THE VOICE OF YOUR ACTIONS

Friday 31st October – Friday of week 30 of the year

Reflection: Luke 14: 1-6

THE VOICE OF YOUR ACTIONS

What is your reaction when you see someone acting in opposition to what he preaches? It will demand a lot of patience and self-control from most of us to resist the temptation to condemn such a person. Actions indeed speak louder than words.

Today’s reading tells us that Jesus was invited for a meal and was being closely watched. Dear friends, whether you like it or not, you are being watched everyday and everywhere you go. Consciously or unconsciously, those who live around you: your family members, colleagues in school or at work, brethren in the Church; all those whom you live and work with are watching you. What does your action speak to them? Do your actions reflect your Christian identity? Do your actions portray the presence of Christ in you?

Dear friends, until Christ’s presence is seen in us – in our words, actions, attitudes etc. Our Christianity remains superficial and unreal. Let us open our hearts to the Holy Spirit today and ask Him to permeate our innermost being so that our actions will be prompted by Him and will evangelize those who surround us.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of your Spirit that dwells in me. Please help me to be docile to His promptings so that my actions will bring glory to you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 347 – Why is “not practicing what you preach” such a serious deficiency in a Christian?

Agreement between one’s life and one’s witness is the first requirement for proclaiming the Gospel. Not practicing what you profess is therefore hypocrisy, a betrayal of the Christian duty to be “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”.

…Christians themselves, not the things they say, are Christ’s “letters of recommendation” (2 Cor 3:2) to the world.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Philippians 1: 1-11; Psalm 111: 1-6; Luke 14: 1-6

BE COMBAT FIT

Thursday 30th October – Thursday of week 30 of the year

Reflection: Ephesians 6: 10-20

BE COMBAT FIT

Blessed day to you, beloved in Christ. Can you imagine what becomes the fate of a soldier in a war front who is neither armed, nor aware of the battle raging around him? He will most likely die a casualty! The motto of the scout movement remains germane to all military personnel globally – “Be Prepared”. The sophistication of modern warfare demands that a soldier be physically and psychologically prepared to defend the interest of his country and stay alive. He must always be combat fit and combat ready.

The same goes for you and me, followers of Christ. By our Christian call, we are soldiers, soldiers of Christ and fierce is the battle that rages in and around us (2 Timothy 2: 3-4; Ephesians 6:12). Ours is not a physical confrontation, fought with guns, explosives and all sorts; for we are children of the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Today’s first reading clearly captures the dimension of our warfare. It is a battle against evil and all appearances of such; a battle against Satan and demons; a battle against the flesh and all forms of inordinate affection; a battle against hatred, immorality and injustice. In short, we are in constant battle against all forms of ungodliness.

How then do we safely navigate through all these? We must not be spiritually naïve! A clear awareness and constant preparedness for this peculiar warfare is necessary for the survival of our faith and our safe arrival at our heavenly homeland. Human strength and ingenuity are grossly inadequate for our spiritual warfare (1 Samuel 2:9b). We need to be clad in God’s armour to emerge victorious.  These, St Paul clearly highlighted in today’s First reading. Let us be vigilant (1Peter 5: 8-9), let us steer clear of anything that could make us vulnerable to the antics of the evil one (Ecclesiastes 10:8). The grace of God is surely sufficient to safely lead us home (Isaiah 40: 30-31)

PRAYER: Oh Lord, grant me victory over life’s battles, that I may thereafter enter the joy of heaven. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 409- This dramatic situation of “the whole world is in the power of the evil one” makes man’s life a battle:

The whole of man’s history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, sour Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by god’s grace, that he succeeds in achieving integrity.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”1 Peter 5:8 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Ephesians 6: 10-20; Psalms 144:1-2, 9-10; Luke 13: 31-35

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT WITH A PROMISE

Wednesday 29th October – Wednesday of week 30 of the year

Reflection: Ephesians 6: 1-9

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT WITH A PROMISE

Contained in the Bible are numerous commandments, which Jesus Christ divided into two: the love of God and the love of neighbour (Matthew 22: 36-39). If we truly love God scripture says, we will abide by His holy injunction (John 14:15). Our faithful God as today’s psalm pointed out (Psalm 145: 13) surely rewards obedience to His commandments (Isaiah 66:22, John 14: 23). However out of the numerous commandments, one was given special attention as “the first commandment that has a promise attached to it.” It is none other than the commandment to honour your father and mother; that it may be well with us and that we might have long life (Ephesians 6: 1-3; Matthew 7:10; Deuteronomy 5:16). No matter the circumstance, this must always be seen as what it is – a command, not merely an advice, from the all faithful God.

