REFLECTION CAPSULE – May 11, 2021: Tuesday

“Thanking the Lord for the gift of life and with humility, totally depending on Him!”

(Based on Acts 16:22-34 and Jn 16:5-11 – Tuesday of the 6th Week in Eastertide)

Here is an interesting prayer, that perhaps, many of us might have not actually made…
… but perhaps, is echoed, in the depths of one’s heart:

“Dear God,
So far today I’ve done all right.
I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t lost my temper.
I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or over-indulgent.

I’m very thankful for that!

But in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed…
… and from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot of help, Amen!”

Do we realise that we are prone to sin?

Or have we become quite “lethargic and tepid” in matters concerning sin?

Becoming aware that we are weak and fragile, helps us to depend more on the Power and Grace of God…
… Failure to realise so, will make us to bank only on ourselves and thus will lead to great falls!

It is the Holy Spirit that gives us the Grace to be aware of the “sinful areas and tendencies” of our lives…
… And helps us to totally depend on Him, to live a holy and credible life.

Jesus, in the Gospel of the day, enlightening on the coming of the Holy Spirit, speaks of the role of the Holy Spirit in convicting the world regarding sin.

He says, “And when He (Holy Spirit, the Advocate) comes, He will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation” (Jn 16: 8)

One of the standout factors in the teachings of Jesus is His uncompromising attitude with respect to sin.

And perhaps, this is where Jesus as a Holy Person stands out incomparable with all other great spiritual or philosophical leaders of the world.
This is also where Christianity as a religion stands out unmatched with any other belief system or practice of spirituality.

For Jesus and in Christianity…
… there is an uncompromising teaching on the need to root out sin and evil offences
… there is an absolutely unparalleled insistence on removal of sin for spiritual progress
… there is an unsurpassed assertion on being holy and pure to be in communion with Him

The Lord points out to this prime role of the Holy Spirit: Convicting the world of sin.

St Peter, after His first proclamation on Pentecost Day, had the hearers’ conscience convicted of sin. “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and they asked Peter and the other apostles, ‘What are we to do, my brothers?'” (Acts 2:37)

It is the Holy Spirit that causes a person to become aware of one’s state of sinfulness and living an evil life.

This also means, that when there is “a loss of the sense of sin”, the workings of the Holy Spirit is also highly dormant and latent.

A “loss of sense of sin” occurs, when the Holy Spirit fails to have an active role in one’s life!

We need to make an honest examination of our conscience…

Is our life suffering from a “lack of sensation to sin”…?

Do I continue to pursue, persevere or promote deeds of sin…
… even though I am aware of it, or has been brought to my notice?

Do I fail to be sensitive to issues of immense sin and evil happening in and around me, in people and situations…
… and instead become indifferent and uninterested?

A persistence with this tendency can very dangerously sever our relation with the Lord.

It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we become ‘convicted’ of this spiritual malady and make efforts to overcome them.

Let the reality of sin be recognized and acknowledged in our lives and in the world.

Paul and Silas, who were locked in the prison, experienced the miraculous Power of the Holy Spirit – as we read in Acts of the Apostles (Acts 16:25-34)

This incident evoked feelings of faith and repentance in jailor. His cry for the Mercy of the Lord would be answered by Paul and Silas in a majestic manner: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household!” (Acts 16:31)

May we also have an open heart to accept this “conviction of sin” by the Holy Spirit and to co-operate with Him to remedy this spiritual woe!

As we thank God, every morning, for the gift of life, let us also, with humility and total dependence on Him, pray:
“…in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed…
… and from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot of help, Amen!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
MAN IN PARADISE

The first man was not only created good, but was also established in friendship with his Creator and in harmony with himself and with the creation around him…
… in a state that would be surpassed only by the glory of the new creation in Christ.
The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original “state of holiness and justice”. This grace of original holiness was “to share in… divine life”.
By the radiance of this grace, all dimensions of man’s life were confirmed. As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die. The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman, and finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called “original justice”.
The “mastery” over the world that God offered man from the beginning was realized above all within man himself: mastery of self. The first man was unimpaired and ordered in his whole being because he was free from the triple concupiscence that subjugates him to the pleasures of the senses, covetousness for earthly goods, and self-assertion, contrary to the dictates of reason.
The sign of man’s familiarity with God is that God places him in the garden. There he lives “to till it and keep it”. Work is not yet a burden, but rather the collaboration of man and woman with God in perfecting the visible creation.

This entire harmony of original justice, foreseen for man in God’s plan, will be lost by the sin of our first parents. (Cf. CCC # 371-373)

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