Christianity is described as a religion of contradictions…
…Paradoxes are perhaps a way of life, for a Christian.
The Christian Lifestyle could be described in the following few lines:
“The way to be master… is to be servant;
The way to receive… is to give;
The way to be rich… is to be poor;
The way to be wise… is to be a fool;
The way to be exalted… is to abase oneself;
The way to live… is to die.”
The Gospel of the Day is a call from Jesus to examine our attitude towards others and to grow to become more and more selfless..
.. and thus be more and more Christian!
We are in the 14th Chapter of St Luke.
Jesus has been invited for a dinner to the house of a leading Pharisee on a Sabbath Day.
>> He has just cured a person with dropsy…a disease wherein water gets retained in the body
>> He also tried to cure persons with hypocrisy…a disease wherein duplicity gets retained in the mind!
And now He seeks to cure the attitude of the people who have a false understanding of giving.
Jesus says, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends, or your brothers and relatives and wealthy neighbours. For surely they will invite you in return and you will be repaid” (Lk 14:12)
Much of our giving is based purely on the (hidden) aspect of receiving back…
>> Much of our sharing is based purely on an (unconscious) agenda of getting back…
We share our time with friends…
… often expecting that they too will accompany us in our times of hardships and difficulties!
We render service to many people who are in need…
… often expecting that they too will render us assistance in our difficulties!
We pray to God & make a lot of sacrifices…
… often expecting that He’ll meet all our expectations, in the way and time, we want.
We love many saints…
… often expecting that they’ll make faster intercession on our behalf and get our works done quickly.
We have, perhaps, become very business oriented:
>> I give, and expect return
>> I share, and expect a bonus.
But the Lord, in today’s Gospel comes down heavily on such an attitude.
“When you give, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind…because they cannot repay you” (Lk 14:13)
We are exhorted to give to those, who may never be able to repay back.
>> We are challenged to help those, who may never have a chance to return back the favour.
The Lord who said these words, shows us an example in the highest manner possible…
… in the Holy Eucharist.
The Holy Eucharist is the best example and model…of such kind of a giving..
>> A giving without expecting back!
>> A sharing without seeking back.!
The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the poor…
>> We who are poor…
… in our morals and purity
… in our commitment and dedication
The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the crippled…
>> We who are crippled…
… with our many sins and faults
… with the guilt of many past failures
The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the lame…
>> We who are lame…
… in our longing and thirst for the Divine
… in our acts of self-giving and self-sacrifice
The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the blind…
>> We who are blind…
… to the cries of those around us
… to see our habits which needs repentance & improvement.
Jesus, who gives Himself entirely in the Holy Eucharist today challenges us to do the same..,
“I give myself to you as food and nourishment…even though many people fail to thank me
>> Can you also give yourselves to nourish the lives of others…even if they fail to acknowledge?”
“I give myself to you in joy, happiness and peace…even though many despise and mock me
>> Can you also become a source of joy to others…even if they back-bite and spread calumny?”
“I give myself to you as a healing for sin and guilt..even though many hate and desecrate me.
>> Can you also become a healing touch to the other…even if it means dying slowly to your self slowly die in the process?”
The onus is on us…
Can we truly pray and live…
… The Christian Life – with its contradictions and paradoxes?
Let us seek the intercession and give heed to the words of St Charles Borromeo, the saint of the Day:
“If a tiny spark of God’s love already burns within you…
… do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out…!”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “A man who can own pearls does not bother about shells…
… and those who aspire to virtue do not trouble themselves over honours!”