Bible Reflections

REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY – May 26, 2021: Wednesday

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY – May 26, 2021: Wednesday

“Treasuring the Lord, knowing that true riches consist ‘not in the abundance of possessions, but in the fewness of wants!’”

(Based on Sir 36:1-2, 5-6, 11-17 and Mk 10:32-45 – Wednesday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time)

A rich man, who was known to be quite pious and devout in his Christian life was once encountered by a young man…
… who questioned his integrity and credibility, and wanted to prove that all his pious actions were quite hypocritical.

“How can you,” asked the young man, “claim to be a true Christian when you have so much of wealth?”

The rich person who was also extremely generous and had helped a lot of people replied: “Well, I do agree that God has blessed me with a lot of material things.
>> But at the same time, I believe that all these blessings are purely a gift from God…
… and so I reach out to the needy!

And above all, I strongly believe that my wealth consists not in the abundance of my possessions…
… but in the fewness of my wants!”

The rich man had discovered the true purpose of riches in life…
… and had also unearthed the true spirit of having riches: Not in the abundance of possessions, but in the fewness of wants!”

How beautiful a lesson is this for us Christians…
…. who live in the world, yet are called to be out of the world.
… who live amidst possibilities of wealth, yet are called to be detached from them.
… who live with the prospect of gaining immense power, yet are exhorted to not be attached

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus highlighting this essential element of Christian living: Being in the world, but living out of the world, with eyes firmly set on heavenly realms.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee approach Jesus and ask for a favour: “Grant to us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory” (Mk 10:37)

They sought for a prime place in the future Kingdom of the Lord.
>> They probably had the conception and understanding, that Jesus would rule in glory…
… and they being His chosen ones, sought for esteemed positions in this Glorious Kingdom.

They were certainly right that the Lord would surely one day rule in glory.

But they got it totally wrong in their understanding and perspective of the nature of this rule.
>> His was not to be a kingdom of arrogant display of power…
… rather one of serene majesty and mercy

>> His was not to be a rule of aggression and pomp…
… rather one of gentle splendour and grace.

The Lord had, as per St Mark’s Gospel, just made His third prediction, regarding His Passion, Death and Resurrection.
>> He was revealing the true nature and character of the victory that He was to gain.
>> He was exposing the manner in which His glory would be stamped upon all ages to come.

However, the disciples fell short in grasping these words of the Lord.
>> St Mark says that “they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid” (Mk 10: 32b).

Our lives are very often no different, from the ignorance that the disciples had and the wrong notion that was expressed by James and John.

>> We fall prey to seeking great honour and fame in being a Christian…
… but are unable to grasp the fact that ‘to be a Christian is to be living a life of simplicity’.

>> We yield to temptations of being obsessed to seek power and positions of futile vanity…
… and fail time and again to live up to the Christian virtues of humility and modesty.

>> We often become victims of engaging in dirty politics and authority-grabbing games…
… and become an anti-witness to the Lord who ‘came to serve, rather than be served’

We need to give heed to the words of the Lord who prayed that “we are in the world, but do not belong to this world” (Jn 17: 15)

A Christian life… ought to be hallmarked by detachment and separation…
… detachment from too much of worldly distractions and vain glory
… separation from sinful ways and evil tendencies

A Christian life… ought to be radiated with total focus and complete dedication…
… total focus on the Lord who ‘walked the talk’ by giving up His life in service
… complete dedication to the Kingdom of God which calls for a humble way of life

Let us learn this secret that being rich in the Lord consists “not in the abundance of possessions, but in the fewness of wants!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

– Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS
Bengaluru, India

——————————–
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
>> The name of the Saviour God was invoked only once in the year by the high priest in atonement for the sins of Israel, after he had sprinkled the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies with the sacrificial blood. The mercy seat was the place of God’s presence.
>> When St. Paul speaks of Jesus whom “God put forward as an expiation by his blood”, he means that in Christ’s humanity “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.”
>> Jesus’ Resurrection glorifies the name of the Saviour God, for from that time on it is the name of Jesus that fully manifests the supreme power of the “name which is above every name”.
>> The evil spirits fear his name; in his name his disciples perform miracles, for the Father grants all they ask in this name
>> THE NAME OF JESUS IS AT THE HEART OF CHRISTIAN PRAYER.
>> All liturgical prayers conclude with the words “through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
>> The Hail Mary reaches its high point in the words “blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
>> The Eastern prayer of the heart, the Jesus Prayer, says: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
>> Many Christians, such as St. Joan of Arc, have died with the one word “Jesus” on their lips. (Cf. CCC # 433-435)
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