REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 18, 2021: Friday

Making a choice between God and His everlasting Kingdom, and the world and its transient riches!

(Based on 2 Cor 11:18, 21-30 and Mt 6:19-23 – Friday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

A priest who knew of a man in his parish, who was greatly attached to wealth, wrote this letter, to him, exhorting him on the need to have God as the Greatest Treasure of his life.

“Dear Jim, I would like to propose to you two examples today – one from the Christian world and the other from the secular world. Do read through… and I pray that God will help you to make the right choices in life.

The first example is of St Francis de Sales who says that there is a wide difference between having poison and being poisoned.

He tells that all apothecaries (= a person who prepares and sells medicines and drugs) have poisons ready for special uses, but they are not consequently poisoned, because…
… the poison is only in their shop, not in themselves

And so you may possess riches without being poisoned by them, so long as they are in your house or purse only…
…and not in your heart!

The second example is that of King Midas, which I’m sure you are aware of…

This tale from ancient Greece tells of a king named Midas who did a good deed for a Satyr (a class of Greek gods) and was granted a wish by the GOD of wine, Dionysus.

For his wish, Midas asked that whatever he touched would turn to gold!

Although Dionysus tried to dissuade him, Midas insisted and so, and it was granted!

Excitedly, Midas went about touching all sorts of things, turning them into gold.

Soon Midas became hungry.

He picked up a piece of food, but he couldn’t eat it, for it had turned to gold in his hand!
‘I’ll starve,’ moaned Midas, ‘Perhaps this was not such a good wish after all!’

Midas’ beloved daughter, seeing his dismay, threw her arms about him to comfort him, and, she too turned to gold!
‘The golden touch is no blessing,’ cried Midas.

He cried out to Dionysus, begging the god to take back his power.

Dionysus instructed him to travel into the hills, and bathe at the source of the river Pactolus.

And sure enough, as Midas bathed, the power of the golden touch flowed into the water.

The water becomes speckled with tiny flakes of gold.

Midas left the river, free of his curse and feeling like a new man.

Greed and avarice made King Midas to consider gold as the greatest treasure.

However, life taught him the lesson for true happiness by making him realise the transient nature of worldly treasures.”

The priest concluded the letter with these words: “These two examples are set before you. Now you need to make a choice: God and His everlasting Kingdom…
… or the world and its transient riches!”

The Gospel of the Day present Jesus teaching us this great lesson of not being attached to earthly riches…
… and instead, to discover our true treasure in the Lord.

Our Blessed Lord says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal…” (Mt 6: 19)

Jesus points out to the futility of having our security on earthly goods by citing two similes:
• Moth and rust
• Thieves

Any possession or any wealth on the earth, has to face a danger from both these aspects:

Those which cause damage from within… Those which cause destruction from outside.

Moth and rust cause damage from within…
… they spoil money, render precious things useless and cause irreversible harm to costly goods.

Thieves cause destruction from outside…
… they loot valuable things, threaten lives for acquiring wealth and induce immense tension and worry.

However, the Lord says to place our treasure on things that are eternal and heavenly.

The advantage?
There is to be no fear of destruction: from within or from outside.

Moth and rust cannot affect them… Thieves cannot loot them.

That is why the Lord would assure to His disciples, later on in the ministry:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give you peace” (Jn 14: 27)
“…your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy away from you” (Jn 16: 22)

St Paul would later articulate this in his letter to the Romans:
“For I am convinced that neither death, not life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth…
… nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8: 38)

Jesus assures a treasure and wealth that cannot be either damaged from inside or can be destroyed from outside.
• There is total guarantee in placing our hearts on heavenly treasures.
• There is full assurance in letting our mind set on spiritual wealth.

What do these teachings mean for us?

Am I being forbidden to use wealth?
Am I being discouraged from having money with me?

Jesus goes a step beyond these queries and seeks to check our intentions and our attitude:
“For where your treasure is, there your health also will be” (Mt 6: 21)

• Is my heart constantly set only on worldly treasures and riches…
… and fails to, instead, give the prime place and honour to the Lord and set priorities for Him?

• Is my life constantly only worried about money, properties, gadgets and possessions…
… and fails to, instead, accord the rightful and due place to the Lord and concerns for Him?

Any of us can, at any time, fall into the desire to have the wishes that King Midas had: an attitude of avarice and wanting to have only wealth and earthly treasures.

But can I know and realise, that all such external possessions will not be able to assure my true peace and happiness?

Real treasure is to be cherished only by having the Lord as our only true possession!
Greatest joys of life come by clinging on to those realities which have eternal value!

The choice is before us: God and His everlasting Kingdom…
… or the world and its transient riches!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MOTHER MARY

The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.
By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.
At the announcement that she would give birth to “the Son of the Most High” without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that “with God nothing will be impossible”: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word.”
Thus, giving her consent to God’s Word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus.
Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God’s grace.
As St. Irenaeus says, “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.”
Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert: “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith.”

Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary “the Mother of the living” and frequently claim: “Death through Eve, life through Mary!” (Cf. CCC # 493-494)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 17, 2021: Thursday

“With greater trust and confidence, throwing ourselves, into the loving arms of our Heavenly Father!

(Based on 2 Cor 11:1-11 and Mt 6:7-15 – Thursday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

In the centre of London stands an iconic building – St Paul’s Cathedral.

This majestic structure is built in the shape of a cross…
… with a large dome crowning the intersection of its arms.

At 111.3 metres high, it is one of the largest cathedral domes in the world.

Climbing up 259 steps inside the dome, one reaches the “Whispering Gallery”.

The speciality of this gallery is:

When one stands on one side of the circular gallery, and whispers…
… these soft tones of sound can be heard, on the other side – even 30 metres away.

The sound bounces back many times on the smooth walls of the dome…
… and the whisper can be heard even at a far distance.

What is said, even in the lowest of tones, can be heard, on the opposite side of the dome.

In the spiritual realm, the entire space is like this “whispering gallery”…
… even the lowest of tones, are heard by our Loving God.

No matter how low we whisper, He hears!
No matter how silent be our prayer, He hears!

