✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 14, 2022: Sunday

“Striving to be sincere followers of Christ who are ‘willing to be counted’ to stand up for the Kingdom values!”

(Based on Jer 38:4-6, 8-10, Heb 12:1-4 and Lk 12:49-53 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C)

An interesting incident is narrated of how some years ago, the prime minister of a certain country was speaking before several distinguished leaders as well statesman.

He was severely critical of his predecessor who was known to be a harsh dictator.

While he was speaking someone from the audience sent up a note:
“How about you? What were you doing when the dictator committed all these atrocities?”

At that, the Prime Minister – filled with fury and rage – shouted: “Who sent up that note?”

Not a single person stirred.

“I’ll give him one minute to stand up!”

The seconds ticked off.

Still no one moved.

“All right, I’ll tell you what I was doing.

I was doing exactly what the writer of this note was doing – exactly nothing!
I was afraid to be counted!”

As a Christian, am I afraid to be counted…
… and thus fail to stand up for Christ and His Values?

Every Christian is expected to set the world on fire…
… by being passionate in their love for the Lord
… and being compassionate to the people of God!

Our Blessed Lord was greatly filled with zeal to “set the earth on fire”…
… and desires all His followers to share in this passion for the Kingdom of God.

The Gospel of the Day begins with Jesus exclaiming:
“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing” (Lk 12: 49)

“Fire” in the Bible is an imagery of many aspects…

God’s judgment (Jdt 16:17; Is 66:16; Am 7:4; 2 Pt 3:7)
God’s protective presence (Ex 13: 21, 2 Kgs 6:17)
Purification (Nm 31:23; Ez 22:19-22, Zec 13: 9),
The Holy Spirit (Mt 3:11, Acts 2:3).
God’s Holiness (Dt 4:24)
God’s glory (Ez 1:4, 13)

Fire also has many characteristics:

It warms… refines… transforms… burns!

The Lord who was greatly zealous to “set the earth on fire” invites us to examine:

Am I filled with zeal, to blaze the world “on fire”…
… the fire of God’s love?
… the fire of God’s purging mercy?
… the fire of God’s judgment with respect to sin and evil?

The following verse of the Gospel passage comes in as a shock…

“Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, division!” (Lk 12:51)

The Gospel of St. Mathew’s version of the same verse reads:
“Do not think I have come to bring peace. I have to come not to bring peace, but a sword… (Mt 10: 34)

These verses become more surprising in the context of…

The Sermon of the Mount where in Mt 5:9, it says, “Blessed are the peacemakers”
The description of the Messiah where in Isa 9: 6 it says, “He (Messiah) will be called “Prince of Peace”

Why does St Mathew use the words “peace and sword?”

Why does St Luke use the words “peace and division?”

This could be a technique called “Juxtaposing”.

Juxtaposing simply means to place two things side-by-side or next to each other…
… especially to compare or to emphasize on the contrast.

This technique is used extensively in the Bible…

“Unless a grain of wheat dies, it will not give life” (Jn 12: 24)
“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit” (Mt 7:18)
“Light shines in the darkness” ( Jn 1:5)

Thus we see…
… life and death
… good and bad
… light and darkness

This “juxtaposition” we also observe in our daily life.

Any artist or a person with some aesthetic sense will vouch for the fact that, in order a highlight some light-coloured flowers in a bouquet…
… a darker background is preferred.

Even in our style of dressing, we prefer to wear dark-coloured trousers…
… along with light-coloured shirts.

The logic is simple: Juxtaposing two contrasting stuff emphasizes the meaning.

Peace, is generally defined as a situation where there is no violence or war.

Sword, on the other hand, signifies conflict, struggle and death.

Peace, is normally understood as a situation of calm and absence of conflicts

Division, on the other hand, points to disturbances, instability and turmoil.

What is the meaning of this usage of “juxtaposition” in today’s Gospel passage?

The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy (Rom 14: 17)
To establish this peace or this Kingdom of God…
… sword is an inevitable reality!
… division is an inescapable consequence!

Disturbances, instability, turmoil, conflict, struggle and even death is a real possibility!

That’s why Jesus would go on to say:
“From now on a household of five will be divided… three against two and two against three…” (Lk 12: 52)

These verses are an import from Mic 7:6 which speaks of “division in the household”.

In the Jewish Society…
… the household was one of the strongest units of loyalty and binding.

However, Jesus shatters all these pre-conceived notions and demands:
“Loyalty of a disciple to Jesus is to be much higher than even to his own household!”

All intimate relations, even that within the family, are to be given subordinate status in our Love for Jesus.

It is also interesting to note the order of people mentioned in Lk 12: 53:
… Father vs Son, Daughter vs Mother, Daughter-in- law vs Mother in Law.

It is always the young vs the old.

What could be the meaning?

The Kingdom of God will cause a sword of division…
… It will be a division of the Young vs Old!

Young and Old are not to be considered in the physical sense…
… but in the spiritual sense!

Young as being people who are “new”… those by giving up a life of sin, choosing to be part of the Kingdom of God.

Old as being those people who are “unrepentant”… those who cling on to sinful ways and oppose the Kingdom.

The Kingdom of God is always characterized by people who are willing to be “new” in the Spirit…
… young at heart and mind, full of dynamism and full of enthusiasm.

What are the implications of all what we have said today?

  1. The establishment of peace in the Kingdom of God is always accompanied by the sword of division

Are we ready to face the struggles and difficulties that surely will come on our way, as we work for the Kingdom?

  1. In this our mission of establishing the Kingdom, we are demanded to have a loyalty to Jesus that is higher than all other relationships.

Are we ready to sacrifice… perhaps our relationships or our way of thinking or even our lifestyle – all for the sake of loyalty to Christ?

  1. The Kingdom of God demands that we always be young – dynamic, enthusiastic, cheerful and energetic.

Are we ready to always remain Young at heart and in mind, for the sake of the Kingdom of God?
Jesus, Who was greatly filled with zeal to “set the earth on fire”…
… desires all His followers to also share in this passion for the Kingdom of God.

