✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – November 27, 2022: Sunday

“Making this Advent a time of true preparation with repentance, and with growth in holiness!”

(Based on Is 2:1-5, Rom 13:11-14 and Mt 24:37-44 – 1st Sunday of Advent, Cycle A)

A story is narrated of a group of students who were taken around
different places in a village.

They came upon an orange orchard,
where an irrigation pump had broken down.

The climate was unusually dry and many of the trees were
beginning to dry and die, for lack of water.

The man who was guiding the tour – himself a farmer – then took
the students to his own orchard.

The students were surprised to see the green trees in this
particular fruit garden.

To know the reason, one of the students enquired the guide:
“How is it that trees in your orchard are so fresh and green; you
are not even using irrigation!

Whereas, most of the trees in this vicinity are dying!”

“These trees could go without rain, even for another two weeks!”
answered the guide…
… “You see, when these trees were young, I frequently and
systematically, kept them away from water for some time.

This hardship, caused them to send their roots, deeper into
the soil, in search of moisture.

Now my trees are the deepest-rooted trees in this area!

While others are being scorched by the sun…
… mine are finding moisture at great depth
And thus, they remain fresh and green!”

The early schooling in hardship…
… helped the trees to find strength in difficult times

And thus remained fresh and green!

Christian Life calls for a life of endurance in faith

It is this endurance that will help one to remain ever faithful,
ever alert and ever ready in the service of the Lord.

The Gospel is a call to avoid all complacency and lethargy…
… and to be ever fresh and green in our faith, so as to be always
ready for the Advent of the Lord!

We begin today – on this First Sunday of Advent – with a new
Liturgical Year.

A Liturgical Year begins on the First Sunday of
Advent and ends on the Solemnity of Christ the King.  

Each year is made up of six seasons: Advent, Christmas, Lent,
the Sacred Paschal Triduum, Easter and Ordinary Time.

St Augustine teaches us that “the perfection of religion is to
imitate the One Whom we adore!”

The Liturgical Year is a beautiful journey into the mysteries
of Christ with emphasis on the fundamental truth that Jesus has redeemed us by His Passion, Death and Resurrection
… it is from this truth, that love flows – and in turn, we are
empowered and encouraged to imitate Christ! 

The Season of Advent is presented to the faithful as a time of
waiting, conversion and of hope!

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church guides us, “When
the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes
present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah…
… the faithful renew their ardent desire for His second coming.
(Cf. CCC, #524)

We are reminded that Christ comes to us…
… in History – as we celebrate His Birth at Bethlehem
… in Mystery – as we celebrate His Presence in the Sacraments,
prayer and our daily life
… in Majesty – as we prepare ourselves – in hope – for His Glorious
Second Coming!

At the start of this new Liturgical Year and as we commence our
preparation for Christmas, we are presented with (interestingly)
a Gospel passage that speaks about the end of the world!

We are very strongly exhorted about the need to be ever ready
and prepared for the coming of the Lord…
… and to avoid every tendency to be complacent and lethargic!

An impactful reminder given by Jesus is about the days of Noah:
“As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of
man… they did not know until the flood came and swept them
all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man.” (Cf. Mt 24:37,
39)

While Noah was patiently building the ark and warning people
of the impending judgment, they laughed, “It will never happen.”

Very similarly, we too live in an age where there is much casualness,
lethargy and indifference concerning matters of spiritual life!

There is often a lot of disdain towards a life of holiness!

As Christians – as followers of Christ – we need to be alert,
enthusiastic and enduring in our faith and pursuit of
holiness.

Faithfulness, ought to become the hallmark of our lives!
Endurance in works of love, ought to become our lifestyle!
Readiness to be ever focussed on being holy, ought to be our
goal!

As we enter into this hallowed time of preparation for the Coming
of Christ, let us be alert to live a life of endurance in faith…
… knowing that it is this endurance that will help us to remain
ever faithful, ever alert and ever ready in the service of the Lord!

Let these days of Advent truly become days of preparation – not
just externally with decorations, sweets and festivities…
… but much more with repentance, and with growth in holiness!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
RECONCILIATION WITH THE CHURCH

The words bind and loose mean: whomever you exclude from your communion, will be excluded from communion with God…
… whomever you receive anew into your communion, God will welcome back into his.

Reconciliation with the Church is inseparable from reconciliation with God (CCC # 1445)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – November 26, 2022: Saturday

“Being spirited and passionate people for God and His Kingdom!”

(Based on Rev 22:1-7 and Lk 21:34-36 – Saturday of the Last Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

All of us have had the experience of utilizing certain things or products which work quite fine for some time….but as time passes, becomes less effective or less efficient.

A ceiling fan/ table fan, after few months or years, tends to be less forceful…
A fast-processing computer after few months of years, tends to slow down…
Colourful clothes after a few washes or usage, tends to lose their initial glean and shine…

This is called as “Dissipation”.

A similar aspect could be visible in our spiritual lives as well!

The Gospel of the Day is a reminder to examine this aspect in our lives…
… and to make amends, in order to revitalise and revive our lives.

The Gospel begins with the verse “But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation…” (Lk 21:34)

Dissipation is strong word which could have several parallel understandings…

With respect to morality:

Dissipation refers to an overindulgence in sensual pleasures.

With respect to behaviour:

Dissipation refers to a conduct that shows one is interested only in pleasure, money, etc.

With respect to economics:

Dissipation refers to an act of using all or a lot of money, time, etc., in a foolish way.

With respect to physics:

Dissipation refers to a physical process by which energy becomes not only unavailable but irrecoverable in any form.

Dissipation is a tendency…
… to squander away enthusiasm because of allowing monotony to creep into life.
… to lose vitality as a result of being indulged in continuous immoral behaviours
… to leak-out the energy and vigour in oneself, in small amounts and thus become lifeless
… to become disinterested and dispirited due to constant exposure to luxury and comforts

Dissipation is a terrible malady that has badly affected many people in the Bible…

The people during Noah’s time were dissipated with eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, although God had sent out a warning of their destruction through Noah.

The citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah were dissipated with extremely immoral and corrupt practices, even though the people were given a forewarning of their possible.

