REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY – February 03, 2022: Thursday

“Proclaiming the wonders and marvels of God in our lives and being a zealous missionary of the Lord!”

(Based on 1 Kings 2:1-4, 10-12 and Mk 6:7-13 – Thursday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time)

A common story is told of a water bearer who had two large pots…
… each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it.
>> While the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house…
… the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments
>> But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer:
>> “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you”.

The bearer asked, “Why? What are you ashamed of?”

The pot replied: “For these past two years I am able to deliver only half of my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house.
>> Because of my flaws, you don’t get full value for your efforts”.

The water bearer without being disturbed said plainly:
>> “Today as we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the path along your side.”

As they went up the hill, the cracked pot took notice of the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path.

At the end of the trail, the bearer said to the pot:
>> “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side?

That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it.
>> I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table.
>> Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house!”

As a Christian, each of us are expected to perform our role in mission
>> This requires that we be just the way we are…
… but totally offered to the Hands of the Master, knowing for sure that He will supplement all our flaws with His Grace!

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus sending out the Twelve on a mission…
… with the tender invitation to depend on Him totally.

The ministry of Jesus had gained a lot of popularity.
>> There were crowds of people following Him…
>> There were multitudes of persons attracted to Him…

But of all these, Jesus had chosen the Twelve…
… who would be with Him and to be sent out (Mk 3:14)

The ministry of Jesus had also gained a lot of opposition.
>> Many of the religious leaders were greatly taken aback by the raw authoritative power of Jesus
>> Many of the Scribes and Pharisees were greatly offended by the blunt and open challenges by Jesus
>> Many of the local and family people were greatly scandalized by the boldness and courage of Jesus

But as the saying goes…
“Challenges are what makes life interesting…
… and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful!”

Though opposition and challenges were raging hard against the ministry of Jesus…
>> He remained courageous and determined.
>> He not only chooses the Twelve…
… but He also sends them on a mission

A mission…
… with an authority over unclean spirits
… to proclaim the Kingdom of God
… to preach repentance and peace

In this mission journey, the Lord gave a few instructions and principles…
“… to take nothing for the journey…
… whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place…” (Mk 6: 8-10)

The Twelve were to learn…
… to totally depend on the Lord
… to not get discouraged even in the face of apparent flaws and failures

Each of us, by virtue of our following Christ, is a missionary…
… we have a duty entrusted to us – a duty for the Kingdom of God

Do I totally depend on the Lord and have the Lord as my Courage and Strength…
…or do I tend to get self-reliant and too proud on my own talents and potentials, with no room for the Lord?

Do I get easily discouraged and disheartened when things don’t go as I plan or when I feel that I am not being “successful” in what I am doing…
… or do I know for sure that even with all my flaws and weaknesses, the Lord will employ me for His Glory, if I trust in Him?

Christian missionary life is a journey
>> There may be times when we feel we are not doing enough
>> There will be situations when we feel that I am not living up to my expectations

But the Lord, Who is holding us, over His shoulders assures us:
“I have always known about your flaws…
… and I take advantage of that.
>> Just be the way you are – but offer yourself to me totally and trust in me – and you will participate in my plan of bringing Beauty to the House of God!”

Yes, the Lord plants flower seeds of joy, peace and love on the way
>> And if we entrust ourselves totally to Him…
… even our flaws, can become occasions to have these seeds to bloom and bless others!

Shall we – in the words of St Francis de Sales – “Be what we are, and be at its best”…
… offering our lives to the Lord wholly?

Today we celebrate the Feast of St Blaise, a saint who is invoked for throat ailments.

In some churches, a blessing of the throats take place (which can also be – in these pandemic times – be done in our homes, by the head of the family)…

Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said: “Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil.
>> In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

Let us use our throats to proclaim the wonders and marvels of God in our lives…
… and be a zealous missionary of the Lord!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
>> The Christian Creed – the profession of our faith in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and in God’s creative, saving, and sanctifying action…
… in the proclamation of the resurrection of the dead on the last day and in life everlasting (CCC # 988)

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