Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection January 27, 2024


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R/. Create a pure heart for me, O God.

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

R/. Alleluia

On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

1.      Focus is the key factor in any sphere of human life. The loss of focus leads to disastrous consequences. It makes one lose the sense of purpose and direction. It makes one distracted, deviated, and distorted. It makes one mediocre and uncommitted. It reduces drastically the quality and density of one’s performance and excellence.

2.       This is a double focus: Focus on self and focus on God. Self-focus is not self-interest or selfishness. Rather it is a concern to discover and groom the true self and perfect it. It is a constant striving to eliminate the layers of a false self and to brighten and rejuvenate the real self. In other words, self-focus is a journey of self-discovery and self-renewal.

3.       This self-focus was missing in David. He committed the sins of adultery and murder. But he was not self-conscious. Prophet Nathan tries to make David aware of his sin through a story. He narrates the story of a rich man with many flocks and a poor man with only one lamb. At the arrival of a guest, the rich man feasts with the only lamb of the poor man, instead of one from his many flocks.

4.       The rich man in the story clearly points to David in direct reference to his sin of taking Uriah’s wife despite his numerous women. The story was supposed to bring David self-focus and thus lead to repentance and self-rectification. But still, David failed in self-focus. Hence Nathan had to tell him explicitly, “You are the man!”

5.       In the gospel, we have the other aspect of the loss of focus, and that is the focus on the Lord. The disciples in the boat are attacked and frightened by a storm. In their panic, they lose their focus on the Lord. They find him asleep. They get annoyed that he is not bothered even in their perishing situation.

6.       This is clearly the loss of focus on the Lord. They fail to believe that as long as the Lord is present with them in the same boat, nothing can harm them because no power can overpower his power. Further, they fail to realize that he is ever concerned for them and that he would never allow any harm to befall them.

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