“Being wary of the menaces to be adamantly self-righteous, to be engrossed only in the affairs of this world and to be obstinately closed in spirit!”
(Based on Num 21:4-9 and Jn 8:21-30 – Tuesday of the 5th Week in Lent)
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death.
Though it has many and wide range of reasons and factors, the cause is frequently attributed to mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, alcoholism, or drug abuse.
Stress factors such as financial difficulties or troubles with interpersonal relationships also often play a key role.
In this fast-paced world, where indifference has grown in a humongous manner, suicide is certainly one great tendency and trend.
This suicide is, mainly, of the physical order.
How many of us have, however, thought of the threat of suicide occurring, even with respect to our spiritual life?
How many of us, have considered, that there is a danger of suicide happening, even with respect to our life of faith?
The Gospel of the Day is a warning to be aware of the danger of “suicide” from a spiritual angle, that can occur in the soul of each person.
Jesus continues His revelation to the people, of He, being the ambassador of God, His Father.
He tells the people that “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin” (Jn 8: 21)
The Lord refers to “dying in one’s sin”
This aspect of “dying in one’s sin”, which would be equivalent to a person committing suicide in the spiritual sense, could consist of various ways:
- A person dangers oneself to “suicide” in the spiritual sense, when one is too self-righteous – an attitude of “I know everything – even more than God!”
When Jesus told that He is going away, the Jews said, “He is not going to kill Himself, is He, because He said, “Where I am going, you cannot come?” (Jn 8:22)
The Jews failed to understand the words of the Lord, because they were filled with pride of their knowledge, and considered themselves to know everything.
They were filled with a certain obstinacy in being open to the words of the Lord, and failed to see that there could be also other possibilities of looking at the words of Jesus.
- A person risks the danger of “suicide” with respect to one’s faith, when one fails to set one’s eyes heavenward, and instead gets fixated with earthly things.
Jesus said to the Jews, “You belong to what is below. I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world” (Jn 8: 23)
The Jews had their thoughts and deeds centred only on the things of this world and failed to transcend their minds heavenward.
They were filled with a certain worldliness that made their concerns to be limited.
They were unable to understand the heavenly realities that the Lord presented before them, and even shut their eyes to make an attempt to understand them
- A person exposes oneself to the perils of “suicide” from the spiritual point of view, when one is wilfully ignorant of the Truth.
Though Jesus had spoken much, performed much, the Jews still ask Him,” Who are you?”. Jesus then said to them, “What I told you from the beginning” (Jn 8: 25)
The Jews had great many opportunities to discover faith in the Lord, as He had exposed them to many great wonders, taught several teachings and performed many deeds to show His divinity.
Though, they were learned in their scripture and laws, they failed to recognise the Source of the Scripture and the Giver of the Law.
Their minds were adamantly closed to the Reality.
Their hearts were purposely shut to the Truth.
The Lord moaned that these Jews were risking the danger of “committing suicide” spiritually… of “dying in one’s sins”.
This warning is addressed to us also….
Am I exposing myself to the risk of “losing my life, in sin”?
Am I endangering myself to the peril of “forfeiting my soul, in sin?”
Let us be wary of these menaces…
… to be adamantly self-righteous and being proud with our own knowledge, and failing to trust in the mighty wisdom and power of the Lord.
… to be engrossed only in the affairs of this world, and failing to raise our hearts to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”.
… to be obstinately closed in spirit, to the promptings of the Lord through various inspirations and failing to see the hand of God in the wonders that occur in our lives.
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
After Israel’s sin, when the people had turned away from God to worship the golden calf, God heard Moses’ prayer of intercession…
… and agreed to walk in the midst of an unfaithful people, thus demonstrating His Love.
When Moses asked to see His Glory, God responded “I will make all My Goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you My Name “the LORD” [YHWH].
Then the LORD passes before Moses and proclaimed, “YHWH, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness”
Moses then confessed that the LORD is a forgiving God.
The Divine Name, “I Am” or “He Is”, expresses God’s faithfulness: despite the faithlessness of men’s sin and the punishment it deserves, He keeps “steadfast love for thousands”.
By going so far as to give up His own Son for us, God reveals that He is “rich in mercy”.
By giving His Life to free us from sin, Jesus revealed that He Himself bears the Divine Name: “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will realize that “I AM!” (CCC # 210-211)