✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Jan 24, 2023: Tuesday

“Holding firm in doing the Will of the Lord and thus being assured of His Presence with us, always!”

(Based on Heb 10:1-10 and Mk 3:31-35– Tuesday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1 – Feast of St Francis de Sales)

Three different incidents are a told of a person, who was known to struggle with impatience, anger and exasperation…
… yet would deal with it, with a lot of maturity and patience.

The first incident is of stray man who walked through the streets, and was trying to ‘do him in’ – trying to harm the person.
This person however, would tell him:
“I am told you wish me harm. I can promise you that even if you had put out one of my eyes, I would still look kindly upon you with the other!”

The second incident is when he would be insulted by a certain high official and he was asked, why he did not lose his temper. He would admit and say:
“At that time and many other times, I was seething with anger like water in a pot, boiling over the fire; but that by the Grace of God, even if the violent efforts to resist such passion endangered my life…
… I would not let myself go!”

The third incident would be when the person would be instigated to lose temper and to speak badly to a young man. This would be his reaction to the same:
“What did you want me to do in the matter?
… I did what I could to arm myself with an anger that was not sinful. I took my heart in my two hands, but I did not have the courage to dress him down.

To tell you the truth, I was afraid of losing in a quarter of an hour this little bit of liquid of gentleness…
… which I have attempted to gather for twenty-two years, drop by drop like dew in the vessel of my puny heart!”

All these three incidents would be occasions when a person – like any of us – in the normal circumstance would have got angry and lost patience.

However, this person, with the Grace of God remained calm and composed.

He was willing to “live in holiness and sanctity”…
… and to always seek and go God’s Will.

This person is St Francis de Sales – known as the Gentleman Saint…
… whose feast is celebrated on January 24th.

His life is a great inspiration to all of us…
… as he would allow himself to be moulded by the Grace of God
… and with honest efforts, would grow in virtue and holiness.

He allowed the Mighty Presence of the Lord to “take possession of his heart” and was willing to “let go of everything” that prevented him from being a disciple of Christ!

What about our Christian Life?

Is it centered on seeking and doing the Will of God, at every moment, in every situation?

The Gospel of the Day is a narrative of Jesus displaying His conviction and commitment on the most vital dimension of the Kingdom of God: Doing God’s Will.

Jesus was in the thick of His ministry.

The place was packed with people sitting on the floor, in the passage-way, around the doors and windows, craving to listen to what Jesus was speaking.

It’s at that time that His family members arrived.

His family couldn’t get through to Him

So they send a message in, and it passed from one person to person: “Tell him that his mother and brothers are outside looking for him” (Mk 3: 32)

The message finally reached Jesus.

It is interesting to consider the feelings and reactions of the different persons…

The family of Jesus…
….were eager and concerned to get the Lord back home
… were wanting to meet Him and if possible to give Him a break in His ministry

The crowd around Jesus…
… were understandable that the family of the Lord are keen to meet Him
… were expecting Jesus to stop His preaching, to accommodate meeting His kith and kin

It is in such critical moments and crucial situations…
… that the Lord loves to make use, to put across a message…
… that the Lord loves to thrive on, to send forth a teaching…

Jesus uses the arrival of His physical family as an opportunity to teach about His relationship with His spiritual family.

What is most needed…
… is not human relationships
… is not human affairs

Rather, spiritual relations and spiritual affairs!

Jesus brings to focus the importance…
… to seek and do God’s Will
… to become related in the Kingdom.

What is our attitude and mentality…

Am I concerned more with worldly affairs or do I engage myself more into spiritual realities?

Am I obsessed more with worldly gains or do I be zealous for spiritual graces and blessings?

Very often we lose our focus…

Very often we lose sight of the proper track…

The Lord, today, brings back the “spotlight” on the essentials of a Christian Life.

Christian life sometimes gets diluted with too many “social” concerns…
… at the expense of spiritual realities.

Christian life sometimes gets polluted with too many “interdisciplinary” matters…
… at the expense of true faith and teachings.

Christian life sometimes gets ruined with too many “compromising” practices…
… at the expense of Gospel values and standards.

St Francis de Sales, the Doctor of Love, the Gentleman Saint…
… in His book – The Introduction to the Devout Life (a book recommended for all, especially those in family life) clearly enunciates simple and practical tips of how one can grow in devotion and holiness…
… by constantly remaining in the presence of God
… by continually doing the Will of God

Undoubtedly, in doing the Will of God, we will have to…
… we will have to face moments of loneliness, ‘cos we will find ourselves, swimming against the currents of the world

… we will have to encounter hardships and rejections, ‘cos we would become a subject of calumny and mockery, as others may oppose us

… we will have to go through situations of darkness, ‘cos we would find it hard to even have clarity in our life of faith

But in all such situations, the Lord assures us, with the 5 beautiful words: I WILL BE WITH YOU!

When we cherish to be in the Presence of the Lord, strength and courage is bestowed on us!

When we delight to dwell in the Presence of the Lord, power and grace is favoured on us!

As St Francis de Sales teaches us:
“Do everything calmly and peacefully.
Strive to see God in all things without exception, and consent to His will joyously.

Do everything for God, uniting yourself to him in word and deed.”

Let us “seek and do God’s Will” at all times and thus “soar in the skies of sanctity”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK – A SACRAMENT OF THE SICK

The Church believes and confesses that among the seven sacraments there is one especially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness, the Anointing of the Sick:
This sacred anointing of the sick was instituted by Christ our Lord as a true and proper sacrament of the New Testament.

It is alluded to indeed by Mark, but is recommended to the faithful and promulgated by James the apostle and brother of the Lord. (CCC #1511)

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