✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – January 03, 2023: Tuesday

“Becoming a witness and a testimony to the world, to reveal Jesus as the Redeemer!”

(Based on 1 Jn 2:29–3:6 and Jn 1:29-34 – Christmas Weekday)

The five fingers of the hand have their own functions and roles.

However, one among these five, is often engaged in a pretty notorious activity…

That Finger is …
… the Forefinger or the Index Finger.

And the activity that it is often used for, is… Blaming!

The Index finger or also called as the Pointer Finger is often used…
… to point to others and accuse them
… to point towards others and blame them
… to point towards others and lay a charge on them

This action is also called as Finger-Pointing – the act of casting the blame or assigning the blame for something, to someone else.

We have somehow, consciously or unconsciously, got into a habit of using our Index or the Forefinger to always blame and accuse others…
… and pass on the fault to other people.

The Gospel of the Day, is however, a welcome change to this “sickening” trend of finger-pointing!

We have St John the Baptist who utilizes this action of pointing, not for blaming or accusing…
… rather to point out the Saviour of the World!

He points out, in a majestic style, to Jesus… and declares emphatically, ” Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn 1: 29)

He points towards Jesus…
… to make known the One who is the long-awaited Messiah!
… and reveals to the world, the One who is to redeem humanity!
… to proclaim the One, who by His greatness, would grant salvation!

John the Baptist, becomes a witness and a testimony to the world, to reveal Jesus as the Redeemer!

This pointing to the Saviour reveals many inner qualities of St John the Baptist…

  1. He displays great humility in acknowledging the greatness of Jesus!
  2. He shows forth immense goodness in choosing to play the secondary role!
  3. He exhibits nobility by gently shifting the focus and limelight to Jesus, the Saviour!
  4. He demonstrates faithfulness to his mission of being the forerunner to the True Messiah!

Our life is sometimes plagued by the “bad tendency” to point to others, only in a negative sense…

We point to others…
… to pass on judgement and condemnation
… to cast feelings of guilt and culpability
… to make public the faults of other people

It’s not that we should refrain from constructive criticism…
… or correcting others gently
… or making the other person aware of their shortcomings.

But can we learn from St John the Baptist, the attitude to point out to others, in order to….
… Instill a sense of encouragement and affirmation
… Acknowledge their valuable and precious presence
… Allow people to notice the good and noble deeds of others

Pointing to others, ought not to be a tool of painful criticism and discouragement…
… rather it must be an action of encouragement and acknowledgement.

Pointing to others, ought not to be a medium of accusationand denunciation…
… rather it must be a means of appreciation and admiration.

We celebrate today the Feast of St Chavara Elias Kuriakose, a popular Saint from India.

He became a symbol of great encouragement, acknowledgement & appreciation of others…
… Especially through the ministry of pastoral care and Catholic education and learning

In his own words, “Make it clear that your home is not a place for indulging in profane conversation or for speaking ill of others or slandering”

Let us tread the path and example shown by St John the Baptist and St Chavara Kuriokose.

Let us become a people of true acknowledgement…
… and not wasteful blaming.

Let us become a people of honest encouragement…
… and not critical judgment.

Let us become a people of credible appreciation…
… and not distasteful denouncing.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus
… intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints…
… to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins.
Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians…

… but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity. (CCC #1478)

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