FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS

Thursday 24th July – Thursday of week 16 of the year

Reflection: Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13

FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS

God is All-in-All. He has given us all things we need for a pleasurable and happy life here on earth. It is most unfortunate that we often look on to another direction when God’s loving arms are ready to embrace us and usher into His banquet of love. The human nature often prefers the fake to the original. The reason for this is not far-fetched; it is simply because the things of the world are packaged in such a way that they appeal to the human senses more easily than the things of God. But, we must understand today that all that glitters is not gold.

God Himself is the only enduring “substance” that can give you all that you need for a happy and fulfilled life. No one else can, not even your best friend. Today God the Father laments on how His people have abandoned Him to pursue the worthless and fading pleasures of this world. He reminds us that He is the “Fountain of Living Waters” (Jeremiah 2:13). Beloved, in this Fountain, you derive all good things that you desire. Name it: joy, peace, prosperity, glory, success, true friendship, power, wisdom, holiness, healing, divine direction… and the list is endless. This is because the scripture says that every good and perfect gift comes from God the Father who is in Heaven. (James 1:17). Should we then just stand and watch this fountain waste away like that? No beloved, we should take the initiative and jump into it. When we do this we will then experience the joy of salvation.

Let us then give our entire life wholly to God. (Romans 12:1-2). He alone knows what is best for us. He created you and formed you in your mother’s womb, He decided what you would become even before you were born. Thus, He has the master plan of your life.

PRAYER: Father, as your fountain flows today enable me to recognize it and to wallow therein all the days of my life. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2257: “Every society’s judgments and conduct reflect a vision of man and his destiny. Without the light the Gospel sheds on God and man, societies easily become totalitarian.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “Bless the Lord oh my soul and forget not all His benefits” Psalm 103:2 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Jeremiah 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13; Psalm 36:6-11; Matthew 13:10-17

THE RIGHT HEART

Wednesday 23rd July – Wednesday of week 16 of the year

Reflection: Matthew 13:1-9

THE RIGHT HEART

Jesus presents to us today four different kinds of heart with respect to our attitude towards the Word of God in His parable of the sower. The seeds being sowed are the word of God, and the different places which the seeds fell are the different hearts that hear and perceive the word of God.

Can we identify with any of the pictures Christ paints in this parable? How often do we hear the word of God at Mass and forget all about it in a matter of hours? How often do we find ourselves compromising what we know is right in bid to be “acceptable” to our peers? Do we recall all those moments when we are burdened by difficult situations and we forget the peace and assurance God’s word offers?

Christ tells us that we must prepare our hearts to receive His word if it is to bear any fruits in us. When we have the right disposition towards the word of God; listening attentively with a desire to live by it and by asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds, it will yield a bountiful harvest in us.

PRAYER: Father, I ask that you sanctify my heart that it may always be ready to hear and accept every word of God with total joy. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 19 What role does Sacred Scripture play in the Church?

The Church draws her life and strength from Sacred Scripture.

Besides the presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, there is nothing that the Church honors more reverently than Christ’s presence in Sacred Scripture. At Holy Mass we receive the Gospel standing, because in the human words we hear, God himself speaks to us.

HIDE A TREASURE: “…receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls” James 1:21 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10; Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 16; Matthew 13:1-9.

OUR MERCIFUL FATHER

Tuesday 22nd July – Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene

Reflection: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20.

OUR MERCIFUL FATHER

Our God is a merciful Father who does not delight in His children perishing or going astray. God is always ready to bring us back to himself whenever we stray and fall into sin. The same mercy He extended towards Mary Magdalene He gives out to you and I.

Such great mercy was made manifest in the death of His only Son, our Lord Jesus as the plea made in our first reading reached its full realization. He subdued our iniquities and cast all our sins into the depth of the sea and daily desires to fulfil His promises in our lives.

Why then dear friend do you feel downcast and rejected because of your sins? Do you think they are too many for God to forgive? No. he says ‘come let us settle it now…’ (Isaiah 1:18). He is faithful and just to forgive (1 John 1:9). His arms are ever open to you in the Sacrament of reconciliation waiting eagerly for your return as the father of the prodigal son did. Why not return to Him, confess all your sins, and make a firm resolve not to sin again by His grace.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for your great mercy. I sincerely confess all my sins never to go back to them anymore. I ask that you grant me forgiveness. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 228 Who can forgive sins?

God alone can forgive sins. Jesus could say “Your sins are forgiven” (Mk 2:5) only because he is the Son of God. And Priests can forgive sins in Jesus’ place only because Jesus has given them that authority.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9

Readings for Today: Micah 14-15, 18-20; Psalm 85:2-8; John 20:1-2, 11-18

GLORIFYING GOD

Monday 21st July – Monday of week 16 of the year

Reflection: Psalm 50: 5-9, 16-17, 21-23

GLORIFYING GOD

Psalm 50:23 reminds us that God delights in the offering of praise and thanksgiving that we bring before Him regardless of our situation. A prayer of praise and thanksgiving glorifies God for this is a show of humility remembering that God is the ultimate and He has left no one without blessings. This is also a sign of the realization that His grace is always sufficient for us and that even in difficult situations; God is able to bestow greater blessings on us.

More so, God is glorified by those who are righteous before Him, who obey Him always without swerving from the right path come what may. How good it is brethren, when our lives glorify God in thanksgiving and total obedience! In doing this, we prepare ourselves for even greater blessings from Him. What greater blessings can we think of than what God himself promises to us: He will demonstrate His salvation to the upright.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, grant unto me the grace to always be thankful to you and obedient to your instructions. 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 Corinthians 4:7). Being grateful to God, the giver of all good things, makes you happy.

