“’Standing erect and raising up our head’ in trust, optimism and hope in the Lord!”
(Based on Dan 6:11-26 and Lk 21:20-28 – Thursday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time)
An anecdote is told of a pig, in a farmhouse, which fed on the leftovers of food that was supplied to it.
The pig remained content to feed on that which was smelly, dirty and stinking.
The day came when it had to be slaughtered.
As the people tied its legs to a pole to be taken to the slaughter-house and the pig was carried horizontally upside down, for the first time in its life, it gazed on the skies above.
All through its life, the pig always looked downward, satisfied on its feed and food.
But now, for the first time, the pig looked upward, and saw the beauty of nature.
“All through, I thought, life was always stinky and nasty.
But it’s only now, when I look above, that I see that life is much beautiful and brilliant!
Too late am I!
I have missed the real beauty of life, looking always only downward!”
The whole life of the pig, was spent downcast, with images of filth and dirt and foul matter.
Only the last moments were spent looking upward, enjoying the wonderful & pleasant nature.
… Consciously or unconsciously, being content, looking downward & descending into the realms of gloom & pessimism!
Is my life cast downward? Filled with images of gloom, darkness and dirt?
The Lord, through the Gospel of the Day invites us, with strong vibes of positive feelings:
“… Stand erect and raise your heads, because your redemption is at hand” (Lk 21: 28)
The Gospel of the day is a continuation of the talks on the coming of the Son of Man.
Jesus reminds his disciples of the many signs and terrors that will be manifest in the world and persecutions that will befall on His followers.
He invites His disciples to remain firm in perseverance and faithful commitment.
The Gospel brings out a clear contradiction in the stance and approach of the “people of the world” and “people who trust in Him”…
Lk 21: 26, “…people will die of fright…” (“people of the world”)
Lk 21: 28,”…stand erect and raise your heads…” (“people who trust in Him”)
Dying of fright and collapsing is a sign of absolute despair and hopelessness.
When someone is in great tension, his/her physical structure reflects it…
One tends to stoop low…
One tends to put down one’s head…
The worry in the mind makes the face a sorry affair!
The tension in one’s life robs the spirit of joy in living!
Faces turn pale… smiles go wry… body starts sagging!
But the Lord of the Universe today strongly exhorts us to not remain stooped-down
He challenges us to “stand erect and raise our heads…”
The Lord made people to stand on their feet as a sign of feeling protected and strong…
The boy possessed by a demon was “held by the hand, raised up and made to stand” by Jesus (Mk 9:27)
Jesus held the hand of the daughter of Jairus and “helped her to stand” (Mk 5:41)
Peter and John took up the crippled beggar at the Temple gate “by the hand and raised him up…and he leaped up, stood and walk around…walking and jumping” and praising God (Acts 3: 7-8)
The Lord loves to help people to stand erect and hold heads high in firm faith and trust in Him.
Is my life today shattered and collapsed?
Am I unable to stand firmly in faith and in trust?
When difficulties and problems arise in life…
Do I stoop down and get fixated on the worries…
… or do I “stand erect and raise up my head” in confidence of the Providence of God?
When calamities and unsolvable crises hits my family or community life…
Do I stoop down and get lost in despair…
… or do I “stand erect and raise up our heads” in hope of the Power the Lord?
When hopes get shattered and the future appears very blurred…
Do I stoop down and get stuck in hopelessness and desolation…
… or do I “stand erect and raise up my head” in deep faith in the Guiding Hand of the Lord?
Some of us live our lives with much negativity and pessimism…
Life most of the time appears to be dark and depressing and dismal!
But the Lord today asks us to live our lives with more positivity and optimism
Life is in fact much more bright and beautiful and brilliant!
Are we going to continue to have a mentality of “looking downward” and losing the precious moments of life?
Or shall we, “Stand erect and Raise up our head” in trust, optimism and hope in the Lord?
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CHURCH AND NON-CHRISTIANS
Relationship with the Jewish People: When one considers the future, God’s People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah.
But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God…
… the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.
The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham…
… and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day. (CCC # 840-841)