Are we able to have such a trust and confidence in our prayer life?

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful initiation by Jesus to help us to know, grow and deepen our understanding of God as being a Loving and Caring Father…
… as the One Who listens to our every prayer – including the ones whispered in the lowest of tones!

Today’s Gospel passage begins with Jesus issuing a warning on the danger of making prayer a mere “lip-service”

“In praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do….” (Mt 6:7)

What was Jesus meaning by the clause “heaping up empty phrases as the Gentiles…”?

One of the notable Gentile groups at the time of Jesus, were the Romans, under whose occupation the Jews were living.

It’s noteworthy to see some of the aspects of the ancient pagan Roman prayer:

  1. All sacrifices and offerings required an accompanying prayer to be effective.

It was declared that “a sacrifice without prayer was thought to be useless and not a proper consultation of the gods.”

  1. Prayer – the spoken word was considered the single most potent religious action.

And knowledge of the correct verbal formulas were the key to efficacy.

  1. An accurate naming was vital for tapping into the desired powers of the deity invoked.

Hence public religious ritual had to be enacted by specialists and professionals faultlessly…
… even a small a mistake would require that the action, or even the entire festival, be repeated all over!

(A historian named Livy reports of an occasion when the presiding magistrate at the Latin festival forgot to include the “Roman people” among the list of beneficiaries in his prayer…
… the festival had to be started all over!)

The Greek word used for “empty phrases” is “battalagesete”.

It means to stammer, babble, talk gibberish, or to repeat the same things over and over mindlessly!

With this in background, Jesus emphatically declares that prayer is not about “heaping empty phrases”.

In this context, it also good to provide the Catholic understanding and logic of some of the prayers, which are perhaps considered as repetitive (eg: The Rosary, Novenas, Litanies.. etc)

Are all these standard prayers mere “heaping up of empty phrases…?”

No!

The Bible teaches us many examples of repetitive prayers…

The angels continually – day and night – sing “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Rev 4:8)
Psalm 136 repeats the words “for his steadfast love endures forever” nearly 26 times in 26 verses!
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane prayed in the “same words” three times (Mk 14: 32-39)
Jesus, in fact, also commends the fact of continually praying, through the example of the widow and the unjust judge (Lk 18: 1-14)

Thus, it is seen that the Bible has many examples of repetitive prayer.

Therefore, the repetitive Catholic Prayers like the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Novenas, Litanies etc… are scripturally well-supported

When prayed with honesty and devotion, they become means to allow the heart…
… to praise God and understand His mighty works
… to grow in His love and come to a deeper awareness of His Providence
… and pray with Mother Mary and the Saints and intercede to them for our intentions

Prayer is not rattling off a few external words and feel satisfied in having done that…
… It is opening up, in dependence, the interiority of our hearts, to the One Who knows all!

Prayer is not going through a series of stipulated and organised system of words…
… It is allowing the heart to “mean what is said”, and to cause the lips express what the heart feels!

It is to this effect that Jesus says “Your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him” (Mt 6:8)…
… and teaches us the beautiful prayer – “The Our Father”!

Jesus presents the beautiful understanding of God being a Loving and Caring Father…
… The Father, in heaven, Whose Name we acknowledge to be most Holy and Worthy
… The Father, Whose Kingdom becomes the target to Which we ought to aspire
… The Father, Whose Will is to become the compass and blueprint of our life
… The Father, Whose providence nourishes us with daily bread for our sustenance and well-being
… The Father, Who extends His Immense Mercy to us, which we receive only if we forgive in turn
… The Father, Who strengthens us in our moments of trials and temptations
… The Father, Who rescues us from all evil by tenderly holding us in the palm of His Hand

Yes, Jesus wants us to understand and experience God as a Loving and Tender Father.

May we realize that in the spiritual realm, the entire space is like a “whispering gallery”…
… and even the lowest of tones, are heard by our Loving God.

No matter how low we whisper, He hears!
No matter how silent be our prayer, He hears!

Let this be our trust and confidence in our prayer life…
… and thus throw ourselves, into the loving arms of our Heavenly Father!

God Bless! Live Jesus


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MOTHER MARY

To become the mother of the Saviour, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”
The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”.
In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s Grace.
Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception…
… by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.
The “splendour of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: She is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.

The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love” (Cf. CCC # 489)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 16, 2021: Wednesday

“Praying for the gift of humility in order to reach out the Goodness of God to all!”

(Based on 2 Cor 9:6-11 and Mt 6:1-6, 16-18 – Wednesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

A legendary story goes is told of a holy person who lived an extremely virtuous life.

The goodness in him diffused, as a flower would spread its fragrance.

So impressed were the angels, that they came down to enquire on his secrets and even to offer him special gifts of miracles and thus he could gain more popularity and fame.

They offered him the gift of the “touch of his hand” – so that he would be able to heal the sick or raise the dead…
… But he refused, saying that “God alone could heal”

Then, they offered him the “power of conversion” – so that people could turn to God in repentance…
… But he refused, saying that “the Holy Spirit alone could work repentance in souls”

Then they offered the power to be a “model of goodness” so that many more would be drawn to him by the virtue of his life…
… But he refused, again, saying that “if all are drawn to him, people would be away from God”

Puzzled, the angels asked him what gift did he desire!

The holy person replied:
“Grant me the gift of humility…
… so that I might do good to all, without me even knowing it!”

And so the angels interceded to God…
… and he was blessed:

Wherever his shadow would fall, where he himself could not see it…
… the shadow would cure sicknesses, heal broken hearts and bring back people to God in repentance!

Humility was the virtue that was sought by the virtuous person…
… and it was this simplicity – to allow the Lord to take complete possession of all his goodness – that exalted him to climb the ladder of sanctity higher!

Yes, Humility is the prime virtue that needs to embellish the life of every Christian.

The Gospel of the Day is a teaching by Jesus on the prime importance of doing away with pride and instead, beautifying one’s life with sincere humility.

Jesus, through the Sermon on the Mount continues to target the key areas of one’s Christian living.

Today He speaks on the three core practices that were essential pious practices of His time: almsgiving, prayer and fasting.

