REFLECTION CAPSULE – March 03, 2022: Thursday

“Embracing the call and exhortation of the Lord to a life of the Cross!”

(Based on Deut 30:15-20 and Lk 9:22-25 – Thursday after Ash Wednesday)

A story is told of a young woman who wanted to join a particular college, with a reputed fame.

As she filled the application form, her heart sank, when she read the question that read: “Are you a leader?”

Sticking to her principle of being honest in life, she wrote “No”…
… and submitted her application…
… expecting the worst!

She knew, that this question would be the stumbling block for her admission to college.

But to her great surprise, she received the following letter from college:
“Dear Applicant,
A study of all our application forms this year reveals, that we will have 1,547 new leaders in college.

So we are accepting you as our student, because we feel that it is necessary that all those ‘so-called leaders’, have at least one follower!”

Well, that pretty much sums up human tendencies isn’t it?
… a tendency whereby people would dilute their ideals for seeking a position or favour!
… a tendency whereby people would want to be only leaders, but fail to be a follower!

Is our Christian life also characterized by these tendencies…?
… to dilute Christian Values for the sake of one’s favour?
… to project our personal merits and crave to be a power-monger rather than a follower?

The Gospel of the Day presents the mighty challenge of Jesus, to those who wish to follow Him…
… being uncompromising in one’s commitment
… being willing to be a follower of Him, the Sole Leader!

Jesus says: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23)

One of the key aspects, when we analyze the ministry of Jesus is that Cross would be an integral aspect of His life and ministry.

The Lord never shied away from the Cross.

And the Lord never shied away from teaching about the Cross.

He doesn’t use attractive advertisements to allure more followers…
He doesn’t preach an easy life to gather in more disciples…
He instead preaches and proclaims the Cross!

The Cross is a symbol…
… of total self-giving
… of total commitment

We are in the season of Lent.

It’s a time of getting back to the basics of our life…
… to re-dedicate our love and consecration to the Lord
… to review our life more closely in relation to our faith

The Lord sets before us choices continually in life… (Deut 30:15)
… the choice of life and death
… the choice of good and evil
… the choice of blessings and curses

But all these promises of the Lord are valid, only if we are seeking and are eager to follow His commandments and to walk according to His paths.

Our Christian lives today are often found to be characterized by…
… pragmatism: following Christ and His Ideals only for our personal gains and desires!
… comfortability: following Christ and His Ideals only when it is easy and undemanding!
… dilution: following Christ and His Ideals without sincerity and watering down as per convenience!
… power-mongerism: following Christ and His Ideals only to gain power and popularity!

The Cross comes as a huge blow to all such “easy philosophies!”

The Cross was the choice of the Lord…
… a result of deep obedience and total commitment.

The Cross needs to be our choice too…
And this requires…
… faithful obedience to the Will of the Lord.
… total commitment to our call and consecration as a Christian.

The Lord promises much happiness and joy…
… but these will be delivered only if we make the determination and resolution to follow Him closer and to live as per His commands!

Let us be bold and courageous to embrace a Life of the Cross…
… without pragmatism, without comfortability, without dilution, without power-mongerism!

And stick on to the Christian Principles…
… even it means, rejection from the world and its ways!

Yes, shall we be ready…
… to embrace this call and exhortation of the Lord?
… to get attracted to a life of the Cross – total discipline and deep dedication?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny.
They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed…

… and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their teeth. (CCC # 1036)

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