Bible Reflections

REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY – Aug 31, 2021: Tuesday

✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY – Aug 31, 2021: Tuesday

“Shining forth, in brightness and holiness, radiating the Authoritative Presence of Christ to all!

(Based on 1 Thess 5:1-6, 9-11 and Lk 4:31-37 – Tuesday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time)

Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose into prominence during the French Revolution.
>> In a short span of time, he had gained prominent control of the Continental Europe.


Once, while discussing and planning his strategies, with his staff officers, he spread a large map of the world on the table before him.

Then he put his finger on a kingdom which was coloured red and told them, “If it were not for this red spot, I could conquer the whole world!”

That red spot was the British Isles.
(The British Isles were identified with the colour ‘red’ derived from its prominence in their flag.
>> They were the only force, which Napolean felt, was preventing his plans to capture the entire world)


Probably, in the similar manner, Satan, while discussing and planning his strategies, would spread the large map of the universe.

Then, he would put his finger on a place which was coloured red and told them:
“If it were not for this red spot, I could conquer the whole universe!”

That red spot is the Blood of our Blessed Saviour, shed on the Cross at Calvary!


Yes, Satan trembles at the glorious presence of our Blessed Lord.
>> Evil cannot stand Holiness!
>> Wickedness cannot tolerate Goodness!


The Gospel of the Day presents this expression and dread of the evil one, who is unable to bear the presence of the Divine Saviour.


The Gospel Passage is the incident of the curing of the demoniac (Lk 4: 31-37).

The preceding passage (Lk 4: 1-30) described the dramatic inauguration of the public ministry of Jesus in His home-town, Nazareth.
… Initially, there was a lot of amazement, wonder and awe that was expressed by the people
… But when the Lord, began to explicate His Mission, especially of being a Saviour of all the nations, there was a change in attitude of the people

The shift from a “goody-goody” expectation of the Messiah to a “challenging” presence, caused them discomfort…
… and they began to express their anger and infuriation, by seeking to even kill the Lord

But the Spirit-filled Jesus had no stopping…
>> Nothing could stop Him from continuing His Mission and the Duty entrusted to Him


And so, the Gospel says, “He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And He was teaching on the Sabbath” (Lk 4: 31)

As the quote goes, “This is the kind of stuff, champions are made of!”

He was…
… determined in His dedication
… committed to His cause
… purposeful in His programme


Can we also imitate our Blessed Lord in this unswerving fidelity…
>> Oppositions may rock our life…
>> Crises may strangle our hopes…
But can I still continue to hold on to being Faithful to the Gospel and to the ways of the Lord?

This requires the tremendous infilling and a constant seeking and doing of God’s Will in our lives.

It was this purposiveness that enabled Jesus to be a person of authority and evoke astonishment and amazement from His hearers: “They were astonished at His teaching, for His Word was with authority” (Lk 31b-32)


Therefore, when the man who was possessed by the evil spirit, encountered Jesus, “he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Ah! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?” (Lk 4: 34)

Yes, Satan trembles at the glorious presence of our Blessed Lord.


As followers of our Blessed Lord, we too are called upon to become “people of authority and holiness”
> Do I seek to grow deeper in my relationship with the Lord…
… so that my Spirit-filled presence will cause the demons of “filthiness, lust, corruption and injustice” to tremble and be cast away?

> Do I make efforts to co-operate still more with the Grace of the Lord…
… so that my life-in-Jesus, will cause the demons of “wickedness, indifference, hatred and pride” to shiver and be chased away?


St Paul reminds us, “let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober” (1 Thess 5:6)


There is a beautiful hymn, known to many of us, “Are you washed, in the blood of the Lamb?”
>> When we are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb, we have the power to stand before the forces of evil
>> When we are purified by the cleansing might of the blood of Christ, we have the grace to challenge the pressures of Satan


May our lives, washed in the Blood of our Blessed Lord, be a “red spot” which would distort every wicked plan of Satan to conquer this world…
… and may we shine forth, in brightness and holiness, radiating the Authoritative Presence of Christ to all!


God Bless! Live Jesus!


– Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS
Bengaluru, India

——————————–
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
>> Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgement of the Last Day in his preaching.
>> Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light.
>> Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God’s grace as nothing be condemned.
>> Our attitude to our neighbour will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love.
>> Christ is Lord of Eternal Life. Full right to pass definitive judgement on the works and hearts of men belongs to Him as the Redeemer of the world.
>> He “acquired” this right by his cross. The Father has given “all judgement to the Son”.
>> Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life He has in Himself.
>> By rejecting Grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one’s works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love! (Cf. CCC # 678-679)
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