REFLECTION CAPSULES BOOK – Available also on Amazon India

💫 “REFLECTION CAPSULES” – Daily Reflections based on the Gospel is now available as a Book (paperback)
(Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS – 8050573289)

CLICK TO ORDER REFLECTION CAPSULES FOR PERSONAL/FAMILY/ COMMUNITY/CONGREGATION
https://forms.gle/nByuVrSphLmrSzZn6

• 840 pages with 400 Reflections/Homilies
• Over 225 Themes and nearly 500 anecdotes and stories
• Useful in studying the Gospels, in preparing homilies, recollections, talks, community and family prayers and for motivational sessions

🎁 GIFT THE REFLECTION CAPSULES BOOK AS A GOSPEL STUDY COMPANION!

It is also good for 💫GIFTING SOMEONE – for new priests or on jubilees, for religious at their first or final professions or during an assembly/chapter, for children for their birthdays/confirmation days, for couples at marriages etc.

As an Introductory Offer, REFLECTION CAPSULES is offered to you at a price of Rs 600/- (excluding postage) [$20 – for orders outside of India – excluding postage]

You may also let me know by sending a WhatsApp/Telegram/Signal Message – 8050573289

YouTube Promo Video: https://youtu.be/C0ol4NbIlfo?sub_confirmation=1

AMAZON INDIA ORDER LINK: https://www.amazon.in/REFLECTION-CAPSULES-Daily-Reflections-Gospels/dp/8185812705/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=reflection+capsules&qid=1613919727&sr=8-1

Online Payment can be done online through Bank Account Transfer

Thank you. God bless! Live Jesus!
Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS 😊😇😊

REFLECTION CAPSULE – May 07, 2021: Friday

“Grow in the light of the Images of Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit to deepen our conviction and commitment to the Kingdom!”

(Based on Acts 15:22-31 and Jn 15:12-17 – Friday of 5th Week in Eastertide)

The Gospels are a beautiful account of the many narratives, describing the works, teachings and life of Jesus.

We get a glimpse to various images and facets of the life of Jesus.

These various images of the Lord, help us to relate to Him in a much more intimate and closer manner.

These various images of the Lord, also help us, in turn, to imitate Him and to live more and more like Him, in this world.

The Gospel of the Day… just six verses… Jn 15: 12-17, on closer reading, presents a number of images of the Lord.

These images will help us to…
… form a closer bond with the Lord
… imitate the Lord better in our lives

IMAGE 1: Jesus, the Lover…. inviting us to be His lovers!

The Lord says, “… love one another, as I have loved you” (Jn 15: 12)

Jesus is our Lover!

He is the Love-incarnate, and He expresses His deep love to us at every moment of our life.

Do we experience the Lord as a Lover…?
… intimately and passionately loving us, even in the midst of problems of life
… assuring His faithful support to us at every situation, even if we have been unfaithful

IMAGE 2: Jesus, the friend… inviting us to have Him as our best friend!
The Lord says, “… I have called you friends… ” (Jn 15: 15b)

Jesus is our Friend!

He is the One who shares everything that He has with us and does not keep any secrets in this Divine friendship.

Do we experience the Lord as our Friend…?
… constantly walking beside us, sharing our every emotion – joy, sorrow, hateful feelings, frustration, silly thoughts, stupid doubts, unseen jealousies etc
… on whom we can rely on, in any situation of life – may not get an answer in every problem, but surely being strengthened in having a shoulder to lean on and hands to hold onto!

IMAGE 3: Jesus, the brother…inviting us to share in His Sonship!
The Lord says, “… I have told you everything I have heard from My Father” (Jn 15: 15)

Jesus, the Son of the Heavenly Father, is our Brother!

We are raised to a status of being “sons in the Son”!
We are given the privilege to address God – not as any impersonal being, or a distant reality.. but as our Father – a loving Daddy, a caring Parent!

Do we experience the Lord as our Brother…?
… the One who reveals the secrets of the Heavenly Family and bids us have a closer union with the Divine Family
… the One who asks us to cast off our fear of God as being some strict rule-keeper and instead to cherish His Fatherly affection and fondness

IMAGE 4: Jesus, the Master… inviting us to give heed to His commandments!
The Lord says, ” This I command: love one another” (Jn 15: 17)

Jesus is our Master!

We are obliged to obey the order of the Lord and carry out His plans and wishes faithfully.

Do we experience the Lord as our Master…?
… giving heed to His commandment of being an instrument of love and harmony in our life situations
… being faithful, in little or big things, to please the Master at all times

IMAGE 5: Jesus, the Intercessor… inviting us to cast our concerns to Him!
The Lord says, “… whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you” (Jn 15:16b)

Jesus is our Intercessor!

By His Holy Sacrifice, He has become the mediator and intercessor for the entire human race, before the Heavenly Father (1 Tim 2:5)

Do we experience the Lord as our Intercessor…?
… bringing before Him our concerns and the needs of the world, knowing that intercession is a very powerful means of alleviating the struggles and problems of the world
… becoming a prayer-warrior and helping the grace and intervention of God to be felt by people who are in distress and trouble

IMAGE 6: Jesus, the Missionary.. inviting us to be co-workers in His Project Kingdom!
The Lord says, “you did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain…” (Jn 15: 16a)

Jesus is our model Missionary

The mission that was entrusted by the Father is now shared by Jesus to all of us, and we become partners and collaborators with Him

Do we experience Jesus as our model Missionary…?
… knowing that He is the ideal and perfect missionary and that I must seek to imitate Him, in bringing God’s reign in the lives of people
… realising that it is a huge honour and a big responsibility that is placed on me, to be a co-worker and teammate of the Lord.

The Gospel presents these powerful images of the Lord to grow closer to Him and to reflect these images, in our contexts.

The early Church reflected on the various dimensions and guidance of the Lord, working in their lives and made decisions in the light of the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:22-31)

We are also invited to grow in the light of the Images of Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit to deepen our conviction and commitment to the Kingdom!