Jesus condemns these devout exercises becoming instruments to show-case one’s pride and exhibit pomp and self-glory.

With respect to almsgiving, Jesus says…
… “sound no trumpet” (Mt 6:2)

With respect to prayer, Jesus says…
… “shut the door and pray to your Father” (Mt 6:6)

With respect to fasting, Jesus says…
…”anoint your head and wash your face” (Mt 6:17)

One of the fundamental aspects in the Spirituality of Jesus is His emphasis on the intention of the heart.

Sin is…
… when the heart rejects the working of the Spirit.

Holiness is…
… when the heart accepts the grace of the Spirit.

When the heart consents to evil, sin occurs

When the heart consents to Grace, goodness is affirmed.

An act of almsgiving happens, when the heart willingly gives – in generosity and with wholeheartedness

An act of prayer happens, when the heart seeks communion with the Lord – in openness and with faithfulness
An act of fasting happens, when the heart self-sacrifices and renounces – in sincerity and with willingness

When the intention of the heart is genuine and sincere, then one remains least bothered of external attractions and publicity…
… there is no desire to seek for attention and appreciation for one’s devout actions
… there is no inclination to want acknowledgement and recognition for one’s pious deeds

And this is the ideal to which Jesus invites us:

A religion that spreads not simply on the basis of external shows…
… but on the basis of genuine spirituality

A faith that grows not merely on the strength of pompous deeds…
… but on the foundation of true dependence and trust in the Lord

Is my practice of religion very often a flaunting of my pride and vain glory?

It is also interesting to note that these 3 practices also refers to the 3 dimensions of Love: towards God, towards others, towards oneself

  1. Prayer: Reminding ourselves to grow in the Immensity of God’s Love
  2. Almsgiving: Reviving our basic duty of caring and being responsible to one another
  3. Fasting (Penance): Rediscovering the worthiness of our lives and commit to grow in holiness

Let us give heed to the wisdom from the book “Imitation of Christ” and seek to grow in humility and dependence on the Lord:
“Do not think yourself better than others lest, perhaps, you be accounted worse before God who knows what is in man.

Do not take pride in your good deeds, for God’s judgments differ from those of men and what pleases them often displeases Him”

May this be our prayer to enshrine all our activities:
“Grant me the gift of humility…
… so that I might do good to all, without me even knowing it!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
JESUS CHRIST – BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY

Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary.
At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living.
By virtue of this promise, Sarah conceives a son in spite of her old age.
Against all human expectation God chooses those who were considered powerless and weak to show forth his faithfulness to his promises: Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther; and many other women.
Mary “stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from him. After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her…

… the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established.” (Cf. CCC # 489)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 15, 2021: Tuesday

“Daring to ‘receive into our homes’ those who, though deserve to be punished, but still are worthy of the Mercy of the Lord!”

(Based on 2 Cor 8:1-9 and Mt 5:43-48 – Tuesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

The Year 1989 saw the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Germany.

This wall was the barrier that divided the nation from 1961 to 1989.

After the collapse of the Berlin Wall, there would have been, perhaps, no person in all of East Germany, who was more despised …
… than the former Communist dictator Erich Honecker.

Being the secretary of the Communist Party, Erich Honecker was the prime organiser of the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and, in this function, bore responsibility for the “order to fire” along the inner German border.

However, after the collapse of the wall, Honecker had been stripped of all his offices.

Kicked out of his villa, the new government refused him and his family, new housing.

The family of the Honeckers were rendered homeless and destitute.

It was at this stage, Pastor Uwe Holmer, Director of a Christian Help Centre decided to take a bold step:
Feeling that it would be wrong to give them a room, in the Help Centre, which was meant for even needier people…
… Uwe Holmer decided to take the family of the Honeckers into their own home!

Holmer’s children had suffered the wrath of the rule of the Honechars..

8 of his children had been turned down for higher education, due to their discriminatory policies.

But now, Holmer – filled with God’s Mercy – decided to care and accept their personal enemy – and perhaps one of the most hated men in Germany!

Many people turned against Holmer for his decision
Many felt angered in having given refuge to an enemy

But Holmer, the Christian, was convinced of what he was doing…

It was indeed an unnatural move…
It was undoubtedly an unconventional step…
.. But it was so much Christ-like!

He put into practise what Jesus had taught on the Sermon of the Mount, as we see in today’s Gospel:
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Mt 5:44)

It is said that some books/thoughts are to be just tasted…

Some are to be just swallowed…
While some others are to be chewed and digested!

Well… here is a teaching that is certainly not too easy to digest:
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you!

Sometimes when we hear the word ENEMY…

Our thoughts go to some enemy of the nation or some social criminal…
Or perhaps, some of us, may think of some person who has harmed us deeply or cheated us, and has turned to be an enemy…

But if we analyze our lives closer… we may observe that we all have many enemies in our lives..

An ‘enemy’, is defined by the Oxford Dictionary, as “a person or thing, hostile or opposed to something; that harms or weakens someone/something”

A little closer look into our lives will probably make us to discover that…

Perhaps, many people fall into this definition of being an “enemy”…
… Many in our family or our community
… Many in our friends circle
… Many in our workplaces
… Many in the society

We get so easily offended when our egos our hurt..

We feel a sense of resentment when we are not treated as we feel we ought to be…
We experience bitterness when other people do not fall in line with the way we think…
… there are often so many tussles and mental games…
… and we have so often grudges against all these people!

All these are our “enemies”!

This list of enemies in our life…though apparently unnoticed, is perhaps deeper….

But, today the Lord says: “Love those enemies…and pray for them”!

Humanly speaking, of course, it seems only a theoretical advice – seemingly impractical!

But the Lord wants us to be perfect!

We also know one thing…
… If this was not possible, the Lord would have never said it!

The Life of Jesus Himself was a proof for it…
… Lovingly inviting even all those who hated and detested Him, to experience His Love
… Constantly reaching out with the call of repentance, to those who wronged Him
… Giving His life for all of us, who offend and hurt Him

The call of the Gospel “to love our enemies” is a high demand…

It is indeed a huge challenge…

Yet, with the grace of the Lord…
… Let’s pick up this challenge of the Lord…and seek towards perfection!

