DOING THE FATHER’S WILL

Thursday 26th June – Thursday of week 12 of the year

Reflection: Matthew 7: 21-29

DOING THE FATHER’S WILL

In an era when almost everyone happens to be “Christian” one would wonder why Jesus says that “narrow is the gate that leads to life, and only a few find it” (cf Matthew 7: 14). If almost everyone in the neighbourhood, in school, at work etc is a Christian, then is there more to attaining eternal life than professing the Christian faith? Is there more to do in order to get to Heaven than going to Church, fellowship etc?

While all these practices are good, Jesus points out in today’s reading that we must go beyond them. We must do the will of His Father in Heaven if we seek to enter His Kingdom. How much of the lessons learnt from Scriptures do you put to practice in your daily life? Do you make constant effort to do God’s will in all circumstances? Christ likens the man who is obedient to His Word to a wise man who builds his house on rock and the building stands firm in the face of the storm. Participating in and receiving the Eucharist worthily is an act of obedience to Christ (Luke 22:19; John 6:53). Let us in addition live out the demands of the Eucharist: a life of thanksgiving, love and evangelisation.

Let us seek to put to practice what we learn as we listen to and study God’s word. As we do this, we will grow in holiness and receive the grace to stand firm even in the face of temptation.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help me to do Your will always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1970 – The law of the Gospel requires us to make the decisive choice between the “two ways” and to put into practice the words of the Lord. It is summed up in the Golden Rule, “Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; this is the law and the Prophets.”

The entire Law of the Gospel is contained in the “new commandment” of Jesus, to love one another as He has loved us.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven” Matthew 7:21 RSV-CE

Readings for today: 2 Kings 24: 8-17; Psalm 79: 1-5, 8-9; Matthew 7: 21-29

BEHOLD, I LONG FOR YOUR PRECEPTS

Wednesday 25th June – Wednesday of week 12 of the year

Reflection: Psalm 119: 33-37, 40

BEHOLD, I LONG FOR YOUR PRECEPTS

We live in a very fast age. The world has never known this much change as has been witnessed in the last century. We witnessed the invention of bombs, air craft, and then the biggest one, the computer. This constant change has made it so possible for theories to be continually redefined, remodeled, reviewed and in fact, re-theorized, so much so that facts are becoming transient.

The Psalmist lived in a similar world. A world where nothing could be held on to as being true, a world where nobody could be believed and where truth was the scarcest of commodities. Faced with this changing world, the Psalmist turned to the never changing Word of God. He turned his longing to the precepts of the God who never lies nor changes.

We see the people of God (in the first reading) return to the word and covenant of God. The whole people, old, young, mighty and small; they all returned to the sure foundation of the word and covenant of God. In the Gospel, Christ himself cautions us to beware of those who come in sweet words, who seem to have all the answers, all the right words, all the correct miracles and have everything going well for them. Beware!

Let the word of God be your sure foundation. Don’t be deceived or swayed by sweet talks, miraculous feats, or false prophesies. Remain with our Mother, the Church, who alone (being the body of Christ) cannot deceive nor be deceived.

Prayer: Lord, preserve us by your Word, the same Word with which you created the world and through whom you saved the world. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: The Eucharist, as Christ’s saving presence in the community of the faithful and its spiritual food, is the most precious possession which the Church can have in her journey through history.

“Saint John Paul II – The Eucharist: Life of the Church, 9.

HIDE A TREASURE: “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever.” Isaiah 40:8 RSV-CE

Readings for today: 2 Kings 22: 8-13; 23: 1-3; Psalm 119: 33-37; 40; Matthew 7: 15 -20

A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART

Tuesday 24th June Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist

Reflection: Acts 13: 22-26

A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART

Today, we celebrate a great saint, the herald of Christ. What makes this man significant? Was it just about his miraculous birth, his ministry or what?