Yes, let us become Christians “who set the world on fire!”…
… and strive to be sincere followers of Christ who are ‘willing to be counted’ to stand up for the Kingdom values!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST – SOURCE AND SUMMIT OF ECCLESIAL LIFE

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”
“The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it.”

For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch. (CCC #1324)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 13, 2022: Saturday

“Being responsible and receptive to others, and redeeming and restoring the lives of others!”

(Based on Ezek 18:1-10, 13b, 30-32 and Mt 19:13-15 – Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

Charles Francis Adams was a 19th century American historical editor, politician and diplomat.
>> His son was Brooks Adams, who became a historian.

A researcher, while making a study on the life of the Adams Family came across their personal diaries.


Both, the father and son, had entered a description of a particular day…
… It was a day when they had gone fishing.

However, interestingly, their descriptions had a world of difference…

The father, wrote in his diary:
“Went fishing with son. Day wasted.”

The son, however wrote in his diary:
“Went fishing with my father. The most wonderful day of my life!”


Why such a huge contrast in the description of the same day?

The son Brooks, was only twelve years at that time.
>> It was a bad day at fishing as they didn’t catch any fish…
… but they spent a lot of time talking

The boy had asked a number of questions, and the father had creatively answered…
… in the process, explained many important aspects about life.
>> The father, on the other hand, felt it as a waste of time…
… without even any fish being caught!


Our attitude in life makes a world of difference!

Seeing the world through the eyes of a child – in openness, sincerity, wonder and innocence – can help us to have “a wonderful day,” every day of our life!

Hence, in the context of a family life, there is a popular quote which says:
“A house is built with bricks and beams…
… A home is built with love and dreams!”


The Gospel of the Day presents to us an occasion to dwell on a reflection on our families…
… and some of the basic essentials that needs to be part of every family (religious community included as well)


Family Life is an important component of every society.

The Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 19, has an interesting structure or a progression with respect to the topics discussed and the persons involved.


The chapter begins with a discussion on the institution of ‘Marriage’. (Mt 19: 2-10)

Jesus explains the importance of this sacred bond and a strong exhortation is given on the need to do away with divorce.
>> The chapter proceeds, as we see in today’s reading, with a discussion on ‘little children’. (Mt 19: 13-15)
>> This discussion is followed by an incident in which a ‘young man’ encounters Jesus (Mt 19: 16-22)
>> The Chapter will finally end with an exhortation by Jesus to have maturity as an ‘adult’ is making choices for the Kingdom of God! (Mt 19: 23-30)


Thus, the Chapter 19 of Matthew is a travel through a FAMILY context…
… starting from MARRIAGE…and the need to avoid DIVORCE…
… to little CHILDREN
… to the problems of a YOUTH
… and finally ending with the choices as an ADULT.

In today’s Gospel, we have the discussion on Little Children (Mt 19:13-15)

Though it’s a short passage, the Gospel gives us enough food for thought…
… especially in the context of a family or a community life.


We see four different groups or sets of people in today’s Gospel Passage, and we can learn some aspects from each of those sets…
>> Three of them give us a positive quality which is to be inculcated
>> One gives a negative quality which is to be avoided in life.

1. Firstly, the Gospel begins with the statement, “Little children were brought to Jesus…” (Mt 19: 13a)
Probably the parents, the elder brothers/sisters or the guardians of the children would have brought them to Jesus.

So we see here, the First set of people… Parents, Guardians, Elders etc…. and they teach us the First Positive Quality – the Spirit of Responsibility!
>> They were Responsible in caring for the good and future of the children.

It was an ancient practice that children would be brought to Rabbis to be blessed and prayed over.
>> This first set of people teach us to be responsible for the growth of others in our family and in our communities.


2. The Second set of people are obviously the Little Children.
These little ones teach us the Second Positive Quality, needed in a family or a community – the Spirit of Receptivity!

Children display a great sense of receptivity and openness.
>> They are able to accept the affection, the care, the love and the blessings that are given to them.
>> They do not close themselves to the good things in life.

We too need to cultivate this Spirit of Receptivity, to be open to the actions, thoughts, views and feelings of others in our family and our community.


3. The Third Set of people display a negative attitude which we need to avoid.
When the children were brought to Jesus, the Disciples refuse to accept them and want to keep them away (Mt 19: 13b)

They show a Spirit of Rejection!
>> They perhaps felt that these children would be a nuisance to Jesus and His ministry.

They felt it as a waste of time and energy to entertain the children.
>> Little things in life were considered to be a useless and futile activity.


We need to avoid this Spirit of Rejection…

In our families or communities, we can have this attitude towards those who don’t do any work or fail to contribute anything.

We often fail to understand the importance…
… of little tokens of love
… tiny expressions of care by our family and community members

And we, instead, tend to reject and avoid them.


4. The fourth Set is represented by Jesus Himself…
… and He presents the Spirit of Restoration and Redemption.

He does not reject…
… rather, He accepts and seeks to redeem the little children.
>> He seeks to restore the little ones who are rejected…
… who are avoided and who are not given the due importance.

In our lives, we too need to be having a Spirit of Redemption and Restoration…
>> To redeem the ones who are at the periphery and who fail to get any attention
>> To restore the ones who are broken and abused and are shunned!


Thus, this powerful Gospel passage teaches us…

To avoid the Negative Quality of the Spirit of Rejection…

Rather…
To adopt the positive qualities of…
… The Spirit of Responsibility,
… The Spirit of Receptivity
… The Spirit of Redemption and Restoration!


Let us seek the grace that we may avoid the tendency to reject people…
>> And instead, we may be…
… responsible towards others
… receptive to others
… and redeem and Restore the lives of others!
And thus build happy and loving homes!


May we always understand that “our attitude in life makes a world of difference!”

Seeing the world through the eyes of a child – in openness, sincerity, wonder and innocence – can help us to have “a wonderful day,” every day of our life!


God Bless! Live Jesus!


——————————–
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST
>> The Holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation.
>> Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation…
… participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist. (CCC #1322-1323)
———————————

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 12, 2022: Friday

“Having faithfulness and loyalty to be the hallmarks of our successful relationship with the Lord!”