St John Paul II says, “Don’t fear to be the saints of the Third Millennia!”

Let’s not remain in idealistic talks and thoughts…
… rather, lets translate the words and challenges of the Lord, in our practical and daily life.

May we identify the “enemies” in our life…
… and seek Divine Assistance and the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, St Joseph and the Saints.

May we dare to “receive into our homes” those who, though deserve to be punished…
… but still are worthy of the Mercy of the Lord!

“Misericordes Sicut Pater” – “Be merciful, like the Heavenly Father” (Lk 6:36)

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
JESUS CHRIST – BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY

What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ…
… and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.
“God sent forth his Son”, but to prepare a body for him, He wanted the free co-operation of a creature.
For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee…
… “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary”
The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother….

… so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life (Cf. CCC # 487-488)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 14, 2021: Monday

“Being bold in one’s convictions and opposing evil, so as to be an icon of the lofty, supreme and mighty spirituality of Jesus!”

(Based on 2 Cor 6:1-10 and Mt 5:38-42 – Monday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time)

India honours Mahatma Gandhi as the Father of the nation.

The New Testament made a great impression on him, especially the Sermon on the Mount, which went straight to his heart.

He would say to one of his disciples:
“The gentle figure of Christ…
… so patient, so kind, so loving, so full of forgiveness that He taught His followers not to retaliate when abused or struck, but to turn the other cheek…

I thought it was a beautiful example of the perfect man…!”

“The message of Jesus as I understand it,” said Gandhi, “is contained in the Sermon on the Mount unadulterated and taken as a whole…

The Gospel of the Day presents this lofty teaching of Jesus on non-retaliation and the power of forgiving love.

It is significant to read that in this Passage of the Sermon of the Mount, Jesus is instructing some of the core personal tasks that has to be taken up by each individual Christian.

The Sermon on the Mount makes a personal obligation on each Christian

It is worth meditating and reflecting on each line of this Great Sermon, and examining to what extent am I living this lofty and powerful teaching of the Lord in my life.

One of the highly debatable and confusing teachings of Jesus is contained in today’s Gospel reading.

Jesus says, “Do not resist the one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the one cheek, turn to him the other also” (Mt 5: 39)

This verse could easily raise a lot of doubts and questions…

Did Jesus mean that Christian should be passive to evil?
Did Jesus teach that we should suffer unnecessarily in the face of social evils?
Did Jesus teach passivity and being lethargic when one encounters wickedness and evil?

The one direct answer to all such doubts is seen in the light of the life of Jesus Himself…

He was always actively against evil and sinful activities
He was a constant opponent to oppression, condemnation and human wickedness

Then what would have Jesus meant by those strong phrases of “resist evil… and turning one’s cheeks?”

There could be, speaking in general terms, three responses to evil:

  1. Opposing with violence
  2. Bearing everything passively
  3. A courageous non-violence

The first two responses are also popularly called as Fight or Flight
…either FIGHT against the evil… or take FLIGHT from the evil situations

FIGHT: oppose with evil and violence
FLIGHT: run away from the situation or passively be submissive

But the way of Jesus is a higher one…
… a much higher and bolder one: the way of ACTIVE NON-VIOLENCE.

The Greek word that is used by St Mathew, for “resist” is “antisthemi”

‘Antisthemi’ is not a passive or a weak term.

It was a classical Greek ‘military’ term.

It means…
… to take a stand against, to oppose or to resist
… to establish one’s position publicly by conspicuously “holding one’s ground,”.
… It means refusing to be moved (” being pushed back”)

This clearly shows that “to resist evil” is not merely a passive act of submission…
… rather is a firm, courageous and bold action of holding onto one’s convictions of truth and opposing every reaction to subdue truth.

This is further illustrated in the example that Jesus gives, “of turning one’s cheek, when hit on the right cheek”

In the culture of Jesus, the left hand was commonly used for unclean tasks, and only the right hand was considered appropriate for such actions as striking another person.

Now, its common sense to note, that if one hits with the right hand, it would hit the other person only on the “left” cheek.

Therefore, if the person is hit on the “right” cheek, as in the example of Jesus, it could quite probably mean, that one was hit with a “back-hand”.

What is the significance of a back-handed slap?
A backhanded slap, had a greater message than merely hurting or causing pain…

Instead, it meant to be an act of “severe” humiliation… of “terrible” insult!

A backhand slap, in the time of Jesus, was the usual way of admonishing inferiors:

Masters backhanded slaves; husbands, wives; parents, children; men, women; Romans, Jews.

What is the response that Jesus suggests for such an act of dreadful humiliation?
Not Fight… Not Flight.

Rather, a strong and bravely opposing act of courage: “turn the other cheek as well!”

It is a calculated response intended to invite the aggressor to consider his or her actions.
This bold action of turning one’s cheek robs the oppressor of the power to humiliate.

It is as if the oppressed person is saying,
“Try again if you want, buddy!
Your first blow failed to achieve its intended effect.
I deny you any power to humiliate me!”

This was how our Blessed Lord who gave this supremely lofty teaching demonstrated in His life… by dying on the Cross!

The Cross was a powerful opposition to evil and sin.

The One who died on the Cross did not die a passive death…
Rather, He boldly preached against every act of oppression and mightily spoke against every form of discrimination!

As Christians, we need to be bold and courageous to “resist” every evil and sinful deed.
In Christ, we have a teaching that is not passive, but is “extremely” active and powerful.

To merely FIGHT or simply make a FLIGHT in the face of oppressions, is cheap and ordinary…
In fact, it is “no spirituality”.

But to “be bold in one’s convictions” and “to oppose” evil, even to the point of giving up one’s life, is a lofty, supreme and mighty spirituality.

Jesus embodied this spirituality.
Many great men and women in history have been inspired by it and lived it.

As Christians, the followers of the Bold Jesus, are we ready to embrace this “powerful” spirituality?

