✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Sep 23, 2022: Friday

“Turning towards the Lord – the Sun of our life – and walking, with joy, looking to Him, and radiating His Love!”

(Based on Eccles 3:1-11 and Lk 9:18-22 – Friday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

Nature teaches and inspires us!

One of the beautiful lessons we learn from nature is from one of the most amazing flowers – The Sunflower!

The Sunflowers literally ‘follows the sun!’
(Technically, it is called “heliotropism” i.e. ‘sun turning’)

They turn to the sun, following it all day…
… from its rising in the east to its setting in the west!

It is even found that on a cloudy day…
… if any glimpse of the sun appears, the sunflower finds and follows it!

The sunflower is a beautiful symbol of our spiritual journey…
… of how, we need to constantly ‘look to the Lord’, the Sun of our Life!
… of how, we need to always ‘follow the Lord’, the Sun of our existence!

This “looking to the Lord” and “following the Lord” finds its practical expression…
… in a life of prayer!

The Gospel of the Day presents before us with St Luke’s version of the familiar passage, of Jesus asking His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?”…
… beginning with “Jesus praying in solitude…” (Lk 9:18)

The Gospel of Luke is also known as the Gospel of Prayer.
He highlights the aspect of Jesus spending time in prayer….

At the time of His Baptism, Jesus prays (Lk 3:21)
At the time after a ministry of healing, Jesus goes to pray (Lk 5:16)
At the choosing of the Twelve, Jesus spends the night in prayer (Lk 6:12)
At the time of the Transfiguration on the mountain, Jesus was praying (Lk 9:28)
At the request of His disciples, Jesus teaches them the ideal and the model prayer (Lk 11:1)
At the garden of Gethsemane, before being led to His passion and sufferings, Jesus prayed (Lk 22:41)
At the final breath, in the agony and pain of His imminent death on the Cross, Jesus makes a prayer (Lk 23:46)

The ‘Praying Master’ through the ‘Gospel of Prayer’ exhorts us to some crucial and practical aspects of our life:

Do I spend special time in prayer…
… before important and critical times and decisions of our life?

Do I enjoy spending time in prayer…
… and seeking to grow in my relationship with God, our Father?

Do I cling to God in intense and deep prayer…
… in our time of suffering and pains?

Do I make prayer a way of life and rhythmic…
… with every moment of my day?

It is only when we build a strong rock-solid foundation of prayer that we can be bold in witnessing our faith!

The world may have varied responses to the question, “Who do people say that I am?”

Many saw only the zeal and fiery exhortations on repentance…
… and identified Him with John the Baptist
Many saw only His mighty acts and deeds…
… and considered Him as Elijah
Many saw only His authoritative power in preaching…
… and considered Him a Prophet
But they failed to see Jesus truly as the One He really was – The SON OF GOD!

It is only when we are in prayer that we can know the Lord more… and deeper!

The deeper understanding of Jesus can be experienced only through our moments of prayer.

How is our life of prayer?
… Personal
… In the Family/Community

Personally, we must make it a point to spend at least sometime, daily, in prayer

As a family/community also, we must make a priority, daily, to come together in the presence of the Lord!

Personally, we will have a lot of activities and feelings to keep us away; but we must still be faithful to our time of prayer

As a family/community also, there would come many things to give us excuses; but we must still be insistent on having our time of prayer together!

The author of the book of Ecclesiastes reminds us of the need to be aware that there is a “time for everything in life”…
… and invites all of us to find the beauty of life, by knowing the mind of the Lord deeper: “He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man’s mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end!” (Eccles 3:11)

This discover of the beauty of life is augmented by a life of prayer!

Today we also seek the intercession of St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina and be inspired by his words:

“Prayer is the best weapon we possess. It is the key that opens the heart of God.”
“Let us glance at the Divine Master who prayed in the Garden and we will discover the true ladder which unites the earth to Heaven…
… We will discover that humility, contrition and prayer make the distance between man and God disappear, and act in such a way that God descends to man, and man ascends to God, so that they end up understanding, loving and possessing one another.”

The Lord encounters each one of us today personally and puts forward the question,
“Who do YOU say that I am?”

Let us, “like the sunflower, that follows every movement of the sun”…
… turn towards the Lord and walk, with joy, looking to Him, and radiating His Love!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – The sacrificial memorial of Christ and of his Body, the Church

The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:
[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer Himself to God the Father by His death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption.
But because His priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper “on the night when He was betrayed,” [He wanted] to leave to His beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands)…
… by which the bloody sacrifice which He was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world

… and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit (CCC #1366)

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