REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 16, 2021: Saturday

“Joyfully and courageously proclaiming the Lord to others and bringing many more to experience the Love of Christ!

(Based on Rom 4:13, 16-18 and Lk 12:8-12 – Saturday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time)

One day as a woman was crossing a street in a busy city railway station, an old man stopped her and said, “Excuse me, Ma’am, but I want to thank you.”

“Thank me?” she exclaimed.

“Yes’m. I used to be a ticket collector, and whenever you went by, you always gave me a cheerful smile and a good morning.

I knew that smile must have come from inside somewhere.”

He continued: “Then one morning I saw a little Bible in your hand.
I realised the source of your joy!

And so I bought one too…
… and I found Jesus!”

The joyful witness of the woman, brought about a conversion in the life of that ticket collector.

What about us?

Are we also joyful and courageous, in giving witness to Christ and His Gospel Values in our modern society?

The Gospel of the Day is an exhortation by our Blessed Lord with a challenging tone, to be powerful and bold, in acknowledging His Presence.

Jesus says: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God;
But he who denies me before men, will be denied before the angels of God” (Lk 12: 8-9)

Christian Life is a life seeking to profess and proclaim the Lord…
… by word and deed
… with lips and actions
… through happy moments and struggles of life!

Do we do that?

Or are we sometimes…
… shy?
… afraid?
… reluctant?
… uncertain?
… or even negated?

We could reflect on some aspects of our life, whereby we examine, how much we acknowledge the Lord in our life

  1. The Blessings of the Lord
    God has gifted each one of us with immense Graces and Blessings.

Do we acknowledge ‘the Blessings of the Lord’ in our Life?
… with a word of thanks and gratitude, everyday?
… by seeking to be, in turn, a blessing to others, by a life of service?

  1. The Providence of the Lord
    Providence refers to the Protective care of the Lord, at all times, in every situation.

When we look back into our life, we see how beautifully, God constantly leads us.

True, there are times when we have felt the “absence” of God or the Lord being “at a distance” from us, especially in situations of struggles and suffering

But, when look back later… we do find… “God had been joining all those ‘dots of loneliness’ and making a beautiful picture!”

Do we acknowledge ‘the Providence of the Lord’ in our life…
… by being more optimistic, knowing that our God will surely have His way, and make “rivers to flow, even in the deserts”?
… by not falling into anxiety or extreme worry; instead allowing ourselves to rest on His Caring Heart, knowing, that He is holding us tenderly in His Arms, as a Shepherd holds the tender lamb?

  1. The Love and Mercy of the Lord
    Each of our life is a beautiful saga of God’s Love and Mercy

We have been created in love… we have been initiated to Salvation in His Mercy

We have been constantly encouraged by His Love… we have been continually lifted by, by His Mercy

Do we acknowledge ‘the Love and Mercy of the Lord’ in our life…
… by seeking to always do His Will in our Life and letting go of our own ego and selfish desires?
… by turning to Him in repentance, when we go away from His Love?
… by infusing more love into every action that we do, and thus witnessing His Face of Mercy to all around us?

  1. The Authority of the Lord
    The Lord is the Supreme Authority of this entire universe.

It is His Power and Wisdom that sustains everything.

The presence of evil and sufferings around us, may sometimes, make us question His Power and Glory.

Sometimes, the presence of pains and miseries in our life, may also make us doubt His Power and Authority

But can we recognize, that God, in His infinite Goodness and Wisdom, works out everything for our good (Rom 8:28)

Do we acknowledge ‘the Authority of the Lord’ in our life…
… by offering our lives to His Supreme Wisdom, and marching forward with Hope, knowing that “the One Who has begun His Good Work in us, will bring it to completion” (Phil 1:6)
… by seeking His Permission in all the activities that we engage in, so that His Grace will inform us, in the best and right path?

  1. The Presence of the Lord
    The Presence of the Lord surrounds and encompasses us at every moment… at every step of our life.

This Presence is especially cherished and celebrated in the Sacraments, that the Church offers.

Do we acknowledge ‘the Presence of the Lord” in our life…
… by turning our hearts, in conscious awareness, to the Presence of the Lord, in the midst of our work and activities?
… by longing for and meaningfully celebrating the Sacraments that the Church offers?

As a Christian, surely, it is not easy to profess and proclaim.

But the Lord invites each one of us, gently and tenderly, to acknowledge Him in our lives.

It is when we grow in these “areas of acknowledgement” that we can joyfully and courageously proclaim the Lord to others…
… and thus bring many more to experience the Love of Christ!

Today is the Feast day of St Margaret Mary, the champion promoter of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Through her intercession, let us entrust ourselves wholly to the Love and Mercy of the Sacred Heart!

We also specially seek the intercession of Blessed Augustine Thevarparambil (popularly known as Kunjachan – ‘little priest’ in Malayalam) on his feast day.

May his deep zeal and commitment to missions, especially among the lower sections of the society…
… be a strong antidote and inspiration for us to live an authentic and sincere Christian life!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH

The Church is in history, but at the same time she transcends it.
It is only “with the eyes of faith” that one can see her in her visible reality and at the same time in her spiritual reality as bearer of Divine Life.
“The one mediator, Christ, established and ever sustains here on earth His Holy Church, the community of faith, hope, and charity, as a visible organization through which he communicates truth and grace to all men.”
The Church is at the same time:

  • a “society structured with hierarchical organs and the mystical body of Christ
  • the visible society and the spiritual community
  • the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches.”
    These dimensions together constitute “one complex reality which comes together from a human and a Divine element”

The Church is essentially both human and divine, visible but endowed with invisible realities, zealous in action and dedicated to contemplation, present in the world, but as a pilgrim. (Cf. CCC # 770-771)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 15, 2021: Friday

“Ensuring that we set our interior right so that our externals display the truth!”

(Based on Rom 4:1-8 and Lk 12:1-7 – Friday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time)

A group of people visiting a magnificent church, came across a large clock in the sacristy.