Let the words of St Clare inspire us:
“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.

If we love things, we become a thing.
If we love nothing, we become nothing.

Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation.

This means we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
MAN

God created everything for man, but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to him:
“In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear.”
Because of its common origin the human race forms a unity, for “from one ancestor (God) made all nations to inhabit the whole earth”

“This law of human solidarity and charity,” without excluding the rich variety of persons, cultures and peoples, assures us that all men are truly brethren. (Cf. CCC # 358-361)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – May 06, 2021: Thursday

“’Stirring up our lives’ to savour the sweetness of joy, peace and serenity, by obeying God’s commandments”

(Based on Acts 15:7-21 and Jn 15:9-11 – Thursday of 5th Week in Eastertide)

One of the wonderful SMS’s that has been read and circulated by many of us, goes thus….

“Life is like having a cup of coffee…
You sit by the window, lift the cup, take a careless sip…
… and find no sugar.

Too lazy to go for the sugar, you somehow manage with that sugarless cup.

On finishing, you find undissolved sugar crystals, settled at the bottom!
That is life!
We don’t make any effort to value what is around or within us.

So look around… Maybe, the sweetness you are looking is much closer than you think!”

How often is our spiritual life also lived similarly…

We go through the rigours of spiritual practices…
… but they sometimes become mere routines

We perform many chores of religious exercises…
… but they sometimes turn out to be ritualistic.

Spiritual life becomes tasteless…

Spiritual life loses its fascination…

But Jesus, in the Gospel of the Day invites us to have a deeper excitement and happiness in life, by abiding in His love.

He tells us, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy maybe in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn 15: 11)

The Lord wishes each of His follower to live a life of immense joy and happiness.

Jesus, Himself lived a very joyful life.

What was the recipe of His happiness?

A life that was lived in perfect communion with His Heavenly Father…
… seeking union with the Father through moments of solitude in prayer
… raising His Heart to the Father in gratitude and thanksgiving at every situation of life.

A life that was lived in absolute obedience to the Will of His Father…
… willing to shed any personal comforts or desires to be faithful to the mission entrusted
… readiness to undergo any amount of pain and suffering, even death, to be totally committed

Jesus hands over this same recipe to us, to discover true joy and happiness in life.

When we seek to live in Communion with the Heavenly Father…
… in intense moments of prayer
… with a heart of thanksgiving

And we seek to being obedient to God’s Will…
… even at the cost of some personal comforts
… ready to bear sufferings to be faithful to Him
It is then…
… that we will experience real joy and happiness
… that we will treasure heavenly experiences in our hearts

Life grinds us through many tasteless moments and situations…

We get upset easily…

We tend to get defensive…
We get into a mode of being lethargic…

But the Lord says… “Stir up your lives!”

“Stir up your lives” to savour the sweetness of joy, peace and serenity…
… to taste the joy that is guaranteed by obeying God’s commandments
… to taste the peace that is assured by letting our lives be symphony of service to others
… to taste the serenity that is promised by always abiding in the loving presence of the Lord

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
MAN

“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.”
Man occupies a unique place in creation:
… he is “in the image of God”
… in his own nature, he unites the spiritual and material worlds
… he is created “male and female”;
… God established him in his friendship.
Of all visible creatures only man is “able to know and love his creator”.
He is “the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake”…
… and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God’s own life.
It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity:
What made you establish man in so great a dignity? Certainly the incalculable love by which you have looked on your creature in yourself! You are taken with love for her; for by love indeed you created her, by love you have given her a being capable of tasting your eternal Good.
Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone.
He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons…

… and he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead. (Cf. CCC # 355-357)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – May 05, 2021: Wednesday

“Being ready to be ‘compatible’ with the Ways and Commandments of God!”

(Based on Acts 15:1-6 and Jn 15:1-8 – Wednesday of 5th Week in Eastertide)

“Compatibility” is a term that is increasingly becoming a common word in our everyday vocabulary, thanks to the widespread usage of computers and mobiles.

Compatibility refers to a state in which two things are able to exist or occur together without problems or conflict.

It is the capacity for two systems to work together, without having to be altered to do so.

Eg. A computer which has a Windows 98 Operating System (the very old version) will not be able to support many of the latest programs and softwares…

It is because of a “compatibility” issue.

Eg. A mobile, like the old Nokia 1100, without an Android-base, will not be able to have many of the new applications like WhatsApp or Signal etc…

It is because of a “compatibility” issue.

This compatibility issue can also appear in our spiritual life…

When we are not in proper terms with God, we fail to understand many of His plans for us.
When we are not in line with God’s Will, we lose out on grasping many of His aspirations for us

And that is why the Lord will tell, in today’s Gospel, “Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own, unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in Me!” (Jn 15:4b)

The modern trend is often to “do things by one’s own capability!”

With the advancement in science, technology and communication…
… human beings seems to be becoming more and more independent and self-reliant.

This tendency, however, also hampers a Christian’s understanding of God and His “undeniable” Role in the affairs of the world.

God is often forgotten and side-lined…
… when there is economic prosperity!
… when there is abundance of luxury and comfort!
… when there is a “false sense” of surety that “all is well” in life!

But when such “materialistic comforts” are lost…
… people rush to God and “cry out for His Favour!”

The Lord, however, in today’s Gospel clearly points out…
… that “unless we remain in Him, we can never be truly successful!”

God is the only Foundation on which can be built the Towers of Success!

God is the only Compass that can lead to the proper destination of Joy in the journey of life!

This “remaining in Him” requires “Compatibility!”

Are we ready to be “compatible” with the Ways and Commandments of God?

Very often our life is not “compatible” with the requirements of Jesus, and His Gospel!

Our thought-pattern often fails to be “compatible” with the teachings of the Church….
Our relationship with others, often fails to be “compatible” with the command of love of all…
Our personal following of Jesus, often fails to be “compatible” with our dual mind of seeking also the pleasures of this world….

A great deal of “incompatibility” is often experienced by us, in the spiritual realm.

