Saturday 24th May – Saturday of the 5th week of Easter
Reflection: Acts 16: 1-10
LED BY THE SPIRIT
The power to witness to Jesus is so awesome and abundant. It is born out of God’s call. By our baptism, we are prophets to the nations; speaking boldly the eternal word of Christ and destroying the reign of sin. Let us embrace this truth and act on it with our whole being. God’s Spirit enables us. Just as the scripture says in Acts 1:8, He gives us the power to witness.
The actions of Paul and Timothy in our reading today (Acts 16:6-8) should open our eyes to the source of our authority and power; the Spirit of Jesus. They were directed and prompted by the Holy Spirit because their spirit has been renewed by God’s Spirit (Romans 8:16). Christ has given us His Spirit to quicken our mortal bodies. If this is so, how do we live our daily lives? Do we care about what the Spirit is saying? Dear friends, our spirit is the lamp by which God searches our hearts, and it is by the Holy Spirit we also discern the mind of God (1 Corinthians 2: 9-12). There is need to daily nurture our spirit on the word of God in other for us to clearly recognize His promptings.
God is faithful; He will lead us to our glorious future once we surrender all to him. The human nature will sometimes protest but its tricks should be subdued by the power of God at work in us. When we allow God to use us as He wishes, we cannot be put to shame. Stay blessed.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, quicken my mortal body by your Spirit and help me to respond daily to your invitation of a new experience of your power. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT120 – What does the Holy Spirit do in my life?
The Holy Spirit makes me receptive to God; he teaches me to pray and helps me to be there for others [CCC738-741]
Augustine calls the Holy Spirit “The quiet guest of our soul”. Anyone who wants to sense his presence must be quiet. Often this Guest speaks very softly within us and with us, for instance, in the voice of our conscience or through other interior and exterior promptings.
HIDE A TREASURE: “To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace”. Romans 8:6 GNB
Readings of Today: Acts 16:1-10; Psalm 100:1-5; John 15:18-21
Friday 23rd May – Friday of the 5th week of Easter
Reflection: Psalm 57:8-12
AWAKE THE DAWN
Telling the truth about something is born out of conviction and firm assurance of what it stands for. It is like a belt tied around our waist which gives fitness to the robe which is worn. It has nothing to hide because it a perfect reflection of what is conceived inside. God’s word which is truth (John 17:17) when allowed to dwell in our hearts fills us with the energy to express a deep ecstasy of joy and happiness to our heavenly Father. Freedom from depression, condemnation, low self-esteem and other joy-sapping situations comes from the rest which we have found in our Lord Jesus Christ and this gives us a firm hope even after the tears of the night.
Beloved in Christ, to awaken and sustain the dawn of joyful moments in our lives, there is need to look forward to every opportunity to thank God and praise His Holy name. Our soul must thirst for true satisfaction in acknowledging God for His mercies even when nothing seems right. Each day as we awake from sleep must ring a bell of how precious we are to God and in turn gives us assurance of better days. So get set to live above your weakness because our God is above all, and his glory shines on you. Awaken the giant in you because Christ keeps you in view for his glory and blessings. Pour out our heart to Him and express your love for His precepts. This is the truth that sets us free for the dawn of greater glory. (2 Cor. 3:18).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, awake the dawn of a joyful noise in my life that I may experience your greater glory. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 285 – What is eternal happiness?
Eternal happiness is seeing God and being taken up into God’s happiness.
In God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit there is unending life, joy, and communion. To be taken up into it will be an incomprehensible, infinite happiness for us men. This happiness is the pure gift of God’s grace, for we men can neither bring it about ourselves nor comprehend it in its magnitude. God would like us to decide in favor of our happiness; we should choose God freely, love him above all things, do good and avoid evil insofar as we are able.