What attracted the visitors, more than the clock, was the caption written beneath the large clock!

It seems that the clock was habitually too fast or too slow.

And so, a good old-sacristan realising that it was beyond repair, decided to write a caption on the placard.

The caption read:
“Neither believe nor blame what my hands show!

The trouble lies deeper!
Therefore, even in life, ensure that you set your interior right, so that your externals display the truth!”

The hands of the clock displayed wrong timings…
… because the interior parts had some trouble!

So often are our external actions such in life!

We seem to be putting on a show outside…
… but the truth of the action can be known, only if the interior intention is true!
We seem to be good at displaying a clean image…
… but the sincerity of our deeds will be known, if we truly ensure purity from within!

We are into a reflection of this aspect of Hypocrisy yet again with Jesus’ insists on this evil tendency with a greater force & urgency.

Hypocrisy is a vice which is much hated by Jesus.

Hypocrisy is a vice which Jesus constantly asks to weed out.
Hypocrisy is a vice which often lurks its head in our lives, knowingly or unknowingly.

Hypocrisy is duplicity.

Hypocrisy is pretence.

It is trying to be someone, that one is not.

It is deceiving others by presenting a false self.
It is masking one’s real identity to show one to be someone else.

The word “hypocrisy” is a composite word in the Greek. It comes from the joining of two words:

Hupo is the Greek word for “under.” … Krino, is the Greek “to separate or judge.”
So Hupo + Krino = Hypocrisy means to “be under or stay under and separate or judge”!

This word was mainly used in Greek theatres and plays to describe those “actors who would speak their parts, behind a mask!”

Hypocrites in real life, extend this “acting” to their everyday life…

People who try to impress others, in order to hide their real lives!
People who act more spiritual and holy than they actually are!
People who behave to be too good before others, but a sham within!

Do I have any of such “hypocritic… acting” aspects in my life?

Our Lord calls this vice of hypocrisy as a Yeast…

Jesus speaks to His disciples, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy” (Lk 12: 1b)

Why Yeast?
Yeast or Leaven is something that is used in baking.

Yeast has the great property of Influence…

A little amount of yeast is enough to raise the dough or to leaven the batter.
It has a great characteristic of exercising a great amount of influence, though little in quantity!

Hypocrisy is such… though a little amount, it is highly influential, like the yeast…

Hypocritical people are able…
… to boast much about themselves and exert harmful controls!
… to make other people highly pessimistic and negative!
… to drain out the spirit and the enthusiasm in others!

Yeast starts slow, but grows very quickly…

It has the great characteristic of exercising its great influence in a timid manner, but rises very fast and swiftly.

Hypocrisy is such… though it starts slow, it spreads its influence speedily, like the yeast…
Hypocritical people appear subtle initially, but later it becomes almost a part of their nature!

How does Hypocrisy usually originate?

Usually from a Fear…

Fear of the people makes one to adopt a totally different disposition and character.
Fear of the situations makes one to adjust with a duplicate personality and behaviour.
Fear of one’s weaknesses makes one to alter the style of life and tamper with one’;s nature.

That’s why the Lord, in today’s Gospel would strongly exhort, “Fear Not!”

When we banish the fear of many factors, we are able to be our real self.

When we cast away the fear of our material worries, we are able to live our true identity.

God is our Loving Father… a Caring Person… He wants us to grow in Holiness and Sanctity.

But He also knows that our double standards in life and our pretence in many areas of our life…
… is a block to His Grace in us.

We all wear masks, and the time sometimes comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.

The Lord today invites us to peel away our mask of hypocrisy by casting away our fears, by throwing ourselves into the care of our Loving God, our Beloved Father in Heaven!

Let us “ensure that we set our interior right…
… so that our externals display the truth!”

Let the prayer of St Teresa of Avila, whose feast we celebrate today, become our own:
“Christ has no body now on earth but yours!
No hands but yours!
No feet but yours!

Yours are the eyes through which to look out Christ’s compassion to the world
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good;
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless men now!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH – PERFECTED IN GLORY

“The Church will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven,” at the time of Christ’s glorious return.
Until that day, “the Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world’s persecutions and God’s consolations.”
Here below she knows that she is in exile far from the Lord…
… and longs for the full coming of the Kingdom, when she will “be united in glory with her king.”
The Church, and through her the world, will not be perfected in glory without great trials.

Only then will “all the just from the time of Adam, ‘from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect,’ … be gathered together in the universal Church in the Father’s presence! (Cf. CCC # 769)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 14, 2021: Thursday

“Avoiding a cosmetic-culture, and instead to have beauty in life to spring forth from an integrated life of faith!”

(Based on Rom 3:21-30 and Lk 11:47-54 – Thursday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time)

A quotation by a modern-day American politician goes thus:
“If you look at great human civilizations, from the Roman Empire to the Soviet Union…
… you will see that most do not fail simply due to external threats…
… but because of internal weakness, corruption, or a failure to manifest the values and ideals they espouse!”

This failure to manifest values and ideals could be traced to a growing “cosmetic culture!”

Cosmetic-Culture could be described as a “tendency to project entities/things with an external beauty and with a greater visual appeal, without necessarily ensuring the actual quality from within!”

This Cosmetic-Culture is not merely to be considered in connection to the cosmetics or items of make-up.

It is in fact an increasing trend that seeks to make inroads into every aspect of our life… social, political, economic… or even religious…!

The presence of Cosmetic-Culture can be seen in various strands of our living…

Socially (in communities, families, nations etc), there is a lot of discrimination on the basis of colour, language, caste etc…
… but the “cosmetic-culture” presents the society in such a way, that everything seems to be fine and all are living in unity and happiness!

Politically, there is a great deal of hidden agenda, back-biting and differences in ideologies among the political parties or groups…
… but the “cosmetic-culture” covers-up the ‘evil intents’, causing many of such “opposing” parties to join hands and to be seen as being united, for their own selfish interests!