Let’s examine his life a little. John appeared in Israel after over 400 years since the last prophet or prophesies in Israel. During this time, the expectations of the people were greatly dampened. Suddenly, John showed up, born through a somewhat unusual process by “too-old-to-be-parents” kind of parents, and then, the boy himself was somehow unusual too – living in the desert, and surviving only on wild honey. Somehow, the whole of this took a funny twist when John showed up at the Jordan- not to bath his desert dirty body, but to baptize people and clean up their souls!!! Suddenly, the expectations were aroused for the Messiah. This is where the whole drama begins.

The people of his days had never seen a prophet, nor heard prophesies in their own time, they only had memories of what they had been taught about the prophets of old…Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah etc. So, if John had told them that He was a prophet or even more, the Christ, they would have believed him headlong. But, NO, John would not even claim the title of a prophet for himself, not to even mention him being the Christ. Rather he set himself aside and proclaimed Jesus as The messiah, the expected Lamb of God John is a man who could have stolen glory (at least for a while), but he did not. He chose the honorable path – to herald the Christ. In short, he chose to be the man after the call and heart of God.

This too, today is our call, to set ourselves aside, and let the world see Christ. We celebrate John, for his humility, his duty and his martyrdom. Let him be our role model, in proclaiming the truth (even when it hurts our pride and ego), to show Christ to the world at whatever cost, and by all means, to strive to be the man after the heart of God.

Prayer: Lord, let me decrease, while you increase, until there is none of me left, but you living in and through me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2683 – The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their master, they were “put in charge of many things”. Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.

HIDE A TREASURE: “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh cannot help. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” John 6: 63 CCB

Readings for today: Isaiah 49: 1-6; Psalm 138: 1-3, 13-15, Acts 13: 22-26;Luke 1: 57 -66, 80

WHERE IS YOUR SOURCE OF HELP?

Monday 23rd June – Monday of week 12 of the year

Reflection: 2 Kings 17: 5-8, 13-15, 18

WHERE IS YOUR SOURCE OF HELP?

“Give us aid against the foe, for worthless is the help of men” (Psalm 60:13)” This was the cry of the children of God in the Psalm of today. They had been besieged, then embattled, conquered and now had become slaves in exile! Severally, they had raised armies, had allies, formed strong weapons, yet, they were still defeated in wars. Today, we hear the sigh and despair of the Israelites resonating in the Psalm of Israel: “…for worthless is the help of men…”. They knew what it meant to put trust and confidence in mortals, how to fight life’s battles alone, and by doing so, had tasted the bitter pill of defeat.

However, they knew exactly the root cause of their problem. They knew they had deserted the Lord, the Lord of armies. And the Lord, on his part had left them to their own devices. They had esteemed other gods as greater than Yahweh, and followed thus after other gods. In fact, they judged Yahweh, and concluded that he was no longer powerful enough, no longer good enough. This was their judgment, and this was the cause of their doom.

In many ways, we are like the Israelites- judgmental, high headed and divisive. We too have forsaken Yahweh, and gone after our own ways. Let us learn to trust God, to accept God’s word for what it is, not for what we expect. Let us learn to depend on his aid rather than what men will say or do. Let the word of God be our standard, above and beyond all things, all men, (including the most noble of them). And above all, let us keep the word of God above our will, our wishes and our choices. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your understanding (your devices, your friends, your money, your prophesies etc), in all your dealings acknowledge him and he will direct your path.”(cf Proverbs 3: 5-6)

Lastly, remember that in every situation, man has only one “point of view” whereas God has “several points to view”. Bear this always in mind, and leave judgment to the God who alone sees everything.

Prayers: Aid us Lord by your grace, that we who have been acquitted by your Son’s blood may live no longer in the bondage of sins, but in the freedom of the sons of God. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2508: Lying

Lying consists in saying what is false, with the intention of deceiving one’s neighbor.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Happy is the ,am who trusts in the Lord, and whose confidence is in him” Jeremiah 17: 7 CCB

Readings for today: 2 Kings 17: 5-8, 13-15, 18; Psalm 60: 3-5, 12-13; Matthew 7: 1-5