REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 01, 2021: Sunday

“Seeking to know JESUS, THE WAY and arriving at the school of True Joy and Peace!”

(Based on Exod 16:2-4, 12-15, Eph 4:17-24 and Jn 6:24-35 – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

One morning, a six-year-old girl missed her school bus.

Being new to the neighbourhood, her father – who though was getting late to go to office – decided to drive her to school…
… provided she gave him directions.

They spent twenty minutes going round in circles and through many long lanes.

Finally they arrived at the school…
… which was only a few blocks away from their home.

“Why did you take us all over the place when your school is so close to home?” asked her exasperated father.

“Because this is the way the school bus goes,” the little girl replied….
… and with a sense of innocence: “I don’t know any other way!”

So often are we too such…

We go round and round searching for happiness and contentment…
… when the “school of True Joy and Peace” is very near us

Do we know THE WAY?
… or are we getting lost and deviated with many other peripheral lanes of life?

The Gospel of the Day is a call by our Blessed Lord to ‘refine’ our priorities in life and to ‘re-sort’ our concerns towards Him and His Kingdom.

Today’s Gospel passage forms part of the “Bread of Life” Discourse of the 6th chapter of St John.
Jesus, after having performed the ‘magnanimous’ miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, had His popularity ratings on a high.

There were many factors that propelled towards this…

Huge problems suddenly seemed to ‘shrink in size’ before Jesus, the Great God!

A huge crowd, who were ‘hungry’ had just been ‘satisfied’ to the full

Impossible situations suddenly seemed to be non-existent before Jesus, the God of all possibilities!

Just two little fish and five barley loaves became a medium of nourishment to thousands

There was naturally, immense excitement among the crowds with respect to Jesus.
• Before their own eyes, a ‘massive’ miracle had been wrought
• For their own stomachs, a ‘miraculous’ wonder had been performed

They would have felt themselves in similar situations as the people of Israel in the wilderness, when their leader Moses had fed them with food (Ex 16: 12-15)

Some among them would have also recounted the words of Jesus, elsewhere during His ministry: “Behold, something greater is here…” (Mt 12:41)

And so, the people, who had become ‘fans’ of our Blessed Lord, began to ‘seek’ – frantically and with great craze.

A personal experience of the Divine is to become a launching-pad in forging a personal relationship with the Lord!
• But a personal experience of the Divine, when not properly channelled, can also get deviated and remain fixated to mere devotion and emotional piety.

Jesus was very well aware of the danger that lay in ‘fickle’ crowds who followed Him – merely for ‘bread’ and not for a ‘life-transformation’.

And so He puts forward a probing challenge to the crowds who were desperately following Him:
“Amen, Amen, I say to you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled.

Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (Jn 6: 26-27)

The crowds were asked by Jesus to ‘refine’ their priorities in life and to ‘re-sort’ their concerns towards Him and His Kingdom!

The same exhortation is being rendered to us today: to ‘refine’ our priorities in life and to ‘re-sort’ our concerns towards Him and His Kingdom…

Do I follow the Lord only to be satisfied by the ‘bread’ of having our prayers always heard in the way I want and of ‘always’ enjoying prosperity in life…
… or do I also follow the Lord for His own sake – as the One who truly becomes the ‘Bread’ of life- my strength, my hope and my greatest asset in life?

Do I seek the Lord only when I am ‘given’ something by God; following merely a ‘receiving’ spirituality – that has hands always stretched out in anticipation to ‘get’ something from God…
… or can I grow in my hunger for Jesus, the Bread of Life, and also be willing to respond to His demand to “give” my life in service of Him, of His Kingdom and of His people?

As Christians, we ought to be persons who have our aims set on the “proper lanes” life – seeking Jesus and His Kingdom.
• Jesus ought to be the greatest treasure of our life
• Jesus ought to be the deepest satisfaction in our life

We need to make an examination of our lives.

So often we go round and round searching for happiness and contentment…

But let us realise, that the “school of True Joy and Peace” is very near us!

Jesus, the Bread of Life – especially by His Holy Word and in His Holy Eucharist – invites us to wholly dedicate our lives in seeking Him alone.

Let us understand, that as true Christians, real fulfilment comes from more than “just making a living”
… it comes, instead, from “making a life, in Jesus”

The great saintly Doctor of the Church – St Alphonsus Liguori, Patron Saint of Theologians and the Founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) – whose feast is celebrated on August 1st, says:

“The more a person loves God, the more reason he has to hope in Him!”
“He who desires nothing but God is rich and happy!”

May we not be merely ‘bread-seekers’
… instead be the sincere seekers of the One, who is the True Bread of Life!

Let us seek JESUS, THE WAY!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
Christ’s death is the unique and definitive sacrifice

Christ’s Death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”…
.. and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the “blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”
This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and surpasses all other sacrifices.
First, it is a gift from God the Father Himself, for the Father handed His Son over to sinners in order to reconcile us with Himself.

At the same time, it is the offering of the Son of God made Man, who in freedom and love offered His Life to His Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for our disobedience. (Cf. CCC # 613-614)

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