(Based on Ezek 16:1-15, 60, 63 and Mt 19:3-12 – Friday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

Henry Ford is the founder of the Ford Motor Company.

He manufactured the first automobile that was affordable even to the middle class – an object of expensive curiosity turned into a practical conveyance.

Ford had a happy married life with Clara Jane Bryant.

On their golden wedding anniversary, a reporter asked them:
“To what do you attribute your fifty years of successful married life?”

“The formula,” said Mr Ford, “is the same formula I have always used in making cars – just stick to one model!”

Being faithful and loyal is undoubtedly the hallmarks of a successful relationship.

But we live in a world, where divorce is becoming an increasingly common term and phenomenon.

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus engaged in a conversation with the Pharisees and clarifying and shedding light on the concept of faithfulness and fidelity in relationships.

When we hear the word divorce, we primarily associate it…
…. with a man and woman, in marriage, seeking divorce.

But divorce is not merely limited to spousal relations.

In fact, divorce is on the increase everywhere….
There is divorce…
… between the parents and the children
… between siblings and family relations…
… among the members of a religious community and congregation..
… among the members of the Church…
… within the society itself.

There is also a great divorce within one’s spiritual life…
… One is separated and torn apart between serving God and serving the World!

In all these cases of divorce…
… the one basic factor that is lacking is that of Commitment and Faithfulness.

When there is a decrease in commitment and faithfulness, the gravity of divorce and separation, increases!

It could be…
… in the spousal relation
… in the family relation
… in the community relations
… in the societal relations
… or even in our personal spiritual relationship with God!

When we fail in faithfulness, we succeed in separation…

When we are complacent in commitment, we are in danger of divorce…!

Today, let us look into our personal spiritual relationship with God…and examine…

Are we separating ourselves from God?
Are we being divorced from God?

Apparently, we may feel that these questions are not for us…

But let’s go a little deeper into ourselves…
… Are we really serving God as our master? … as the Only Master?
… Or are there times, when we fail in our faithfulness, and become complacent in our commitment…?

We need to give the first place to God…
… in our personal lives , our family lives/ our religious and priestly consecration.

But are there occasions, when for some time at least, we keep God away…
… to satisfy our sinful pleasures?
… to answer our egoistic tendencies?
… to fulfil our worldly sinful desires?
… to gratify our evil personal agenda?

If the answer is yes…
… then we are not on God’s side!

The Lord demands a total commitment and dedication to Him.

God hates divorce!

In Baptism, we have entered into a covenant with Him.

Am I in danger of being divorced or separated from our Beloved Covenant Partner?

It is little acts of unfaithfulness & infidelity, that slowly shreds a relationship into pieces.

Lets tighten up our spiritual lives, and re-dedicate our commitment and faithfulness and consecration to the Lord.

He is a God who cares deeply for us

He is Loving parent who sees to all our needs
He is a lover who is intensely passionate about us

Shall we not remain in His loving affection by being more faithful and committed to Him and Him alone?

Let faithfulness and loyalty be the hallmarks of our successful relationship with the Lord.

Let’s say…

‘Yeah’ to Jesus and His Kingdom…
… and ‘Nay’ to Satan and the World!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE MINISTER OF CONFIRMATION

In the Latin Rite, the ordinary minister of Confirmation is the bishop.
Although the bishop may for grave reasons concede to priests the faculty of administering Confirmation, it is appropriate from the very meaning of the sacrament that he should confer it himself, mindful that the celebration of Confirmation has been temporally separated from Baptism for this reason.
Bishops are the successors of the apostles. They have received the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders.
The administration of this sacrament by them demonstrates clearly that its effect is to unite those who receive it more closely to the Church, to her apostolic origins, and to her mission of bearing witness to Christ.
If a Christian is in danger of death, any priest should give him Confirmation.

Indeed the Church desires that none of her children, even the youngest, should depart this world without having been perfected by the Holy Spirit with the gift of Christ’s fullness. (CCC #1313-1314)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 12, 2022: Friday

“Having faithfulness and loyalty to be the hallmarks of our successful relationship with the Lord!”

(Based on Ezek 16:1-15, 60, 63 and Mt 19:3-12 – Friday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

Henry Ford is the founder of the Ford Motor Company.

He manufactured the first automobile that was affordable even to the middle class – an object of expensive curiosity turned into a practical conveyance.

Ford had a happy married life with Clara Jane Bryant.

On their golden wedding anniversary, a reporter asked them:
“To what do you attribute your fifty years of successful married life?”

“The formula,” said Mr Ford, “is the same formula I have always used in making cars – just stick to one model!”

Being faithful and loyal is undoubtedly the hallmarks of a successful relationship.

But we live in a world, where divorce is becoming an increasingly common term and phenomenon.

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus engaged in a conversation with the Pharisees and clarifying and shedding light on the concept of faithfulness and fidelity in relationships.

When we hear the word divorce, we primarily associate it…
…. with a man and woman, in marriage, seeking divorce.

But divorce is not merely limited to spousal relations.

In fact, divorce is on the increase everywhere….
There is divorce…
… between the parents and the children
… between siblings and family relations…
… among the members of a religious community and congregation..
… among the members of the Church…
… within the society itself.

There is also a great divorce within one’s spiritual life…
… One is separated and torn apart between serving God and serving the World!

In all these cases of divorce…
… the one basic factor that is lacking is that of Commitment and Faithfulness.

When there is a decrease in commitment and faithfulness, the gravity of divorce and separation, increases!

It could be…
… in the spousal relation
… in the family relation
… in the community relations
… in the societal relations
… or even in our personal spiritual relationship with God!

When we fail in faithfulness, we succeed in separation…

When we are complacent in commitment, we are in danger of divorce…!

Today, let us look into our personal spiritual relationship with God…and examine…

Are we separating ourselves from God?
Are we being divorced from God?

Apparently, we may feel that these questions are not for us…

But let’s go a little deeper into ourselves…
… Are we really serving God as our master? … as the Only Master?
… Or are there times, when we fail in our faithfulness, and become complacent in our commitment…?

