THE CHRISTIAN MANDATE

Saturday 26th April – Easter Saturday

Reflection: Mark 16: 9-15

THE CHRISTIAN MANDATE

Dear friends, as Christians, we share in the mandate given to the disciples by Christ in our Gospel reading today. We have the mandate to proclaim the good news of Christ to all creation. The Apostles Peter and John, after healing the lame man at the temple gate (Acts 4: 13-21), stood before the council and stated boldly that they could not obey man instead of God. What was the source of such boldness? The presence of the Holy Spirit and an encounter with Christ. They knew what they had seen and heard and they were ready to obey the divine mandate at all cost.

Beloved, there is also a need for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to carry out our mandate of evangelisation. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and helps us to go beyond our limitations. The apostles though uneducated, spoke to the amazement of the council without mincing words. Without the Holy Spirit, no man can successfully carry out this mandate of spreading the gospel as given by Jesus Christ.

Let us submit ourselves totally to the working of the Holy Spirit for He is our teacher, our counsellor, and our senior partner in this heavenly sojourn. As we do this, we will receive the required grace and strength to spread the good news of salvation through our way of life, actions, words and speech.

Prayer: Father, please help me to submit totally to the Holy Spirit and receive direction from Him. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1294 – “…By Confirmation, Christians, that is those who are anointed, share more completely in the mission of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit with which he is filled so that their lives may give off “the aroma of Christ”

HIDE A TREASURE: “But Peter and John answered them, “you yourselves judge which is right in God’s sight- to obey you or to obey God” Acts 4: 19 GNB

READINGS: Acts 4: 13-21; Psalm 118: 1, 14-21; Mark 16:9-15

PERSEVERE IN FAITH

Friday 25th April – Easter Friday

Reflection: John 21: 1-14

PERSEVERE IN FAITH

We have gone through the season of Lent during which we have engaged in prayer, fasting, abstinence and other forms of spiritual exercise. We have determined in our hearts to follow Christ. Now, the season of Lent is over; are we not getting distracted from the works of righteousness that Christ has called us to? Are we not like Simon Peter and other disciples in the Gospel of today (John 21:1-14) who left their call to follow Christ and went back to their old way of life, that of fishing? Are we not on the verge of leaving the righteousness we confessed at Lent, overwhelmed by the joy of this season and going back to our old sinful ways?

Christ is calling us today to himself. He is asking us not to be discouraged by the seemingly hopeless situations around us as the disciples were after His death. He wants us to be bold enough to evangelise others and to be able to bear any persecution with a joyful heart as the apostles did today in Acts 4:1-12. Indeed, we are called to follow Jesus and to win souls for God’s kingdom believing that “salvation is to be found through Him alone, in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us”.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please give me the grace never to go astray from the perfect way you have given us. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 432 – The name “Jesus” signifies that the very name of God is present in the person of his Son, made man for the universal and definitive redemption from sins. It is the divine name that alone brings salvation, and henceforth all can invoke his name, for Jesus united himself to all men through his Incarnation, so that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”

HIDE A TREASURE: “Salvation is to be found through Him alone, in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us” Acts 4: 12 GNB

Readings: Acts 4: 1-12; Psalm 118: 1-4, 22-27; John 21: 1-14

GIVING HONOUR TO WHO IT BELONGS

Thursday 24th April – Easter Thursday

Reflection: Acts 3: 11-26

GIVING HONOUR TO WHO IT BELONGS

Dear friends, what is it that you have or can do so well for which everyone around you seems to be showering praises on you? Please be on your guard against pride! The humility and wisdom of Saints Peter and John in returning all the glory to God after healing the lame man at the Beautiful gate is worth emulating by us all. Too many flourishing lives have withered in their prime as a result of pride. You and I must be careful not to fall victims of this vice.

1 Corinthians 4:7 tells us that all special abilities and gifts are from God and there should be no room for self glorification. Each time someone appreciates special abilities or gifts in us should be taken as an opportunity to evangelize. As we sincerely do this in humility and love, we will see the Lord decorating our lives with greater blessings of His.

Prayer: Dearest Father, I thank You for Your wondrous gifts and blessings in my life. May I always acknowledge You as the source of all that is good in me and return all glory to You. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 488 – Why should we thank God?

Everything that we are and have comes from God. Paul says, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4:7). Being grateful to God, the giver of all good things makes you happy.

The greatest prayer of thanks is the “EUCHARIST” (“thanksgiving” in Greek) of Jesus, in which he takes bread and wine so as to offer them to God for all creation, transformed. Whenever Christians give thanks, they are joining in Jesus’ great prayer of thanksgiving. For we, too, are transformed and redeemed by Jesus, and so from the depths of our hearts we can be grateful and tell God this in a variety of ways.

HIDE A TREASURE: “What have you that you did not receive? If then you received, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?” 1 Corinthians 4:7 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Acts 3:11-26; Psalm 8: 2, 5-9; Luke 24: 35-48

WHAT PREVENTS YOU FROM RECOGNIZING HIM?

Wednesday 23rd April – Easter Wednesday

Reflection: Luke 24: 13-35

WHAT PREVENTS YOU FROM RECOGNIZING HIM?

Today’s Gospel reading presents us with an account of two disciples of our Lord Jesus who failed to recognize Him on meeting Him on their way to Emmaus. The Bible records that something prevented them from recognizing Him. How many times have you and I met our Lord Jesus without recognizing Him and how many more times do we risk meeting Him without recognizing Him?

Jesus is not far off in “Heaven” as we often presume Him to be! Every day we live presents us with a new opportunity of meeting Jesus in our fellow brothers and sisters especially those of them in need. Christ himself has told us that part of our judgment will border on how well we have recognized Him or otherwise in the hungry, sick, naked and needy strangers around us (Matthew 25: 31-46). It is not just about our money, it is about all we are privileged to have and should share.

Beloved, what prevents you from recognizing Jesus in the needy around you? Is it selfishness, pride or prejudice? Not even our personal insufficiency can be good enough a reason for there is a room for charity even in our individual needs. Let us be constantly reminded of this eternal truth that our God is all sufficient and lacks nothing. Each time we recognize Him in the needs of others, we are simply availing ourselves of the opportunity to be blessed by Him in multiple folds (Proverbs 19:17).

PRAYER: Oh Lord, please grant me a compassionate heart that recognizes you in the needs of my neighbor. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 449 – What significance do the poor have for Christians?

Love for the poor must be in every age the distinguishing mark of Christians. The poor deserve not just a few alms; they have a claim to justice. For Christians there is a special obligation to share their goods. Our example in love for the poor is Christ.

HIDE A TREASURE: “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” Matthew 25:40 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Acts 3: 1-10; Psalm 105: 1-9; Luke 24: 13-35