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
JESUS – CONCEIVED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Annunciation to Mary inaugurates “the fullness of time – the time of the fulfilment of God’s promises and preparations.”
Mary was invited to conceive him in whom the “whole fullness of deity” would dwell “bodily”
The divine response to her question, “How can this be, since I know not man?” was given by the power of the Spirit: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.”
The mission of the Holy Spirit is always conjoined and ordered to that of the Son.
The Holy Spirit, “the Lord, the giver of Life”, is sent to sanctify the womb of the Virgin Mary and divinely fecundate it…
… causing her to conceive the eternal Son of the Father in a humanity drawn from her own.

The Father’s only Son, conceived as man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, is “Christ”- anointed by the Holy Spirit, from the beginning of his human existence, though the manifestation of this fact takes place only progressively: to the shepherds, to the magi, to John the Baptist, to the disciples. >> Thus the whole life of Jesus Christ will make manifest “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.” (Cf. CCC # 484-486)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 13, 2021: Sunday

“Gazing at the ‘large canvas of miracles’ that we experience every moment of our lives and singing the splendour of God, Who is in total charge!”

(Based on Ezek 17:22-24, 2 Cor 5:6-10 and Mk 4:26-34 – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

A family was visiting an art museum.

As they went around with much amazement, excitement and wonder, they came to a famous painting titled “Wheatfield under clouded sky”

This painting was by Vincent Willem van Gogh – a Dutch painter – who posthumously became one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art.

He had created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, include those of landscapes, still lives, portraits and self-portraits

As the children gazed in admiration at this classical painting, the mother of the family, exclaimed:
“If this work of art, that portrays the beauty of nature, makes us acclaim so much…
… how much more is the Beauty, Power and Goodness of the God Who has created all of this nature!”

And with a great sense of gratitude and appreciation to the Awesomeness of God, she went on to say:
“God writes with a pen that never blots…
… speaks with a tongue that never slips
… and acts with a hand that never fails!”

Yes, our God is an awesome God!

And the entire world – all of nature – beautifully sings forth the glory and splendour of God, Who is in total charge!

The Gospel of Day is a beautiful narration of Jesus, using an example from nature, to teach about the Glory and Splendour of God.

All through His teaching ministry, Jesus used different examples, metaphors and symbols to explain about the Kingdom of God.

Today, Jesus speaks about a man who scatters seeds on the land.

Without his awareness there is a growth.
“…and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how” (Mk 4:27)

One of the most tender ideas that this parable presents is that there are many things in life that are not understood and yet, it turns out to be beautiful!

The seed that grows, unnoticed and unseen, is a sign of the Kingdom of God.

The seed takes root.

The seed sprouts.

The seed grows.
But HOW this takes place, is unknown and unseen…

The effect of the growth is seen, but the process of the growth is unknown!

The result of the progress is observed, but the manner of the progress is hidden!

In John 3:8, we read, “The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes… so it is with everyone born of the Spirit”

The movement of the Spirit of God is gentle and mild!

The growth of God’s Kingdom is hidden and concealed!

This points to the tremendous fact that God is in total charge and control!
…that God is in perfect sovereignty and power!
…that God is in total dominion and management!

We are sometimes people prone to a lot of strategies and planning.

When things don’t turn out the way we have planned, we get worried and anxious.
When situations don’t fall in line with what we envisaged, we get tensed and upset!

But, today God tells… I am in total control!

When my life seems to be in a complete mess and nothing is understood by us…

God says, “I am in total control”

When circumstances around me go haywire and I lose control of things…

God says, “I am in total control”

When conditions are highly worse and it seems to be the end of the world for me…

God says, “I am in total control”

St Paul beautifully reminds us: “So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord…
… for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him!” (2 Cor 5:6-9)

This is not to say that we need to have a passive and lethargic attitude to life.

This is not to say that we need to have a casual and a lazy mentality in life.
This is not even to say that we should not have plans and strategies in our life

But this is a great reminder to know and realise that God is the Ultimate Master!

There are no accidents… no “by chance” happenings…
… for a Christian.

Everything finds its place, in the Permissive Will of the Lord!

Do I trust in Him to lead through the dark moments into light?

Do I believe in Him to lead through the depressing moments into joy?

Do I have faith in Him to lead through the confusing moments to clarity?

Prophet Ezekiel declares the glorious sovereignty of God:
“All the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord. I bring low the high tree, I make high the low tree; I dry up the green tree make the dry tree flourish. I the Lord have spoken; I will accomplish it.” (Ezek 17:24)

Let us enjoy the silent working of the Spirit within us…
….and be part of the..
… unseen, yet dynamic..
… silent, yet spectacular…
growth of the Kingdom of God!

As we gaze at the “large canvas of miracles” that we experience every day, every moment of our life…
… let us joyfully exclaim the Awesomeness of God and His Splendour, by confessing:
“God writes with a pen that never blots…
… speaks with a tongue that never slips
… and acts with a hand that never fails!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
THE HEART OF THE INCARNATE WORD

Jesus knew and loved us each and all during His life, His agony and His Passion…
… and gave himself up for each one of us: “The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me.”
He has loved us all with a human heart.
For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation…
… “is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that Love…

… with which the Divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings without exception” (Cf. CCC # 478)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 12, 2021: Saturday

“Consecrating our lives to the Maternal Care of our Blessed Mother Mary and finding consolation and comfort in Her Immaculate Heart!”

(Based on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother)

There is a well-known incident in the life of St Francis de Sales…

During the period from December 1586 to January 1587, St Francis underwent a terrible crisis, a temptation, a trial.

There were several causes:

  1. His natural tendency to anxiety
  2. The problem of predestination (a Calvinist position which says that God has determined the eternal destiny of every human being. He has chosen some to eternal life and foreordained others to everlasting punishment) keenly discussed in theological circles in those days.
  3. A mystical dimension to the trial: an unselfish, pure love of God and total surrender to Him, in which lay the answer to his problems as he was being tempted to despair of his salvation.

One day in January 1587, St Francis went into the church of St. Etienne des Grès.

He went to the chapel of our Lady and knelt down in front of the statue.

