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REFLECTION CAPSULE: Luke 14:1, 7-14

*REFLECTION CAPSULE*
*( _Based on Lk 14:1, 7-14)_*

Sir Isaac Newton is considered to be one of the greatest scientists of all time.

> It was Newton who had discovered the Laws of Gravity which caused great advancements in the field of astronomical studies.

But there was another person, who had greatly helped Newton to climb this ladder of success…
… and of fame and popularity.

> But he mostly remains unknown!

His name is Edmund Halley.

> It was Halley who corrected some of the mathematical errors committed by Newton.
> It was Halley who prepared geometrical figures to support his discoveries.
> It was Halley who edited and supervised the publication of his great work, “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”
> It was also Halley who financed its printing even though Newton was wealthier and easily could have afforded the printing costs

These acts are considered to be among the most selfless ones in the history of science.

But, Halley hardly received any prominence or recognition.

He is, of course, known for the discovering a comet named the “Halley’s Comet”
… which appears briefly every 76 years.

> But it was recognized only after his death!

Halley is stated to have said that he didn’t care who received credit for discoveries…

> His single mission in life was to advance the cause of science…
… and he did it!

To do an act of goodness and charity, without…

> Wanting appreciation…
> Seeking recognition…
> Desiring applauds…
… though, a mighty challenge, is at the same time, a Christian demand!

The Gospel of the Day is a call from Jesus to examine our attitude towards others…
… and grow in this tremendous dimension of the Virtue of Humility!

We are in the 14th Chapter of St Luke.

Jesus has been invited for a dinner to the house of a leading Pharisee on a Sabbath Day.

> He has just cured a person with dropsy…
… a disease wherein water gets retained in the body

> He also tried to cure persons with hypocrisy…
… a disease wherein duplicity gets retained in the mind!

And now He seeks to cure the attitude of the people who have a false understanding of giving.

Jesus says:
“When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends, or your brothers and relatives and wealthy neighbours. For surely they will invite you in return and you will be repaid” (Lk 14:12)

Much of our giving is based purely on the (hidden) aspect of receiving back…

> Much of our sharing is based purely on an (unconscious) agenda of getting back…

> We share our time with friends…
… often expecting that they too will accompany us in our times of hardships and difficulties!

> We work hard for our families..
… often expecting that they too will be with us in our moments of struggle & not leave us lonely!

> We render service to many people who are in need…
… often expecting that they too will render us assistance in our difficulties!

> We pray to God & make a lot of sacrifices…
… often expecting that He’ll meet all our expectations, in the way & time, we want!

> We love many saints…
… often expecting that they’ll make faster intercession on our behalf and get our works done quickly.

We have, perhaps, become very business oriented:

> I give, and expect returns…
> I share, and expect a bonus…

But the Lord, in today’s Gospel comes down heavily on such an attitude.

“When you give, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind…because they cannot repay you” (Lk 14:13)

> We are exhorted to give to those…
… who may never be able to repay back.

> We are challenged to help those…
… who may never have a chance to return back the favour.

The Lord who said these words, shows us an example in the highest manner possible….

> In the Holy Eucharist!

The Holy Eucharist is the best example and model…of such kind of a giving..

> A giving without expecting back!
> A sharing without seeking back!

The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the poor…
… we who are poor in our morals and purity
… we who are poor in our commitment and dedication

The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the Crippled…
… crippled with our many sins and faults
… crippled with the guilt of many past failures

The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the Lame…
… lame in our longing and thirst for the Divine
… lame in our acts of self-giving and self-sacrifice

The Eucharist is a banquet for us, the Blind…
… blind to the cries of those around us
…blind to see our habits which needs repentance & improvement

Jesus, who gives Himself entirely in the Holy Eucharist today challenges us to do the same:
“I give myself to you as food and nourishment…
… even though many people fail to thank me!

> Can you also give yourselves to nourish the lives of others…
… even if they fail to acknowledge?”

“I give myself to you in joy, happiness and peace…
… even though many despise and mock me!

> Can you also become a source of joy to others…
… even if they back-bite and spread calumny?”

“I give myself to you as a healing for sin and guilt…
… even though many hate and desecrate me!

> Can you also become a healing touch to the other…
… even if it means dying slowly to yourself slowly die in the process?”

Yes, as Christians, we have to grow in humility…

> Our single mission in life ought to be, the advancement of the Kingdom of God…
… and we ought to pray and work for this virtue!

The onus is on us…

May we seek the grace and make the efforts…
… to do acts of goodness and charity, without…

> Wanting appreciation…
> Seeking recognition…
> Desiring applauds…
… which, though, a mighty challenge, is at the same time, a Christian demand!

As we begin this new month of September, let’s offer ourselves just as we are, to the Safe and Providential Hands of our God, knowing for sure, that He will always take care and strengthen us.

We could perhaps, even use this month, to practice, in a very practical manner, the virtue of Humility, every day

Yes, shall we try to do…
… “The September Month Challenge?

> One- small-act-of-humility-a-day-filled-with-God’s Love!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

    • Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS*
      Bengaluru, India

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ We do not very often come across opportunities for exercising strength, magnanimity, or magnificence…
but gentleness, temperance, modesty, and humility, are graces which ought to colour everything we do.

> There may be virtues of a more exalted mould…

but these are the most continually called for in daily life!”

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