A highly rich and influential person was privileged to be one of the special guests to undertake a 21-day cruise on a Majestic Battleship.
This ship belonged to the former Emperor of the land, and had been modernized with immense facilities and luxurious features.
The man was highly impressed with the comforts that were provided on board.
Among the many things that made a pleasant impact on him was also the Sunday Morning Mass that was attended by all the sailors and attendants, who were not on duty.
It was more so, since the man himself was not so particular about the practise of faith.
At the conclusion of the celebration of the Mass, the man asked one of the sailors:
“Are you obliged to attend these Sunday Morning services?”
“It’s not exactly about obligation, Sir!” replied the sailor, “but our journey is assured to be in safe hands, by this our offering to the Lord”!
Those sailors and attendants had made a conscious and deliberate choice to practise their faith and to surrender themselves to the Higher Power for safety and protection.
Our lives are also similar to such cruises…
… sometimes going through calm and quiet waters
… sometimes struggling in disturbed and turbulent waters
… sometimes encountering dangerous storms and violent gales
Do we make a constant choice for the Lord and live ourselves in surrender to Him?
The Gospel of the Day is the beautiful teaching of the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Luke.
>> The beatitudes are assurances of blessing and joy to all those who make a conscious choice for the Lord and His Kingdom!
Jesus says, “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God” (Lk 6: 20)
One of the great messages in this verse is the Message of Hope!
The Greek word used for “poor” is “ptochos”
>> reduced to beggary or asking for alms
>> destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour
>> helpless, powerless to accomplish an end
It’s interesting to note that this word “Ptochos” has its origin in the word “ptosso” which means “to crouch”
Therefore, the “poor” literally means, “one who is crouching” – a position where the knees are bent and the upper body is brought forward and down
>> It’s a position that is very often defied and despised, in the worldly standards.which emphasizes on being proud and haughty!
>> It’s a position that is very often made fun of and fooled, in the eyes of the world which glorifies pomp and external show!
Thus, when the Lord says, “Blessed are the poor”, it is a tremendous message of Hope…
… To those who find themselves at the peripheries of life
… To those lost in the miseries of life and find no hope – materially, spiritually, mentally, socially
Of course, the word “poor” does not mean…
… that one simply becomes timid and passive or be simply submissive to any social evils without any resistance
… that one adopts an attitude of being “always hands folded” in surrender or “faces cast down” in defeat
“Poor” instead refers to the fact that one has God has one’s greatest strength and treasure
>> Being “poor in the Lord”, contradictory as it may sound, is the greatest richness that one can have.
>> Being “poor in the Lord” gives the greatest confidence to a person, who realises that being in God, one can never fail!
How true is the saying, “One who kneels before God, can stand before anyone!”
>> One who is dependant on God and His Grace…
>> One who is willing to challenge the societies unjust norms with the mighty trust in God…
>> One who is aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses and yet offers oneself entirely to the power of God…
Such a one, in the eyes of the world may be “poor”… but is “Blessed” in the sight of God!
> It takes courage to be a Christian who is committed!
> It requires a conviction to be a follower of Christ who is passionate!
Let us be ever faithful to all our duties as a follower of Christ, not just in fulfilment as an obligation…
… but knowing that “our journey is assured to be in safe hands, by our offering to the Lord”!
God bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Do not complain then of your poverty.
>> We only complain of that which is unwelcome.
And if poverty is unwelcome to you…
… you are no longer poor in spirit!”