REFLECTION CAPSULE – May 08, 2021: Saturday

“Being prepared to face any amount of difficulty to uphold our Faith in the Lord!”

(Based on Acts 16:1-10 and Jn 15:18-21 – Saturday of 5th Week in Eastertide)

The Boxer Rebellion or the Boxer Uprising was an anti-imperialist uprising which took place in China towards the end of the 20th century.

It was initiated by the Militia United in Righteousness (Yihetuan), known in English as the “Boxers,” and was motivated by proto-nationalist sentiments and opposition to foreign imperialism and associated Christian missionary activity.

The well-trained, athletic young men were referred to as “Boxers,” because of the martial arts and physical exercises that they practiced.

On one such occasion, during this Boxer Rebellion, some insurgents captured a Christian mission school and blocked all the gates but one.

In front of that one gate, was placed a Cross – flat on the ground.

Then the word was passed to those inside that any who trampled the cross underfoot would be permitted their freedom and life, but that any refusing would be shot.

Terribly frightened, the first seven students trampled the cross under their feet and were allowed to go free.

But the eighth student – a young girl – refused to commit the sacrilegious act.

Kneeling beside the cross in prayer for strength, she arose and moved carefully around the cross, and went out to face the firing squad.

Strengthened by her example, every one of the remaining ninety-two students followed her to the firing squad!

The example of the one brave and faithful child inspired others to also be bold in their defence of faith.

These children, strong and courageous, laid down their lives, to be obedient to their faith.
Fear of death could not strangle their faith!
Fear of persecution could not suppress their conviction!

The Gospel of the Day is a mighty invitation by Jesus to remain steadfast and bold even in the face of persecutions in defence for our faith in Him.

And this steadfastness is in imitation of Jesus, our Master, who Himself underwent a miserable series of pain, persecution , suffering and humiliation, and yet remain totally faithful to His Mission.

Jesus says, “If the world hates you, realise that it hated me first… If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (Jn 15: 18, 20b)

The Lord is very clear in His teaching and preaching:

Friendship with Jesus would mean hostility from the world.
Non-compromise with Jesus’ teaching would result in antagonism from the world.

Our Lord Himself had to undergo this pain of rejection, persecution and opposition throughout His life…

At His birth, King Herod sought to terminate His life
After Baptism, Satan sought to tempt Him out of His mission.
During His ministry, the Pharisees and Scribes would misunderstand and misjudge Him

The Lord alerts His disciples that the same will be true in their lives too, if they too chose to remain faithful to their vocation.

As a follower of the Lord, we too need to be aware that sufferings and hardships on being Christian is sure to come our way.

What is our attitude and disposition to these trials that we face because of our faith in Christ?

Do we be bold and courageous…
… even when we are to face isolation or seclusion due to standing firm in our values and principles in the Lord?

Do we live our life in joy and calmness…
… even when we have to face misunderstandings and become an object of laughter, or called as “old-traditionalist” as a result of being staunch in following the Gospel values?

The world constantly ensnares us with temptations to abandon the Cross…

The evil one very often traps us with hardships to dilute our faith in the Lord…

Are we going to yield in to such temptations and enticements…

Or are we prepared to face any amount of difficulty, to uphold our Faith in the Lord?

Are we going to stamp the Cross of Christ and Faith in Him…

Or we bold and courageous to sustain our witnessing to Jesus in the world?

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
BODY AND SOUL BUT TRULY ONE

The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once corporeal and spiritual. The biblical account expresses this reality in symbolic language. Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.
In Sacred Scripture the term “soul” often refers to human life or the entire human person. But “soul” also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him, that by which he is most especially in God’s image: “soul” signifies the spiritual principle in man.
The human body shares in the dignity of “the image of God”: it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit.
Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honour since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day
The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the “form” of the body: i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.
The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God – it is not “produced” by the parents – and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection.
Sometimes the soul is distinguished from the spirit: St. Paul for instance prays that God may sanctify his people “wholly”, with “spirit and soul and body” kept sound and blameless at the Lord’s coming.
The Church teaches that this distinction does not introduce a duality into the soul. “Spirit” signifies that from creation man is ordered to a supernatural end and that his soul can gratuitously be raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God.

The spiritual tradition of the Church also emphasizes the heart, in the biblical sense of the depths of one’s being, where the person decides for or against God (Cf. CCC # 362-368)

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