We need to give the first place to God…
… in our personal lives , our family lives/ our religious and priestly consecration.

But are there occasions, when for some time at least, we keep God away…
… to satisfy our sinful pleasures?
… to answer our egoistic tendencies?
… to fulfil our worldly sinful desires?
… to gratify our evil personal agenda?

If the answer is yes…
… then we are not on God’s side!

The Lord demands a total commitment and dedication to Him.

God hates divorce!

In Baptism, we have entered into a covenant with Him.

Am I in danger of being divorced or separated from our Beloved Covenant Partner?

It is little acts of unfaithfulness & infidelity, that slowly shreds a relationship into pieces.

Lets tighten up our spiritual lives, and re-dedicate our commitment and faithfulness and consecration to the Lord.

He is a God who cares deeply for us

He is Loving parent who sees to all our needs
He is a lover who is intensely passionate about us

Shall we not remain in His loving affection by being more faithful and committed to Him and Him alone?

Let faithfulness and loyalty be the hallmarks of our successful relationship with the Lord.

Let’s say…

‘Yeah’ to Jesus and His Kingdom…
… and ‘Nay’ to Satan and the World!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE MINISTER OF CONFIRMATION

In the Latin Rite, the ordinary minister of Confirmation is the bishop.
Although the bishop may for grave reasons concede to priests the faculty of administering Confirmation, it is appropriate from the very meaning of the sacrament that he should confer it himself, mindful that the celebration of Confirmation has been temporally separated from Baptism for this reason.
Bishops are the successors of the apostles. They have received the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders.
The administration of this sacrament by them demonstrates clearly that its effect is to unite those who receive it more closely to the Church, to her apostolic origins, and to her mission of bearing witness to Christ.
If a Christian is in danger of death, any priest should give him Confirmation.

Indeed the Church desires that none of her children, even the youngest, should depart this world without having been perfected by the Holy Spirit with the gift of Christ’s fullness. (CCC #1313-1314)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 11, 2022: Thursday

“Entrusting ourselves to the Lord knowing that God’s Plan of Salvation (GPS) for human beings is His Mercy!

(Based on Ezek 12:1-12 and Mt 18:21-19:1 – Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

A tech-savvy young man was once explaining the functioning and usage of a smartphone to an elderly priest.

The use of GPS (Global Positioning System) was among the few things that he taught the senior priest.

Explaining GPS, the man told of how it can be used to quickly locate places, move from one place to another effortlessly…
… and adding, “You know Father, even if you lost your direction, the GPS will safely guide you
>> It will only give a message, ‘Re-routing’ and then guide you to your location, provided your destination is proper”.


Hearing this, the priest reflected a while and said, “Ah! So this is a beautiful reflection of the way God is, isn’t it?”
… and he continued: “Every time we stray, God safely guides us. Every time we miss the way, He prompts the right direction. He gives the message ‘re-routing’ and amazingly shows the way to proceed ahead.
>> Of course, all we need to ensure is that our destination is Holiness!”


The priest concluded by saying, “I think GPS for me stands for God’s Plan of Salvation…
… and GPS for human beings is His Mercy!”


That’s truly beautiful, isn’t it?

God’s Plan of Salvation (GPS) for human beings is His Mercy!


The Gospel of the Day is the mighty message of the Lord to share in this Divine attitude of reaching out Mercy to everyone in our life.

To be merciful involves the aspect of forgiveness.


Many of us have our moments of grappling with the aspect of ‘forgiveness’.

For some people, it’s easy…
>> But some others struggle hard in serving out pardon…


Jesus today teaches us this necessary virtue of “forgiveness”.

To the query of Peter, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him” (Mt 18: 21), Jesus illustrates His reply with the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.


One of the principles in this virtue of forgiveness is the avoiding of a “mathematical accounting policy” in granting pardon.


As human beings, there is sometimes an avoidable tendency in us to “keep counts” in our relationships…

We make a count or keep a rough numerical impression…
… of how many times a person has done good to me
… of when was the last time a person behaved badly with me
… of how many times a person has hurt or caused harm to me
… of how often has a person offended me or spoken ill about me

Relationships…
… sometimes get reduced to mere mathematical entities
… sometimes find themselves entangled in the web of calculative units.


It’s in such situations that “forgiving” the one who has erred against us becomes a ‘calculative’ affair.

Thus, we find that Peter in the Gospel asks Jesus, “How often must I forgive the brother who has sinned against me?”


We maintain, sometimes, a sort of an imaginary “fault-account” book.
>> And our thought-process takes the following pattern:
“This person, on so and so date, committed this mistake
And on so and so date, I had forgiven him”.

“This person, on this particular day, had behaved in a very indifferent manner to me
And a particular number of days later, I had extended my pardon”.


But Jesus today warns us to stop looking at life and relationships from a “mathematical” or “calculative” perspective.


What is the basis for Jesus to say this?

It is simply the fact that all of us – without any exception – are the beneficiaries of the Mercy and Forgiveness of God.
>> God abandons all mathematical calculations in extending His forgiveness to us
>> God lets go of every measure of computation in allowing us to receive His mercy


Rom 3:23 says that “all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Jesus Christ”.

Each of us find ourselves sinking in the “boats of sinfulness and guilt”.
>> But it is the Mercy of God that still keeps us ashore.

Each of us pass through the “deserts of shame and culpability”
>> But it is the Forgiveness of God that nourishes us with the oasis of blessings


This “free and underserved” reception of the forgiveness of God places an undeniable responsibility on us to extend His pardon to all.


The prayer “Our Father” is recited so often by us, during the day or in our prayers.
>> But do we realize that it contains a clause, whose condition, if not fulfilled, does not help us to receive the “unconditional forgiveness of God?”

We pray, “Forgive us our sins… as we forgive those who sin against us”.
>> Even though the mercy of God is always made available for us, it can be genuinely received…
… only if one is willing, generous and humble enough to “forgive” the faults of others.


Forgiveness is a powerful weapon that, of course, won’t change the past, but will surely transform the future.