Dear friend, this command is not conditioned on how you perceive your parents. Perhaps you consider them dishonourable individuals that have failed in parental responsibilities and exemplary leadership. However, the Almighty God who knows best says you must nevertheless honour them if you want to live long and be prosperous. We must treat them respectfully and never yell or insult them, even under provocation. Our obedience must go beyond eye service; instead it must be sincere.

We must cultivate the habit of generously giving to them, even as youths. We must not wait until we have a stable income before we deem it fit to buy gifts for our parents. Give them within your means; give even to the seemingly well to do parents. Let us give them listening ears and spend quality time with them especially in their old age whether or not they were there for us in our growing years. Hearty parental blessing is a vital key to prosperity in life (Genesis 27: 1-4).

Beloved, today’s gospel (Luke 13: 22-30) admonished us on the horror and surprise that awaits some on the day of judgement. Let us not fall prey, by belittling or neglecting any of our Lord’s commandments (Matthew 5:19) especially as it concerns honour to parents. When we count on God, He is always ready to give us the needed grace to do His will.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the gift of my parents. Please help me in all that I do, that I may honour them as you have commanded me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 367 – To whom does the Fourth Commandment refer, and what does it require of us?

The Fourth Commandment refers in the first place to one’s physical parents, but also to the people to whom we owe our life, our well-being, our security, and our faith.

What we owe in the first place to our parents—namely love, gratitude, and respect—should also govern our relations to people who guide us and are there for us.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “Children, obey your parents in Lord, for this is right. “Honour your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise) “that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6: 1-3 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Ephesians 6: 1-9; Psalm 145: 10-14; Luke 13: 22-30

KEEP YOUR HOMELAND IN VIEW

Tuesday 28th October – Feasts of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles

Reflection: Ephesians 2: 19-22

KEEP YOUR HOMELAND IN VIEW

As Christians, we must constantly remind ourselves of the truth that we are sojourners on earth (Hebrews 11: 13-16). There exists a heavenly homeland awaiting us at the end of our earthly pilgrimage if we remain faithful to our loving God (Revelation 2: 17). The Christian journey is full of ups and downs (Matthew 7: 13-14, 2 Timothy 4:5), many distractions of the world could easily sway us off our course if our eyes are not set on seeing God.

To stay on track, we daily need the counsel of God in all of life’s decisions. The scriptural counsel that we cannot independently determine the best choices in life must keep ringing in our minds (Proverbs 14:12). We must maintain an attitude of prayer, which essentially is communication with God as exemplified in today’s gospel by our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6: 12-16). As we speak to God and listen to Him in prayer, He makes clearer His counsel for our lives.

Beloved, keeping Heaven in focus demands giving first place to our relationship with God. As we make Him the king and centre of our hearts here on earth we can count on His abundant grace and faithfulness to lead us home

PRAYER: Oh Lord, help me live to daily please you; to daily seek you and to be supremely united with you in Heaven. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 3 – Why do we seek God?

God has placed in our hearts a longing to seek and find him. St. Augustine says, “You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” We call this longing for God religion.

…All of our striving for truth and happiness is ultimately a search for the one who supports us absolutely, satisfies us absolutely, and employs us absolutely in his service. A person is not completely himself until he has found God. “Anyone who seeks truth seeks God, whether or not he realizes it” (St. Edith Stein).

 HIDE A TREASURE: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” Matthew 6:33 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Ephesians 2: 19-22; Psalm 19: 2-5; Luke 6: 12-16