✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – May 22, 2022: Sunday

“Living our Christian lives in such a way that is pleasing to Jesus, our Master!”

(Based on Acts 15:1-2, 22-29, Rev 21:10-14, 22-23 and Jn 14:23-29 – 6th Sunday of Easter)

A story is told of a famous violinist who was to perform at a concert hall of world renown.

As he stood before the packed house that night and played his violin, he mesmerized the audience with his prowess and skill…
… and he was given a standing ovation.

He looked at the crowd for a moment and walked off the stage…
… only to return to render another performance.

To the amazement of the crowd, this performance was even more beautiful and flawless than the first.

He looked to the audience and left the stage for the second time, but was beckoned back by the deafening roar of the multitudes…
… and rendered a third performance.

This sequence was repeated several more times until finally the man finished his piece, looked to the audience…
… nodded his head and simply walked off the stage…
… while the cheers could still be heard.

Reporters pressed outside the violinist’s dressing room, waiting to catch a word from the man who had just given the performance of a lifetime.

As he emerged from the small room, one reporter asked the question, “Sir, why did you give so many encore performances?

You could have stopped after the first and everyone would have been amazed.”

The violinist stopped and replied, “For the very first time in my career, my master, the one who taught me to play the violin, was in the audience.

When I finished my performance, everyone stood except for one person.

I played again, and everyone stood to applaud except for him.

I continued to play.

At the conclusion of the last, I looked into the seats and I noticed that everyone, including my master, was standing and applauding!

It was only then that I was satisfied that I had done a good job.”

What about us?

Do we live our Christian lives in such a way that is pleasing to Jesus, our Master?

Do we allow Him to find a place in our hearts…
… so that we can reflect His Divine Touch, by our words and deeds?

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus throwing light on this beautiful theme of God wishing to make a home in our hearts: “Those who love me, will keep my word, and My Father will love them and we will come and make our home with them” (Jn 14: 23)

The story of the Bible is a God who longs to dwell with His people.

In the Old Testament, we see the Garden of Eden was a beautiful communion of the first parents with God.

The atmosphere was so much homely… so much loving
But sin caused a rupture in this homely bonding between God and human beings.

But the Lord, still longed to dwell with His people…

He accompanied the Israelites in their journey through the desert…being with them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
He also established His glory among the people of Israel by dwelling in the ark of the covenant.

Every now and then, the people sinned and lost this presence of the Lord

Through the prophets, the Lord would invite the people to come back to His homely presence.
Finally, in the fullness of time, God decided to dwell with humans, when the Eternal Word became flesh…

Jn 1: 14, “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us”

To perpetuate His continual presence, Jesus also gave us His Body and Blood, in Real Presence, when He instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper with the culmination of His Sacrifice on the Cross, and His rising from the dead.

This then, is the story of the longing of a God who yearns to dwell with His people.

Jesus re-iterates this constant longing of the Lord, by promising, “Those who love me, will keep my word, and My Father will love them and we will come and make our home with them” (Jn 14: 23)

The Lord wishes to dwell closer to us…
He longs to have a home in our hearts…

Do we make the space for Him?

The Lord promises to come and make His home in our hearts, if we love Him and keep His Word.

Loving Him requires giving Him the highest priority and precedence in our lives

Keeping His Word requires following His teachings and commandments at all times.

Loving Him means to constantly long for Him and to have our thoughts centred on Him

Keeping His Word means to make decisions and choices based on His Gospel virtues

Loving Him means to free our hearts from undue and inordinate attachments

Keeping His Word means to go against our personal choices to preserve His Will and plans

Let us seek to live our Christian lives in such a way that is pleasing to Jesus, our Master!

Yes, let us allow Him to find a place in our hearts…
… so that we can reflect His Divine Touch, by our words and deeds!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
How is the Liturgy Celebrated? Signs and symbols

The great religions of mankind witness, often impressively, to this cosmic and symbolic meaning of religious rites.
The liturgy of the Church presupposes, integrates and sanctifies elements from creation and human culture, conferring on them the dignity of signs of grace, of the new creation in Jesus Christ.
The Chosen People received from God distinctive signs and symbols that marked its liturgical life.
These are no longer solely celebrations of cosmic cycles and social gestures, but signs of the covenant, symbols of God’s mighty deeds for his people.
Among these liturgical signs from the Old Covenant are circumcision, anointing and consecration of kings and priests, laying on of hands, sacrifices, and above all the Passover.
The Church sees in these signs a prefiguring of the sacraments of the New Covenant.
Signs taken up by Christ. In his preaching the Lord Jesus often makes use of the signs of creation to make known the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.
He performs healings and illustrates his preaching with physical signs or symbolic gestures.
He gives new meaning to the deeds and signs of the Old Covenant, above all to the Exodus and the Passover, for he himself is the meaning of all these signs.
Since Pentecost, it is through the sacramental signs of his Church that the Holy Spirit carries on the work of sanctification.
The sacraments of the Church do not abolish but purify and integrate all the richness of the signs and symbols of the cosmos and of social life.

Further, they fulfil the types and figures of the Old Covenant, signify and make actively present the salvation wrought by Christ, and prefigure and anticipate the glory of heaven. (CCC #1149-1152)

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