The people of Israel were dissipated with frustration and dissatisfaction while travelling in the desert and failed to understand the providential hand of God.

The disciples of Jesus were dissipated with sadness, shattering of hopes and brokenness after the death of Jesus and failed to believe and trust in His great promises.

We have a call to examine our lives and check whether we too have fallen into a state of “dissipation”…

Maybe my prayer life is “dissipated” due to various distractions, excuses of lack of time, complaints of being tired or just simply a lack of interest…

Maybe my personal intimacy with God is “dissipated” since I don’t experience any joyful or experiential feelings or because some of my expectations of God are not met…

Maybe my relationships with people is “dissipated” due to some friction or misunderstanding or an indifference that has sneaked in without any particular reason.

Maybe my family/community life is “dissipated” because I feel disinterested or not so enthusiastic in going beyond some of my personal comforts or I feel lonely in not feeling accepted or loved.

Dissipation can be a tendency that can steal into our lives very stealthily and can drain away much of our energy, eagerness and passion.

In the book of Revelations, the Lord has this complaint, “…I have this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent and do the works you did at first” (Rev 2:4-5)

Let us seek to renew our initial fervour and zeal.

Let us challenge ourselves to revive our zest and interest.

The Lord deserves not “dissipated” people, but “spirited” and “passionate” people!

Today we are concluding this Liturgical Year…
… and stepping into the New Liturgical Year – with ‘Year A’ Readings on Sundays and ‘Cycle 1’ for the Weekdays

This Liturgical Year has taken us through various phases in our life of faith…
… with the Readings constantly reminding us that, that “God is with us!”

Let us thank the Lord for this Liturgical Year – for all His Blessings, Graces, Protection…
… and as we start a New Year in our Life – Liturgically – let us surrender ourselves totally to the Providence of our Loving Lord, through the intercession of our Blessed Mother
… as we continually give heed to the words of our Lord, “And behold, I am coming soon!” (Rev 22:7)

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
RECONCILIATION WITH THE CHURCH

In imparting to his apostles his own power to forgive sins the Lord also gives them the authority to reconcile sinners with the Church.
This ecclesial dimension of their task is expressed most notably in Christ’s solemn words to Simon Peter: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

“The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of the apostles united to its head. (CCC # 1444)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Nov 25, 2022: Friday

“Seeking to win the Christian test of Endurance by throwing ourselves into the Enduring Power of God’s Word!”

(Based on Rev 20:1-4,11-21:2 and Lk 21:29-33 – Friday of the Last Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

“Endurance” is the name of an American reality television program.

Contestants of Endurance live in a remote location and participate in various mental and physical challenges.

The outcome of the competitions determines which players are eliminated.

The winners receive an all-expenses paid vacation package to an exotic location as the prize.

Christian Life is also a test of Endurance!

Unlike a reality show, it is real life…

There are various mental, spiritual, emotional and physical challenges

Unlike an-all expenses paid vacation package as a prize…
… the Christian test of Endurance rewards Eternal Life.

Are we ready to rise to the challenge of this Christian Life of Endurance?

In this life of bravery and dare, we have the strength of an Enduring Factor – God’s Word!
“Heaven and earth may pass away, but my words will endure forever” (Lk 21: 33)

The Gospel of the Day is an exhortation to being committed to the Christian Life of Endurance by trusting always in the Enduring Word of God!

Words have immense power and potential.
They can cut
They can hurt
They can heal
They can build
They can make
They can break
They can crush
They can console

And God’s Word has ultimate control and infinite power.

God’s Promises through His words are forever.

This is clearly manifested when we travel through the pages of the Bible…

Abraham was called to a distant and unknown land.

He was promised descendants as many as the stars of the sky and the sand on the shore.

But nothing worthwhile seemed to be happening…
… God’s word seemed barren and infertile.

Yet, the enduring faith and the enduring trust of Abraham prevailed at the opportune time…

God’s Word came to fulfilment and great completion

Yes, “Heaven and earth may pass away, but His words will endure forever”

Moses was called to become the liberator of a nation.

He was promised complete guidance and absolute direction from God.

But often during the journey of liberation, Moses had to face the ire of the people.
… God’s word seemed empty and betraying.

Yet, the enduring conviction and the enduring confidence of Moses got him through…

God’s Word displayed great glory and a mighty witness.

Yes, “Heaven and earth may pass away, but His words will endure forever”

Job was blessed with immense comforts and vast riches.

He was however permitted to be tested by Satan and lost much of his security and wellbeing.

Hopelessness and wrenching despair seemed to be his best companion…
… God’s Word seemed to be abandoning and deserting him.

Yet, the enduring tenacity and the enduring perseverance of Job prevailed to the end…

God’s Word showered him with great and marvellous riches.

Yes, “Heaven and earth may pass away, but His words will endure forever”

What is my faith, trust and hope in God’s Word?

In moments of life-crushing events and soul-hurting situations…

Do I endure and trust in the enduring and eternal power of God’s Word?

In times when the asteroids of bad luck crash against the surface of my life…

Do I endure and remain firm in the enduring and everlasting strength of God’s Word?

In times when my family, community and my world gets reduced to total splinters…

Do I endure and be positive in the enduring and emphatic might of God’s Word?

The Lord has promised each one of us, immense blessings and graces through His Word.

At times…
… there are delays in the fulfilment of God’s Word, as in the case of Abraham
… there are frustrations in the following of God’s Word, as in the case of Moses
… there are misunderstandings in the listening of God’s Word, as in the case of Job

But the Lord invites us to remain Faithful, Trusting and Patient!

Let us seek to win the Christian test of Endurance by throwing ourselves into the Enduring Power of God’s Word!

Yes, “Heaven and earth may pass away, but His words will endure forever”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
RECONCILIATION WITH THE CHURCH

During his public life Jesus not only forgave sins, but also made plain the effect of this forgiveness: he reintegrated forgiven sinners into the community of the People of God from which sin had alienated or even excluded them.

A remarkable sign of this is the fact that Jesus receives sinners at his table, a gesture that expresses in an astonishing way both God’s forgiveness and the return to the bosom of the People of God. (CCC #1443)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Nov 24, 2022: Thursday

“Trusting in the Power of the Lord, knowing for sure that He will never let us fall down!”

