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Jakarta, 2 September 2017

A Christian Pilgrim

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Posted by on September 2, 2017 in QUOTABLE QUOTES 2017


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Jakarta, 16 April 2017

A Christian Pilgrim


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(A biblical refection on THE 2nd ORDINARY SUNDAY (YEAR A) – 19 January 2014) 

Gospel Reading: John 1:29-34 

First Reading: Isaiah 49:3,5-6; Psalms: Psalm 40:2,4,7-10; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 1:1-3 

BAPTISAN YESUS - 1The Scripture Text

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, for He was before me.’ I myself did not know Him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that He might be revealed to Israel.” And  John bore witness, “I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it  remained on Him. I myself did not  know Him; but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God”  (Jn 1:29-34 RSV). 

The Lamb of God. That what Jesus is called in today’s Gospel. The lamb as a gentle symbol would never be considered as a fitting logo for the mighty people of modern world. Imagine an American football team or a British rugby team being  called “The Lambs”. The hard-hitting players and avid fans prefer names like Lions, Tigers, Panthers, Bulls, etc. Isn’t it strange that God the Almighty would choose to be known as The Lamb? Does it not clarify for us the Lord’s understanding of real strength, and give us the deeper spiritual meaning of true power?

The Lamb symbol has a rich history and is intimately associated with some tremendous salvific events. The lamb was ceremonially eaten in Egypt on the eve of the Exodus. The lamb again was present on the Last Supper table, the night before Jesus suffered and died on the cross. It has often been shown in Church art as wounded yet triumphantly holding aloft a pennant-shaped victory flag. The Lamb has won the pennant. The animal that sacrifices its flesh, wool and skin is God’s victory sign.

LAMB OF GOD - 6Its symbolism is not confined to the Jewish and Christian religions. The courageous Hindu, Mahatma Gandhi found the lamb image deeply significant of his concept of pacifism, which he preached as the only way to ultimate triumph.

Our religion overflows with paradoxes. So many of its teachings are exactly the opposite from what we would expect. Thus, we preach that the lamb is stronger than the lion. At each Mass we cry out the triumphant chant, not once but three times: “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” By this we profess that humanity’s most admirable SERVANT walked through this world, showing us that gentleness is toughness.

We are invited to follow that same paradoxical tradition and find glory in our weaknesses. Saint Paul said it well: “I am content with weakness … for when I am powerless it is then that I am strong” (2Corinthians 12:10).

Whenever we try to act as a dominating master instead of a humble servant, we are ignoring the “lamb theology”. Jesus told us that church and civil authority are radically different. In the state, the leaders “lord it over” their subjects. But to His disciples, Jesus says, “It shall not be so among you, but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28). This is the essence of “servanthood” or “servant leadership”.

So it was that Jesus lived and preached, and although He was led to the slaughter and was as mute as a lamb before the shearer (Isaiah 53:7), He won a greater victory than anyone has ever done.

Prayer: Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; have mercy on us. Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world: grant us peace. Amen.

Jakarta, 17 January 2014 

A Christian Pilgrim


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THERE are a lot of ways to look at Jesus’ parable about the yeast (Matthew 13:33-35). If we do some creative thinking, we can see the wheat as standing for the Eucharist, the living bread we receive at every Mass. After all, the Mass is what unites us to Christ and gives us a share in His Kingdom. But if that is true, how should we see the yeast? The Eucharist is made from unleavened bread, like the ancient Passover bread.  And Paul tells us that we are to get rid of the “old yeast” of sin and become “an new batch, without yeast”, purified by the Holy Spirit: “Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed” (1Corinthians 5:7).

Here, as in other parables, Jesus uses a symbol to turn our understanding upside down. The yeast Jesus is talking about is invisible: It is our faith, because only faith can bring the Kingdom to life. It is the “leaven” of faith that lets Jesus, present in the Eucharist, rise up in us and do His work in the world. 

Without faith, the transformation of the bread and wine, miraculous though it is, will have little effect on us. However, to be obedient, we do not need a great amount of faith – just real faith. Simply to believe that Jesus is truly present for us in the Mass, and to trust that He will give us His love and mercy is enough to start with. But if we take Him seriously, we can expect amazing things. Like the woman who used only a little yeast to leaven a whole batch of flour, our little, but since, faith can make a big difference. 

