21 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 10:21-24)

Jakarta, 29 November 2022

A Christian Pilgrim


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LUKE 2:21 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 2:16-21)

Jakarta, 1 January 2021 [Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God]

A Christian Pilgrim


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(A biblical reflection on THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD, Saturday, 1 January 2022)

GospelReading: Luke 2:16-21

First Reading: Numbers 6:22-27; Psalms: Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8; Second Reading: Galatians 4:4-7

The Scripture Text

And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this Child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

And at the end of eight days when He was circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. (Luke 2:16-21 RSV)

Have you ever considered why we have a special feast to celebrate Mary as the Mother of God? Actually, this feast is meant to celebrate Jesus’ divinity. By recognizing Mary as the Mother of God, we are proclaiming our faith in who Jesus is. Early in the Church’s history, some heretics taught that Jesus assumed His divine nature at His baptism or at His resurrection. Others taught that Jesus was merely a good man who taught us how to please God. Recognizing Mary as the Mother of God, and not just the mother of Jesus of Nazareth, upholds a central truth of our faith: Almighty God became flesh in the womb of a human being.

As Mother of God, Mary bore Jesus into this world. Now, as Jesus’ mothers, sisters, and brothers (Mark 3:35), we are called to follow Mary’s example and bring the life and love of God to others. We too are called to be “God-bearers” (Greek: Theotokos).

Of course, we may ask, “How could I hope to have the kind of relationship with God that Mary did? After all, she is the Blessed Virgin!” Yet, God has a very specific plan for each of us, to raise us up to His divine life. He wants to teach us how to treasure His word and ponder it (see Luke 2:19). He invites us to quiet our souls so that we can hear His voice. He wants to win our hearts over so much that our trust in Him and our obedience to His will would be undivided.

How can we become more open to God’s word? We can begin by setting aside time for Him – time without television, telephone calls, and other distractions. We can bring to Him our guilt, shame, or anxieties – everything that blocks our experience of His healing love. As we open our hearts to Jesus, read the Holy Scripture, and obey the promptings of His Spirit, we will begin experiencing the heart of peace that Mary knew. Therefore, let us set aside a little quiet time for God every day. As we do, we too will come to know His love, His promptings, and His grace.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, since You gave mankind a Savior through blessed Mary, virgin and mother, grant that we may feel the power of her intercession when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the Author of life, who lives and reign with You and Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Jakarta, 1 January 2022

A Christian Pilgrim


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(A biblical reflection on the NATIVITY OF THE LORD – Saturday, 25 December 2021)

Second Reading: Hebrews 1:1-6

First Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalms: Psalm 98:1-6; Gospel Reading: John 1:1-18

The Scripture Text

In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days He has spoken to us by a Son, who He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of His nature, upholding the universe by His word of power. When He had made purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has obtained is more excellent than theirs.

For to what angel did God ever say, “Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee”? Or again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”? And again, when He brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all God’s angels worship Him.” (Hebrews 1:1-6 RSV)

The greatest gift you have is your life. But this gift is also a mystery, something that we can’t completely figure out on our own. How do you unwrap a mystery? The answer is found wrapped in a manger, in the mystery of the One who is fully God and fully man. As we unwrap the mystery of Jesus’ life, the mystery of our own lives will make more and more sense.

Scripture tells us that from all eternity, Jesus, the Word, was with God, and that He was God (John 1:1). The Word became flesh and lived among us (John 1:14). But why did He choose to come among us? A clue is found in His name, Yeshua, which means “God saves.” In Jesus, God has come among us to save us, to rescue us.

From what did Jesus come to save us? From the death that entered the world when our first parents embraced the lies and envy of the devil (Wisdom 2:23-24). We were created to become like Jesus in all His purity and holiness, but because of sin, our vision became clouded. Restlessly, we search for what might increase our happiness and satisfy the desires of our hearts. But we pursue narrow goals. We strive to fill our lives with meaning and still do not feel complete. There, resting in the manger, is the “Bread of Life,” the only one who can satisfy our hunger.

What does it mean? Take a moment to think of all that this infant child of Bethlehem means. His coming among us as man is the fulcrum of all God’s action, the center from which all His blessings flow out to us. Imagine: If God had only created us in His image, that would have been enough. If He had only sent us His word through the prophets, that would have been enough. If He had only come among us to comfort us and teach us a new way to live, that would have been enough. If He had only forgiven our sins, that would have been enough. If he had only sent His Spirit to guide the Church, that would have been enough. But God has done all these things and more. He has given us Christ Himself to live in our hearts. He has promised us that Jesus will return to take us into His glory.

In the incarnation of His Son, God restored every blessing we forfeited when we fell into sin. From the very beginning, the Son of God was destined to be the source and goal of our lives. In love, God made us like Himself, with the powers of intellect, emotion, and will. In love, He placed within us a hunger for Himself. How could He help but do everything in His power to satisfy that hunger – even to the point of sacrificing His only Son for our sake?

This is a day of great rejoicing, for our destiny has been restored! As we look into the manger, we see innocence, purity, and divine life. This seemingly vulnerable child is the way of our salvation. He died for our sins, was raised for our justification, and will come again to judge the living and the dead. In a sense, the manger is a mirror of our lives, for there we see the glorious power of the indestructible life that God has intended for all of us.

What do you see when you look at the manger? Has your heart thrilled to the good news that this Child has restored you to God? Do you see your greatest Christmas gift here? He has come to give you divine life. Hold Him in your heart. Ask Him to warm your heart. Accept this gift humbly and gratefully. This is the gift that conquers death. This Child is the hope of glory for all of us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of life, and for the gift of Your Son in whom we have eternal life. By Your Holy Spirit, reveal to us the treasures held in the mystery of incarnation. Move us to love today, even if we do not feel like loving. Teach each and every one of us to live like this Child, who teaches us that to give is to receive. Amen.

Jakarta, 24 December 2021

A Christian Pilgrim


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LUKE 1:76 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 1:67-79)

Jakarta, 24 December 2021

A Christian Pilgrim


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LUKE 1:63 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 1:57-66)

Jakarta, 23 December 2021

A Christian Pilgrim


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LUKE 1:45 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-45)

Jakarta, 21 December 2021

A Christian Pilgrim


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LUKE 1:42 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-45)

Jakarta, 19 December 2021

A Christian Pilgrim


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MATTHEW 1:17 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 1:1-17)

Jakarta, 17 December 2021

A Christian Pilgrim


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LUKE 7:22-23 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 7:19-23)

Jakarta, 15 December 2021

Frans Indrapradja


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