REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 19, 2021: Sunday

“Humbling ourselves before the Immense Presence of God – like a child – and entrusting our cares to the Lord!”

(Based on Wis 2:12, 17-20, Jas 3:16-4:3 and Mk 9:30-37 – 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

A young American student, on a visit to the Beethoven museum in Bonn, became fascinated by the piano on which Beethoven had composed some of his greatest works.

(Beethoven is one of the most famous and influential music composers of all-time)

She asked the museum guard if she could play a few musical pieces on it.

She accompanied the request with a lavish tip (a gift/money)…
… and the guard agreed!

The girl, excitedly went to the piano and tinkled out the opening of the Moonlight Sonata (a famous musical composition of Beethoven).

She was greatly thrilled that she could play on the same piano as that of the music legend.

As she was leaving she said to the guard, with a great sense of exhilaration: “I suppose all the great pianists who come here, want to play on that piano.”

The guard shook his head.

Then he gave a reply which shocked the girl: “Padarewski [the famed Polish pianist] was here a few years ago…
… and he said he wasn’t worthy to touch it.”

The Great Polish pianist felt himself unworthy to play on the piano, which was played the Legendary Beethoven…
… whereas the girl (a novice in piano), took false pride and gratified her vanity!

Great people realize the significance and prominence of others…
… and in humility, lower themselves in rightful acknowledgement!

How many of us dare to humble ourselves, especially before the immensity of God?

How many of us choose to walk the path of humility, and be willing to follow the Ways of God?

The Gospel of the Day is an exhortatory teaching of Jesus on the importance of His Followers to be immersed into a life of humility.

Jesus was walking with His disciples, teaching them on the way….

He began to speak to them of how, He – the Son of Man “would be delivered into the hands of men, and they would kill Him…” (Mk 9:31)

Jesus was the epitome of self-emptiness and total self-giving

He expected His disciples to also learn from Him (Mt 11:29) and follow His lifestyle

St Paul in his letter to the Philippians speaks of this self-emptying (“kenosis”) of the Lord:
“He emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave….He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2: 7-8)

And so Jesus tells His disciples of how He would be handed over to human hands and suffer death

He was teaching them…
… how He had to enter into the waters of Humility – in being handed over to human hands
… how He had to pass through the valleys of Humbleness – in suffering death on the Cross

But, sadly, the disciples were able to give little heed to these “Acts of Humility” of the Lord
… They were busy discussing who would be the Greatest among them
… They were occupied in arguing who would be the First among them (Mk 9:34)

And so the Lord gives them the thumb rule to be His Follower: Humility of Heart – “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all” (Mk 9:35)

… was to be the sole stepping-stone to greatness in the Kingdom of God
… was to be the lone way to be considered worthy in the Divine Way of Life

We need to examine our lives: Am I living a life of humility?

Do I try to always have it “my way” and insist solely on feeding my ego and my pride?
Am I willing to let go of my cravings for position and fame, and embrace a life of service?

Ralph Emerson, an essayist and poet once said, “A great man is always willing to be little”

Every Christian is expected to follow the Way of Humility – which was the Way of Christ!

He humbled Himself – and expects each of us to live in humility
He came to serve, and not to be served – and challenges us too, to be so
He let go of His personal glory and self-desires – and dares us to “let go” and “allow God!”

May we humble ourselves before the Immense Presence of God… like a child…
… and entrusting our cares to the Lord, find Him supporting… strengthening… and lifting us up! (Cf. Ps 54:23)

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Theophanies (manifestations of God) light up the way of the promise, from the patriarchs to Moses and from Joshua to the visions that inaugurated the missions of the great prophets.
Christian tradition has always recognized that God’s Word allowed himself to be seen and heard in these theophanies, in which the cloud of the Holy Spirit both revealed him and concealed him in its shadow.
This Divine Pedagogy appears especially in the gift of the Law.
God gave the letter of the Law as a “pedagogue” to lead his people towards Christ.
But the Law’s powerlessness to save man deprived of the divine “likeness,” along with the growing awareness of sin that it imparts, enkindles a desire for the Holy Spirit.

The lamentations of the Psalms bear witness to this. (Cf. CCC # 707-708)

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