Liturgy

REFLECTION CAPSULE: Feast of Pope St John Paul II

✝️REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY – October 22 / Thursday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time

“Choosing the path of suffering and self-sacrifice in our journey with the Lord!”

(Based on Eph 3:14-21 and Lk 12:49-53 – Feast of Pope St John Paul II – Thursday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time)

One of the common questions that is usually asked to kids is:
”What do you want to become when you grow big?”

And the answers we get are sometimes common, sometimes interesting, sometimes even weird…

“I want to be a doctor”,
“I want to be an engineer“,
“I want to be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs”,
”I want to fly to Mars”…

But suppose, if the same question were to be put forward to another Kid…
>> This Kid would have given perhaps the strangest and the shocking answers of all:
“When I grow big, I want to Die!
>> I am living my life, so that I can die!”

Guess who is this Kid?

Well…no marks for guessing who it is..

It is Jesus!
>> Death was the goal of His life!

The Gospel of the Day presents this burning and intense desire of the Lord, “There is a baptism with which I must be baptized and how great is my anguish, until it is accomplished” (Lk 12: 50)

Christ came into the world to save the world.
>> And this salvation was possible for Him, only through the way of suffering.

This is the Baptism to which Christ refers to….
> A Baptism of suffering.
> A Baptism of obedience.
> A Baptism of self-sacrifice.

This way of the Lord is not easy.
>> It causes division and separation, even in families.

How does this division happen?
When one stands for the values and the person of Christ, the world mocks and fools.
>> When one holds on to one’s faith and convictions in Christ, there is immense shame inflicted.

A member in the family stands for Church values and principles, whereas others in the house oppose.
>> A division is created among them, in the Name of Christ!

A student in the class stands for honesty and truthfulness and refuses to join in copying and malpractices during the examination.
>> A division is created among them, in the Name of Christ!

A friend stands for his convictions and refuses to join his peers in some bad habits or activities which are unbecoming.
>> A division is created among them, in the Name of Christ!

A person counters accepting bribes at work or opposes doing some manipulation in the place of work to gain some extra finances.
>> A division is created among them, in the Name of Christ!

Christianity indeed is the strangest of all religions…

Usually religions advocate a way of life which calls for comfort and relaxation.
>>> Christianity disturbs one’s life from comfort to become a people who comfort others.

Usually religions promote happiness of life by following some rituals and ceremonies.
>>> Christianity challenges one to uproot one’s sinful roots and discover true peace and joy.

Christ is indeed the strangest of all religious figures…

All religious figures have their greatness in just their teachings and exhortations.
>>> Christ stands unparalleled in making His life itself as the greatest message and teaching.

All religious figures ride on popularity wave of external manifestations and wonders.
>>> Christ stands out in becoming a single icon of absolute self-sacrifice and victimhood!

All religious figures propose a variety of tips for living and paths of attaining immortality
>>> Christ alone became the way itself to be walked and the truth itself to be followed!

Its sometimes easy to follow other ways of life…because they are comfortable and secure.
>> Its always hard to follow the way of Christ…because He always challenges in our coziness.

The Lord invites us to be bold in accepting the Crosses of our life & to share with Him, in the Baptism of suffering & pain.

We still have much to grow.

What are we growing ourselves into?
>> Christ is the example for us.

He chose suffering and self-sacrifice as His path to glory.
> His way is the way of suffering.
> His way is the way of pain.
> His way is the way of the Cross.

But…
… His way is also the way of joy!
… His way is also the way to glory!
… His way is also the way of healing!

And now He beckons each one of us too…
>> Shall we also join Him in His intense desire for Baptism?

We seek today the intercession of Pope St John Paul II, arguably the most-popular and loved Pope of our times.
>> His convincing life, uncompromising teaching and courageous words are a challenge and inspiration to all of us…
… “What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And, without the love of Jesus, everything is useless.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

– Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS
Bengaluru, India

——————————-
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – ” Reputation is rarely proportioned to virtue!”
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Categories: Liturgy

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