Let us seek to “update” our lives with the love and power of the Holy Spirit.
Let us pledge to “upgrade” our lifestyles with the convictions and truths of the Holy Gospel.

Let us thirst for Him.

Let us long for Him.

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
THE VISIBLE WORLD

The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the “six days”, from the less perfect to the more perfect. God loves all his creatures and takes care of each one, even the sparrow. Nevertheless, Jesus said: “You are of more value than many sparrows”
Man is the summit of the Creator’s work, as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures.
There is a solidarity among all creatures arising from the fact that all have the same Creator and are all ordered to His glory.
The Sabbath – the end of the work of the six days. The sacred text says that “on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done”, that the “heavens and the earth were finished”, and that God “rested” on this day and sanctified and blessed it. These inspired words are rich in profitable instruction.
In creation God laid a foundation and established laws that remain firm, on which the believer can rely with confidence, for they are the sign and pledge of the unshakeable faithfulness of God’s covenant. For his part man must remain faithful to this foundation, and respect the laws which the Creator has written into it.
Creation was fashioned with a view to the Sabbath and therefore for the worship and adoration of God. Worship is inscribed in the order of creation.
As the rule of St. Benedict says, nothing should take precedence over “the work of God”, that is, solemn worship. This indicates the right order of human concerns.
The Sabbath is at the heart of Israel’s law. To keep the commandments is to correspond to the wisdom and the will of God as expressed in his work of creation.
The eighth day: But for us a new day has dawned: the day of Christ’s Resurrection…
… the seventh day completes the first creation.
… the eighth day begins the new creation.

Thus, the work of creation culminates in the greater work of redemption. The first creation finds its meaning and its summit in the new creation in Christ, the splendour of which surpasses that of the first creation (Cf. CCC # 342-349)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – May 04, 2021: Tuesday

“Allowing Jesus, the Master of our hearts to take complete charge and thus not allowing the ‘burglar of anxiety and trouble’ to steal away our peace and joy in life!”

(Based on Acts 14:19-28 and Jn 14:27-31 – Tuesday of 5th Week in Eastertide)

For several years, a woman had been having trouble getting to sleep at night.

The reason was that she feared burglars (thieves).

One night her husband heard a noise in the house, so he went downstairs to investigate.

When he got there, he did find a burglar.
“Good evening,” said the man of the house. “I am pleased to see you.

Come upstairs and meet my wife. She has been waiting 10 years to meet you.”

“Anticipating troubles” is one of the greatest troubles that is faced by people!

It is said that “If pleasures are the greatest in anticipation, just remember that this is also true of trouble.”

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus warning us of this danger of increased anxiety levels and troubled moments and instead invites to lead a life of peace.

Jesus says in Jn 14: 27 “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid”

The context of this statement of Jesus is the discourse at the Last Supper.

Jesus informs of his imminent going away from the disciples, which made them sad and anxious.

They had placed their hopes in Him.
They had offered their lives to Him.

But His announcement of departure caused worry and anxiety to the disciples.

Jesus, Who knows their hearts and gauges their emotions, however, assures them, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give it to you” (Jn 14:27)

The disciples entered into an anxiety-mode as their hearts got wearied with what was to come immediately.

But Jesus invites them to go beyond such peripheral worries, and be assured of a peace that comes as a result of trusting in Him, the Lord of all future!

When one is imprisoned in the immediate worries of life…
… one fails to enjoy the true freedom of peace and joy

When one is landlocked amidst the borders of impending fears and troubles of life…
… one is unable to move out to experience real inner tranquillity and serenity

Are we finding ourselves often in situations, when our “hearts are troubled” (Jn 14:27b) and as a result, “troubled to the point of losing sleep?”

Jesus, the Master Doctor of hearts, is ready with remedies…

He would give us the tablet of His peace which would subside our fears
He would give us the tonic of His soothing Word which would calm our troubles

Troubles will, without any doubt, always haunt us…
Problems will, for sure, often beset us…

But we need to grow in our understanding that in all this, Jesus, is in perfect control of our lives.

It was this deep faith that motivated the early Church to give powerful witness to the Resurrected Lord.

Despite their persecutions and hardships, they remained faithful to the Mission of the Kingdom and encouraged one another
“… When Paul and Barnabas had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
… And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting, they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed!” (Acts 14:21-23)

Let not the “burglar of anxiety and trouble” steal away all our peace and joy in life!

Instead, May Jesus, the Master of our hearts, take complete charge of our lives

In Him, we shall experience fervent joy.
In Him, we shall live with true peace.

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
THE VISIBLE WORLD

God Himself created the visible world in all its richness, diversity and order. Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine “work”, concluded by the “rest” of the seventh day.
On the subject of creation, the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation…
… permitting us to “recognize the inner nature, the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God.”
Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator. The world began when God’s word drew it out of nothingness; all existent beings, all of nature, and all human history are rooted in this primordial event, the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time begun.
Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection. For each one of the works of the “six days” it is said: “and God saw that it was good.” “By the very nature of creation, material being is endowed with its own stability, truth and excellence, its own order and laws.”
Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment.
God wills the interdependence of creatures. The spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities tells us that no creature is self-sufficient. Creatures exist only in dependence on each other, to complete each other, in the service of each other.
The beauty of the universe: the order and harmony of the created world results from the diversity of beings and from the relationships which exist among them. Man discovers them progressively as the laws of nature. They call forth the admiration of scholars. The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man’s intellect and will.

The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the “six days”, from the less perfect to the more perfect. God loves all his creatures and takes care of each one, even the sparrow. (Cf. CCC # 337-342)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – May 03, 2021: Monday

“Being inspired by St Philip and St James to be His True Apostles and thus live to a saintly life!”

(Based on the Feast of St Philip and St James)

A story is told of a lady who was very much zealous in telling about Jesus Christ to the world.

This lady was blind and illiterate…
… and yet found different ways to spread the Gospel.

One day, she went to a Missionary Priest and asked for a copy of the Bible in French.

