Sep 20 (Lk 8:1-3)

There is a particular type of a caterpillar called as “Pine Processional Caterpillars”.

>> These “Processional Caterpillars” walk in long lines – each one following closely the next in front.

A noted French naturalist named Jean Henri Fabre, once conducted an experiment on them.

He took a flowerpot and placed of a number of these “Processional Caterpillars” in a single-file around the circumference of the rim of a flower-pot.

>> Each caterpillar’s head touched the one in front of it.

He then placed the caterpillar’s favourite food in the middle of the pot.

He was surprised to observe that each of the caterpillar followed the one ahead, thinking it was heading for the food.

>> Round and round went these insects – for several days!

Finally, after many days of this absurd activity, the caterpillars started to drop dead – because of exhaustion and starvation!

All that they had to avoid the snare of death was to stop the senseless rounding around the pot…

…. and head, instead, directly to the food, that was placed less than six-inches away from them!

However, these “Processional Caterpillars” were trapped in a lifestyle which made them to only follow the one ahead, and were unable to “disentangle” themselves from the habit of ‘blindly’ following others!

Am I turning out to be a “Processional Christian”?

> claiming to follow Christ, just because others are doing the same or I have got into the “rut” of a system?

> aimlessly following Christ, without any conviction or sometimes even of an awareness of ‘why I am doing so?’

The Gospel of the Day presents to us  a beautiful set of “Followers of Christ” who pursued Him in faith, in conviction and with a sense of clear purpose.

The Gospel of St Luke gives an interesting list of people (there would also have been probably others), who followed Jesus closely and were part of His Kingdom Ministry (Lk 8: 1-3).

1. The Twelve Apostles

2. Mary Magdalene

3. Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward

4. Susanna and many others

Its edifying to learn some aspects from each of these sets of people…

1. The Twelve Apostles

>> They were people of opposing temperaments, differing characters, conflicting backgrounds and divergent personalities.

Yet, the “glue” of ‘belonging to Christ’ kept them together

Can I learn the aspect of..

… going beyond my personal differences and accidental characteristics, to forge together beautiful and faithful relationships, in my family, my workplaces, my communities etc, in order to follow Christ closer?

2. Mary Magdalene

>> She had personally experienced the power of Christ’s healing.

This made her to keep her focus on the Lord, her God and to be intimately following Him for the rest of her life.

Can I learn the aspect of…

… recognising, cherishing and sustaining the many ‘miraculous and wonderful’ encounters of the Lord’s healing and care, that I experience on a daily basis, and thus to passionately follow the Lord?

3. Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward

>> She was the wife of Chuza, who was the steward of King Herod Antipas.

To follow Jesus involved a high level of risk for her, as there was a danger from King Herod, who was wicked and had expressed his displeasure by the murder of John the Baptist.

Can I learn the aspect of…

…. being daring and courageous in following the Lord, even at the risk of my life, the risk of being exposed to humiliation and the risk of bearing discouragements, persecutions and indifference from others?

4. Susanna and many others

>> There is not much information on their identity but they were part of a section of the society i.e. women who were terribly maltreated and were given an unfair, unequal and unrecognizable positions in the Jewish religious hierarchy.

Can I learn the aspect of…

… being ready to break the mental barriers and the paralysing thought-patterns in the society which cripple one’s freedom, in order to become an authentic follower of the Lord?

These followers of Christ teach us vital lessons…

>> of making radical transformations

>> of valuing God’s wonderful workings in life

>> of being courageously bold

>> of overcoming challenges and barriers

… in order to Follow Christ – with conviction, with commitment and with certainty!

We cannot simply remain as “Processional Christians” –  being trapped in a lifestyle which makes us to “claim to follow Christ”…

… and being unable to “disentangle” ourselves from the habit of ‘blindly’ following others!

We instead need to become…

> “Practical Christians” – who put into practice the preachings of Christ!

> “Praiseworthy Christians” – who live our lives seeking to please the Lord in every act and deed!

> “Precious Christians” – who live with a deep conviction of belonging to the Lord and making efforts to share His love to all!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “”Do everything calmly and peacefully.

Do as much as you can as well as you can.

>> Strive to see God in all things without exception, and consent to His will joyously.

Do everything for God, uniting yourself to him in word and deed.

>> Walk very simply with the Cross of the Lord…

… and be at peace with yourself!”

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