He was inspired to make an unconditional surrender of his salvation to God, using the words:
“O God, Just Judge and Merciful Father, at least in this life will I love You…
… if it is not given to me to love You in life everlasting”.

Then he saw there a card with the prayer – The Memorare:
“Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary…”

He took it and earnestly prayed it.

He was instantly healed.

The temptation vanished.

Strength and confidence returned to him.

He consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and decided to dedicate his life to God with a vow of chastity.

The Gentleman Saint, St Francis de Sales found consolation and encouragement by dwelling on the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother Mary, and consecrated himself to Her maternal care.

Today, on the Feast Day of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we too are invited to admire and venerate the deep love and affection of our Blessed Mother…
… and to seek Her help and intercession to lead a life in closer union with the Lord.

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Blessed Mary is celebrated on the following day of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of the Lord.

Jesus in a vision to Lucia (one of the Fatima visionaries) said: “I want My Church to…put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.”

Lucia would also say: ““The work of our redemption began at the moment when the Word descended from Heaven in order to assume a human body in the womb of Mary.
From that moment, and for the next nine months, the Blood of Christ was the Blood of Mary, taken from Her Immaculate Heart; the Heart of Christ was beating in unison with the Heart of Mary!”

Both these devotions are intricately linked.

The Catechism of the Church says:
“Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it.” (CCC # 964)

“This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death”. (CCC #1172)

Saint Alphonsus Ligouri tells us, “After the love which we Jesus Christ, we must give the chief place in our heart to the love of His Mother Mary.”

It was in 1942, in the context of the devastating Second World War, that Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

St Luke gives a glimpse into this Blessed Heart of our Mother, when he testifies that “… Jesus’ Mother kept all these things in Her Heart” (Lk 2: 51b)

What does the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother teach us?

  1. The Immaculate Heart of Mary teaches us that “everything in life is not understood”.
    Mother Mary had to face a lot of hardships and struggles in life

Right from the moment of the Annunciation
… to the misunderstandings about her marital life
… the hardships at the time of the birth of Her Child
… the grievances and tribulations in the events post-birth and care of the Child
… the loss of Her Spouse, Joseph
… the misunderstandings that Her Little Babe had to face in His ministry
… the cruel death meted out to Her Beloved Child

With all these great troubles of life, we still find that Mother Mary remained trustful and obedient.

  1. The Immaculate Heart of Mary teaches us that “sorrow and pain are an integral part of everyone’s life”
    The Heart of our Blessed Mother faced a lot of pain and agonies…
    … sacrificing of a promising life ahead, for the sake of giving birth to God’s Child
    … facing crisis in the family and possibilities of misunderstanding with her to-be-husband Joseph
    … uncertainty during and after the birth of the Child
    … living life as a widow and alone with Her Son away in a risky mission
    … undergoing the deepest pain of seeing One’s Own Child facing a harrowing death
  2. The Immaculate Heart of Mary teaches us that “being focused on doing God’s Will brings the greatest joy and happiness”
    The Heart of our Blessed Mother was ever focused on doing God’s Will.

Just as Her Son would tell later on in life, “My food is to do the Will of the One who sent me” (Jn 4:34), Mary also would sustain Her life on doing the Will of the Father at all times.

This would therefore turn out to be the source of strength and joy, even in the midst of the deep pain that Her Heart underwent.

The Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother is a model and example and inspiration for all of us too….
a. Do I realise that “not everything in life can be understood”; yet life is still worth living and making it beautiful for others and for God?

b. Do I accept that “pains and problems” are part and parcel of life; yet, holding on to the Father’s Hands will assure us of a spiritual joy and heavenly peace?

c. Do I seek to constantly seek and do God’s Will in my life, and be committed and faithful to the tasks that are entrusted to me, as part of my vocation?

Saint Louis de Montfort beautifully reminds us: “If you put all the love of the mothers into one heart it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.”

May we consecrate our lives to the Maternal Care of our Blessed Mother Mary and find consolation and comfort in Her Immaculate Heart!

Let the words of St Francis de Sales inspire us greatly: “Honour, revere and respect the Blessed Virgin Mary with a very special love; she is the Mother of our Sovereign Lord, and so we are Her children.
Let us think of Her with all the love and confidence of affectionate children
Let us desire Her love, and strive with true filial hearts to imitate Her Graces!”

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mamma!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, may we rest in You!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
CHRIST’S TRUE BODY

Since the Word became flesh in assuming a true humanity, Christ’s body was finite.
Therefore the human face of Jesus can be portrayed; at the seventh ecumenical council (Nicaea II in 787) the Church recognized its representation in holy images to be legitimate.
At the same time the Church has always acknowledged that in the body of Jesus “we see our God made visible…
… and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see.”
The individual characteristics of Christ’s body express the divine person of God’s Son.
He has made the features of his human body his own, to the point that they can be venerated when portrayed in a holy image…

… for the believer “who venerates the icon is venerating in it the person of the one depicted” (Cf. CCC # 476-477)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 11, 2021: Friday

Responding to the invitation of the Lord, Who displays His Sacred Heart: ‘This Heart of Mine… is just for you! Can you also give me your life…and tell me, ‘LORD, JUST FOR YOU!’”

(Based on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus)

A youngster who was pretty desperate in life – contemplating even of terminating his life – exasperated and lost, was passing along the streets, when he heard the Church bells ringing for the Angelus at noon time.

Something in him, made him to go inside the Church.

As he went in, he saw a large statue of Jesus…
… with the Sacred Heart of Jesus prominently displayed

And underneath the statue were written words…
… beautiful words that would bring him much consolation, hope and joy

So much so, that he would take a resolution to amend his life and to live with greater hope and joy!

The words were as follows:
“As you look into My Heart… remember always, these words:

There is an Eye that never sleeps, even beneath the wing of night
… just for you!

There is a Ear that never shuts, even when sink the beams of light
… just for you!

There is an Arm that never tires, even when human strength gives way
… just for you!

There is a Love that never fails, even when earthly loves decay
… just for you!

And… there is a Heart that never stops beating, even when trials of life lash you hard
… just for you!

This Heart of Mine… is just for you!

