Bible Reflections

REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY – Aug 05, 2021: Thursday

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY – Aug 05, 2021: Thursday

“Being ready to be enriched by Jesus, the Crucified Saviour of our lives!”

(Based on Num 20:-13 and Mt 16:13-23 – Thursday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time)

A beautiful write-up found on the entrance wall of a library goes thus:

“Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40 and Jesus for only 3 years.
>> Yet the influence of Christ’s ministry…
… infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined years of teaching from these greatest of philosophers.

Jesus painted no pictures…
… yet some of the finest artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci received their inspiration from Him.

Jesus wrote no poetry…
… but Dante, Milton and scores of the world’s greatest poets were inspired by Him.

Jesus composed no music…
… still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of melody in the music they composed in His praise.

Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by this humble Carpenter of Nazareth.

ARE YOU READY TO BE ENRICHED TOO?”

The quality of our Christian Life, indeed, depends on the quality and understanding our relationship with our Blessed Lord!

The more we deepen our relationship with the Lord…
… the greater we will be able to radiate His Love and Goodness in our life!

The more we grow in our understanding of the Lord…
… the deeper will be the nourishing and enrichment that we will experience by His Grace!

The Gospel of the Day invites each one of us, to examine:
Am I understanding the Lord – and thus, is He a strength to me?
… or am I misunderstanding Him – and thus, is He a stumbling block to me?

Understanding or Misunderstanding Jesus will play the pivotal role in our daily spiritual existence!

On reaching Caesarea Philippi (Mt 16:13), Jesus poses a dual question to His disciples…
Who do people say that He is … and who do the Disciples say that He is.

This two-fold question of Christ… evokes two answers…
1. The Opinion of Jesus as being only Human
>> The people understand Jesus as John the Baptist, or Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets (Mt 16: 14)

2. The Opinion of Jesus as being only Divine
>> St Peter, as the Captain of the Group, with a heavenly revelation, declares Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God! (Mt 16: 16)

It’s interesting that after this question-answer session, the Lord Himself chooses to give an answer on who He is!

And this answer of the Lord is a key to our understanding or misunderstanding Jesus.

Jesus declares that He would be a suffering God….
He would be the Man to undergo many persecutions! (Mt 16: 21)
>> He is not only Human.
>> He is not only Divine.
… He is the Suffering God-Man!

Am I able to accept this reality dimension of Jesus?

He is amazing in His Human teachings… He is wonderful in His Divine Deeds.
>> But He is also the Afflicted, the Maltreated, the Victimized and the Wronged.

He is classic in His Human examples… He is awesome in His Divine miracles.
>> But He is also the Suffering, the Persecuted, the Sacrificed and the Tortured.

>> He is not only Human.
>> He is not only Divine.
… He is the Suffering God-Man!

And like Peter, perhaps some of us shy away from accepting this Painful Reality of the Lord…
… “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you” (Mt 16: 22)

We love to follow Him in His exhortations…
>> We love to be enamoured in His wondrous doings.

But we back off…at the mention of His pains, difficulties, persecutions and anguish.

>> We like a Sociable Christ…
… One Who gives equal status to all in the society and breaks sociological barriers

>> We like a political Christ…
… One Who is fearless to challenge the political corruption of the society

>> We like a Revolutionary Christ…
… One Who demands to go beyond the comfort zones of our life

But do we embrace the Suffering Christ?
>> Do we accept the “Saviour” Christ?

Do we consent to the Crucified Christ?

It’s easy to misunderstand Jesus as only a mere human hero.
>> It’s easy to misunderstand Jesus as only an awesome Divine entity.
But it’s not so easy to understand and accept Him as the Heroic and Awesome and Suffering God-Man!

Understanding or Misunderstanding Jesus will indeed play the pivotal role in our daily spiritual existence!

Today, let us seek for the grace to accept and understand truly the Person and Divinity of Jesus.

Let us make Him the true strength of our lives.
>> Let us behold Him in the Eucharist.
>> Let us encounter Him in prayer.
>> Let us recognize Him in the Word!

Every sphere of human greatness has been greatly enriched by the humble Carpenter of Nazareth.
>> Let us also be ready, to be enriched by Him!

Today we also celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of the Mary Major Basilica.
>> St. Mary Major is one of the four Roman basilicas known as patriarchal cathedrals in memory of the first centres of the Church.

(The other three being St. Peter’s Basilica, St. John Lateran Basilica, and St. Paul’s Basilica, outside the Walls.)

Every Church building is an important symbol of Christianity…
>> From the grandest of basilicas, to the tiniest of chapels…
… they reflect the “Throne of God”, from which God administers his Love, Mercy, Compassion, Forgiveness, Healing and Blessings upon his Beloved People.
>> It also signifies the Unity of the People of God, as One Church.

St. Mary Major Basilica is also the First Marian shrine for pilgrims…
… which set a pattern for countless shrines where pilgrims gather to honour our Blessed Mother throughout the world.

Let us today specially seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother…
… to remain ever-faithful to the Lord, even in the face of failures!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

– Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS
Bengaluru, India

——————————–
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
JESUS CHRIST WAS BURIED
>> “By the grace of God” Jesus tasted death “for every one”.
>> In His plan of salvation, God ordained that His Son should not only “die for our sins,” but should also “taste death”, experience the condition of death, the separation of His Soul from His Body, between the time He expired on the Cross and the time He was raised from the dead.
>> The state of the dead Christ is the mystery of the tomb and the descent into hell.
>> It is the mystery of Holy Saturday, when Christ, lying in the tomb, reveals God’s great Sabbath rest after the fulfilment of man’s salvation, which brings peace to the whole universe! (Cf. CCC # 624)
——————————–

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