PERSEVERANCE

Monday 25th August – Monday of week 21 of the year

Reflection: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12

PERSEVERANCE

Mount Everest the tallest mountain in the world was never climbed in a day. Those who attempted to climb its treacherous slopes spend months and even years training. Sometimes they fail, other times they succeeded. From one slope to another they keep on till they got to the top. So also is our own journey to eternity. The path we are treading is narrow and rough, filled with many ups and downs; with treacherous slopes and deep valleys. Yet ahead of it all lies the ‘Crown’ for those who endure.

Dear friends, to gain victory we must be ready to fight the good fight of faith. Without fighting we cannot obtain the crown of glory which God has in store for us (2 Timothy 4:7-8). As challenges come in the process of striving towards achieving set goals; likewise anyone who has determined to serve God must be prepared for times of trials. We must keep our hearts upright and remain resolute; and not be upset in time of adversity. We must accept all that happens to us with patience; for as gold is tested in the crucible of fire, so those acceptable to God are tested in the crucible of humiliation. For there is no ‘Crown’ without the ‘Cross’.

Beloved in Christ, we must hold fast to the Lord when trials and tribulations come our way because of our faith in God; do not separate yourself from Him so that we may be successful to the end of our days.

PRAYER: When I am weak and your grace alone can assist me, Jesus, help me and never leave me. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 197 – Why does the Church adhere to the practice of infant Baptism?

From antiquity the Church has practiced infant Baptism. There is one reason for this: before we decide on God, God has decided on us. Baptism is therefore a grace, an undeserved gift of God, who accepts us unconditionally. Believing parents who want what is best for their child want Baptism also, in which the child is freed from the influence of original sin and the power of death.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Happy are those who patiently endure trials, because afterwards they will receive the crown of life which the Lord promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 CCB

Readings for Today: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12; Psalm 96:1-5; Matthew 23:13-22

HYPOCRISY

Tuesday 26th August – Tuesday of week 21 of the year

Reflection: Matthew 23:23-26

HYPOCRISY

Many Christians and ministers of God have been condemned by allowing the virus of hypocrisy to take root and spread in their ministries. They cover up sin and vices and end up deceiving those that God has entrusted to them. They die slowly in their spirit man as they fail to acknowledge the fact that our God is all knowing and can discern the depths of man’s heart. Is this not applicable to you and me when we seek to become acceptable to men at the expense of pleasing God?

Beloved, anything born out of falsehood cannot be pleasing to God even when it seems right to man. The message of truth which we must witness as children of God must be done with all sincerity and truth so that we would not be condemned just as the teachers of the law in our reading today. JUSTICE, MERCY and HONESTY as pointed out in today’s reading (Matthew 23:23) must prevail;

JUSTICE is doing unto others what we want them to do to us. (Matthew 7:12)

MERCY is showing compassion and having a kind heart to forgive and accommodate those that have caused us pain. This is practically keeping God’s great mercy in view and availing ourselves to its grace to reciprocate it in own little way.

HONESTY is standing for the truth and never covering up falsehood but exposing it to the light of Christ.

Let us therefore strife to never entertain falsehood in our journey of faith but seek to be pleasing to God and then to man.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to be pleasing to you in my heart, my utterance and my deeds. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 455What does it mean to be truthful?

Truthfulness means that one acts sincerely and speaks honestly. The truthful individual guards against double-dealing, misrepresentation, malicious deception, and hypocrisy. The worst form of untruthfulness is perjury.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “Clean what is inside the cup first, and then the outside will be clean too.” Matthew 23:26 GNB

Readings for Today: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a. 14-17; Ps 96:10 -13; Matthew 23:23-26

THE MISSING LINK

Wednesday 27th August –Wednesday of week 21 of the year

Reflection: Psalm 128:1 – 5

THE MISSING LINK

Believers sometimes pray so much but have little or nothing to show for their prayers.  As young individuals, we readily deploy our youthful strength to get things done. Despite our youthful strength and ingenuity, we sometimes labor with little or no result. Why does this happen? What is the “missing link” to access our long expected result? Do we have an understanding of what prosperity is according to the mind of God?

Dear friend, obedience is the key. It unlocks treasures which have been long provided for by our Heavenly Father. It sets us on the right track to journey to our expected end. The psalmist today reveals to us the “missing link” to make our work meet the needs that we desire (Psalm 128:2). The Lord rewards obedience by his children (Ps 128:1). Beloved in Christ, prosperity is far more than accumulating riches; it is the end product of obedience to God. This is seen in the life of Abraham. He obeyed God and left his kindred for an unknown land. This made him the father of nations. This blessing of Abraham is still the same blessing God offers us in our day to day activities (Deuteronomy 30:16).

Today, let us trust God with all our plans and connect to our blessings and riches in Christ. If you are willing and obedient, you will lack nothing good (Isaiah 1:19). This is God’s promise to you.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I resolve to obey and follow you, please give me the grace to be faithful to the end. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 84Was Mary only an instrument of God?

Mary was more than a merely passive instrument of God. The Incarnation of God took place through her active consent as well.

When the angel told her that she would bear “the Son of God”, Mary replied, “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). The redemption of mankind by Jesus Christ thus begins with a request by God and the free consent of a human being—and a pregnancy before Mary was married to Joseph. By such an unusual path Mary became for us the “Gate of Salvation”.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “If you will only obey me, you will eat the good things the land produces” Isaiah 1:19 GNB

Readings for Today: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18; Psalm 128:1-5; Matthew 23: 27-32

WHO DO PEOPLE SAY YOU ARE?

Sunday 24th August – 21st Sunday of the year

Reflection: Matthew 16:13-20

WHO DO PEOPLE SAY YOU ARE?

The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. Man exists because God created him in love, and through love God continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator. Being in the image and likeness of God, the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. Thus, man stands as the glory of God.

As Christ asked his disciples; let us ask ourselves, “who do people say we are?” Let us examine ourselves: By the way we live, behave, talk and respond to issues, can people say I am a Child of God?  Dear friends, this is a call to sober reflection for us.

God our Father wants us to reflect His image within us by the way we act, talk and respond to situations around us. Today let us pray for the grace to be a true reflection of God and to be His ambassador.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to be your witness wherever I find myself. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 356 – IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Man is “the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake,” and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God’s own life.

HIDE A TREASURE: So you, too, must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Do not allow sin any control over your mortal bodies. Romans 6:11-12 CCB

Readings for Today: Isaiah 22:19-23, Psalm 138:1-3, 6-8, Romans11:33-36, Matthew 16:13-20