A HAPPY ENDING

Wednesday 31st December – 7th day within the octave of Christmas

Reflection: Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13

A HAPPY ENDING

After a journey of 365 days in the year 2014, what more can we do but give thanks to God for his unending love and faithfulness to us all throughout the year? It is a great privilege to count your blessings and remember the goodness and mercy of God through the happy and sad moments that we have encountered in the year 2014. Think less of what you would have loved to accomplish this passing year and thank God for what you have been able to do. Lift him high in praise and worship. Find some moments today to reflect over the past year, and rejoice in thanksgiving as you look forward to the beginning of the New Year.

Dear friends, the scripture says that the end of anything is better than its beginning (Ecclesiastes 7:8). Hence we must heed the psalmist today as he calls us to: “Sing a new song to the Lord, sing to the Lord all the world” (Psalm 96:1). Just as a pregnant woman rejoices when she finally gives birth to her child, so must we enter the New Year with joy as we hope for a good start. Make a choice to be happy and let the Spirit of truth lead you to make right decisions and conclusions for whatever plans you have. A happy ending would always usher in a note of peace, a sign of freedom from worry and a platform for the presence of God’s spirit. Be determined to finish strong by letting go strongholds of malice, depression, self-pity and all that weighs you down. Today can still make a difference in this passing year.

So be at your duty post today no matter how little it may be. Do everything out of love. Remember also that life is a pilgrimage the end of which must come one day. Keep focused and live well so as to die well.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for seeing through me another year, help me to remain united to you as long as I live. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 186What is the liturgical year (the Church year)?

The liturgical year, or the Church year, superimposes the mysteries of the life of Christ—from his Incarnation to his second coming in glory—on the normal course of the year. The liturgical year begins with Advent, the time of waiting for the Lord, and has its first high point in the Christmas season and its second, even greater climax in the celebration of the redemptive suffering, death, and Resurrection of Christ at Easter. The Easter season ends with the feast of Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Church. The liturgical year is repeatedly interrupted by feasts of Mary and the saints, in which the Church praises God’s grace, which has led mankind to salvation.

HIDE A TREASURE: “You would do everything you have promised; Lord, your love is eternal. Complete the work that you have begun”. Psalm 138:8 GNB

Readings for Today: 1 John 2:18-21, Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13, John 1:1-18

INVESTING OUR STRENGTH

Tuesday 30th December – 6th day within the octave of Christmas

Reflection: 1 John 2:12-17

INVESTING OUR STRENGTH

Dear friends, many parts of the Holy Scriptures emphasize the purpose of youthfulness and describe it as a stage of decision to choose life and denounce the temptations of the devil. This phase in which we are requires right counsel to stand firm in faith as it is a time when the battle against sin is at its peak as well as the formation of character. It is a phase in which we love to choose mentors, people whose pathways we can follow to newer facets and discoveries in life. Nevertheless, all our aspirations must necessarily lead us back to God (Ecclesiastes 11:9). All our questions about life can only get right answers when we sincerely make efforts to search for truth. This is the true essence of our strength which St John makes reference to in our reading today: I am writing to you, young people, because you are strong; the word of God lives in you, and you have defeated the evil one. (1 John 2:14b).

As the year 2014 passes away, we are called to evaluate what have achieved with our youthful strength this past year. How have we tailored our talents and treasures to earn us eternal treasures? Beloved, the greatest treasure we can ever have is Christ dwelling in us, His word fuelling our hearts with the grace and power to defeat the evil one. This is the most important investment of this phase of our lives. Let us take heed of our flaws and fight the good fight of faith. Never be discouraged to take up your cross and follow Christ. You can do all things through him who strengthens you. The world and everything in it that people desire is passing away; but those who do the will of God live forever. (1 John 2:17). Press on, beloved!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I am sorry for the misuse of your grace upon my life. I ask for renewed strength as I wait on you today. Help me to use my strength to know you more. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 34 – What should you do once you have come to know God?
Once you have come to know God, you must put him in the first place in your life. And with that a new life begins. You should be able to recognize Christians by the fact that they love even their enemies. 

