REFLECTION CAPSULE – Mar 03, 2021: Wednesday

“Daring to follow the path of humility and making a choice for the Cross!”

(Based on Jer 18:18-20 and Mt 20:17-28 – Wednesday of the 2nd Week in Lent)

A rich businessman had grown greatly in his endeavours.

He became greatly possessed with acquiring more wealth and seeking for greater power.

His sole intention in life was to find ways and means to gain more wealth (by hook or crook; by honest or corrupt ways!) and capture more positions of power.

Though a Christian…
… he cared hardly for his family
… he bothered least about his faith

One day, while sitting in his posh office, pondering on ways to augment his wealth and prestige in the society…
… his eyes went towards the Crucifix that was placed on his table.

Looking from the place where he was sitting, he could see…
… The Crucifix and a Chair that was placed opposite him.

And suddenly a thought came across his mind:
“What is more important for you in life?

Cross or Chair?”

This thought stuck him badly.

Being greatly disturbed… he sought to ward off that idea from his mind.

But it kept disturbing him…. “Cross or Chair… Cross or Chair!”

Well, it’s not known whether that incident changed his life.

But this question is placed before each of us:
“What is more important for you in life?

Cross or Chair?”

The Gospel of the Day is the incident of the mother of the sons of Zebedee aspiring to obtain a place of honour for her children..
… through which, Jesus poses this question of supreme importance to us as well:
“What is more important for you in life?

Cross or Chair?”

This incident is sandwiched between two important instructions by Jesus…

  1. His master plan of establishing the Kingdom: His Passion, Death and Resurrection
  2. His master technique to allow access to the Kingdom: The way of Humility
  3. His master plan of establishing the Kingdom: His Passion, Death and Resurrection
    Jesus predicts about His sufferings to His disciples (Mt 20: 17-19)

It was clearly His way of telling His chosen ones, that His Kingdom is not to be one that accords prime importance to power and position…
… instead it was about obedience and self-giving.

  1. His master technique to allow access to the Kingdom: The way of Humility
    Jesus further teaches His disciples that the key to enter the Kingdom is the way of humility (Mt 20: 26-28)

It was clearly a reminder as well as a warning, that His Kingdom is not reserved for the powerful or the mighty…
… instead it is to be given to those of meek heart and lowly self.

It’s in between these two powerful “Kingdom” teachings, that we have the incident of the mother of the sons of Zebedee seeking for a place of honour for her children (Mt 20: 20-24)

The incident showed that they had quite badly misunderstood Jesus…

They mistook His master plan of establishing the Kingdom as being “through force and power and might!”
They mistook His master technique to allow access to the Kingdom as being “the way of Supremacy!”

But Jesus shatters this misconception by posing a master question: “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” (Mt 20: 22)

“Drinking the Cup” for Jesus meant the Master Plan of His Passion, Death and Resurrection
“Drinking the Cup” for Jesus meant the Master Technique of the way of Humility

This incident is a reminder and warning for each of us as well:

  1. Are we willing to be in accord with the Lord’s master plan of establishing the Kingdom: His Passion, Death and Resurrection?
  2. Are we ready to practise the Lord’s master technique to allow access to the Kingdom: The way of Humility?

Jesus clearly poses this question of supreme importance:
“What is more important for you in life?

Cross or Chair?”

Very often we settle down to sit on the “Chair”…
… the ‘chair’ of comfort and relaxation
… the ‘chair’ of lethargy and indifference
… the ‘chair’ of materialism and individualism

But the Lord challenges us to carry the “Cross”…
… the ‘Cross’ of responsibility and commitment
… the ‘Cross’ of witnessing to the Lord and trusting in Him
… the ‘Cross’ of serving the deprived and being sensitive to the need of the other

The way of the Christian is none but the Way of the Cross.

The path of the Christian can be none but the Path of Humility.

Let us give heed to the words of St Louise de Marillac (the patroness of the parentless and of social workers):
“If humility, simplicity and charity which produce support, are well established in you…
… your community will be made up of as many saints as there are persons!”

Yes, let us dare to follow the path of humility…
… and seek to positively answer to the question that Jesus poses to each of us:
“What is more important for you in life?

Cross or Chair?”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
FAITH IS A GRACE AND A HUMAN ACT
Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by Him.

Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.
Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the Holy Spirit…
… but it is no less true that believing is an authentically human act.
Trusting in God and cleaving to the truths He has revealed, is contrary neither to human freedom nor to human reason.
Even in human relations it is not contrary to our dignity to believe what other persons tell us about themselves and their intentions, or to trust their promises (for example, when a man and a woman marry) to share a communion of life with one another. If this is so, still less is it contrary to our dignity to “yield by faith the full submission of… intellect and will to God who reveals”…
… and to share in an interior communion with Him
In faith, the human intellect and will co-operate with divine grace: “Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace.” (CCC # 153-155)


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