Economically, there are enormous cases of poverty on the rise, in different parts of the world and people missing out on even the basic essentials etc…
… but the “cosmetic-culture” puts a mask on all such “stark realities” and gives an impression as if there is only growth, development and prosperity!

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus sharply lashing out at the “Cosmetic-Culture” existing in our religious practices…
… with a clarion call to do away with such “hypocritical” trends and tendencies!

In His continued attacks on the hypocrisy and duplicity of the Pharisees, Jesus condemns them for building memorials of the Prophets who were killed and murdered by their ancestors.

The Prophets of the old, lived as the true men of God and constantly called the people to a life of repentance and being faithful to God Yawheh.

But these prophets were very often persecuted, attacked and even killed.

The Prophets, who were the voice of God, while living, had their voices silenced and drowned by the wicked people…

But after their death, they used to be quoted and cited in many scholarly and erudite circles.

The Prophets, who called the people to live as per their true conscience, had their lives terminated and ended by the wicked people…

But after their death, they had fine memorials and beautiful tombs built in their name

The Prophets, who became the champion of justice and truth, had their efforts ceased and their labours aborted by the wicked people…

But after their death, they had many oratories and exquisite lectures in their name.

Jesus condemns the Pharisees for their deception, as they too become sharers of the blood of the True Prophets and the Men of God!

They had probably mastered the art of being “Cosmetically-Cultured” – projecting themselves with an external beauty and with a greater visual appeal…
… but without ensuring the actual quality from within!

This then is the danger to which we are exposed to: Is my spiritual and religious life also “Cosmetically-Cultured?”

I may be known to be exemplary in my prayers and a role-model in my strict following of Christian practices…
… but is it just a “cosmetic” to hide my inner vices and to cover-up my sinful tendencies?

I may be appearing to be a very a charitable person in extending a lot of material help in many causes…
… but is it just a “cosmetic” to conceal my hidden agenda or a means to boost my ego and inflate my pride?

I may be considered as a very social person – always jovial, cracking “many” jokes and being a “happening” person…
… but is it just a “cosmetic” to mask my inner-wounds and pains, to veil my own complexes or to trigger opportunities to gratify some of my desires?

Our generation is gravely exposed to this “Cosmetic-Culture” and perhaps many of us, knowingly or unknowingly, become proponents of the same.

A generation which focusses only on the peripherals of life and fails to give consideration to the core and inner dimensions is bound to doom!

It requires the power, grace and strength in the Lord to become counter-witnesses to this “Cosmetic-Culture”

The deeper that one is united with Christ…
… the lesser will be the dependence on “external shows” and greater will be the harmony and attractiveness of one’s life!

The stronger that one is in the faith in the Lord…
… the lesser will be the wanting to be “flashy on the outside” and greater will be the level of true charm and pleasantness!

May our Blessed Lord, help us as Christians to deepen our understanding that “our beauty in life ought to spring forth from an integrated life of faith!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH – REVEALED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

“When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that He might continually sanctify the Church.”
Then “the Church was openly displayed to the crowds and the spread of the Gospel among the nations, through preaching, was begun.”
As the “convocation” of all men for salvation, the Church in her very nature is missionary, sent by Christ to all the nations to make disciples of them.
So that she can fulfil her mission, the Holy Spirit “bestows upon [the Church] varied hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in this way directs her.”

“Henceforward the Church, endowed with the gifts of her Founder and faithfully observing His precepts of charity, humility and self-denial, receives the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God, and she is on earth the seed and the beginning of that kingdom (CCC # 767-768)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 13, 2021: Wednesday

“Clothing ourselves in genuineness and truthfulness by appreciating and realizing the value and worth of people in our lives!”

(Based on Rom 2:1-11 and Lk 11:42-46 – Wednesday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time)

It is said about a famous writer who would climb a ladder to his attic, where he worked until dark.

His devoted wife was left alone in the room below.

One evening at dinner, the wife asked why he had never expressed appreciation for the food she lovingly prepared for him.

“Woman,” the writer-husband retorted, “must you be paid for everything you do?”

With that, he stamped off to his attic workshop.

Years later, when his wife died, the man found her diary.

On tear-stained pages, he read this recurring refrain:
“Oh, I wish you would say a kind word or give me a compliment now and then…
… about the things I try to do to make you happy!”

So many times it happens thus in life…

We render assistance in many ways to people…
… but they fall short of being grateful to us
We sometimes even hear them being negatively critical about us, and defaming us.

But perhaps, after our death, these people might acclaim how wonderful a person he/she was!

We often become a people who fail to appreciate when a person is alive…
… but shower praises after his/her death!

Jesus, in the Gospel of the Day speaks of a similar attitude and tendency among the Pharisees.

In His continued attacks on the hypocrisy and duplicity of the Pharisees, Jesus condemns them for building memorials of the Prophets who were killed and murdered by their ancestors.

The Prophets of the old, lived as the true men of God and constantly called the people to a life of repentance and being faithful to God Yawheh.

But these prophets were very often persecuted, attacked and even killed.

The Prophets, who were the voice of God, while living, had their voices were silenced and drowned by the wicked people…

But after their death, they used to be quoted and cited in many scholarly and erudite circles.

An attitude of ungratefulness while living…
… but false appreciation after death!

The Prophets, who called the people to live as per their true conscience, had their lives terminated and ended by the wicked people…

But after their death, they had fine memorials and beautiful tombs built in their name

A tendency of indifference while living…
… but vain glorification after death!

The Prophets, who became the champion of justice and truth, had their efforts ceased and their labours aborted by the wicked people…

But after their death, they had many oratories and exquisite lectures in their name.

An approach of passivity while living…
… but fake interest after death!

Jesus condemns the Pharisees for their deception, as they too become sharers of the blood of the True Prophets and the Men of God!

Jesus’ attacks on this Pharisaic attitude is a strong reminder and warning to each one of us too…

To realize the worth and value of people, while they are alive…
… and not just heap up empty words of praise, after their death!

To realize the importance of recognizing the true spirit and teachings of people around us…
… and not become too late in realizing their significance!