So many are the moments we stray away from the path of the Lord.
>> But every time we stray, God safely guides us.
>> Every time we miss the way, He prompts the right direction.

He gives the message ‘re-routing’ and amazingly shows the way to proceed ahead.
>> Of course, all we need to ensure is that our destination is Holiness!


Let us entrust ourselves to the GPS of our lives and imitating the Lord… knowing that
… God’s Plan of Salvation (GPS) for human beings is His Mercy!


St Clare of Assisi, whose feast we celebrate today, is an inspiration for us to firmly trust in God.

Let her words inspire us:
“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.
>> If we love things, we become a thing.
>> If we love nothing, we become nothing.
Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation.
>> This means we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others.”


God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SIGNS AND THE RITE OF CONFIRMATION – THE MINISTER OF CONFIRMATION
>> The original minister of Confirmation is the bishop.
>> In the East, ordinarily the priest who baptizes also immediately confers Confirmation in one and the same celebration.
>> But he does so with sacred chrism consecrated by the patriarch or the bishop, thus expressing the apostolic unity of the Church whose bonds are strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation.
>> In the Latin Church, the same discipline applies to the Baptism of adults or to the reception into full communion with the Church of a person baptized in another Christian community that does not have valid Confirmation. (CCC # 1312)
——————————-

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 10, 2022: Wednesday

“Letting go of our earthly desires, to win the prize of heavenly salvation!”

(Based on the Feast of St Lawrence, the Martyr)

The forests of northern Europe and Asia are home to a little animal called the Ermine.

It is characterized by its snow-white fur

Some countries have the state robes of the judges lined with this fur…
… the white fur being a symbol of honour and purity.

The Ermine would do anything to protect and safeguard its fur.

Fur hunters however, take undue advantage of this weakness of the Ermine.

They don’t keep a snare to catch the ermine

Instead the smear filth on the entrance and the interior of its house – usually in a cleft of a rock, or the hollow of a tree.

Dogs are then left behind the ermine…
… Frightened, the ermine runs towards its home, the only place of refuge.

However, it finds the entrance dirty and unclean.

It is unwilling to spoil the pure white fur coat.

And so, the ermine makes a choice…

To give in to the hungry and fierce dogs…
… than to spoil the purity of the white fur!

A choice is made – to preserve purity, even at the cost of one’s life!

Every Christian is expected to do the same…
… preserve the purity of one’s holiness, even at the cost of one’s life.

Today we celebrate the Feast of one such Daring Christian – St Lawrence…
… who yielded his life than to lose his pledge to Christ
… who let go of his earthly desires, to win the prize of heavenly salvation

St Lawrence lived the words of Christ who exhorted:
“He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world, will keep it for eternal life!” (Jn 12: 25)

The Gospel Passage of the day (Jn 12:24-26) is preceded by a very vital and crucial verse in the Gospel of St John…
Jesus says, “The Hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (Jn 12: 25)

The life of Jesus, as seen in the Johannine Gospel is a journey towards this climax aspect – The Hour!

What is “The Hour?”

The Hour is the hour of glorification
… the hour of His task as a Messiah, which is to be completed by His “lifting up” on the Cross!

It was the Hour when the Lord will conquer death, by submitting Himself totally to the Will of the Father!

Jesus never shied away from this Hour

He came into this world for this Hour
… Death was the goal of His Life, the gold that He was seeking.

He invites His followers to also make this choice…
… to lose one’s life, in order to gain life in Him!
… to die to oneself, in order to bear much fruit!

What are the implication of losing our life, in order to gain life in Him?

  1. Letting go a life of sinful habits and tendencies…
    … and making holiness and sanctity as our lifestyle
  2. Seeking to put an end to our tendencies to self-boast or feed our pride…
    … and instead, engaging in acts of humility and giving space for God’s Mercy
  3. Letting go of our stubborn nature in reconciling with others…
    … and trying to foster relationships based on self-giving and self-sacrifice
  4. Seeking to avoid occasions of sin…
    … and instead, creating opportunities for being consciously in the presence of God

By our Baptism, we have been blessed with the white robe of holiness and purity

Our Sacramental life keeps it unstained.

The world, on the other hand, constantly seeks to malign this pure robe…
… by its lures of impurity and filth

Like the ermine, we are faced to make a choice…

To die to the hungry and fierce world…
… than to spoil the purity of holiness!

Yes, we need to make a choice – constantly, at every moment…
… a choice to preserve purity, even at the cost of one’s life!

Let us be inspired by the life and example of St Lawrence.

May his courage and valour help us also…
… to yield our life than to lose our pledge to Christ
… to let go of our earthly desires, to win the prize of heavenly salvation

Happy Feast of St Lawrence!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SIGNS AND THE RITE OF CONFIRMATION – THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION

Candidates for Confirmation, as for Baptism, fittingly seek the spiritual help of a sponsor.

To emphasize the unity of the two sacraments, it is appropriate that this be one of the baptismal godparents. (CCC # 1311)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 09, 2022: Tuesday

“Being willing to ‘go out of the way,’ doing things that are very beautiful and teaching others actions, that can be imitated!”

(Based on Ezek 2:8-3:4 and Mt 18:1-5, 10,12-14 – Tuesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

A mother took her three children to a fine restaurant for a dinner.

It was a crowded Sunday and they could only get separate seats.

As food was served, the youngest daughter – 6 year old Mary – who was seated at the far corner of the restaurant…
… loudly enquired from her mother: “Mother, don’t people say grace before meals in this place?”

A wave of silence wrapped the entire restaurant!

The mother did not know how to react.

But soon enough, the manager of the hotel, who was at the counter, said in an assuring voice to the child: “Yes we do. You may start?”

All the people bowed their head in silence

Little Mary closed her eyes, joined her hands and bowing her head…
… in a loud and crystal voice prayed: “Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts, which we are going to receive from your goodness, through Christ our Lord? Amen!”

The child found it strange to observe that none of the elders were praying…
… So she went “out of the way”

And did something that was very beautiful
And taught others an action to be imitated

The Gospel of the Day is an invitation by the Lord to re-discover this “forgotten” dimension of our lives: Having child-like qualities in our life of faith…
… especially to “go out of the way”!