HIDE A TREASURE: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.” Psalm 57:9 RSV-CE
Readings for Today: Acts 15: 22-31; Psalm 57: 8-12; John 15:12-17
Thursday 22nd May – Thursday of the 5th week of Easter
Reflection: John 15:9-11
REMAIN IN MY LOVE
To remain in God’s love is a life time commitment that brings satisfaction and fulfilment to one’s life. It is the centre of the Christian identity and a foundation to growth in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. As a believer and a treasurer of God’s gifts and blessings, this injunction happens to be the only command that Christ requires of us (John 15:17) and from it other virtues stem. This is described in the exchange between Jesus and Peter after Jesus’ resurrection: “Simon Son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” (John 21:15).
Dear friends in Christ, the safe shelter of love which Christ offers to us is an abode that welcomes both the saints and sinners but would only nurture and benefit those who follow God’s precepts. What is your driving force in our Christian service? Do you just go for Mass because it is life’s routine or because you really want to see and experience God’s love? Have you cared enough to get right answers to various questions that shake your faith?
Let us understand that our love for God adds or subtracts nothing to his glory. It is all to our benefit and salvation. Just as a lover cares and tries to satisfy his beloved, our love for God would never please him if it is not aimed at a transition from the old life to a new life. This means being dead to sin and living totally in love with God’s commands. As we work out our salvation by our daily walk with Jesus, let us strife to remain with Him and derive joy and peace for every moment of our lives.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me pour my love on you till every carnal inclination is crucified in you. Amen
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 402 – What is love?
Love is the free self-giving of the heart [CCC2346].
To have a heart full of love means to be so pleased with something that one emerges from oneself and devotes oneself to it…. In every friendship there is love…All human love is an image of divine love, in which all love is at home. Love is the inmost being of the Triune God. In God there is continual exchange and perpetual self-giving. Through the overflowing of divine love, we participate in the eternal love of God. The more a person loves, the more he resembles God. Love should influence the whole life of a person…
HIDE A TREASURE: “I love your commands more than gold, more than the finest gold” Psalm 119:127 GNB
Readings of Today: Acts15:7-21; Psalm 96:1-3, 10; John 15:9-11
Wednesday 21st May – Wednesday of the 5th week of Easter
Reflection: John 15: 1-8
JESUS, THE TRUE VINE
As we reflect on today’s reading, we encounter Jesus, the True Vine, asking us to abide in Him. This is key to our productivity in life as any branch cut away from a tree eventually withers off. When we abide in Christ, He abides in us. It is only when we are in Christ that God the Father can wholly attend to us and help us to achieve His blessed purpose for our lives.
We can do nothing outside Christ because it is only when we are in Christ that we can bear much fruits suitable for God’s purpose for our lives.
Beloved, are you at a confused stage of your life? Are you contemplating breaking off from the True Vine? The Word of God comes to you today to remain in Christ in order for God to attend to you because outside of Jesus Christ our lives cannot bear meaningful fruits.
Prayer: Father in heaven, I ask for the grace to always remain in Christ that I may live for you and always enjoy your favour. Amen.
HIDE A TREASURE: If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it. John 15:7 GNB.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 91 – But why did Jesus work miracles?
The miracles that Jesus worked were signs that the kingdom of God was beginning. They expressed his love for mankind and reaffirmed his mission. [CCC 547-550].
Readings: Acts 15:1-6; Psalm 122:1-5; John 15:1-8
Tuesday 20th May – Tuesday of the 5th week of Easter
Reflection: John 14:27-31
THE PEACE OF CHRIST
The peace of Christ is a promise and an assurance that Christ gave unto His disciples before He left the earth and it is this peace that all Christians have been called to enjoy as one of the benefits of following Christ.
This peace, says Christ, is not as the world gives. It sustains us through the ups and downs of life. Every Christian should operate on this level of peace such that even when everything seems disorderly and clumsy, we have that assurance that all will eventually turn out for our good (Romans 8:28). It is this peace that makes us suffer joyfully for the sake of the good news hoping to inherit the kingdom of God. It is also this peace that makes us rest assured in Christ, submitting all to him.