Life is too short to miss appreciating people for their genuine efforts and contributions.

Life is too short to not give people the worth for all what they are in our lives.

A fresh flower given when alive is far worth and appreciable than a bouquet given at the grave!

Appreciate people when they are around…

Enthuse people when situations are favourable…
Encourage people when time and space permit us…

Let us shake off the Pharisaic tendency of duplicity and dishonesty

Instead clothe ourselves in genuineness and truthfulness…
… by appreciating and realizing the value and worth of people in our lives!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

The Lord Jesus endowed His community with a structure that will remain until the Kingdom is fully achieved.
Before all else there is the choice of the Twelve with Peter as their head.
Representing the twelve tribes of Israel, they are the foundation stones of the new Jerusalem.
The Twelve and the other disciples share in Christ’s mission and His power, but also in His lot.
By all His actions, Christ prepares and builds His Church.
The Church is born primarily of Christ’s total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the cross.
“The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus.”

“For it was from the side of Christ as He slept the sleep of death upon the Cross, that there came forth the ‘wondrous sacrament of the whole Church.’” As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam’s side, so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the cross (Cf. CCC # 765-766)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 12, 2021: Tuesday

“Ready to wipe away the stains of hypocrisy and corruption from the windows of our lives!”

(Based on Rom 1:16-25 and Lk 11:37-41 – Tuesday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time)

A young couple moved into a new neighborhood.

The next morning while they were having their breakfast, the woman saw her neighbour hanging some clothes to dry.

“That laundry is not very clean,” she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly.
Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbour hung clothes to dry, the young woman repeated her observations about the dirty laundry.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: “Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?”

The husband said:
“I got up early this morning…
… and cleaned our windows!”

All the while, the woman had been making critical and disparaging remarks…
… while her own windows had “the stains of hypocrisy and corruption!”

So often we too are extra vigilant and watchful when it comes to judging others…
… while we allow excuses and justifications to all our misdeeds and wrongdoings

“Are we ready to wipe away the stains of hypocrisy and corruption from the windows of our lives?”

The Gospel of the Day is a powerful lesson to have the courage to challenge the ways of insincerity and corruption…
… and to live in genuineness.

A Pharisee invited Jesus to have a meal in his house.

We are unsure of the motives or the reason for this Pharisee to invite Jesus for the table sharing…

Maybe he just wanted to grow in his friendship with Jesus…
Maybe he wanted to check how this great preacher would conduct himself in his house…
Maybe he wanted to show off to his friends of having invited a great Rabbi to his house…
Maybe he wanted to break the ministry of Jesus and trap Him in doing some aberrations…

In any case, the Pharisee certainly expected Jesus to follow the rules and customs of the traditional Jewish meal.

But he notices that Jesus has failed to wash his hands before dinner.

This washing of the hands was a ritual purification process.

The insistence on this act was not for the sake of hygiene, but for ritual purity!

This omission of the sacred tradition came as a big shocker for the host Pharisee.
He would have thought about Jesus:
“This Rabbi is doing it all wrong!

Why can’t He follow our age-old customs?

He is insulting me before my other guests!
How dare He behaves so, in my own house!?”

But this is where Jesus, in His unique style of courage & conviction comes into confrontation with the attitude of the Pharisee…

The Pharisee was surely His host…
… yet Jesus dares ‘to have the courage to challenge the ways of insincerity and corruption…’

Standing up for convictions and principles was a value that Jesus always upheld.

Being bold to always promote and defend goodness was a virtue that Jesus always supported.

Jesus lashes out with a righteous anger, “So then, you Pharisees, you clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside yourselves, you are full of greed and evil. Fools…!” (Lk 11: 39)

The Pharisee got offended because Jesus failed to wash his hands before meal.

But Jesus got offended because they failed to have a true cleansing of their hearts.

The Pharisee got upset because Jesus failed to uphold the sacred tradition.

But Jesus got upset because they failed to uphold the values of inner purity and holiness.

The Pharisee felt insulted because Jesus failed to honour their customs and practices.

But Jesus felt insulted because the table-meal failed to reflect true love and sharing.

Jesus was not afraid to encounter the Pharisee in his wrong thinking.

And today He encounters us and challenges us to ‘live in genuineness’

Maybe we are bold in being relaxed in some of our comfort and pleasure zones..

But Jesus exhorts us to renew our lives with a life of holiness and purity.

Maybe we are quite okay with aspiring for many gadgets and objects of passing joys and desires

But Jesus urges us to focus on the real necessities of a good life.

Maybe we are satisfied to beautify our external life, even if it means being greedy and selfish

But Jesus spurs us to repent by living a self-sacrificing and a self-controlling life.

The ‘lion of Pharisaism’ is deep rooted in many of our personal lives, our family lives and in our community lives…

Having the focus only on external factors… but neglecting the inner dimensions…
Giving importance to only outer shows… but totally forgetting the internal aspects…
Being obsessed with doing many things… but totally ignoring the necessity of being holy…

The Lord today reminds us that often we are extra vigilant and watchful when it comes to judging others…
… while we allow excuses and justifications to all our misdeeds and wrongdoings

“Are we ready to wipe away the stains of hypocrisy and corruption from the windows of our lives?”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH – INSTITUTED BY CHRIST JESUS

It was the Son’s task to accomplish the Father’s plan of salvation in the fullness of time. Its accomplishment was the reason for his being sent.
“The Lord Jesus inaugurated his Church by preaching the Good News, that is, the coming of the Reign of God, promised over the ages in the scriptures.”
To fulfil the Father’s Will, Christ ushered in the Kingdom of heaven on earth.
The Church “is the Reign of Christ already present in mystery.”
“This Kingdom shines out before men in the word, in the works and in the presence of Christ.”
To welcome Jesus’ Word is to welcome “the Kingdom itself.”
The seed and beginning of the Kingdom are the “little flock” of those whom Jesus came to gather around him, the flock whose shepherd He is. They form Jesus’ true family.