(Based on Rev 18:1-2, 21-23, 19:1-3 and Lk 21:20-28 – Thursday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

A simple but effective test that is often used in psychological group-dynamics is called as the “Trust Fall” Exercise.

(N.B.: We can try doing this exercise with our friends…
… of course, with care and caution!)

The test comprises of two people – one standing in front of the other.

The task consists in the one who is standing in front…
… gently falling back, with both the feet – without bending – held firm on the ground
… while the partner at the back, supports the person – preventing from falling.

Initially, the partner “who is falling”, finds it extremely difficult to fall back…
… for fear of falling down.
(There is fear writ all over the face…
… there is a sense of panic, that is experienced deep within!)

But as they repeat this exercise…
… the trust level increases
… the confidence factor grows

And the person feels, at ease, to fall back, without any fear!

(There is a sense of positive feeling…
… trust and reliance is built up gradually!)

This “Trust Fall” is an group -dynamics exercise to grow in the aspect of trusting one another and believing in each other’s capacity.

Such a “Trust Fall” happens with our God as well, isn’t it?

When we go through struggles and problems of life…
… we often fall back!

If we don’t trust Him enough, we are afraid that we will fall down!
But, if we trust in His power, we are sure that the He will never let us fall down!

The Lord, through the Gospel of the Day, invites us, with strong vibes of positive feelings, “… stand erect and raise your heads, because your redemption is at hand” (Lk 21: 28)

The Gospel of the day is a continuation of the talks on the coming of the Son of Man.

Jesus reminds his disciples of the many signs and terrors that will be manifest in the world and persecutions that will befall on His followers.

He invites His disciples to remain firm in perseverance and faithful commitment.

The Gospel of the Day brings out a clear contradiction in the stance and approach of the “people of the world” and “people who trust in Him”…

Lk 21: 26, “…people will die of fright…” (“people of the world”)
Lk 21: 28,”…stand erect and raise your heads…” (“people who trust in Him”)

Dying of fright and collapsing is a sign of absolute despair and hopelessness.

When someone is in great tension, his/her physical structure reflects it…
… one tends to stoop low
… one tends to put down one’s head…

The worry in the mind makes the face a sorry affair!

The tension in one’s life robs the spirit of joy in living!
Faces turn pale…smiles go wry… body starts sagging!

But the Lord of the Universe today strongly exhorts us to not remain stooped-down

He challenges us to “stand erect and raise our heads…”

The Lord makes people to stand on their feet as a sign of feeling protected and strong…

The boy possessed by a demon was “held by the hand, raised up and made to stand” by Jesus (Mk 9:27)
Jesus held the hand of the daughter of Jairus and “helped her to stand” (Mk 5:41)
Peter and John took up the crippled beggar at the Temple gate “by the hand and raised him up…and he leaped up, stood and walk around…walking and jumping” and praising God (Acts 3: 7-8)

The Lord loves to help people to stand erect and hold heads high in firm faith and trust in Him.

Is my life today shattered and collapsed?

Am I unable to stand firmly in faith and in trust?

When difficulties and problems arise in life…

Do I stoop down and get fixated on the worries…
… or do I “stand erect and raise up my head” in confidence of the Providence of God?

When calamities and unsolvable crises hits my family or community life…

Do we stoop down and get lost in despair….
… or do We “stand erect and raise up our heads” in hope of the Power the Lord?

When hopes get shattered and the future appears very blurred…

Do I stoop down and get stuck in hopelessness and desolation…
… or do I “stand erect and raise up my head” in deep faith in the Guiding Hand of the Lord?

Some of us live with much negativity and pessimism…

Life most of the time appears to be dark and depressing and dismal!

But the Lord today asks us to live our lives with more positivity and optimism

Life is in fact much more bright and beautiful and brilliant!

The “Trust Fall” is an exercise, that we go through continually in our life of Faith!

When we go through struggles and problems of life…

If we don’t trust God enough, we lose heart…
… and we are afraid that we will fall down!

But, if we trust in His power, we can stand firm…
… and we are sure that the Lord will never let us fall down!

Are we ready to have the “Trust Fall” Exercise with the Lord?

Be assured… He will hold you firm!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION

Christ has willed that in her prayer and life and action his whole Church should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that he acquired for us at the price of his blood.
But he entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the “ministry of reconciliation.”

The apostle is sent out “on behalf of Christ” with “God making his appeal” through him and pleading: “Be reconciled to God.” (CCC #1442)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Nov 23, 2022: Wednesday

“Holding firm to our Crucified Lord and persevering in faithfulness to our Persecuted Master!”

(Based on Rev 15:1-4 and Lk 21:12-19- Wednesday of the Last Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

The Nicene Creed – also called Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed – is a Christian statement of faith

It is ecumenical in nature (i.e. relating to, or representing the whole body of churches)

The Creed – in general – is accepted as authoritative by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and major Protestant churches.

This Creed was first composed and adapted at the First Council of Nicea in 325 AD.

One of the standout aspects – hardly ever brought to light – is about the participants of this Council of Nicea.

Many of the participants – of the approximately 318 Council participants – had lost an eye or lost a hand or limped on a leg…
… as a result of the torture they suffered for their Christian faith!

These bishops who met at Nicea had just come out of an extremely challenging time of intense persecution by the Romans…
… having lived through the cruelty of the Emperors Diocletian (ruling 284-305) and Maximian (ruling 286-305)

According to one ancient writer Theodoret (393-457), “the Council looked like an assembled army of martyrs!”

The Nicean Council was thus, not merely a gathering of intellectuals – discussing and deliberating; rather was a holy coming together of passionate individuals…
… who lived the Faith
… who suffered for the Faith
… and who wished everyone in the future, grows and lives the Faith, with utmost faithfulness!

These ancient people travelled to Nicea with broken bodies to formulate what was worth living and dying for!

This is the reality of Christianity

Every follower of Christ is reminded to joyfully accept a life of struggle and suffering, in order to discover the true joys of Faith!