Beloved, irrespective of what you are going through, irrespective of the situation of your life; take hold of this message and let the peace of Christ reign in your life. Let the peace of Christ empower you as you hear Him whisper to your heart: “behold, all is well.”
Prayer: Heavenly father, I submit my whole life to you today that I may gain your peace. Amen.
HIDE A TREASURE: “They strengthened the believers and encouraged them to remain true to the faith.‘We must pass through many troubles to enter the kingdom of God’ they taught.” Acts 14:22 GNB.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 93 – Why was Christ transfigured on the mountain?
The Father wanted to reveal the divine glory of his Son even during Jesus’ earthly life. Christ’s Transfiguration was meant to help the disciples later to understand his death and Resurrection.
Readings for today: Acts 14:19-28; Psalm 145:10-13, 21; John 14: 27-31
Monday 19th May – Monday of the 5th week of Easter
Reflection: Acts 14: 5-18
BEWARE OF SELF GLORIFICATION
God in his graciousness has given believers in Him the grace to do marvelous things beyond human explanation like working of miracles, healing, unimaginable expression of love, etc. It is this grace that was revealed through Paul and Barnabas at Lystra when they healed a crippled man who had been lame from birth. As children of God, when God gives us the ability to do great things, there is a tendency that other humans will want to glorify us for the things that God has done or is doing through us.
Just like the apostles today, we must act with understanding not to incur the wrath of God by taking the glory that belongs to Him (Deuteronomy 6:15). We need to enlighten others that every good gifts comes from God (James 1:17). We mortals are like instruments in His hands (2 Timothy 2:20-21), so all the glory must be returned to God.
It is idolatrous to glorify ourselves in the good things that God is doing through us and to refuse to return all praises to Him. Idolatry amounts to rebellion against God. This is evil in God’s sight, and it is capable of bringing down God’s wrath upon whosoever engages in it!
Prayer: Heavenly father, give me the grace to always return all glory to you especially when you do marvellous things through me. Amen.
HIDE A TREASURE: “But he has always given evidence of his existence by the good things he does: he gives you rain from heaven and crops at the right times; he gives you food and fills your heart with happiness.” Acts 14: 17 GNB
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 97 – Are the Jews guilty of Jesus’ death?
No one can assign collective guilt for the death of Jesus to the Jews. Instead, the Church professes with certainty that all sinners share in the guilt for Jesus’ death.
Readings: Acts 14:5-18; Psalm 115:1-4, 15-16; John 14:21-26
Sunday 18th May – 5th Sunday of Easter
Reflection: John 14:1-12
YOU ARE A CHOSEN RACE
As we journey on in our Christian faith, there is good news for us today: we who believe in Jesus and acknowledge that He is one with the Father have been proclaimed as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a people called by God’s name (1 Peter 2:9). This gives us a share in the many rooms that are in the Father’s house for which Christ has gone to prepare for us as people of a chosen race. Hence, the call for you and I today is to have faith in God and believe in Jesus the living stone so that where Christ is, we can also be there. The wonderful thing therein is that if we believe, we give Christ the permission to work great things through us.
Beloved, an absolute faith and trust in God is needed to make exploits as Christians because everything we do must reveal a positive difference, excellence and the presence of God. Let us open ourselves to Jesus each day and ask Him to help us live out the faith we have as a chosen race in the midst of this perverse world.
Prayer: Father, I ask for that grace to have total faith in you so that I can also be with you where you are someday. Amen.
HIDE A TREASURE: “Come to the Lord, the living stone rejected by people as worthless but chosen by God as valuable.” 1 Peter 2:4 GNB
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 135 – What is the relation between the Church and the Jews?
Jews are the “older brethren” of Christians, because God loved them first and spoke to them first. Jesus Christ as man is a Jew, and this fact unites us. The Church recognizes in him the Son of the living God, and this fact separates us. In awaiting the final coming of the Messiah we are one.
Readings for today: Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33:1-5, 18-19; 1 Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-2