To those whom He thus gathered around Him, He taught a new “way of acting” and a prayer of their own” (CCC #763-764)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 11, 2021: Monday

“Relying solely on the Word of the only One who is truly sighted – God Himself!”

(Based on Rom 1:1-7 and Lk 11:29-32 – Monday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time)

A television program preceding the 1988 Winter Olympics featured blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing…
… impossible as that sounds.

(Slalom Skiing is a snow-mountain skiing between poles or gates.

The poles are spaced more closely than those in other types of skiing
… and therefore requires quicker and shorter turns.)

Paired with sighted skiers, the blind skiers were taught first, how to make right and left turns.

When that was mastered, they were taken to the slalom slope, where their sighted partners skied beside them shouting, “Left!” and “Right!”

As they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skiers’ word.

It was either complete trust or catastrophe!

This is a vivid picture of the Christian life!

In this world, we must rely solely on the Word of the only One who is truly sighted–God Himself.
His Word gives us the direction we need to finish the course.

This requires immense faith
This requires hopeful belief

The Gospel of the Day is an example of how we become resistant and stubborn in refusing to have this faith and belief.

This is reflected by the sighing words of Jesus: “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah!” (Lk 11:29)

What made Jesus to respond so strongly?

Is Jesus against asking signs?

Is Jesus against lack of faith?
Is Jesus against having doubts?

The answer to perhaps all the three questions above is…
… not in the affirmative!

Jesus is NOT necessarily against asking signs…

The Bible is a witness to many people asking for signs from God…
• Gideon asked for a sign from God (Judg 6:17)
• Moses asked God what sign would prove to Pharaoh that he was sent by God (Ex 4:1)
• Elijah promises what Elisha had asked for, on the condition of a sign (2 Kg 2:10)
Jesus is NOT out rightly against lack of belief or unbelief…
• The unbelieving Thomas, was chided, but not condemned by Jesus, after His resurrection (Jn 20:27-28)
• The lack of faith of the disciples is saddening for Jesus, but He does not reject them (Mk 4:40)
• The father, whose boy was possessed with a demon was blessed with a healing, on his acknowledgment of littleness in faith (Mk 9:24)
• The emotionally unsettled and wavering Peter is given another chance to prove his loyalty despite his rejection and denial of faith in Jesus (Jn 21:15-17)

Then what is Jesus against?
Jesus is against those people…
… who reject faith, despite many signs and wonders that are plainly presented
… who demand for greater miracles for merely curiosity and excitement
… who make use of the powers of God for personal satisfaction and gratification
… who remain stone-hearted, unmoved and indifferent despite clear indications and signals from God.

Am I also a person who constantly rejects signs and wonders from the Lord, and fail to grow in faith?

Am I also a person who remains obstinate and indifferent to God’s powers, and fail to be open to God’s movements in my life?

The Lord is constantly speaking to us through various miracles.

The Lord is constantly moving our hearts through many blessings.
The Lord is constantly inspiring our lives through immense wonders.

Our Christian life requires us to rely solely on the Word of the only One who is truly sighted–God Himself.

His Word gives us the direction we need to finish the course.

This requires immense faith
This requires hopeful belief

Let us be open and docile to Him!

Today we seek the intercession of Pope St John XXIII – one of the most popular Popes of the 20th century – on this feast day.

He was the one who convoked the historical ‘Vatican Council II’, which paved the way for “throwing open the windows of the church, to let the fresh air of the Spirit blow through.”

Let us give heed to his words: “Prayer is the raising of the mind to God.

We must always remember this. The actual words matter less.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH – PREPARED FOR IN THE OLD COVENANT

The gathering together of the People of God began at the moment when sin destroyed the communion of men with God, and that of men among themselves.
The gathering together of the Church is, as it were, God’s reaction to the chaos provoked by sin. This reunification is achieved secretly in the heart of all peoples: “In every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable” to God.
The remote preparation for this gathering together of the People of God begins when he calls Abraham and promises that he will become the father of a great people.
Its immediate preparation begins with Israel’s election as the People of God.
By this election, Israel is to be the sign of the future gathering of all nations.

But the prophets accuse Israel of breaking the covenant and behaving like a prostitute. They announce a new and eternal covenant. “Christ instituted this New Covenant” (CCC #761-762)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 10, 2021: Sunday

“Giving heed to the words of the Lord and confidently moving across the deserts of life!”

(Based on Wis 7:7-11, Heb 4:12-13 and Mk 10:17-30 – 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

A river wanted to flow to the sea, through a vast desert.

But seeing the vast dry sand, it got afraid.

Fearful thoughts crept into its mind:
“The desert may gulp up all my water…
… the hot breath of the sun will surely dry me up…
… and I will be reduced to a mere stinking swamp!”

Then it heard a mysterious voice, “Trust the Desert”

But the river retorted, “But then, will I ever be the same?

Will I not lose my identity?”

The voice once again thundered, “There is no way to remain the same!”

So the river, with trust in the desert, began to flow through it.

The simmering heat of the sun turned her into vapour.
The wind carried her over, as clouds, over the hot expanse of the desert.
She was formed into rain!

And out of the clouds, came down a newer, fresher and much more splendid river, on the other side of the desert.

The river was delighted and exclaimed, “Now, I am truly my Real Self!”

Immense trust and making the radical decision to pass through the desert, helped the river to experience newness in life and to enjoy the delight of a transformed and renewed life!

Is life calling us to have a deeper trust and cross through deserts, in order to experience freshness in life?

Or are we afraid to take that risk of losing many of the ‘things’ we hold precious to ourselves?

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus exhorting us to trust in Him, and to cross the deserts of life, “letting go of riches, in order to experience true joy in Him and eternal life with Him!

The incident of the person asking Jesus, “’Good teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’” (Mk 10:17) finds resonance with many of our inner desires and longings.

We too have a lot of questions, like the man who asked, “What must I do to have eternal life…”

How can I really have peace of mind and happiness at home and in my life…?
How is it that I may be able to experience joy in life, despite the many poundings and grindings that life renders me…?
How is it that I can be assured of the treasures of heaven and the bliss of life eternity…?

