Aug 5 (Mt 14:13-21 and Feast of Dedication of Basilica of St Mary Major)

FAILURE is a seven letter word…

… that has crippled many lives

… severed many families and communities

… and broken many generations!

Failure is something which we surely encounter very often in our lives!

>> We fail to stand up to ours and others expectations in our personal lives…

>> We fail to answer to the needs and demands of our family or community lives…

>> We fail to respond to the challenges and duties of our responsibilities in our societal lives…

Failure creates clouds of hopelessness.

>> Failure develops into pangs of anxieties!

But every Failure, can also be the Gateway to Venture into a Fresh Framework of Opportunities…

The context and immediate background of today’s Gospel is a very disturbing  one: the beheading of John the Baptist!

>> The Voice which heralded the Coming of the Saviour…

>> The Voice which had provided hope…

… had been brutally silenced!

Jesus, on hearing this news, withdrew to a lonely place.

The inhuman murder…

>> Of His Cousin

>> Of His companion in the Works of the Kingdom…

… was a moment of great pain to the Lord

… perhaps, even a great setback to Him!

Disappointment was apparently looming large…

>> The Mission hereafter was not going to be easy…

Failure was knocking at the doors…

But every Failure, can also be the Gateway to Venture into a Fresh Framework of Opportunities…

Though filled with pain and sorrow and grief…

… Jesus continues His ministry of preaching the Kingdom of God.

And thus we see our Blessed Lord multiplying the loaves and feeding the crowds (Mt 14: 15-21)

The Evil King Herod, had feasted on the vices of self-pleasure and debauchery

>> The Good King Jesus, would make a feast on the virtues of compassion and self-giving!

The Evil King Herod spread a party of lewdness, trudging on the death of an innocent man

>> The Good King Jesus would host a party of God’s Mercy and Tenderness, inviting to eternal life!

Jesus failed to get bogged down by failures…

>> He failed to be immersed in a sea of letdowns and disappointments.

He instead, made His Compassionate and God-trusting Heart to shine through the clouds of darkness!

Jesus also taught His Disciples to not get disappointed or disheartened by “apparent” signs of failures or lack or success.

When Jesus asked His disciples to provide food for the hungry crowd, the disciples said:

“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here” (Mt 14:17)

The disciples were expressing their possibility of ‘facing a failure’…

… “We have no resources, Lord!”

… “All what we have is just not good enough to be successful!”

But the Lord – Who had refused to be bogged down by failure – now teaches the Disciples to also imitate Him…

>> Not being disappointed with possibilities of failures…

… instead, entrusting whatever we are and however we are, to the Bountiful Care of the Father

>> Not getting discouraged by situations of lack of success…

… instead, giving praise to the Lord at all times, knowing that He works wonders and miracles – in His Time, In His Way!

The same resources which signified nothingness – five loaves and two fish:

… were now transformed by the Lord as food for thousands!

… were now symbols of God’s power and providence!

You and I …

… Are we facing failures at this moment?

… Is our spiritual life going downhill?

… Are we lost in the society- facing rejections and encountering disappointments in all areas of our life?

Do we feel that FAILURE become part and parcel of our existence?

Fear not… !

>> Give up not hope…!

Let us hold on to the Lord…

… the same Lord who was “face-to-face with failure” after the brutal murder of His Cousin

… the same Lord who worked a miracle for his disciples who were “face-to-face with failure” in ministry

Our modern world, makes it easy, for us, to “Feel” that we are a failure!

>> But Jesus  shows that there can be a HIGHER way of understanding “Success”

Success is…

… being  faithful, to do God’s works: However little they be – in the time & place, God wishes!

Success is…

… persevering, to hold on to God’s Will:  However painful they be – in the manner, God wishes!

Success is…

… resolute to being truthful to God’s Ways: However hard they be – in the way, God wishes!

Am I today being surrounded by a hazy atmosphere of failures and disappointments?

>> Look up to the Lord for inspiration…

… The Lord Who remained ever faithful to the Will of God and the Lord Who had to suffer on the Cross by virtue of His obedience and fidelity !

He shows what is true success.

>> He shows what is real achievement.

Yes, Faithfulness is more vital than success.

>>  Authenticity is more needed than victory

Today we also celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of the Mary Major Basilica.

>> St. Mary Major is one of the four Roman basilicas known as patriarchal cathedrals in memory of the first centers of the Church.

(The other three being St. Peter’s Basilica, St. John Lateran Basilica, and St. Paul’s Basilica, outside the Walls.)

Every Church building is an important symbol of Christianity…

>> from the grandest of basilicas, to the tiniest of chapels…

… they reflect the “Throne of God”, from which God administers his Love, Mercy, Compassion, Forgiveness, Healing and Blessings upon his Beloved People.

>> It also signifies the Unity of the People of God, as One Church.

St. Mary Major Basilica is also the First Marian shrine for pilgrims…

… which set a pattern for countless shrines where pilgrims gather to honor our Blessed Mother throughout the world.

Let us today specially seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother…

… to remain ever-faithful to the Lord, even in the face of failures!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Always have the courage to pick yourself back up and begin again every day…

… for there is no better path to success in the spiritual life than always to begin again and never to think that you have done enough!”

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