✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – May 23, 2022: Monday

“Witnessing JESUS CHRIST – by thought, by word, by deed!”

(Based on Acts 16:11-15 and Jn 15:26-16:4a – Monday of the 6th Week in Easter)

Every Christian is expected to be a witness to Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, in one’s everyday life.

In a random survey conducted, as to why many Christians don’t speak about Christ to others, some of the common answers given by Christians were as follows:

“I am not sure what I have to say!”
“My lifestyle doesn’t match what Christ expects of me!”
“I may not be able to give convincing answers, when questions are asked!”
“I am not sure if I will be called as a hypocrite – or living by double standards!”
“I don’t really care about speaking about Christ etc…”
“I think it is not my duty. It is the duty of the leaders of the Church. First let them do…”

And prominently…

“I am afraid what others will feel…!”
“I feel anxious if I will be rejected and be side-lined by all!”

What about us?

Do we witness to Christ, daily?

Do we speak about and witness the Love of God to people?

What answer do we have?

The Gospel of the Day is an assurance and an invitation by Jesus to live by the Power of the Holy Spirit…
… and thus be a “Witness of Jesus and His Kingdom!”

One of the primary tasks of Jesus, as he left this world, was to “Strengthen His Disciples”

He knew very well, how each one of them would go through periods of crisis, after His Departure.

When things go on well, life seems to be easy…
… But when hardships and loneliness creeps in, life seems to be too difficult!

As long as Jesus was with them, the disciples would have an easy life…
… But with the departure of Jesus, they would have to face a difficult life!

And so Jesus prepares them by assuring them of how the Holy Spirit would strengthen them:
“When the Counsellor comes, Whom I shall send you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth… He will bear witness to Me, and you also are witnesses…
I have said all this to you, to keep you from falling away!” (Jn 15:26-27, 16:1)

Jesus knew that all his disciples had weaknesses …

Some would be unsure of what answer to be given when questions were asked
(Like Peter who would deny Jesus, when questions were asked – Lk 22: 54-61)

Some would only worry about their own positions and comforts
(Like the disciples at the Last Supper, who would discuss the one who is great among them – Lk 22: 24)

Some would be afraid of the people and the society around
(Like the disciples who would run away and abandon Jesus – Mk 14: 50)

Some would prefer to choose riches and money, than Jesus
(Like Judas who would betray the Lord for the sake of money – Mk 14: 10-11)

Despite these weakness and fragilities, the Lord did not give up on them

He invited them to “Be open to Receive the Holy Spirit and thus to Live a Powerful Life of Witnessing!”

By this Power of the Person of the Holy Spirit, the disciples became powerful witnesses to the world, bringing many people to experience the Love of the Lord …
… as we read in the Acts of the Apostles…
“One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyati′ra, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul.” (Acts 16:14)

We too have our own weaknesses in witnessing to the Lord, in this modern society…

Some of us…
… are not sure of what answers to be given to questions that are asked about faith

Some of us…
… like to remain in our own comfort zones

Some of us…
… are afraid of “what other people will think” and if I will “lose my name and esteem in the society”

Some of us…
… give more importance to the false promises of the world, and don’t make a clear-cut choice for God and His Kingdom (Mt 6:33)

To each of us too, the Lord invites to “Be open to receive the Holy Spirit and thus to Live a powerful Life of Witnessing!”

Yes, He doesn’t give up on us.

Let us renew our commitment to the Lord, everyday..
… and by His Spirit, with boldness and courage, “Stand Firm for the Gospel Values”

Let us “Witness Jesus Christ” – by thought, by word, by deed!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
HOW IS THE LITURGY CELEBRATED? – Signs and symbols

A sacramental celebration is a meeting of God’s children with their Father, in Christ and the Holy Spirit; this meeting takes the form of a dialogue, through actions and words.
Admittedly, the symbolic actions are already a language, but the Word of God and the response of faith have to accompany and give life to them, so that the seed of the Kingdom can bear its fruit in good soil.
The liturgical actions signify what the Word of God expresses: both his free initiative and his people’s response of faith.
The liturgy of the Word is an integral part of sacramental celebrations.
To nourish the faith of believers, the signs which accompany the Word of God should be emphasized: the book of the Word (a lectionary or a book of the Gospels), its veneration (procession, incense, candles), the place of its proclamation (lectern or ambo), its audible and intelligible reading, the minister’s homily which extends its proclamation, and the responses of the assembly (acclamations, meditation psalms, litanies, and profession of faith).
The liturgical word and action are inseparable both insofar as they are signs and instruction and insofar as they accomplish what they signify.
When the Holy Spirit awakens faith, he not only gives an understanding of the Word of God, but through the sacraments also makes present the “wonders” of God which it proclaims.

the Spirit makes present and communicates the Father’s work, fulfilled by the beloved Son. (CCC # 1153-1155)

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