The man who enquired Jesus assured that he had been keeping all the prescribed rules and regulations from his younger days:

“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

We too have something similar to say…

I keep on working hard, putting in constant efforts in my daily duties and the various responsibilities entrusted to me…
I toil very much in meeting life’s ends and gathering together my resources in making sure that things go on well in life…

But like He told to the man, the Lord “looks at us, loves us” and tells us: “One thing you lack”

And goes on to tell: “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Mk 10:21)

The man was attached to his possessions, even though he performed many acts of God’s commandments.

The man found it hard to leave his riches, and his following of the laws of God made little impact on him, to make renunciations.

Therefore, the Lord diagnosed his problem as his inability to “let go” of his attachments.

“Unnecessary accessories” of life can be a burden in our smooth travelling on the path of eternity!

Are we also faced with the same diagnosis?

Do I find it hard to “let go”…
… of my selfish lifestyle and my own personal comforts… even though I seek to render service or engage in different works?
… of my egoistic tendencies and self-centred inclinations… in my relationships and in interacting with the people in my life?
… of my individual agenda and self-interested plans… and fail to base my life as per the Plan of God and walk according to His Will in my life?

As Christians, we are all called to perfection (Mt 5:48)

This ‘challenge to perfection’ demands that we have to pass through the “deserts”…
… deserts of renunciation
… deserts of seeking only God’s Will
… deserts of altering our personal choices and prioritizing the values of the Lord

This will help us to experience newness in life and to enjoy the delight of a transformed and renewed life!

May we heed to the call of the Lord today…
… to make such radical choices and decisions in life, so that we can truly experience the joy of heaven in our day-to-day lives and one day, be blessed, with the fullness of life eternal!

When faced with the deserts of life…
… let us, with confidence, give heed to the words of the Lord assuring us: “Trust the desert”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH – FORESHADOWED FROM THE WORLD’S BEGINNING

Christians of the first centuries said, “The world was created for the sake of the Church.”
God created the world for the sake of communion with His Divine Life, a communion brought about by the “convocation” of men in Christ, and this “convocation” is the Church.
The Church is the goal of all things, and God permitted such painful upheavals as the angels’ fall and man’s sin only as occasions and means for displaying all the power of His arm and the whole measure of the love He wanted to give the world:

Just as God’s Will is creation and is called “the world,” so His intention is the salvation of men, and it is called “the Church.” (CCC #760)

REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR – Oct 09, 2021: Saturday

“Obediently living our life, in accordance with the Plan of God!”

(Based on Joel 4:12-21 and Lk 11:27-28 – Saturday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time)

A highly skilled engineer had been confined to his bed due to a paralysis of the lower limbs.

So great was his reputation, that even though he was sickly, he was asked to draw the blueprints for a great suspension bridge.

With much determination, the engineer completed the blueprints and handed it over to those who were to carry out the work.

Months passed by…
… and the work of the bridge was completed.

Four men came to the engineer’s room and carried him, on the cot, to the place…
… from where he could see the bridge, suspending over a wide river

Tears filled his eyes as he gazed at the engineering marvel…
… and with the blueprints in his hands, he cried out:
“It’s just like the plan! It’s just like the plan!”

God, the Great Engineer, has His blueprints for each one of us, in our lives…
… His Holy Will!

Do we build our lives as per this blueprint?

The Gospel of the Day invites us to have our wills in harmony with this blueprint…
… the Will of God!

In today’s Gospel, a woman from the crowd calls out to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who bore you and nursed you” (Lk 11:27)

This woman had probably been following Jesus for some time or had observed some of His works or had heard about Him.

This greatness of the Man was attributed to His Mother.

The woman had probably a driving principle behind this thought:
“Behind every successful man, there is a strong woman…constantly supporting and nourishing”.

Mother Mary was recognized and understood as this Woman behind the success of Jesus!

Let’s just visualize how Jesus would have felt when He heard these words…

Every child is proud and to hear good of one’s parent…
… especially about the mother.

Jesus too, would have been very proud and happy of His Mother.

He would have thought of the moments that His Mother…
… would have taught Him various prayers
… would have taught Him the scriptures.
… would have taught Him to love God

Jesus surely had many things to thank and praise His Mother.

But the Lord doesn’t remain fixated on the level of mere human praise and efforts…

The Lord loves things of the High….and His concerns are of the High!

And so, he invites and challenges the woman to look higher…
“Surely blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it as well” (Lk 11:28)

The Lord was probably telling the woman…
“Yes, surely my Mother is truly great for Her tender care of me.
She is indeed wonderful for Her amazing upbringing of me.

But My Mother is great, not just because of these earthly factors…

There is much more…
There are many more reasons which makes Her truly great.

She is blessed because…
… She listened to God’s Word and accepted it wholeheartedly.
… She was obedient to God though she did not understand many things
… She chose to put Her faith in God, though the path ahead was dim
… She lived and shared the love that she received from God.”

The Lord made the woman to not just be satisfied with transient, material aspect…
… but to have a higher perspective in life.

The same message is reached out to each one of us today….

Am I a person…
… who is merely satisfied with only the concerns of the material world?
… who remains stunted on just listening to God’s word, but not practising it?
… who fails to fly higher, to also be concerned with the aspects of the Divine?
… who is excited to hear and listen to the Bible, but afraid to live it in my life?

God has His blueprints for each one of us, in our lives…
… His Holy Will!

Do we obediently carry out our works, as per His plan?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church beautifully speaks of the origin, foundation and mission of the Church as a “Plan born in the Father’s Heart!”

“This ‘family of God’ is gradually formed and takes shape during the stages of human history, in keeping with the Father’s Plan” (CCC #759)

May this Great Engineer, seeing our lives…
… and with the blueprints in His hands, exclaim:
“It’s just like the Plan! It’s just like the Plan!”

