REFLECTION CAPSULE – July 17, 2021: Saturday

“Being ready to ‘live our lives in hope’ even though we may often experience many evils that seek to submerge us!”

(Based on Exo 12:37-42 and Mt 12:14-21 – Saturday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time)

“Pandora’s Box” is a phrase which means a process that once begun, generates many complicated problems.

There is a Greek mythological story about the origin of this phrase – the “Pandora’s Box”

According to the Greek legend, the first woman of the earth, named Pandora was sent to the earth, by the gods, with a casket (box) in her hand.

She was forbidden to open this box.

However, out of immense curiosity one day she lifted the cover of the box and looked in.

But there came forth from the box, every conceivable plague for man’s body and his mind, and immediately they scattered themselves far and wide throughout the earth.

Pandora hastened to replace the lid of the box, but there was only one thing left – Hope!

Often our life can resemble this mythological tale, in that, we face a whole set of evils and troubles unleashed at us.

The Pandora’s Box – of persecutions, of difficulties, of sadness, of daily tensions – gets opened often in our lives.

But Life still invites and challenges us to move on with Life, in HOPE, seeking to heal every negativity!

Our Blessed Lord is our model and perfect example for this.

While on the earth, He had to face the trial of many pandora boxes – of cruel plots, of hurtful betrayals, of painful rejections – being unleashed at Him.

Yet, He remained firm and defiant in His Zeal and Passion for His Mission – His Mission of being a “Hope to the Gentiles” ( Mt 12: 21)

The Gospel of the Day makes a vivid presentation of this struggle of our Blessed Lord was subjected to.

The Gospel passage begins with the verse, “But the Pharisees went out and took counsel to put Jesus to death” (Mt 12: 14)

There could be perhaps, quite a factors that prompted the religious elders of the time, to make this move

  1. Jesus did not correspond to their idea of being a Messiah

The Pharisees and the religious leaders of the time, probably had a externally dominant visualization of the Messiah Who was to come…

Someone Who was politically powerful
Someone Who would be Restorer of their Religion
Someone Who would firmly establish the Jewish Empire

But none of these seemed to be evident in the ministry and life of Jesus.

  1. Jesus seemed to be a thorn in their cosy structured and institutionalized pattern of life

The long wait for the Messiah had resulted…

In religion in being devoid of religiosity and instead being reduced to mere rituals
In Spirituality losing its sheen of sacredness and instead being sunken to mere static statutes

This had resulted in creation of classes…

Of the Ruling Class: consisting of the Pharisees, the Scribes and other religious leaders and elders,
Of the Ruled Class: consisting of the ordinary people, whose voices were often restrained, and had become mute followers of the tradition.

Jesus, however, by His Vibrant Teachings, His Mighty Deeds and His Uncompromising Life, disturbed all such cosy structures and comfortable religious life-style.

How often do we also turn anti against those who become a ‘Jesus’ to us…
• Those whose ideas do not correspond to our sinful or lethargic ways of life
• Those who become a thorn in our cosy and institutionalized pattern of life

We too may sometimes plot ways and means to end such forces…
… which trigger transformation in us
… which awaken our consciences to lead purer or holier lives

We are instead, invited to be like Jesus, our Blessed Lord.

He faced a mighty unleashing as from a Pandora’s box…
… deadly plots to end His Life and Mission
… uncharitable venoms of conspiracy to terminate His life

Yet, He remained firm and bold to remain “the Chosen Servant, the Beloved in Him God delighted, the One who proclaimed justice to the Gentiles and in Whose Name, the Gentiles hoped” (cf. Mt 12:18 -21)

Are we ready to “live our lives in hope” even though we may often experience the evils of the “pandora’s box” seeking to submerge us?

May Jesus, our Blessed Lord be our hope, our strength and our courage!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:

The Jewish people and their spiritual leaders viewed Jesus as a rabbi.
He often argued within the framework of rabbinical interpretation of the Law.
Yet Jesus could not help but offend the teachers of the Law, for he was not content to propose his interpretation alongside theirs but taught the people “as one who had authority, and not as their scribes”
In Jesus, the same Word of God that had resounded on Mount Sinai to give the written Law to Moses, made itself heard anew on the Mount of the Beatitudes.
Jesus did not abolish the Law but fulfilled it by giving its ultimate interpretation in a divine way
With this same divine authority, he disavowed certain human traditions of the Pharisees that were “making void the word of God”.
Going even further, Jesus perfects the dietary law, so important in Jewish daily life, by revealing its pedagogical meaning through a divine interpretation
In presenting with divine authority the definitive interpretation of the Law, Jesus found himself confronted by certain teachers of the Law who did not accept his interpretation of the Law, guaranteed though it was by the divine signs that accompanied it.
This was the case especially with the Sabbath laws, for he recalls, often with rabbinical arguments, that the Sabbath rest is not violated by serving God and neighbour, which his own healings did. (Cf. CCC # 581-582)

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