When she got it, she asked the missionary to underline John 3:16, in red, and mark the page, so that she could find it.

(Jn 3:16 = “For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Son…that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have Eternal Life!”)

The missionary wanted to see what she would do with this Bible that was marked with red…
… and so he followed her.

The lady went in the late afternoon to a school…
… and made her way to the entrance.

As the school children came out, she would stop one of them and ask if he knew how to read French.

If the boy would say “Yes” she would ask him to read the verse that was marked in red.

Then she would ask, “Do you know what this means?”…
… and then go on to tell him more about Jesus Christ and living a Life in the Lord!

The missionary priest would later testify that this lady led nearly a couple of dozen boys to become missionaries of the Lord!

As followers of Christ, each of us are bound to tell the world about the Precious Life of “Living in God!”
How well are we doing our Duty of Proclaiming God to the world?

Am I a Faithful Apostle?

Today Holy Mother the Church celebrates the Feast of two Apostles St Philip and St James…

They lived a faithful and courageous life as followers of Jesus…
… and made Jesus more known to the world by their faithful life!

The Apostle St Philip was a native of Bethsaida, on Lake Gennesaret.

He was among the first disciples of Jesus (Jn 1:43)

(a) At the miraculous feeding of the multitude, it was to Philip that Jesus asked, “Where shall we buy bread that these may eat?” to which Philip replied, “Two hundred denarii worth food will not be enough for them to have a little” (Jn 6:5)

(b) When through Greeks came to meet Jesus, it was Philip whom they met and it was he who reported to Andrew and they both went to Jesus (Jn 12: 21-22)

(c) It was Philip who told Jesus, in the Upper Room, “Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us” (Jn 14: 8)

The Apostle St James is called as the Younger or the Less, because he was the second of that name who was an apostle of Jesus – distinguishing him from James the Greater, the son of Zebedee

St James the Less was also called as James the Just and is sometimes also called as the “Brother of the Lord”

(a) He is the author of one of the Epistles in the New Testament

(b) He was also ordained as the Bishop of Jerusalem.

The Gospel of the Day (Jn 14: 6-14) presents Jesus declaring Himself as “The Way, the Truth and The Life” (Jn 14: 6)

These two Apostles, St Philip and St James by their life, gave a faithful witness to Jesus – “The Way, The Truth and The Life!”

We are called and challenged, by these Apostles to do the same as well…
Being ready…

to embrace Jesus as The Way…
… seeking to follow only His paths and doing His Will
… being bold to stand firm in the face of hardships, while walking on the Way

Being ready…

to embrace Jesus as The Truth…
… wanting to let go a life of dishonesty and hypocrisy in our actions of life
… determined in the conviction to live for Christ and His virtues in day-to-day life

Being ready…

to embrace Jesus as The Life…
… willing to utilize all our talents, gifts, resources in life for the glory of God and His Kingdom
… being brave to let go off anything which prevents us from living a life for the Lord

The Apostles St Philip and St James…
… were greatly purified in their following of the Lord, through various persecutions and hardships

And finally, gave their life in martyrdom to the Lord and His Kingdom!

When there is determination and passion for God, we look for ways and means, to preach about God and His Love to the world!

No blindness can prevent us from showing people “the vision of Divine Life”
No illiteracy can stop us from declaring to people “the Word of Life!”

Let us wait at the “entrances of people’s life” and…
… point the “the red and passionate Love of the Lord” to the world!

Wish you a Happy Feast of the Apostles – St Philip and St James!

May we too, seek and work to be His True Apostles and thus live to be a Saint!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
THE ANGELS IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH

The whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels.
In her liturgy, the Church joins with the angels to adore the thrice-holy God
From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.
“Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.”

Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God. (Cf. CCC # 334-336)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – May 02, 2021: Sunday

“Seeking to be united with the Lord, the Light, so as to enjoy an uninterrupted and continual supply of the power of joy, peace and happiness in our lives!”

(Based on Acts 9:26-31, 1 Jn 3:18-24 and Jn 15:1-8 – 5th Sunday of Easter, Year B)

The Time Magazine in its issue dated 19th November, 1965, reported of a major electricity breakdown along the US-Canada border.

This was called as the Northeast Blackout of 1965.

The impact of the breakdown was so great that it affected people in nearly 80, 000 sq.miles along the border!

The whole area was submerged in deep darkness.

The cause of the failure was the tripping of a protective relay, or a fuse, which was just the size of a bread box!

The safety relay, which was to trip if the current exceeded the capacity of the transmission line, was set too low.

A failure in the single fuse, of such a tiny size was able to cause the breakdown of an entire power grid of such a huge magnitude!

A tiny failure in the connections caused a mighty collapse!
A minor malfunction in the grid caused a major disintegration!

It is therefore highly essential that the most basics aspects of life, however small or tiny they may appear, be given the proper and appropriate attention.

Such is the case too, in our spiritual lives…

If the connection with the Lord, the Fuse of our life trips, our whole life will be in darkness!
If the link with the Lord, the Safety Relay of our life overloads, our whole life will collapse into obscurity!

The Gospel of the Day invites us to continually nurture and nourish our relationship with the Lord and to reflect the fruits of this affiliation in our daily lives.

Jesus says that, “I am the vine, and you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit, because without me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15: 5)

These are highly powerful words of the Divine Lord…”WITHOUT ME, YOU CAN DO NOTHING!”

There are a few implications of these powerful words….

  1. It’s a great message of hope
    The statement of the Lord is a deep assurance that in every moment of our lives, we can bank on Him.

St Paul realized the deep understanding of this message of hope and could cry out, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13)

We can place our hope in the Lord…
… even when all seems lost and crashed in life
… even when things hit rock bottom in our life

  1. It’s a great message of warning
    The statement of the Lord is also a grave warning that in every moment of our lie, we can crack without Him!

The Prodigal Son realized the depth of such a break of relationship, when he had gone away from his father, and found himself in dire needs.

