✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULES – Feb 10, 2023: Friday

“Building our lives into a beautiful edifice of His Love and Mercy!”

(Based on Gen 3:1-8 and Mk 7:31-37 – Friday of the 5th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1)

A group of people were standing outside a very large and ornate Cathedral…
… admiring and marvelling at the fine craftsmanship
…the detail work
… the care and the love that seemed evident in building such a fine place to worship a loving God.

One of the men turned to the other in the group and asked:
“Why can’t we build so today? Why can’t we build with such pride, such craftsmanship today?

After all, we now have better technology than back then!”

The other man gazing at the glorious edifice, replied: “Well…

They had convictions; we, mostly, only opinions!
They had passion; we, mostly, only fashion!”

How is our life of faith?
Enthusiastic… with convictions and passions?
… or monotonous… with only opinions and fashions?

The Gospel of the day presents the fruits of a convinced and passionate follower of Christ…
… with an invitation, to allow the Lord to open our hearts and lives to His Saving Love!

Jesus is back to the district of the Decapolis.

It was in this region that Jesus had healed the man who was possessed by a legion of demons (Mk 5: 1-20)

When Jesus had performed the miracle then, the people had requested Him to leave the place.
“Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their district” (Mk 5:17)

But today’s Gospel gives a contrasting picture of this people who had opposed Jesus.

The Gospel says that the people of this area, were begging Jesus to lay His hands on the deaf and dumb person! (Mk 7:32)

What had caused this dramatic change?

The people who were begging Jesus to leave their place…
… were now begging Jesus to perform a miracle!

Probably, the great witness of the man who was delivered from the legion of demons had caused about this transformation!

We hear at the end of that incident…
… “And as he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged Jesus that he might be with Him.
But He refused, and said to him, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.’

And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and all men marvelled!” (Mk 5:18-20)

This man went around to proclaim the Good News that he had experienced and that had healed him!

Yes, when the Good News becomes a personal experience and a transformative healing encounter…
.. one is filled with a “passionate zeal” to reach it to others!

As it is said, “a spark can become a flame; a flame a fire”
… the spark of the experience of the Lord’s Power became a fire in his heart, to bring God’s Healing to many!”

A real experience of the Lord can indeed be a source for many to believe in the Lord!
A true encounter with the Lord can indeed turn one to be a tremendous missionary!

And this missionary endeavor of the man…
… led the people of the area to reach out to Jesus
… resulting in the healing of another man – a deaf and dumb person

Jesus in healing this deaf and dumb person, has a very peculiar style of going about.

Jesus takes the person away from the crowd, put His fingers into the man’s ears, spitting, touched his tongue, lifted up His eyes to heaven, groaned and said “Ephphatha, Be Opened!” (Mk 7:33-34)

There is a very personal and intimate touch in this healing process!

It is interesting to note that in the book of Genesis, when God formed human beings, there was a very personal involvement from the part of God to create humans – the crown of creation.
“God formed man, out of the clay and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.” (Gen 2:7)

Jesus also does something similar in the healing of the deaf and dumb person….

He very personally involves Himself.
He uses His own touch to heal and recreate the person!

Jesus is the Lord of the New Creation!

God created the world good.

Human beings spoiled it through sin.
But Jesus restores and renews the goodness!

Our ears maybe closed very often to the voice of the Spirit of the Lord
Our mouth maybe often mute to speak the power of the Lord to others.
Our ears maybe closed very often to the cries of the poor and the needy,
Our mouth maybe often mute to speak for justice for the cause of others.

But the Lord is ready to touch us… and renew and recreate us.

Are we ready to receive this renewing and recreating touch from the Lord?
“Ephphatha… Be Opened!”

This “Ephphatha experience” ought to help us to also reach out His care, mercy and love to many people!

The Lord wishes that we build our lives into a beautiful edifice of His Love and Mercy

But this requires us to move from opinions to convictions in faith!
It requires us to journey from mere fashions to passions in life!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK – A preparation for the final journey.

If the sacrament of anointing of the sick is given to all who suffer from serious illness and infirmity, even more rightly is it given to those at the point of departing this life; so it is also called sacramentum exeuntium (the sacrament of those departing).
The Anointing of the Sick completes our conformity to the death and Resurrection of Christ, just as Baptism began it.
It completes the holy anointings that mark the whole Christian life…
… that of Baptism which sealed the new life in us
… and that of Confirmation which strengthened us for the combat of this life.

This last anointing fortifies the end of our earthly life like a solid rampart for the final struggles before entering the Father’s house. (CCC #1523)

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