REMAIN FAITHFUL

Monday 30th June – Monday of week 13 of the year

Reflection: Amos 2: 6-10, 13-16

REMAIN FAITHFUL

It is commonplace in our own day and time to see individuals serving God and spending so much time in prayers, at fellowships, healing services, revivals etc when they have difficulties. However, these same persons are likely to draw back on their acts of devotion to God when their prayers are answered and they find themselves in comfortable positions.

Today’s reading shows us how Israel had drawn back on its faithfulness to God. Many of them had become lords to themselves, maltreating the poor and less privileged, sacrificing to idols and engaging in immorality. Israel had indeed forgotten God, the same God who had delivered them from slavery in Egypt and defeated their enemies. Hence, a punishment was pronounced against Israel.

Before we are quick to condemn the Israelites, let us look into our own lives. Do we seek God earnestly when we need help from Him such as exam success, good jobs, healing etc and begin to withdraw when we find ourselves comfortable? This pattern shows the absence of commitment to God.

Dear friend, our lives depend on God. It is only in Him we can find the happiness and fulfilment we all seek. Let us draw near to Him today, ask for mercy for the times we have taken His love for granted and for the grace to be faithful to Him always.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I renew my commitment to you today. You have given me the privilege of belonging to the family of God. Please help me to love You always and be faithful to You. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 490 – Is it enough to pray when you feel like praying?

No. Someone who prays only when he feels like it does not take God seriously and will leave off praying. Prayer thrives on faithfulness.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” Isaiah 1: 19 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Amos 2: 6-10, 13-16; Psalm 50: 16-23; Matthew 8: 18-22

GOD’S TIMING

Sunday 29th June – Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
Reflection: Acts 12: 1-11
GOD’S TIMING

“God’s delays are never denials”. For us to be victorious in our Christian journey of faith this truth must resound in our minds and hearts always. God is all-knowing and His ways are indeed far from ours; His thoughts very much above ours. We become victorious Christians when we learn to trust God even in seemingly hopeless situations.
God sometimes seems to act at the very last minute, when all seems lost. Think of the stories of Daniel in the lion’s den, his three friends (Shadrach, Meshech and Abed’nego) being thrown into the furnace, Peter in today’s reading and a host of others. In all these stories, you will find that God seemed to allow the worst to happen before rescuing these righteous ones from the claws of the wicked. In the end, the events each spell out God’s mighty power to save and His control over the forces of nature: lions, fire etc.
God allowed Peter to remain in prison till the night before the trial. Hope was almost lost and even the Church that remained constantly in prayer for Peter did not believe he could still be rescued (Acts 12: 12-16). In what difficult circumstance do you find yourself? What is that request you have been crying to God about for which He seems not to have heard. Beloved, do not be discouraged. His timing is always perfect and He is in control of all forces in Heaven and Earth. Please keep trusting God and praying like the Church did for Peter. A miracle is imminent!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me to trust in you always especially in seemingly hopeless situations. May I never give in to doubt and fear. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 507 – What happens if you find that prayer does not help?
Prayer does not seek superficial success but rather the will of God and intimacy with him. God’s apparent silence is itself an invitation to take a step farther—in total devotion, boundless faith, endless expectation. Anyone who prays must allow God the complete freedom to speak whenever he wants, to grant whatever he wants, and to give himself however he wants.

HIDE A TREASURE: “…Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” Mark 11: 25 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Acts 12: 1-11; Psalm 34: 2-9; 2 Timothy 4: 6-8; 17-18; Matthew 16: 13-19

LEARNING FROM OUR MOTHER

Saturday 28th June – Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Reflection: Luke 2: 41-51

LEARNING FROM OUR MOTHER

As we read about the lives of several Biblical characters, we are astounded by the great faith and trust they had in God. A faith that remained unshaken even in the midst of difficulties. Think of Abraham, Joseph the son of Jacob, David, Daniel etc and we’ll find so much to learn from their faith.

Today, we will reflect on the faith of our Blessed Mother, Mary. Can you imagine what it would have meant for Mary when the news of her pregnancy went public and she was still unmarried? Imagine the shame and humiliation she may have experienced. Yet, she offered herself to be used as God’s vessel to bring His Son into the world regardless of the difficulties she would encounter along the line.

Today, Scripture records that she “stored up all these things in her heart.” There was so much she did not understand about her Son but she knew God had a plan which He would fulfil in His own unique way. You and I can find no better way to honour our Blessed Mother than by imitating her great faith. Like Mary, let us trust God, who knows the purpose for our lives. Let us rely on Him always especially in times of uncertainty. As we trust and obey God, His perfect plan for us will unfold each new day just as it did for Mary.

Prayer: Dearest Mother, you remind me each day to do whatever Jesus tells me. Please intercede for me that I may trust God absolutely like you did and obey Him always.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 479 What can we learn from the way in which Mary prayed?

To learn from Mary how to pray means to join in her prayer: “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Prayer is ultimately self-giving in response to God’s love. If we say Yes as Mary did, God has the opportunity to lead his life in our life.

HIDE A TREASURE: “His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” John 2:5 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Isaiah 61: 9-11; 1 Samuel 2: 1, 4-8; Luke 2: 41-51

RESPONDING TO GOD’S LOVE

Friday 27th June – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Reflection: 1 John 4: 7-16

RESPONDING TO GOD’S LOVE

The Solemnity the Church celebrates today is one that calls us to reflect on the wonderful love God has for us: a love that made Him to give Himself as ransom for our sins. The readings for today reveal in a unique way this great love and even go a step further – they call us to respond to this love.

What is our response to God’s love? “…let us love one another since love comes from God”. We are called to love others in the same way God has loved us. We are called to love unconditionally and sacrificially. “…since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another” (1 John 4: 11). Obeying the commandment to love is the proof of our discipleship – “by this all men would know that you are my disciples; if you have love for one another” John 13:35.

Today, make a decision to love others unconditionally and sacrificially. Extend a hand of help, attention or friendship to that needy person around you or that seemingly unlovable person. Let the love of God reach others through you. It is only through this that you and I can truly tell the world that Christ is alive and dwells in us and through this, open channels for evangelisation.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for your great love for me despite my unworthiness. Please deliver me from selfishness and help me to extend your love to others. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 309 – What is charity?

Charity is the power by which we, who have been loved first by God, can give ourselves to God so as to be united with him and can accept our neighbor for God’s sake as unconditionally and sincerely as we accept ourselves.

Jesus places love above all laws, without however abolishing the latter…That is why charity, love, is the greatest virtue, the energy that inspires all the other virtues and fills them with divine life.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Deuteronomy 7: 6-11; Psalm 103: 1-10; 1 John 4: 7-16