He would therefore say, “I shall get up and go to my Father and I shall say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you…’ (Lk 15: 18)

We are warned by the Lord…
… in every moment, we need to be dependent on the Lord
… in every situation of life, we cannot achieve true success by our own merits and talents

Sometimes in life, when things go on well and when everything seems fine, we tend to forget that it is the Lord, who is ultimately leading and guiding us.

We get into a feeling that it is my achievements and hard work alone, that is the cause of every success and smile that I enjoy.

But once in a way, when darkness engulfs our lives, maybe by way of…
… a sickness or a death…
… a financial difficulty or uncertainty of the future…
… crisis in relationships or breakage of human bonding
… or any other problem or difficulty…

We realize that there is a tripping in our relationship with the Lord, the Fuse of our life!

Unless we stay connected to this Mighty Fuse, our lives will stay in gloom and shadow

When we are connected with the Lord, even in the midst of any crisis, the supply of inner joy and peace will always remain constant!
When we are in link with the Lord, even with problems encompassing us, the streaming of Divine calm and happiness, will always remain uninterrupted!

As St John of the Cross says, “Oh, how happy is this soul that is ever conscious of God resting and reposing within its breast!”

St Paul had a deep encounter with the Lord…and that transformed Him to offer His life, in a passionate commitment to the Lord, as we read in Acts 9:28: “he [was] speaking boldly in the name of the Lord”

St John beautifully exhorts and reminds us, in his 1st Letter, “Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them.”

Let us always seek to be united with the Lord, the Light, so as to enjoy an uninterrupted and continual supply of the power of joy, peace and happiness in our lives!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
CHRIST “WITH ALL HIS ANGELS”

Christ is the centre of the angelic world. They are his angels: “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him.”
They belong to him because they were created through and for him: “for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.”
They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?”

Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan. (Cf. CCC # 331-332)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – May 01, 2021- Saturday

“Seeking the intercession and being inspired by St Joseph – the Silent Working Saint – in order to seek for the higher and heavenly longings of life!”

(Based on Gen 1:26-2:3 and Mt 13:54-58 – St Joseph, the Worker)

A young salesman became discouraged because he had been rejected by many of the customers that he approached.

He asked a more experienced salesman for some advice.

“Why is it that every time I make a call on someone I get rejected?”

“I just don’t understand that,” answered the older salesman…
… “I’ve been hit on the head, called dirty names, and thrown out the door, but I’ve never been rejected!
Remember, my son… Rejection isn’t what happens to us…
… but how we interpret what happens to us!”

How do we interpret the various situations of disappointments that we come across in life?

Do we get depressed and discouraged…
… or can we still be hopeful and know that “every rejection is one more step closer to true success!?”

Rejection and pain, are sure companions in the life of a Christian, who is uncompromising and unwavering in one’s faith.

Despite these aspects, are we ready to do the Will of God, and be His Faithful Followers?

Our Blessed Lord Himself underwent rejection and pain in life.

Yet He remained firm to do the Will of God!

One of the allegations made against Jesus was that He was only a Son of an ordinary worker…
… a carpenter, St Joseph

“Is not this the carpenter’s son?” (Mt 13:55)

Today on 1st of May, as we commemorate St Joseph the Worker, the Church invites us to understand the great dignity of work and labour. This is beautifully presented to us in the Liturgy of the Day:

The First Reading presents the story of creation, with God fashioning the entire Universe and “working” (using a human terminology) to create a beautiful world! (Gen 1:26-2:3)

The Gospel presents Jesus, as a Son of a worker, St Joseph – the carpenter!

We live in a world where dignity of labour is often in question

We find ourselves often in situations wherein rights, dignity and even the very self-respect of those who work, are often trampled upon.

In such a context, the Liturgy of this Feast of St Joseph the Worker comes as a mighty reminder to understand that…
… human work is a participation in the creative work of God.

By work, humankind fulfils the command of God to “to care for the earth” (Cf. Gen 2:15)

Jesus, in the Gospel, is associated with being part of the “family of workers”

By His Incarnation, Jesus took upon Himself, to be in solidarity with every aspect of human life…
… including rejection and pain.

The Gospel of the Day narrates this painful incident of “rejection and pain” that our Blessed Lord encountered in His life, at the hands of His own country people (Mt 13: 54-58)

It is interesting to note, how the people of the hometown seek to justify their rejection of Jesus, by rationalizing their attitude…

Using 6 questions (6= A Biblical symbolic number which often stands for imperfection!)…
… the people of the hometown, reveal their blocked minds and closed hearts.

When one’s heart is rooted in unbelief and is closed to the truth…
… things of the Divine appear to be hostile!

And so the Lord would declare: “A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country or his own house!” (Mt 13: 57)

Thus, Jesus becomes the “Sign of Contradiction!”
… the Prince of Peace, begins to be seen as a cause of division and despise
… the Healer of Souls, begins to be seen as a cause of disagreement and discord!
… the Comforter of Hearts, begins to be seen as a cause of disturbance and distress

Anyone who seeks to follow Jesus – the “Sign of Contradiction” – the Epitome of Truth and Honesty…
… is sure to face the same experience!

Every true Christian, because of one’s convictions in the Eternal Values of Uncompromising Truth and Desire to do the Will of God, is sure to face…
… rejection from the people, because one’s ways challenge the lethargic lifestyle of others!
… pain from the society, because one’s way of living poses a threat the corruption around!

But despite this “rejection and pain”, can we still continue to hold on the Lord, the “Sign of Contradiction?”

Life often hurls the “bricks of rejection” at us…

We can either be hurt by them…
… or be strengthened and buckle ourselves up with greater courage

We can either blame all those situations and curse life…
… or we can be thankful for those moments, which provides us a chance for “more blessings!”

Yes, we need to remember always: Rejection isn’t what happens to us…
… but how we interpret what happens to us!”

Let us not get depressed and discouraged by the various situations of disappointments that we come across in life…
… instead let us be hopeful, and know that “every rejection is one more step closer to true success!”

