REFLECTION CAPSULE – May 24, 2021: Monday

“May Mary, the Mother of the Church – our Beloved Mother and the Perfect Disciple – Who followed Her Son wholly, in obedience to the Will of the Father, intercede and inspire us, to discover and treasure the true riches of life!”

(Based on Sir 17:24-29 and Mk 10:17-27 – Monday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time – Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church)

A story is told about Phythius, an ancient King of Lydia (Lydia – a place in the present day Turkey).

Phythius was very wealthy, but also very greedy, and he would spend as little as possible.

His wife – the Queen – was however, greatly determined to cure him of this “wealth mania!”

One day when he came home hungry from a long hunt, she told the slaves to place before him dishes that were filled with gold…
… gold that was fresh from the royal gold mines.

The King stared down at his gold-filled plates, admiring them for some time, and then he asked for some food.

“Food?” his wife asked, feigning surprise, “But surely they have brought you what you love best in the world, haven’t they?”

“What are you talking about?” the King replied, as he lost his temper, “Gold can’t satisfy my hunger.”

“No?” the Queen answered, “Is it not foolish then to have such love for something that cannot be useful so long as you hang on to it?

Believe me; gold is truly of service only to people who exchange it for the good and useful things of life.”

The rich man in the Gospel of the Day also faced a similar “wealth mania”…
… and was reminded that “riches come to have true value, only when given in service, to the needy”

Are we also facing a “wealth mania” in our lives?

We have concluded a journey of fourteen weeks (nearly hundred days) of walking intimately with the Lord in His Passion, Death, Resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit…
… starting with the Ash Wednesday in the season of Lent
… through the Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday
… the Ascension and the Feast of the Holy Spirit – the Pentecost.

As we resume the Ordinary times of the Liturgical year, we are presented today…
… with a message to make an examination of the “quality of our life”, through this incident of the rich man

The rich man in the Gospel approaches Jesus to ask, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mk 10: 17)

When Jesus gave him a list of commandments, that needed to be followed to help ensure a passage into eternal life, the man replied, “Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth” (Mk 10: 20)

We underline a few aspects of this young man…
… he did desire for a life of eternity and followed the commandments
… he did nurture a sense of being pious and devout, to please the Lord

However…
… he probably failed to live up to the intentions of the commandments
… he possibly got lost into only keeping the letters of the commandments; not the spirit!

He got attached to doing God’s commandment, but failed to break his attachments with the riches of the world.

He possessed the good will to follow God’s teachings, but failed to let go of the possessions of his life.

The Lord realized this “pitiable” condition of the young man.

He was wealthy in the world, but was unable to be rich before God
He was obedient to the laws, but was unable to be obedient to give up his attachments.

Therefore, the Lord, knowing this state of the young man – devout yet not properly focused…
… “looked at him, loved him, and said: ‘You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then, come, follow me'” (Mk 10: 21)

This young man could represent any one of us…

We seek to be pious but find it hard to let go of our possessions
We seek for holiness in life but go through a struggle to give up our attachments
We seek to follow the Lord wholly but stumble to give ourselves entirely to the Lord

Yet, the Lord does not give up on us…

He looks on us…
He loves us…
And He invites us, to have the proper focus in life!

It is not material possessions that ought to occupy our hearts; rather, our hearts needs to be possessed with the Love for the Lord.

It is not worldly treasures that should be our prime motto in life; rather, a life, dedicated to the Kingdom of God and helping the needy with the resources we have.

Our material life is totally in the control of the Lord.

Our material possessions will be of no avail, when we leave this world.
Our hands will not be able to hold any riches when we depart from this life.

Let us instead be possessed by the Lord, gather the precious stones of His grace and love by works of charity and hold on to Him…
… so that we may have a wonderful life of eternity with the Lord of all treasures!

Let us give heed to some of the wise and noble sayings of Holy People who have described the necessity to be detached from the riches of the world…

St Bede the Venerable: “He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.”

St Alphonsus Liguori:”Those who desire nothing from this world are masters of the whole world.”

St Gregory the Great: “Be not anxious about what you have, but about what you are… Make use of temporal things, but set your heart on eternal things.”

Today we also celebrate the Feast of Mary, the Mother of the Church.

Mother Mary is the model for all in the Church to “always say YES to God’s Will!”

This feast which has been promulgated in the Year 2018…
… is celebrated every year on the Monday after Pentecost.

One of the primary reasons for the celebration of the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church is “to foster Marian piety and the Maternal sense of the Church.”

Pope Francis says that, “this celebration will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored…
… to the Mystery of the Cross
… to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet
… and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed!”

The Marian title of “Mother of the Church,” was given to the Blessed Mother by Pope Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council.

Let us ask our Blessed Mother Mary, the Mother of the Church to intercede and pray for all of us…
… to be faithful and witnessing members of the Church by prioritising for the “true riches of our life!”

Happy Feast Day of Mary, the Mother of the Church…
… to all Her Little Children of God!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
AT THE HEART OF CATECHESIS: CHRIST

“At the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, the only Son from the Father…who suffered and died for us and who now, after rising, is living with us forever.”
To catechize is “to reveal in the Person of Christ the whole of God’s eternal design reaching fulfilment in that Person.
It is to seek to understand the meaning of Christ’s actions and words and of the signs worked by him.”
Catechesis aims at putting “people in communion with Jesus Christ: only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.”
In catechesis “Christ, the Incarnate Word and Son of God, is taught – everything else is taught with reference to him – and it is Christ alone who teaches – anyone else teaches to the extent that he is Christ’s spokesman, enabling Christ to teach with his lips.
Every catechist should be able to apply to himself the mysterious words of Jesus: ‘My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.’”
Whoever is called “to teach Christ” must first seek “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus”; he must suffer “the loss of all things. . .” in order to “gain Christ and be found in him”, and “to know him and the power of his resurrection, and (to) share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible (he) may attain the resurrection from the dead”
From this loving knowledge of Christ springs the desire to proclaim him, to “evangelize”, and to lead others to the “yes” of faith in Jesus Christ.

But at the same time the need to know this faith better makes itself felt. (Cf. CCC # 426-429)

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