Every joy in life is accompanied by the companionship of some pain and suffering.

This is the reality of life.

Christian life is an affirmation of this reality.

The joy of being a Christian is accompanied by the cross of pain and suffering.

The Gospel of the Day reminds us of this factor: Experiencing…
… the mighty power of God in the midst of weaknesses of life.
… the splendid joy of God in the thick of persecutions of life.
… the serene peace of God in the middle of terrors of life.

The Lord continues His discourse on the signs of the end times and the forthcoming persecutions that will be the lot of those who believe and follow Him.

Jesus doesn’t tone down in any measure in warning of the future calamities that will befall on His followers:
“They will seize and persecute you… They will hand you over to synagogues and prison…
They will lead you before kings and governors…

You will be handed over by your parents, brothers, relatives and friends…
You will be put to death… You will be hated by all…” (Lk 21: 12-18)

The list of persecutions is too long, right?

For those who consider Christianity as an easy stroll in the part, this is a shocker!

For those who consider following Christ as comfort on a bed of roses, this is a stunner!

Sometimes our faith in Christ remains merely a statement on paper.

As Baptized people – whether as infants or as adults – we’ve the duty to grow in the grace bestowed on us.

To follow Christ is a privilege granted to us.
To become His Disciples is a special opportunity conferred on us.

But we often squander away the blessings that the Lord gives us without realizing its worth.

As a Christian and a follower of Christ…

We love His blessings…
… but get depressed when pains or sufferings come our way.

We crave for joy…
… but get irritated when things don’t go in the way we wish.

We seek for a comfortable life…
… but get wild with Him when we lose some luxuries.

The Lord however, invites us to a life of deeper perseverance and courage: “By your perseverance, you will secure your lives” (Lk 21: 19)

For the one who believes in Christ…

Every sickness, can be a moment to experience the Lord as a Healer.
Every financial crisis, can be a moment to experience the Lord as the Provider.
Every spiritual struggle, can be a moment to experience the Lord as the Saviour.
Every break in relationship, can be a moment to experience the Lord as the Unifier.
Every encounter in failure, can be a moment to experience the Lord as the Sovereign Lord
Every doubt of the future, can be a moment to experience the Lord as the Supreme Master

All these affirmations will remain peripheral and theoretical, unless we trust in the Lord.

Many might say…
… “I don’t believe in a God who allows calamities and persecutions.”
… “I don’t want a relation with a God who permits suffering and pains.”

But this is where challenge of our Baptismal Consecration comes to fruition…

To be with the Lord, in total commitment, when the going gets tough.
To remain united with the Lord, in complete faithfulness, when the road gets bumpy.
To fix one’s eyes on the Lord, in absolute trust, when the skies are darkened.

In the words of Kahlil Gibran, the writer:
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars”

Jesus has shown us the path in the Way of the Cross.

Jesus has broken Himself for us in the Holy Eucharist.

In Him is True Life.
In Him is Genuine Peace.
In Him is Everlasting Happiness.

Let us hold firm to our Crucified Lord and persevere in faithfulness to our Persecuted Master.

With joy and passion, in the words of the Nicene Creed, let us unceasingly proclaim:
“I believe in One God…
… and the life of the world to come, Amen!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
ONLY GOD FORGIVES SIN

Since He is the Son of God, Jesus says of Himself, “The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” and exercises this divine power: “Your sins are forgiven.”

Further, by virtue of His divine authority He gives this power to men to exercise in His Name. (CCC #1441)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Nov 22, 2022: Tuesday

“Having the glory of Christ, and not the beauty of any materialistic concern, as the focus of our works!”

(Based on Rev 14:14-19 and Lk 21:5-11- Tuesday of the Last Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

Leonardo da Vinci was one of the greatest painters of all time.

His masterpiece, “The Last Supper” has been a source of many inspirations and stories.

Some of these are based on true facts; some on fictitious imaginations.

One such incident (without any certification of its truthfulness or falsity) goes such…

The artist Da Vinci had put all his talent on this great masterpiece, which was painted on a convent wall in Milan, Italy.

The painting was drawn with so much perfection, that it appeared to be extremely realistic.

Even the cup that was used by the Lord used was drawn perfectly…
… an opulent golden vessel richly set with jewels.

At the completion of the picture, some of his friends were given the privilege to view the painting.

The friends were wonder-stuck at the sight of the painting, and especially the dazzling chalice, and exclaimed:

“Wow! What a wonderful cup!”
“What a shine! See how the vessel sparkles!”
“I’ve never seen a cup with such exquisite beauty being painted before!”

Hearing such comments, the great painter, immediately stroked some dark colours over the glittering cup…
… and made it look like an ordinary vessel.

As he did so, he remarked:
“The glory of Christ, and not the beauty of the cup, must be the focus of my work!

In all things, He must be pre-eminent!”

Is Christ pre-eminent in our faith?

Or have other materialistic concerns – which may appear to be more sparkling and attractive- taken precedence in our life of faith?

The Gospel of the Day is a strong exhortation to restore the primacy of Christ in our lives…
… even at the cost of shattering every materialistic temples that we have dreamt of!
… even at the price of bringing down every worldly concerns that we have built up!

Jesus is on the courtyard of the Jerusalem Temple.

He heard some speak of “how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings” (Lk 21:5)

The Jerusalem Temple was a glorious structure and one of the great wonders of the time.

This Temple – which was originally constructed by King Solomon – had been marvellously rebuilt by Herod the Great.

The Jerusalem Temple was a vast glittering mass of white marble…
… with the occasional presence of gold and precious stones.

The old Rabbis had a saying: “Whosoever had not gazed on it, had not seen the perfection of beauty”

Tacitus, the historian complemented this, by calling this spectacular edifice as “a temple of vast wealth”

Princes and other noblemen who visited this holy house gifted crowns, shields and vessels of gold and silver.

The Jerusalem Temple was indeed rich in these votive offerings.

Despite such a grand spectacle in the background, Jesus makes a prophetic saying:
“All that you see here – the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down” (Lk 21:6).

Our Blessed Lord doesn’t really mince words, isn’t it?

He is the One Who is least afraid of calling “a spade as a spade!”

