REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY – 18th January, 2021

“Allowing the newness and the novelty of the Lord to sparkle and glitter in our everyday Christian Life!”

(Based on Heb 5:1-10 and Mk 2:18-22 – Monday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1)

Most of us are familiar, with the story of that person who bought large new, exquisite flower vase from the market.

This person was excited in possessing this big and wonderful flower vase.

He came home and placed this flower vase in the centre table of the main hall.

He looked at the vase and admired saying, “Wow! This vase looks so pretty”.

But as he kept admiring the beauty of the vase, he realised, that somehow the torn and the rugged carpet beneath, was not matching with this newly bought vase.

So he decided to change the carpet…

Once he did the changing of the carpet, and as he admired the flower vase, he realized…
… the painting on the walls of the house also did not match with the flower vase, and the new purchased carpet!

So there…
… he decided to paint anew the walls as well!

Well…
The entry of the single vase…brought about effective changes in the surrounding!

The love for the beautiful vase prompted the person to make additional changes.

The admiration for the charming vase made the person to bring in extra alterations.

Something similar is to happen, when the Beautiful and Precious Jesus enters into our lives…

The old is to get transformed.. the new is to be ushered in!

The former is to undergo an alteration…the novel is to be welcomed in!

This is what the Lord puts forward in the Gospel of the Day by the examples of the old & new cloak and old & new wine

Our Lord often used examples from daily life to illustrate his parables.

Today, He uses two concepts that would have been readily understood by his listeners:

No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. (Mk 1:21)
No one pours new wine into old wineskin (Mk 1: 22)

It was a known fact as to what would happen if an unshrunk (new) patch was sewn onto an old garment.

When it was washed, the new patch would shrink and pull away from the garment leaving a bigger tear than before.

In ancient Israel, the grapes were pressed in the winepress and left in the collection vats for a few days.

Fermentation starts immediately on pressing, and this allows the first “tumultuous” (gassy) phase to pass.

Then the fermenting juice was put in clay jars to be stored, or into wineskins if it was to be transported some distance.

When this new wine was placed into a wineskin, it continued to ferment.

So it was essential to put it into a new, flexible, skin that would expand, as the carbon dioxide gas (a by-product of fermentation) was given off.

In Biblical history, these examples illustrate the incompatibility of the old with the new.

The new is Jesus’ message of the Kingdom of God.

The old is the present status of Judaism.

Contextually, what do these examples mean to us today?

We have professed and declared ourselves to be Christians, following the path of Jesus.

Is there a newness and a novelty that I experience and live in my daily life?

Does Jesus Christ really effect any difference in my attitudes and my actions?

For long, perhaps, we have been proud to carry the tag of being a Christian.

But is it not time that Christ really begins to become “REAL” and “LIVING” in my life?

We often “use” Christianity as a bait to obtain concessions, quotas, easy entries for jobs etc…

But does Christianity make me to live the values of the Gospel to root out corruption from the society & within ourselves?

As Christians, we are often portrayed as “forward” people – associated as a culture of posh and sophisticated living, as a “wine-and-cake” people and as “short-dresses-folk!”

These are not to be trademarks of a Real Christian!!

Does being a Christian…
… impel me to forego a sinful life and seek after holiness?
… encourage me to stand for the values of truth and honesty?
… make me to be less materialistic and more focused on things eternal?
… make me shun peer & societal pressures & stand for moral convictions?
… propel me to defy evil tendencies of the world and be firm to the Kingdom values?

The one who is truly living in the Lord, cannot, but alter his/her sinful way of life.

The one who is really professing to be a Christian, cannot, but seek after holiness.

Let Jesus, as a beautiful vase, occupy the greatest presence and authority in my life!

This would certainly mean changing the old carpet of sinfulness and evil habits.
This would certainly mean painting the soiled walls with the new shade of holiness.

May the newness and the novelty of the Lord sparkle and glitter in our everyday Christian Life!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
LIMITATIONS OF HUMAN REASON, AND THE NEED FOR GOD’S REVELATION

In the historical conditions in which he finds himself, however, man experiences many difficulties…
… in coming to know God by the light of reason alone.
This is why man stands in need of being enlightened by God’s revelation, not only about those things that exceed his understanding…

… but also “about those religious and moral truths which of themselves are not beyond the grasp of human reason, so that even in the present condition of the human race, they can be known by all men with ease, with firm certainty and with no admixture of error!”

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