“Encountering Jesus so that the sour and tangy areas of our life, will turn to sweetness and pleasantness!”
(Based on Isa 58:9b-14 and Lk 5:27-32 – Saturday after Ash Wednesday)
One of the fruits that is growing in popularity is the “miracle fruit!”
>> Native to Africa’s Gold Coast, this miracle berry (scientific name: Synsepalum dulcificum) has been an integral part of the daily menu of the tribes in Ghana and Nigeria
>> This fruit is now getting available in many parts of the world.
What is the speciality of this fruit?
>> Why is it called as Miracle Fruit?
When this fruit is eaten…
… it causes sour foods that are consumed consequently to taste sweet
(The fruit consists of a taste modifier called miraculin, which binds to the taste buds, causing sour foods to taste sweet)
… a juicy, tangy lime will taste sweet!
… a succulent, sour gooseberry will be felt as sweetened!
Interesting, isn’t it?
>> When we encounter Jesus and consume His Presence…
… like the “effect caused by the miracle fruit,” the sour and tangy areas of our life, will turn to sweetness and pleasantness!
The Gospel of the Day presents an encounter…
>> Of Levi… who was willing to have an experience of Jesus, the “Miracle Fruit” and thus experience sweetness in life
>> Of Pharisees and Scribes… who refused to partake of Jesus, the “Miracle Fruit and thus remain sour in their attitudes
As Jesus went out, He met a person named Levi, who was sitting at the tax booth.
Levi, a tax collector – collected taxes for customs or tolls on imports, exports, and merchants who came to buy or sell in Israel.
>> These Jewish tax collectors were disdained by the Jews. They were considered traitors because they worked for the despised Roman rulers.
It is this “despised” person that Jesus calls: “Follow me.” (Lk 5:27)
The name “Levi” means “joined”
>> True to his name, Levi “joined” the ministry of Jesus… and became His disciple
>> True to his name, Levi “joined” Himself to following Christ… leaving his former ways!
Subsequently, in the great banquet hosted at his house, Jesus was joined by a “large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting at the table” (Lk 5:29)
The sight of Jesus – supposedly a Teacher and Prophet – irked the Pharisees and their Scribes, making them to ask: “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” (Lk 5:30)
The Pharisees and their Scribes refused to accept the “welcoming and merciful” embrace of the Lord
>> They chose to close themselves to the “saving and redeeming” works of the Lord
As a result, they failed to experience the “Sweetness of the Lord!”
Levi, was willing to have a taste of “Jesus, the Miracle Fruit”
… and thus, his life was filled with sweetness and pleasantness!
>> The Pharisees and their Scribes refused to experience “Jesus, the Miracle Fruit”
… and thus, they continued to remain sour and tangy – as expressed in their words and actions!
There are many times…
… when we remain sour in our words – hurting people by our unjust criticism and judgmental comments
>> We need to taste “Jesus, the Miracle Fruit” so that our lives gives forth the sweetness of acceptance and appreciation!
There are often occasions …
… when we remain tangy in our actions and deeds – refusing to reach out in help and being stagnant in our selfishness
>> We need to taste “Jesus, the Miracle Fruit” so that our lives gives forth the pleasantness of charity and care!
The effect of the miracle fruit lasts only for an hour
>> The effect of “Jesus, the Miracle Fruit” however is much lasting
… and in fact, can be everlasting, if we remain faithful and sincere in following the Lord!
Let us encounter Jesus and consume His Presence…
… so that, like the “effect caused by the miracle fruit,” the sour and tangy areas of our life, will turn to sweetness and pleasantness!
>> Like Levi, let us “join” ourselves to the Will of the Lord, by following Him, faithfully!
Ready to taste the “Miracle Fruit?”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
>> It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to be included…
… in the list of the sacred books.
>> This complete list is called the canon of Scripture.
>> It includes 46 books for the Old Testament (45 if we count Jeremiah and Lamentations as one)…
… and 27 for the New(CCC 118-119)