HIDE A TREASURE: “The Lord has told us what is good. What He requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God. Micah 6:8 GNB

Readings for Today: Micah 6:1-8; Psalm 50:5-9, 16 -17, 21, 23; Matthew 12:38-42

THE HOLY SPIRIT INTERCEDES FOR US

Sunday 20th July – 16th Sunday of the year

Reflection: Romans 8: 26-27

THE HOLY SPIRIT INTERCEDES FOR US

The Holy Spirit is a free gift of God to his children to help us and to teach us among other things (John 16:13) All Christians should have the fullness of the Holy Spirit in them if they are truly live out their Christian identity.

It is the Holy Spirit who helps us in our weaknesses; strengthening us in so that we can live according to God’s standards. As humans, we are limited even in understanding the right way to communicate with God the Father, we are deficient in the right words to use in prayer but the Holy Spirit goes before us to the Father to plead on our behalf because He (The Holy Spirit) knows the deepest parts of the heart of men, He therefore intercedes on our behalf. The Holy Spirit knows the most perfect way to express our needs and feelings. No wonder those who have a relationship with the Holy Spirit feel fulfilled each time the Holy Spirit comes at work in them.

Beloved, do you really desire to live out the fullness of your faith as a Christian? Do you want your prayers to be acceptable to God the Father always? Then seek a living relationship with the Holy Spirit whom you have received at Baptism. He is every ready to strengthen us on our faith journey.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your Spirit. Please help me to always be open to His leading. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 120 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.

HIDE A TREASURE: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Romans 8:15 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Wisdom 12:13,16-19; Psalm 86: 5-10, 15-16; Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 13: 24 – 43

THE LORD, OUR HELPER

Saturday 19th July – Saturday of week 15 of the year

Reflection: Micah 2: 1-5

THE LORD, OUR HELPER

The first and the gospel readings today have common theme. We see in the both readings a deadly scheme, an evil mastermind and shear disregard for the power of God.

In the first reading, we see the plight of the righteous man, who cried out to God about the evil plans of the wicked; how they oppress the poor, take away justice, and conclude that God will not avenge, God cannot see them nor take action against them. In the Gospel, we see that their offspring have perfected the plans of their fore fathers, and now, they plan to kill even the Holy One himself. They scheme, plan and take counsel, all on how to kill Christ. Then, in the Psalms, we hear the heartfelt cry, “do not forget the poor oh Lord!

The Psalmist says “of the fatherless, you are the helper”. In these words we find the assurance that despite the scheming and plans, the counsel of the wicked will fall to naught for the Lord our God is our helper. The word of God says, surely, they will gather, but if the gathering is not of the Lord, they will scatter. Indeed, the wicked will take counsel, they will plan, yes, they will form weapons of warfare, and even make a loud boast, but, because it is not of the Lord, they will not succeed!!!

Dear friends, our duty is like that of Jesus: to go about doing good, preaching the gospel, and curing people of all kinds of diseases, be it of body, of soul or of the spirit. And when you have done this, do not forget to pray, like the Psalmist of today, and the Lord our helper will quash the plans of the wicked.

PRAYER: Lord, you reign, forever you are the same, and you bring your enemies to their knees in your presence. Frustrate the plans of our foes, and grant us your peace, for we have placed all our hopes in you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 292 May we do something bad so that good can result from it?

No, we may never deliberately do something evil or tolerate an evil so that good can result from it. Sometimes there is no other course of action but to tolerate a lesser evil in order to prevent a greater evil.

HIDE A TREASURE: “To be afraid of men is a trap; whoever trusts in the Lord will be safe” Proverbs 29: 25 CCB

Readings for Today: Micah 2: 1-5; Psalm 10: 1-4, 7-8, 14; Matthew 12: 14-21

STORE UP TREASURES

Friday 18th July – Friday of week 15 of the year

Reflection: Isaiah 38: 10-12, 16

STORE UP TREASURES

The words of the wise man in Ecclesiastics 12:1 is a very common phrase amongst youths. It admonishes us to “serve the Lord in the days of our youth”. But few take the pain to read the rest of the sentence which continues as “before the dismal days and years come, when you will say, I don’t enjoy life”. The reality is that most youths don’t want to consider that someday they will be old, less agile and closer to death.

Yet, these realities are what the first reading tells us today. Someday, sooner or later, we would have to put our house in order and prepare for the great sojourn. What more can we see from the story of Hezekiah? In the story of Hezekiah, we see a man, who brought up his case before God and presented evidence of his good deeds in the days of his youth. And, now in the days when life is no longer pleasurable, when death’s shadows is falling on him, he reminds the Lord of his past good deeds, his heroic works and his sacrifices of praise. God’s verdict was quite predictable….He gave the man life!

A lot of youths spend their youth in search of money and pleasure, and only remember God when their days are drawing to its close, in the days when life is no longer pleasurable. But, our youthful age is when we can still work, build the church of Christ, evangelize, write books, go on mission and do all the heroic things we wish to do. This is indeed the time to store up your treasures; such that at the right time, our good works will go ahead of us.

Why not take the challenge and do something for God today?

Prayer: Lord. When lived out of your will and purpose for us, our lives are worthless! Please anticipate us by your grace that we might live (even in this our youthful age), a life of purpose and vision; a life that glorifies you, as we journey to eternal life. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2175 – Sunday – Fulfillment of the Sabbath

…In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish Sabbath and announces man’s rest in God…..those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the Sabbath, but the Lord’s day, in which our life is blessed by him and his death.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Here is the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and obey His precepts, for man depends entirely on this” Ecclesiastics 12:13 CCB

Readings for Today: Isaiah 38: 1-8, 21 -22; Isaiah 38: 10-12, 16; Matthew 12: 1-8