Today as the Church commemorates St Joseph, the Worker, we are invited to look up to this quiet yet great Saint, who was able to fulfil the duties entrusted to him…
… with a sense of immense trust and faith in the Lord.

As St. Alphonsus Liguori says, “We should, indeed, honour St. Joseph, since the Son of God Himself was graciously pleased to honour him by calling him father.
If the King of kings was pleased to raise Joseph to so high a dignity, it is right and obligatory on our part to endeavour to honour him as much as we can!”

In this Year specially dedicated to St Joseph, let us seek the intercession and be inspired by this Silent Working Saint, who was able to fulfil the duties entrusted to him, with a sense of immense trust and faith in the Lord…
… in order to seek for the higher and heavenly longings of life!

Happy Feast of St Joseph, the Just Worker in God’s Plan of Redemption.

Glorious Blessings of JESUS, his Precious Child – the Way, the Truth and the Life
Heavenly Intercessions of Mary – his loving Spouse and our affectionately protecting Mother

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
THE ANGELS

The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.
Who are they? St. Augustine says: “‘Angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature.
If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are, ‘spirit’, from what they do, ‘angel.’”
With their whole beings, the angels are servants and messengers of God.
Because they “always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven”…
… they are the “mighty ones who do His Word, hearkening to the voice of His Word”.
As purely spiritual creatures, angels have intelligence and will:
… they are personal and immortal creatures

… surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendour of their glory bears witness! (Cf. CCC # 328-330)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – April 30, 2021: Friday

“Overcoming our ‘spiritual paresthesia’ and fully cooperating with the Grace of the Lord!”

(Based on Acts 13:26-33 and Jn 14:1-6 – Friday of the 4th Week in Eastertide)

Most of us would have experienced the “falling asleep” or “numbness” of arms, legs and feet, especially while sitting cross-legged (usually while sitting on the floor).

Right?

Technically known as “peripheral neuropathy” or “paresthesia”, this syndrome is caused by the compression of specific nerves.

When one sits cross-legged, sleep with arm above the head, or position any limb in such a way to put excess pressure on a nerve, that nerve will stop sending impulses normally.

If the pressure is great, or the duration long, the nerve will eventually stop sending impulses altogether.

That particular area will essentially then “fall asleep” or feel “numb”.

Once the pressure is relieved, the nerve starts functioning normally again and one is able to move the limb.

It may, however, take some time to work properly and one may feel some tingling, “pins and needles”, during the process.

Spiritually speaking, it is very much possible that one experiences such “falling asleep” or a “numbness” in one’s conscience.

This is Spiritual Paresthesia!

This “lack of sensation” can cause one to be “life-less” and “feeling-less” to…
… constant occurrences of sin and evil doings
… frequent aberrations in moral and ethical life
… even constant spiritual reminders that the Lord gives us

The Gospel of the Day presents a case of “Spiritual Paresthesia”, which could perhaps, be a reality in our lives as well…

Jesus, in the Gospel of the day, declares Himself as “The Way, The Truth and The Life” (Jn 14:6)

This reply of the Lord came in response to the query of Thomas, the Apostle who asked Jesus, “Lord, we do not know, where you are going; how can we know the way?” (Jn 14:5)

Thomas, along with the other disciples, had by now, spent quite a lot of time with Jesus, their Master….

They had encountered Jesus as The Way….
… the Way Forward: when sicknesses and problems of life had crippled the lives of many

They had encountered Jesus as The Truth….
… the Truth Uncompromised: when lies and malicious forces sought to thwart the plans of the Kingdom of God

They had encountered Jesus as the Life….
… the Life in Abundance: when hopelessness and sin would cause people to give up any aspirations for life

Yet, the disciples failed to recognize these aspects in Jesus.

They were perhaps, in a state of “spiritual paresthesia”…
… being numb to understanding Jesus
… unable to sense the words and depths of the Words of Jesus.

And so when Thomas put forward the doubt: “Lord, we do not know, where you are going; how can we know the way?” (Jn 14:5)…
… Jesus emphatically declared, “I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE!” (Jn 14: 6)

The Lord wanted the disciples to overcome their “spiritual paresthesia”…
…and come to be aware of the Reality and Greatness of His Presence in their life!

Perhaps, we too often find ourselves in a state of “spiritual paresthesia” or “spiritual numbness!”

One of the main factors, which can cause this state of “spiritual numbness”, is the reality of sin in our lives…
… which many times, we either deny or fail to acknowledge.

In the teachings of Jesus, one of the stand-out factor was His uncompromising attitude with respect to sin.

And perhaps, this is where Jesus as a Holy Person stands out incomparable with all other great spiritual or philosophical leaders of the world.

This is also where Christianity as a religion stands out unmatched with any other belief system or practice of spirituality.

For Jesus and in Christianity…
… there is an uncompromising teaching on the need to root out sin and evil offences
… there is an absolutely unparalleled insistence on removal of sin for spiritual progress
… there is an unsurpassed assertion on being holy and pure to be in communion with Him

We need to make an honest examination of our conscience…

Is our life suffering from a “spiritual Paresthesia” or “numbness to what is holy” or a “lack of sensation to sin”…
… Do I continue to pursue, persevere or promote deeds of sin, even though I am aware of it, or has been brought to my notice?
… Do I fail to be sensitive to issues of immense sin and evil happening in and around me, in people and situations, and instead become indifferent and uninterested?

A persistence in this spiritual “Paresthesia” or numbness can very dangerously sever our relation with the Lord.

The Lord proclaims that “In My Father’s house, there are many rooms…” (Jn 14: 2)

St Paul beautifully proclaims the wonders of the Resurrection of Jesus and the promise of blessing that is enshrined to everyone who follows Him:
“But God raised Him from the dead; and for many days, He appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now His witnesses to the people.

And we bring you the Good News that what God promised to the fathers; this He has fulfilled to us their children, by raising Jesus!” (Acts 13:30-33)

Yes, the Lord wishes and desires, that all of us….
… should dwell with Him!
… should enjoy eternal life in Him!
… should reach the heights of holiness!