Can you also give me your life…?
… and tell me, “LORD, JUST FOR YOU!”

Today on this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we contemplate in adoration and meditation on the Heart of our Blessed Lord – pierced and broken and shared – in love for each one of us…
… as He tells us, “This Heart of Mine… is just for you!”

Love, by its nature, gives away…

The Sacred Heart of our Blessed Lord – which is deep-rooted in Mercy and Compassion – bears wounds and patches that are symbolic of His Passionate Love for all of us!

In the year 1673, Our Blessed Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary and made her to rest her head upon His Heart; and during which He revealed to her the wonders of His love.

He revealed to her, His Sacred Heart…
… and requested her to establish the Feast of the Sacred Heart – the Friday after the Corpus Christi, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ- in order to make reparation for sins which offend His Sacred Heart.

In her vision, she saw His wounded heart, on fire with love, saying, “Behold this Heart which has loved men so much and has received such little love in return.”

It was on June 11, 1899 Pope Leo XIII solemnly consecrated the whole humankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Gospel of the day presents the account of how the Heart of our Blessed Lord was pierced with a lance, on Mount Calvary.
“But one soldier thrust his lance into His side, and immediately blood and water flowed out” (Jn 19: 34)

The Catholic tradition identifies the water as the symbol of Baptism and the Blood as the symbol of the Holy Eucharist.

The Water symbolizes purification.
The Blood symbolizes atonement.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is today one of the most recognizable symbols of the Christian faith.

The picture consists of the Heart, with the wound of the lance in its side, a crown of thorns about it, a cross above it and flames surrounding it.

This Sacred Heart of Jesus represents not only His physical heart…
… but His love for all humankind.

This Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of the Lord teaches us many things…

a. It teaches us the immense love that the Lord possesses for each one of us, personally.

Have I experienced the tremendous love that the Lord has for me?

I may feel myself low.
I may consider myself to be not very good.
I may think that my life is just not worth living.
I may deem that my past has ruined my life very badly.
I may judge that situations around me can never be changed.

Even with all these things, am I convinced that “Jesus loves me”, still… and that He will take me through, by the power of His love?

b. It teaches us the pain and the agony that the Lord still undergoes as a result of our sin and the sins of the world

Do I realize that a sinful life brings tears to the Lord and causes more wounds to the Precious Heart of the Lord?

There is nothing which pains the Lord more than sin.
It was for our salvation that He shed even the last drop of His blood.
He not just wants but insists and demands and commands us to live in holiness.

Do I give heed to this “passionate and sincere” call of the Lord to live our lives in sanctity and in accordance to God’s Will in my life?

c. It teaches us the need to be part of the process of redemption that Christ has won for us and to be shareholders in His mission of bringing God’s love to all

Do I become aware that Christ is calling me to be part of His redemptive work of salvation?

Christ still suffers and undergoes pains.
From the Cross, He cried, “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28)
He desires that people who have known and experienced His love become effective agents of bringing His love to others.
By a life of sacrifices (tiny or great…little or huge), by simple acts of love, compassion and mercy and by greater participation in the Sacramental Life of the Church, the love of the Sacred Heart can be brought to many more people.

Am I willing to take up this responsibility that the Lord is handing on to us?

The Heart of the Lord is pierced, broken and shared for each one of us.

In the Holy Eucharist, we have the privilege to receive this greatest treasure.

In turn, we are to break our hearts and share it with others, to bring the love and compassion of the Lord to the world.

May this Solemnity of the Precious Symbol of True Love stir the flames of God’s Love in our hearts and inspire us to set ablaze the world on fire, with His Love and Compassion!

Sacred Heart of Jesus, may we ever remain close to You!

With St Francis de Sales, the Doctor of Love, let us pray:
“May Thy Heart dwell always in our hearts!

May Thy Blood ever flow in the veins of our souls!

O sun of our hearts, Thou givest life to all things by the rays of Thy Goodness!

I will not go until Thy Heart has strengthened me, O Lord Jesus!

May the heart of Jesus be the king of my heart!”

Blessed be God. Amen.”

As we gaze at the Sacred Heart, we are reminded
“This Heart of Mine… is just for you!

Can you also give me your life…?
… and tell me, “LORD, JUST FOR YOU!”

Happy Feast of the Most Blessed Heart of the Lord!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
Christ’s Human Will

At the sixth ecumenical council, Constantinople III in 681, the Church confessed that Christ possesses two wills and two natural operations, divine and human.
They are not opposed to each other…
… but co-operate in such a way that the Word made flesh willed humanly in obedience to his Father all that he had decided divinely with the Father and the Holy Spirit for our salvation.

Christ’s Human Will “does not resist or oppose but rather submits to His Divine and Almighty Will!” (Cf. CCC # 475)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 10, 2021: Thursday

“Making efforts to be people, who not simply ‘react;’ instead, in patience and gentleness, seek to ‘respond!’”

(Based on 2 Cor 3:15-4:1,3-6 and Mt 5:20-26 – Thursday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

Sinbad the Sailor is a fictional character.

His tales are mostly voyage stories – fantastic adventure stories through the seas of Africa and South Asia.

One of the tales narrates of how Sinbad and his sailors landed on an island.

On arriving, they saw coconuts, high up on the trees; which could very well quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger.

But these coconuts were far beyond their reach.

However, they noticed a large number of monkeys on the branches of the trees.

Soon enough, Sinbad and his men, began to throw stones and sticks up at the apes.

This enraged the monkeys and they began to seize the coconuts…
… and hurl them down at the men on the ground.

This was exactly what Sinbad and his men wanted!

They got the monkeys so angry…
… that they gave in to satisfy the needs of those who made them angry!

This is exactly what anger does…
… we play ourselves, into the hands of those who cause us to lose our temper!

We end up “reacting”…
… than “responding”!

The Gospel of the day is a teaching by Jesus on this very important concern of Christian Life: Anger.

Killing is considered to be a serious evil in every society and every way of life

Killing in its basic form is usually considered only in the sense of the physical body.

