✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Jan 09, 2023: Monday

“Encircling ourselves in prayer and self-discipline, and
being willing to get out of our “comfort zones” so that we can be passionate and zealous children of God!”

(Based on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord)

A young missionary in a particular village heard the fame of a
senior missionary and his successful ventures in reviving the
faith of the people.

Wanting to know the secret of success in ministry, the
younger missionary, on meeting the senior, asked him: “What
is the secret of reviving the faith of the people in my village?”

The senior man, who was also aware of the worldly lifestyle of
the younger missionary said:
“Go back to your home and lock yourself up in a private room.

Then, take a piece of chalk, and mark a circle on the floor.

Get down on your knees, then, inside the circle…
… and pray to God to begin a revival inside the circle!

When this prayer is heard, a revival will take place in your
people!”

Yes, it is when one is revived with the Spirit of the Lord…
… that one can radiate the same to others!

This revival demands that we “encircle” ourselves in prayer
and self-discipline, by being willing to get out…
… of our “comfort zones” of worldliness and hard-heartedness!

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is a call to revive our
consecration and commitment as followers of Christ.

The event of the Baptism symbolically finishes three decades
of Jesus’ hidden life…
… as Jesus is declared as God’s own beloved Son in Whom He
is well pleased. (Cf. Mt 3:17)

By being baptised at the waters of River Jordan, Jesus sanctified
the waters of Baptism and empowered them…
… so that the water would become the vehicle of the Holy
Spirit bringing inner cleansing, rebirth, and transformation!

The entry of Jesus into the waters of River Jordan has two
direct implications for our day-to-day Christian living:

  1. Our Blessed Lord continues to enter into our stained
    situation to cleanse us and renew us

He enters into our sinful humanity so that, through His
Mercy, we will enter into His Divinity.

[Just as the Priest, while pouring a drop of water into the wine
in the chalice at Offertory during the Holy Mass, prays: “By
the mystery of this water in wine, may we come to share in
the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our
humanity.”]

  1. We are called to enter into the world of sinners and lead
    them to the redemptive love of Christ

Being in the sinful world, but not being part of it, we are
called to “be blameless and innocent, children of God without
blemish amid a crooked and perverse generation… [to] shine
as lights in the world” (Cf. Phil 2:15)

The Baptism of the Lord is a reminder of our Christian dignity
as Children of God!

We are privileged to have been rescued from the power of
darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom!

Our Christian dignity as God’s children calls us to become a
saint!

Pope St John Paul II exhorts: “Since Baptism is a true entry
into the holiness of God, it would be a contradiction…
… to settle for a life of mediocrity
… marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity

Holy Father, Pope Francis during one of his Wednesday
audiences in the presence of a packed St. Peter’s Square once
said:
“Baptism is in a certain sense the identity card of the Christian,
his birth certificate, and the act of his birth into the Church.

All of you know the day on which you were born and you
celebrate it as your birthday, don’t you?
Let’s do something: today, when you go home, find out
what day you were baptized, look for it, because this is your
second birthday.
The first birthday is the day you came into life and the
second birthday is the one on which you came into the Church.
This is your homework!”

This is the day for us to…
… to renew our faith and conviction in all the articles of the
Creed
… to check if we use our ears and lips to hear and speak about
God
… to examine whether the flame of faith is still burning in us
… to declare our rejection of Satan and his empty promises
… to see if our garment is still white, for the eternal banquet

Let us celebrate our birth in the Lord and into the Church

Let us “encircle” ourselves in prayer and self-discipline, and
be willing to get out of our “comfort zones” of worldliness and
hard-heartedness…
… so that we can be passionate and zealous children of God!

Happy Feast of the Baptism!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE

Grave necessity can also exist when, given the number of penitents, there are not enough confessors to hear individual confessions properly in a reasonable time, so that the penitents through no fault of their own would be deprived of sacramental grace or Holy Communion for a long time.
In this case, for the absolution to be valid the faithful must have the intention of individually confessing their grave sins in the time required.
The diocesan bishop is the judge of whether or not the conditions required for general absolution exist.

A large gathering of the faithful on the occasion of major feasts or pilgrimages does not constitute a case of grave necessity. (CCC # 1483)

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