Jesus wants His love to grow in us. If we give our hearts to Him at Mass, we will be blessed, and in turn, we will bless those around us. We will see miracles in our lives, because the God of miracles will be with us. So let us come to the Lord with expectant faith, for He is the most generous of fathers. Jesus told Saint Faustina that those who “trust boundlessly” in Him would receive all of His grace: “I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much.” 

Jakarta, 29th of July 2013 

A Christian Pilgrim


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INILAH TUBUHKUSOLDIERS in warfare must remain in continual communication with headquarters and with their Commander-in-chief. Sacramental and spiritual communion is the means that Christ provided for me to remain in constant contact with Him. In this life’s warfare, let me battle like an expert. 

Christ my commander-in-chief said – and that in no ambiguous or equivocal words: “I am the Bread of Life. …… This is the Bread that comes down from heaven, so that if anyone eat of it he will not die. I am the Living Bread that has come down from heaven. If anyone eat of this Bread he shall live forever; and the Bread that I will give is My Flesh for the life of the world.” Do I really do this in my life? Do I take Christ’s words in their literal and obvious meaning? Do I act upon them – or foolishly ignore them in my daily “practical life?” 

Jesus Christ, my Savior, my Love, and my Captain-King says: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.” Do I really believe that? What effect has it on my daily Communions? 

My Lover Jesus says to me: “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has life everlasting – and I will raise him up on the last day.” Do I want this? Christ provided one way – frequent Holy Communion. 

Note: Taken from “A THOUGHT A DAY – LITTLE THOUGHTS FOR LITTLE PEOPLE TO HELP THEM BECOME GOD’S GREAT SAINTS” (Assembled by A Father of the Society of St. Paul), pages 73-74. 

Jakarta, 20th of June 2013 

A Christian Pilgrim


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 (A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST –  Sunday, 2nd of June 2013) 

First Reading: Gen 14:18-20; Psalms: Ps 110:1-4, Second Reading: 1Cor 11:23-26; Gospel Reading: Luke 9:11-17 

LIMA ROTI DAN DUA IKANThe story of how Jesus fed the multitude, as told by Luke, prefigures the ministry of the apostles in the Christian community. The actions of Jesus in taking, blessing, breaking and distributing the food would become the Eucharistic actions. The work of the apostles was foreshadowed when Jesus told them, “Give them something to eat yourselves.”

Bread is surely the most relevant symbol of hope for a world in which half the population suffer from shortage of food. Little wonder that Jesus should choose bread as the memorial sign of His presence and care in the world.

Although in our western society doctors more often ask patients to cut back on their intake of food and drink, Luke, the physician, is fascinated by food.
Every chapter of his gospel has mention of food and eating. It has been remarked that Luke presents Jesus either going to a table, at a table, or coming from a table. Robert J. Karris, in his book, Luke: Artist and Theologian, (Paulist Press), has a fascinating chapter on the theme of food.

The conception of Jesus in celebrated in the canticle of Mary as God filling the starving with good things. Then Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which means the house of bread. His first cot was a feeding trough borrowed from animals.

FIVE THOUSAND FEDBefore commencing His public ministry He fasted for forty days. In fasting, He manifested His solidarity with the hungry of the world. He relied absolutely on the providence of the Father rather turn stones into bread. He responded to the tempter’s first attack that man does not live on bread alone. Thus He recognized the value of fasting in giving priority to the leading of the Spirit over the demands of the flesh. Later, however, Jesus was very critical of those who abused fasting as a way of winning the esteem of others.

There were meals of celebration, as in the house of Levi, and at the return of the prodigal son. And there were meals to relax with friends, as with Martha and Mary. There are several references to meals on the Sabbath, the day of rest.

