✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Jan 11, 2022: Wednesday

“Not merely running after ‘by-products;’ rather, seeking Jesus, Who is the Essence!”

(Based on Heb 2:14-18 and Mk 1:29-39 – Wednesday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time, Cycle 1)

A young boy went to his Uncle’s house for a few days of vacation.
His uncle was a scientist.

One day, the scientist-uncle told the boy, “Today we are going the method of obtaining petrol”

The boy was super-excited

He enjoyed fast cars and racing games.
And so, he was pretty curious to know how petrol was obtained.

They went to a place where oil was dug.

The boy looked in amazement at all the works being done – the digging into the earth, the huge pipes making their way into the depths, the extraction process!

After quite a while, the boy, pretty dejected approached his uncle and asked:
“I thought, you told me, we are going to see petrol being obtained.
But all that I find here, is that they are extracting oil!

Where is the petrol?”

At that time, the scientist-Uncle began to explain to the boy:
“Son! Remember, you never dig petrol!
You only dig for oil…
… and petrol is later, extracted from it, through a process of distillation!

Search not for petrol – which is a by-product…
… Look rather for the oil, which is the essence!

Is our Christian life sometimes similar?

Are we looking often only for the material goods and products from the Lord…
… or do we seek primarily for Jesus and His Kingdom?

We need to check and examine: Have we discovered the “Real” Jesus in our life?

The Gospel of the Day presents before us this great challenge: To identify the real Jesus!

The Gospel reading is a description of the Lord’s ministry as per St Mark’s account.

Jesus is engaged in His proclamation of the Kingdom of God.

He is proving Himself to be a person who is of the supernatural and the extraordinary realm.

He teaches the Scriptures with deep authority and conviction…
… People hear God speaking in their lives!

He silences and expels the forces of evil and influences the nature…
… People experience the Divine force in their lives!

He infuses life into the dead and proclaims his great power…
… People come across the marvellous works of the Lord!

He exercises His healing over the sick and the suffering…
… People witness His glorious control and supremacy!

People are…
… swayed over His mighty works
… super-excited by His amazing wonders
… overwhelmed with His wonderful deeds

But such occasions are the times of great testing and trial for anyone..

The easiest moments of losing oneself is in the midst of immense success!

The most tempting times of losing one’s focus is when there are widespread victories!

The Lord was surrounded by immense recognition and successes.

The crowds were thronging around Him and His popularity ratings were soaring.

But, just as the tree of success must be deeply grounded & rooted in the soil of stability and firmness…

So also, the Lord was fully aware of His goals and mission.

And so the Gospel of St Mark would explicitly point out the actions of the Lord…
‘Rising very early before dawn, He left and went off to a deserted place, where He prayed’ (Mk 1: 35)

‘He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose I have come”‘ (Mk 1: 38)

The Lord points out to the people and to His disciples the priorities of His Life – Being in communion with His Heavenly Father and Spreading the Kingdom of God!

He doesn’t get over-awed with success!
He doesn’t get carried away by reputations!

He reminds His disciples and His people to seek the “real” Jesus!

He brings to the notice of His disciples and His people to long for the “real” Jesus!

It’s a moment for us to check and examine our own lives: Am I following the “Real” Jesus?

Is Jesus merely a source of healings and remedies in my moments of physical sicknesses…
… or has He also become the true balm and consolation in my spiritual health and well-being?

Is Jesus only like a call-centre agent whom I seek in order to fix some problems of life…
… or Has He also become genuinely the treasure and the priceless fortune of my Life?

Is Jesus simply a solution and answer when crisis hits my life and things go badly…
… or has He also become authentically the greatest powerhouse and thrust of my Life?

Am I following the “Real” Jesus?

Or is it merely…
… a Jesus of quick-fix solutions?
… a Jesus who is a problem-solver?
… a Jesus who is remembered in times of trials alone?
… a Jesus who is expected to give all answers to my confusions?

The people and the disciples, as we see in the Gospel, seemed happy and satisfied to seek Jesus who performs wonders.

Surely, wonders and sensational deeds are good.

But they are not to be an end in itself….
They are not to be made the primary motto.

Miracles and marvels ought to become a launching pad for a deeper relationship with the Lord.

Let us not reduce the greatness of Jesus to just miracles…

Let us not bring down the immensity of Jesus to just physical needs.

Let us rather, seek…
… the True and Living Lord for a wholesome & integral growth for eternity.
… the Compassionate and Powerful Lord to grow in holiness & sanctity.

The Lord is the One Who knows us, understands us and wishes that we seek Him with a sincere heart. His understanding Presence with us, is assured in the Letter to the Hebrews:
“Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people.

For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted!” (Heb 2:17)

Just like digging is done for oil…
… and petrol is later, extracted from it, through a process of distillation!

We need to search first for Jesus and His Kingdom (Mt 6:33)
… and all other things – which are a by-product – will be given to us

Yes, let’s not merely run after ‘by-products’…
… Let us rather seek for Jesus, Who is the Essence!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Individual, integral confession and absolution remain the only ordinary way for the faithful to reconcile themselves with God and the Church, unless physical or moral impossibility excuses from this kind of confession.”
There are profound reasons for this. Christ is at work in each of the sacraments. He personally addresses every sinner: “My son, your sins are forgiven.”
He is the physician tending each one of the sick who need him to cure them.
He raises them up and reintegrates them into fraternal communion.

Personal confession is thus the form most expressive of reconciliation with God and with the Church. (CCC # 1484)

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