REFLECTION CAPSULE Based on Mt 19: 16-22
A river wanted to flow to the sea, through a vast desert.
>> But seeing the vast dry sand, it got afraid.
Fearful thoughts crept into its mind:
“The desert may gulp up all my water…
… the hot breath of the sun will surely dry me up…
… and I will be reduced to a mere stinking swamp!”
Then it heard a mysterious voice, “Trust the Desert”
But the river retorted, “But then, will I ever be the same?
>> Will I not lose my identity?”
The voice once again thundered, “There is no way to remain the same!”
So the river, with trust in the desert, began to flow through it.
>> The simmering heat of the sun turned her into vapour.
>> The wind carried her over, as clouds, over the hot expanse of the desert.
>> She was formed into rain!
And out of the clouds, came down a newer, fresher and much more splendid river, on the other side of the desert.
The river was delighted and exclaimed, “Now, I am truly my Real Self!”
Immense trust and making the radical decision to pass through the desert, helped the river to experience newness in life and to enjoy the delight of a transformed and renewed life!
Is life calling us to have a deeper trust and cross through deserts, in order to experience freshness in life?
>> Or are we afraid to take that risk of losing many of the ‘things’ we hold precious to ourselves?
The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus exhorting us to trust in Him, and to cross the deserts of life, “letting go of riches, in order to experience true joy in Him and eternal life with Him!
The incident of the person asking Jesus, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” (Mt 19:16) finds resonance with many of our inner desires and longings.
We too have a lot of questions, like the man who asked, “What must I do to have eternal life…”
>> How can I really have peace of mind and happiness at home and in my life…?
>> How is it that I may be able to experience joy in life, despite the many poundings and grindings that life renders me…?
>> How is it that I can be assured of the treasures of heaven and the bliss of life eternity…?
The man who enquired Jesus presented Him with a list of many activities and deeds that he engaged himself, towards this purpose.
“All of these (following the commandments) I have observed”, (Mt 19: 20a) said the man to Jesus
We too have something similar to say…
>> I keep on working hard, putting in constant efforts in my daily duties and the various responsibilities entrusted to me…
>> I toil very much in meeting life’s ends and gathering together my resources in making sure that things go on well in life…
But like that man, we too get lost with this one basic question, “What do I still lack?” (Mt 19:20b)
>> What do I still lack…
… that my life fails to be soaked in happiness and my heart misses the train of joy and peace?
… that my relationships fail to have the required fervour of love and affection?
… that my spiritual life fails to have the flavour of passion, zeal and enthusiasm?
This is where the Lord will tell us, “to let go of things that keep us attached”
Jesus says, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell, what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven. Then follow Me” (Mt 19:21)
• The man was attached to his possessions, even though he performed many acts of God’s commandments.
• The man found it hard to leave his riches, and his following of the laws of God made little impact on him, to make renunciations.
Therefore, the Lord diagnosed his problem as his inability to “let go” of his attachments.
“Unnecessary accessories” of life can be a burden in our smooth travelling on the path of eternity!
Are we also faced with the same diagnosis?
Do I find it hard to “let go”…
… of my selfish lifestyle and my own personal comforts… even though I seek to render service or engage in different works?
… of my egoistic tendencies and self-centred inclinations… in my relationships and in interacting with the people in my life?
… of my individual agenda and self-interested plans… and fail to base my life as per the Plan of God and walk according to His Will in my life?
As Christians, we are called to perfection (Mt 5:48)
This ‘challenge to perfection’ demands that we have to pass through the “deserts”…
… deserts of renunciation
… deserts of seeking only God’s Will
… deserts of altering our personal choices and prioritizing the values of the Lord
>> This will help us to experience newness in life and to enjoy the delight of a transformed and renewed life!
May we heed to the call of the Lord today…
… to make such radical choices and decisions in life, so that we can truly experience the joy of heaven in our day-to-day lives and one day, be blessed, with the fullness of life eternal!
When faced with the deserts of life…
… let us, with confidence, give heed to the words of the Lord assuring us: “Trust the desert”
*God Bless! _Live Jesus!_*
*- Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS*
*Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS)* – “ _Remember to retire at times…_
… _into the desert of your own heart!”_