While all others lavished phrases of vain glory on the majestic Temple…
… Jesus predicted its mighty fall!

While all others had pinned their hopes and faith in this structure of grandeur…
… Jesus prophesied its soon-to-come destruction!

Here is a great truth that Jesus invites us to always be reminded of:
“While the human mind seeks to find comfort and coziness in external glories and splendour…
… the Divine always minimizes such vain laurels and insists on the true beauties of life!”

Jesus forewarns His disciples:
“See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name saying: ‘I am he’ and ‘The time has come’
… Do not follow them!” (Lk 21: 8)

Jesus was teaching His disciples…
… of not losing the focus, in the midst of materialistic and attractive fascinations!
… of not missing the track, in the face of many disguises, falsities and deceptions!

A Christian, always ought to have…
… Jesus as the focus!
… the Kingdom of God as the goal!

Anything… or anyone…
… which causes distraction or diversion, will have to be remedied!

Are there such distracting forces in our life, which takes away our focus from the Lord and His Kingdom?

Many of such disturbances would be…
… deceptive
… subtle in nature
… attractive at first-sight

But let us not be afraid to restore the primacy of Christ in our lives…
… even at the cost of shattering every materialistic temples that we have dreamt of!
… even at the price of bringing down every worldly concerns that we have built up!

May the glory of Christ, and not the beauty of any materialistic concern, be the focus of our works!

“In all things, may Christ be pre-eminent!”

Let us seek the intercession of St Cecilia, the Patron Saint of musicians, whose feast we celebrate today.

May we imitate her passion and zeal to be always single-focused and close to the Lord, even to the point of intense suffering…
… and thus at all times, have “heavenly music” in our hearts!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION

Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church.

For this reason conversion entails both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (CCC #1440)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Nov 21, 2022: Monday

“Generously using the ‘shovel of giving’ and thus giving space for the Lord to ‘use His Bigger Shovel’ in our lives!”

(Based on Rev 14:1-3, 4b-5 and Lk 21:1-4 – Monday of the Last Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

An elderly Christian – retired from work – who was well-known for his selfless charitable acts, was once asked by a youngster:
“We all are aware that you are a very generous person…
… reaching out to help anyone in need.

But we have always wondered, how is it, that though you give so much, to so many people…
… you still have so much left!”

“Oh!” replied the elderly man, “as I shovel out, He shovels in!”
(Shovel is a tool resembling a spade with a broad blade and typically upturned sides, used for moving mud, coal, snow, or other material)

“And the Lord has a Bigger Shovel than me!”

Do I generously use the “shovel of giving”…
… thus giving space for the Lord to ‘use His Bigger Shovel’ in my life…?

Do we have the joy and the generosity to give ourselves, to the Lord and for His works?

The Gospel of the Day demonstrates the powerful message of True Giving, through the incident of the Offering of the Poor Widow.

The passage begins with the verse, “When Jesus looked up and saw…” (Lk 21: 1)

Jesus has sharp eyes…

He sees what most people miss to see…
He perceives what most people ignore…
He observes what most people pass on as ordinary…

While all others saw only the corrupt mind of Zacchaeus, Jesus saw deeper… (Lk 19:7)

He observed the flame of genuine repentance and earnest desire in him.

While all others saw only the filth in the woman caught in adultery, Jesus saw deeper…(Jn 8:3)

He observed the spark of pleading for mercy and compassion in her.

While all others saw only a disturbance in the blind beggar Bartimaeus, Jesus saw deeper… (Lk 18:39)

He observed the flash of true longing and expectant hope in him…

There are many times in our life, when we think or do little things and we would feel them as insignificant.

But the Lord sees deeper…

A tiny word of thanks and appreciation…The Lord sees our goodness.
A small gesture of timely help and assistance… The Lord sees our nobility.
A genuine smile of encouragement and support… The Lord sees our benevolence.

The palace of goodness is built by the tiny bricks of genuine actions and loving thoughts.

And the Lord sees it all – “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good” (Prov. 15:3)

He doesn’t miss a single gift, small or large.

He knows every giver, rich and poor.

This is the significance of being engaged in little and small acts of charity.

None of them go down the drain.
Rather, all of them are recorded by God and translates into a fountain of blessings!

The Lord keenly observed the insignificant action of the Poor Widow dropping in two copper coins into the Temple Treasury.

The Temple Treasury was in the Court of the Women, which was on the easternmost part of the Temple.

Against the walls of this temple area were the thirteen chests, or ‘trumpets,’ for charitable contributions.

These thirteen chests were shaped like trumpets, narrow at the mouth and wide at the bottom.

Each one had a different Hebrew letter designating separate offerings and causes.

Into this Temple Treasury… the poor widow just drops in two small copper coins (Lk 21:2)

What difference did her two coins make toward meeting the temple budget?

Probably nothing!!

Perhaps the treasurer muttered under his breath as he saw it being dropped:
“Why do people throw such small coins into the treasury? They’re more a nuisance to count than they’re worth!”

But the Lord has a totally different yardstick of measuring and of judging.

People count the worth of money by what is given.

God counts the worth of money by what is left over.

People say “wow” over thicker and fatter amounts given, irrespective of the means and intention.

God says “Wow” over any amount given, but only when given with the proper means and true intention.

While most people would have sidelined this meager act of giving, the Lord lavishes praise on the poor widow who “gave it all”.

The gifts of the rich would have not cost them much…
… But the widow may have gone hungry that night because she gave all what she had.

She gave it all, not for any praise or to show-off, but out of love of God and her religion.

What is our attitude in “giving” to God?

Often we give only “leftovers” to God.

If we have some food left, after we have relished nicely, we give it off to some hungry
If we have anything left, after we’ve spent for all our needs, then we drop a bit for charity.
If we have something left, after we have used and its now old, we donate it to the church.
If we have some “time” left, after engaging in all leisure, then we give the time to God.
If we have some goodwill left, after busying with many works, we offer our thanks to the Lord.

The Lord, seriously, is in no need of the offering of our money.

But the Lord, very seriously, is on the lookout for an offering of our hearts!

Let us make not just peripheral contribution of our lives, but rather engage in sacrificial offerings of our self.

