REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 27, 2021: Monday

“Giving heed to the call of the Lord and seeking to grow, by humbling oneself!”

(Based on Zech 8:1-8 and Lk 9:46-50 – Monday of the 26th in Ordinary Time)

“O Master, grant that I may never seek!

So much to be consoled, as to console,
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love with all my soul…”

This chorus from the Hymn of Peace, “Make me a channel” is known to most of us.

However, in our daily life, the chorus we sing is perhaps quite the opposite…
“O Master, help that I may always seek for more…

So much to be comforted, but not to comfort others…
To make sure that I am well understood, even if I misunderstand others…
To receive an abundance of love, even if others are ignored in the process!”

Very much, true isn’t it?

We love to give…
… but expect to be returned back in equal or more terms.

We love to donate…
… but expect to be acknowledged & given due consideration.

We love to offer…
… but expect to get back something more in return.

The “I” factor often dominates many of our thoughts, our words and actions

We are people, who tend to have our self-desires to be in the forefront!

Such a generally-found characteristic…

Desiring to be great
Wanting to have the first place
… is on display in the Gospel of the Day.

This passage Lk 9:46-50 is the last glimpse of the ministry of Jesus in Galilee.

From Lk 9: 51, Jesus would begin another journey: To Jerusalem – where He would be finally exalted!

The Gospel passage begins with the verse:
“An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest.” (Lk 9: 46)

Just a couple of verses before, Jesus had instructed the disciples very strongly using the words:
“Let these words SINK into your ears…” (Lk 9:44)

Thus saying, Jesus had spoken of how He would be handed over to men.

It was the prediction of His Passion.

The words “sink into your ears” was a strong exhortation by the Lord…
… to understand that the way to be exalted is only by being humiliated on the Cross!
… to realise that the pathway to glory is always laid low in the valley of struggles and hardships!

Humility is the key virtue to be a member of the Kingdom of God!

None can be a disciple of Christ without being humble
It would be impossible to call oneself a Christian if one is unwilling to let go of self-desires

But the disciples failed to grasp this fundamental truth.

The recounting of the Passion prediction by Jesus, probably brought in them thoughts…
… about how their Master would reign as the King!
… about how each of them would probably get an important ministerial berth!

It was this “building of castles in the air” that was the background for the Disciples to argue “who is the greatest among them” (Lk 9: 46)

Jesus’ message of the Cross was neatly avoided…
… and only the Crown was given prominence!

Jesus’ warnings about being ready for the Way of the Cross was sidelined…
… and only the dream of a ‘bed of roses’ was discussed!

Hence, the Lord uses the opportunity to remind His close ones on the need to “grow in humility”…
… with the example of a child (Lk 9: 47)

The Gospel says, “Jesus, realised the intention of their hearts…” (Lk 9: 47)

The Lord knows the hearts of all…
… He knows our hearts as well

And so, He looks deep into us, and invites to examine our motives and attitudes…
… Am I a person willing to humble myself?
… or am I a person, swelling in pride?

This aspect of pride could be perhaps manifested in us, subtly, in many ways…
… maybe in my words, the word “I” often appears – thus projecting myself more over others!
… maybe in my actions, I do things to show others – thus wanting self-attention and praise!
… maybe in my thoughts, I often think of my desires – thus disregarding the needs of others!

The tendency to self-project oneself is seen in many of us

But the Lord, who Himself lowered and humbled Himself…
… challenges us time and again, “He who wishes to follow me, must deny oneself, take up one’s cross and follow me!” (Lk 9:23)

The process of doing away with pride and growing in humility…
… is a slow and painful process!

The key to root out vices, is by building up virtues!

There is a need to grow in acts of humility…
… encouraging and appreciating others
… willing to do the “less flashy and glamorous” roles
… realising that the source of all what I do and achieve, is ultimately the Lord

St Francis de Sales says, “Certainly all virtues are very dear to God…
… but humility pleases Him above all the others!”

Let us give heed to the call of the Lord…
… seeking to grow, by humbling oneself!

May we truly pray and live…
… that we may never seek…

To be consoled, as to console!
To be understood, as to understand!
To be loved, as to love with all our souls!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

In Mary, the Holy Spirit fulfils the plan of the Father’s loving goodness.
With and through the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and gives birth to the Son of God. By the Holy Spirit’s power and her faith, her virginity became uniquely fruitful.
In Mary, the Holy Spirit manifests the Son of the Father, now become the Son of the Virgin.
She is the burning bush of the definitive theophany.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, she makes the Word visible in the humility of His Flesh.
It is to the poor and the first representatives of the gentiles that she makes Him known.
Finally, through Mary, the Holy Spirit begins to bring men, the objects of God’s merciful love, into communion with Christ.
The humble are always the first to accept him: shepherds, magi, Simeon and Anna, the bride and groom at Cana, and the first disciples.
At the end of this mission of the Spirit, Mary became the Woman, the new Eve (“mother of the living”), the mother of the “whole Christ.”

As such, she was present with the Twelve, who “with one accord devoted themselves to prayer,” at the dawn of the “end time” which the Spirit was to inaugurate on the morning of Pentecost with the manifestation of the Church. (Cf. CCC # 723-726)

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