✝️ 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

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)

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