As Blessed Mother Teresa would say:
“Give, but give until it hurts…
… It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving”

The Lord has given everything for us.

As His disciples, we too are expected to be similar: to give everything to Him.

An “all-giving” Master deserves “all-giving” disciples…
… Doesn’t He?

Let us generously use the “shovel of giving”…
… thus giving space for the Lord to ‘use His Bigger Shovel’ in my life!

Today, we celebrate the Feast of our Blessed Mamma’s Presentation.

Let us “give ourselves” wholly to the Lord.
We shall seek the intercession of our Beautiful Mamma…
… so that, like Her, we too can be wholly belonging to the Lord!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE MANY FORMS OF PENANCE IN CHRISTIAN LIFE

The process of conversion and repentance was described by Jesus in the parable of the prodigal son, the center of which is the merciful father…
… the fascination of illusory freedom, the abandonment of the father’s house; the extreme misery in which the son finds himself after squandering his fortune; his deep humiliation at finding himself obliged to feed swine, and still worse, at wanting to feed on the husks the pigs ate
… his reflection on all he has lost; his repentance and decision to declare himself guilty before his father; the journey back; the father’s generous welcome; the father’s joy
All these are characteristic of the process of conversion.

The beautiful robe, the ring, and the festive banquet are symbols of that new life – pure worthy, and joyful – of anyone who returns to God and to the bosom of his family, which is the Church. (CCC #1439)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Nov 20, 2022: Sunday

“Saying ‘Yes’ to this King of Hearts – Christ, the Crucified and Risen King!”

(Based on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Cycle C)

It is said of one of the great Tsars (emperors) of Russia of how he would often visit the people of his kingdom, in disguise.

This was his method of recognizing the welfare and the well-being of his people.


On one occasion, he dressed up in the garment of a peasant (farmer).
>> He knocked at the door of an inn for a night shelter.

The innkeeper, who opened the door, had a long look at the peasant.
>> With hands folded, the man was pleading for a place to stay in the inn.


Seeing his shabby clothes and his haggard appearance, the innkeeper began to dismiss him saying:
“Tonight, there are many of the King’s courtiers and noblemen taking lodging in this inn.
>> You may look for a place somewhere else!”

But as he said this, one of the King’s noblemen, who heard the sound of the peasant man, rushed to the door, and motioned to let him in, saying:
“The dress may be that of a peasant, but the voice is the voice of my lord, the King!”


Very often something similar happens in our lives – God, our King comes to us, in disguise…
… in the supplication of a needy neighbour or a distressed companion
… in the silence of a broken soul or an unhappy relationship
… in the pleading of an oppressed cry or a troubled heart

Do we recognize our King in all these?


Perhaps the word “King” always brings to our minds, images of…
… royal dresses and majestic clothings
… bane arrogance and vain haughtiness
… super-riches and wealthy adornments

But Christianity always comes to break such notions and shatter such worldly conceptions

Are we ready to be the sincere followers of this True and Just King?


The Church today, on this last day of the Liturgical Year, invites Her children to HAIL this Mighty King – Jesus…
… with the Solemnity of Christ the King!


Today is the Feast of Christ the King.
>> It is the Last Sunday of the Liturgical year


This feast was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 through an encyclical letter called “Quas Primas” (In the First)


In the history of the Church, liturgical feasts have been instituted in answer to particular needs that arise in the life of the world & Church.

This Feast of Christ the King was in response to the grave and disturbing situation of the world:

The world in 1925, was still recovering from the devastation effects of the First World War.
>> Nations had been devastated.
>> New weapons and armoury had been introduced.

A wave of terror and danger was still vivid.
Modernity had crept into the human mind.
>> Human reason was considered to have enough power and capability for unlimited progress.
>> Human societies were abandoning Christian values and sought to do away with divine and spiritual dimensions of life.

It’s at the height of this secularization of the world, that we are presented with this great Feast of Christ the King.


Human progress gives a feeling that humans have absolute power over all forces in the universe.
>> Scientific technology makes us think that any discoveries and inventions are humanly possible.
>> Human mind is considered to be having capabilities that can overcome and defy any limitation..


But this feast reminds us, that Christ still reigns above all.
>> He is the source of every intelligence and intellect.
>> He is the powerhouse of every discovery and invention.
>> He is the ultimate in conquering any problems or difficulties.


The Kingdom of Christ the King is under several threats today…
>> The forces of materialism and consumerism…
… have clouded the minds of several with riches and pleasures.

>> The forces of sensualism and sensationalism…
… have corrupted many innocent hearts and destroyed many simple minds.

>> The forces of authoritarianism and individualism…
… have shattered many families and community lives.

>> The forces of relativism and practical atheism…
… are strongly raging against the practice of faith and the teachings of the Church.


As Christians, we are soldiers belonging to the Kingdom of God, with Christ as our King.
>> A soldier ought to be one who is deeply convinced and highly passionate of one’s King and Kingdom

As a Christian…
… am I deeply convinced of my faith and love for Christ and His Kingdom?
… am I passionately enthusiastic to live my Christian virtues in this world?


There are many who say that they are willing to give up their lives and die for Christ.
>> But today, the Lord also demands, “Are you willing to LIVE for Christ?”


There is an urgent need to become Christ the King’s living witnesses in this world.

Kings are often identified with a lot of pomp and grandeur and power and triumphalism.
>> But Christ our King is not bothered about any such external pageantry or vain flashiness.


Then what is the identification of this Christ the King?

In Mt 2:2, we read a question, “Where is the (newborn) King of the Jews?”
>> The answer to this question will be found at the end of the Gospel…
… with Jesus hanging on the Cross and a statement which reads in Mt 27:37, “This is the King of the Jews!”


The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus on the Cross…
… with many people sneering Him!

But Jesus, the King remains composed on His Throne, the Cross!
>> He also makes a royal declaration from His Majestic Throne: “Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise!” (Lk 23:43)


Where the Cross is, there is Christ the King!
>> Where the lost, the sinful, the abandoned and the lonely are… there is Christ the King.
>> Where the poor, the suffering, the miserable and the abused are… there is Christ the King.