HIDE A TREASURE: “…I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord”. Philippians 3:8 GNB

Readings for Today: 1 John 2:12-17; Psalm 96:7-10, Luke 2:36-40

DO YOU KNOW CHRIST?

Monday 29th December – 5th day within the octave of Christmas

Reflection: 1 John 2:3-11

DO YOU KNOW CHRIST?

“Whoever says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4).
The ancient Greek aphorism “Man, know thyself!” is invaluable in every area of our lives. As there is no compromise in life, we are either moving forward or backward, upward or downward. However, to know the direction in which we thread, we must first determine who we are. Though, people may acclaim that we are Christians, we go to church and read our Bibles; but deep within us we have to tell ourselves the truth. For it is only by discovering that we are little that we can ever become great; it is only when we discover our weakness that we can grow in strength.  As St. Peter wrote, “the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining”. We must in the privacy of our hearts, allow the light of Christ to shine on those areas of our lives that are not yet in tune with God. We must allow the light of Christ to lay open the secret thoughts of heart and purify us.

Dear friends, the best way to know ourselves; is to know Christ and make Him our standard in our journey towards perfection. This is the way we may know that we are in union with Him, for anyone who claims to be in union with God ought to walk just as He walked. This is what Christianity demands from us: to be Christ-like in all we do. To love as Christ loved us, not just our friends alone but also, those who seem to be against us. To bear with each other in love and in patience; to forgive as God forgives us. Our crosses as Christians are largely products of our daily lives; thus in bearing the crosses God gives us with joy and through His grace, we know we are following Christ. Today, let us take time to reflect on who we are in relation to Christ.

PRAYER: Lord, please help me to know you more and to be able to live for you in all things. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 30 – Although man can forget God or reject Him, He never ceases to call every man to seek Him, so as to find life and happiness.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If you want to follow me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 CCB

Readings for Today: 1 John 2:3-11; Psalm 96: 1-6; Luke 2: 22-35

KEEP HOPE ALIVE


Sunday 28th December – Feast of the Holy Family

Reflection: Genesis 15:1-6, 21:1-3

KEEP HOPE ALIVE

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the call to set out for a country that was the inheritance given to him and his descendants without knowing where he was going. Equally by faith Sarah though past the reproductive age believed she will conceive because she knew that He who made the promise would be faithful to it. (Hebrews 11: 8,11). By faith, man completely and freely submits his intellect and his will to God. Faith is a personal adherence of man to God and a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. Faith is a personal decision made for God, through God, out of the freedom He has given us. Thus, in faith there is no compromise. Faith is borne out of our trust in God, that He can do all things; and our submission to God, that He will do what is best for us. Hence, our faith in God should make us realize that ‘there is nothing impossible for God to do’ (Luke 1:37); at the same time, our faith in God should assure us that ‘in all things God works always for our good’ (Romans 8:28). With this assurance, things may seem haywire to us, but with God on our side, we will know that they are working out as God as planned them.

The Blessed Virgin most perfectly embodies the obedience of faith. By faith Mary welcomes the goods tidings and promise brought by the angel, believing that God can do all things and she gave her fiat: “Behold am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1: 38). She gave her fiat without minding the consequence of death if found to be pregnant outside marriage as a Jew. Because of her faith in God above the fear of death; She is called Blessed: Blessed is she who believed that the promise made to her by the Lord will be fulfilled (Luke 1:45).

Dear friends in Christ, to find peace and fulfilment in life, we must put all our faith and hope in God. We must let go and let God take charge of lives. To reap the fruit of faith in God, we must first submit ourselves to Him to use as He pleases. When we have surrendered all to Him, and things do not seem to be going right, then, more than ever, we must keep our hope alive in God and trust Him because He works always for the good of His own people.

PRAYER: Lord, help my faith in you to grow and keep me firm when my faith is put to the test. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 154 – Believing is possible only by grace and the interior help of the Holy Spirit. But it is no less true that believing is an authentically human act.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Faith is the assurance of what we hope for, being certain of what we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 CCB

Readings for Today: Genesis 15: 1-6, 21:1-3; Psalm 104: 1-9; Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19; Luke 2:22-40