REFLECTION CAPSULE – February 04, 2022: Friday

“Being ready to shape our destiny as per God’s Holy and Perfect Will!”

(Based on 1 Cor 9:19-27 and Jn 12:20-32 – Feast of St John de Britto)

Destiny is shaped by moments of decision!

It was the year 1673 in Portugal.

A young man of 26 was on the verge of taking a strong and serious decision.
He was just a little over a decade, as member, in the Congregation of the Society of Jesus.

His superiors deemed it right to send this vibrant and dynamic person to the missions in India
It was a dangerous mission…
… It was a difficult mission

A destiny was to be shaped
A decision had to be made

The mother of this young and fervent person, feared the life of her beloved son.

Years back, she had experienced the mighty healing touch of the Lord, in the recovery of her son, from the point of death.

She had then, vested her son for a year, in a dress worn by the Jesuit fathers.

But now, she was afraid of losing her son again…
She knew mission to India meant death…
She knew mission away from the native was fatal…

She tried her best to persuade and influence to prevent him from going to the land of death…

But her son was determined….
He had decided to give up His life entirely for the Lord – body, mind and spirit

With deep courage and conviction, he answered:
“God, who called me from the world into religious life, now calls me from Portugal to India”

He had set His eyes on the Kingdom of heaven…
… and not limited by earthly life…

He had set His heart on the designs of God’s Will…
… and not restricted by human desires…

He had made a decision…
…a decision to shape destiny…according to God’s Will!

Just two decades later, on 4th February, 1693, this brave and committed person was executed for the sake of Christ.

The name of the person is St John de Britto, whose feast we celebrate today.

He followed the footsteps of his Beloved Master who had echoed the words:
“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it only remains a seed; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (Jn 12:24)

To be a witness for the Kingdom of God is the call and duty of every Christian.
It is a decision to be made
It is a decision to be lived
It is a decision to be nurtured

Christ made this decision of being entirely and wholly dedicated to His mission

And He invites His disciples – His followers – to also commit themselves to the mission

Jesus had many occasions and chances to escape from this dedication…

He could have chosen to enjoy popularity and fame arising out of His mighty deeds…

But He made a “decision” to not compromise on the truths and convictions

He could have chosen to dilute some of His teachings and make life more “cosier”…

But He made a “decision” to remain firm and grounded on the fundamentals of eternity

He could have chosen to forego some of His values and have some “adjustments”…

But He made a “decision” to be faithful and loyal to the mission and duties entrusted to Him

Our life as a witness for Christ and His Kingdom is sometimes greatly influenced and prejudiced…

We sometimes don’t mind…
… being a little relaxing on some Church teachings…
… making some adjustments to remain popular and not have a bad name…
… diluting some values in order to appear as secular and sociable…

The Church is often under tremendous pressure to change some of Her moral teachings
The Church is often under blatant attacks to alter some of Her time-and-tested values

Most often, the motive behind all such attacks are a ‘life of ease’, a ‘life of comfort’, a ‘life of personal satisfaction’ etc…

Christ today, however, needs witnesses who are willing to undergo pains and persecutions…

The Martyr St John de Britto gave up…
… His native land
… His personal desires
… His family ties
… His very life itself…

All for the sake of Christ and His Love
All for the sake of the Kingdom and its values
All for the sake of His Church and Her teachings

In his words, “Not to answer the vocation as I ought, would be to provoke the justice of God”

Let us be true and faithful to the vocation we have received and the way of life we have chosen…
Christ needs martyrs who are willing to…
… live His teachings
… teach His teachings

Christ needs martyrs who are willing to give up their…
… physical life in the face of being persecuted for Him
… economic life and depend on Him as the true treasure
… social life to bear insults and humiliations to live His values

Yes, Destiny is shaped by moments of decision!

Are we – you and I – ready to shape our destiny as per God’s Holy and Perfect Will?

What is our decision?

Happy Feast of St John de Britto!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
The term “flesh” refers to man in his state of weakness and mortality.

The “resurrection of the flesh” (the literal formulation of the Apostles’ Creed) means not only that the immortal soul will live on after death, but that even our “mortal body” will come to life again
Belief in the resurrection of the dead has been an essential element of the Christian faith from its beginnings. “The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live.”

How can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain…. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep (CCC # 990-991)

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