The Cross is the identity and symbol of Christ the King!


As this Crucified King’s soldiers, we too are invited to be sharers in the Cross of Christ.


It is said that people who are crucified with Christ will have three distinct marks:

Since they are crucified…
>> They can only look in one direction
>> They can never turn back
>> They no longer have plans of their own.

And these three characteristics ought to reflect in our Christian lives…
>> Being totally focused on Jesus and His kingdom… (looking in one direction)
>> Never to turn back from our commitment and get attracted to the ways of the world… (never turning back)
>> Giving up any of our personal goals and agenda which can deter us from God’s will… (no plans of their own)


Yes, let us hearken to His voice… Christ, the King – The Great King.

Fanfare is less, but faithfulness is assured!
>> Popularity is rare, but blessings are plenty!

>> No land to reign, but our hearts…
>> No majestic throne, but the Cross…
>> No mighty army, but a few people to spread His word…
>> No royal treats all the time, but pain and suffering that leads to salvation…
>> No grand fiesta, but the sacrifice of the Calvary, in the Most Holy Eucharist…


Christ, our King invites us today to renew our commitment to Him

He comes to us in many different situations and circumstances of our life…
>> Let us never say to Him, “You may look for a place somewhere else!”

Instead, even in situations when the externals appear vague…
… filled with a clear disposition of the Lord reigning in our hearts, let us say: “The dress may be that of a peasant, but the voice is the voice of my lord, the King!”


Shall we always say “Yes” to this King of Hearts – Christ, the Crucified and Risen King?


Happy Feast to all the Valiant and Faithful Soldiers of Christ, the Awesome King!


God Bless! Live Jesus!

—————————————————-
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE MANY FORMS OF PENANCE IN CHRISTIAN LIFE
>> Only the heart of Christ Who knows the depths of His Father’s love…
… could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way. (CCC #1439)
—————————————————-

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Nov 19, 2022: Saturday

“Growing in our faith in the Resurrection and living in holiness and sanctity in a way to boldly proclaim this belief to all!”

(Based on Rev 11:4-12 and Lk 20:27-40 – Saturday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

There is a story of a man who had been afflicted with a terminal disease.

With much fear of death, he sought counselling and help from one of his Christian doctors.

The doctor, was initially lost for words.

He did not know how to console the dying man.

As he was fumbling for an answer, he heard the noise of scratching on his door.

He got the answer of consolation.

“Do you hear that?” he asked his patient, calling his attention to the scratching noise on the door.

“Well!” continued the doctor, “that’s my dog!

I left him downstairs.

But he has become very impatient and has come up, hearing my voice.

He doesn’t have much idea, of what’s happening in here- beyond the door…
… but he knows one thing: ‘That I am here!’
And so, if I open the door now, he would just jump over me, into this room!”

The doctor continued, looking into the eyes of the patients, “Isn’t it the same with our lives?

We don’t have much idea of what lies beyond the Door, but we know that the Master is there!”

This is the Christian Faith: that beyond the Door of this Life, is the Master!

This is the hope of Resurrection!

The Gospel of the Day is an invitation to reinforce our faith and hope in the Resurrection.

The Sadducees who did not believe in the Resurrection, put forth a question of “after-life” to Jesus. (Lk 20: 27-33)

Jesus, Who knows the intentions of all hearts and the craftiness of every mind, spoke…
… of the difference in the nature of life – in this world and in the next
… of His sovereignty over those who have died and those who are alive

Referring to the passage of the Burning Jesus, Jesus proclaims, “… He is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him, all are alive!” (Lk 20: 38)

This verse of the Lord is one of the direct and easy-to-understand basis…
…for the Catholic teaching and practice of “praying for the dead”.

Many are the times when this noble piety of the Catholics is put into question…

“It is unbiblical to pray for the dead”
“Our prayers have no effect on those who are dead, since it is not our works, but their faith, which saves”
… These are some of the statements said against the Catholic practice of “praying for the dead”

But the Lord very clearly shows, through today’s Gospel…
… that God is the God of all – the living and the dead
… that all are living for Him – even though for us, apparently those who are gone from us, are dead

It is our human experience, that while living on this earth…
… we do seek the help of one another – especially through prayers

We ask one another’s help and prayers…
… when we are going through a crisis or problem
… when we are struggling through sufferings

Then can’t the same logic be applied to those who have died (who are actually alive in the eyes of God!)

Can’t those who are away from this world – the faithful departed – seek for our help and assistance, in their moments of suffering and struggles?

[For those of us… who may have doubts as to “what kind of suffering do the dead have…”

The Church teaches us …
…. Nothing unclean will enter the presence of God in heaven (Rev. 21:27)
While we may die with our mortal sins forgiven, there can still be many impurities in us…
….especially venial sins and the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven.

Therefore, it is needed to have “purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven… “

This is called as “purgatory”.

This purification causes suffering… as a purification that takes place in fire!
The dead – the faithful departed – seek our prayers, for a deliverance from this struggle of sufferings!]

November is a month especially dedicated to pray for the Faithful Departed.

The Church invites her children in this world…
To remember and pray
To offer sacrifices and penances
To lead a life away from sin, in holiness
… for the faithful departed!

Yes, it is our faith and hope in the Resurrection, that spurs us…
… to live a life of holiness
… to be zealous in reaching out the message of salvation to all
… to be fervent in our prayers for the suffering who have passed away from us

Let us cease to be a “practical Sadducee”: professing belief in the Resurrection only in lips…
… but failing to display this belief by a life of holiness!

It is true that we don’t have much awareness of how the “next life” would be…
… We do fall short of words to explain the nature of the life-to-come or rationally describing “how heaven would be!”
… We may even have our own fears and anxieties in thinking of death or in the parting moments of our loved ones!

But we do know for certain one thing: that we would be one with our Lord- the lover of our soul…
… the fullness of joy
… the supremacy of holiness
… the culmination of every desire

Yes, we don’t have much idea of what lies beyond the Door, but we know that the Master is there!

Let us grow in our faith in the Resurrection…
… and let us live a life of holiness and sanctity – that would boldly proclaim this belief to all!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE MANY FORMS OF PENANCE IN CHRISTIAN LIFE

The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church’s penitential practice.

