✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – July 16, 2022: Saturday

“May Jesus, our Blessed Lord be our hope, our strength and our courage!”

(Based on Mic 2:1-5 and Mt 12:14-21 – Saturday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2 – Feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel)

“Pandora’s Box” is a phrase which means a process that once begun, generates many complicated problems.

There is a Greek mythological story about the origin of this phrase – the “Pandora’s Box”

According to the Greek legend, the first woman of the earth, named Pandora was sent to the earth, by the gods, with a casket (box) in her hand.

She was forbidden to open this box.

However, out of immense curiosity one day she lifted the cover of the box and looked in.

But there came forth from the box, every conceivable plague for man’s body and his mind, and immediately they scattered themselves far and wide throughout the earth.

Pandora hastened to replace the lid of the box, but there was only one thing left – Hope!

Often our life can resemble this mythological tale, in that, we face a whole set of evils and troubles unleashed at us.

The Pandora’s Box – of persecutions, of difficulties, of sadness, of daily tensions – gets opened often in our lives.

But Life still invites and challenges us to move on with Life, in HOPE, seeking to heal every negativity!

Our Blessed Lord is our model and perfect example for this.

While on the earth, He had to face the trial of many pandora boxes – of cruel plots, of hurtful betrayals, of painful rejections – being unleashed at Him.

Yet, He remained firm and defiant in His Zeal and Passion for His Mission – His Mission of being a “Hope to the Gentiles” ( Mt 12: 21)

The Gospel of the Day makes a vivid presentation of this struggle of our Blessed Lord was subjected to.

The Gospel passage begins with the verse, “But the Pharisees went out and took counsel to put Jesus to death” (Mt 12: 14)

There could be perhaps, quite a factors that prompted the religious elders of the time, to make this move

Jesus did not correspond to their idea of being a Messiah
The Pharisees and the religious leaders of the time, probably had an externally dominant visualization of the Messiah Who was to come…

Someone Who was politically powerful
Someone Who would be Restorer of their Religion
Someone Who would firmly establish the Jewish Empire

But none of these seemed to be evident in the ministry and life of Jesus.

Jesus seemed to be a thorn in their cosy structured and institutionalized pattern of life

The long wait for the Messiah had resulted…
… in religion in being devoid of religiosity and instead being reduced to mere rituals
… in Spirituality losing its sheen of sacredness and instead being sunken to mere static statutes

This had resulted in creation of classes…

Of the Ruling Class: consisting of the Pharisees, the Scribes and other religious leaders and elders,
Of the Ruled Class: consisting of the ordinary people, whose voices were often restrained, and had become mute followers of the tradition.

Jesus, however, by His vibrant Teachings, His mighty Deeds and His uncompromising Life, disturbed all such cosy structures and comfortable religious life-style.

How often do we also turn anti against those who become a ‘Jesus’ to us…
• Those whose ideas do not correspond to our sinful or lethargic ways of life
• Those who become a thorn in our cosy and institutionalized pattern of life

We too may sometimes plot ways and means to end such forces…
… which trigger transformation in us
… which awaken our consciences to lead purer or holier lives

We are instead, invited to be like Jesus, our Blessed Lord.

He faced a mighty unleashing as from a Pandora’s box…
… deadly plots to end His Life and Mission
… uncharitable venoms of conspiracy to terminate His life

Yet, He remained firm and bold to remain “the Chosen Servant, the Beloved in Him God delighted, the One who proclaimed justice to the Gentiles and in Whose Name, the Gentiles hoped” (cf. Mt 12:18 -21)

Are we ready to “live our lives in hope” even though we may often experience the evils of the “pandora’s box” seeking to submerge us?

May Jesus, our Blessed Lord be our hope, our strength and our courage!

Today is also the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The feast was assigned to 16 July, because on that date in 1251, according to Carmelite traditions, the scapular was given by the Blessed Virgin to St. Simon Stock.

The Scapular (from Latin scapulae, “shoulders”) – is both a sign of our belonging to Mary and pledge of her maternal protection in this life and the next.

It is also a sign of couple of elements:

  1. A consecration to and trust in Mary
  2. A declaration to imitate Our Lady’s virtues, especially Her humility, chastity, and prayerfulness.

The scapular is not…
… a magical charm to protect someone.
… an automatic guarantee of salvation.
… an excuse for not living up to the demands of the Christian life

It is instead, a sign…
… to follow Jesus like Mary
… to be open to God and to His Will.
… to be guided by Faith, Hope and Love.
… to pray at all times
… to discover and be aware of the Presence of God in all that happens around us.

As St. John of the Cross says:
“He who loves, is not ashamed before men of what he does for God…
… neither does he hide it through shame, though the whole world should condemn it.”

Let us seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother of Mt Carmel, in our struggles and hardships of life…
… and may the Sacramental of the Scapular be a sign for us to publicly declare our Love for Christ and our Readiness to “take up the Cross!”

Let us hold Mamma’s hands…
… as She inspires, helps, challenges and intercedes for us!

Happy Feast of our Blessed Mother of Carmel!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ: “Therefore… we are members one of another.”
Baptism incorporates us into the Church.
From the baptismal fonts is born the one People of God of the New Covenant, which transcends all the natural or human limits of nations, cultures, races, and sexes: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.”
The baptized have become “living stones” to be “built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood.”
By Baptism they share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission.
They are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that [they] may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called [them] out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

Baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers. (CCC #1267-1268)

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