Today we also seek the intercession of Abraham, the Patriarch – on the Feast Day (Oct 09 – as mentioned in the Roman Martyrology)

(Even though customarily, we don’t call the Old Testament figures as Saints, nevertheless, the Church teaches that they are considered as Saints:
“The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honoured as saints in all the Church’s liturgical traditions [CCC #61])

May Abraham – the Father of Faith – inspire us to do everything with deep fidelity…
… and to live in accordance with the Will of God!

God bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH’S ORIGIN, FOUNDATION AND MISSION – A PLAN BORN IN THE FATHER’S HEART

“The eternal Father, in accordance with the utterly gratuitous and mysterious design of his wisdom and goodness, created the whole universe and chose to raise up men to share in His own Divine life, “to which he calls all men in His Son.
“The Father . . . determined to call together in a holy Church those who should believe in Christ.”
This “family of God” is gradually formed and takes shape during the stages of human history, in keeping with the Father’s plan.
In fact, “already present in figure at the beginning of the world, this Church was prepared in marvellous fashion in the history of the people of Israel and the old advance.”

“Established in this last age of the world and made manifest in the outpouring of the Spirit, it will be brought to glorious completion at the end of time. (CCC #759)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 08, 2021: Friday

“Realising that true spiritual growth and nourishment is possible when credibility and authenticity are pursued!”

(Based on Joel 1:13-15, 2:1-2 and Lk 11:15-26 – Friday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time)

Michelangelo has been one of the greatest artists the world has ever seen.

His notable works of “Pieta”, “David”, “Moses” and “The Last Judgment” have been unparalleled in their beauty and perfection.

Another of his fantastic work has been the Frescoes on the Sistine Chapel Ceiling (in the Vatican)

It is said that as this great artist painted the magnificent frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel – lying on his back for endless hours to finish every detail with great care

A friend asked him why he took such pains with figures that would be viewed from a considerable distance.

“After all,” the friend said, “Who will notice whether it is perfect or not?”

The artist who was known for his perfection at all works replied…
… “I will!”

The motivation for perfection in all things, for Michelangelo, was not from outside…
… it was a based on his conviction that he should be “credible and authentic” in all what he does.

Our spiritual life also follows a similar principle: When credibility and authenticity are lacking in a spiritual endeavour, there is very less spiritual growth and nourishment!

It is credibility and authenticity that helps to gain spiritual progress and advancements!

The Gospel of the Day is an exhibition of how true integrity and authority can work tremendous wonders, conversions of heart and transformations of life…
… and how it can also cause some people to “oppose credibility and authenticity” by engaging in calumny and character-assassination!

The Gospel of the Day begins with the statement…
“But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.’ (Lk 11:15)

One of the reasons why the people, especially the religious authorities were irked by the personality of Jesus, was because of the tremendous authority that was displayed by Jesus!

Yes, the amazing factor in the ministry of Jesus was His tremendous authority!

The wondrous aspect in the ministry of Jesus was His awesome integrity!

Elsewhere, in the Gospel of St Luke, we read…
“They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority.” (Lk 4:32)

This authority and integrity came…
… through His deep union with His Heavenly Father.
… through His faithfulness to the commands of His heavenly Father
… through His undivided devotion to His Heavenly Father

How authentic, credible and integral are we in our life…
… as a Christian?
… in the family?
… as a consecrated person?

Authenticity does not mean arrogance…
Credibility does not mean over-confidence…
Integrity does not mean super-importance…

Authenticity, credibility and integrity in the Lord means…
… filled with the power and strength of God’s Spirit
… imbued with a deep passion for the Lord and His Church
… living an honest lifestyle in accordance to God’s Will and teachings

The Gospel of the Day calls us to check and examine…
… is my prayer life and devotion truly authentic and credible?
… is my preaching and spreading of God’s Word filled with His Holy Spirit?
… is my reception of the Sacraments helping me to make an honest effort to be a true Christian?

Let our prayers become a true raising of hearts to God…
Let the receiving of the Sacraments become an honest transformation for life…
Let the spreading of God’s Word become a credible witness to God’s Kingdom….

Jesus is our model and example to be true and honest in life!
Jesus is our ideal and standard to be faithful and committed to our mission!

Let the motivation in seeking for perfection in all things, be based not from outside…
… rather let it be based on the conviction that we should be “credible and authentic” in all what we do!

May our spiritual life follows the principle: Only when credibility and authenticity are pursued, we can have true spiritual growth and nourishment!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
SYMBOLS OF THE CHURCH

The Church is a cultivated field, the tillage of God. On that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has been brought about and will be brought about again.
That land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly cultivator. Yet the true vine is Christ Who gives life and fruitfulness to the branches – to us – Who through the Church remain in Christ, without whom we can do nothing.
“Often, too, the Church is called the building of God.
The Lord compared himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the comer-stone. On this foundation the Church is built by the apostles and from it the Church receives solidity and unity.
This edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God in which His family dwells; the household of God in the Spirit; the dwelling-place of God among men; and, especially, the holy temple.
This temple, symbolized in places of worship built out of stone, is praised by the Fathers and, not without reason, is compared in the liturgy to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. As living stones, we here on earth are built into it.
It is this holy city that is seen by John as it comes down out of heaven from God when the world is made anew, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.

“The Church, further, which is called ‘that Jerusalem which is above’ and ‘our mother’, is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless lamb. It is she whom Christ ‘loved and for whom He delivered himself up that He might sanctify her.’ It is she whom He unites to Himself by an unbreakable alliance, and whom He constantly ‘nourishes and cherishes.’ (Cf. CCC # 755-757)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 07, 2021: Thursday

“Remaining persevering and persistent in our life of faith and our life of prayer, and seeking the intercession of our Lady of the Holy Rosary!”

(Based on Mal 3:13-4:2 and Lk 11:5-13 – Thursday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time – Feast of our Lady of the Rosary)

The familiar story of the donkey falling into a deep pit is probably known to most of us.

The animal cried piteously for hours, as its farmer tried to pull out the donkey from the deep pit.

