Bible Reflections

REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY – July 24, 2021: Saturday

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY – July 24, 2021: Saturday

“Learning to trust our God Who loves us immeasurably and works out everything in life, for our good!”

(Based on Exo 24:3-8 and Mt 13:24-30 – Saturday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)

A person who disdained religion was mocking at an elderly Christian, who was known for his staunch faith.

One day, while conversing, this man who mocked religion, said, “Don’t you think it’s absurd to believe and have faith in God, when you don’t have answers to so many questions of life…
>> Look at the evil happening all around us
>> Look at the sufferings that people go through
Do you still think it’s wise enough to have faith in God?”

The elderly person, placing his right hand on the shoulder of the person, with a calm tone replied:
“My Christian life has taught me that trusting in God’s Providence makes every event of the world – even unpleasant – to be seen as meaningful, and worth a lesson”

And he went on to say, “And well, you talk of having faith in God?
>> How about our own daily experience of trusting in the people around – most of them, whom we don’t even know!

So often we go to a doctor whose name we cannot pronounce and whose degrees we have never verified.
>> This doctor gives us a prescription which we cannot read.
>> We take it to a pharmacist we have never met.
>> He gives us a chemical compound which we do not understand.
>> Then we go home and take the pill according to the instructions on the bottle.

All this we do – with trust and with sincere faith!

If we can trust each other so much, can’t we trust our God Who loves us immeasurably and works out everything in life, for our good?”


The Gospel of the Day is this invitation by our Blessed Lord to “trust in the Lord” even when life dishes out a number of questions to which we fail to find an answer!

Yes, our Lord reveals His Mind about this baffling and mysterious aspect – the active & dynamic presence of evil in this world!


A couple of days back, we were with the Generous Sower, who was madly liberal in sowing on different types of soil and which had their corresponding results (Mt 13: 1-9)

Today, we are back to the field….
>> But our deliberation is not on the Sower or the Seeds…
… but on the presence of Weeds among the Wheat (Mt 13:24-30)


These weeds are also called Darnel or Tares.
>> They weeds have a characteristic of making one feel poisoned with drunkenness, when consumed.

They also have the deceptive characteristic of bearing a close resemblance to Wheat.
>> In fact, these weeds are also called as False Wheat!


So the enemy in the parable… is a Learned Deceiver!
He sows this deceptive and misleading weed among the innocent and harmless wheat!

But the Lord, the Ultimate Judge gives out a strong, yet strange command:
“Let the weeds not be pulled up, lest the wheat be uprooted with them; let them just grow together until harvest!” (Mt 13:29-30)


>> Some mysteries in life cannot be fully understood…
… but is to be boldly lived!

>> Some struggles in life cannot be totally eliminated…
… but is to be bravely challenged!

>> Some problems in life cannot be completely solved…
but is to be fearlessly encountered!


Here is another hard reality to be digested: “God uses the very wickedness and injustices of evildoers to perfect his Elect.”


The triumph and prosperity of the wicked are short-lived…
…whereas the reward of the Christian who suffers from their wickedness is everlasting.


That’s a hard and unpopular and even impractical statement, right?
>> But Facts remain facts – we consent or not!


This leads us to a vital aspect of our Practical Christian Living: To be Patient with ourselves and with others…
… in dealing with sin
… with evil tendencies
… with horrifying obsessions
… with unacceptable practices
… with unalterable addictions
… and with abominable disgraces.

Often…
… we bite our teeth in anger glaring at the inhumanness in our society and the world
… we lose our cool in finding ourselves to be imperfect and sinful even after years of trying
… we go mad in encountering silly disputes and indifferences in our families & communities
… we have our blood boiling seeing the various scandals and shameful incidents in the Church

But the Lord says: “Hold On”….


Surely, we have our emotions and feelings when we come across unjust situations..
>> But the Lord says:
“Do your best…and leave the rest to Me!
Aim for perfection….but give not into despair because of devastations!”


This certainly is no excuse for us to deny our duty and responsibility…
… and even the obligation to seek to avoid wickedness and dissuade evil practices.


But we may never find ourselves in PERFECT elimination of evil and sinful behaviours…
… either in our personal life, or societal life or even in the life of the Church.

The Ultimate Eliminator is the Lord Himself…
>> The Perfect Vanquisher is the Lord Himself!
>> The Supreme Conqueror is the Lord Himself!


Are all these too abstract, theoretical & impractical talks?
… NO!

St Paul gives an assurance in Romans 8:26-27:
The Spirit comes to our aid in our weaknesses. He Himself will intercede for us, when we co-operate with Him.”


God, who is all-powerful shares His Omnipotence with us…
… in the Holy Sacraments, in Prayer, in the Bible and in the Church.


Let us have recourse to this power of God, and be strengthened in our lives!

Let us try to do our utmost…
… but let us also permit to encounter disappointments…!


Let us strive for the finest…
… but let us fret not too much over failures and frustrations…!


The Lord knows all
>> HE sees all
>> HE has the perfect solution to all.


St Faustina says: “Our sins and weaknesses and miseries are like little sticks, before the burning furnace of the Love of God”.

Let us throw our little sticks into this burning furnace…
>> Let God be God in our Lives – the Ultimate Judge and Defeater of all evil!”

Let us learn to trust our God Who loves us immeasurably and works out everything in life, for our good!


God Bless! Live Jesus!

– Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS
Bengaluru, India

——————————-
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
CHRIST’S REDEMPTIVE DEATH IN GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION
>> Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: “This Jesus (was) delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.”
>> This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.
>> To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy.
>> When therefore He establishes His eternal plan of “predestination”, He includes in it each person’s free response to His Grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”
>> For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.
>> He died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures (Cf. CCC # 599-600)
——————————–

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