Jesus was the guest who brought to the table more than He received. At various tables He brought pardon to the sinful woman, friendship to Zacchaeus and faith to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Much of His teaching was imparted at meals. There He drew attention to the foolish pride of those who vied for the places of honor at table. He taught that our tables should be anticipations of the final messianic banquet with special consideration being given to the beloved poor of God. Lazarus, the beggar at the gate, is the personification of God’s beloved poor.

Jesus told a story about God as the master who dons the apron to serve the faithful servant. And at the last supper Jesus moved among the apostles as one who serves.

The behavior of Jesus at table so challenged the accepted pious traditions that He drew condemnation upon His head. He was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard. There was a loud complaint that He “welcomes sinners and cats with them.” Karris comes to the provocative conclusion that Jesus got Himself crucified by the way He ate.

5 ROTI DAN 2 IKAN - 01When He taught His followers a prayer which would express their Christian identity, the petition for today’s needs is a request for bread. And Jesus arranged that the celebration of His memory would be in a meal: “Do this in memory of Me.” The risen Lord was recognized by two disciples at the breaking of bread. And would you believe what He asked of the dumbfounded apostles when He appeared to them in the Upper Room: “Have you anything here to eat?”

This theme of food continues into the Acts of the Apostles. The breaking of bread was one of the cornerstones of the early community. And when Peter was establishing his credentials as a witness his claim was: “We have eaten and drunk with Him after His resurrection from the dead.” (Acts 10:41).

The day when Jesus fed the multitude in the lonely place was lide a summary of His mission. He welcomed the crowds … even though they were wrecking His plans for a day of retreat with the apostles. He talked to them about the Kingdom of God. He brought healing to those who needed it. And He fed them in their hunger.

Bread is a symbol of the outreach of God to His children in welcome, enlightenment, healing and sustaining. 

Note: Taken from Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFMCap., THE GOOD NEWS OF LUKE’S YEAR, Dublin, Ireland: Cathedral Books/The Columbia Press, Revised Edition, 1991 (1994 reprinting), pages 111-113.

Jakarta, 2nd of June 2013


A Christian Pilgrim


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(A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST –  Sunday, 2nd of June 2013) 

Gospel Reading: Luke 9:11-17 

First Reading: Gen 14:18-20; Psalms: Ps 110:1-4, Second Reading: 1Cor 11:23-26 


When the crowds learned it, they followed Him; and He welcomed them and spoke to them of the Kingdom of God, and cured those who had need of healing. Now the day began to wear away; and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, to go into the villages and country round about, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a lonely place.” But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish – unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men. And He said to His disciples, “make them sit down in companies, about fifty each.” And they did so, and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fist he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were satisfied. And they took up what was left over, twelve baskets of broken pieces. (Lk 9:11-17 RSV) 

Corpus Christi Sunday is a day when we celebrate Jesus’ goodness in feeding us through the Eucharist. In recounting the feeding of the 5,000 (at least), Luke tells how Jesus had intended to withdraw with His apostles for rest, but instead welcomed the throng that crowded around Him. Like a gentle shepherd, He tended to the sick, taught them about the Kingdom, and miraculously provided them with food. He ministered to them until everyone was satisfied (Lk 9:17).

As he wrote to the troubled church in Corinth, Saint Paul explained that Jesus is still able to care for his people: “As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1Cor 11:26). Every time we read the scriptures, we can be refreshed. Every time we pray, we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ sacrifice – which we recall at every Mass – still has the power to wash away our sins and fill us with divine life.

ROTI DAN ANGGUR - 003The bread and wine transformed into Jesus’ body and blood can truly sustain us as we approach His altar with humble hearts. At the same time, whenever we eat and drink, we also look for the day when Jesus will come again. Then, He Himself will feed us directly, no longer through word and sacrament. “… He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4).

In the Holy Mass, let us eat and drink of Jesus with grateful hearts. It is HE who feeds us. It is HE who can meet all our physical and spiritual needs. Let us look for the day when Jesus will be with us. As Christians, all of our hope is centered on it.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, in Your words, we find truth. In Your wounds, we find life. In Your precious blood, we find the power to draw near to You. In Your death, we find life. In Your resurrection, we find hope for eternal life. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Jakarta, 31st of May 2013 


A Christian Pilgrim


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