However the depth of the pit, caused all efforts of rescue to go in vain,

Finally giving up all hope, the man decided to bury the donkey.

He even called his neighbours to help him cover the donkey with dirt and mud.

But tough situations are always occasions for one to show one’s mettle!

Perseverance and determination are necessary companions in any endeavour of life!

The donkey initially felt extremely desperate as to what was happening…
… but in a short time – to everyone’s amazement – the donkey managed to come up

What it did was quite astonishing…
… with every shovel of mud that fell on its back, the donkey would shake it off, and step up on the mud!

Shake off and step up… shake off and step up…
… Continuing this process, pretty soon, the donkey was out of the pit!

Life often throws shovels of dirt and mud – in the form of struggles, hardships, rejections, disappointments

But it is left to us, to “shake off and step up!”

We need to remain persevering and persistent in all what we do…
… and this is very true especially in our life of faith, in our life of prayer!

The Gospel of the Day presents before us the theme of Prayer with a special emphasis on perseverance and determination in prayer life.

This aspect of persistence in prayer through a parable: A parable of a friend who knocked at the door of his friend at an odd midnight hour…
… seeking for help.

Prayer invariably points to the notion of Necessity and Dependence in our lives: A necessity for various things…
… and a dependence on God

A necessity of realizing our limitations…
… and a dependence on the power of God

A necessity of moving out of our capabilities..
… and a dependence on the strength of God

A necessity of knowing all things not possible for me…
… and a dependence on the grace of God

For a moment, let us get into the shoes of this friend who faced this need of an unexpected traveller in his house… and thus forced to seek for help…

This man received an unexpected guest…

Probably, it was the end of all the chores of his day…and as he was retiring to bed, this traveller came to his house.

His condition was so pitiable that he did not even have some morsels of food to be given.

He had the good will…
… but did not have the resources to help.
He had the good intentions…
… but did not have the supplies to assist.

Very often, we ourselves land up into such situations…

Perhaps someone drops in for a coffee…and lays bare their problems…

But we feel totally helpless how to help…

Perhaps we get a letter or a message…informing of some serious crisis…

But we feel totally helpless how to help…

Perhaps our close ones undergo some pain…and life becomes hard…

But we feel totally helpless how to help…

Perhaps we see many in absolute suffering…and our heart reaches out to them..

But we feel totally helpless how to help…

We ask ourselves: “What can I do?”

There is a strange, sinking sensation… a sense of pressure, almost terror: “What shall I say?”

The best you can do is just hope for a quiet moment when you can rush to God, our Great Neighbour and cry out to him, “A friend has come, and I have nothing to set before him.“

This happens often, doesn’t it?

It is out of such moments of deep necessity that true prayer is born.

It is out of such moments of genuine dependence that true prayer is born.

But that does not mean, that God, our Great neighbour has to be awakened from his slumber or who has to be forced to render us help.

The point of the parable is that as a person who is in necessity and who is dependent…
… one ought to have a great level of patience & perseverance & determination.

In prayer, it often happens that we determine…
… the way
… the time
… the mode
… in which God should answer our requests!

But we often forget, that, the Great Neighbour, God…
… is also our loving Father.
… is also the One who cares deeply for us.
… is also Someone who wishes the best for us.

In Lk 11: 9, Jesus gives us the exciting verse, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

ASK…SEEK…KNOCK…all these three verbs indicate a continual process and a constant action.

“Keep on asking…keep on seeking…keep on knocking”.

The Lord is a Loving Father…

He does not demand perseverance because of any hard-heartedness…

Rather, He expects consistence and perseverance because of His deep and tender Love for us and wanting us to not get bogged down by mere material concerns…
… rather to SEEK HIM above all in prayer and to make HIM the greatest need of our lives!

Pope St John XXIII said: “Prayer is the raising of the mind to God.

We must always remember this. The actual words matter less.”

Yes, life often throws shovels of dirt and mud – in the form of struggles, hardships, rejections, disappointments

But it is left to us, to “shake off and step up!”

Let us remain persevering and persistent in our life of faith and our life of prayer!

Today Holy Mother the Church celebrates the Feast of our Lady of the Rosary.

This Feast of our Lady of the Rosary was instituted by Pope St. Pius V in the year 1570.

It was a sign of thanksgiving for a great naval victory over the Turks at the battle of Lepanto, obtained primarily by the recitation of the Rosary.

The word Rosary means a “Crown of Roses”.

Our Lady has revealed to several people that each time one says a Hail Mary, one is giving her a beautiful rose and that completion of each Rosary makes her a beautiful crown of roses.

The rose is the queen of flowers, and so the Rosary is the rose of all devotions.

Like the exhibits in a museum, each mystery of the Rosary reveals much…

Each Mystery that we meditate upon, is a miniature theology of the mysteries of the life of
Jesus and the life of Mary…
… offered with a view to feeding the mind and the heart.

The awesome story of our salvation is encapsulated in the Holy Rosary.

The Rosary is the nutshell of our salvation history.

Let us truly pray the Rosary and live the mysteries of the Rosary in our everyday life.

The saying goes true…”No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary: either they will give up sin or they will give up the Rosary”

Happy Feast of our Lady of the Rosary!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
SYMBOLS OF THE CHURCH

In Scripture, we find a host of interrelated images and figures through which Revelation speaks of the inexhaustible mystery of the Church.
The images taken from the Old Testament are variations on a profound theme: the People of God. >> In the New Testament, all these images find a new centre because Christ has become the head of this people, which henceforth is His Body.
Around this centre are grouped images taken “from the life of the shepherd or from cultivation of the land, from the art of building or from family life and marriage.”
“The Church is, accordingly, a sheepfold, the sole and necessary gateway to which is Christ.”

It is also the flock of which God himself foretold that he would be the shepherd, and whose sheep, even though governed by human shepherds, are unfailingly nourished and led by Christ Himself, the Good Shepherd and Prince of Shepherds, who gave His Life for His sheep (Cf. CCC # 753-754)