But this also requires our genuine co-operation to the Grace of the Lord…
… by seeking to get over our spiritual Paresthesia or numbness…

This process of getting out of this spiritual “Paresthesia” will involve feeling some “tingling pins and needles” of reparation, penance and atonement.

Let us be willing to…
… let go a life of sin
… embrace the words of the Lord
… and live it joyfully and fervently in our life!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
HEAVEN AND EARTH

The Apostles’ Creed professes that God is “creator of heaven and earth”.
The Nicene Creed makes it explicit that this profession includes “all that is, seen and unseen”.
The Scriptural expression “heaven and earth” means all that exists, creation in its entirety.
It also indicates the bond, deep within creation, that both unites heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other:
… “the earth” is the world of men
… while “heaven” or “the heavens” can designate both the firmament and God’s own “place” – “our Father in heaven” and consequently the “heaven” too which is eschatological glory.
Finally, “heaven” refers to the saints and the “place” of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God
The profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) affirms that God “from the beginning of time made at once (simul) out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal, that is, the angelic and the earthly…

… and then (deinde) the human creature, who as it were shares in both orders, being composed of spirit and body (Cf. CCC # 325-327)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – April 29, 2021: Thursday

“Being a joyful ‘Ambassador’ for Christ and His Kingdom!”

(Based on Acts 13:13-25 and Jn 13:16-20 – Thursday of the 4th Week in Eastertide)

An ambassador is an official envoy, especially a high ranking diplomat who represents a state.

He/she is usually accredited to another sovereign state, or to an international organization as the resident representative of their own government or sovereign.

The ambassadors have some general functions…

Diplomatic :

Conducting negotiations with the host government, representing their state in meetings and delivering messages on behalf of their own government, receiving messages the host government for relay back to their own; being the spokesperson for their government etc.

Ceremonial:

Representing their government at public events in that host country and being the most visible symbol of their own country

Administrative:

Overseeing the operations at the embassy and of other diplomats and staff.

This word “ambassador” is also often used more liberally for persons who are known, without national appointment, to represent certain professions, activities and fields of endeavour.

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus, the “Ambassador” of His Heavenly Father, and who in turn, invites each of us to be His Ambassador and of His Kingdom in our world.

Jesus says: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send, receives Me, and whoever receives Me, receives the One who sent Me” (Jn 13:20)

Jesus came into this world to reveal the love and mercy of God.

He is Love made flesh and Mercy Incarnate.

While on earth, Jesus sought to be the perfect Representative of God, His Almighty and Beloved Father.

Finding deep communion in long hours of prayer, Jesus would emphatically give witness to His Father…
… by His mighty deeds of power, spectacular wonders of healing and His heart-touching words of eternal life.

This mission of being the Ambassador of the Father, was however, not without its shares of pain for Jesus…
… He had the face the pain of being rejected by His own people
… He had to bear the agony of being betrayed by His own chosen one
… He had to face the humiliation of the worst form of execution known those days

Yet, none of this could deter the Lord from choosing to be the “Ambassador” for the Kingdom of Heaven.

He today invites each one of us to be an “Ambassador” for Him and His Kingdom.

Like an ambassador of the state or a country, perhaps we too have certain functions and roles as being the privileged “Ambassador for Christ”…

Diplomatic:
In the sense of not being compromising, but a function that makes us to be convinced and passionate in preaching the message of the Lord and His Kingdom to others.

Nothing should bring us low or falter us from standing firm in proclaiming His Word and standing for His Gospel virtues.

Ceremonial:
In the sense of not being show-off or parading mere externally, rather a duty that requires of us to make our very lives and every action a witness of the Love and Mercy of God.

Our very words should reflect the goodness of the Lord Our very actions should radiate the gentleness and holiness of the Lord
Our very life should mirror the self-sacrificing and altruistic nature of the Lord.

Administrative
In the sense of not being power-hungry or position-seekers, rather, with a servant-like attitude, seeking the good and upliftment of others.

As a representative of Christ, we must also feel the obligation within us to bring others to the faith in Jesus and make His message of love and holiness to spread to all.
The spiritual growth of the other ought to become a genuine concern for me!

St Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians echoes this call and invite of the Lord, to be His Ambassadors…
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us” (2 Cor 5:18-20).

We read in the Acts of the Apostles of St Paul along with other companions giving a public witness to Jesus and thus becoming His ambassador! (Acts 13:14 ff)

May we also be firm and joyful in being an “Ambassador for Christ and His Kingdom!”

We also seek the intercession today, of St Catherine of Siena – the patron saint of Europe and the first woman along with St Teresa of Avila, to be declared as Doctor of the Church – on her feast day.

Her words are an inspiration to us, especially, when we are invited to be “ambassadors of faith” in this time of the pandemic: “Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man…
… God does nothing without this goal in mind!”

God bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
PROVIDENCE AND THE SCANDAL OF EVIL
Angels and men, as intelligent and free creatures, have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love.

They can therefore go astray. Indeed, they have sinned. Thus has moral evil, incommensurably more harmful than physical evil, entered the world.
God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil. He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it…
… “For almighty God, because He is supremely good, would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works, if He were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself.”
In time we can discover that God in His Almighty Providence can bring a good from the consequences of an evil, even a moral evil, caused by his creatures: “It was not you”, said Joseph to his brothers, “who sent me here, but God. You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive.”17
From the greatest moral evil ever committed – the rejection and murder of God’s only Son, caused by the sins of all men – God, by his grace that “abounded all the more,”…
… brought the greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption. But for all that, evil never becomes a good.
“We know that in everything God works for good for those who love him.
The constant witness of the saints confirms this truth: St. Thomas More, shortly before his martyrdom, consoled his daughter: “Nothing can come but that that God wills. And I make me very sure that whatsoever that be, seem it never so bad in sight, it shall indeed be the best.”
Dame Julian of Norwich: “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly keep me in the faith, and that at the same time I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in what our Lord shewed in this time – that ‘all manner (of) thing shall be well.'”