But the Lord today presents a higher perspective in the understanding of killing…
“You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill’; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment’. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to the judgment….” (Mt 5: 21)

The Lord expands the understanding of killing beyond the physical body…

A person engages in killing… if, by anger…
… the social standing of the other person is upset
… the emotional state of the other person is wounded
… the spiritual balance of the other person is disturbed

We could understand anger from various perspectives…

  1. Anger as Quick temper
    Prov 15:18 says, “An ill-tempered man stirs up strife…”

It is said that speak when one is angry, one makes the best speech that would be regretted much!

Quick temper sometimes…
…. forms part of our temperament
… comes even unknowingly
… is instigated by other’s actions

Yet, in all this, one ought to…
… rise quickly from remaining in the state of anger.
… become conscious of the occasions which can excite anger
… see that the temper is not fed or nurtured or intensified

  1. Anger which leads to stubbornness
    Eph 4:26: “…. do not let the sun to set on your anger”

Sometimes, the anger within is allowed to grow so much…
…that we get habituated to getting angry for even tiny and trivial matters
…that we lose our peace of mind, and sometimes even become indifferent
…that we choose not to budge from our position or viewpoint and remain adamant

Yet, we need to make efforts…
… to try to overcome our ego and self mentality and seek to make amends with the person
… to lower oneself in humility (even if we are right) and ease the situation of annoyance

Anger needs to be sanctified…channelled in the proper way!

One may feel a ‘just’ anger at….
… the immense corruption in the world and even in religious circles
… the forces of evil that seem to root away even faint traces of hope
… the indifferent and unchanging attitudes and temperaments of people which is sickening.

Yet… even these ought to get channelled properly
… even these ought to be routed in the right manner

Yes… even our just anger needs to be sanctified and purified in the burning furnace of God’s Love.

Anger is indeed a major tendency that is a cause of distress for many of us.
Anger is indeed a prime inclination that is a root of sin for many of us.

There are moments, when anger captures us and we throw ourselves into people…
… throw words which are not appropriate
… throw emotions that would cause shame and guilt later
… throw actions and deeds that would cause pain and injury

Let us make genuine, practical and realistic efforts in the fight to sanctify and purify our anger.

Undoubtedly…
… it is painstaking
… it requires deeper attempts
… it requires committed determination!

But the Lord assures His Grace to help us and His Love to encourage us!

Let us make efforts to be people, who not simply “react”…
… instead, in patience and gentleness, seek to “respond!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:

This truly human knowledge of God’s Son expressed the divine life of his person.
“The human nature of God’s Son, not by itself but by its union with the Word, knew and showed forth in itself everything that pertains to God.”
Such is first of all the case with the intimate and immediate knowledge that the Son of God made man has of his Father.
The Son in his human knowledge also showed the divine penetration he had into the secret thoughts of human hearts.
By its union to the divine wisdom in the person of the Word incarnate, Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal.

What he admitted to not knowing in this area, he elsewhere declared himself not sent to reveal (Cf. CCC # 473-474)

REFLECTION CAPSULE – June 09, 2021: Wednesday

“Making efforts to growing into Convinced and Certain and Confident Christians!”

(Based on 2 Cor 3:4-11 and Mt 5:17-19 – Wednesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time)

A university student was seen with a large “K” printed on his T- shirt.

When someone asked him what the “K” stood for, he said, “Confused.”
“But,” the questioner replied, “you don’t spell “confused” with a “K!”

The student answered, “Well, you don’t know how confused I am!”

The confused state of mind led to be boy to display a totally confused and puzzled look!

How often is this true in our own lives as a Christian…

We fail to have certain convictions in our faith… and the resultant life that is displayed outside, is one of confusion or uncertainty.
We fail to be sure of what our life of faith is…and as a result, we fail to bring people to experience God’s love and instead, sometimes even lead others astray.

The Gospel of the Day is a peek into the conviction that Jesus had in His life of preaching and mission and a challenge for us to become persons who become fervent and convinced in teaching the commandments of the Kingdom of God.

The Gospel is a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount.

Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfil” (Mt 5: 17)

One of the distinguishing features in the preaching and teaching ministry of Jesus was His deep conviction and certainty.

Jesus did not speak as if He was blabbering on some unknown topic.

Jesus did not mutter words as if He was whiling away time to talk on a strange issue.

Instead, Jesus was thoroughly convinced of what He spoke and taught.

It was this deep-seated conviction that made Him to say that He had “come not to abolish the law or the prophets”.

The message of Jesus contained newness and freshness.

However, it was not a preaching that was entirely new

It was a teaching that was born in deep certainty and delivered with utmost conviction.

He was the fullness of the teachings of all the Law.

He was the fulfilment of the prophecies of all the Prophets.

This gave it a fresh crispiness.

This gave it a refreshing perspective.

Do we also possess a similar conviction and certainty in our Life of Faith, just as Jesus displayed?

The Lord demands such a requirement.

Hence, He would say, that “whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so, will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 5: 19)

Our Christian lives are sometimes marked by an unwanted uncertainty and confusing convictions.

We know a little bit about our faith… but not deep enough.
We know a little bit concerning our teachings… but not in its depth.
We know a little bit about the virtues we are to live… but not fully convinced of it.

As a result of this ‘unsure’ attitude and ‘confused’ mentality, we are unable to
… (1) live a true and honest Christian lives
… (2) witness and teach others our genuine faith

May we not remain confused Christians; rather experience the love and mercy of the Lord…
… and make efforts to growing into Convinced and Certain and Confident Christians!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
CHRIST’S SOUL AND HIS HUMAN KNOWLEDGE

Apollinarius of Laodicaea asserted that in Christ the divine Word had replaced the soul or spirit. Against this error the Church confessed that the eternal Son also assumed a rational, human soul.
This human soul that the Son of God assumed is endowed with a true human knowledge.
As such, this knowledge could not in itself be unlimited…
… it was exercised in the historical conditions of his existence in space and time.
This is why the Son of God could, when He became man, “increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man”…
… and would even have to inquire for himself about what one in the human condition can learn only from experience.

This corresponded to the reality of his voluntary emptying of himself, taking “the form of a slave!” (Cf. CCC # 471-472)