REFLECTION CAPSULE – Mar 14, 2021: Sunday

“Embracing the Cross and being enamoured by the Love of our Crucified Lover!”

(Based on 2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23, Eph 2:4-10 and Jn 3:14-21 – 4th Sunday of Lent, Year B)

A story is told of a lady who was very much zealous in telling about Jesus Christ to the world.

This lady was blind and illiterate…
… and yet found different ways to spread the Gospel.

One day, she went to a missionary priest and asked for a copy of the Bible in French.

When she got it, she asked the missionary to underline John 3:16, in red, and mark the page, so that she could find it.
(Jn 3:16 = “For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Son…that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have Eternal Life!”)

The missionary wanted to see what she would do with this Bible that was marked with red…
… and so he followed her.

The lady went in the late afternoon to a school…
… and made her way to the entrance.

As the school children came out, she would stop one of them and ask if he knew how to read French.

If the boy would say “Yes” she would ask him to read the verse that was marked in red.

Then she would ask, “Do you know what this means?”…
… and then go on to tell him more about Jesus Christ and living a Life in the Lord!

The missionary priest would later testify that this lady led nearly a couple of dozen boys to become missionaries of the Lord!

The tremendous love, in the heart of woman, for Christ, triggered in her a deep desire to reach out God’s Love to many many more people in her life.

As followers of Christ, each of us are bound to tell the world about the Precious Life of “Living in God!”

How well are we doing our Duty of Proclaiming God to the world?

This proclamation of the Lord comes when one has a passionate love for Christ.

The Gospel of the Day presents this love of God that has been gifted to all of us, by the death of Christ on the Cross.

The Cross is indeed, the great, big and beautiful symbol of God’s Love for all of us!

Every religion and every ideology has its own symbol.

But what makes the symbol of Christianity – the Cross – so unique is that…
… Its founder transformed this instrument of shame into the sign of salvation!
… Its founder not just preached about the symbol, but even embraced it, in obedience and love!

The Cross had cast its shadow on the life of Christ all through…

Wood (symbolic of the ‘Wood of the Cross’) was part of the life of Christ all through…
… the Babe Jesus was laid on the ‘wood of the manger’ by his beloved Parents
… the Boy Jesus worked with ‘wood in the workshop’ of His carpenter father, Joseph
… the Brave Jesus would use the ‘wood of the boat’, as His Pulpit to preach the Word of God
The Beloved Jesus would finally be laid on the “wood of the Cross” in total obedience to His Father!

This is what the Lord foretold Nicodemus…
… as we see in today’s Gospel Passage: ” And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (Jn 3: 14)

Jesus makes a reference to the Old Testament incident as found in the Book of Numbers (Num 21: 4b-9)…

The people grew disinterested and dissipated by their journey and began to grumble
However, God in His mercy, offered a bronze serpent, mounted on a pole…
… for deliverance from the punishments of their sin

This bronze serpent would be a typography of the Cross of Christ!

Just as the bronze serpent came to the rescue of the people of Israel, the Cross of Christ comes to our rescue…
… but with a much greater reward – of salvation!
… with a much greater consolation – of the peace of Christ!

We too, often grow disinterested and dissipated in our journey of life and begin to grumble

Our sin of disobedience and lack of trust in God’s Will, brings us punishments of various kinds.

However, God in His mercy, offers us Christ Crucified, mounted on the Cross…
… for deliverance from the punishments of our sin!

All those who looked at the bronze serpent had lived…

All of us, who will look at Christ Crucified on the Cross, will live forever!

Our modernistic world has notoriously and pragmatically misuses the Cross:

Fashionists have the symbol of Christianity stylishly displayed all over themselves..
… as jewellery hanging round their necks, ears, wrists etc
… as tattoos imprinted on the various body parts
… as drawings on various objects of worldly use

The Cross is often found to be degraded and despised as merely…
… an ornament of show
… a pattern of beautification
… a statement of raging and crazy style

But the Cross of Christ transcends all these…

And, we Christians, today, need to be zealous, to restore the Cross, the Symbol of Christianity to its original sense…
… The Symbol of Hope and Salvation
… The Symbol of Unconditional Love
… The Symbol of Unfathomable Mercy

St Francis de Sales beautifully reminds us:
“If you wish to learn how to love God, come to Calvary.

Jesus Christ on His Cross will teach you!
Mount Calvary is the Mount of lovers!
All love which does not take its origin from the Passion of the Saviour, is foolish and dangerous!
Love and death are eternally blended together in the Passion of the Saviour!”

The Cross is indeed the great reminder of the tremendous and faithful Love of the Lord for all of us: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have Eternal Life!” (Jn 3:16)

It is this tremendous love, in our hearts, that can trigger a deep desire to reach out God’s Love to many many more people in our lives.

As followers of Christ, each of us are bound to tell the world about the Precious Life of “Living in God!”

Are we ready to Proclaim God’s Word to the world?

Come, let us embrace the Cross and be enamoured by the Love of our Crucified Lover!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:

Through the centuries, in so many languages, cultures, peoples and nations, the Church has constantly confessed this one faith, received from the one Lord, transmitted by one Baptism, and grounded in the conviction that all people have only one God and Father.
For though languages differ throughout the world, the content of the Tradition is one and the same. The Church’s message “is true and solid…
… in which one and the same way of salvation appears throughout the whole world.”
We guard with care the faith that we have received from the Church, for without ceasing, under the action of God’s Spirit, this deposit of great price, as if in an excellent vessel, is constantly being renewed…
… and causes the very vessel that contains it to be renewed. (CCC # 172-175)

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