These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works). (CCC #1438)

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Nov 18, 2022: Friday

“Carrying the white bag of holiness and sacredness in our spiritual journey!”

(Based on Rev 10:8-11 and Lk 19:45-48 – Friday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2)

A family of four were on a holiday trip – a ten day cruise.

They had a good number of bags with them – 13 in all.

As they were set to enter the ship, loading in all their stuffed baggage, the absent-minded husband remarked, “Oh, I wish I had also taken the white-coloured bag that was kept on our main table!”

The wife, who was pretty exasperated with the large number of bags exclaimed, “What? We already have more than a dozen bags, and you wanted another one?”

The man, sheepishly replied: “Well… our tickets are in that white bag!”

This humorous incident reflects an important dimension of our lives: We often miss out of picking up the right priorities of life!

In our spiritual journey, do we sometimes neglect in carrying the ‘white bag?’ – the bag of holiness and sacredness?

Do we sometimes end up missing out “the sense of the Sacred” in our lives?

The Gospel of the day presents a classic case of this loss of the Sacred Sense.

The Temple of Jerusalem is desecrated by a loss of the Sacred Sense and Jesus seeks to restore it by cleansing the temple.
“Then Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things” (Lk 19:45)

One of the basic characteristics of religion is the aspect of Sacredness.

God is Holy.

And all matters pertaining to our holy God, has a Sense of the Sacred.

Worship becomes meaningful, when one becomes aware of this Sense of the Sacred.

Preaching becomes powerful, when one is convinced of this Sense of the Sacred.
Liturgy becomes heart-touching, when one acknowledges this Sense of the Sacred.

The Gospel of the Day – the incident of the cleansing of the Jerusalem Temple invites us to make a deep examination…

Is my Worship of God becoming merely external and losing its inner values?
Is my Preaching of God reduced to great talks but devoid of conviction and passion?
Is my Liturgy more a ritualistic and obligatory exercise than truly an experiential one?

If the answer to any of the above questions is a ‘Yes’…
… then we are perhaps losing the Sense of the Sacred.
… then perhaps, the “bag of holiness” is missing in our journey of life.

The Jerusalem Temple was very dear to the faith of the people of Israel.

Worshipping in this temple was the ultimate for the Israelites, in their honouring of God.

At the Passover, Jews from around the world came to the temple to sacrifice to the Lord (Ex. 12:1-28; Lev. 23:4-8).

It was highly impractical to bring sacrificial animals long distances.
So they were made available in the Jerusalem Temple.

Most Jews also paid the temple tax during the Passover.

Since, they came from various places and bore pagan Roman seals, money-changers were there in the temple, to convert the Roman coinage into appropriate currency.
Pagan symbols on Roman money made it unacceptable for Yahweh’s house.

Where there is money, corruption slowly creeps in…!

Pilgrims had to pay exorbitant rates to change money, and sellers exploited those in poverty, overcharging for the poor man’s offering of pigeons and doves (Lev. 5:7).

To make things worse, these merchants set up shop in the Court of the Gentiles, making it useless as a place of prayer due to the hustle and bustle of the buying and the selling of goods..

Though not inherently evil, these practices became occasions for sin.

What started for a noble cause, led to immense corruption!
There began the loss of the “Sense of the Sacred”…

And this is so true in our own lives…

The beginning of the loss of the Sense of the Sacred begins with trivial things.

We allow a little delays and some relaxations in our prayer life…

And suddenly, we find no excitement in spending time in prayer.

We allow laxity and silence and indifference in our relationships…

And suddenly, we find no meaning in many of our relations…

We allow unpreparedness and disinterest to walk into our celebration and participation of Mass…

And suddenly, we find no meaning in the Holy Eucharist.

The loss of the Sense of the Sacred happens in a very subtle and quiet way.
And unless, we remain vigilant and careful, we can lose our way in the spiritual warfare.

It is this reminder and warning that the Lord delivers today, by cleansing the Jerusalem Temple.
“It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it into a den of robbers'” (Lk 19: 46)

Today we have converted many of the places into “dens of robbers”…
Today we have badly defiled the “Sense of the Sacred” in many places…

Cinemas and movies have a heavy stench of vulgarity and indecency.

They rob the society of its ethical culture and moral innocence.

Posters, hoardings and advertisements have become mediums of immorality and offensiveness

They rob its viewers of their principles and convictions in life.

The Internet and new media are badly misused to become snares of promoting life-threatening and life-abusing activities.

They rob its users of their proper purposes & instead addict them to many compulsions & cravings, which are hard to be given up.

Families and communities often become places lacking in genuine love, unity and peace

They rob one of the chance to grow in a spirit of sharing and understanding.

Our bodies are often manipulated with many addictions, improper practises and ungodly behaviours.

They rob the person of the purity and holiness that is engraved deep within.

The cleansing of the Jerusalem Temple is a strong reminder for us, to check the areas and the manner in which we have lost the Sense of the Sacred…

We complain that the world is becoming more materialistic and less spiritual.
We complain that the Church is becoming more “worldly” and less inspiring.

One of the root problems lies in the fact, that we perhaps losing the “Sense of the Sacred”

Unless we are in awe of the God who has created this beautiful and majestic world, we will continue to abuse and misuse the world.

Unless we are in wonder of the God who has gifted the Church with life-saving sacraments, we will continue to blame the Church and lose precious graces that we can obtain through her.

Let us revive the “Sense of the Sacred”…

Let us cleanse anything which diminishes this “Sense of the Sacred”
Let us become a people who radiate with joy and enthusiasm this “Sense of the Sacred”

In our spiritual journey, may we never neglect or forget to carry the ‘white bag’ – the bag of holiness and sacredness…
… ‘cos in them contain the tickets to heaven!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE MANY FORMS OF PENANCE IN CHRISTIAN LIFE

Eucharist and Penance: Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. “It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sins.”

Reading Sacred Scripture, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Our Father: Every sincere act of worship or devotion revives the spirit of conversion and repentance within us and contributes to the forgiveness of our sins. (CCC #1436-1437)