The Gospel passage begins with disciples asking their Master: “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” (Mt 18: 1)

Taking a child, Jesus exclaims: “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 18: 3)

One notable characteristic of a child is to do things “out of the way.”

A child “goes out of the way”…
… in expressing love and affection by trying to imitate the kind acts of the elders
… in trying to help others – giving a hand at the household chores, or doing little works

Jesus, speaking of this worthwhile quality of a child…
… presents to us the image of a Shepherd who goes “out of the way”, in search of the lost sheep.

Jesus says: “If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray…
… will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills, and go in search of the stray?” (Mt 18: 12)

The shepherd loves all his hundred sheep…
… yet, when one gets strayed, he makes “an out-of-the-way effort” to get the lost one back.

He does not give up on the strayed.

He doesn’t desert the lost.
He doesn’t abandon the one, gone from his circle.

This attitude of going “out of the way”…

“taking an extra pain”
“dripping an extra sweat”
… would seem weird and strange to the calculative, pragmatic and business-minded head of ours, in this modern period!

We might question:

Is it not a waste of time to go after the “lost sheep”…
… of an obsessed drug-addict or a habitual drunkard or a consistent smoker?

Is it just too futile to awaken a “lost sheep”…
… of a soul in slumber, where there is no focus on spiritual life, where there is slackness of prayer and sacraments and where worldliness and materialism have crept and conquered?

Is it of any use to go after the “lost sheep”…
… of a couple who are constantly bickering and a family which is broken up with regular fights and misunderstandings?

Is there any sense in trying to restore the “lost sheep”…
… of a community whose members seem disinterested, who are lethargic, who have their own personal and hidden agenda and who always back-talk and back-bite?

Is it just not meaningless to revive the “lost sheep”…
… of a society or a nation where corruption has taken deep-roots in hearts of people and all sincere efforts of transformation often gets dumped into the bin?

The True Shepherd however, in all such situations, of the “lost sheep” …
… “goes out of the way”

The Good Shepherd makes an extra effort in getting them back!

This Good Shepherd today invites us to be partakers in restoring the lost ones…
… by having a child-like attitude.

A critical danger in the process of ‘growing- up’ is the tendency to lose our ‘natural child-like’ qualities.

As a child, we were free to express our emotions…
… but when we “grow up”, we tend to hold them up all within (only to burst out one day!)

As a child, we were easily dependent on those who cared for us…
… but when we “grow up”, we become arrogant towards them and seek ‘independence’

As a child, we were able to enjoy and relax in the present moment…
… but when we “grow up”, we get caught up in the snare of the past and shrink with fear of the future.

The Lord invites us to get back the “lost” child-like faith and trust.

We need to realize that we are always little children to our Heavenly Father!
He loves to care for us… He longs that we depend on Him entirely!

Yes, children sometimes teach elders great lessons, isn’t it?

Many times we forget the basics of life, which the children remind us

Sharing… Being fair… Enjoying the present moment
Curiosity to learn… Willingness to let go hurts… Having a sense of wonder

Let us be willing to “go out of the way”…

And do things that are very beautiful
And teach others actions, that can be imitated!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SIGNS AND THE RITE OF CONFIRMATION – THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION

To receive Confirmation one must be in a state of grace.
One should receive the sacrament of Penance in order to be cleansed for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

More intense prayer should prepare one to receive the strength and graces of the Holy Spirit with docility and readiness to act. (CCC # 1310)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 08, 2022: Monday

“Being grateful to our Crucified Lord, remembering that ‘PAIN PASSES, BUT BEAUTY REMAINS!'”

(Based on Ezek 1:2-28 and Mt 17:22-27 – Monday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

An incident is told about a master painter, who had a very fervent student-disciple.

The master was suffering from a severe bout of arthritis.

It was very painful for him to paint.
He had to hold his brush between his thumb and index finger.
>> And as he painted, the student-disciple often heard him crying out in pain.


On one such occasion, the student asked the old master:
“Why do you go on painting, if it hurts so much?”

The master looked up to his disciple, and with an assuring smile replied:
“Remember always, son…
… Pain passes, but beauty remains!”


Every selfless act of suffering and struggle indeed leaves an imprint of lasting beauty and splendour.

In the canvas of Salvation History, the Son of Man indeed had to go through much suffering…
… but the painting finally reveals the Great Truth: “PAIN PASSES, BUT BEAUTY REMAINS!”


The painting of salvation indeed displays immense Generosity and magnanimous Mercy of the Lord, Who paid a “ransom” to save His people

He spared no efforts in getting His people released…
… by suffering on the Cross
… shedding His Blood
… giving up His life
… and rising from the dead

Have we fallen in love with this MASTER Who gave Himself up for us?
>> Are we willing to live our life in obedience, and in imitation of the command of Him, Who ransomed His life for us?


The Gospel of the Day presents an interesting, yet a ‘not-too-familiar’ passage of Jesus and His disciples being asked to pay the Temple tax.
“When Jesus and His disciples came to Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax approached Peter and said, “Doesn’t your Teacher pay the Temple tax?” (Mt 17: 24)


What was this Temple tax?

The Temple tax was …
… a symbolic gesture in gratitude for what the people of Israel owed to God, for their redemption from slavery in the land of Egypt.

It was a Jewish tax with its origins seen in Ex 30: 12-16:
“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: ‘This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel… The half-shekel shall be an offering to the LORD.”

This offering was to be an “atonement money”, which would be used for the service of the meeting tent (Ex 12: 16)


In later centuries, this half-shekel was adopted as the amount of the Temple Tax – the one that all Jews were supposed to pay once a year for the upkeep and maintenance of the Jerusalem Temple.

The Temple Tax was thus an “atonement” money
>> It was a “ransom” money!


It is fascinating to note that the incident of this “ransom/atonement” money is mentioned immediately after Jesus spoke of His Passion and Death.

Jesus told His disciples in Mt 17:22-23:
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day”


The incident of the Temple tax, which is the atonement/ransom money, is mentioned…
… immediately after Jesus speaks of His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

Is there any connection between these two incidents?


