✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – April 1, 2023: Saturday

“Seeking the Lord wholeheartedly in all situations, knowing that everything in life happens for good, for those who love God!”

(Based on Ezek 37:21-28 and Jn 11:45-56 – Saturday of the 5th Week in Lent)

There is an ancient story, familiar to many of us, in many forms…

A poor farmer in a village, owned a horse, which he used for ploughing and transportation.

One day, this horse escaped into the hills.

The neighbours sympathised with the farmer over his bad luck.

But the farmer replied, “Bad Luck? Good luck? Who knows!”

A couple of days later, the horse returned to the farm, with a herd of wild horses, following its trail. The farmer locked these horses in the stable.
When the neighbours heard of it, they congratulated the farmer on his good luck.

But the farmer said “Good Luck? Bad luck? Who knows!”

The following day, the farmer’s son mounted one of these wild horses, but was thrown off, fracturing his legs.
Once again the neighbours called on the farmer to express their sorrow at his bad luck.

But the farmer replied, “Bad Luck? Good luck? Who knows!”

The following week, army officers arrived at the village to recruit all the able-bodied young men, because of a war that had started. But, they of course, had to leave behind the famer’s young son, because of his fractured leg.
The neighbours once again told the farmer, how much in luck he was.

But the farmer said “Good Luck? Bad luck? Who knows!”

The farmer maintained a position of neutrality and balance in the midst of all pleasant and unpleasant events of life.

However, very often, we are like the neighbours, who rejoice greatly when good things happen and curse immensely when things go wrong.

We fail to see that everything in life has a purpose.

As a result, negative experiences in life often crush us and cause immense disappointments.

When things don’t shape up as we plan, we get greatly frustrated.

When people don’t behave in the way we expect, we get totally devastated.

But through today’s Gospel reading, the Lord invites us…
… to not get shattered or disappointed with life’s bad-turns or evil-leanings…

Rather, to gather strength and courage to fight the evil, arm oneself in faith and hope and seek to live a life of holiness and conviction…
… even in the midst of any setback or failure!

The Gospel of the day, on this eve of the Holy Week, introduces us to culmination of the sharp antagonism and hatred that was building up against Jesus.

Jesus had raised up the dead Lazarus (Jn 11: 1-43)

This event garnered a lot of attention…

Many people began to believe in the person of Jesus, as the Messiah and Lord.

But many others, also began to have a greater bitterness towards this Man who was working wonders!

Many people grew in their following of Jesus and placed a greater trust and confidence in Him

But many others, had their flames of jealousy intensified and began to have greater plotting to finish off the “law-breaker” and “blasphemer”

The good that the Lord had done, was apparently turning out to be an evil for the Lord!

The “life-giving” action of the Lord would immediately result in a “life-taking” act on Him!

The event of blessing to Lazarus would apparently turned out to result in an occasion of curse on Him (since dying on the cross was considered to be a curse (Deut 21: 23)!

In the ensuing planning and plotting by the chief priests and the Pharisees, the High Priest said, “… it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish” (Jn 11: 50)

Jesus had grown to be a big threat for them
Jesus had gathered up much popularity and had become a menace for the leaders.

Therefore, the High Priest suggested a “quick-solution”… to kill Jesus!

But, everything in life has a purpose…
… Because God is the ultimate ruler, preserver and nurturer of this universe!

They plotted death…
… but God planned life
They were selfish…
… but God made Him the Saviour
They sought for political gain…
… but God ensured spiritual gain.
They hoped to spare one nation…
… but God saved the whole world.
They intended the worst evil for Jesus…
… but God turned it into the greatest good.
They wished to scatter all His followers…
… but God brought them together as one holy nation.

Our life also follows this same pattern…

The events we think are bad…
… also have a purpose in God’s mind.
The moments that we consider as cursed…
… also can be turned to a blessing by God.

Sometimes, it’s just too hard to accept this teaching…
… too difficult to understand this concept..

But we have a beautiful answer in this our painful moments: the Cross.

Look to the Cross and find strength from Him…
… who was abused though He was pure
… who suffered immensely, thought He was faultless.
… who underwent tremendous agony, thought He was sinless.

The Cross is the way of God…
… mysterious to us, but life saving for the world.
… baffling for us, but redemptive for the world.

What is most important is not to get discouraged or disheartened; rather…
… to seek the Lord wholeheartedly in all those situations
… to be faithful to the Lord in steadfastness and patience.
.. to be strong and joyful, finding strength in the love of the Lord.

Everything… yes… everything in life, happens for good!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

“Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination.”
The Lord Jesus chose men to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry.
The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. >> The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself.

For this reason the ordination of women is not possible. (CCC # 1576)

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