✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Oct 02, 2022: Sunday

“Being willing to have our ‘faces to the coal’ in accomplishing the mission of the Kingdom of God!”

(Based on Hab 1:2-3; 2:2-4, 2 Tim 1:6-8, 13-14 and Lk 17:5-10 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C)

It was the time of World War II.

There was an urgency for England to increase its coal production.

The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill exhorted the labour leaders to extend their support towards this requirement.
At the end of his exhortation, he asked them to visualize (picture in their mind)…
… a victory parade that would be held at the end of the war.

He said that, first in the parade would come…

The sailors…who had managed the tensions at sea, with great courage.
Next would come the soldiers… who had proven their mettle by their bravery.
Then would come the pilots… who had displayed immense aerial skills.
All of these would be welcomed and acknowledged with great cheer and applause.

Last of all, would come along, the long line of…
… sweat-soaked and soot-smeared men in their miner’s caps.

Seeing them, someone from the crowd would ask:
“Hey! Where were all of you, during the tense days of our struggle?”

And from the hoarse ten thousands of throats would come the answer:
“We were deep in the earth, with our faces to the coal!”

The sailors, the soldiers and the pilots had glamour and glory attached to their work…
… but the miners, working deep in the coal mines, were always hidden and away from the limelight.

But very often, it is the work of such people who have their “faces to the coal”…
… which become the foundation and support in accomplishments of mission!

As Christians, are we willing to be the people who have our “faces to the coal”…
… in accomplishing the mission of the Kingdom of God.

The Gospel of the day, is this invitation to have our “faces to the coal”…
… by becoming “servants” in the service of the Kingdom!

Servanthood is an important dimension in being a follower of Jesus Christ.

The Lord narrates the Parable of the Unprofitable Servant. In this parable, Jesus tells about a servant who works all day long out in the field, or out taking care of the flock.

And after he works all day long, he comes into the house…

Is he expected to sit down and rest and eat his own meal? No

Rather, he is required to serve his master by providing him the meal first.

And after doing all that work – all day long – there’s no word of thanks, no gratitude.
Jesus closes out this parable by saying that the servant was unprofitable because he only did what he was told to do.

Is it something practical?

Is it something easy?

The Gospel of the Day seems to be demanding much from a servant…
A servant…
… who works whole day long ploughing in the field or tending the sheep…
… who delays his needs and instead prepares and serves meals for his master…
… who after all his works, doesn’t expect words of gratitude…

The Parable is surely a tough one!

But, the One who preached this Parable is not a mere preacher, but is the One Who practised!

Jesus, the one who preached this Parable, practised perfectly, this life of being a servant.

He is the Servant, Who works in the field ploughing…
…sowing the seed of the Word of God, ploughing the Gospel in the hearts of people and toiling in the hot sun of oppositions and mockery

He is the Servant, Who tends the sheep in the field…
…providing pasture for His people, protecting them from the wolves of the evil and going after any of the sheep which are lost in the wilderness

He is the Servant, who prepares a meal and serves at table…
…nourishing those at table with His own body, strengthening them with His own blood and constantly reinforcing in the journey of life

How are we to be such a servant of the Lord?

  1. Having a mind of being a servant of God:
    The world of a servant centres not around himself, but around the Master.

Whatever pleases the Master, the servant does.

If we truly acknowledge God as our Master, then we too…
…will do the works which please Him
…will think and seek to do His Will
…will speak the words which are worthy of His grace

  1. Being committed in this task of being His servant
    The world of a servant centres on total availability and openness to the needs of the Master.

Whatever is the Will of the Master, the servant is docile and alert.

If we truly accept God as our Master, then we too…
…will give ourselves to Him totally at all times
…will place His priorities over ours
…will avoid anything that blocks my complete service of Him

The call is to be a servant…who is dedicated and selfless.

Jesus is our model and example in being a Servant.

It’s a demand placed on us.

In working for the Kingdom of God, there are different roles which have glamour and glory attached to their work…
… but we always need to be willing to be like the ‘miners’ – working deep in the mines – hidden and away from the limelight.

It is the work of such people who have their “faces to the coal”…
… which become the foundation and support in accomplishments of mission!

As Christians, let us be willing to have our “faces to the coal”…
… in accomplishing the mission of the Kingdom of God.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION – The presence of Christ by the power of his word and the Holy Spirit

It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament.
The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion.
Thus St. John Chrysostom declares: It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but He who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God’s. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.
St. Ambrose says: “Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed.

Could not Christ’s word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature!” (CCC #1375)

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