The Temple tax was in gratitude for the redemption of Israel from slavery
… Jesus would now free all people from the slavery of sin by His Death and Resurrection

The Temple Tax was paid as “ransom” money…
… The Blood of Jesus would now be the “ransom” that will be paid for redemption of humanity.


Jesus did not resist His disciples from paying the Temple Tax…
… as we would see in the incident of the miraculous catch of the fish with a coin in the mouth (Mt 17: 27)


But the perfect payment of the “tax”…
… would be done by Jesus Himself – by His Sufferings, Death and Resurrection!

Jesus would not just pay the tax…
… He would also give Himself in complete obedience to the Father

Thus, He would becoming the “tax” – the ransom and the atonement money!

1 Tim 2:6 says, “Jesus gave Himself as a ‘ransom’ for all”
>> Mk 10:45 says “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ‘ransom’ for many”


It is interesting to also note that this incident of the Temple Tax brings reminds us of the former occupation (trade) of two of the disciples of Jesus:

1. Matthew… who was a tax collector (Mt 9:9)
(Probably that explains why this incident is mentioned only in the Gospel of St Matthew)

2. Peter… who was a fisherman (Mt 4:18)
(That’s why Jesus asks Peter to “go to the sea, take the first fish that comes up, and open the mouth to find a coin…”)
Matthew and Peter could represent any of us…


Maybe, like Mathew – the Tax Collector…

We are collecting a lot of things in life…
… but still not finding peace in life!
We are occupied with material dimensions at our “own tables”…
… or find ourselves at the receiving end of not being accepted and being looked down by others.


Maybe, like Peter – the fisherman…

We are fishing in the waters of life for contentment and satisfaction…
.. but fail to have a catch!
We are putting in a lot of effort to fish for success, yet finding none…
… or find ourselves drowning in a sea of sin, hopelessness or despair


Whoever we are…

The Lord extends His loving invitation…
… to leave our “tables of collection” and follow Him!
… to cast away our “nets of fish” and follow Him!


He has become the “Ransom”…
… in Whom we can find the ‘collection’ of all joys and contentment of life!
… in Whom we can witness the ‘great catch’ of salvation and redemption!

By this great act, He gave the “Ransom”…
… for our freedom from captivity!

By His humbling sacrifice, He paid the “Atonement money”…
… for our salvation for eternal life!


Let us fall in love with the Man Who gave Himself up for us!
>> Let us be willing to live our life in obedience and imitation of His commands Who ransomed His life for us!


When our Christian witnessing takes us through struggles and pains, let’s be grateful to our Crucified Lord, remembering: “PAIN PASSES, BUT BEAUTY REMAINS!”


God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SIGNS AND THE RITE OF CONFIRMATION – THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION
>> Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit – his actions, his gifts, and his biddings…
… in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life.
>> To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community.
>> The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands. (CCC # 1309)
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✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 07, 2022: Sunday

“Keeping ourselves fit, healthy and ready – not just physically – but much more spiritually, for the Kingdom of God!”

(Based on Wis 18:6-9, Heb 11:1-2,8-12 and Lk 12:35-40 – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C)

Bob, a fitness trainer was sharing his experiences to a group of Christian youngsters.
>> As a fitness trainer, Bob would spend hours at the gym – himself working out, and helping others to obtain good health

However, this workout and spending time at the gym, did not prevent him from his Christian obligations…
… he was regular for all the Sacraments
… he had a good personal prayer life, with daily reading of the Bible.

Talking to the youth, Bob said, “My young friends!
God wants fit, healthy and ready people for His Kingdom!
>> This fitness and readiness is not just about our physical bodies, but much more about our spiritual body!”

And then he added, “Remember always the words of St Paul in his letter to Corinthians:
All who compete in the games use strict training.
>> They do this so that they can win a prize—one that doesn’t last…
… but our prize is one that will last forever!”


Do we keep ourselves fit, healthy and ready – not just physically – but much more spiritually, for the Kingdom of God?


The Gospel of the Day gives an exhortation to be prepared, and arm ourselves for the coming of the Lord:
“You must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour, you do not expect” (Lk 12:40)

The Greek word used for the term “ready” is “hetoimos”… from a noun “heteos” which means to be fit….
>> It has a connotation of being prepared and seeking for fitness!


In today’s modern world, a lot of emphasis is placed on being health-conscious and maintaining oneself to be fit and fine.

As followers of Christ, we need to remember that this aspect of being healthy is to be extended beyond the physical body, to also the spiritual dimension of our lives.
>> One needs to be not just physically fit, but also be spiritually strong.
>> One needs to be not just bodily healthy, but also be spiritually tough.

It is this spiritual strength & toughness that will help us to be always ready to be prepared for the coming of the Lord.


There are several factors which affect the fitness of our physical bodies…
… and perhaps the similar factors could also be applied to the fitness for our spiritual lives.

1. Faulty food affects the fitness of our physical bodies

Proper food plays a vital role in having a healthy body.
>> It is very important to regulate the intake of our food and to have a check on the type of food.


We need to apply this same principle to our spiritual lives as well…

What is the type of food that I am feeding for my spiritual life?
>> Do I lavish myself on unhealthy thoughts of lust and desires, harmful words of indecency and lewdness and dangerous actions of immorality and wickedness?
>> Do I feed myself with the precious Word of God and nourish myself with His inspirations and wisdom?
>> Do I nourish myself with His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist?


2. Faulty lifestyle affects the fitness of our physical bodies.

It is important to have a disciplined and self-controlled lifestyle in order to maintain our fitness.
>> A regular habit of exercises and workouts coupled with moments for relaxation and leisure from tension-filled works is important.
>> One must also avoid various bad addictions which can hinder having a good physical shape.


We need to apply this same principle to our spiritual lives as well…

What is the type of lifestyle I am leading, with respect to my spiritual life?
>> Do I exercise myself with the daily and regular habits of prayer, Bible Reading, pious practises and devotions?
>> Do I spare time and energy to make some sacrifices and reparations for various causes, especially as a remorse for our sins?
>> Do I make constant efforts to give up on some of our bad cravings, obsessions or habits?


