“’In Spite Of’ the many challenges and difficulties, let us sculpt our lives – with the Grace of God – as a beautiful masterpiece!”
(Based on Jer 31:7-9, Heb 5:1-6 and Mk 10:46-52 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B)
An incident is told of a sculptor, who, while creating a statue suffered a medical accident…
… and lost his right hand – his main hand of work
The sculptor was however, very much determined to finish the statue
His resilience led him to learn how to chisel with his left hand.
This masterpiece – this great work of excellence and determination – was named as “IN SPITE OF”
… in honour of the fact that despite the great challenges – “in spite of” many problems – the sculptor did not give up!
Are there challenges and difficulties in our life that are causing us to give up in life?
“In Spite Of” these difficulties, can we still face life with courage and determination?
The Gospel of the Day is a challenging invitation to have such an experience of overcoming struggles…
… and to have an experience with the Lord, that can become the launching-pad to nurture a life-long relationship with the Divine!
The Gospel presents the experience of the Divine by a blind person, who overcame every challenge…
… and “in spite of” the difficulties, would relish happiness and delight in the Lord.
Blind Bartimaeus experienced the Divine healing power and gave vent to his deep joy in the Lord by ‘following Him on the way’.
Jesus was passing through the land of Jericho.
As he was leaving Jericho, with His disciples, the news reached the ears of Bartimaeus.
He was blind
We do not know how long was he so
We do not know what was the reason for being so
But we know one thing… that he would have heard about the wonders and fame of Jesus.
And the very mention that “Jesus of Nazareth” was passing that way, made him to spring into pleading for mercy.
Just as the steps of the lover sounds sweet to the Beloved…
Just as the strains of music sound sweet to the singer…
So, the mention of the name, “Jesus” sounded healing and wholeness for Blind Bartimaeus!
With his might and strength, he cried, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy” (Mk 10:47)
The crowd tried to dissuade him.
The people surrounding made efforts to silence him.
But nothing of this could prevent this determined person to cry out to his God!
This persevering and passionate pleading of Bartimaeus was amply rewarded.
Jesus called him, and said to him, “Go your way, your faith has saved you!” (Mk 10: 52a)
This tremendous healing experience, fanned to flame the sparks of Divine Love within blind Bartimaeus!
He immediately received his sight and followed Jesus on the way (Mk 10: 52b)
This experience became a launching-pad to nurture a life-long relationship with the Divine!
We too are in need of a deeper experience of the Lord, in order to nurture and strengthen our spiritual life.
We sometimes remain blind to things of the spiritual dimension.
We sometimes rejected in our lack of progress in a holy living.
Yet, we are invited to cry out with full intensity, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Surely, this act of faith from our part, would meet with a lot of oppositions…
… we may hear voices telling us that it is useless to cry to God and rely on His power
… we may be told that it is illogical and unreasonable to be banking on Divine assistance
But like Blind Bartimaeus, are we willing to transgress and traverse all such negative voices, and drown them with a wave of mightier faith, crying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me?”
Unless we undergo such a healing experience, our faith will remain shallow and our spiritual following will remain dispirited.
This healing is not just of the physical nature; rather it could be healing of the mind, healing of the spirit or a social healing or an emotional healing.
We must also realise that the contrast is true…
A lack of experience of the Divine makes the spiritual journey a lethargic one…
…sometimes makes it even non-existent!
The greater the experience that one has of the Divine, the higher will be one’s enthusiasm and interest in spiritual matters.
The fact of being healed, will make me more passionate about the Divine Healer!
The fact of being cleansed, will make me more zealous about the Divine Sanctifier!
May our hearts be opened, in perseverance and passion, to seek the wonderful experience of the Divine!
Let us be courageous, with the Grace of God, to overcome all the challenges and difficulties that are causing us to give up in life…
… and “In Spite Of” these difficulties, let us sculpt our lives as a beautiful masterpiece!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD
The People of God is marked by characteristics that clearly distinguish it from all other religious, ethnic, political, or cultural groups found in history:
It is the People of God: God is not the property of any one people. But he acquired a people for himself from those who previously were not a people: “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.”
One becomes a member of this people not by a physical birth, but by being “born anew,” a birth “of water and the Spirit,” that is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism.
This People has for its Head Jesus the Christ (the anointed, the Messiah). Because the same anointing, the Holy Spirit, flows from the head into the body, this is “the messianic people.”
“The status of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple.”
“Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us.” This is the “new” law of the Holy Spirit.
Its mission is to be salt of the earth and light of the world. This people is “a most sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race.”
Its destiny, finally, “is the Kingdom of God which has been begun by God himself on earth and which must be further extended until it has been brought to perfection by him at the end of time!” (CCC #782)