We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history. But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us. Only at the end, when our partial knowledge ceases, when we see God “face to face”, will we fully know the ways by which – even through the dramas of evil and sin – God has guided his creation to that definitive Sabbath Rest for which he created heaven and earth. (Cf. CCC # 309-310) -308)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – April 28, 2021: Wednesday

“Orienting our lives more and more to the Lord, and seeking to live more intimately connected to Him!

(Based on Acts 12:24-13:5a and Jn 12:44-50 – Wednesday of the 4th Week in Eastertide)

“I keep six honest serving-men…

They taught me all I knew;
Their names are ‘What and Why and When, and How and Where and Who’”

  • Words of the author, Rudyard Kipling who is famous for his book, “The Jungle Book”

This concept of 5W’s and 1H – What, Why, When, Where, Who and How – is extensively used in journalism, especially while writing a factual news story.

It is said that one of the classical methods in writing the opening paragraph of a news story should contain answers to, as far as possible, all these 5W’s and 1H.

The Gospel of the Day describes St John presenting a ‘Recapitulation Passage’ on Jesus.

This passage gives a neat answer in tune with the concept of 5W’s and 1H…
• WHO is Jesus?
• WHAT did Jesus do?
• WHY did Jesus come?
• WHERE did Jesus come?
• WHEN did Jesus come to be?
• HOW did Jesus come?

  1. Who is Jesus?
    St John presents Jesus as ‘the Saviour of the World’: “… for I do not come to condemn the world, but to save the world” (Jn 12: 47b)

Jesus is not the one who condemns or denounces or reviles a person…

Instead He is the One who saves, the One who redeems and the One who atones.

Have I accepted Jesus as the Saviour of my life…
… or is He just some great teacher or just a wonderful philosopher or even just a great Man?

Do I grow in my conviction that the “WHO” of Jesus primarily consists in Him wanting to save me from my sin, and wanting me to lead a holy and sanctified life, so that I can belong to Him completely?

  1. What did Jesus do?
    St John presents Jesus as ‘speaking the Word of Life’: “Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge Him; the word that I spoke, will condemn him…” (Jn 12: 48)
    Jesus, the Eternal Word, spoke His words, which guarantees life, and life in abundance (Jn 10:10b)

That is why St Peter confessed to Jesus, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn 6: 68)

Am I keen in listening to the words of Jesus, that He speaks to me, especially through His Holy Word in the Bible?

Do I seek to live and base my life on these Words and teachings that the Lord speaks to me?

  1. Why did Jesus come?
    St John presents Jesus coming ‘to lead from the darkness of death to the light of eternal life’: “I came… so that everyone who believes in me, might not remain in darkness; … His commandment is eternal life” (Jn12: 46, 50)

The Lord, who is the light of the World, came to the world so that all may share in His Life, His Eternal Life.

Am I fixated in the mundane pleasures and transitory luxuries of the world, and giving no heed to the spiritual side of my life?

Do I orient my life towards to the higher aspects of life, gazing heavenward, and preparing my spiritual life to be worthy of eternal life?

  1. Where did Jesus come?
    St John presents Jesus as ‘coming to this world’: “… I come into the world…” (Jn 12: 46)

This is a significant lesson that we are taught: that Jesus came into this world.

He came to sanctify and redeem our world.

At Incarnation, Jesus descends to our world… sinful, corrupt and prone to evil tendencies.

He does not abandon this world…
He does not give up on any of us…
He does not forsake us in our misery…

Do I make space for Jesus to enter into my world, even if I am aware that I am sinful or prone to bad habits or constantly falling into failures?

Am I willing to accept the transformations that will be demanded of me, when Jesus descends into the realms of my life, and exhorts me to be walking with Him on His way of the Cross?

  1. When did Jesus come to be?
    St John presents Jesus as ‘existing with the Father, from eternity’: “… and whoever sees Me, sees the One who sent ME; … I say as the Father told Me” (Jn 12: 45, 50b)

Jesus, the Son, is the visible image of God, the Father.

With the Father, He has existed from all ages, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

He is the Lord who is unchanging.
He is the Lord who is all-knowing and all-loving.
He is the Lord who has the complete control over my life.

Do I possess the faith to be firm in my trust in the Holy Providence, knowing the Jesus knows everything, especially in my moments of hardships and trials?

Am I reflecting the image of God in my life, just as Jesus reflected the image of His Heavenly Father, knowing that this is possibly only by being in close union with the Lord, in devotion and discipleship?

  1. How did Jesus come?
    St John presents Jesus as ‘coming as the light to the world’: “I come into the world as light… ” (Jn 12: 46)

Jesus came to the darkness of our world, by being the Light.

All His teachings radiate with truth
All His deeds shine with holiness

Am I firm in my principles and values to hold on to the teachings and commandments that the Lord, lovingly invites me to live?

Am I courageous to be the shining light even when many forces of darkness around me, try to put off this holy radiance of the Lord?

When we offer ourselves wholly to the Lord, His Spirit will lead us and guide us…
… just as we see in the Acts of the Apostles

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3)

May we orient our lives more and more to the Lord…
… and seek to live a life that is intimately more connected to Him!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
PROVIDENCE AND THE SCANDAL OF EVIL

If God the Father almighty, the Creator of the ordered and good world, cares for all his creatures…
… why does evil exist?
To this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice.
Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question:
… the goodness of creation
… the drama of sin
… and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants
… the redemptive Incarnation of his Son
… His gift of the Spirit
… His gathering of the Church
… the power of the sacraments
… and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance
… but from which, by a terrible mystery, they can also turn away in advance!
There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.
But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? With infinite power God could always create something better.
But with infinite wisdom and goodness, God freely willed to create a world “in a state of journeying” towards its ultimate perfection.
In God’s plan, this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others…
… the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature.
With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.

(Cf. CCC # 309-310)