3. Faulty environment affects the fitness of our physical bodies.

It is also essential that one maintains a clean and good environment in order to prevent being affected by diseases or sicknesses.
>> One must also seek to avoid any harmful situations or surroundings which can adversely affect the health.


We need to apply this same principle to our spiritual lives as well…

What is the type of environment that I am providing and surrounding my spiritual life?
>> Do I keep myself away from occasions of sin and shield myself away from harmful possibilities like bad books, friends, movies or songs, jokes and other cheap entertainments?
>> Do I strengthen my spiritual life with the powerful grace that is bestowed in the Sacrament of the Confession by a regular acknowledgment of my sins?
>> Do I seek the company of good people, nurture spiritual friendships and also foster a childlike companionship with the holy saints and angels?


Christian Life is a battle and a warfare…against the forces of the Evil.

We need to arm our spiritual lives mightily with the power and strength from God.
>> It is easy to give up on fitness.
>> It is easy to live a relaxed life and take life too casually.

But such a careless life, will lead us to a tragic end as that of the Unfaithful Servant in the parable that the Lord tells in today’s Gospel (Lk 12: 45-46)


It has been recorded that a Greek commander, just before a coming battle is reported to have said: “The secret of victory is in ‘getting ready well!’”
>> Let us also seek for faithfulness in our Christian Life and as ‘ready soldiers’, let us be constantly “on the watch.”


Yes… let us keep ourselves fit, healthy and ready – not just physically – but much more spiritually, for the Kingdom of God…
… remembering that “our prize is one that will last forever!”


God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SIGNS AND THE RITE OF CONFIRMATION – THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION
>> Although Confirmation is sometimes called the “sacrament of Christian maturity,” we must not confuse adult faith with the adult age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need “ratification” to become effective.
>> St. Thomas reminds us of this:
Age of body does not determine age of soul.
>> Even in childhood man can attain spiritual maturity: as the book of Wisdom says: “For old age is not honored for length of time, or measured by number of years.
>> “Many children, through the strength of the Holy Spirit they have received, have bravely fought for Christ even to the shedding of their blood. (CCC # 1308)
——————————-

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Aug 06, 2022: Saturday

“Praying for His Grace to be truly listening and following the voice of our Master!”

(Based on the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord)

George Washington was the first president of the United States and one of the founding fathers of the US.
>> He was well admired for his strong leadership skills that saw him win the first two national elections unanimously.

Once at a banquet, given to some of the officers, a distinguished French Officer asked Washington’s mother, how she had managed to rear such a splendid son.

The mother replied, “I taught him to obey!”


Obedience was the school that he had been trained in, in order to achieve excellence of life!

In Christian life too, obedience ought to be the school in which we are trained, to be effective apostles of the Lord…
… Obedience to the Voice of the Lord
… Obedience to the Will of the Lord


The Feast of the Transfiguration is an exhortation by God…
… to listen to His voice and to be obedient to Him.


The scene of the Transfiguration is indeed a powerfully visual and authoritatively impactful incident.

Jesus takes three disciples – the core team among the Twelve – Peter, James and John – and led them up a high mountain. (Lk 9: 28)


Why were these three chosen? …and not others?

Well, we can only make some guess-works… because the bottom-line is:
“They were ‘chosen'”
(Choice is always a gift, and not a merit!)


PETER
Probably as the one who is the Leader
>> The one to whom the Lord entrusts to be the rock on which He would build His Church (Mt 16:18)

JOHN
Probably as the one who had an intimate bond with the Lord
>> The one who is referred to as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (Jn 13:23)

JAMES
Probably as the one who warranted a special privilege of being the first apostle to be martyred.
>> The one who would be the first among the apostles to literally lose his life for Jesus (Lk 9:24)


These three also had a privilege of some “firsts”…
>> Peter was the “First” Pope
>> John was the “First” witness to the death of Christ
>> James was the “First” Martyr among the apostles


The choosing of the three also reflects Jesus as the New Moses!

Moses had chosen seventy (two) elders.
>> But when he went up to the mountain, there were three close men with him: Aaron, Nadab, and Abiu. (Exodus 24:1)

Jesus had chosen twelve apostles.
>> But when he went up to the mountain, there were three close men with him: Peter, James and John (Lk 9:28)


Jesus is the New Moses…
… through whom the New Covenant will be established!
… through whom the New Law will be written on the tablets of the heart!


Up on the mountain, witnessing the glorious and magnificent Transfiguration, the disciples behold their Master, Jesus in dazzling white… joined by Elijah and Moses. (Lk 9:30)

And then, they hear a voice, from the cloud…
“This is my Beloved Son! Listen to Him!” (Lk 9:35)


“LISTEN TO HIM” is the commandment that is exhorted!

The Apostles are to listen to the Beloved Son, Jesus and grasp His teachings for life
>> The Apostles are to listen to the Beloved Son’s commitment in the path of suffering.
>> The Apostles are to listen to the Beloved Son’s trust in God’s Will at every moment


The same words are today echoed boldly and loudly to each one of us: “This is my Beloved Son! Listen to Him!”


>> Life will take us through many deserts and desolations of difficulties.
>> Life will put us through various storms and hurricanes of hardships.
In all such moments, we need to be ready and open, to listen to the Voice of the Lord!


When we are in the dry deserts of life, we are asked to be totally obedient to God.
>> The Lord will take us through…
… every crisis
… every desert
… every darkness
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8: 31)

Let us grow in our efforts to be completely obedient to our Master!
>> Let us pray for His grace to be truly listening and following the voice of our Master!


Are we ready to listen and obey the voice of the Lord?


Happy Feast of the Transfiguration!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SIGNS AND THE RITE OF CONFIRMATION – THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION
>> For centuries, Latin custom has indicated “the age of discretion” as the reference point for receiving Confirmation.
>> But in danger of death children should be confirmed even if they have not yet attained the age of discretion. (CCC # 1307)
——————————-