23 Sep (Based on Lk 9:1-6)

A young man worked in an umbrella factory.

>> It was one of the largest umbrella factories in that area.

One day, with a discouraged heart, he went to his Parish Priest and expressed, “Father, I will have to hunt another job”

The priest was surprised, as he knew that the boy was good at his work.

He enquired, “What is the matter?
Do you have some issues with the company’s management?”

“No, it’s not that” came the reply.

“Does not your factory have enough orders to keep going all the time?” was the next query.

“No, it’s not that, Father” said the boy, “The factory actually has more orders than they can fill”

“Then what is the matter, my Son”, enquired the concerned priest.

“Well, they haven’t enough electricity to keep all the machines going at once.

And my machine has to remain idle for a greater part of the day, and I lose so much of time and pay.

The actual trouble with the factory is that, they have more machinery than power!”

>> The necessary equipments were available for production, but the required electricity was unavailable!

>> The needed machinary was at hand for manufacturing, but the mandatory power was unobtainable!

Does this sort of a tragedy hit our Christian lives as well?

… Am I possessing all the required resources to proclaim the Gospel message, but unfortunately failing to have the most essential aspect of God’s Power within me?

… Am I having all the necessary entities to give witness to Christ’s Teachings, but sadly, unable to be endowed with the most important element of God’s Spirit in me?

Is my Christian life being reduced to a state of “having more machinery, but less Power?”

The Gospel of Day is an exhortation by the Lord on the need to “be endowed with His authority and be filled with His power” in order to have a faithful and committed life as His disciple and His Missionary.

Jesus sends the Twelve on a Mission.

The Gospel of Luke narrates this procedure beautifully with a 2-step strategy..

1. He empowers them from within:  “He summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority…” (Lk 9:1)

2. He exhorts them to be free from outside: He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey…” (Lk 9: 3)

Jesus wishes and makes sure that His disciples are “empowered from within”

>> This is an authority that makes them to be true ambassadors of the Kingdom of God

>> This is a power that causes them to be filled with the divine gifts to conquer evil forces

Jesus also wants and strongly exhorts that His disciples are “to be from from outside”

>> This is a detachment from worldly things and in turn, causes them to be truly dependant of God, the Highest Power

>> This is a freedom from possessions, attachments and links that makes one to be wearied, slackened in spirit and weighed down with anxieties

Each one of us, as Christians, are to be a disciple of the Lord and a Missionary of the Kingdom.

Can I also give heed to the words and message of the Lord…
… to be “empowered from within”
… “to be free from outside”

> I can be “empowered from within”…
… by spending quality time with the Lord, regularly, and renewing my zeal and committment to Him
… by seeking to listen to His voice addressed to us in various situations and people and following His Will … by being obedient to His teachings and following the commandments and requirements of the Commandment of Love

> I can be “free from outside”…
… by letting go – gradually and radically – my self-centered interests and selfish desires
… by realising my limits and growing in awareness of the majestic power of the Lord in my life
… by constantly reviewing my life to check whether I get entangled in worldly ways and unnbecoming lifestyles

Today we celebrate the Feast of Great Saint of our times, St Padre Pio.
>> May His Holy Life spur us on the path of Holiness, giving heed to his words:

“Humility and purity are the wings which carry us to God and make us almost divine.

In all the events of life, you must recognize the Divine will.

Adore and bless it, especially in the things which are the hardest for you.”

>> The strength and glory of the Church goes beyound its majestic cathedrals and finest grandeur – Christ is to be the Head, the Centre and the-All!
>> The beauty and worth of our lives goes beyond the works we do and the riches we possess – Christ is to be the Treasure, the Focus and the Goal!

May we constantly be on the watch to avoid our Christian lives being reduced to a state of “having more machinery, but less Power!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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