REFLECTION CAPSULE – January 10, 2022: Monday

“Offering our complete trust to the One Who is fully able to comprehend the big beautiful picture of our life!”

(Based on 1 Sam 1:1-8 and Mk 1:14-20 – Monday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time, Year II)

Reinhold Messner was a skilled mountain climber who was recognized as one of the best in the world. >> He was one of two men who first climbed Mount Everest without using bottled oxygen.

When asked, why mountain climbing was a great passion, Messner replied: “Because at the top, all the lines converge!”

Life is beautiful when all the lines converge!

But life becomes faithful, when we are able to trust in God, for Whom every line of life converges!

As a Christian, all of us are called to a life of faithfulness and trust!

We are invited to realise that even though we may not always have the “view from the top”…
… God does!
And because He sees the “overall picture,” He is worthy of our trust!

Are we ready to offer our complete trust to the One Who is fully able to comprehend the big beautiful picture of our life?

Today onwards we are back to the Ordinary times of the Liturgical Season in the Church.

The Liturgical colours shifts from the solemn and majestic ‘golden and white’ colours to the ordinary, yet unassuming ‘green’.

It’s a time…
… to live the solemn celebrations in our regular affairs of life.
… to give witness to the majestic splendour of God’s love in our everyday activities.

The Lord, indeed, comes to meet and encounter us in the ordinary situations of our life.

The First Reading is taken from the Old Testament – from The First Book of Samuel

This book is a fascinating journey of faith in the context of hopelessness, lack of encouragements, battles, deceptions and undue demands!

We are introduced with some characters as we start this book:
“There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite[a] from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah… He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord.” (1 Sam 1:1-3)

Who are some of these characters and what do they teach us?

  1. Elkanah: A Levite – whose roots probably stretched back to Bethlehem –who is a God-fearing man and a loving husband. His human circumstance however caused him to have a divided love and he failed to keep the family together.

“Am I a God-fearing person and do I fulfil the duties of my family?
Do I sometimes fail to preserve the unity in my family, by bowing to the circumstances of my life, instead of giving priority to the needs of my family?”

  1. Hannah: Elkanah’s first wife, who was barren. She had to face a lot of humiliation and unjust criticism.

“Am I willing to trust in God even in times when I am unjustly criticized or made to go through the muddy waters of humiliation?”

  1. Peninnah: Elkanah’s second wife, who had both sons and daughters. She is a person who mocks and derides at the unfortunateness in people, without being grateful to the Mercy of God!

“Do I swell up with pride and put down other people, without having any feelings of care and sensitivity?”

  1. Eli: He is the priest of the Lord with his duties to take care of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord that was at a place called Shiloh (the structure at Shiloh was often called a temple because of the presence of the Ark)

“Do I remain faithful to all the duties entrusted to me, and do I have a passion for the Lord and His Kingdom?”

  1. Hophni and Phinehas: The sons of Eli, who, as we read the book, will be found to be people who failed to live their faithfulness to the Lord

“Do I hold on to the Traditions of the Church and remain ever faithful to the Lord in serving Him – even when externally, situations don’t seem to nurture my faith?”

The reading of the day (1 Sam 1:1-8) focusses on Hannah who was barren.

The annual feast in particular was a time of harsh treatment for Hannah

As part of the ceremony of apportioning the meat out to the family, Elkanah, the husband, would give multiple portions of meat to Peninnah with all her sons and daughters…
…. but Hannah would normally only receive one portion for herself.
Out of the goodness of his heart, Elkanah tried to compensate by giving her a double portion…
… but it didn’t really help.

All such “happy occasions” became in fact, bitter reminders to Hannah!

Life sometimes is apparently quite harsh and humiliating…
… just like it was to Hannah!

In all such moments of our life, can we remain faithful and loyal to the Lord?

In times when we become victims of jealousy or are side-lined and not given our due worth…
… can we still hold on to the Lord “as the Pride and Pearl of our Life?”

We are invited, in our most desperate and painful situations, to trust that God is in control…
… and to find comfort in prayer!

This is what our Blessed Lord tells the first disciples, when He would invite them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” (Mk 1:17)

The Lord, indeed, comes to meet and encounter us in the ordinary situations of our life.

The disciples were to leave their boats and nets…
… their strengths and assets
… their worries and concerns

And completely depend on the Lord Who fully comprehends the big beautiful picture of life!

As a Christian, we are invited to realise that even though we may not always have the “view from the top”…
… God does!

And because He sees the “overall picture,” He is worthy of our trust!

Let us offer our complete trust to the One Who is fully able to comprehend the big beautiful picture of our life!

As St Paul says, “I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me!”…
… Let us join with the Psalmist to offer our life to the Lord and tell: “I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord!” (Ps 116:17)

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
CONSECRATION AND MISSION: PROCLAIMING THE KING WHO IS CORNING

Already dedicated to him through Baptism, the person who surrenders himself to the God he loves above all else thereby consecrates himself more intimately to God’s service and to the good of the Church.
By this state of life consecrated to God, the Church manifests Christ and shows us how the Holy Spirit acts so wonderfully in her.
And so the first mission of those who profess the evangelical counsels is to live out their consecration.

Moreover, “since members of institutes of consecrated life dedicate themselves through their consecration to the service of the Church they are obliged in a special manner to engage in missionary work, in accord with the character of the institute” (CCC # 931)

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