REFLECTION CAPSULE – Feb 18, 2022: Friday

“Remaining committed to the Cross of Christ and celebrating Christianity with conviction!”

(Based on Jas 2:14-24, 26 and Mk 8:34-9:1 – Friday of the 6th Week in Ordinary Time)

There is a beautiful legend of a thorn bird.

It is said that the thorn bird sings only once in its life.

Leaving its nest, it searches for a bush…
… a bush with long and sharp thorns.

On finding such a thorny bush, the thorn bird pierces itself on the biggest thorn.

It is at that point, that it begins to sing.

And this sweet and beautiful singing, outmatches the lark or the nightingale or any other singing bird.

The world pauses in silence and wonder…
… as they hear the melodious voice, from the wounded and dying bird!

The legend clearly gives the message…
… that the most satisfying moments of life, can be purchased only at the price of great pain

Christian suffering and struggling – and triumph – is represented by the Cross.

The Gospel of the Day is a presentation of the Message of the Cross…
… an invitation to follow the Crucified Christ
… a challenge to faithfully carry the crosses of our life.

Jesus says, “Whoever wishes to come after me, must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me!” (Mk 8:34)

Our Blessed Lord loves to jolt static minds and the inert understandings…

He doesn’t promise cushy comforts…
… He demands Commitment to the Cross!

Those who choose Christianity as a Life Style, ought to be:
Losers of oneself
Be carriers of the Cross
And then Follow Him!

Christianity, as a Life Style, has the Cross as its Basic Rule and it demands Commitment!

But the very mention of the word “Cross”, sometimes puts people off…

“Not again the Cross”
“Enough of pain and suffering”
“We go to Church to relax and be comforted; not simply to hear of the Passion &Anguish of the Suffering Jesus on the Cross; we only prefer the Glorious & Victorious Christ”
“Stop being pessimistic with Sin & Repentance…. Just be optimistic with Joy & Salvation!”

These are often, the “happening” buzz phrases and popular opinions
… even in our religious environs.

We like to be Saved…
… but we Fear the Cross of repentance of our Sins

We like to receive Blessings…
… but we Fear the Cross of living an honest life

We like to live a peaceful life…
… but we Fear the Cross of trusting in God’s Providence

We like to be prosperous…
… but we Fear the Cross of being generous and compassionate

We like to be called good..
… but we Fear the Cross of being Faithful to the teachings of Christ

We like to have joy…
… but we Fear the Cross of giving up attachments and belong totally to God

Yes, We often, Fear the Cross…

But Christ – Crucified on the Cross – promises His Choicest Rewards to the ones, who dare to take up the Cross…
They will find Life…
They will be rewarded…
They will find true joy and peace…
… says the Lord.

Have we really accepted Christianity as our Life Style?

Then let us embrace the Cross.

One important element of Embracing the Cross is translating our faith into a actual works of service.

In the words of St James:
“Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead!” (Jas 2:17)

This requires us to permit the Grace of God to work in us, by our constant response and consent to the Will of the Lord…
… This will surely make us encounter struggles and difficulties.

But let’s always trust in the Grace of the Lord to strengthen us.

Life will often push us to thorn situations – painful and agonizing

But like the thorn bird…
… let us dare to embrace this struggle, and yet sing the most beautiful song!
… let us be courageous to go through the time of difficulty, knowing that the Lord wishes to play a beautiful melody through my life!

Let us remain committed to the Cross of Christ and celebrate Christianity with conviction!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

In death, God calls man to himself.
Therefore the Christian can experience a desire for death like St. Paul’s: “My desire is to depart and be with Christ.”
He can transform his own death into an act of obedience and love towards the Father, after the example of Christ: “My earthly desire has been crucified;
There is living water in me, water that murmurs and says within me: Come to the Father.

I want to see God and, in order to see him, I must die. I am not dying; I am entering life” (CCC # 1011)

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